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Showing posts with label scholarship. Show all posts
Showing posts with label scholarship. Show all posts

The Foundation Of Human Solidarity – Strengthening Accountability In African Healthcare Systems

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“Tell me how you will measure me, and I will tell you how I will behave” – Eliyahu M. Goldratt
When thinking about accountability, it is not wrong to think of things that can be measured and as in Goldratt’s quote above, measurement systems can help people to tailor their behaviour and performance accordingly, to focus on specific goals. However, accountability goes much further than measurement systems. Putting in place accountability measures can help reinforce certain types of behaviour, as long as the right measurement criteria is used.
Accountability can be broadly defined as “measures to ensure that the person or organisation with authority to provide a service actual delivers that service, i.e., that providers and policy-makers are answerable for their actions, and to demonstrate that they have delivered” (Aidspan, 2015).
This was the central theme of the two-day conference organised by the Sustainable Development Goals Center for Africa in Kigali, Rwanda, 8th – 9th March 2018. The conference, titled “Every Life Matters – Building and Strengthening Accountability in African Health Systems” had the purpose of defining an accountability framework to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 3 (SDG 3): Good Health and Well-being.
In order to achieve SDG 3, the conference deliberated on the accountability frameworks that need to be put in place between different stakeholders such as governments, healthcare practitioners and institutions, development partners and patients.
Putting in place accountability systems and strengthening existing accountability measures is urgently needed in many African countries. Failures in healthcare delivery have gone unsanctioned and all too often excuses are made for poor service delivery. We have all heard stories of failures in the provision of routine healthcare. These failures are often attributed to external factors, which are seen as uncontrollable, and as has become the norm, responsibility and accountability is abdicated.
The conference brought together government officials, multilateral agencies, development partners and civil society organisations from across the African continent to deliberate on why many African countries have still not managed to overcome many of the health challenges that well-resourced countries have been able to overcome. Now more than ever, there needs to be an uncompromised focus to improve on the health indices in many African countries. We are still at a stage where despite advances in modern technology, according to the World Health Organisation, out of the 830 daily maternal deaths, 550 occur in sub-Saharan Africa. During his recent visit to Nigeria, Bill Gates reiterated the abysmal health indices in Nigeria when he mentioned that Nigeria was one of the most dangerous places in the world to give birth. Many of the deaths are avoidable and often patients have no recourse when there is clear evidence of negligence on the part of healthcare practitioners.
With these challenges front and centre, the morning session kicked off on Day 1 of the conference, with opening remarks from a cross section of speakers from the private sector, government officials and development partners. This was followed by a high-level panel discussion on in country accountability mechanisms. Dr. Belay Begashaw, the Director General of the Sustainable Development Goal Center for Africa (SDGC/A) reminded the delegates and speakers what the conference theme meant. “‘Every Life Matters’ means doing things responsibly with human beings at the centre of it all,” he said.
The importance of accountability was highlighted by Dr. Takao Toda, the Vice President for Human Security and Global Health, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and he opined that, “The first and the most important accountability is people’s accountability to the people themselves”.  Ms Zouera Youssoufou, the Chief Executive Officer, Dangote Foundation, spoke about the diverse solutions to solving Africa’s development challenges and the requirement of an accountability framework and the role of the private sector. “The government needs to recognise the potential of the private sector. The private sector can bring in additional capacity such as appropriately trained medical personnel,” she said.
The rest of the 2-day conference then focused on three key themes of accountability, with delegates attending one of the three breakout sessions to brainstorm and define appropriate mechanisms for oversight and the building of accountability frameworks.
Theme 1: What is the accountability framework necessary to ensure achievement of SDG 3 throughout Africa?
Health for All , a key theme for the upcoming World Health Day requires effective accountability systems within African countries. SDG3 is all encompassing and looks at ensuring good health and wellbeing for all people of all ages, irrespective of financial status.
As a continent we are aware of the significant inequalities across countries and within those same countries. A summary of recommendations to achieve SDG 3 were made. In the first instance, people are and should be accountable to:
  • Body politic, decision makers e.g. at national level and institutions.
  • Technocrats and administrators
  • Peers within the sector, professional bodies and associations. They should be there to give confidence to patients, build peer networks and ensure good ethics for professional bodies, focusing on people
  • Citizens and the public
In building an accountability framework, it was determined that it was better to focus on results and not inputs, looking at programmes that worked in the past. The focus on accountability would need to be country focused, with national workshops for different countries to see what their framework would look like.
Theme 2: How can data, research and development engender greater, stronger, long-lasting accountability systems and mechanisms in health in African nations?
