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 LIMITATIONS OF A NIGERIAN FEMALE CHILD

Being black might have been seen as a limitation, but when born into certain places you would realize that being black, is just the starting point of your problems. it comes as constant worry, that most female children are seen as rape victims, and other forms of disrespect , even if the country is developing some areas like their mind-set seem to be lagging behind.

The female psychology have been so greatly manipulated that they see themselves as mere  “kitchen tools”, or “baby breeding machines”. Well, you cannot blame them as they have gone through many things that have destroyed their self-respect, making them go for the scrap. Those who have been considered as money milking machines might actually even seem great since you are considered as something worth money. In most eastern part of the country, the female child is not seen as a child at all, the family only fully celebrates when the male child is finally born, because to the male figure head – a heir of the family has arrived and there is no need for worry. The females are only there to get married so that their parents can collect their bride price.

Most female children, highly applied in the northern part of Nigeria, are betrothed to men – men old enough to be their grandfather – whilst still young, without allowing the child to grow, fall in love or give a consensus to whatever relationship she is into; therefore she would be forced to grow and fall in love with some stranger. This has been going on the country for centuries and most times it seems that nobody cares, leading the children to become withdrawn, accepting whatever fate lies ahead of them.

Going to school would have been a good improvement if the world itself did not see the female sex as incapable of pursuing some select dreams. The world seems to favour the male irrespective. So what is the problem here? Our problem is that the norms and culture that seem to guide us, have subdued one sex and upheld the other. Yes, we know that this norms and culture made us what we are today, but truthfully, what are we today?… but a country on a verge of failing, because seemingly only the rich are heard and the poor are not; this is the same as the case of females, who are not put into consideration because to them they are the “weaker vessel”.  It should not be seen as news that even in the family, when there is a male child, his thoughts are supreme.

We are quite happy now that as the world is developing, most women have been allowed to work and not be full house wives as opposed to before. It is characteristically true that when girls are growing up, most girls were taught to cook and that their main job is to have a family and be a good wife – Only few families thought their daughters that there was more to life than that. That is why, when they go out, they most times are left there in the wild – clueless.

Someone might say these are just blatant excuses , but the truth remains, the female sex is being oppressed and limited, and nothing seems to be effectively working to curb it.

Thank You.

Ude Ucha Kalu,
College of Medicine,
University of Lagos,
Nigeria.

 

 

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MIGRATION CRISIS: THE REFUGEE HEALTH

For the purpose of getting our terminologies right, lets understand that “all refugees are migrants but not all migrants are refugees”. They’ve been persecuted in their homeland, fleeing the crisis, and now, seeking asylum. A refugee isn’t your typical immigrant. Over the years, the world has had to deal with issues of migration which led to the formation of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), a programme mandated by the United Nations (UN) to protect and support refugees while assisting in their integration, resettlement or voluntary return to country of origin. However in 2015, crisis began all over the European continent as immigration numbers skyrocketed from unauthorized foreign migrants. These foreign migrants encompassed not only the vulnerable mass seeking refuge, but also some hostile agents.

The world has experienced the highest number of forcibly displaced people since World War 2-about 59.5million-and by 2015,over a million entered the European region and about 3700 died/went missing during the journey. The point is; this is a global crisis and concerted efforts should be made globally, not just by the European Union. Addressing the migration crisis, the Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo stressed the need for care and respect for the migrants as most of them were forced to leave their ancestral homes. He also advised the International Organization of Migration (IOM) to ensure the proper documentation of all migrants.

Analyses from the World Health Organization (WHO) reviews the health status and access of a refugee from their country of origin, to their transit country and finally in their destination country.

In Syria alone, over 7 million people are internally displaced with the unrest causing shortages of qualified medical personnel and other medical aid and support. Interventions made by the WHO and partners include provision of supplies for treatment of critical conditions like diabetes and heart disease; vaccination against diseases like measles, rubella and polio; prevention of vector borne diseases like malaria; delivery of integrated primary health care, including mental health services; deployment of surgical teams and supplies; support for mobile clinics and outreach services for reproductive, maternal and newborn child health; and strengthened disease surveillance and outbreak response. All these are considered very important for integration in their destination countries as well as it helps to prevent the spread of communicable diseases amongst the refugees during transit.

