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Nigeria, others target $18bn to fight HIV, others

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Stakeholders in the country made this known during the pre-conference meeting on the Global Fund’s seventh replenishment with the theme ‘Nigeria’s call to fight what counts’ held in Abuja on Thursday.

According to them, the fund is needed to change the trajectories of mortality and incidence toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goal 3 target of ending AIDS, TB, and malaria as epidemics by 2030.

The PUNCH reports that the United States of America will host the Global Fund’s Seventh Replenishment Conference on September 19, 2022 in New York City with a target of raising $18 billion targeted at saving 20 million lives globally from the impacts of HIV, TB, and malaria.

Speaking at the meeting, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire said Nigeria aligns with Global Fund’s target to raise at least $18 billion for the 2023-2025 funding cycle to save 20 million lives and to reduce the mortality of HIV, TB, and malaria by 65 percent.

Dr. Ehanire, who was represented by the Minister of State for Health, Joseph Ekumankama said the fund will help get the world back on track toward ending HIV, TB, and malaria, especially for the most affected countries.

“Nigeria also remains committed to its contribution to the Fund. The investment case shows a gap of 20 percent or $28.4 billion. The Government of Nigeria recognises the necessity of progressive increment in our domestic financing for health, without which the goal of the investment case and 2030 health goals would be a mirage.”

He said the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), approved the National Health Insurance Authority Act, which provides for multiple and innovative strategies for raising revenue for health.

“This Act provides the legal framework for achieving universal health coverage in a sustainable manner using domestic resources. It will also cater for the vulnerable, ensuring no one is left behind. We are committed to fulfilling our obligations to the citizens by progressively investing in their health, education, and overall welfare.

“I seize this opportunity to solicit the commitment of all donor countries to increase funds available to the Global Fund through the 7th Replenishment Conference. The stakes are high. $18 billion is ambitious, yet this is the minimum funding that is required if the world is to make a difference in the fight against HIV, TB, and malaria.”

Also speaking, the Director General of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS, Dr. Gambo Aliyu, said over $3.8 billion has been mobilised and invested in Nigeria through the Global Fund.

He said “For this replenishment, we are looking to meeting the target in addition to what we have done for the last three years and we want to increase the target. Globally the target is aimed to be increased from $14 billion to $18 billion.

“Nigeria has contributed in the last replenishment with about $12 million and this time around we are hoping to see where we can go, whether we can match up to that or we can increase in addition to what we have done.

“We want to make sure that what we have started in the last three years continues. We reaffirm the government commitment with value for the resources of the investment made available.”

On his part, the Charge d’affaires, Embassy of the USA, David Greene, said despite insecurity, COVID-19, and a declining economic situation, HIV epidemic control, and an AIDS-Free generation is a reality for Nigeria because of access to HIV treatment services in the country.

Greene said “Our key partnerships with national and state governments, the Global Fund, and UNAIDS were instrumental in determining what systems and strategies were needed to gain traction and outpace HIV. Our programs are also anchored by data from Nigeria’s HIV/AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey to guide implementation decisions and laser-focus efforts in areas with high unmet needs.

“Another key to this story is the national alignment which in 2019, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the Global Fund, and the Government of Nigeria developed an alignment strategy focused on leveraging our comparative strengths and resources to deliver patient-centered HIV services in communities. By aligning technical and financial resources behind a single national program, we embarked on a surge effort to intensify case-finding, and rapidly expand access to antiretroviral treatment. The number of HIV-positive individuals identified and initiated on treatment during the surge doubled, even though it was the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. There is no other country or HIV program in the world that can claim this unparalleled achievement.

“Today, over 1.8 million Nigerians with HIV are thriving and living productive lives because they are accessing lifesaving treatment. Our national alignment model is a best practice other countries are not only learning from but also adopting.

“Nonetheless, sustaining this success depends upon contributions to the Global Fund and all of us standing in solidarity to fight for what counts. We are close to the finish line, but with Nigeria still accounting for one out of seven children born globally with HIV, the race is not yet over.”

PUNCH

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Health

How to remove smegma from the penis

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Smegma is a substance made up of oil and dead skin cells. It can accumulate under the foreskin in uncircumcised males or around the folds of the labia in females.

It’s not a sign of a sexually transmitted infection, and it’s not a serious condition.

Left untreated, smegma can cause an odor or in some cases, harden and lead to irritation in the genitals.

According to healthline, the simplest way to remove smegma is to adjust your personal hygiene routine.

In men, that means properly cleaning your genitals, including around and under your foreskin.

Your body produces a lubricant to help the foreskin retract. That lubricant can build up under your foreskin along with other natural oils, dead skin cells, dirt, and bacteria. That’s why this condition is less common in circumcised males.