Healthcare professionals/doctors know their roles and responsibilities, but the general population in many African countries often are not aware what their rights are. Therefore, there is a need for more transparency in service delivery so patients know their rights. In addition, if patients have a complaint there needs to be a system for them to seek recourse. This could be through a quasi-judicial system. Public service announcements and more civil society advocacy could also help bridge the divide between patients and healthcare professionals.
A challenge that is often encountered in data collection is the reliability and accuracy of the data, so how do you encourage people to provide accurate data without the risk that there would be repercussions on them? Data should be used to ensure accountability and for positive reinforcement and not as a “stick” to punish healthcare practitioners or the data providers. Engagement would mean winning the heart and minds of people, especially when reporting accurate data results, with feedback provided to improve services.
A bottom-up approach could focus on the micro level of data, with data disaggregated to the top with Community Health Workers (CHEWs) providing the data to local governments. This human-centred approach would also help ensure that norms and cultures of the communities are well understood, as CHEWs have a better understanding of the unique challenges in their communities. When the data is collected, there would need to be a feedback mechanism to the data providers so they understand how the data they provide is used.
Theme 3:   Establishing Appropriate Remedies and Other Accountability Mechanisms to Ensure Proper Functioning of a Healthcare System.
In deliberating about remedies and accountability mechanisms, the following themes came through. Health accountability means putting in place governance structures at the national level, and in most cases, accountability needs to go both ways from patients to health practitioners or from government to communities and vice versa. Accountability is also not always about enforcement, but needs to be seen as creating incentives for people to be accountable, as it is in their best interest.
The following five thematic areas were identified:
Human rights need to be protected as well as access to healthcare – if a patient demands accountability from healthcare practitioners, there should be no repercussions on them. In addition, duty bearers and health practitioners should also have some form of protection too.
  • Strengthening the capacity for health accountability – awareness needs to be created at the community level so that people know their rights and with Continuous Professional Development (CPD), health practitioners need to be reminded of their responsibilities
  • Strengthening incentive systems to enhance health accountability – the setting up of mechanisms to protect health workers from litigation
  • Innovation and new approaches to health accountability – engaging the private sector to be part of the health accountability process, using digital health in monitoring and evaluation and peer to peer accountability
  • Strengthening legal frameworks for health accountability – freeing health councils and professional associations from conflicts of interest, neither should be involved in health care provision. The same applies for health service providers and medical insurance companies.
The conference then drew to a close with participants agreeing to the following call-to-action:
  • All stakeholders in Africa need to champion an agenda for improved healthcare systems and commit to the launch of further inclusive national dialogues and building national roadmaps.
  • Health professionals to demonstrate conviction to the current agenda and to drive changes necessary to improve accountability in their health systems.
  • Citizens must be the focus of accountability mechanisms, and their voices need to be listened to when they demand quality care and treatment, leveraging the media to strengthen accountability.
  • Politicians and government officials need to show strong political commitment to ensuring accountability, routing out corruption and pushing for appropriate legal frameworks to be enforced. Professional bodies need to be strengthened and empowered to maintain the highest professional standards, holding their members to account.
  • Increased investment in health system data capacity, especially citizen-driven data and for government to enable open data policies making data more accessible.
  • Developing a comprehensive Pan –African health system accountability plan, supported by governments and development partners, by mid 2019.
  • Pledge for more financial resources to achieve the envisaged goals and support for a new fund for African Health Systems to promote SDG 3 in Africa. Governments also have to commit to increase their funding for health system in their countries.
An unspoken theme that cut through the talks, delegate discussions and thematic sessions was the need for human solidarity. In the spirit of the SDGs, tackling poverty unites African countries with a common goal, to provide their people with a more positive future and equality of opportunity, an issue at the heart of the 2030 Agenda.  Human solidarity requires that people are accountable to each other, and by putting in place accountability frameworks for African healthcare systems, should promote a culture of solidarity and help to ensure that African countries understand their collective responsibilities to their population.
As we approach World Health Day on the 7th April, the closing slogan of the 2-day conference seems quite fitting; “All you do for me without me is against me”.  It highlights how health is a human right, and patient care needs to be front and centre, focusing on positive health outcomes. Health for all means that everyone should have access to quality healthcare that reflects their individual needs, irrespective of their income level.
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The Fight Against Lassa Fever: Will It Prepare Nigeria For Future Epidemics?