Refugees in transit are usually vulnerable because their finances are usually limited. Therefore, special care and assistance should be rendered at this level. In countries like Turkey, Lebanon and Greece hosting the refugees, the

 

WHO works with the governments to improve access to basic healthcare needs by setting up clinics especially for the refugees; providing medical supplies, equipment and fuel; training for frontline health workers; collecting and analysing health data to shape decision-making and providing Ministries of Health and other partners with technical guidance on key public health issues.

Finally, even with the unprecedented influx of refugees in the European region, the WHO supports the receiving countries by performing joint assessments with Ministries of Health to assess health-system capacity to manage large influxes of refugees and migrants; giving policy advice on contingency planning for the health sector; providing emergency medicines and supplies; providing maternal and child health care services; providing mental health and psychosocial care; training for health workers; technical and financial assistance for outbreak response and immunization campaigns; dissemination of health information and educational materials to refugees and health workers; and cross-border collaboration for improved data collection and analysis.

It is in fact now widely understood that being and staying healthy is not only part of migrants’ human rights, but also a fundamental precondition for them to work, be productive and contribute to the social and economic development of their communities, both of origin and destination. Therefore, coordinated efforts are needed to ensure that migrant health is addressed throughout the migration cycle, as are efforts to adapt and strengthen the resilience of local health systems in light of more diverse population health profiles. Addressing the health of migrants and affected local populations reduces long-term health and social costs, is good public health practice, facilitates integration and contributes to social and economic development. The healthier migrants are and remain the more efficient and balanced the future of our highly mobile and globalized society will be.

 

ALUKO OLUWABUSAYO DANIEL
2ND YEAR, MEDICINE AND SURGERY
COLLEGE OF MEDICINE, UNIVERSITY OF LAGOS, NIGERIA.
oluwabusayoaluko@gmail.com
+2348179380972

 

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END OF THE YEAR POST

End of the year thoughts to all beautiful FAMSAites and acquaintances all over the world

2016 has been a positively eventful year for us all in FAMSA (although with hurdles), loaded with lots of programs, conferences and awareness. Just as our constitution stated … play a significant role in improvement of the health of African people and the problems of African society in as much as they fall within the purview of medicine and the realization… we have played our role and made our impact at various levels. This could be seen in our vast Social media Campaigns, website upgrade, our Antibiotics awareness week Campaigns, world Hepatitis Day Campaign, world blood Donor Day campaign and various outreaches, talks/symposia and events by our standing committees (SCOHE, SCOPUB, SCOPA, SCOMER and SCOPE) in the different member country of the association.

Therefore, as 2016 comes to an end in grand style and we move into the New Year, below are the thoughts of FAMSA Executives (2016/2017 Administration) to you for the year;

“Let’s raise our toast to yesterday’s achievements and tomorrow’s brighter future. Happy New Year FAMSAites”.

Njang M. Emmanuel,
FAMSA President

 

“As we come to the end of this year 2016, I want to appreciate everyone that participated or contributed in one way or the other to achieve the goal of “our FAMSA” towards the improvement of health in Africa. I pray that we all will experience a fruitful 2017 as we continue to work hard and work together to make our continent a healthy place. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year”.

ONAGA, Zita Ugochukwu,
Administrator, FAMSA Administrator

 

“We can boldly say it’s been a fruitful and blessed year; one which we have created a massive awareness, had more schools involved in FAMSA’s activities and hosted a regional meeting In the University of Capecoast, Ghana. I can say we have found and implemented purpose.

We are the voice of Africa; we are the future of Africa’s health system, we are the next and most important indication of how the health system would look like in years to come. The 31st  FAMSA General Assembly is to hold in March, 2017 at the Niger Delta University, Bayelsa State, Nigeria and it promises to be explosive. Let’s come around and let’s meet each other. Myself and my team wishes you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year ahead”.

Dr. Oyegbile Olajide
West Africa Regional Coordinator, FAMSA

 

As 2016 comes to an end, let’s take some time out to reflect on what an awesome or not so awesome year it was. Let’s make big changes based on these reflections and let’s hope for a beautiful 2017. To every FAMSAite out there, let’s keep on breaking boundaries and let’s be the change we want in Africa. Here’s to greater things in the year 2017! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year beautiful people!

