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Pregnancy is achievable in women with lupus- Experts

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Pregnancy is achievable in women with lupus- Experts

Medical experts in Lagos on Friday said pregnancy was achievable in women with lupus, a chronic, auto-immune disease that affects more women than men.

This was learned, at a panel discussion at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), in recognition of the 5th annual World Lupus Day celebration, hosted by The Labalaba Foundation, an NGO.

It was in collaboration with the Nigerian Society of Rheumatology and the Rheumatology clinics of LUTH and LASUTH.

The panel session, titled “Sexual Health in Lupus”, featured Dr Joseph Olamijulo, a consultant gynecologist at LUTH, who said that lupus was predominantly common in women.

Olamijulo noted that women in their reproductive years suffered more from lupus.

If a patient has lupus, the patient’s risk is higher for other health problems that are common in women, such as heart disease and osteoporosis.

The consultant gynecologist said that pregnancy was achievable in lupus but it was a high-risk pregnancy.

He said that health should be optimised and such patients should be assigned to a specialist and booked for antenatal clinic as soon as possible.

He said that babies born to women with lupus would not necessarily have the illness because it was not genetic.

Also, a Senior Registrar in Rheumatology, Dr Etse Igebu on the panel, also said that lupus affected women in their reproductive years between 25 to 45 years.

She said that the next question that came to the mind of such women was the possibility of getting married.

She said that women also complained of vaginal dryness and pain during sexual intercourse while some of them were depressed and others lost their self-esteem.

She said they could get married, those medical experts would always encourage them to use lubrication and take their medications accurately and build up their self-esteem.

She said that the mode of delivery for lupus patients could be by normal delivery or via a ceaseran operation.

“We support them the best way that we can.”

“We have patients that were diagnosed with lupus at the age of 13 and they are happily married.

“We have patients that were diagnosed with lupus at the age of 13 and they are happily married.

“Lupus does not curb sexual life and does not disturb being married,” she said.

Dr Kehinde Shodimu, a consultant psychiatrist, at LUTH, said that lupus affected practically all organs of the body due to the systemic nature of the illness.

Shodimu said that patients were prone to depression and could have a bit of low self-esteem or confidence.

She said that psychiatrists do supportive psychotherapy for lupus patients who come in from time to time.

She said that due to stigma, a lot of people didn’t would not attend to hospitals.

The psychiatrist encouraged lupus patients to focus on positivity, self-love and lifestyle modification.

DA Deputy Director, Medical Social Services, LUTH, Titi Tade, said that lupus was more common than was earlier reported. “Studies have shown that it is found among women in Nigeria.”

“When a patient gets the first sign of lupus and has been treating malaria without being healed, they turn it to be a spiritual problem.”

Tade said that lupus was not a spiritual problem but a medical illness.

The deputy director said that most patients were diagnosed when married and the pains and feelings that came with it made sexual intercourse difficult.

She said that the support structure around the patients was very important but the focus mainly was always on the patients.

She said that a lot of education and awareness needed to be done with the spouse, children and in-laws, based on the approval of the patient.

Earlier, Dr Ayesha Akinkugbe, Consultant Dermatologist and Physician, LUTH, said the mission of The Labalaba Foundation was to create awareness about lupus and ensure that quality of life was improved for the patients.

Akinkugbe, who was also the co-founder of the NGO, said that the Foundation had existed for five years, advocating for lupus patients.

She said over the years, the NGO had done various activities which included the education of secondary school students, the community and supporting family members too.

“We also have various activities for the support around lupus patients, e.g lupus patients coming together for education, nutrition habits, lifestyle and counseling.

“We also have a frank talk with husbands and brothers, that is the men that are around lupus patients,” she said.

She said that lupus was a chronic condition but not a life-threatening one, hence the need for early diagnosis, intervention and treatment.

The co-founder said the NGO wanted to correct the narrative that it was a spiritual problem.

She said that it was a multi-systemic condition and that no two persons presenting would be the same but could be treated once diagnosed.

She said the major challenge facing the NGO was reaching out and creating awareness and advocating for better access to health for lupus patients.

“We also need partners who will join us in supporting and funding the various activities we are engaged with.

“We would love partnership from companies but more importantly, we need to move to the next level which is advocacy,” she said.

”That is where we can advocate for free treatment, reduced treatment and available treatment for lupus patients because it is expensive.”

The session featured Prof Olufemi Adelowo, who stated that lupus was a chronic disease with a normal life expectancy if diagnosed early and managed by Rheumatologists.

 

Health and Safety

Hoes and Guns: Police confirm 8 killed in farmers, herders clash in Borno

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Hoes and Guns: Police confirm 8 killed in farmers, herders clash in Borno

The Police in Borno said that eight persons, including children, lost their lives in a clash between farmers and herders over alleged land encroachment in Bayo Local Government Area of the state.