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It is not unusual to talk about challenges and at the same time seek out available opportunities. Speaking about opportunities presented by Lassa fever can be likened to the biblical saying, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”  Lassa fever is a disease that is endemic in Nigeria and has been a source of persistent outbreaks over the years. The largest and most recent Lassa fever outbreak was in 2018, and it witnessed about 90 reported deaths, including health workers.
But that is not the whole story about Lassa fever in Nigeria. It is impossible to say that nothing has been learnt from fighting the disease, since its discovery five decades ago. In 1969 when the viral haemorrhagic fever (VHF) was first discovered in the town of Lassa, Borno State, the arguments of the Minister of Health at the time, Alhaji Aminu Kano during the World Health Assembly was to protest the naming of the virus after the town of Lassa. The name of the virus was not reversed, but the case was made for the potentially counterproductive effect of naming places after new infectious agents. Today, the World Health Organization has developed best practices for naming new human infectious diseases.

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What other lessons have been learnt in the 50 year consistent battle against Lassa fever? Can these lessons inform the fight against other infectious diseases in order to improve overall global health security? Are there solutions that can be replicated? What partnerships do we need to advance against the disease?
The Lassa fever International Conference, curated by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) between the 16th and 17th January 2019 provided an opportunity to explore answers to these important questions. Participants from different parts of the world gathered in Abuja to have robust discussions, network and find answers to one of the global health threats that has so far been quite neglected.
President Muhammadu Buhari recently signed the NCDC bill into law in November 2018 and according to the Director General of the NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, this was an important milestone in the agency’s efforts to protect the health of Nigerians. The act which now establishes the NCDC not only gives the agency a legal mandate to operate with a dedicated budget line, but it also positions it as a science-driven organisation, a vision that Dr Ihekweazu said he and his team would strive to bring to reality.

