What Do YOU Think about Your Body? (A New Survey Offers a Clue)


Published: June 24, 2016

We Can’t Ignore the Camps Any Longer

Doctors Without Borders (also known as Médecins Sans Frontières, MSF) were finally able to access a camp in Bama, Borno State this past week. Constructed to house Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), the camp’s population estimates are over 24,000 people, including roughly 15,000 people. The isolation of the camp has done more than cut off MSF teams; it’s left the occupants without access to food and supplies. And people are starving to death at alarming rates.

The MSF team referred some patients to hospitals and the MSF in-patient therapeutic feeding centre in Maiduguri for immediate treatment. But, more must be done for Nigeria’s IDPs and for many people, attention must be paid before it’s too late. Want to get involved? Anyone prepared to work in the field can apply for positions the organisation, but donations to support MSF activities are always welcome.


Working Long Hours? It’s Time for a Holiday

 You need to pay the bills, and you’re probably hoping to save a little bit of money too. That’s why you work so hard, so long… all the time. You may even believe that you’re trading time now for rest later. But, you could also be trading in your health.

A report in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine concludes that women are more likely than men to develop diseases such as diabetes, cancers, depression, and heart conditions when they work over 50 hours a week. The more time spent, the more likely health is to suffer. And that’s because it’s almost impossible to relax after work with all the other responsibilities women have. So, even if you can’t take a holiday, at least take a little bit of time to read a book, watch some television, or head to the gym.


Health Care Strikes Cripple Medical Services in Federal Hospitals

It’s not to say that warning bells weren’t sounded, but the issues facing the health care sector in Nigeria are too complex to solve in a short period. And, sadly, this means that Nigerians requiring medical attention can’t get it. The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) and the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) commenced on an indefinite strike this past week.

According to the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU), a seven-day warning strike began on 22 June. With this action, medical treatment at federal hospitals is simply unavailable. While the Minister for Health, Isaac Adewole, calls for termination of employment for anyone participating, there’s simply no way that new recruits can fill the shoes of Nigeria’s experienced doctors.


A Reason to Go Nuts

Want to live a long, healthy, and active life? Of course you do! And walnuts might just be the way to achieve that. Researchers have uncovered foods that reduce the likelihood of physical impairments developing as they age – and walnuts are one of the best. Oranges, pears, apples, and Romaine lettuce are also on the list, but walnuts might be the clincher.

Of course, as anyone will point out, you can’t live on these foods alone and expect significant life changes; you’ll need a balanced diet. And when it comes to adding walnuts to your otherwise healthy diet, you only need about half a cup a week to make a difference.


Arrests Made for Misappropriation of Global Fund Money

Let’s face it; Nigeria needs all the investment it can get into fighting deadly diseases. Even though the government allocates a low budget (usually around four percent), money has been pumped into the medical sector for this purpose. One such infusion comes from The Global Fund to combat AIDS, Malaria, and Tuberculosis. Or, at least, they previously invested in this sector.

A little more than US$ 4 million appears to have been diverted from its intended purpose and into the pocketbooks of officials. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arrested seven officials from the Federal Ministry of Health for misappropriation of funds. Crimes range from falsifying travel bills to the receipt of kickbacks from suppliers. But, of course, the real crime is taking any money from the Nigerians that require treatment to live – especially if The Global Fund officially and indefinitely pulls funding for treatment. They’ve already invested US$ 1,512,114,803, and Nigeria needs every cent they can spare.


What Do YOU Think about Your Body?

A new report suggests that women who aren’t 100 percent happy with the way they look are likely to back off from social engagements or participating in activities they would normally enjoy. The survey was commissioned by Dove, a global retailer of health and beauty products. They surveyed 10,500 women and girls in 13 countries to uncover issues regarding their appearance.

While we don’t know how many Nigerian women are body confident, we do know that self-esteem is one of the most important qualities to develop in women and girls – whatever their nationality. Luckily, Dove wasn’t just on a fact-finding mission; they have clever ideas on how to boost self-esteem in yourself and the women that mean the world to you.


Unlikely Advocates for Abortion Growing in Nigeria

 Under Nigerian law, the termination of pregnancy is illegal in Nigeria unless it can be proven that the mother’s life is in danger. That’s difficult to prove at the best of times and doesn’t account for the reality in Nigeria. With little access to family planning resources – or the education to consider these options, many women and girls face unwanted pregnancies in the country. Compounded with high levels of rape (which largely remains unreported due to social stigmas), there is a need for the laws to change.

In the meantime, over one million abortions are performed in Nigeria, and many are undertaken by unskilled hands in unhygienic conditions. Doctors simply don’t want to be involved in illegal practices – even after the deed has been done, and life is now truly in danger. Though they’re legally the guardians of the law, Nigerian police are becoming advocates for change. How? Through the work of IPAS, an organisation that works to stop police harassment of medical professionals; the transformation to activist is just a byproduct – and one that may just transform Nigerian society in the long run. Ready to get involved? Check out IPAS, or take a look at Girl Effect Nigeria to learn more about the issues faced by young Nigerian women.

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