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Vaccination suffers setbacks, five more countries halt the exercise

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Covid-19: Nigeria receives the first shipment of COVAX Vaccine

The Presidential Task Force – PTF on COVID-19 has said it is aware of the increasing concerns about the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, noting that Nigeria has suffered a major setback in the campaign to make citizens and residents take the jabs.

The PTF publicly denounced the advice from some prominent Nigerians who had been using the cases of side effects, especially in Europe to discourage their followers from accepting the vaccine.

The National Coordinator of the PTF, Dr. Sani Aliyu, who was represented by the National Incident Manager, Dr Muktar Muhammad, made this known at the press  conference  of  the task force on Monday.

Muhammad stated this as five more countries halted the administration of the vaccine because of the fear of the possible deadly side effects.

Read More: Flag off of Covid-19 vaccination: Uzodinma, Wife, others receive instant vaccination

Recall that The Federal Government had on Thursday said Nigeria would continue to administer the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine despite its suspension by eight European countries.

 On Thursday, eight  European countries – Denmark, Norway, Austria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Iceland, and Luxembourg  suspended all or part of its roll-out as a precaution while they investigated concerns relating to blood clots and other side effects caused by the vaccine.

The Federal Government two weeks ago received 3.94 million doses of the vaccine from the COVAX facility, an initiative co-led by the Vaccine Alliance, GAVI, and the World Health Organisation.

Read More: France Suspends Use Of AstraZeneca COVID Vaccine

The PTF warned Nigerians against capitalizing on the arrival of the vaccine in the country to flout the laid-down COVID-19 protocols, which include the use of face masks, observance of physical distancing at public events.

The task force also urged state governments to intensify efforts at enforcement of health regulations signed by the President “until we reach a certain point where we are comfortable with the level of immunity in the country.”

Muhammad said, “It is sad to note that some people of very high positions, particularly some political and religious leaders, have used this opportunity to provide misinformation to the public regarding the response and the efficacy of the vaccine.

 “We urge them to please contact the relevant experts in the field before they make these pronouncements. Any pronouncement by a responsible political or religious leader to a gathering should be based on science and facts, and not just what they feel at that moment.”

Read More: Buhari in the worst Nigeria president ever – Deji Adeyanju

Also on Monday, the Federal Government cautioned Nigerians to be wary of the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic as being experienced in some countries.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, stated these during a press conference of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.

Over 8000 persons have received the AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID – 19 vaccines, the Federal Government said on Monday.

The government also said it had not received any official report of serious adverse effects from any of those who have been vaccinated.

The Executive Director of National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, stated these during the press conference of the Presidential Task Force on COVID – 19.

“As part of the vaccine launch in the states that occurred last week, over 8,000 Nigerians have been administered the vaccine. We have not received any official report of serious adverse effects from any of those who have been vaccinated.”

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COVID-19

[BREAKING] COVID-19: FG returns curfew, restriction on mass gatherings

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The Federal Government has re-introduced a nationwide 12am to 4am curfew as part of efforts to curtail further spread of COVID-19.

The National Incident Manager, Mukhtar Mohammed, disclosed this at a press briefing of the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 in Abuja.

Mohammed said the curfew would take effect from midnight on Monday, May 10.

Read Also: Buhari celebrates national flag designer, Akinkunmi @85

He also said with effect from Tuesday, night clubs, gyms, and others would remain closed till further notice.

He said gatherings of religious groups and weddings among others have been reduced to 50 percent attendance, while official engagements, meetings, and conferences should continue to hold virtually.

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Health

Our sons have small penises, circumcision will reduce their sizes, length —Mums who refuse to have their babies ‘cut’

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In what physicians have termed the most ridiculous of myths, some mothers swore to never yield their male babies for a medical procedure that may otherwise save those beloved sons from certain health risks

Male circumcision is a common practice in many parts of the world with some proven health benefits, including less risk of urinary tract infections and reduced risk of some sexually transmitted diseases.

Making, perhaps, one of the strongest suggestions for male child circumcision, a 2015 study published online by the National Institutes of Health finds that “the risk of premature ejaculation is higher in children circumcised after age seven.”

For some cultural and religious reasons, some parents delay the circumcision of their children until they get to a certain age in Nigeria and some other countries in Africa, even as medical experts say deferring or delaying male circumcision has no medical advantage.

Findings by PUNCH HealthWise, however, showed that some parents, out of concerns for the size of their children’s penis, have refused to have them circumcised.

A mother of three, Mrs. Renuno Agemu, is one of such parents. She told our correspondent that she and her husband had decided not to submit their nine-month-old son for circumcision because of the small size of his penis.