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A Historical Reflection on Lassa fever
Understanding the important role of building institutional knowledge, the organisers assembled plenary speakers and panellists who provided a rich historical perspective on the Lassa fever virus.
Professor Njidda Gadzama shared his rich understanding and personal connection with the Lassa fever index case, an American missionary who worked in the town of Lassa, Borno state. He challenged the notion that Lassa fever originated from Lassa town and called for further research in this area.
Professor of Virology, Oyewale Tomori, added to the history of Lassa fever by providing timelines of Lassa fever outbreaks between 1969, when it was first discovered and named. He encouraged more research into understanding the historical perspectives of Lassa fever, especially those Nigerians who were part of the disease’s early history. He said it was important for researchers to look beyond research focused on knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) of the public towards infectious diseases. Insights and lessons from the 2018 Lassa outbreak were shared by Mrs Elsie Ilori, who led the Lassa fever response and helped set up the Lassa fever Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) set up in 2018. The case fatality rate during the outbreak was 27%, and Ilori said the strategic vision of the agency is to cut this down to 5% within the next 10 years.
Are we using all we have?
The need for country ownership of disease surveillance, detection and response came out strongly during the conference. Professor Oyewale Tomori, Chair of the National Laboratory Technical Working Group mentioned that “We have all it takes to control diseases with minimal assistance, but we have refused to take all we have.” He noted that the preference for foreign over local investments to solve Nigeria’s homegrown problems should be discouraged, as Nigeria should eventually be able to tackle its problems without international development partners’ support.  Dr Daniel Bausch, Director, United Kingdom Public Health Rapid Support Team (UK PHRST) expressed excitement at what he saw as the new developments at the NCDC, stating that “they (NCDC) are providing African leadership for an African problem and building capacities not just for Lassa fever but many other diseases.”
Lassa: Nigeria’s New Research Frontier?
The push to fight back Lassa fever over the years has opened new frontiers in research. A rapid gene sequencing of Lassa fever developed by Redeemer’s University and Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital in 2018 helped to confirm that the strain of the Lassa fever virus present in the country had remained unchanged.
The exciting work and possibilities in the area of metagenomics, championed by the African Center of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID) at Redeemer’s University, was shared at the conference by Professor Christian Happi. He mentioned that the technology had helped scientists better understand the evolution of the virus, known as the virulence. Deeper genomic knowledge of the virus is also helping with the development of more sensitive rapid diagnostics tests.
Vaccines are one of the best and most cost-effective public health investments that can save lives, as well as offering the public protection against infectious diseases. The new partnership between the NCDC and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), a public-private coalition that aims to derail epidemics by speeding up the development of vaccines, gave rise during the conference to exciting discussions around the development of a vaccine for Lassa fever. CEO of CEPI, Dr Richard Hatchett, said: “Lassa fever is a recurrent public health challenge and there is need to develop a vaccine that can be used as a preventative measure against Lassa fever”.
The hope now, is that the successful outcome of clinical trials will lead to the development of a Lassa fever vaccine.  A positive development that could end the spread of Lassa fever within the next 50 years.
Key outcomes from the conference will inform response going forward because the virus and its mode of transmission, especially rodent to human, has not changed. Consequently, risk communications should be designed, taking into consideration the cultural and social nuances that influence public behaviour. Health workers need to have a high index of suspicion, maintain good infection, prevention and control practices to prevent outbreaks in hospitals. With the geographic spread of the Lassa fever virus caused by human and climate reasons, insights on disease burden will help preparedness and response efforts.
There are exciting times ahead in the fight against Lassa and other Viral Haemorrhagic Fevers. We must remain intentional about looking beyond the problems and finding opportunities in the fight, as Nigeria continues to rise to the challenge of beating infectious diseases in Nigeria.
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Benefits of the Cucumber Seeds - 200g

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Benefits of the Cucumber Seeds - 200g...

Cucumber is a fruit that came from the same family as pumpkin, zucchini and other squashes. It has a dark green rind and white succulent flesh. 
Benefits of the Cucumber Seeds - 200g
  
Health Benefits:
Cucumber is best natural diuretic known, secreting and promoting the flow of urine.
Helps in kidney and urinary bladder disease, liver disease as well as pancreatic disease.
The potassium content of cucumber makes it highly useful for conditions of high and low blood pressure.
Cucumber contains erepsin, the enzyme that helps to digest protein.

The high silicon and sulphur content of the cucumber is said to promote the growth of hair, especially when the juice of the cucumber is added to the juice of carrot, lettuce and spinach.
A mixture of cucumber juice with carrot juice is said to be beneficial for rheumatic conditions resulting from excessive uric acid in the body.
Cucumber juice is also valuable for helping diseases of the teeth, gums, especially in cases of pyorrhea.
The high mineral content of this vegetable also helps to prevent splitting of nails of the fingers and toes.
Cucumber, radish and bitter gourd are beneficial in diabetes.
Note - Please consume seeds within 60 days of purchase date for maximum benefit. Keep away from moisture. 



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Read all the Benefits of Exclusive Breastfeeding you cant afford to miss.

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Read all the Benefits of Exclusive Breastfeeding you cant afford to miss...

