World Health Organization

  • Cocaine Does NOT Cure Coronavirus!

    Twitter user posts viral image suggesting that cocaine kills coronavirus.

    The World Health Organisation has said that there is currently no specific medicine to prevent or treat novel coronavirus. Moreso, relevant authorities’ stance is in contradiction to the viral headline.

    Full Text

    On Monday, Bizzle Osikoya via Twitter suggested that cocaine kills coronavirus. What’s more, he utilized a verified Twitter handle, disseminating this headline to almost 200k users.  The post was met with different reactions; while some found it funny and made jokes with it, others rebuffed the stance.


    The image which appears as though the source took a picture of a tv screen is presented in the form of a news frame. It displays cocaine on a surface with a currency note all rolled up beside it.

    The image is similar to the news frame used in this false claim. However, unlike the former which bore a Channels TV logo, this image does not display any credible media logo, further questioning its authenticity.

    Dubawa conducted a reverse image search and a keyword search. The searches jointly produced several youtube videos 1, 2, 3 and 4. The videos all convey the same message. 

    It is NOT Headlines

    Template for News Headlines. Source:

    While the image did not have a source, making it hard to prove; we know the World Health Organization’s stance on this. WHO clearly states that there is currently no known cure for the virus

    Furthermore, nowadays, anyone with a digital device and an internet connection can create news frames. The art is no longer limited TV stations alone. Applications like ‘Break Your Own News, Breaking News Photo Editor’ on google play store and a website have made that possible. 

    The site provides users with a template and allows them to input image, headline and ticker of choice. Also, the website runs on realtime and allows users to download and share their creations on social media.  

    This invention makes it possible to come up with misleading breaking news headlines. Hence, Dubawa advises caution when viewing similar material…

  • What we know about the Coronavirus scare

    Popular health influencer on Twitter, @DrOlufunmilayo had reached out to other users on the platform on Saturday morning; creating awareness about a new virus in China that had allegedly killed 2 and put 7 in critical condition. 

    The January 18th post has over 6.5K retweets and 2.1K likes; it also featured on Whatsapp groups.

    Is there a new virus in China?

    A new deadly virus has cast a dark shadow over Asia and fear of a pandemic is looming. Coronaviruses (as they are called) are a large family of viruses; 6 in number or so we thought. The newly detected one in the central city of Wuhan, China put its number to 7.

    According to the World Health Organization (WHO), these set of viruses cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). Symptoms can range from fever and coughing to kidney failure, and in some cases lead to death. Some coronaviruses transmit easily from person to person, while others do not.

    What are the authorities saying?

    BBC suggested the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) may have originated from infected animals at a seafood market that also sells dead animals in Wuhan, the largest city in central China. Since then, the virus has been infecting people as it spreads within and outside China, causing deaths and severe sickness.

    CNN reported a death from the virus on Friday 17th of January; further revealing dozens sick as a result of the virus. BBC on Tuesday, 21 January also reported 6 deaths in China and how it has spread to other Asian countries – Thailand, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.

    As a result of this and the fear of impending dominance of the virus, China’s government has sent out warnings to its citizens, urging them not to cover up the spread of the new virus. 

    Excerpt from BBC report

    The publication further surmised the warning to be the result of China’s prior experience with the coronary virus- SARS. It recalled China’s negligence concerning information resulted in the reported 774 death casualties in the early 2000s across several countries, mostly in Asia.

    What is WHO saying?

    The World Health Organization is still indecisive on whether to declare the virus as “a public health emergency of international concern”; this was the case for Ebola. It premised its reason on there not being enough information.

    “Today, there was an excellent discussion during the committee meeting but it was also clear that to proceed, we need more information”

    WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

    The WHO issued situation reports on the 20th and 21st of January giving updates about the virus, affected areas and precautionary measures to be taken.

    While we wait for its decision on the virus, the body had advised the public to avoid “unprotected” contact with live animals. It further suggested we thoroughly cook meat and eggs and avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.

