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WHY CHILDREN SHOULD NOT WATCH TV WHILE EATING —DIETICIAN

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A Registered Dietician-Nutritionist, Olusola Malomo, has urged parents not to allow their children, especially those under the age of five years to watch television whenever they are eating food, warning that it causes a distraction.

The dietician stated that watching television while eating is a bad habit that kids should not be allowed to develop, noting that it could lead to poor food intake.

According to him, poor food intake can affect children’s growth and development aside from increasing the risk of malnutrition.

Malomo, who is an Assistant Chief Dietician at the Ajeromi General Hospital, Lagos, disclosed this in an exclusive interview with PUNCH HealthWise.

The dietician noted that not only does television cause distraction to children whenever they are having their meal but also makes them eat little.

He explained, “Television and toys are distractions to children. Some children will prefer to play with toys rather than to eat.

“Some will prefer to watch cartoons rather than to eat and feeding needs concentration for them to finish their food. 

“These are some of the things we have observed particularly with under-five feeding. Children shouldn’t grow up eating in front of the television, even adults should avoid it. We call it behavioural modification.

“Anytime there is a feeding session, children should know that meal time is meal time and should respect it and eat. They should grow up with that habit.”

According to him, adequate nutrition goes beyond the provision of food, stressing that it has to do with the qualitative adequacy of the food in terms of quality, quantity, and availability of that food that is eaten in the body.

“The recommendation is to let the feeding time be feeding time and let every distraction be off so that after their meal, they can come back to watch the television.

“When feeding children, any distraction should be kept away from them. Television, toys, and anything that can distract their attention from feeding should be kept away from them because more children will have a preference for these toys and television over their meals at that particular point.

“And that will reduce the quantity or quality of food that will be available to them for that meal. They may eat less or may not even be interested in the food and this can lead to malnutrition”, he said.

According to the World Health Organisation, the first two years of a child’s life are particularly important, as optimal nutrition during this period lowers morbidity and mortality, reduces the risk of chronic disease, and fosters better development overall.

Malomo also told our correspondent that the environment where children are fed was equally important including the colour of the plates and spoons used to feed them.

Speaking further on this, the dietician said colourful plates stimulate babies to eat.

He stated, “Children are used to colours and bright colours attract and excite them.

“For a child that is not taking interest in food, even that plate alone as an item like a toy could make the child eat.

“Plates with bright colours should be used to feed children and they should also have more than one plate. 

“Children under-five should have a variety of colourful plates even spoons in their nutrition. They have a way of stimulating them to be eager to eat.”

Advising parents to feed their children responsively the dietician said, “When the food is prepared, the quantity that gets to the child at the end of the day, matters most.

“Often, some children may be picky eaters, for example, they don’t want to eat. In this case, care and nurture come into play. We call it responsive feeding.”

The WHO’s guiding principles for appropriate complementary feeding also recommended that mothers should feed their under-five babies responsively.

“Infant and young child feeding is a key area to improve child survival and promote healthy growth and development. Practise responsive feeding (for example, feed infants directly and assist older children).

“Feed slowly and patiently, encourage them to eat but do not force them, talk to the child and maintain eye contact); practise good hygiene and proper food handling,” the WHO recommended.

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160,000 CHILDREN ACQUIRED HIV IN 2021 – WHO

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Photos: persecondnews.com

…a child dies from AIDS-related causes every five minutes

The World Health Organisation said 160,000 children acquired the Human Immunodeficiency Virus in 2021.

The WHO also said a child dies from AIDS-related causes every five minutes globally.

The global health body in a press statement made available to our correspondent noted that ministers and representatives from twelve African countries have committed themselves, and laid out their plans, to end AIDS in children by 2030.

“Currently, around the world, a child dies from AIDS-related causes every five minutes.

“Only half (52 per cent) of children living with HIV are on life-saving treatment, far behind adults of whom three quarters (76 per cent) are receiving antiretrovirals.

“In 2021, 160,000 children newly acquired HIV.

“Children accounted for 15 per cent of all AIDS-related deaths, despite the fact that only four per cent of the total number of people living with HIV are children,” the statement read in part.

The UN body said twelve countries with high HIV burdens -Nigeria, Angola, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, the United Republic of Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, have joined the alliance to ensure that the 2030 target is met.

The Director-General of the WHO, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, said the organisation is committed to leaving no children in need of HIV treatment behind.

Dr Ghebreyesus said “More than 40 years since AIDS first emerged, we have come a long way in preventing infections among children and increasing access to treatment, but progress has stalled.

“The Global Alliance to End AIDS in Children is a much-needed initiative to reinvigorate progress. WHO is committed to supporting countries with the technical leadership and policy implementation to realise our shared vision of ending AIDS in children by 2030.”

Also, the Executive Director of UNAIDS, Winnie Byanyima said “An inequality that breaks my heart is that against children living with HIV, and leaders today have set out their commitment to the determined action needed to put it right. As the leaders noted, with the science that we have today, no baby needs to be born with HIV or get infected during breastfeeding, and no child living with HIV needs to be without treatment. The leaders were clear: they will close the treatment gap for children to save children’s lives.”

