THE medical students at the Benue State University (BSU), Makurdi may have heaved a sigh of relief as the Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria (PCN) has expressed satisfaction with the level of development at the Pharmacy Department of the Benue State University Teaching Hospital (BSUTH).
Dean of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Jos, Prof. John Agoye, who led a team of pharmacists on the inspection of the facilities at the Pharmacy Department of the Teaching Hospital noted recently that the institution had started on a good footing and advised the management to consolidate on what was already on ground in order to excel.
Agoye was optimistic that the facilities at the teaching hospital would serve as a good starting point for pharmacists, youth corps members and students on internship and called for the review of appointment of pharmacists in the school for more efficiency.
In his remarks, Chief Medical Director of the Teaching Hospital, Prof. Abraham Malu said that the visit was necessary as it gave the institution the opportunity to improve on its services in order to serve the people better as well as to create a conducive environment for employees.
Ekiti spends N55m on health equipment, pays indigent patients’ bills
Ekiti State government recently spent N55 million on the procurement of medical equipment and offsetting medical bills of citizens who could not afford the high medical bills occasioned by their financial barriers.
The pathetic case of one of the beneficiaries, five-year-old Master Usman Odunayo, who was diagnosed of cancer of the eye, moved some of the people around to tears when the governor gave a cheque for his medical bill.
Usman’s mother who had been shouldering the huge medical bills for the young lad shed tears as she came out to receive the cheque.
The young Usman, apparently unmindful of the development, held on to the cheque as they returned to their seat.
Usman was said to have been diagnosed of cancer of the eye some months ago, after several months of seeking medical solution in different hospitals.
Beneficiaries of the government’s financial assistance are indigent citizens suffering from diverse ailments including cancer, chronic eye problems and other ailments requiring specialised surgeries.
Presenting cheques of N20.6 million to 31 beneficiaries of the state’s medical assistance scheme in Ado Ekiti, the state Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi said that the gesture was to demonstrate the commitment of his administration to assisting the vulnerable groups in the state.
Fayemi who restated the resolve of his administration to ensuring a healthy society, said that the government was not unaware of the daunting challenges facing health care delivery being a sector that required huge financial commitment, adding that his administration was prepared to address the challenges and make the citizenry live a life that was devoid of preventable diseases regardless of the meagre resources that accrue to the state government.
“These conditions are further exacerbated by the weak financial strength of these people whose conditions were fast deteriorating. The state government had come to the situation to practically demonstrate our commitment to assisting vulnerable groups in our midst. In this circumstance, it is to offset the high medical bills occasioned by the critical medical conditions of these fellow citizens thereby breaking the financial barriers to their good health,” he said.
Northern stakeholders unite to eradicate polio
From Isah Ibrahim, Gusau
TRADITIONAL and religious leaders in the country seek intensification of polio enlightenment as means of eradicating the transmission of the Wild Polio Virus (WPV) in the country by this year-end.
The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III made the call recently in Gusau, at the launching of the Polio Free Torch Campaign in Zamfara State, which had in attendance traditional and religious leaders from the 19 northern states and Abuja.
Sa’ad said traditional and religious leaders have a great role to play for the 2013 target of eradicating poliomyelitis in the country, set by the Federal Government to be achieved.
The Sultan clarified that the polio immunisation has no negative effects on children, saying as traditional rulers they will not support giving the polio immunisation to children, if it has any proven negative effect on children.
He said that it was disheartening that Nigeria was still listed among the four countries in the world with reported cases of poliomyelitis and therefore the need for collaborative efforts between the traditional, religious leaders and government to tackle the transmission of the virus.
The Minister of State Health, Dr Muhammad Ali Pate who is the chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Polio Eradication, said the Federal Government is fully committed to the total eradication of the disease in the country.
Pate said that with the launch of the campaign in Zamfara State, it would lead to the final push to stop the transmission of the WPV in the state, as the state is one of the states with persistent transmission of the virus.
In his remark, Dr. Ado Muhammad, executive director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), said that the main objective of the Polio Free Torch Campaign was to overcome individual and community resistance to the oral polio vaccine and to mobilise support of old and new partners in the Federal Government’s determination to stop the transmission of the WPV.