    What are the implications for Nigerians?

    @DrOlufunmilayo had mentioned in his tweet that the US has commenced screening at her Airport. A notion expressed in this CNN report, it seems other countries have begun to take measures; “increasing health screenings and implementing new quarantine procedures as officials race to slow the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus.

    The Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has assured Nigerians that it is taking necessary steps…

    The NCDC is the country’s leading health institute. In its recently published public health advisory, it advised Nigerians to be calm regarding coronavirus. It further made known its commitment to making sure the Nigerian atmosphere is safe and secure.

    “The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) is currently coordinating a technical group that is assessing and managing the risk of importation to Nigeria. NCDC is in close communication with the World Health Organization (WHO) who is closely monitoring the situation globally. WHO is in direct communication with the Government of China and other affected countries, and has released technical and travel guidance.   
    “The Port Health Services Unit of the Federal Ministry of Health in Nigeria has been placed on alert and has heightened screening measures at the points of entry. In China, exit screening measures have been enhanced for travellers from Wuhan city at the Points of Entry (PoE) (airports and ground transport stations) since the 14th of January 2020. This includes temperature checks, combined with provision of information and masks to passengers with fever, as well as directing symptomatic passengers to health facilities for follow up.” 

    Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC)

    This came after establishing the fact that there is no specific treatment for disease caused by the virus yet. However, many of the symptoms can be treated. Therefore, treatment is based on the patient’s clinical condition. It also added that supportive care for infected persons can be highly effective.


    The World Health Organization has declared the novel coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency of international concern after an emergency meeting on Thursday, January 30th in Geneva.

    The decision came after cases of human-to-human transmissions were confirmed outside China, where the outbreak started. And the fear that it would spread to countries with weaker health systems further brought about the decision.

    Coronavirus tracker 

    As the number of infected persons changes quickly, a real-time tracking map was revealed to show the movement of the virus. 

    This map is from Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and  Engineering. It follows coronavirus cases across the world. Besides the map, this article (last updated on February 2) also contains information about the worldwide cases of the 2019-nCoV. 

    Coronavirus in Lagos.

    Rumour had it last week that coronavirus was detected in a Lekki hospital in Lagos. However, News platforms, as well as health officials, have come out to set the record straight.

    The Lagos state commissioner for health, Prof. Akin Abayomi while addressing the rumour has provided actual details of the situation for clarification. This he has done via his Twitter page.

    In addition, the state’s Ministry of Health has also stated in its press release that there is no case of coronavirus in Lagos.

    Also worth noting, It should also be known that Lagos State Government said it has reached an agreement with the Chinese Embassy in Nigeria to quarantine all Chinese travelling back to Lagos from their country in order to avert the outbreak of deadly Coronavirus in the State.

  • Are You Brushing Right?

    A smile is worth a thousand words but what is a bad smile worth?

    The importance of oral health is common knowledge. It is vital to every aspect of our lives- from eating, drinking, heart and bone health to that smile at first meet. This is perhaps the reason dental practises are instilled in so many; as early as childhood, the notion being that good dental hygiene practises from childhood ensure good teeth and gums for life. With all the information from dental health programs, it is no surprise that so many of us think we know just how to brush our teeth. 

    However, we may be wrong and our practices may not be keeping with new research and recommendations. According to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) data, oral diseases are the most common non-communicable diseases worldwide. This also goes for Nigeria as WHO identified that a large proportion of the Nigerian population have poor oral health. WHO estimates that between 15% and 58% of Nigerians have periodontal disease (that is gum disease) and that up to 30% of Nigerians endure the pain of dental caries (cavities).

    This is all so interesting, to put it mildly especially in light of the recent tweet by twitter user- OurFavOnlineDoctor. The influencer advised his 110,000 mostly Nigerian twitter followers to remember NOT to rinse their mouth after brushing but rather, spitting out what is left of the toothpaste. He further added that this gave the fluoride time to work on your teeth. The tweet is gaining quick traction and to date, has over 5,000 retweets and over 8,000 likes reads: 


    It is evident the precarious state most Nigerians are in with respect to dental health from the statistics outlined in the introduction. And while diet and underlying disease conditions are key factors, it is worth noting that poor daily brushing habits is the key factor for such conditions; hence our vested interest in Doctor Harvey’s recommendations. 