The Executive Director of The Global Fund, Peter Sands said, “In 2023, no child should be born with HIV, and no child should die from an AIDS-related illness.

“Let’s seize this opportunity to work in partnership to make sure the action plans endorsed today are translated into concrete steps and implemented at scale.

“Together, led by communities most affected by HIV, we know we can achieve remarkable results.”

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JAPA: 2,000 DOCTORS LEFT NIGERIA 2022, SAYS NARD

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The President of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors, Dr Orji Innocent, raised the alarm over the huge number of members of the association moving out of the country for greener pastures, saying that the association has lost over 2,000 members in the last two years.

He said if the situation is not tackled, it may degenerate to a point where Nigerians would wake up one day and discover there are no more doctors in the hospitals.

Innocent raised the concern on Saturday while fielding questions from journalists after the presentation of a communiqué issued at the end of the association’s conference in Uyo.

He said a survey conducted in December revealed that over 2,000 members left for greener pastures.

Meanwhile, in the communiqué, the association called for increased budgetary funding of the healthcare sector in the country, to the tune of 15 per cent annual budgetary allocation to improve the quality of healthcare delivery.

The communiqué read in part, “The National Executive Council welcomes the committee set up by the Federal Government to mitigate the brain drain in the health sector.

“The association urges a speedy conclusion of the task and immediate implementation of their recommendations to improve healthcare service delivery and reduce the emigration of skilled healthcare workers from the country.

“NEC calls for increased funding of the healthcare sector in the country, to the tune of 15 per cent annual budgetary allocation in line with the 2001 Abuja Declaration for healthcare financing in Africa and global best practices as well as the digitalisation of the healthcare services to improve the quality of healthcare delivery to Nigerian citizens.”

The President said NEC urged the Chief Medical Directors of tertiary hospitals in the country to take responsibility for security in their various hospitals as NARD would no longer continue to watch her members being assaulted by staff members, patients, relatives or security operatives.

He said the association called on the Inspector General of Police to investigate and arrest the perpetrators of the illegal shooting of one of its members in Delta and to ensure they are adequately punished to serve as a deterrent to others.

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WHY STAPHYLOCOCCUS IS BECOMING RESISTANT TO ANTIBIOTICS –PHYSICIAN

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The National Coordinator, National Tuberculosis, Leprosy and Buruli Ulcer Control Programme, Dr. Chukwuma Anyaike, has said that while staphylococcus aureus, a bacteria that can cause infection in human beings is found on human skin, it can also be transmitted through sexual acts.

The public health physician said although staphylococcus is sometimes misdiagnosed it can cause infection when it gets to the wrong place including the private parts of humans.

According to him, staphylococcus is a stubborn organism that has in recent times become resistant to common antibiotics.

He stressed that staphylococcus is not supposed to be found in the vagina or urethra of a man, noting that when it finds its way into those places it will not only cause infection but can also be transmitted during sexual acts.

There has been a lot of misunderstanding about the transmission of Staphylococcus with some people arguing that the bacteria cannot be transmitted sexually.

But speaking in an exclusive interview with PUNCH HealthWise, Anyaike noted that people can get staphylococcus in the hospital through contaminated objects, adding that everybody is at risk of Staphylococcus.

The NTBLCP boss urged Nigerians to improve their hygiene to prevent Staphylococcus, adding that citizens should also avoid having multiple sex partners.

Giving reasons why staphylococcus is sexually transmitted, the public health expert explained, “Staphylococcus is not supposed to be in the vagina or urinary tract. So, once it enters there, it is in the wrong place and can be sexually transmitted just like other organisms like Ecoli.

Ecoli is not supposed to be in the vagina or the male private part. If staphylococcus is in the wrong place, it will start growing and then gives symptoms that will make you very uncomfortable.

 “If you are a woman and you have staphylococcus in your vagina or thereabout, ordinarily, your body may react by discharging or by itching because the bacteria is in the wrong place or you will be having a burning sensation.

“So, what do we mean by sexually transmitted? Because it has entered the wrong place and if you have sex with a man, the man will get infected and if the man has sex with another woman and introduces it to her, then the infection will continue to spread. That is why it is sexually transmitted.”

Continuing, he said “A lot of things can be sexually transmitted when an organism is in the wrong place.

“Sexually transmitted is basically a confirmation of the channel through which an infection has spread. When you carry an organism into another place that is not supposed to be through sexual acts, it becomes sexually transmitted.

“So, staphylococcus can be sexually transmitted. It is not a normal organism in the vagina. You can see it on the skin. It is also a normal contaminant in the laboratory. Even during foreplay, staphylococcus can be introduced into the vagina. So, your hygiene must be high and you must be decent and clean.

“Ordinarily, staphylococcus is not supposed to be found in the vagina of a woman and the urethra of a man because it is in the wrong place and if it is in the wrong place it can come up with itching, and a burning sensation.”

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