OMIYE, Jesutofunmi Adesanmi
Director of Media Externa, FAMSA

 

2016 has come and gone, we forge ahead more powerfully into 2017 to do more exploit. On behalf of all Members of the Standing Committee of Publications (SCOPUB), Director of External Media (Mr. Omiye Jesutofunmi), all Regional Coordinators, all FAMSA Board Executives and other Standing Committees… We want to wish you the best of the year to come and we hope to see and have more of you in our various FAMSA activities for the year. And don’t forget to visit and join our different social media pages.

Compiled by
Agoyi M. Oluwakemisola
Chairperson, SCOPUB – FAMSA

Email: oluwakemisolaagoyi@gmail.com
Email: famsaarchives@gmail.com
Website: famsanet.org
Twitter: @famsa2
Instagram: Official_FAMSA
Facebook: Federation of African Medical students’ Associations (FAMSA)

 

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FAMSA ANTIBIOTICS AWARENESS WEEK REPORT

It was an exciting, educative fun-filled one week period where medical students all across Africa, under the umbrella of the Federation of African Medical Students Associations (FAMSA) raised their voices to create awareness on antibiotic resistance.

The sensitization campaign took place from Monday 14th – Sunday 20th November 2016; With theme ‘Stop antibiotics misuse’, FAMSA organized both online and offline activities to commemorate this event.

Some of which were;

  • Dissemination of electronic banners and billboards carrying messages on antibiotic resistance via all social media platforms using the hash tag ‘‘stop antibiotic misuse’
  • Pictures of medical students and other people from all walks of life carrying a message on antibiotic resistance.
  • In collaboration with a non-governmental organization (Dr. SEA initiative) we made a video in very simple language educating the general public on causes, consequences of antibiotic resistance as well as preventive measures to avoid this global upcoming crisis
  • Various medical student associations organized debates in their various institutions in the topic ‘Should antibiotics be used as an over-the counter drug’ and so much more.

About 1000 people took part in the campaign and it was a huge success. However, there is still a lot to be done with regards to the subject matter.

Antibiotics resistance is real so…… STOP ANTIBIOTIC MISUSE!!!

NJANG M. EMMANUEL
(FAMSA PRESIDENT)

 

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WORLD ANTIBIOTICS AWARENESS WEEK

World’s ANTIBIOTICS AWARENESS WEEK (Nov 14 – 20): Stop Antibiotics Misuse

INTRODUCTION

Antibiotics have transformed medicine and saved millions of lives. This wonderful invention – which started with the discovery of penicillin by Sir Alexander Fleming in 1928 – has made many successful surgeries possible and put Infections under control. But the tragedy is; antibiotics are about to be rendered useless because of me and you – our adamant, inconsistent nature, our misappropriate use of antibiotics.

Benefits of antibiotics

Apart from saving people’s lives, antibiotics have also played crucial role in achieving major advances in medicine and surgery such as successfully preventing and treating infections in individuals receiving chemotherapy and people with acute and chronic diseases.

People in the US were expected to live for only 56.4years old in 1920, now however the US average life span is 80 years. Antibiotics have helped to extend expected life spans by changing the outcome of infections in general. It has done the same in developing countries like Nigeria where sanitation is still poor and has drastically decreased morbidity and mortality caused by food borne and poverty related infections.

Our Present situation

Bacteria resistance has evolved over the years, from penicillin resistance to methicillin resistance and now vancomycin resistance, the newer strains of the resistant bacteria are getting stronger and stronger as the new drugs being developed against them are getting stronger and stronger.

Penicillin resistant bacteria à Methicillin Resistance Staph. Aureus (MRSA) à Vancomycin Resistant Strains.

Since all they do is, seek refuge in our blood and make friends with these drugs we create to terminate them. Our usual practice of just taking the first and second dose of antibiotics prescribed to us, when we start seeing the physical manifestation of the drugs such as yellow coloured, drug smelling urine or our boil shrinking, is killing. As we only give room to the bacteria left from the good concentration urinated out of our body system to adapt to the lower toxicity of the drugs in our body.

The most alarming and hurtful part is that, the learned ones and medical oriented individuals partake in these practice even medical students. And we go about clinical coats, screaming in the market place, stop drug abuse, stop drug abuse!! This we do mostly under the umbrella of an association or a philanthropic group, after which we return to our various homes and continue the bad practice. Even among our relatives, we find this misuse and we do nothing to stop it. But then, it was discovered that this predicament is worldwide which brings us to the Question what is “misuse”? Or for the sake of appropriateness¸ “what are the causes of our antibiotic resistance crises”?