Eating soy and breast cancer risk
SOYMILK, tofu and other soy products contain phytoestrogens, chemicals that can mimic the behaviour of the hormone estrogen. Because estrogen fuels many breast cancers, soy has long been a source of concern. Can it heighten the risk of breast cancer or raise the odds of recurrence?
In the lab, phytoestrogens can stimulate the growth of breast cancer cells. But in human studies, scientists have not found that diets high in soy increase breast cancer risk. In fact, most have found the reverse.
In a report in The Journal of the American Medical Association in 2009, scientists, who looked at 5,042 people in the Shanghai Breast Cancer Survival Study found that soy was linked to a significantly lower risk of breast cancer recurrence and mortality. But the study, while encouraging, was carried out in China, so questions lingered about the extent to which the findings applied to women elsewhere.
In a more recent multiyear study, published in May in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, scientists followed nearly 10,000 breast cancer survivors, many of them in the United States. They found that women who ate the most soy had lower rates of cancer recurrence and mortality.
Though the findings reflect only a correlation, they suggest that the concerns about soy and breast cancer may be unfounded. Despite concerns about its phytoestrogen content, eating soy has not been shown to promote breast cancer.
Glucose deprivation kills cancer cells, study finds
COMPARED to normal cells, cancer cells have a prodigious appetite for glucose, the result of a shift in cell metabolism known as aerobic glycolysis or the “warburg effect.”
Researchers focusing on this effect as a possible target for cancer therapies have examined how biochemical signals present in cancer cells regulate the altered metabolic state.
Now, in a unique study, a University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), United States, research team led by Thomas Graeber, a professor of molecular and medical pharmacology, has investigated the reverse aspect, how the metabolism of glucose affects the biochemical signals present in cancer cells.
In research published June 26 in the journal Molecular Systems Biology, Graeber and his colleagues demonstrate that glucose starvation - that is, depriving cancer cells of glucose - activates a metabolic and signaling amplification loop that leads to cancer cell death as a result of the toxic accumulation of reactive oxygen species, the cell-damaging molecules and ions targeted by antioxidants like vitamin C.
Moderate coffee consumption offers protection against heart failure
WHILE current American Heart Association heart failure prevention guidelines warn against habitual coffee consumption, some studies propose a protective benefit, and still others find no association at all.
Amidst this conflicting information, research from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center attempts to shift the conversation from a definitive yes or no, to a question of how much.
The study published June 26 online in the Journal Circulation: Heart Failure, found that these moderate coffee drinkers were at 11 per cent lower risk of heart failure.
Data was analysed from five previous studies – four conducted in Sweden, one in Finland – that examined the association between coffee consumption and heart failure. The self-reported data came from 140,220 participants and involved 6,522 heart failure events.
In a summary of the published literature, the authors found a “statistically significant J-shaped relationship” between habitual coffee consumption and heart failure, where protective benefits begin to increase with consumption maxing out at two eight-ounce American servings a day.
Apple peel compound may help fight obesity
THOSE, who peel an apple before eating it may be discarding a helpful tool for fighting obesity. A study involving mice finds that a compound in apple peel called ursolic acid may curtail obesity by increasing muscle mass and boosting calorie burning. In addition to the weight control benefit, it may also deter fatty liver disease and pre-diabetes.
In the research published in PLoS ONE, all the mice were fed a high fat diet, but only half of them received food augmented with ursolic acid. Although the half that received the ursolic acid ate more, they gained less weight.
Additionally, the investigators found they burned more calories, had more muscles and displayed greater endurance than the group, who did not receive the compound. Furthermore, their blood sugar levels were near normal and they did not incur obesity related-fatty liver disease.
The mechanism of action responsible for the obesity-fighting benefit appears to be two-pronged. Author Christopher Adams explains that since muscle tissue is a good calorie burner, the muscle-building effect of ursolic acid may account for part of it. While the researchers were aware of this effect from prior research, they were surprised to find this compound also increases a substance called brown fat, which is a superb fat burner.
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