Read all the Benefits of Exclusive Breastfeeding you cant afford to miss

Most of the information on breastfeeding encourages mothers to breastfeed solely for a minimum of the first six months – meaning that the baby takes no alternative types of nutrition aside from breast milk.
Beyond six months, solids may be introduced, however it’s still advisable to continue breastfeeding as there’s plenty of proof pointing to continued benefits for babies who breastfeed up to at least one or 2 years old and beyond.
Here is a summary of the benefits of breastfeeding:
 It’s Nutritional – with the right constituents for human development
•           The babies have fewer illnesses because of the mother’s antibodies being passed through the milk
•           Babies that are breastfed are less likely to develop allergies later in life
•           Breastfed babies have less risk of developing obesity later in life
•           More research is demonstrating that babies that are breastfed have the more optimal brain development
•           Breastfeeding lowers the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome)
•           Breast milk contains lots of good bacteria
•           Breast milk from the breast is sterile
•           Breast milk contains additional 100 ingredients that formula does not
•           Babies are not allergic to their mother’s milk (although they may be allergic to some of the foods she eats, this is easily rectified if the mother eliminates that food)
•           The suckling action allows the baby to develop strong jaw muscles that encourage the growth of straight and healthy teeth
•           Babies  breastfed are less likely to develop tooth decay compared to bottle-fed babies
•           Premature babies  or babies born with medical problems have also been shown to benefit from breastfeeding
•           Breastfed babies tend to have a stronger bond with their mothers.
Babies  who are breastfed tend are generally held more closely than bottle fed babies. The skin to skin contact between mother and baby provides comfort for the baby that has just been removed from the protective environment of the womb.

Although breastfeeding is not without it own difficulties(mostly in the initial stages as it gets easier with time), I would think that given the overwhelming benefits, it’s worth any inconvenience. 

Additionally, we should not neglect the fact that breastfeeding is also beneficial to the mother – even more, reasons to breastfeed:
•           The suckling action of the baby indirectly results in the contraction of the uterus, protecting the mother from post-partum bleeding
•           Exclusive breastfeeding is 99% effective in preventing a second pregnancy the first six months post delivery
•           Decreases the risk of developing iron-deficient anaemia
•           More rapid and sustained weight loss (milk production uses 200-500 calories a day)
•           Decrease the risk of developing breast, ovarian and uterine cancers
•           Current literature suggests that breastfeeding may help protect against osteoporosis
It is conjointly found that breastfeeding helps strengthen the maternal instinct. From the scientific perspective, the psychosocial benefits are a little more difficult to analyse, however, one particular study found that mothers with a history of abandonment are less likely to abandon their babies if they breastfeed the baby.
The recommended duration for breastfeeding
Currently, it is generally recommended is to breastfeed solely for six months, and to continue breastfeeding with other sources of nutrition for up to 1 year. However, more and more research shows that it maybe worthwhile to extend breastfeeding beyond the first year and that the benefits of breastfeeding continue even before the first year.
Breastfeeding.com stated that: “in comparing humans to other primates, research showed that humans’ natural age of weaning is a minimum of two and a half years and a maximum of between six and seven years.”
Current guidelines:
The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first four to 6 months of life and continued breastfeeding till a minimum of 2 years.
The American Academy of paediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months and continued breastfeeding for a minimum of 1 year,but offers no upper limit.

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This is exactly How To Treat Kidney Stones Naturally

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Kidney stones develop only in the Kidneys. One also can develop within the bladder if the bladder does not empty totally. They, however, do not form in the ureter.


  1. The most common type of stone associated with infection is struvite. The usual microorganism involved are Klebsiella, Pseudomonas, Staphylococcus and Proteus.
  2. Should you have 11 mm stone in the ureter, then you at higher risk to lose the kidney if treated promptly. The pressure can lead to renal failure.
  3. There is less than 10 per cent chance of passing a 1 cm stone.
Why Your Body Can Pass Kidney Stones Naturally
You know the pain that seems like a knife within your lower back! You feel like vomiting and the nausea is never-ending. All of this can be natural and your body is attempting to inform you that your kidneys are blocked with stones.
Though you may assume there’s very little hope, you are wrong. Because about 90% of stones are often passed naturally without surgery or medication. If your kidney stones are a product of calcium oxalate (which 85 per cent are) then you have got an excellent probability of dissolving the calcium naturally. If your kidney stones are seven millimetres or less (which 90 per cent of kidney stones are five millimetres or less) then you have got another nice likelihood of passing your stones.