The Commissioner of Police, Abdu Umar confirmed the incident at a meeting with leaders of the farmer association and Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN), on Friday in Maiduguri.

He said the report indicated that violence erupted on Nov. 30, over alleged encroachment of farmlands and murder of a farmer by unidentified assailants in the area.

“Eight persons killed including children while 47 houses and six motorcycles were burnt,” he said.

He said the police had restored normalcy to the area and arrested some suspects in connection with the disturbances, adding that the state government had provided relief items to the affected persons.

“This is a source of concern to the government and security agencies, the meeting is aimed at providing lasting solutions to the problem.

“At the end, we shall come up with modalities to check the movement of wandering herders into the state, especially in areas that witnessed violence,” he said.

According to him, a committee will be set up to enhance surveillance and monitoring as well as promote peaceful coexistence between farmers and herders.

He said membership of the committee would comprise representatives of security agencies, farmers and herders associations.

In his remarks, Ahmadu Musa-Karube, Chairman of the MACBAN, called for proactive measures to address the root cause of the problem.

Musa-Karube said that lack of cattle routes and encroachment of farmlands were largely responsible for farmer/herder clashes in the state.

Also speaking, Hassan Musa, a farmer representative, advocated a ban on night animal grazing in the state.

He also called for closer collaboration between the leadership of the farmers and herders’ unions to address the problem.

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Health and Safety

OSUN: Angry youths set ablaze Iree Oba’s Palace, days after torching Akinrun’s 

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OSUN: Angry youths set ablaze Iree Oba’s Palace, days after torching Akinrun's 

Only a few days after the palace of Akinrun was torched in Osun State, the Palace of Aree of Iree in Boripe North Local Council Development Area of Osun, was on Thursday evening, also vandalised and similarly set on fire by angry youths in the town.

The palace was said to have been burnt by youths who were not pleased about the arrest of the Aogun of Iree, Chief Soliu Atoyebi, by security agents on Thursday morning.

It was attacked and burnt around 7.00 p.m, when the traditional ruler, Oba Ponle Ademola, was said to be out of the palace.

The incident led to the blockage of major roads leading to the town, while the aggrieved youths made burn fires on the roads.

Business owners in the town were said to immediately lock up their shops, while residents too locked themselves for safety measures.

The Osun Police Spokesperson, SP Yemisi Opalola, was not available for comments, as her phone was switched off.

The Maritime First learned that this was what the Osun Governor, Prince Ademola Adeleke had wanted to avoid, when he, on Monday, a day after his inauguration, issued an Executive Order, setting aside the appointment and enthronement of three traditional rulers, Aare of Iree; Akirun of Ikirun and Owa of Igbajo.

Consequently, the Palace of OWA of Igbajo has now been beefed up.

Adeleke also directed that the palaces of the three traditional rulers should be locked up, while security agents should take charge of the palaces to the prevent breakdown of law and order.

There had been palpable fear in Iree town following the appointment and approval of Prince Ponle Ademola as the Aree of Iree by the immediate past administration of Gboyega Oyetola.

Some ruling houses and groups in the town had rejected the selection of Ademola, alleging that he was imposed on the people by officials in the Oyetola’s administration.

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Health and Safety

ALARM: Kogi has 43,000 HIV carriers; Take Preventive Steps to avoid getting infected-  Commissioner

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ALARM: Kogi has 43,000 HIV carriers; Take Preventive Steps to avoid getting infected-  Commissioner

At least 43,373 people are living with HIV in Kogi, Commissioner for Health, Dr. Zakari Usman, said in Lokoja on Thursday.

Usman made the declaration at a news conference organised as part of activities marking the 2022 World AIDS Day.

The 2022 World Aids Day has: “’Equalise’’ as its theme.

Usman advised residents to disregard misconceptions that HIV had been eradicated.

The commissioner said also that it was advisable to take preventive steps not to get infected and when infected, to take management measures already provided by the government.

He assured that Kogi government would not relent in its effort at reducing HIV and AIDS to the barest minimum in the state.

“I assure that government will increase the availability of quality and sustainable services for HIV handling, testing, and prevention to reduce its negative impacts.

“Government will also encourage reform laws, policies and practices to tackle the stigma and exclusion faced by people living with HIV and AIDS

“Government will as well ensure the sharing of technology to enable equal access to HIV testing in communities.

“Getting tested for HIV is the only way to find out if one is infected as all people living with HIV are eligible for treatment,’’ the commissioner said.

Usman said World AIDS Day, celebrated every Dec. 1, gave opportunities to communities and stakeholders in the fight against HIV and AIDS to be united and advance the cause of reducing the scourge.

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