The 27-year-old businesswoman says they are worried that the procedure, if performed on him, might further reduce his penis size and length.

Agemu said, “I have two girls and a boy. When I gave birth to him in September 2020, after two weeks of his delivery, people started asking me why we have not had him circumcised. Some asked me if my culture or religion forbids male circumcision.

“But my husband and I are not in any way constrained by any culture or religion to have our son circumcised. Our decision not to have him circumcised is based on the size of his penis.

“We are worried that since he was born with small penis size, the procedure is not necessary in order not to affect the size and length.”

Read Also: How tech startups became billion-dollar empires amid COVID-19 pandemic

Continuing, Agemu said, “I told some family members who have been bothering us that his penis is too small and that I cannot take the risk of circumcising him before they chop off everything.

“Some say it does not matter and that I should go and have him circumcised. But I am worried about what becomes of the size after the procedure.”

Another Lagos resident, Mrs. Tobi Govo, shares similar sentiments as Agemu, as she is also not ready to circumcise her seven-month-old son for fear that the procedure might also tamper with the size and length of his manhood.

‘Male circumcision not for children with small penises’

Twenty-year-old Mrs. Govo said, “For me, I cannot take the risk of circumcising him. His penis is too small. What if something goes wrong? Now, considering the small size, there is no way that it will not become smaller if he undergoes circumcision. So, for me, circumcision should not be done for children with small penises in order not to affect the little that they have.”

The story is the same with Mrs. Fatimo Dodunu, 25, mother of 11-month-old baby boy. For her, it is risky and completely unnecessary to circumcise children with small penises.

“It is risky because I have heard of cases of children whose penises became smaller after circumcision. For that reason, I am not going to have him circumcised. I don’t want him to be a victim. They may go and remove a large size of his skin and this may affect his sexual life when he becomes a man.”

Waxing oratorial, Govo says, “One really needs to be very careful before the size is tampered with.  I don’t want to take chances. To be frank with you, he will not be circumcised. I know some parents that have also refused to have their sons circumcised because of the same reason.

“So, I am not the only one that is afraid that the procedure might affect the size and length. However, people have been disturbing me and my husband to ignore the fear and get him circumcised. But I am afraid they might reduce the size in the process.”

Fear of complications

The story is different for Mrs. Agnes Boniface, a 30-year-old fashion designer and mother of three. Her fear of not having her three-year-old son circumcised has nothing to do with the size of his penis nor culture, but she is afraid that the procedure might lead to complications.

“I have a three-year-old son that has not been circumcised, not because of culture, religion or size. I don’t want to lose him.

“I remember the case of a woman in my village whose son died after he was circumcised a few days after his delivery. The child bled to death. With that woman’s experience, I don’t think I can submit my male children for circumcision. I am happy that my husband supported me,” she narrated.

Other mothers who spoke with PUNCH HealthWise shared similar experiences of concerns that they have for not circumcising their children yet.

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Health

Prolonged cough could lead to tuberculosis, says expert

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A public health physician, Dr Shallom Oni, has advised Nigerians with over weeks’ cough to seek medical attention.

 Oni, at the unveiling of Herbacough cough syrup made by Dexa Medica, in Lagos said more awareness was needed for people to know when to stop using medication and when they should visit the hospital for a test.

 “It is important that people are enlightened so that they won’t just keep on loading themselves with cough syrups for two or three weeks. Every Nigerian is advised to visit a doctor for a proper check if they have a prolonged cough. You’ve been taking cough syrup and other medication and you are not getting relived, and the cough seems to be recurring, you need to see a doctor if it persists so that you can be screened. This is vital to ensure that it is not a cough that has to do with some other chronic illnesses.

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 “There is the need to raise the awareness on this so that people will not just be using cough syrups for the wrong ailment. The government is trying on the tuberculosis awareness, the private sector must join in enlightening the people on the need to present early in hospitals,” he said.

 The firm’s Country Manager, Nigeria and West Africa, Dhanang Anggoro, said the herbal syrup was an improvement from other brands existing in the country.

 He said, “Currently, there are many herbal and chemical cough medicines that have been provided in the market. However, the many types of cough medicine make it difficult for people to find what cough medicine to consume.”

 “Another problem that causes consumers to worry about choosing cough medicine is that they often have difficulty recognising the type of cough they have. Herbacough is processed with an extraction process to find a specific fraction in the form of reconyl active substance.

 “Aside from having a good taste, the cough syrup also works to suppress coughs, as an anti-inflammatory and it also relieves the respiratory tract.”

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