All the body desires may be a specific form of acid that may be found in soft drinks. Phosphoric acid has been consumed by man for many years upon decades now. Apart from its consumption, it also has industrial purposes( Used to remove rust when applied directly to rusted iron and steel). It has the potency to dissolves substances as hard as steel rust.
How does this apply to kidney stones? Kidney stones are usually made up of calcium that may be dissolved naturally if saturated in concentrated phosphoric acid. The problem lies in how phosphoric acid will get to the kidneys and the way to flush the dissolved calcium once the reaction takes place.
The good news is that this kidney stones treatment has an 80 per cent success rate. Are you ready to be stone-free?
Cure Kidney Stones and Prevent Them
Most of our customers stay renal calculus free because they become kidney stone prevention specialists and feeling the pain of kidney stones once is one time too several.

Here may be a list of kidney stone prevention Tips that will assist you to stay stone-free.

  1. Make sure to drink enough water. If you weigh a hundred and eighty lbs., you should be drinking 90 ounces of water per day.
  2. Get enough sleep( about 7-8hours of sleep). For optimum health, you must continually get eight hours of sleep. Your body runs on a natural schedule thus keeping a routine is additionally key!
  3. Cranberry Juice! Cranberry juice helps maintain your urinary tract. Make sure the juice is from concentrate and also the natural acids will profit you greatly.
  4. Drink fruit and vegetable juices such as carrot, grape, and orange juices. Grape juices contain high levels of citrates. Citrates cut back the build-up of uric acid and help eliminate the formation of calcium salts. This will help prevent kidney stones.
  5. Eliminate high sugar foods! High sugar intake is related to increased risk of kidney stones. Eating foods and drinking beverages with less or no additional sugar may be a good way to cut back your risk.
  6. Exercise! Do you want the 1,000 + benefit list that shows you how exercise benefits your overall health? Go for a twenty-minute walk nowadays and get in an exercise routine!
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See How To Treat Kidney Stones Naturally

;
Kidney stones develop only in the Kidneys. One also can develop within the bladder if the bladder does not empty totally. They, however, do not form in the ureter.

  1. The most common type of stone associated with infection is struvite. The usual microorganism involved are Klebsiella, Pseudomonas, Staphylococcus and Proteus.
  2. Should you have 11 mm stone in the ureter, then you at higher risk to lose the kidney if treated promptly. The pressure can lead to renal failure.
  3. There is less than 10 per cent chance of passing a 1 cm stone.
Why Your Body Can Pass Kidney Stones Naturally
You know the pain that seems like a knife within your lower back! You feel like vomiting and the nausea is never-ending. All of this can be natural and your body is attempting to inform you that your kidneys are blocked with stones.
Though you may assume there’s very little hope, you are wrong. Because about 90% of stones are often passed naturally without surgery or medication. If your kidney stones are a product of calcium oxalate (which 85 per cent are) then you have got an excellent probability of dissolving the calcium naturally. If your kidney stones are seven millimeters or less (which 90 per cent of kidney stones are five millimetres or less) then you have got another nice likelihood of passing your stones.

All the body desires may be a specific form of acid that may be found in soft drinks. Phosphoric acid has been consumed by man for many years upon decades now. Apart from its consumption, it also has industrial purposes( Used to remove rust when applied directly to rusted iron and steel). It has the potency to dissolves substances as hard as steel rust.
How does this apply to kidney stones? Kidney stones are usually made up of calcium that may be dissolved naturally if saturated in concentrated phosphoric acid. The problem lies in how phosphoric acid will get to the kidneys and the way to flush the dissolved calcium once the reaction takes place.
The good news is that this kidney stones treatment has an 80 per cent success rate. Are you ready to be stone-free?
Cure Kidney Stones and Prevent Them

Most of our customers stay renal calculus free because they become kidney stone prevention specialists and feeling the pain of kidney stones once is one time too several.

Here may be a list of kidney stone prevention Tips that will assist you to stay stone-free.