Overuse

Overuse of drugs started way back, few years after penicillin – the first antibiotics –was invented, then, Sir Alexander Fleming raised an alarm but no one listened to him. An era of drug overuse clearly drives the evolution of drug resistance. The Bacteria, like every other living thing, inherit genes from their “parents”, get modified overtime and they build resistance to these drugs.

Despite warnings, antibiotics are overprescribed worldwide and this is worsened by the fact that Antibiotics are sold in many countries unregulated as OTC (Over The Counter drugs) without proper prescription. So people can freely buy and use any form of antibiotics based on discretion. And when even prescribed, studies have shown that treatment indication – choice of agent, duration of antibiotic therapy – Is incorrect in 30% to 50% of cases. In Addition, 30% to 60% of the antibiotics prescribed in intensive care units have been found to be unnecessary, inappropriate or suboptimal.

Another way of overuse is when we use them extensively for livestock. Treating livestock with antimicrobials is said to improve the overall health of the animals, producing larger yields and a higher quality the products. The antibiotics used in livestock are consumed by humans when they consume food and resistance starts to set in. All these are not so much under control, I mean, patients have to be treated and livestock have to be bred. But then, the next form of misuse which is underuse/incomplete doses and self-overuse is what is most important here in our environment today.

Incomplete doses/Under use

This is so rampart, there wouldn’t be need to emphasize. Drugs are supposed to be used adequately, not too much and too little. When we don’t complete our doses, and the blood concentration supposed to cause adequate therapeutic effect isn’t optimal, only some of the bacteria get eliminated while the others supposed to be susceptible start to build up resistance against the drug and then produce offspring that are also resistant.

And what makes the case worse is the Lack of new drug development by the pharmaceutical industries due to reduced economy incentives and challenging regulatory requirements and approval.

Consequences of Antibiotics Misuse

Antibiotics resistant infections are already widely spread across the globe. Many public health organizations have described the rapid emergency of resistant bacteria as a crisis or nightmare scenario that could have catastrophic consequences. CDC, WHO institute of medicine, federal interagency task forces have declared resistant bacteria as a substantial treat to the entire globe.

Here is fact; MRSAs kills more American each year than HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, emphysema and homicide put together. Now, Vancomycin which is supposed to be our refuge drug is no longer as effective because Vancomycin resistant enterococci and so many other additional pathogens are developing resistance to many common antibiotics.

In conclusion, rapidly emerging resistance bacteria threaten the extraordinary health benefits that have been achieved with antibiotics in time past. This crisis is global, reflecting the underuse and overuse of these drugs and the lack of development of new antibiotic agents by pharmaceutical companies to address the challenge. Now, to achieve a non-resistant environment for pathogens, we need to think on the following:

What should be done and is within our power to avoid this killing resistance?

Should antibiotics no longer be sold OTC? OR Should we keep campaigning to people to stop the misuse?

OR

You can drop your own ideas on our social media (twitter) using the #StopAntibioticMisuse

Follow us on twitter @FAMSA2, Facebook “FAMSA”, Instagram “Official_Famsa” or visit our website www.famsanet.org

Reference:

Karolinska Institute Investidators in Sweeden
CDC, World Health Organisation

 

Hameed Yussuf,
General Secretary,
Standing Committee on Publication (SCOPUB-FAMSA 2016/2017)
ahameedyusuf@gmail.com

 

Agoyi Mary Oluwakemisola,
Chairman, Standing Committee on Publication (FAMSA 2016/2017),
Oluwakemisolaagoyi@gmail.com
@FAMSA2

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FAMSA ANTIBIOTICS AWARENESS WEEK- ABC’s of Antibiotic Resistance

ABC’s of Antibiotic Resistance

I vividly remember being well beaten for being a destructive and stubborn kid. And the more I was beaten, the less I felt the pains till it reached the moment I felt no pains but irritations when I was beaten. I guess my pain receptors were dead. I am sure present day bacteria would tell a similar story in regards to antibiotics for they have been exposed to all sorts and grown immune to them rendering treatment ineffective.

Antibiotic is the medical term to describe drugs used in treating diseases caused by bacteria. They play a very important role in reducing the presence and burden of diseases such as pneumonia, cholera, TB and sexually transmittable diseases like gonorrhea (call them communicable diseases) which are very much alive and active in our communities. With such as crisis like antibiotic resistance, treating people with HIV/AIDS would be difficult.