    Spit don’t rinse

    A poll for National Smile month revealed that almost two in three of us rinse out the toothpaste after brushing our teeth. However, the Oral Health Foundation has directly advised people against this practice. The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) also lists this don’t rinse practice as a key recommendation for keeping your teeth clean. 

    While most people in their morning and night routines still prefer to rinse their mouth after brushing, it is, in effect, counterproductive as evidence shows.

    Post brushing practices 

    Most people know the right way to brush your teeth is to brush at least twice a day and for approximately 2 minutes. What you do after you brush your teeth is equally important. The new recommendation is that one should leave behind in the mouth a concentrated mixture of a crucial toothpaste component- fluoride. 

    Fluoride is the single most important constituent of your everyday toothpaste. Fluoride remains on the teeth from your toothpaste. It inherently acts as a coating agent on the teeth so by not rinsing, this promotes fluoride retention and therein prolongs its beneficial effects in the mouth. 

    These benefits range from strengthening the enamel, preventing tooth decay and the growth of bacteria in the oral cavity.

    Expert opinion 

    Dubawa reached out to Dr Lawan Balami, a Community Dentistry Lecturer at the University of Maiduguri and a Public Health Practitioner with over 7 years of experience.

    “in my years of experience, approximately 2 out of every 10 Nigerians know how to brush their teeth the right way. And this includes knowledge of post-brushing techniques.”

    Dr Lawan Balami- Community Dentistry Lecturer at the University of Maiduguri

    Dr Balami went on to note “when you rinse with water after brushing your teeth you are washing away part of the fluoride contained in the toothpaste which reduces its effectiveness in preventing tooth decay. Randomized control trials have shown the incidence of tooth decay to be higher in individuals who rinse with large volumes of water after tooth brushing compared to those who do not.”

    Dr Balami says the benefit is that the method “helps maintain contact between teeth and fluoride contained in dentifrices (any agent used to clean the teeth such as a powder, paste or liquid) such as toothpaste longer than would be the case with mouth rinsing”. 

    What do studies say?

    A Swedish study noted fewer cavities in a three year period for preschool children who rinsed with a “slurry”. It surmised a higher effect of fluoride retention in the children who used this method over children who did not.

    Factors affecting fluoride retention

    Another study found that factors which increased fluoride retention included fluoride concentration in toothpaste. So opt for toothpaste with a higher fluoride concentration. Dr Balami says the recommended fluoride concentration is “about 1350 – 1500ppm [parts per million] of Fluoride”. Similarly, the WHO notes a 6% increased benefit for every 500ppm. Any higher than 1,500 ppm and you might require a prescription in some countries. 

    Other factors that affect fluoride attention include brushing duration (2 minutes being the recommendation) and toothpaste quantity. Additionally, the clearance of saliva and rate of salivary flow are also consequential to fluoride retention. This is something we can’t help, but it’s worth knowing. 

    Alternatives for the die-hard rinsers 

    Fret not, there are other post-brushing practises that could extend fluoride retention.

    Conserve that aqua 

    A study provided some consolation for people who do not want to leave the remaining toothpaste in their mouth. This alternative is to rinse but only with a small amount of water. This reduces the minty toothpaste taste that bothers so many; yet allowing a small amount of fluoride to remain in the mouth. 

    One study correlated fluoride retention with how many times participants rinsed. Participants who rinsed three times had a lower retention than those who rinsed once. A 1996 study had the same results. It showed a higher retention of fluoride when participants rinsed with a teaspoon quantity of water for a minute than participants who rinsed briskly with a sizeable quantity three times!

