How Deep Is the Deceit in the Ministry of Health?


Published: June 3, 2016

How Deep Is the Deceit in the Ministry of Health?

On 9 May, President Buhari ordered an investigation into the alleged diversion or misuse by Nigeria’s Health Ministry of millions of dollars. The money in question was received from the Global Fund for the purpose of fighting Malaria, AIDS, and Tuberculosis. As a result, key officials have been called to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to provide their accounts of the situation. While this is the legal and constitutional path for resolution, it’s not enough for many health care workers.

This week, protesters created chaos at the Federal Ministry of Health building. In addition to the demand for answers, the crowd effectively shut government officials and civil servants out of their offices; at least member of the ministry was escorted away under the protection of armed guards. Want to know what’s happening as the story unfolds? Follow the official EFCC page on Twitter or check out #efcc for the full range of comments.


Suffering from Migraines? Time to Test Your Heart


Recently released research suggests that women who suffer from migraines may have increased risk for cardiovascular disease. A link between migraines and strokes was previously established, but according to the data collected between 1989 and 2011 and covering 116,000 women, these headaches could be a warning sign for later heart attacks as well as strokes. Migraines aren’t standard headaches; they’re agonising. Typically, vomiting and light (and sound) sensitivity follow the initial throbbing pains – and some can last for days.

The new research suggests that women who suffer from migraines have a 39 percent higher risk for heart attacks along with a 62 percent increase in risk for strokes. There’s also a whopping 73 percent risk increase of heart surgery later in life. While migraines may seem untreatable, there are ways to manage the pain under a doctor’s care; and sufferers should ensure they receive regular cardiovascular checkups as they age.


Could Children’s Day Be a Turning Point?


Nigeria celebrates Children’s Day every April 27th. It’s a time for the country to reflect on the state of health and wellbeing of our kids – as much as it is a day off school and a celebration for the youngest members of our society. This year, President Buhari assured the country that children were a top priority for his government.

To affirm his position, President Buhari cited allocations of N12.6 billion towards children’s healthcare programmes and N93.1 billion towards a school feeding programme. With extreme rates of infant and maternal mortality in Nigeria, it’s important to ensure funds are dispersed correctly. If you want to lend an extra hand, Save the Children works with Nigeria’s most vulnerable youths and their mothers.


Don’t Cut Dairy without Consulting Your Doctor


Australian studies show that a worrying number of women are cutting dairy from their diet. They hope to reduce negative gastrointestinal issues such as wind, bloating, and cramps. But, they’re not replacing the necessary nutrients through other foods or vitamins. While it may be easy to shrug off this problem because you’re not Australian, the issue isn’t dairy itself – and it’s not limited to a particular group of women.

The greater concern is that an increasing number of women worldwide are making decisions about what they should and should not eat based on current health concerns and a search for products that create these symptoms. If you have health concerns, the last thing you should do is change your diet or lifestyle without consulting your doctor or dietician. Even a short-term adjustment for the purpose of fact-finding should be undertaken with professional support.

Health Insurance for Nigeria’s IDPs

With over two million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), Nigeria must take their health needs seriously. Considering that some 85 percent of Nigerian IDPs are the result of Boko Haram and similar terror organisations, the medical needs are often heightened beyond that of nutrition and routine care.

According to the federal government, IDPs will soon be on the register for NHIS programmes. This will entitle registered IDPs to the same access provided to government employees. While this is definitely a step in the right direction, it’s possible this will ignite the flames growing underneath the general state of health care in Nigeria.


Money Set Aside for the Empowerment of Women

Nigeria has a lot of work to do towards achieving the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG). From the alleviation of poverty to the protection of women and children, a lot will need to change in policy – and on the ground.

Meaningful strides, however, can be made when funding is directed towards uplifting communities – and the women in them – through meaningful and sustainable work. This week, President Buhari announced the allocation of N1.6 billion towards micro-finance loans to empower women in rural communities to develop businesses and support community projects. It’s hoped that well over a million women will be reached directly through this programme, and many more indirectly.


How Much Exercise Is Safe for Pregnant Women?


We’ve all seen women that remain rather tiny throughout their pregnancy. And, there always seems to be a mom-to-be on the treadmill at large gyms in urban centres. It’s easy to question whether exercise is safe for the baby – and the mother. And it is… for most women. Actually, it’s better than safe; it’s recommended for anyone that’s always led an active life.

However, pregnancy isn’t the best time to strive for new fitness goals. And there are exercises that should definitely be avoided, especially later in the pregnancy. The list includes everything from contact sports and anything with a risk of falling (including cycling) to high-intensity intervals and weight lifting. That leaves plenty of room for walking and gentler yoga workouts – unless you experience breathlessness, pain, or bleeding. Then, you’ll need to stop and see your doctor as soon as possible.

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