Major health stories published last week

Nigeria and the rest of the world continue to battle the coronavirus pandemic which has infected over six million people and caused at least 371,364 deaths.

Nigeria has recorded over 9,000 infections and over 250 deaths.

The pandemic has disrupted human activities and plans and overshadowed other health issues across the world, such as the World No Tobacco Day celebrated last week.

Here is a round-up of some of the health stories which made headlines:

Nigeria records 553 coronavirus cases — highest daily figure yet

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control on Saturday announced the highest daily figure of confirmed coronavirus cases in Nigeria yet, with 553 new infections recorded.

This brings the number of confirmed cases in the country to 9, 855.

The country recorded the second and third highest daily figures of infections in the past five days. On May 27, there were 389 cases and on May 29, there were 387 cases.

Also, 12 deaths were recorded from the virus on Saturday, bringing the number of confirmed deaths from the virus to 273 in the country.

WHO, UNICEF urge mothers to sustain breastfeeding

The World Health Organisation and its sister agency, UNICEF, have encouraged women to continue to breastfeed during the pandemic, even if they have confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infection.

The UN agencies on Wednesday in a statement released on its website said evidence indicates it is unlikely that COVID-19 would be transmitted through breastfeeding.

“The numerous benefits of breastfeeding substantially outweigh the potential risks of illness associated with the virus,” the authors found.

Ten test positive to coronavirus in English Football Championship

The second-tier English Football League, the Championship, saw 10 individuals test positive for coronavirus after tests on Thursday and Friday, it was announced.

But the Premier League announced no new positives from the latest round of testing.

The English Football League announced there were 10 positives from eight clubs after 1,058 tests on Thursday and Friday.

COVID-19 intensifies urgency to expand sustainable energy solutions worldwide

The world will fall short of ensuring universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy by 2030 unless efforts are scaled up significantly, reveals the new energy report.

The report – Tracking SDG 7: The Energy Progress Report was released on Tuesday by the International Energy Agency (IEA), the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), the World Bank, and the World Health Organization (WHO).

The report indicated that significant progress had been made on various aspects of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 prior to the start of the COVID-19 crisis.

Despite these advances, global efforts remain insufficient to reach the key targets of SDG 7 by 2030, it stated.

Support for research to fight COVID-19

Thirty countries and multiple international partners and institutions have signed up to support the COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP), an initiative aimed at making vaccines, tests, treatments and other health technologies to fight COVID-19 accessible to all.

The pool was first proposed in March by President Carlos Alvarado of Costa Rica, who joined WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus at the official launch of the initiative.

“The COVID-19 Technology Access Pool will ensure the latest and best science benefits all of humanity,” said President Alvarado. “Vaccines, tests, diagnostics, treatments and other key tools in the coronavirus response must be made universally available as global public goods”.

Stop tobacco industry exploitation of children and young people

In commemoration of the World No Tobacco Day, the World Health Organisation has launched a new kit for school students aged 13-17 to alert them to the tobacco industry tactics used to hook them to addictive products.

The day is celebrated every May 29. WHO said the tobacco industry every year invests more than $9 billion to advertise its products. Increasingly, it is targeting young people with nicotine and tobacco products in a bid to replace the eight million people that its products kill every year.

This year’s WHO’s World No Tobacco Day campaign focuses on protecting children and young people from exploitation by the tobacco and related industries. The toolkit has a set of classroom activities including one that puts the students in the shoes of the tobacco industry to make them aware of how the industry tries to manipulate them into using deadly products. It also includes an educational video, myth-buster quiz, and homework assignments.

8.5 million Nigerians suffering from hearing impairment – Expert

The President of the Speech Pathologists and Audiologists Association in Nigeria (SPAAN), Julius Ademokoya, a professor, says no fewer than 8.5 million Nigerians are suffering from hearing impairments.

He stated this on Thursday during a news conference to commemorate the International Month of Hearing and Speech for 2020, held at the NUJ Press Centre in Ibadan.

The conference, with the theme: “Promoting Better Hearing and Speech in Nigeria”, was organised by SPAAN, in collaboration with Smile Train Incorporation.

Mr Ademokoya described the rate at which the figure of affected Nigerians was increasing as alarming, calling for government’s intervention toward addressing the situation.

Nigeria records more deaths from other diseases than COVID-19 – SGF

Nigeria has recorded more deaths from hospitals’ refusal to attend to patients with other illnesses than from COVID-19 virus, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, has said.

Mr Mustapha while speaking at the daily Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 briefing on Thursday said there have been reports of refusal by some medical institutions to treat patients for fear of contracting the COVID-19 virus.

Mr Mustapha, who is also the chairman of the task force, said the action of these medical institutions is unacceptable.