    Try mouthwash 

    Secondly, opting for fluoride-containing mouthwash is a good call too. A study noted that fluoride-containing mouthwashes have “simpler formulations and can have better oral fluoride retention profiles than fluoride toothpastes, depending on post-brushing rinsing behaviour”.  

    However, be sure to wait 30 minutes before eating or drinking for the full effect. 

    You are also encouraged to use it at a different time than when you just brushed your teeth. This is because the mouthwash (though fluoride-containing), has the ability to get rid of some of the concentrated fluoride in your teeth from regular brushing. 

    Less is more

    Lastly, another method is to find a toothpaste without a chemical called- sodium Laureth sulfate. Anecdotal evidence tells us that a major deterrent for not engaging in the spit not rinse method is the strong minty flavour of toothpaste which lingers. Sodium Laureth sulfate as an ingredient in toothpaste is responsible for this strong flavour; interestingly, it also suppresses your taste bud receptors (this is why food tastes bad afterwards). Also, using toothpaste without this ingredient has an added benefit of less lather. This is because sodium Laureth sulfate is responsible for toothpaste foaming. So in essence, you get no foam to rinse and no unpleasant taste- win-win. 

    The implications of poor oral health in Nigeria 

    Photo Credit: Daily Post Nigeria

    The complications that can arise as a result of poor oral hygiene include but not limited to tooth loss and decay, heart disease, respiratory infection as well as accompanying pain, discomfort and facial disfigurement. Poor oral hygiene can also result in less known complications including some non-communicable diseases such as:

    • Dementia
    • Diabetes
    • Cancer
    • Kidney disease
    • Rheumatoid arthritis
    • Pregnancy complications
    • Erectile dysfunction and infertility

    The suboptimal state of healthcare services in the country is an important reasons Nigerians ought to take responsibility for their oral health. The limited access to services and the fact that the cost of healthcare is mostly out-of-pocket means that the needs of people with poor oral health are often, not met. 

    Indeed, the Dentist to population ratio in Nigeria is estimated at 1 dentist for every 38,600 Nigerians as of 2017. Dr Balami made note of this by saying “This indicates that a high percentage of the population has oral health care needs and for the oral health care sector to match this demand with supply, there is need for adequate funding as well as manpower. ” Also “access to dental healthcare is costly for Nigerians, making up around 20% of out of pocket expenditure”.

    These are just some of the reasons for the growing cry for oral health to be included in the Basic Health Care Provision Fund. This scheme is the most recent and far-reaching mechanism for meeting the health needs of all Nigerians. Suggestions have been made for oral health to be included in the child and family health services to be provided by the Fund while it is in a pilot stage. 


    The spit don’t rinse claim is true as seen in the foregoing. Making a habit of this practice will put one in good stead with good oral health. Still, you should be cautious when practising this spit not rinse method. Avoid actually swallowing your toothpaste as this can be toxic, harmful and lead to fluorosis especially in children. Interestingly, this is the reason health authorities advise to use a pea-size dollop of toothpaste. By limiting and keeping your toothpaste to only a needed amount you reduce the risk of actually ingesting it.

    It is also important to note that this claim serves as a microcosm in a larger context of the growing concerns for dental health in the country. Trends discussed and statistics reviewed all highlight the need for self-action- such as the “spit don’t rinse” policy- amid the inadequacy of the health sector. Remember, health is wealth and the same goes for your oral health. 

  • #HEALTHCHECK: The Not-So-Magical Lemon Water

    “PIECES OF LEMON IN A GLASS OF HOT WATER CAN SAVE YOU FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE” is a phrase you may have heard a number of times. You may have come across the assertion or variations of it on various internet sites or WhatsApp broadcast messages or perhaps sent by a friend or family member. The claim is said to be supported by “Professor Chen Horin, Chief Executive of the Beijing Military Hospital”.

    There are several reasons why this claim appears incredulous but the first of it is that there is no one hospital with the name Beijing Military hospital! There are a number of military hospitals in Beijing alone and none of them is named “Beijing Military Hospital”.