  1. Make sure to drink enough water. If you weigh a hundred and eighty lbs., you should be drinking 90 ounces of water per day.
  2. Get enough sleep( about 7-8hours of sleep). For optimum health, you must continually get eight hours of sleep. Your body runs on a natural schedule thus keeping a routine is additionally key!
  3. Cranberry Juice! Cranberry juice helps maintain your urinary tract. Make sure the juice is from concentrate and also the natural acids will profit you greatly.
  4. Drink fruit and vegetable juices such as carrot, grape, and orange juices. Grape juices contain high levels of citrates. Citrates cut back the build-up of uric acid and help eliminate the formation of calcium salts. This will help prevent kidney stones.
  5. Eliminate high sugar foods! High sugar intake is related to increased risk of kidney stones. Eating foods and drinking beverages with less or no additional sugar may be a good way to cut back your risk.
  6. Exercise! Do you want the 1,000 + benefit list that shows you how exercise benefits your overall health? Go for a twenty-minute walk nowadays and get in an exercise routine!
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Sad year in Nigeria’s health sector; over 1,000 die from preventable diseases

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Nigeria started 2017 with the news of outbreak of Meningitis which lasted for months and was followed by other rare and uncommon diseases.

Monkeypox
There were also new policies and the launch of primary health care centres to improve the health sector.
During the year, doctors and health workers also embarked on strikes, while many global health reports were released.
PREMIUM TIMES compiles some of the major health events that headlined 2017.
1,166 people died of meningitis in six months
Between December 2016 and June 23, 2017, a total of 1,166 people died as a result of meningitis outbreak in the country.
Children between five to 14 years were most affected accounting for 6,791 cases out of a total 14,513 cases reported in 24 states. Zamfara was the most affected state in terms of casualties, followed by Sokoto and Katsina. Together, they accounted for about 89 per cent of the cases.
The year’s meningitis outbreak was a rare strain, meningitis C. It started from Zamfara State and was not reported early to the ministry of health. The lack of necessary vaccine to contain the disease led to it spreading to 24 states in the country.
The outbreak, which reached an epidemic and alert threshold was declared over six months after the first case.
Monkeypox: Nigeria records one death, confirms 61
Monkeypox, another rare disease, also resurfaced and was confirmed in the country.
Fourteen weeks after the first suspected monkeypox case in the country, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, reported the first death from the disease.
From September through December 9, 172 suspected and 61 confirmed cases were reported in different parts of the country. Laboratory confirmed cases were reported from 14 states which are Akwa Ibom, Abia, Bayelsa, Benue, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, Lagos, Imo, Nasarawa, Rivers and FCT.
The majority of cases were males and aged 21 to 40 years old.
Meanwhile, NCDC has also deactivated the Monkeypox Emergency Operations Centre, EOC.
Other disease outbreak in Nigeria
There were confirmed outbreaks of cholera reported from seven states: Borno, Kebbi, Zamfara, Kano, Lagos, Oyo, Kwara and Kaduna states.
Aside Kwara and Borno where the outbreak ran for an extended period, other states were being sustained at low levels.
A total 1,558 suspected cases of cholera were reported including 11 deaths from five local government areas. About 50 per cent of suspected cases were males and 49 per cent, female.
In Borno State, the state ministry of health reported suspected cholera outbreak in Muna Garage, a camp hosting about 20,000 internally displaced persons on the outskirts of Maiduguri, the state capital.
The cholera outbreak which started in August, claimed the lives of at least 35 individuals with the number of suspected cases at 1,283. The end of the outbreak was announced in December.
There was also an outbreak of Hepatitis E in Borno State. The first case was detected in May, in Damasak, an area near the Republic of Niger.
Other diseases outbreak across the country included Lassa fever, yellow fever, measles, among others.
Indefinite suspension of NHIS boss
The National Health Insurance Scheme had a leadership change as the Executive Secretary for the agency, Usman Yusuf, was suspended indefinitely due to allegations of fraud.
Mr. Yusuf, who took over the state-run health insurance provider in July 2016, was initially suspended for three months on July 6, 2017 by the Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, to allow for fair and uninterrupted investigation of the various allegations levied against him.
Mr. Yusuf was accused of mismanagement and misappropriation of N919 million and nepotism.
Eight other top management staff of the agency were also suspended for corruption allegations.
