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15,000 nurses left Nigeria in 2023, says Nursing council Registrar

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By Francesca Hangeior

The Registrar of the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria, Faruk Abubakar has said that over 15,000 nurses and midwives left the country in 2023 to seek greener pastures.

Abubakar said this while speaking on the controversy surrounding the nurses’ certificate verification on Tuesday’s edition of Channels Television’s Morning Brief.

The nurses staged protests at the NMCN’s offices in Abuja and Lagos, respectively to express their displeasure over what they described as an attempt to hinder their freedom to pursue career opportunities, asking the council to address nurses’ welfare, salary scale, shortage of staff, and other rights.

NMCN, in its revised guidelines, stated that applicants seeking verification of certificates from foreign nursing boards and councils must possess two years of post-qualification experience from the date of issuance of the permanent practising license.

Meanwhile, Abubakar said the number of nurses leaving the country is increasing every year.

He said, “42,000 nurses left the country in the last three years. Last year alone, it was over 15,000, the number is increasing year by year.”

When asked what the council is doing to protect and improve the welfare of the nurses, the Federal Ministry of Health is working towards improving the nurses’ working conditions, allowances, and salaries.

“The FMoH and the honourable Minister of State (for health) are working hard to ensure a very conducive working environment, with the provision of state-of-art equipment, and instruments, that will help them provide quality care for Nigerians.

“And I want to assure (you) that within a couple of months, a lot has been integrated and provided in 2024 that will improve the welfare of the nurses that we are talking about. When talking about the salary they are talking about, I think it’s a general phenomenon, and I believe it’s a general thing.

“There is a lot of progress that is going on to review the salary and nurses are also included in that policy. I think it’s a general phenomenon, all other sectors are also complaining, and the government is doing a lot,” he stated.

He added that the council is not responsible for the remuneration of nurses in the country.

“Our responsibility is to ensure that nurses are regulated to better education and practice for Nigerians. Those who are responsible are doing their best to ensure that the welfare is attended to.

“Additionally, the NANNM, which is the umbrella body (of nurses and midwives) is doing a lot. I know that there was a lot of discussion with the honourable Minister some weeks back, and all related to their welfare. The association that is responsible for that is doing its best to ensure that the welfare is improved drastically,” he said.

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10 Health Tips To Take Against Cholera

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) has issued a warning about the rising number of cholera cases across the country, particularly with the rainy season intensifying.

From January 1 to June 11, 2024, there have been 1,141 suspected and 65 confirmed cases of cholera, resulting in 30 deaths, across 30 states and 96 local government areas.

The top 10 states contributing to the cholera burden are Bayelsa, Zamfara, Abia, Cross River, Bauchi, Delta, Katsina, Imo, Nasarawa, and Lagos.

Cholera is a waterborne disease caused by ingesting contaminated food or water with Vibrio cholerae. Symptoms include acute diarrhoea, vomiting, and dehydration, which can lead to death if left untreated. However, most cases (about 80%) may show mild symptoms or no symptoms at all.

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Here are some steps you can take to protect yourself and your family from cholera:

1. *Drink safe water*: Stick to bottled or boiled water. Avoid tap water, wells, or untreated water sources.

2. *Wash hands frequently*: Use soap and clean water. Pay attention to hygiene, especially before eating and after using the bathroom.

3. *Use proper sanitation*: Ensure proper disposal of human waste and garbage.

4. *Avoid contaminated food*: Steer clear of raw or undercooked meat, seafood, and unpeeled fruits and veggies.

5. *Get vaccinated*: Consider getting vaccinated if you’re travelling to areas prone to cholera outbreaks.

6. *Keep surroundings clean*: Regularly disinfect surfaces and clean living spaces.

7. *Avoid close contact with infected individuals*: Maintain a safe distance from people showing cholera symptoms.

8. *Stay informed*: Stay up-to-date on local health alerts and cholera outbreaks in your area.

9. *Store food and water safely*: Keep food and water in clean, covered containers.

10. *Seek medical attention immediately if symptoms arise*: Diarrhea, vomiting, and dehydration can lead to severe complications if left untreated.

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5 Nigerian stews you can make without tomatoes

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In this article is a compiled list of five economical, locally sourced stews that can be made without tomatoes

With Nigerians staunch consumers of stew, tomatoes are a beloved staple, central to many traditional dishes.

But recently, the price of tomatoes have soared in the country with many Nigerians forced to search for alternative sauces to complement their daily meals.

