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Deaf women group worries over poor access to health services due to communication gap

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Deaf women group worries over poor access to health services due to communication gap

By Janet Samuel

The Deaf Women Aloud Initiative (DWAI) has expressed concern over the inability of their members to access quality heath care services, especially in the area of sexual and Reproductive Health.

It was in a bid to reduce the impact of communication challenges, the Deaf Women Aloud Initiative (DWAI) organized a One – Day Training and Capacity Building for the usage of the Book they launched few days earlier titled “Glossary for Sexual Reproductive Health in Nigeria Sign Language”.
It was meant to address the communication gap between them and health services providers in accessing such services in hospitals across the country.


The Executive Director, Deaf Women Aloud Initiative (DWAI), Mrs. Helen Beyioku-Alase appealed to Government to make it mandatory rather than a Choice for the disability policy to be documented in hospitals so that Deaf women can have access to health services, saying if the women are not able to access healthcare, the policy is just a wasted effort.

“We are also beging the Federal Ministry of Health to look into it to make it compulsory that all hospitals have health policy for people living with Disability, especially the deaf women.

“My word to doctors in hospitals is that they should be patient with deaf people, I know it is not easy because of sign language communication gap and their impatience to attend to deaf people. “If they can learn simple signs, it would be a win win situation, while deaf women should also be patient when explaining their case to health workers, knowing they cannot understand you without the interpreter around” she said.

The training which is aimed at bringing health professionals and Deaf women together for the sole purpose of educating them on basic communication skills such as sign language  and how to improve on their relationship in handling their challenges took place on Friday in Abuja.
Addressing journalists after the training, the Executive Director, had explained that the training was aimed  at changing  the health workers attitude in their service delivery towards deaf persons.

“The capacity building will help to  bridge the gap between the health practitioners and deaf people that they would be able to access health services.

“The capacity building would also help in the implementation of deaf policy on health issues, so by training the health practitioners, they would go back to their health institutions and teach others the basic sign language, attitudinal approach and bridging the communication gap.

“We  are happy to see that most of the health workers participated in the sign language learning today and we know only one day training would not be enough but this is a starting point.

“We will continue to engage the health practitioners in Sign Language awareness, advocacies for our own good and better relationship and policy implementarion because without the deaf policy is just like a loos battle, we will not relent until we are there” she stated.

Speaking, A Nurse with the Primary Health Care Abjua, Hajiya Zainab Abbah who is also a participant in the training said the training is very important to be friendly with the Deaf among us making sure the health worker s facial expressions is welcoming so they. An feel belong.

“You have to be friendly to them, listen to them, know their problems and spend more time in treating them” she said

Also speaking, a health worker, Miss. lke Stalla lamented that the challenges faced by deaf women and other disabled persons when they come to access health services in hospitals are interpretation for a doctor to diagnose properly.

According to her, it has become imperative for government at all levels and private sector to employ interpreter in their organizations to aid the deaf people to bridge communication gap.

Miss Stalla was of the opinion that if the Sign Language can be inculcated in colleges of medicine, schools of Nursing and other areas that have to do with health, it will help in eliminating the difficulty in communication.

Speaking in an interview with our reporter, the Senior Registrar, Ear Nose and Throat Department, National Hospital, Abuja, Dr Omezikam Mbanaso described the one day training as useful and timely adding that it is a catalyst to bridging the gap between the health practitioners and the Deaf women.

According to him, the training has helped to provide better understanding on the needs of the Deaf women during communication in accessing health services and how the health practitioners should improve in quality service delivery.

“It is necessary for hospitals both private and government to provide sign directions or indicators for people living with disabilities to help them navigate their way when they come to access health services to avoid embarrassment.

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Ooni of Ife makes good his promise, delivers herbal therapy for COVID-19

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Ooni of Ife makes good his promise, delivers herbal therapy for COVID-19


The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi has delivered his promise to unveil herbal drugs for the treatment of Coronavirus.
In May 2020 the Nigerian first class monarch had announced that he had discovered the cure for coronavirus.
In a video he shared on his Facebook page at that time, the Oba showed some natural herbs that could cure Covid-19 and how people can use them.
The video got over 50 thousand views and over one thousand seven hundred shares and he took to the post that followed the video to say.

