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Experts Explore Ways to Check Protein Deficiency in Nigeria

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protein deficiency

In the furtherance of efforts to curb the menace of protein deficiency in Nigeria, experts from different fields have proffered practical solutions to help Nigerians, starting with creating widespread awareness of the benefits of protein.

The professionals, from fields such as medicine to farming, nutrition and research, made these recommendations at the Protein Deficiency Awareness webinar themed ‘Nigeria Food Culture And The Challenge Of Protein Deficiency’ held on Thursday, June 11, 2020.

The Nigeria Protein Deficiency Awareness Campaign, tagged Protein Challenge, is a Protein Pull media campaign supported by the United States Soybean Export Council (USSEC) and other partners, to create awareness about the prevalence, status and impact of protein deficiency in Nigeria.

Dr. Omadeli Boyo, Medical Director, Pinecrest Specialist Hospital and Public Health Expert, who delivered the keynote address at the webinar, noted that the socio-cultural dynamics of Nigeria affects meal choices across the country. Malnutrition, he revealed, is highly prevalent in Nigeria, despite the diversity in dietary options.

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He said: “Most Nigerian staple foods have a large percent of carbohydrates. Nigerians therefore need to deliberately plan to eat a balanced diet. This however is not something that can be changed overnight because food is life. It must be a gradual process.”

Explaining how traditional and cultural thought processes are hindering the progression of healthy nutrition, he stated: “In some cultures, it is believed that if children are given eggs, they will grow up to become thieves, not knowing that children even need more protein-rich foods like eggs!”

Dr. Boyo insisted that stakeholders at all levels – governments, parents, teachers, none governmental organisations and even religious bodies – must be involved, to understand that protein deficiency is real, and to encourage the search for cheaper sources of protein. He advised that it is essential to not overcook plant protein food sources, as proteins are denatured by excessive heat.

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Ezekiel Ibrahim, President, Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), noted that the importance of chickens and poultry in Nigeria cannot be overstated, as chickens are a great source of protein. Chickens are one of the cheapest sources of animal proteins.

He explained that the cost of feeds is significant, and that soybeans is an important source of protein in poultry feeds. He lamented that the situation of insecurity across some northern states is hampering the production and subsequent availability of this essential protein source for the production of poultry feeds. This has the potential to lead to dire food insecurities.

Ibrahim insisted that agriculture is the cornerstone to proper nutrition, so the country must pay closer and more serious attention to it.

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He revealed that some of the challenges poultry farmers face include: limited access to quality seeds, trial and error farm method, poor funding of agricultural research institutes, weak value chain and the dearth of reliable data and statistics for planning purposes.

Lanre Fasakin, Managing Director, CMRG, a leading research firm, remarked that the Nigeria Protein Deficiency Awareness Report indicates that availability (food that is around us) and affordability (what we can afford) are the major drivers of what we eat in Nigeria.

He called for concerted efforts to create widespread awareness of the negative impact of protein deficiency and to promote the benefits of protein.

The panel session was moderated by a Nutritionist, Linda Nwaodu.

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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Nigeria to Get 3.92m Extra COVID-19 Vaccine Doses

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AstraZeneca Vaccines

By Adedapo Adesanya

As the country starts its second phase of coronavirus vaccination, Nigeria is set to receive 3.92 million extra doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine latest in early August.

This was disclosed by the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib, at the briefing to update Nigerians on the status of COVID-19 vaccination.

Although an exact date that the country will take delivery of the vaccine was not given, he confirmed that, “We now have information that Nigeria will get 3.92 million doses of Oxford/AstraZeneca by end of July or early August.”

“As we receive additional information on the exact dates in August, we will provide an update regarding timelines and details of this,” he added.

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The NPHCDA boss noted that the agency has held town halls in the North Central and North East regions of the country, stating that while efforts to ensure the supply of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines were ongoing, the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) would hold its planned meeting with stakeholders in the south-south region and the larger communities on COVID-19 vaccination on the course of the week.

Mr Shuaib stressed that the NPHCDA was fully committed to going to communities to discuss directly its vaccine effort, the importance of staying safe and protected against COVID-19, and answering the questions people have.

“We have been really grateful for the high levels of participation and interest in these events. We are confident that through continued awareness-raising, we will be able to keep communities safe and healthy,” he said.

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The head of NPHCDA raised an alarm that there has been a rise in COVID-19 cases in several African countries recently and called on all Nigerians to continue to take precautions to prevent the spread of the disease.

According to him, wearing a face-covering over the nose and mouth in public spaces can save lives, pointing out that a curfew remains in place from midnight until 4 a.m. every day.

