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Meningitis outbreak kills 20 Nigerian school students




By Francesca Hangeior

A meningitis outbreak has killed at least 20 boarding school students and infected hundreds more, the education commissioner in northeastern Yobe state said on Wednesday.

“We have recorded an outbreak of meningitis in six secondary schools in the state which led to the death of 20 students out of the 473 infected,” Mohammed Sani Idriss said.

The epicentre of the outbreak is the city of Potiskum and its Government Technical College has been worst hit, accounting for 17 of the deaths, Idriss said.

The schools are under medical surveillance with isolation centres and emergency care facilities, he said.

“The situation is under control because we have not recorded any new cases in the past two days while 370 of those hospitalised have recovered and been discharged,” Idriss added.

Meningitis is an infection of the lining around the brain and spinal cord, transmitted through respiratory droplets or throat secretions.

It has a high fatality rate and children are especially at risk.

Nigeria lies in the so-called “meningitis belt” of sub-Saharan Africa, stretching from Senegal in the west to Ethiopia in the east, where outbreaks of the disease are common.

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History-making Nigeria becomes 1st country to roll out new meningitis vaccine



Nigeria has become the first country to roll out a new meningitis vaccine (Men5CV) recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

According to WHO, this is especially important for countries like Nigeria where multiple serogroups are prevalent. The new vaccine uses the same technology as the meningitis A conjugate vaccine (MenAfriVac®), which wiped out meningococcal A epidemics in Nigeria.

The vaccine and emergency vaccination activities are funded by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which funds the global meningitis vaccine stockpile and supports lower-income countries with routine vaccination against meningitis.

WHO stated that the revolutionary new vaccine offers a powerful shield against the five major strains of the meningococcal bacteria (A, C, W, Y and X) in a single shot. All five strains cause meningitis and blood poisoning.

This, it noted, provides broader protection than the current vaccine used in much of Africa, which is only effective against the A strain.

The new vaccine is said to have the potential to significantly reduce meningitis cases and advance progress in defeating meningitis.

WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: “Meningitis is an old and deadly foe, but this new vaccine holds the potential to change the trajectory of the disease, preventing future outbreaks and saving many lives.

“Nigeria’s rollout brings us one step closer to our goal to eliminate meningitis by 2030″.

Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Muhammad Ali Pate said: “Northern Nigeria, particularly the states of Jigawa, Bauchi and Yobe were badly hit by the deadly outbreak of meningitis, and this vaccine provides health workers with a new tool to both stop this outbreak but also put the country on a path to elimination.

“We’ve done a lot of work preparing health workers and the health system for the rollout of this new vaccine. We got invaluable support from our populations despite this fasting period and from our community leaders especially the Emir of Gumel in Jigawa state who personally launched the vaccination campaign in the state.

We’ll be monitoring progress closely and hopefully expanding the immunization in the coming months and years to accelerate progress”.

This new multivalent conjugate vaccine was 13 years in the making and was based on a partnership between PATH and the Serum Institute of India.

Financing from the UK government’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office was critical to its development.

Nigeria is one of the 26 meningitis hyper-endemic countries of Africa, situated in the area known as the African Meningitis Belt. Last year, there was a 50% jump in annual meningitis cases reported across Africa.

In Nigeria, an outbreak of Neisseria meningitidis (meningococcus) serogroup C outbreak led to 1742 suspected meningitis cases, including 101 confirmed cases and 153 deaths in seven of 36 Nigerian states (Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Jigawa, Katsina, Yobe, Zamfara) between 1 October 2023 and 11 March 2024.

To quell the deadly outbreak, a vaccination campaign has been undertaken on 25–28 March 2024 to initially reach more than one million people aged 1-29 years.

Meningitis is a serious infection that leads to the inflammation of the membranes (meninges) that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord.

There are multiple causes of meningitis, including viral, bacterial, fungal and parasitic pathogens. Symptoms often include headache, fever and stiff neck.

Bacterial meningitis is the most serious, can also result in septicaemia (blood poisoning), and can seriously disable or kill within 24 hours those that contract it.

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D£aths recorded as Nigerian Govt confirms outbreak of strange disease



The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) has confirmed the outbreak of a disease of unknown origin in Sokoto state.

The director general of the agency, Dr Jide Idris, said so far, a total of 164 suspected cases have been identified in six (6) wards of Isa local government area in the following wards: Bargaja (22), Isa North (17), Isa South (98), Tozai (12), Tsabre (4), and Turba (11), adding that four deaths have been recorded amongst the suspected cases.

He said the agency was notified by the Sokoto State Ministry of Health on March 21, 2024, of reported cases of children presenting with symptoms which include abdominal distension due to rapid onset of fluids in the abdomen (ascites), fever, vomiting and weight loss from Isa LGA of Sokoto State.

He said, “Most of these cases are children aged 4 – 13 years, including some adults. The patients came from different wards and settlements across the LGA.”

Dr Idris said the NCDC deployed a National Rapid Response Team (NRRT) to work with the State Ministry of Health to further investigate and respond to this incident.