Properly cleaning your genitals is the easiest way to remove smegma.

1. Gently pull back your foreskin. If the smegma has hardened, you may not be able to pull it back all the way. Don’t force it, as that can cause pain and tear the skin, which could lead to infection.

2. Use a mild soap and warm water to wash the area that’s usually covered by your foreskin. Avoid harsh scrubbing, as that can irritate the sensitive skin. If the smegma has hardened, gently rubbing oil on the area before cleaning it may help loosen up the accumulation.

3. Thoroughly rinse off all the soap and then gently pat the area dry.

4. Pull your foreskin back over the tip of your genital.

5. Repeat this daily until the smegma disappears.

It’s important to avoid scraping the smegma with sharp devices or cotton swabs. That can cause additional irritation.

If the smegma isn’t improving after a week of proper cleaning, or if it’s getting worse, see your doctor.

You should also see your doctor if your genital is red or inflamed. You may have an infection or another condition that requires medical treatment.

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Must Read:16 Reasons to drink water often

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What’s the big deal?

It’s common to hear that water is essential for your health. But why?

This substance makes up a majority of your body weight and is involved in many important functions, including:

flushing out waste from your body
regulating body temperature
helping your brain function
You get most of your water from drinking beverages, but food also contributes a small amount to your daily water intake.

Read on to learn more ways water can help improve your well-being.

1. It helps create saliva
Water is a main component of saliva. Saliva also includes small amounts of electrolytes, mucus, and enzymes. It’s essential for breaking down solid food and keeping your mouth healthy.

Your body generally produces enough saliva with regular fluid intake. However, your saliva production may decrease as a result of age or certain medications or therapies.

If your mouth is drier than usual and increasing your water intake isn’t helping, see your doctor.

2. It regulates your body temperature
Staying hydrated is crucial to maintaining your body temperature. Your body loses water through sweat during physical activity and in hot environments.

Your sweat keeps your body cool, but your body temperature will rise if you don’t replenish the water you lose. That’s because your body loses electrolytes and plasma when it’s dehydrated.

If you’re sweating more than usual, make sure you drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.

3. It protects your tissues, spinal cord, and joints
Water consumption helps lubricate and cushion your joints, spinal cord, and tissues. This will help you enjoy physical activity and lessen discomfort caused by conditions like arthritis.

4. It helps excrete waste through perspiration, urination, and defecation
Your body uses water to sweat, urinate, and have bowel movements.

Sweat regulates body temperature when you’re exercising or in warm temperatures. You need water to replenish the lost fluid from sweat.

You also need enough water in your system to have healthy stool and avoid constipation.

Your kidneys are also important for filtering out waste through urination. Adequate water intake helps your kidneys work more efficiently and helps to prevent kidney stones.

5. It helps maximize physical performance
Drinking plenty of water during physical activity is essential. Athletes may perspire up to 6 to 10 percentTrusted Source of body weight during physical activity.

Hydration also affects your strength, power, and endurance.

You may be more susceptible to the effects of dehydration if you’re participating in endurance training or high-intensity sports such as basketball.

Negative effects of exercise in the heat without enough water can include serious medical conditions, like decreased blood pressure and hyperthermia. Extreme dehydration can cause seizures and even death.

6. It helps prevent constipation
Eating fiber isn’t the only way to prevent constipation. It’s also important to maintain your water intake so your bowel movements contain enough water.

If you don’t consume enough water, magnesium, and fiber, you may be more likely to experience constipation.

If you’re already constipated, you may find that drinking carbonated waterTrusted Source as well as plain water can help ease your symptoms.

7. It aids in digestion
Contrary to what some believe, experts confirm drinking water before, during, and after a meal will help your body break down the food you eat more easily. This will help you digest food more effectively and get the most out of your meals.

Research showsTrusted Source the body adapts to changes in the consistency of food and stomach contents, whether more solid or more liquid.

8. It helps with nutrient absorption
In addition to helping with food breakdown, water also helps dissolve vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients from your food. It then delivers these vitamin components to the rest of your body for use.

9. It helps you lose weight
Studies have linked body fat and weight loss with drinking water in both overweight girlsTrusted Source and womenTrusted Source. Drinking more water while dieting and exercising may just help you lose extra pounds.

10. It improves blood oxygen circulation
Water carries helpful nutrients and oxygen to your entire body. Reaching your daily water intake will improve your circulation and have a positive impact on your overall health.