    Reason Two which makes us doubt the truth of this information is that military hospitals in China have come under fire in recent years for promoting and selling treatments that are not approved by the Chinese Health Ministry or even international health authorities. In a recent case, one of such military hospitals, the Second Hospital of the Beijing Armed Police Corps had been discredited for the death of a 21-year old cancer patient who bought into one of their experimental treatments and had consequently died. These military hospitals in China are largely unregulated by the Chinese Health Ministry but are subject to supervision by the Central Military Commission headed by President Xi Jinping.

    Beyond these reasons, however, science does not seem to agree with the claims of lemon water as the magical cure of all ailments. The claim that the combination of lemon and hot water kills cancer cells is unproven. While studies indicate that citrus fruits, including lemons, contain compounds that may be beneficial in preventing or combating some types of cancer, to say it cures or prevents cancer is a gross exaggeration. The citrus fruit family to which lemon belongs indeed contains certain chemical substances in higher concentration than in other fruits.

    These chemical substances are called phytochemicals and the citrus fruit has phytochemicals like carotenoids, flavonoids, folate, and limonoids, which are physiologically active in certain ways that are preventive to cancer. The substances are referred to as antioxidants and they remove the effect of the by-products of normal chemical reactions going on in the body. These by-products can cause chronic illnesses like cancer.

    This simply means that the citrus fruit has chemical substances that are good for detoxification, that is, removing substances that are harmful to the body. All fruits in the citrus family contain these antioxidants in varying degrees and NOT just lemons, and no research has shown that taking lemon in hot water or any other citrus fruit can cure every form of cancer! Any claim to lemon water destroying cancer cells or shrinking cancerous tumours is just not true.

    Although these phytochemicals have been subjected to several anti-cancer tests, they have only shown promise for certain types of cancers and not proven effective against all kinds of cancers. No specific tests have been done on humans and it will take years of research to ascertain and narrow down which phytochemicals are active against which cancers and whether these will work on humans before it is tested on humans; as far as existing knowledge goes, these levels of research are part of the ongoing race to combat the cancer scourge and no one has reached the finish line yet.

    Another claim of the magical lemon drink is that it becomes alkaline in water. This is simply not true. Lemon, as is the entire Citrus family, is acidic in its natural form with a PH of about 2.0. Adding water to lemon juice, whether hot or cold, in whatever volume will not make it alkaline. Citrus only changes to an alkaline form after digestion.

    Lemon water is also said to affect only unhealthy cells leaving the healthy cells untouched. Again science has proven this is not true as the acidity in the lemon erodes the enamel of the teeth, exposing it to more sensitivity and leaving behind a yellowish tinge.

    Hot lemon water drinking every day has become a fad touted by celebrities like Angelina Jolie, Beyoncé, and Madonna popularising this as a master clean diet & healthy lifestyle. Science, however, does not quite agree; a glass of water early every morning can do as much “detoxifying”, keeping you well rehydrated from the night’s dehydration. Including a slice of lemon or a drop of lemon juice may make the taste better but does not offer much in the way of magical medicinal benefits.

    The potential of citrus fruits to prevent cancer is recognized, but this claim exaggerates such potentials without basis in science or current reality. Healthy eating consisting of different food sources including fruits and vegetables, generally regarded as good sources of antioxidants, should be the fad.

    The idea of a magical pill that cures all ailments appeals to the human sense but science is yet to find such a pill.

  • #SPOOFCHECK: Eating Egg and Banana: Is it Poisonous?

    There is a well circulated message on social media especially on WhatsApp claiming that the mixture of egg and banana generates poison that could kill within 5 minutes of consumption.

    This post became viral in 2017 and still finds its way in 2018, despite the fact that the message has been debunked based on the absence of any scientific proof.

    The viral message reads:

    “URGENT!!! Never eat an egg and banana at the same time because their mixture gives a poison that kills within 5 minutes. Do not keep this message, publish it if you are good samaritan”.