We cannot blame the bacteria for being resistant to antibiotics because adaptability is a natural process for them. The bulk of the blame falls on you and maybe me. Our attitude and habits towards drugs are contributing factors: the use of fake and counterfeit medicines from road side doctors and mobile pharmacies; poor prescription for health workers; and above all, stubbornness on your part to comply with treatment. Yes you! How often do you finish your treatment, especially for typhoid?

We never like to take blames no matter how obvious it might be, so we push it onto some other person. Thank goodness we have the government who would always carry the blame. We could blame it on government for the weak medical regulatory capacity and the circulation of substandard (counterfeit) drugs, or the weak laboratory capacity on antibiotic testing and reporting and lack of essential reagents and consumables. We could also blame government for the limited quality assurance and control; protocol or lack of antibiotic surveillance strategies. But you know if we did just the simple things like complying with treatment, we would not be facing most of these challenges right?

And hey, antibiotic resistant is NOT an African issue, it is thriving in all nations and communities just like ours. And did you also know that the famous gonorrhea would soon become resistant to all lines of treatment rendering it untreatable. Here is what would happen if gonorrhea is untreatable:

  • Increased rates of infertility,
  • Increased rates of pregnancy complications including miscarriages,
  • Blindness of new births
  • And you would hate sex and curse God for creating it.

But wait a moment, what is Antibiotic Resistance? Antibiotic resistance is the household name for Antimicrobial resistance which is resistance of microorganisms like; bacteria, fungi, viruses and malaria parasites to a drug that used to effective infections caused by these microorganisms. Antibiotic resistance is specific to bacteria while antimicrobial resistance covers all microorganisms including bacteria. Antimicrobial resistance kills people and slows the control and eradication of infectious diseases like malaria, syphilis, yellow fever and cholera without leaving out the famous gonorrhea. When infections become difficult to treat, new medications are introduced marking cost of treatment very expensive for many to afford and they end up dying.

This whole thing of antibiotic resistance is more complex than we think it is. It is influenced by many interconnected factors and as such, single isolated interventions have very little impact. Coordinated action is needed to minimize emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance.

According to the WHO, all parties (individuals, health workers and pharmacies, government and pharmaceutical industries) can help in reducing antibiotic resistance and here is how;

  • Individuals;
    1. Wash our hands and avoid close contact with sick people to prevent bacterial and viral transmissions.
    2. Get vaccinated and keep vaccinated up to date.
    3. Using antimicrobial drugs only when prescribed by a certified health professional
    4. Complete the full treatment course
    5. Never share antimicrobial drugs with others or use leftover prescriptions.
  • Health workers and pharmacists can help by;
    1. Enhancing infection prevention and control in hospitals and clinics.
    2. Only prescribing and dispensing antibiotics which are truly needed,
    3. Prescribing and dispensing the right antimicrobial drugs to treat the illness.
  • Government can help by
    1. Improving monitoring around the extent and cause of resistance.
    2. Strengthening infection control and prevention.
    3. Promoting and regulating appropriate use of medicines.
    4. Making information widely available on the impact of antimicrobial resistance and how the public and health professionals can play their part.
    5. Recognizing and rewarding innovation and development of new treatment options and other tools.
  • Scientists and pharmaceutical industry can help by
    1. Fostering innovation, research and development of new vaccines, diagnostic tools and treatment options.

So now you have completed a 60 hours medical/pharmaceutical course in just 5 minutes. And with such knowledge we are counting on you to help conquer bacteria through the proper use of antibiotics.

You don’t want to go without watching this interesting video by Dr Susan Enjema on Antibiotics Resistance.

Nkwain Carlson.
nkwaincarlson.blogspot.com.ng

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FAMSA BULLETIN

Click here to download the FAMSA Bulletin Issue No. 001FAMSA BULLETIN

ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE; Can we stop it before it stops us?

Antibiotics, once considered one of the best discoveries of the 20th century have now become a problem with the rise of antibiotic resistance in our health care facilities and even in the community. With this we have studied that effective use of any antibiotic is compromised by the possibility of developing resistance to the active component of the drug.