Mr. Yusuf denied the allegations, replying the minister that he would not obey the suspension order; saying the minister had no power to suspend him
The panel found Mr. Yusuf “culpable in many areas” of his performance. He was consequently suspended indefinitely by the minister pending a decision by President Muhammadu Buhari.
In the meantime, a new acting executive secretary, Ibrahim Attahiru, has been managing the affairs of the agency.
Revitalisation of Primary Health Care centres
The Federal Government flagged off a scheme to revitalise over 10,000 healthcare centres across the country.
The minister, Isaac Adewole, during the commissioning of the Model Primary Healthcare Centre, Kuchigoro, Abuja, to begin the scheme said the plan is to make qualitative and affordable health services available to Nigerians.
The project under the National Primary Healthcare Revitalisation Initiative through the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA and the Federal Ministry of Health, promised to make at least one primary healthcare centre fully functional to deliver services especially for children and women in each of the wards across the country.
According to the minister, 110 PHCs are expected to be renovated in the first phase. So far, many PHCs across the country are still in dilapidated states.
Doctors, health workers embark on strike
The health sector wobbled with the strike of doctors and other health workers which also paralysed the activities in public hospitals for about four weeks.
The National Association of Resident Doctors had in September gone on strike for ten days to protest the unfulfilled agreements between the federal government and its association. After much deliberation with Mr. Adewole and Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige, the strike was suspended.
The Joint Health Sector Unions, JOHESU, an allied union of all health workers also began their strike some days after the doctors suspended theirs. The strike lasted ten days.
This also crippled activities in hospitals across the nation as well as in health agencies and parastatals.
Though the strike was suspended after deliberation with the government, the union is still accusing the government of bias and as such recently passed a vote of no confidence on the minister of health.
Mass migration of doctors from Nigeria
There was a report of mass migration of doctors from the country who are seeking greener pastures abroad.
According to the president, Nigerian Medical Association, Mike Ogirima, no fewer than 300 doctors left the county in 2017.
This has also been given as one of the reasons for the shortage of medical personnel in most Nigerian health centres especially in the remote areas.
The incessant strikes, poor working conditions and environment, lack of equipment, poor remuneration and difficulty in acquiring training were identified as part of the reasons for the mass exodus.
Foreign trained doctors who failed MDCN examination protest result
About 437 foreign trained doctors who failed the induction examination organised by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, MDCN, accused the council of examination irregularities.
The doctors who also petitioned the Senate Committee on Health to wade into the matter. They argued that they were hastily labelled as failures by the council despite taking the examination under grossly inappropriate conditions. They demanded that the council conduct a fresh assessment for them.
The MDCN acting registrar, Tajudeen Sanusi, while standing his ground said the doctors had failed and should rather re-present themselves for another examination.
Over 690 foreign trained doctors took the examination in which 437 failed.
2018 proposed health budget
The federal government has once again not fulfilled the agreement of the African Union, AU, Abuja health declaration which stipulates that at least 15 per cent of a country’s annual budget should be allocated to health.
In the 2018 proposed budget submitted to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari, the health sector got only N340.45 billion representing 3.9 per cent of the total budget.
The highest percentage since the declaration was in 2012 when 5.95 percent of the budget was allotted to health.
The Nigerian Senate has however vowed to allot more funds to the sector so the nation can commence the implementation of the 2014 National Health Act from the 2018 fiscal year.
Launch of new family planning logo
The federal government through the ministry of health has launched a new family planning logo to encourage and help Nigerians identify places to get the services.
The minister said the new logo, “Green Dot” is to ensure that 7.3 million women have access to family planning. It is also aimed at reducing maternal and infant morbidity and mortality.
The family planning service is also meant to check population explosion. Nigeria is reportedly on the verge of population explosion and if not checked, this could have a negative impact on the country.

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