2021 World AIDS Day: Nigeria battles disease after 35 years of first case - Breaking News Nigeria
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2021 World AIDS Day: Nigeria battles disease after 35 years of first case

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Since the first case of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, HIV, was detected in Lagos State in 1986, Nigeria and other countries of the world have continued to battle the disease which has remained a global heath challenge.

According to the World Health Organization, WHO, HIV, since its first case was recorded in Congo in the 1920s has claimed over 36.3 million lives across the world while about 37.7 million are still living with the disease as it continues to be a major global public health issue.

DAILY POST recalls that the United Nations Office On Drugs and Crime, UNODC, had in 2019, ranked Nigeria as the third among countries with the highest burden of HIV infection in the world.

Over 1.9 million Nigerians are currently living with the virus across the country. The UN agency has also revealed that HIV and AIDS are far more prevalent among those in prisons and high-risk drug users, particularly people who inject drugs (PWIDs).

A recent UNODC study on HIV prevalence in Nigerian prisons and on drug use in the country has revealed that 2.8% of inmates and 9% of people who inject drugs (PWIDs) are living with HIV/AIDS.

The WHO, in a statement on Monday called on African countries to put more efforts in reducing new infections, lamenting that the continent in 2020, recorded highest cases in the world.

The statement which was issued by the WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti to mark the 2021 World AIDS Day, revealed that the virus claims about 1,300 lives in Africa everyday.

The statement reads in part, “We cannot afford to lose focus on the urgent need to end the inequities that drive AIDS and other epidemics around the world. It has been 40 years since the first HIV cases were reported. Yet, in Africa and globally, it remains a major public health concern.

“Last year, two out of every three new HIV infections occurred in the African Region, corresponding to almost 2 500 new HIV infections every day. Sadly, AIDS claimed the lives of 460 000 people, or a shocking 1 300 every day, in spite of free access to effective treatment”.

DAILY POST recalls that the Director-General of National Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS, NACA, Dr Gambo Aliyu, had assured that the Federal Government of Nigeria is working assiduously and hopeful to ensure the end of HIV/AIDS transmission by 2024.

Speaking while declaring open a five-day Capacity Strengthening of Key and Vulnerable Populations in Access to HIV Services Efficiency in Sokoto a few months ago, Aliyu noted that Nigeria had recorded great successes and ranked among the five countries with minimum challenges in the fight against HIV/AIDS amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to him, “Nigeria is working toward ending the transmission of HIV/AIDS in the next three years, which is 2024, less than the targeted year of 2030 by the UN.”

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Shortage of dead bodies affecting study of Anatomy in Nigerian medical schools – Prof. Ajao

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A medicine expert has decried the scarcity of cadavers for the study of anatomy and practical classes in medical schools.

Prof Moyosore Salihu Ajao, a professor of Anatomy at the University of Ilorin raised the issue while delivering the 214th Inaugural Lecture of the university.

The Professor of medicine emphasised that the challenge is more difficult because dead bodies are not sold in the market in any part of the world.

“The first major challenge I noticed on my assumption of office as a young lecturer in the department of anatomy was the chronic shortages of cadavers in the department and after a quick check on other universities, I discovered that we are not alone in the struggle to get bodies fit enough for dissection at practicals.

“The National Universities Commission recommends an average of eight students per body in Nigeria.” the scholar said.

He explained that the study of human anatomy cannot be fully understood from written descriptions of dimensional pictures or plastic models.

Prof. Ajao citing one of his investigations explained that there are different causes of scarcity in the Nigerian Medical Institutions which reflects a poor ratio of students to cadavers during the studies in medical schools in Nigeria.

Despite the lack of materials for the study of medicine, Professor Ajao said there is increasing pressure to produce more doctors in Nigeria.

”The pressure to produce more doctors keep mounting every year while the provision of facilities including cadaver supplies are limited in the country”, Prof Ajao said.

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World Bank forecasts slow global growth till 2023, cites new COVID-19 variants

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The World Bank says despite a strong rebound in 2021, the global economy is entering a “pronounced slowdown” due to fresh threats from COVID-19.

Other factors are the rise in inflation, debt and income inequality capable of endangering the recovery in emerging and developing economies.

The World Bank, led by David Malpass, released its Global Economic Prospects report on Tuesday.

The report says global growth is expected to decelerate markedly from 5.5 percent in 2021 to 4.1 percent in 2022.

For 2023, the year will dally by 3.2 percent as pent-up demand dissipates, and as fiscal and monetary support is unwound across the world.

The institution found that the rapid spread of Omicron indicates that the pandemic will likely continue to disrupt economic activity.

“In addition, a notable deceleration in major economies—including the United States and China—will weigh on external demand in emerging and developing economies”, the report noted.

The World Bank warns that with developing economies lacking the policy space to support activity, new COVID-19 outbreaks, supply-chain bottlenecks, inflationary pressures and financial vulnerabilities may increase the risk of a hard landing.

“The world economy is simultaneously facing COVID-19, inflation, and policy uncertainty, with government spending and monetary policies in uncharted territory.

“Rising inequality and security challenges are particularly harmful for developing countries.

“Putting more countries on a favorable growth path requires concerted international action and a comprehensive set of national policy responses”, said President David Malpass.

The World Bank forecast came days after the discovery of Deltacron in Cyprus by a researcher and his team.

Leondios Kostrikis, Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Cyprus, said the new strain is a combination of delta and omicron.

Weeks earlier, IHU, also a new variant, was detected in France. Dozens of cases were reported near the South of Marseille.

The index case was a fully-vaccinated man who returned from a visit to Cameroon in November 2021. The country shares border with Nigeria.

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Cross River govt harps on need for individual health insurance

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Uyo High School shut down as students give principal 24 hours ultimatum to release detained cultists



Cross River State government has emphasised the need for residents and indigenes to have health insurance in the state.

Commissioner for health in the state, Dr Betta Edu in a New Year message, said the Health Insurance Scheme (CRSHIS) otherwise called Ayadecare is mandated to ensure that people get the same level of healthcare, which will ultimately lead to a healthier workforce and longer life expectancy through a monthly financial subscription.

She said health insurance is a safety net because it makes it easier for an enrollee to access routine and preventive health care and provides an insurance plan for enrollees to navigate the confusion of medical billing, high out of pocket expenses that may be catastrophic.

Calling for continued caution by people as COVID-19 spreads its new variant, she said, “I want to encourage us all to keep giving our best to prevention testing and vaccination and should remain relentless in keeping safe.

“We will continue to ensure that our endeavours remain consistent with global best practices of healthcare delivery targeted at overcoming the pandemic.”

According to her, they have expanded on already existing strategies and structures to grow and further strengthen the healthcare system across the state.

Edu reassured that the state will remain committed to ensuring quality, cost-effective and timely health services.

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