    According to Banglore Mirror, a daily English-language newspaper in India, the viral post originated from a fake story about a young man who died on the spot after consuming egg and sweet banana. The fake news stated that after researching the cause of his death, doctors discovered that the mixture of the egg and the banana in the stomach turned into a poison. For this reason, it is advised for people not to eat egg with banana.


    Dr. Gusen Mashak Joseph, senior registrar and family medicine of Our Lady of Apostle (OLA), Jos Plateau State declares the statement as false. He said “someone can take banana and develop a problem; someone can also take other fruits and develop a problem. It is all about individual differences as regard to fruits. For the fact that someone ate banana and later remembers that he ate egg and develops a problem doesn’t mean that when one takes egg with banana, the person will die. It is not true”.

    “In fact, the combination of banana and egg is used to cure diarrhea and malnutrition in children. Banana is a source of potassium and egg is a source of protein. Also, raw egg can be mixed with raw pap and made into a fine paste before hot water is added to form the pap and banana can be blended to add flavour”, Dr. Gusen concluded.

    Noor Jan, a pharmacist and health enthusiastic also shares a similar view. He opined that there are common recipes that use banana and eggs such as banana cake which has been used safely by people for years. According to Jan’s research, banana is enriched with potassium, fibers and vitamin C while eggs are loaded with calcium, phosphorus, fats and proteins as well as a couple of other nutrients which are not toxic to each other.

    His statement reads: “there are no such facts that their ingredients will react with each other to form toxins that can harm the human body”.


    Eating banana and egg at the same time IS NOT poisonous! Each contains vital nutrients that when mixed together cannot be toxic to human health. Nevertheless, as explained by Dr. Gusen earlier on, it all depends on individual differences as regard to fruits.

  • Is One-Third Of Nigeria’s Population Hypertensive? #UNPROVEN

    The Nigeria Hypertension Society (NHS) has said that one-third of Nigeria’s adult population is hypertensive. The president of the Society, Ayodele Omotoso, a Professor with the Cardiology Unit, Department of Medicine, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), disclosed this in a statement issued on Thursday, May 17, 2018 to commemorate the World Hypertension Day.


    1. One-third of Nigeria’s adult population is hypertensive.


    DUBAWA contacted Mr. Omotoso who told our team that several studies have proven his claim. He said, “That means about 33% of the Nigeria’s adult population is hypertensive. There have been studies, the earlier studies of 1992 or thereabout gave a cut off not as high as that. But other studies from Lagos, from Port Harcourt, and different parts of the country and new global studies involving over 70 countries including Nigeria show that”.

    Mr. Omotoso, however, did not respond to DUBAWA’s request for the data that supported his claim. As such, we made use of academic research, statistics from national and international bodies to verify the claim.


    According to Farlex Medical Dictionary, hypertension is the medical term for high blood pressure. It is defined as having a blood pressure reading of more than 140/90 mmHg.

    “Blood pressure is created by the force of blood pushing against the walls of blood vessels (arteries) as it is pumped by the heart. The higher the pressure the harder the heart has to pump,” says WHO. The extra workload can make the heart muscle thicken and stretch. When the heart becomes too enlarged it cannot pump enough blood. If the hypertension is not treated, the heart may fail.


    A research paper on the knowledge of hypertension conducted in the University of Ibadan in 2011 states that the prevalence of hypertension in Nigeria in the 90s and early 2000 was not as high as it is now. About 11% of Nigeria’s adult population was said to be hypertensive at that time.


    In April 2018, the National Population Commission, stated that Nigeria’s present population is 198 million people with an adult population of 94,542,114 people (including men and women), according to the last world population review of 2018.

    Based on this figure, one-third (33%) of Nigeria’s adult population would be 31,514,038.


    In Nigeria, few people go for routine medical check-ups to monitor the risk factors associated with noncommunicable diseases of which hypertension is included. An investigative report shows that non-communicable diseases are not taken seriously in Nigeria. The problem of hypertension is even worse in Africa because people are not aware of the necessity for or unable to afford regular blood pressure checks, says WHO. So if people do not go to the hospitals for health checks, how do we know the exact number of people who are hypertensive in Nigeria?