In response, we’ve compiled a list of five economical, locally sourced stews and sauces that can be made without tomatoes:

Stews you can make without tomatoes

1. Garden Egg Sauce
A popular delicacy in southern Nigeria, Garden Egg Sauce serves as an excellent substitute for tomato stew. Essential ingredients include garden eggs (purple aubergine, white, or green), palm oil, smoked fish, ground pepper (chili or scotch bonnet), rinsed iru, onions, crayfish, and salt to taste. This versatile sauce pairs well with rice, yam, or plantain.

2. Pumpkin Leaf Sauce
Known locally as Ugu, pumpkin leaves are widely used in Nigeria. Pumpkin Leaf Sauce is not only flavorful but also healthy, consisting of a sauté of fluted pumpkin leaves and onions. Quick to prepare, this sauce requires chopped pumpkin leaves, seasoned beef or chicken (optional), meat stock, vegetable oil, chili pepper, onions, seasoning, and salt to taste.

3. Banga Stew
Known as Ofe Akwu, Banga Stew is a palm nut stew native to the Igbo tribe. Although extracting palm oil juice from palm nuts can be time-consuming, the resulting dish is deliciously rewarding. Ingredients needed are palm fruits or palm fruit concentrate, beef, dry fish, vegetables (scent leaves for Ofe Akwu or dried, crushed bitter leaves for Delta-style Banga soup), onions, crayfish, stock cubes, iru, salt, and chili pepper to taste.

4. Baobab Leaf Stew
A northern Nigerian delicacy, Miyan Kuka, or Baobab Leaf Stew, is a favorite among the Hausa tribe and is usually served with white rice. Key ingredients are beef, onions, dried fish, hot peppers (washed, soaked, and flaked), pounded kuka (baobab) leaves, dawadawa (fermented dried seeds of the African locust bean), yaji (suya seasoning), a pinch of potash, palm oil, seasoning cubes, and salt to taste.

5. Ofada Stew
Commonly called Ayamase, Ofada Stew is typically served with Ofada rice, a special local variety. However, it can also accompany regular white rice, yam, plantain, and even spaghetti. The simple ingredient list includes unripe habanero peppers, green tatashe or green bell peppers, locust bean seasoning (iru, ogiri okpei, or dawadawa), red palm oil, onions, crayfish, assorted meat, and fish.

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What to know about new sexually transmitted fungal infection reported in US

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Medical experts have raised the alarm about a highly contagious rare fungal strain — after a sexually transmitted ringworm was reported for the first time in the United States.

What is trichophyton mentagrophytes type VII (TMVII)?
According to the CDC, Trichophyton mentagrophytes type VII is a drug-resistant fungus that causes skin disease in animals and humans and is acquired through sexual contact.

A study published on Wednesday in JAMA Dermatology by doctors at NYU Langone Health in New York City revealed that the infection was detected in a man in his 30s who reportedly had sex with multiple men during a trip to England, Greece, and California.

Tests showed the man had the fungus and doctors prescribed him standard antifungal oral medications. The man took fluconazole for four weeks without improvement before moving on to terbinafine for six weeks and then itraconazole for eight weeks.

Doctors said the man did not contract other infections that could have worsened the problem. The sexually transmitted fungus is said to cause a rash on his penis, buttocks, and limbs.

In 2023, France reported 13 cases of the infection. It was also found to be common in men who have sex with men.

The infection which was described as “the latest in a group of severe skin infections” is difficult to treat and takes months to clear up even with treatment. The New York University’s (NYU) Langone Health revealed the new form of ringworm is “highly contagious”.

Experts warned that TMVII rashes differ from the classic circular expression of ringworm and may be confused for eczema, delaying proper treatment.

Avrom Caplan, the study’s lead author, emphasized the importance of doctors asking patients directly about rashes, especially in sexually active people.

“Healthcare providers should be aware that Trichophyton mentagrophytes type VII [TMVII] is the latest in a group of severe skin infections to have now reached the United States,” Caplan said.

“Since patients are often reluctant to discuss genital problems, physicians need to directly ask about rashes around the groin and buttocks, especially for those who are sexually active, have recently traveled abroad, and report itchy areas elsewhere on the body,” John Zampella, senior author, added.

Zampella said the infection “appears to respond to therapies such as terbinafine” despite the difficulty in treating it.

Terbinafine is an antifungal therapy that treats fungal infections.

Symptoms of TMVII include:
Intense itching
Inflamed circular patterns on the skin
Hair and nail issues
Causes athlete’s foot

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