“To solve the ailment it is only through natural elements that we put together above all from nature which we have tested”

“I have used it and I also used it for some of the chronic Corona patients and they testified” he said.

He had at that time challenged all researchers both in Nigeria and in the globe to make the natural herbs into clinical medicine extract the vaccines from it.

The monarch while unveiling the herbal cure said the Federal Government is aware of the drug and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has approved it.

The drugs were researched and produced by Yem-Kem International Group under the leadership of Dr. Akintunde Ayeni in collaboration with Oba Ogunwusi’s outfit, Ooni Ojaja Global Outreach.

Speaking at the unveiling of the drugs, Ooni said “Today is a great day in the history of this great nation, I give kudos to the Minister of health, NAFDAC [director-general] and the presidency for the success of these products.”

“I want to announce to the whole world that there is a new phase in traditional medicine research. We have been on this research for some time. It’s 100 percent a private initiative and to the glory of God, NAFDAC gave us all approval last year September. And we ensure that the products were effective”.

“We have started using it for COVID-19 patients, including political office holders since last year September. Now we are very convinced that something very good is coming out of Nigeria.”

“I have been using this drug to boost my immunity. This is our own vaccine to combat covid-19”, Ooni said.

The Executive Chairman of Yem-Kem International, Dr. Akintunde Ayeni said the drugs would complement the efforts of the federal government to improve orthodox health-care services.

Ayeni said, “Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, the Ooni, called me personally and sent some herbs to me to research upon.”

Ayeni said the drugs would take care of COVID-19 and that bitter leaf capsule was also produced for the treatment of diabetes and high blood pressure.

The drugs are Verozil, Bitter Leaf Capsule, Vision Pro and Rio Capsule
Speaking further, Ooni said it is a proven fact which is equally established by the World Health Organization that Africa and indeed Nigeria have the best herbs which could be used for vaccine production.

“We have worked with various stakeholders in the health sector including the NAFDAC, Federal and Osun State Ministries of Health, Standard Organization of Nigeria and many others who have been so supportive.

“To the glory of God, NAFDAC gave us all the approvals last September but I insisted that the products be packaged properly. To the glory of God, these products have been tested especially on thousands of COVID-19 patients including some in positions of authority who are currently free from the pandemic.

“We are not doing this in isolation and I am happy to inform you that the National Assembly is currently working on a bill of the Federal Executive Council, on medical research that is alternative to orthodox medicine which is the herbal medicine

“Now that we have gotten here, our focus is to employ one hundred thousand (100,000) youths within the next fifteen months. This will be achieved virtually,” the Ooni said.

Speaking on behalf of the Ogun health commissioner, Gbenga Adepoju, who is the Director of Public Health in the Ministry, pledged government’s support for the products, noting the country has what it takes to solve her problems.

In their separate speeches, NAFDAC’s Director of Public Affairs, Mr. Jimoh Abubakar and the representative of Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) Engineer Gideon Amosun, jointly declared the support of their organizations for the products as they commended Ooni for the medical breakthrough.

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Challenges of COVID-19 Pandemic make Lafia Varsity Teaching Hospital expedient-Al-Makura

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Challenges of COVID-19 Pandemic make Lafia Varsity Teaching Hospital expedient-Al-Makura

The senator representing Nassarawa South Senator Al-Makura Umaru Tanko has indicated that the excruciating experience of the COVID-19 pandemic should be a catalyse for improved medical training and expansion of medical facilities.

To this end he canvassed for support from his colleague senators to give support the Federal University Lafia Teaching Hospital Bill, 2021 which he sponsored.
According to him,
“The objective of this Bill is to provide for the establishment of a Teaching Hospital for the Federal University Lafia and also provide for a Management Board for the Teaching Hospital sought to be established through this Bill.

“This is intended to facilitate the clinical training of medical students that will be of internationally acceptable standards by the University.
“It is on the basis of the foregoing that I urge my distinguished colleagues to support the passage of this simple but impactful amendment Bill.”
In his lead debate the senator
“This Bill should therefore be seen as another legislative response to our ongoing efforts to improve medical training, expand existing medical facilities and generally improve on healthcare service delivery across the three levels of public health service delivery in Nigeria against the backdrop of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

He said  the Federal University of Lafia (FULAFIA) has already set a College of Medicine in place and has gotten the approval of the National Universities Commission to admit medical students in the 2020/2021 academic session.
“In preparation for the take-off the Teaching Hospital which will be required clinical training of medical students of the University, the Nasarawa State Government has donated a newly built Hospital in Lafia  and also agreed to handover the Dalhatu Specialist Hospital ( DASH) to the University to be used as facilities for the take-off of the proposed Teaching Hospital in the interim.  