    Dr. Sunmonu Aliyu of the Seventh Day Adventist Hospital, Ile Ife, told DUBAWA that studies over the years have proven the claim of NHS “that the hypertension rate among adults in the country is one-third. This simply means 33% of the adult out there are hypertensive. Although, many people are not aware of this and that has really caused more harm than good.”

    Like Mr. Omotoso of NHS, Mr. Aliyu also did not respond to our request seeking data to support his claim. He rather continued to lay emphasis on the fact that as a medical practitioner, he can authoritatively give us the figure.


    The claim that one-third of Nigeria’s adult population is hypertensive appears to have first surfaced from the 2012 WHO report. According to the Statistics, one in three adults worldwide has high blood pressure – a condition that causes around half of all deaths from stroke and heart disease. It stressed that more than 40% (and up to 50%) of adults in many countries in Africa are estimated to have high blood pressure.

    Similarly, a study on the prevalence of hypertension among Nigeria’s population in a particular community resulted in 33.1%. The study (as obtained in the 2016 Nigerian Journal of Cardiology) used the WHO STEPwise approach (STEPS 1 & 2) to obtain information from 806 respondents between the ages of 18 and 90 from 171 households. The results showed that the overall prevalence of hypertension was 33.1% (male 36.8% and female 31.1%); the proportion of self-reported hypertension was 11.1%, while 5.1% were currently on anti-hypertensive medication. Unfortunately, this study was conducted on just a particular community, and cannot be representative of the entire country.


    Although there is a very limited number of studies on hypertension in Nigeria, a number of surveys still exist albeit with varying statistics. The most recent survey conducted in 2017 puts the hypertension rate at 44.9%, which is directly at odds with the WHO figure in that same year.

    Speaking at the 2017 World Hypertension Day event organised by Nestle Nigeria Plc and Nutrition Society of Nigeria (NSN), a Professor of Cardiology, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Amam Mbakwem, said that “a recent national multistage survey of 13,591 Nigerians gave a 44.9% prevalence of hypertension.”

    Meanwhile, the WHO report of that same year (2017) revealed that Nigeria tops the percentage of adult hypertension rate in Africa with 35%. The countries included in the list were Seychelles (40%), Cabo Verde (39%), Sao Tome and Principe (39%), Ghana (37%), Niger (36%) and Nigeria (35%).


    Although the WHO claims that one-third of the world’s adult population is hypertensive and experts in the Nigerian medical industry believe that a third of its population is hypertensive, there has been no recent nationwide survey to prove the percentage of hypertension in Nigeria, especially due to the fact that a large percentage of the country’s population do not report such cases. The limited number of reports on hypertensive seem to be at odds, with varying figures.

    Evidence shows that the rate of hypertension in the adult population of Nigeria is high, nevertheless, the lack of facts and figures show that the claim is UNPROVEN!

  • #HEALTHCHECK – Facts About The Ebola Virus

    Between 2014 and 2016, Ebola became a household name in Africa. News reports were filled with alarming stories of the casualties. In 2014, BBC reported that the Ebola outbreak in West Africa was the world’s deadliest till date and the World Health Organization declared an international health emergency as more than 3,850 people died of the virus in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria that year.

    Although it was somewhat curtailed in 2017, fresh outbreaks of Ebola recently have already claimed more than 2 dozen lives in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

    What is Ebola?

    Ebola [EVD] is an infectious disease that causes internal bleeding and often proves fatal, with a fatality rate of 90 percent. The Ebola virus was first discovered in 1976 in Nzara, South Sudan and Yambuku, DRC, and it got its name from the Ebola River, which is close to the village where it first occurred in Congo.

    How is it transmitted?

    Fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family are believed to be the natural carriers of the virus. Ebola is introduced into the human population through close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals such as chimpanzees, gorillas, fruit bats, monkeys, forest antelope and porcupines found ill or dead or in the rainforest.