According to C. Lee Ventola and colleagues, main causes of antibiotic resistance are overuse, inappropriate prescribing, extensive agricultural use, unavailability of newer antibiotics and poor regulatory barriers. The CDC reports that every year 2 million people in the US acquire serious infections with bacteria that are resistant to one or more

Everyone is to blame. The government, the health personnel and even the patient. If the government permits antibiotics to be sold over the counter in all pharmacies, we cannot expect change. If Doctors give wrong prescriptions in terms of dosages or drug choices, what do we expect? And patients who choose to skip a dose of their medication rather than skipping alcohol at an event and not forgetting those who have mini-pharmacies in their bags for ‘rainy days’, what do we expect?

The problem of antibiotic resistance may increase exponentially if nothing is done within 20 years, resistant strains of germs are transmitted from one person to another and the death rates keep increasing, cost of preventing and treating infections has increased drastically, more and more money goes to research for development of newer and safer antibiotics.

Now we must understand that the fight against antibiotic resistance must not be left to doctors alone.

Linonge E. Christie
7th year –Medicine
Faculty of Health Sciences
University of Buea, Cameroon.

 

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WEST AFRICA REGIONAL MEETING OF FAMSA AT UNIVERSITY OF CAPE COAST, GHANA

WEST AFRICA REGIONAL MEETING OF THE FEDERATION OF AFRICAN MEDICAL STUDENTS’ ASSOCIATIONS (FAMSA)

UNIVERSITY OF CAPE COAST, GHANA

OCTOBER 5 to 9

The program officially kick started on Wednesday the 5th of October with the arrival of delegates and registration of delegates, not much could be done due to the time of arrival, but University Of Cape Coast medical student association gave a wonderful reception, with excellent accommodation and feeding (pictures included below), and an Sexually Transmitted Infection Lecture took place which was wow!!!

As we go on everything was perfect from the accommodation, electricity, mosquito free environment, we advanced to other days with fun and academically filled programs, which includes the Famsa Orientations, free general screening of the Amamoma Community, the Sexual Right and Reproductive Health charge took place. Believe me, that was fun as several delegates kept pepetaing (only if you were around, can you understand) the ball, we also had an enlightment as regards the forth coming Nigerian Medical Students Association Female International Summit, we had the MSA presidents and Gen Sec Forum which was also graced by the President Ghana MSA Mr ERIC GYAN.

As if that was not enough, a football match took place with FAMSA delegates against  the host UCCMSA, with FAMSA DELEGATES winning the match by 1 goal to nill.

Friday came along as we went to BOTI FALLS and a Resort for for the excursion, it was a full day, pictures would indicate that below

On Saturday, it dawn on us all that the program was about coming to an end, like they say, all good things have an end, we had the caucus meeting, we had some deliberations and Identified the need for school to put into consideration making medical students available to attend more of such conferences and also supporting the students, the FAMSA ADMIN, ONAGA ZITA also gave a charge and expatiated on the functions of the FAMSA ADMIN which also included the rights of a FAMSITE.

The occasion was also graced by the FAMSA PRESIDENT. NJANG EMMANUEL who had nothing but good words to say and portrayed a leader that is committed to the root of all the running of FAMSA activities.

Schools that participated includes University Of Cape Coast, University for Development Sciences Tamale, Bowen University, Babcock Univerisity, Olabisis Onabanjo University, University Of Ibadan, University Of Lagos, Lagos State University, University Of Jos. Niger Delta University amidst others.

The West Africa Regional Excos lead By the West Africa Regional Coordinator Dr Olajide Oyegbile, the West Africa Regional Secretary General Dr Oyeleye Egunjobi, The West Africa Sponsorship Chairman Dr Ajibade Philip likewise the West Africa Regional Consultants and Liason Chairman Mr Abimbade Samuel and Mr Bakre Hamzat who did a wonderful work in making sure this was made possible with smiles on the face of FAMSITES, this could not have been possible without the support of the entire team which includes University For Development Sciences and their entire Executives, Also the Executives of University Of Capecoast led by the President Mr EKUBAN, Samuel, the West African Regional Executives, Mr Ope Adewale, Mr Oluwajuyigbe Mayowa, Mr Erinfolami Adeife, Mr Usigbe Victor, Mr Ola Sule, Miss sade olanubi, Mr Folorunso Goke.

 

Like they say pictures don’t lie, take a look as we plan and anticipate the next West Africa Regional Meeting early next year in Nigeria.

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OCCUPATIONAL HAZARDS IN OUR HEALTH SECTOR 2

  • Introduction

It is awry that the health sector, whose main objective is to the take care of the sick and stand against anything that proves detrimental to the wellbeing of the society, is itself a “hazard-filled” field for the workers it employs. The goals of the health sector should include “to foster a safe healthy work environment” and to protect it workers, employers, customers, and many others who might be affected by the workplace environment.

