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‘Avoid unprotected sex on Valentine’s Day’

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The National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) says Nigerians, especially the youth, should avoid unprotected sex on Valentine’s Day.

In a statement signed by Toyin Aderibigbe, the agency’s spokesperson, NACA said Nigerians should share love and not HIV.

“This period is particularly noted for young people expressing their love for one another. This could lead to impulsive decisions such as unprotected sex resulting in unplanned pregnancies and an increased risk of acquiring sexually transmitted infections including HIV/AIDS.

“The DG NACA urges Nigerians, especially the youths, to express love within the context of caring deeply for their loved ones and avoid risky behaviour that will make them vulnerable to HIV/AIDS and other STDs.”

Sani Aliyu, NACA DG, was quoted as saying at least 15 percent of Nigerian youth lose their virginity before the age of 15 and 4.2 percent of youth between the ages of 15 and 24 have HIV.

He said it was important that all Nigerians know their HIV status, as it marks the entry point to prevention, treatment and care of HIV/AIDS.

“The DG noted that first sexual contact in Nigeria begins at less than 15 years for 15 percent of Nigeria’s youth. This, coupled with the practice of having multiple sexual partners increases HIV vulnerability among the youth population alongside the very low HIV testing rates – only 17 percent of young people know their HIV status.

“It is important to reduce this worrying trend among Nigerian youths by encouraging faithful relationship.”

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HEALTH

Study: Lung transplant recipients have higher risk of organ failure, death

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Scientists say lung transplant recipients face a higher risk of organ failure and death compared to people undergoing heart, kidney and liver transplants.
The researchers, from Washington University School of Medicine and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, explained that early lung damage typically occurs 72 hours after surgery.
The damage, they say, typically occurs after the lung is surgically implanted and the recipient’s blood enters the lung for the first time.
The recipient’ s white blood cells seep into the newly transplanted lung and trigger inflammation that harms the organ’ s tissue.
The researchers say the condition is a major reason the success of lung transplants trails behind other solid organ transplants.
“More than 50 percent of lung transplant patients experience some lung damage after a transplant,” said Daniel Kreisel, a Washington University professor of surgery and of immunology and pathology.
“Understanding the mechanisms of this damage is important in developing novel therapeutic agents to treat or prevent the condition in lung transplant patients.”
Five years after lung transplantation, only about half of the transplanted lungs are still functioning, according to the US Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, as against the five-year organ survival rates of about 70 to 80 percent for liver, heart and kidney transplants.
The study was published online in the journal of clinical investigation.

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HEALTH

One egg a day ‘may significantly reduce’ risk of heart diseases, stroke

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Daily egg consumption may significantly reduce the risk of heart diseases and stroke, says a recent study published in the journal Heart .
A team of researchers from China and the UK set out to examine the association between egg consumption and cardiovascular disease, ischaemic heart disease, major coronary events, haemorrhagic stroke and ischaemic stroke.
Their results showed that daily egg consumption was associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease overall compared with people who did not consume eggs.
In particular, daily egg consumers (up to one egg per day) had a 26 percent lower risk of haemorrhagic stroke, a 28 percent lower risk of haemorrhagic stroke death and an 18 percent lower risk of cardiovascular disease death.
Also, there was a 12 percent reduction in risk of ischaemic heart disease observed for people consuming eggs daily (estimated amount 5.32 eggs per week), when compared with the “never or rarely” consumption category (2.03 eggs per week).
“The present study finds that there is an association between moderate level of egg consumption (up to 1 egg per day) and a lower cardiac event rate,” the authors concluded.
“Our findings contribute scientific evidence to the dietary guidelines with regard to egg consumption for the healthy Chinese adult.”
This was an observational study, so definite conclusions can not be drawn about cause and effect, but the authors said their study had a large sample size and took into account established and potential risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
Previous studies looking at associations between eating eggs and impact on health have been inconsistent.

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HEALTH

Why Nigerian food, soups are unhealthy – Cardiologist

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Kunle Iyanda, a cardiologist at Wuse General Hospital, Abuja, has described Nigerian diets as unhealthy.
Mr Iyanda told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that the contents of high carbohydrates and fats in Nigerian traditional foods and diets are extremely bad for the heart and general health.
He explained that Nigerian traditional foods contain high levels of cholesterol and risked diabetes.
“Our native soups are based on high levels of palm oil and groundnut oil that put us at risk for high cholesterol levels, stroke and heart attacks.
“There is also the high consumption of rice, yams and cassava which are high in starch and carbohydrates that easily lead to obesity and diabetes.
“We know that the oil in our dishes makes the taste of our soups a lot better but we have to choose between good health and a tasty meal,” he said.
Mr Iyanda added that he was not alarmed by the vast number of food options in Nigeria, but how unhealthy most of them are.
“As a cardiologist, this is very worrisome to me because I have seen many people who have been at risk of heart attacks complaining that they don’t know what else to eat.
“Even I have struggled before with this but had to make my wife understand the need to use a lot less oil in our dishes.
“We have some dishes like vegetable soup, unripe plantain porridge, beans porridge and the Yoruba beans style of Ewa Agoyin that are very healthy.
“The soups and beans suddenly become unhealthy once we add all that palm oil into the soups and porridges.
“Even the Yoruba style beans that doesn’t have oil in it is destroyed by the excessive oil in the stew that comes with the beans.
“We should reduce the amount of oil in our meals and use less starchy solids for our soups such as plantain flour.

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