11. It helps fight off illness
Drinking enough water can help prevent certain medical conditionsTrusted Source. These include:

constipation
kidney stones
exercise-induced asthma
urinary tract infection
hypertension
Water also helps you absorb important vitamins, minerals, and nutrients from your food, which will increase your chances of staying healthy.

12. It helps boost energy
Drinking water may activate your metabolism. A boost in metabolism has been associated with a positive impact on energy level.

One study found that drinking 500 milliliters of water boosted the metabolic rate by 30 percent in both men and women. These effects appeared to last over an hour.

13. It aids in cognitive function
Proper hydration is key to staying in tip-top cognitive shape. ResearchTrusted Source indicates that not drinking enough water can negatively impact your focus, alertness, and short-term memory.

14. It helps improve mood
Not getting enough water can also affect your mood. Dehydration may result in fatigue and confusion as well as anxiety.

15. It helps keep skin bright
Adequate water intake will help keep your skin hydrated and may promote collagen production. However, water intake alone isn’t enough to reduce the effects of aging. This process is also connected to your genes and overall sun protection.

16. It prevents overall dehydration
Dehydration is the result of your body not having enough water. And because water is imperative to so many bodily functions, dehydration can be very dangerous.

Severe dehydration can result in a number of severe complications, including:

swelling in your brain
kidney failure
seizures
Make sure you drink enough water to make up for what’s lost through sweat, urination, and bowel movements to avoid dehydration.

How much should you drink?
Being attentive to the amount of water you drink each day is important for optimal health. Most people drink when they’re thirsty, which helps regulate daily water intake.

According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, general water intake (from all beverages and foods) that meet most people’s needs are:

about 15.5 cups of water (125 ounces) each day for men
about 11.5 cups (91 ounces) daily for women
People get about 20 percent of their daily water intake from food. The rest is dependent on drinking water and water-based beverages. So, ideally men would consume about 100 ounces (3.0 liters) of water from beverages, and women, about 73 ounces (2.12 liters) from beverages.

You’ll have to increase your water intake if you’re exercising or living in a hotter region to avoid dehydration.

Other ways to assess hydration include your thirst and the color of your urine. Feeling thirsty indicates your body is not receiving adequate hydration. Urine that is dark or colored indicates dehydration. Pale or non-colored urine typically indicates proper hydration.

The bottom line
Water is important to nearly every part of your body. Not only will hitting your daily recommended intake help you maintain your current state of being, it may even improve your overall health.

Here are some ideas for how you can be sure you drink enough:

Carry a water bottle with you wherever you go. This way you can drink whenever the need strikes.
Keep track of your intake. Aim to take in optimum amounts every day, a minimum of half your body weight in ounces.
Pace yourself to approach half of your recommended consumption by midday. You can always finish about an hour before you plan to sleep.

https://www.healthline.com

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Health

Pyrates donate blood to boost blood banks in Lagos

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The Mainland Chapter of The National Association of Seadogs (Pyrates Confraternity) under its NAS Medical Mission has donated blood to boost blood banks in Lagos. The exercise which took place on the 3rd of October 2022, and was carried out simultaneously at two government-owned hospitals, which are:
– 68 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital, Yaba, and
– National Orthopedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos
This attracted over 50 Pyrates, some of whom came with their wives and colleagues.

The Capoon of Zanas Deck Lagos, Mr. Nnamdi Agulonu, who led other members to the blood donation exercise, said the association heeded the intent to save lives, and this is the organisation second time in a roll carrying this blood donation exercise. The blood donation program is organized in fulfilment of one of the four compass points of NAS-For Humanistic ideals and this is designed to run twice in a year. Mr. Nnamdi stressed that the two government-owned hospitals that benefited from this exercise were chosen due to the peculiar nature of Lagos and the volume of accident and emergency patients that are being rushed into these facilities daily. We have identified this societal pain point and are prepared to contribute to humanity’s uplift by making sure that every 6 months we will have our members do the blood donation within our immediate locality.

Chief Medical Directors of both health institutions while commending members of the Zanas Deck of the National Association of Seadogs (Pyrates Confraternity), for the kind gesture reminded Nigerians on the need to donate blood for indigent Nigerians. They said, blood donors assist patients of all ages, including accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and cancer patients. The 68 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital, Yaba and The National Orthopedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos.

Dr. Mrs Mulikat Badru Consultant haematologist who represented the Chief Medical Director of the The National Orthopedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos., urged other public-spirited organisations to emulate NAS and donate blood to the hospital.

Colonel Ayeni while explaining that the 68 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital, Yaba because of its location in a central area is inundated with a huge traffic of patients that need emergency blood transfusion, particularly bone operation stressed that the blood donated by members of NAS would go a long way in saving lives in emergency cases.

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