Mr Shuaib added, “Indoor gatherings must be limited to 50 people, and are only permitted if all attendees abide by social distancing and wear face masks.

“And the government has introduced restrictions on incoming travel from high-risk countries and quarantine requirements to keep Nigerians safe. With a virus like COVID-19, we each must do our part to keep our communities safe.”

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Like other African countries, Nigeria is struggling with a lack of supply and inadequate healthcare infrastructure for a rapid mass rollout.

Another factor is vaccine hesitancy rooted in misinformation and falsehood.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said last week that about 90 per cent of African countries would miss a September target to vaccinate at least 10 per cent of their populations.

As of Tuesday, Nigeria had 167,078 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 2,117 deaths. Experts say those figures probably understate the extent of the outbreak, given low testing rates.

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Health

Natural Treatments For Erectile Dysfunction

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Erectile Dysfunction

Also known as impotence, erectile dysfunction is a medical condition that causes men to not be able to get or keep a strong enough erection in order to be able to perform sexually.

Other symptoms of the condition include diminished sexual libido. Although these things are common from time to time in most men, where it happens continuously for weeks or months, this is when it is erectile dysfunction.

When visiting your doctor about erectile dysfunction, it is likely that they will offer you treatment in the form of penile implants, penis pumps, surgery, and oral medication in order to find a solution to the problem.

However, some men prefer to go down the route of trying more natural remedies first to try and tackle their problems in the bedroom department.

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Acupuncture

Although the evidence is not quite a clear cut, it is believed that the practice of inserting needles into the body can help you to not only get a strong erection but also bring back your desire to want to have sex in the first place. Providing that the practitioner is fully trained and licensed, the risk of receiving acupuncture is very low.

Rhodiola Rosea

This is a flowering plant that occurs naturally across the arctic areas of North America, Asia, and Europe and has been shown to be helpful for the treatment of erectile dysfunction.

In scientific studies, it was responsible for male participants having a much greater sexual function. In addition to this, the herb can also reduce fatigue and improve energy levels. However, more research is required in order to fully understand how it works and if long term use is safe.

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Lifestyle Change

Making simple but permanent changes to your lifestyle can actually seriously impact how severely erectile dysfunction impacts you. This includes doing things such as losing weight and exercise more often.

Limiting the amount of alcohol that you drink and the number of cigarettes that you smoke also has an impact. There are also certain foods, such as pistachios and cocoa, which are great for boosting your sexual performance.

Yohimbe

A supplement that is an extract from a specific tree found in Africa, Yohimbe has shown positive signs in improving men’s sexual performance.

However, because of the possible side effects that there may be from its use, you will struggle to find it as a recommendation for erectile dysfunction.

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Some of the side effects include tremor, irritability, increased heart rate and increased blood pressure. For these reasons, it is important to check with your doctor before using it.

Panax Ginseng

Known as the herbal form of viagra, Panax ginseng comes backed up with lots of good research about its ability to help those men who suffer from erectile dysfunction.

The herb is most effective for those men who have metabolic syndrome and a high number of lipids within their blood.

Additionally, it is also good for improving lung function and increasing blood flow, meaning that it is useful for other diseases.

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Health

13 Nigerian Medical Students Celebrate Securing US Residencies

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Medical Services

No fewer than 13 Nigerian medical students from St. George’s University (SGU) School of Medicine in Grenada have been appointed to begin their residency positions at prestigious US medical hospitals and health centres this summer. The students will make an undeniable impact on healthcare.

St. George’s University, the premier choice in Caribbean medical schools, has evolved into a top centre of international education, contributing over 18,000 physicians to the global physician workforce, with students, graduates, and faculty from over 150 countries. SGU graduates have practised in every state in the US, as well as in more than 50 countries, including Nigeria.

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According to a recent report from the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB), 11,627 SGU graduates were licensed to practice medicine in the US in 2019, making it the largest source of doctors for the entire US workforce—ahead of any other US or international medical school.

“We stand back and marvel at the outstanding work being done by our graduates in all corners of the US and the world,” said Dr G. Richard Olds, President of SGU. “The impact that they have made—and will continue to make—on patients, their families, and their communities is truly immeasurable.”

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In 2021, more than 1,080 SGU graduates will begin their residencies across the United States, marking the seventh year in a row in which SGU was the number one provider of new doctors to the US healthcare system per data as of April 2021. They’ll enter 21 different specialities ranging from neurology and orthopaedic surgery to pathology and anesthesiology.

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“We are proud of the impact that our graduates have had in the US and around the world,” said Dr Richard Liebowitz, vice-chancellor of SGU. “As a University, we look forward to providing a sturdy foundation for our students to become well-equipped, well-rounded physicians for many years to come.”

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