Blood pressure is a measurement of the force against the walls of your arteries as your heart pumps blood through your body. Many factors can affect blood pressure, including: How much water and salt you have in your body; The condition of your kidneys, nervous system, or blood vessels; The levels of different body hormones.

You are more likely to be told your blood pressure is too high as you get older. This is because your blood vessels become stiffer as you age. When that happens, your blood pressure goes up. High blood pressure increases your chance of having a stroke, heart attack, heart failure, kidney disease, and early death.

Most of the time, there are no symptoms. For most patients, high blood pressure is found when they visit their health care provider or have it checked elsewhere. Because there are no symptoms, people can develop heart disease and kidney problems without knowing they have high blood pressure.

If you have a severe headache, nausea or vomiting, bad headache, confusion, changes in your vision, or nosebleeds you may have a severe and dangerous form of high blood pressure called malignant hypertension.


NIGERIA: National Health Bill 2013

national assembly abuja 2The public hearing of the National Health Bill on the proposed law after it scaled through the second reading at the Upper Chamber, was on Monday, February 11, 2013. While medical doctors under the aegis of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) are calling for the speedy passage of the Bill, pharmacists under the auspices of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and the Catholic Church are opposed to its passage.

The pharmacists want the amendment of the NHB, given what they called the overwhelming public outcry on some provisions of the current Bill, which fundamentally distorts constitutional provisions and expectations.

The CSOs are opposed to some provisions of the Bill, which they said encourage abortion, cloning and give the Health Minister absolute powers over human embryos and other matters.

The NMA 4 days ago at a press briefing in Lagos called on all Nigerians to rise up in unison to say no to all those working against the accelerated passage of the Bill on account of self preservation or nebulous and narrow interests.


The NMA President, Dr. Osahon Enabulele, said: “The NHB is a dream whose time has surely come; it is a pregnancy that must not be allowed to suffer a second abortion. The NMA therefore calls on both chambers of the National Assembly to give the NHB accelerated hearing.”

He said the NHB stood out as a veritable tool for positively transforming Nigeria’s struggling health system, especially as it provides a framework and strategies for the effective planning, financing, governance, delivery, monitoring and evaluation of healthcare services in Nigeria.

But PSN President, Olumide Akintayo, told The Guardian Sunday: “The PSN respectfully solicits that the National Assembly amends the provisions of Section 1(1), Section 6(2)(f), (g) and (h), Section 9(2) (a) and Section 13 to make room for a statute that protects the interest of all stakeholders in healthcare and ultimately serves the public interest. In similar spirit, we respectfully submit that Sections 48 – 59 of the Bill be deleted.

“The Federal Ministry of Health must be compelled to exercise its supervisory functions over agencies of the Federal Government under it especially National Primary Healthcare Development Agency and National Health Insurance Scheme to ensure they comply fully with all statutory provisions that regulate and control their endeavours with a view to ensuring maximum output of the various intendments of the Health Bill.”

The CSOs called for the quashing of sections 17(1), 31(5), 32, 43(c) (d) (e) (f), 46(3), 50, 51(1) (2) (3) (4), 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57 and 58 from the National Health Bill 2012; new National Health Bill that is anchored in tackling the real primary health challenges of the Nigerians; and an open public debate or discussion on the new National Health Bill 2012.

The coalition in statement said they are shocked to inform the public that the National Health Bill 2012, which has gone through the second reading in the Senate, and which public hearing has been slated for today, was essentially a replication of the 2008 National Health Bill which was rejected by the Nigerian public culminating in President Jonathan refusing to assent to it.

The coalition include: Foundation for African Cultural Heritage (FACH), Association of Muslim Scientists, Project for Human Development (PHD), Global Pro-life Alliance (GPA) Doctors Initiatives, Happy Home Foundation, Association of Concerned Mothers, Nigerian Life League, Islamic Education Trust, Association of Catholic Medical Practitioners of Nigeria, Islamic Medical Association of Nigeria, Abuja Muslim Forum, Blissful Life for Youth Empowerment, Nigerian Association for Women Advancement, Catholic Lawyers Association, Sympathy Worldwide Organization, Life Choice International Initiative, Good Parenting and Youth Empowerment Initiative.


