Sexual Assault Victims Heal Through Exercise


Published: November 17, 2017

RH Weekly News Roundup – 17 November 2017

Sexual Assault Victims Heal Through Exercise

No one knows just how many women in Nigeria or the world have experienced rape or attempted rape. Blurry lines of what constitutes abuse are one reason. For example, many don’t consider it rape when they’re forced to have sex within their marriage or partnership. (It is rape if it’s not consensual.) Fear of reprisals or lack of understanding from police or other social entities, however, is a major reason that women don’t report sexual violence when it does occur.

If you’ve not caught it yet, the  #MeToo movement is beginning to shed light on the severity of the situation. At the same time, more organisations are offering rehabilitation through exercise and physical fitness. From yoga to martial arts – and even to pole dancing – the results seem positive across the board. After all, one of the biggest challenges is learning to love and respect your body again. At the very least, it’s worth a try – and if you’re a fitness instructor, you may be motivated by these stories to help more women heal.

 Antibiotic Resistance – What Do You Need to Know?

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that the world is running out of antibiotics – or rather those that get the job done, and efficiently at that. Sure, we can produce more, but that’s not the issue. The concern is that viruses are becoming resistant to antibiotics as more people take them without seriously needing them – and, in some cases, without an appropriate prescription from a doctor.

So, what happens if you stop taking antibiotics for all but the direst of illnesses (and, for example, before, during, and after surgery)? You’ll be playing your part, for sure. But, it’s not enough. It’s the diseases that are adapting, not our bodies. However, you will strengthen your body’s personal ability to fight viruses and diseases. That said, if your doctor says you need to take antibiotics, you probably do, and it’s best to heed his or her advice.

Believe It or Not; There’s a Worse Form of PMS

Cramps, tenderness, irritability, and dietary changes; these are part and parcel of PMS – and just about every woman has suffered from any of these issues at least once. Some women feel PMS acutely, just about every month. But, believe it or not, PMS is mild compared to premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) which can leave women feeling extremely depressed, possibly even suicidal. Luckily, it only affects three to eight percent of women.

Unlike PMS, PPMD is debilitating. Those experiencing it can feel as if they’re melting down and may also develop severe headaches, along with sleep problems and difficulties concentrating. PPMD symptoms arise around ten days before menstruation and tend to dissipate just after bleeding begins. So, if you’ve felt as though you have extreme fluctuations in personality and pain, you may just want to chat with your doctor about PPMD.


Senate Calls for Increased Health Facilities as Proposed Budget Cuts Funding

 The Nigerian Senate has called for the development or refurbishment of federal health care facilities across the country to ensure that everyone has equal access to treatment, without having to travel excessive distances to make it happen. These calls fall on the back of those from sector experts who believe that better distribution of facilities (as compared to the current disproportion).

But, there are some problems hindering the Senate’s plan. For a start, there doesn’t appear to be any register that shows exactly where facilities exist, their capabilities, the number of people they’re meant to service, or their current conditions. Obviously, creating such a database is the first step. But, the President has proposed a budget that cuts health care funding from 4.23 percent of the budget to 3.9 percent. Clearly, we’re moving away from the Abuja Declaration commitments, rather than towards them – even as elected leaders clearly want to step up Nigeria’s medical game.

Government Finally Concerned about Maternal Deaths as Infant Mortality Drops

The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) recently met and released statements of concern over the untenable maternal and child mortality rates in the country. They have every reason to be concerned. According to UNICEF figures, Nigeria loses 145 child-bearing women and 2300 children under five – every single day. This puts Nigeria in the second worst position for these metrics – across the entire globe.

However, this is hardly news, and it definitely comes long after other bodies have raised their voices on the issue. And, it comes just as new information gathered by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and UNICEF is set for release. While the details have yet to be loaded on the UNICEF website, it appears that at least the infant mortality rate has dropped from 97 deaths per 1000 live births in 2011 to 70 per 1000 in 2017. The under-five mortality rate has also dropped, though there has been (unsurprisingly) an increase in wasting and stunting. All the same, there is plenty of work to do, and we’re happy to have the governors on hand to help.

 Medical Tourism into Nigeria? Perhaps

As it celebrates its 60th birthday, the University College Hospital, Ibadan, Oyo State claims it has indeed trained the best specialist doctors in the country. A spokesman has also claimed that Nigerians engage in medical tourism because it feeds their egos – not because the facilities are not available. Despite the lack of cancer treatment facilities, the shortage of doctors, and the lack of funding; the chairman of the hospital’s celebration committee says other Africans opt to travel to Nigeria to undergo surgeries.

And, it is possible that one day, Nigeria will indeed become a medical tourism destination. Specialists at the First Cardiology Consultant Hospital Lagos are encouraging doctors from the diaspora to return to Nigeria – and showing off the facilities and treatments undertaken to demonstrate the capabilities – including open-heart surgery performed publicly for journalists. One speciality, one city… but it’s a good start.

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