 

  • Hazards and Challenges of the health sector.

Challenges arise in pursuing protections for the healthcare workers in the health sector, in view of this our highly complex and hazardous work environment. Predilection exists within the health sector and health community itself concurs to limit both the awareness of hazards that do exist and the approaches used to secure a safe job.

There are millions of workers under the banner headline of the health sector. These workers represent different occupations under the sector that expose them to a variety of hazards.

In addition to the medical staff, large healthcare facilities are embraced by a wide variety of trades that have health and safety hazards associated with them.  These include medical equipment, housekeeping, mechanical maintenance, food service, laundry and administrative staff.

For example, doctors confront such potential hazards as exposure to infectious diseases and toxic substances, radiation exposure and stress, the one we hardly take cognizance of.

 

Why is hazard awareness lacking?

The health sector is often imagined by the public to be clean and free of hazards.

  • Hazard classes

Physical hazard

This is caused by physical agents or physical forms of energy

Examples: Radiation, lasers, noise, extreme temperature, electrical energy

Effects: Burns, cancer, physical and psychological trauma

Precautions:

– Wearing proper personal protective equipment, including hearing protection where necessary.

– Not entering restricted radiation areas, unless trained and authorized.

 

Chemical hazard

This is caused by chemical substances that potentially toxic, including medications, solutions and gases.

Examples: Hazardous anticancer drugs, sterilants, disinfectants, hormones, antineoplastic, anesthetic gases, latex gloves, aerosolized medications and hazardous waste.

Effects: Irritation, asthma, allergy, dermatitis, cancer, reproductive effects e.g. spontaneous abortion

Precautions:

– Wear proper personal protective equipment.

– Dispose of hazardous agents in proper containers.

– Avoid recapping needles.

– Use tools to apply or handle hazardous agents.

 

Biological hazard

This is caused by infectious agents, such as bacteria, fungi, virus or parasites, which may be transmitted through air, needle-stick injuries or body contact

Examples: Influenza, hepatitis B and C, HIV

Health effects: HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis, hepatitis, liver damage and other diseases

 

Mechanical hazard

This is caused by factors in the work environment that cause musculoskeletal injuries, strain, discomfort, bad postures

Examples: Lifting and moving patients, tripping or slipping and fall hazards

Health effects: Musculoskeletal disorders, strain injury, fracture, wound, upper and lower extremity injuries

Precautions:

– Provide assist devices for lifting.

– Encourage team lifts or start a no-lift program.

Psychological hazard

This can be caused by stressful work conditions, threats of physical violence, work organization, shift work

Examples: Unsafe staffing, workplace threats, bullying, physical violence

Health effects: Psychological stress, physical injury

Precautions:

– Regular staff meetings to share feelings and innovative ideas.

– Reasonable shift schedules.

– Organized and efficient work functions and environment.

– Exercises.

Conclusion

The health care workforce is embraced daily with harm from exposure to agents encountered in this unique and complex workplace. Understanding the real concept of occupational hazards in our Health sector and taking the precautions and safety measures into practice would be of huge gain both to the employers and the employees.

We implore the health sector to do anything within its reach to protect and retain the vital health workforce, which is a fundamental pillar of all health systems.

 

ARTICLE BY: AJEKIIGBE VICTOR OLUWATOMIWA

SCHOOL: LADOKE AKINTOLA UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY, OGBOMOSHO, OYO STATE, NIGERIA.

CONTACT: Victorajekiigbe@gmail.com   +2347066514358

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OCCUPATIONAL HAZARDS IN OUR HEALTH SECTOR 1

OCCUPATIONAL HAZARDS IN OUR HEALTH SECTOR

It is agreed by all that the current state of African health systems leave much to be desired. African health systems, as a whole, are crippled right from public health education and other primary prevention methods through to tertiary prevention methods. As a result of the consistent lack of generational thinkers and planners; as a result of political leaders lacking the basic sense of priority to invest more resources is their nation’s state of health, we perish needlessly. “Health is the primary duty of life”, as eloquently relayed in Lady Bracknell’s monologue by Oscar Wilde in ‘The importance of being earnest”. Health is a priority; even more so is the health of the health provider. It is also worth noting also that we have so few of such persons.

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