In Nigeria, exclusive breastfeeding is still not widely adopted. According to the 2016-2017 National Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) Report, only 23.7% of infants aged five months and below are exclusively breastfed with only 15.3% of all children receiving the minimum acceptable diet. This is an abysmal figure when compared to the exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) prevalence goal of 50% set by the National Strategic Plan of Action on Nutrition to be achieved by December 2018.
Nigeria’s low EBF rates may likely be attributed to a combination of traditional and socio-cultural misconceptions about breastfeeding, ignorance about its importance, non-conducive work environments for breastfeeding, deceptive marketing of breast milk substitutes to health workers, and lack of awareness-creation on the part of health workers at the primary health care level. The World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) both recommend that breastfeeding should be initiated within the first hour after birth, as the most critical time for good nutrition is in the 1,000-day period from the start of a woman’s pregnancy, until a child’s second birthday.
Nigeria to vaccinate 26 million people in 2nd phase of biggest-ever yellow fever vaccination campaign. Malnutrition: FG Distributes 12,000 Cartons Of RUTF, Targets 88,000 Children In Six States. Experts decry non-release of N55bn 2018 Basic Health Fund. FG Plans To Establish Emergency, Trauma Centres To Cater For Accident Casualties. FG, Partners working to tackle Noma in Nigeria. AirBank: How LifeBank is planning to save over 600,000 lives with access to emergency oxygen. Gates, Dangote, UNICEF laud Yobe for progress in routine immunization. Edo partners paediatricians on maternal, child survival programmes. Kano expands drug revolving funds programme in 60 health centres. Nigerians advised to be alert as meningitis season begins.
In the week that a major announcement was made by WHO shortening the treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, the scientific community is coming together with health care workers and public health practitioners to share knowledge on one of the major public health challenges of our time: Tuberculosis.
Nigeria has more tuberculosis cases than any country in Africa, and the fourth highest annual number of TB cases in the world. Nigeria’s first-ever TB prevalence conducted in November 2012 showed that about 600,000 new cases of TB occur in Nigeria annually. Tragically, the recent prevalence survey in Nigeria showed that most of these cases are never diagnosed, and never treated.
TB is one of the oldest diseases known to man and it is caused by mycobacterium tuberculosis. It is spread through the air when people who have an active TB infection cough or sneeze, transmitting respiratory fluids through the air. A small proportion of those infected, develop the disease tuberculosis, for reasons that are not yet fully understood. The disease; tuberculosis typically affects the lungs, but can also affect other parts of the body. It is estimated to be the second major cause of death from infectious diseases worldwide, after HIV/AIDS. Despite being one of the oldest diseases known to man, it is one of the most difficult to diagnose and treat.
TB affects mostly deprived and isolated communities. It is not surprising therefore that TB is never high on the health agenda in Nigeria. Almost the entire response to tuberculosis in Nigeria is donor-funded, with the Global Fund alone contributing $150M in the past 10 years. The association between TB and poverty is mediated by overcrowding, poorly ventilated housing, malnutrition, smoking, and poor social capital. Amongst especially vulnerable groups, are people living with HIV, orphans and internally displaced persons (IDPs).