“This essence of this Bill is therefore to provide the legal framework for the operation of the proposed Teaching Hospital for clinical training of medical students of the College of Medicine, Federal University, Lafia.

He indicated that the teaching Hospital  when establishedis expected  not only serve as a training ground for medical students but also offer specialized tertiary healthcare services to patients within the State and indeed other patients referred to it from other parts of Nigeria.

According to him, the few Teaching Hospitals and other tertiary health centres within the North Central Zones are already overwhelmed by referrals for tertiary healthcare services.
“The proposed Teaching Hospital when established would therefore compliment specialized tertiary healthcare services offered by the few Teaching Hospitals within the North Central geopolitical zone such as the Jos University Teaching Hospital( JUTH).”

“I wish to state that in compliance with Order 77(3) of the Senate Standing Orders, 2015 as amended, this Bill when passed will have no immediate financial burden on the Federal Government treasury as the facilities for the immediate takeoff of the proposed Teaching Hospital for the Federal University, Lafia and its Management Board have been donated by the Nasarawa State Government.”

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Family planning: Report enumerates role of religious, traditional community leaders in awareness creation

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Family planning: Report enumerates role of religious, traditional community leaders in awareness creation

From Daniel Abel, Lafia

The prevalence and acceptability of Family planning in Nasarawa state had accounted for the sharp drop in maternal mortality and unplanned teenage/adult pregnancy a report has indicated

The report which was obtained from some primary health care centers in the state reveals that there is a downward trend in maternal mortality rate, adolescent unplanned pregnancy because awareness on the importance of family planning is on the increase.

The report indicated that efforts of the state ministry of health, non governmental organizations like the Society for Family health, the Change Initiative(TCI) are helping to expand awareness as well as the free supply of family planning commodities in primary health facilities across the state.

However, it pointed out that lots of efforts are required to drive the campaign down to prospective family planning beneficiaries particularly those who are still held bound by certain myths, religious inclinations and cultural barriers.

It stated that the traditional institution play a major role when its comes Information dissimilation and acceptability of policies and Interpretation to their subjects.

“Traditional rulers being the custodian of knowledge and tradition of communities and societies need to key in into the drive to create more awareness for prospective users of family planning practice.

“No community or society can afford to be left out in the use of family planning with its numerous advantages in the reproductive health.”

“In the same vane religious leaders who wants their congregations improve their reproductive health would not allow certain religious claims to stand as barriers in the use of family planning.

A healthy congregation the report said, will produce healthy worship while a sick and unhealthy congregation affect worship.
“A sick mother who do not have control of when and when not to take in, could affect the family worship.

It explained further that Community leaders are veritable tools for reaching citizens within the communities with Information that would better the health of members of such communities.

While lots of people share belief that family planning can lead to permanent barrenness, experts say such belief is not true because no family planning method is designed scientifically to create barrenness.

A family planning expert, Dr. Deborah Hassan said no family planning methods causes barrenness or childlessness adding that family planning can only help a woman to decide when to have a child and when not to have a child.

Dr. Deborah explained that family planning is a voluntary decision by informed individual or couple regarding when to start having children and how much time to give in between births.

She stated however that family planning promotes quality life for the users and the enter family.

“Family planning is affordable (Free), safe and effective way to have children when a coup wants to have them. It help couples who face fertility challenges to have children.
Continuing, Dr. Deborah indicated that,
“Family planning helps the women to rest between pregnancies in order to regain their health thereby reducing the risks of complications during or after pregnancies”,

Other benefits of family planning according the expert include; reduction of anxiety and stress from fear of pregnancies, quality breast feeding of children, proper attention to each child and ability to take good care of the family according to their economic ability.

“If our society must be healthy, awareness on family planning must be taken seriously by community, religious and traditional leaders even as the state government in collaboration with health partners such as Society for family health, The Challenge Initiatives (TCI) and the DEVCOM are on the frontline.”

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