While saying that a similar incident was previously documented in 2023, also without a definitive diagnosis, he said

currently, two suspected cases are receiving care in Uthman Dan Fodio University Teaching Hospital (UDUTH) in Sokoto, and one case discharged on account of improved symptoms.

He said, “Four (4) other suspected cases are also on admission at the Isa General Hospital, while about 130 cases are also receiving care either within the Primary Healthcare Centres (PHC) or home care in the affected LGA.”

The NCDC director general said initial clinical assessment and investigations of the cases admitted at the teaching hospital ruled out an infectious origin of the event, necessitating the need to search for other causes, including heavy metal testing.

He said that results of the initial test for heavy metals for the index and first few suspected cases, revealed different blood levels of lead (Pb) and Chromium (Cr).

He further said that the results of test received yesterday showed high levels of lead in the blood of the affected cases, adding that other test were still being carried out to determine the disease.

He urged members of the affected and nearby communities to be vigilant and report anyone presenting with the stated symptoms to the nearest health facilities to them or call NCDC toll free line .

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10 sexual benefits of bananas for men and women



Explore the fascinating sexual benefits of bananas and how incorporating this delicious fruit into your diet can spice up your love life.

This fruit, however, also comes with some surprising benefits for your bedroom activity. This article delves into some benefits of bananas sexually for both men and women.

Benefits of bananas sexually for men
Men can benefit from dates sexually in the following ways;

Increased libido
For men who eat bananas, they get to enjoy higher testosterone levels as bananas are rich in vitamin B and potassium, which can help boost testosterone levels. Higher testosterone levels are associated with increased libido and sexual desire in men.

Improved stamina
Bananas also help men sexually by improving their stamina. This fruit contains potassium which helps in maintaining muscle function and preventing cramps. This can translate to improved stamina during sexual activity, allowing men to last longer and enjoy more fulfilling experiences.

Enhanced blood flow
Eating bananas also helps men sexually as it promotes healthy blood flow. The presence of potassium and other nutrients in bananas is what is responsible for this. Improved circulation is beneficial for achieving and maintaining erections, leading to better sexual performance.

Stress reduction
Bananas contain tryptophan, an amino acid that helps in the production of serotonin, also known as the “feel-good” hormone. One of the roles of Serotonin is regulating mood, emotions, and overall well-being. When serotonin levels are balanced and optimal, it can have a positive impact on various aspects of mental and emotional health, including stress reduction. Stress is often linked to decreased libido and sexual desire which means the less stressed you are, the more you are likely to have better sex.

Prostate health
Bananas contain vitamin C which is important in supporting prostate health. This means bananas can be beneficial sexually as it helps in reducing the risk of prostate-related issues that can affect sexual wellness.

Benefits of bananas sexually for women
Women also benefit from bananas in the following ways;

Increased libido
Just like in men as mentioned earlier, the vitamin B and potassium content in bananas can help boost libido in women. In other words, eating bananas can help to enhance sexual desire and arousal in women.

Hormonal balance
Bananas contain vitamin B6, which plays a role in hormone regulation. Regular consumption of bananas can contribute to maintaining hormonal balance which is important for healthy sexual function.

Mood enhancement
Bananas are also helpful sexually for women as it helps to enhance their mood. The tryptophan and serotonin combination in bananas can elevate mood and reduce anxiety or stress, leading to a more relaxed and enjoyable sexual experience for women.

Energy boost
Most women need an energy boost for sexual activity and bananas are great at doing this trick. The natural sugars in bananas provide a quick energy boost, which can be beneficial before sexual activity, enhancing endurance and pleasure.

Heart health
Bananas are also beneficial for women sexually as it is low in sodium and high in potassium, which supports heart health. A healthy heart is essential for proper blood circulation, aiding in arousal and satisfaction during intimacy.

General health benefits of bananas
Aside from sexual benefits, bananas also come with other health benefits. Some of them include;

1.Rich in nutrients

Bananas contain essential nutrients such as potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, manganese, and dietary fibre which play roles in supporting overall health and well-being.

Supports heart and digestive health
The potassium and fibre content in bananas is beneficial for heart health. Potassium helps regulate blood pressure, while fibre promotes healthy cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of heart disease. Eating bananas can also promote regular bowel movements and prevent constipation.

3.Weight management

Despite their sweetness, bananas are low in calories and fat. The fibre content helps you feel full and satisfied, making them a satisfying snack that can aid in weight management when consumed as part of a balanced diet.

4.Supports kidney and bone health

Potassium is essential for kidney function, and bananas are a potassium-rich food. Eating bananas regularly can help support kidney health and reduce the risk of kidney stones. Bananas also contain nutrients like magnesium and manganese, which are important for bone health.

Boosts immune system
The vitamin C content in bananas helps boost the immune system and protect the body against infections and illnesses.

As you can see from the above, bananas seem to be the gift that keeps on giving as they play a huge role in a better sexual life and overall well-being. What other reason do you need to add this fruit to your diet?

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