    It is then spread rapidly through direct contact (e.g. broken skin or mucous membranes) with small amounts of bodily fluid of infected people and with surfaces and materials (e.g. bedding, clothing) contaminated with these fluids. In the 2014 West African Ebola outbreak, cultural practices like washing the bodies of the deceased before burial are thought to have hastened its spread.

    People remain infectious as long as their blood contains the virus

    The Ebola Virus does not die with the death of an infected person. In fact, health-care and mortuary workers have frequently been infected while treating patients with suspected or confirmed EVD or even dead people.

    How Ebola Virus Spreads [Source: BBC]
    What are the symptoms?

    Typically, the symptoms appear 8 to 10 days after exposure to the virus, however and in some cases, the time between exposure and observance of first symptoms (incubation period) could span 2 to 21 days.

    Weakness, fever, aches, diarrhea, vomiting and stomach pain are the basic symptoms, closely followed by skin rash, red eyes, chest pain, throat soreness, difficulty breathing or swallowing and bleeding (including internal) from the eyes or gum.

    Mr Olufemi Akiyode, a Public health professional with specialization in Epidemiology at Oyo State Ministry of Health says “ebola is  transmitted through body fluid, when in contact with the human epithelia surface (Mucosa and Skin) and enter the blood stream then the person is infected. Its looks like malaria when it first starts, but towards the end, it will now manifest fully with diarrhea.”

    Ebola is not a Myth!

    Different myths surround the disease. These include that routine blood tests and school vaccinations are a campaign to infect children with Ebola and as a government measure to depopulate a region or that ebola can be cured by home remedies, like a mixture of hot chocolate, coffee, milk, raw onions, and sugar. Or worse still that Ebola is not real!

    Ebola is real and it cannot be cured through salt-water baths as a “magical vaccine” or by drinking a mixture of water and chlorine or condensed milk and holy water. In fact, three people were reported dead in Nigeria after drinking excessive amounts of saltwater upon the recommendation of a catholic priest.

    Myths and Facts about Ebola in Nigeria

    How can it be cured?

    Officials with the Congolese health ministry carry the first batch of an experimental Ebola vaccine to reach the Democratic Republic of Congo.Kenny Katombe/REUTERS [Source: Nature]
    For now, there is no known cure for Ebola, although experimental drugs are being developed to stem the spread of the virus from making copies of itself. These include three treatments – ZMapp, Favipiravir and GS-5734.

    Public health experts also hope that the experimental vaccine, called rVSV-ZEBOV will help in preventing the spread of the virus. Manufactured by Merck, the rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine was shown to be highly protective against Ebola in a trial run during the West African outbreak. None of the 5,837 volunteers who took the vaccine in that trial became infected with the virus.

    Blood transfusions from survivors and mechanical filtering of blood from patients are also being explored especially because research has shown that Ebola survivors are immune to the virus 40 years after.

    Ebola is extremely infectious but not extremely contagious

    Ebola could be considered infectious because an infinitesimally small amount can cause illness and moderately contagious because the virus is not transmitted through the air but through direct contact. And because of this, it can be prevented.

    How to prevent contracting the Virus?

    Practicing good hand hygiene such as washing hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, is an effective method in preventing the spread of dangerous germs like the Ebola virus.

    When in an area affected by Ebola, you should avoid contact with blood and body fluids (such as urine, feces, sweat, saliva, breast milk, semen and vaginal fluids) or even items that may have come into contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids, whether they are family or not! If you suspect that you may have been infected yourself, avoid contact with others and report to local health authorities.

    Also, avoid contact with bats and nonhuman primates or blood, fluids and raw meat prepared from these animals (bushmeat) or meat from an unknown source.

    Health workers treating Ebola virus patients should wear protective clothing masks, gloves, gowns, and goggles; use infection-control measures such as complete equipment sterilization and routine use of disinfectant; and isolated infected patients to minimize contact with unprotected patients to protect themselves from contracting Ebola virus.

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