MEN: Prostate Cancer

The prostate is the gland below a man’s bladder that produces fluid for semen. Prostate cancer is common among older men. It is rare in men younger than 40. Risk factors for developing prostate cancer include being over 65 years of age, family history, being African-American, and some genetic changes.

Symptoms of prostate cancer may include

  • Problems passing urine, such as pain, difficulty starting or stopping the stream, or dribbling
  • Low back pain
  • Pain with ejaculation

Your doctor will diagnose prostate cancer by feeling the prostate through the wall of the rectum or doing a blood test for prostate-specific antigen (PSA). Other tests include ultrasound, x-rays, or a biopsy.

Treatment often depends on the stage of the cancer. How fast the cancer grows and how different it is  from surrounding tissue helps determine the stage. Men with prostate cancer have many treatment options. The treatment that’s best for one man may not be best for another. The options include watchful waiting, surgery, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, and chemotherapy. You may have a combination of treatments.

NIH: National Cancer Institute 


Understanding Breast Cancer

Join-NDH-Fight-Breast-Cancer-September-20121Initially, breast cancer may not cause any symptoms. A lump may be too small for you to feel or to cause any unusual changes you can notice on your own. Often, an abnormal area turns up on a screening mammogram (x-ray of the breast), which leads to further testing.

In some cases, however, the first sign of breast cancer is a new lump or mass in the breast that you or your doctor can feel. A lump that is painless, hard, and has uneven edges is more likely to be cancer. But sometimes cancers can be tender, soft, and rounded. So it’s important to have anything unusual checked by your doctor.

According to the American Cancer Society, any of the following unusual changes in the breast can be a symptom of breast cancer:

  • swelling of all or part of the breast
  • skin irritation or dimpling
  • breast pain
  • nipple pain or the nipple turning inward
  • redness, scaliness, or thickening of the nipple or breast skin
  • a nipple discharge other than breast milk
  • a lump in the underarm area

These changes also can be signs of less serious conditions that are not cancerous, such as an infection or a cyst. It’s important to get any breast changes checked out promptly by a doctor.




Cancer begins in your cells, which are the building blocks of your body. Normally, your body forms new cells as you need them, replacing old cells that die. Sometimes this process goes wrong. New cells grow even when you don’t need them, and old cells don’t die when they should. These extra cells can form a mass called a tumor. Tumors can be benign or malignant. Benign tumors aren’t cancer while malignant ones are. Cells from malignant tumors can invade nearby tissues. They can also break away and spread to other parts of the body.

Most cancers are named for where they start. For example, lung cancer starts in the lung, and breast cancer starts in the breast. The spread of cancer from one part of the body to another is called metastasis. Symptoms and treatment depend on the cancer type and how advanced it is. Treatment plans may include surgery, radiation and/or chemotherapy.

NIH: National Cancer Institute

Female Genital Mutilation-Source-middle-east

International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation

FEBRUARY 6, 2013

International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation is a UN-sponsored awareness day that takes place February 6 each year. It is an effort to make the world aware of female genital mutilation (also called female genital mutilation or FGM) and to promote its eradication. First, on February 6, 2003, Stella Obasanjo, the First Lady of Nigeria and spokesperson for the Campaign Against Female Genital Mutilation, made the official declaration on “Zero Tolerance to FGM” in Africa during a conference organized by the Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children (IAC). Then the UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights adopted this day as an international awareness day.

Female Genital Mutilation-Source-middle-eastFemale genital mutilation (FGM), also known as female genital cutting and female circumcision, is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as “all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.” FGM is typically carried out on girls from a few days old to puberty. It may take place in a hospital, but is usually performed, without anaesthesia, by a traditional circumciser using a knife, razor, or scissors. According to the WHO, it is practiced in 28 countries in western, eastern, and north-eastern Africa, in parts of the Middle East, and within some immigrant communities in Europe, North America, Australasia.[2] The WHO estimates that 100–140 million women and girls around the world have experienced the procedure, including 92 million in Africa. The practice is carried out by some communities who believe it reduces a woman’s libido.

Female Genital Mutilation12The WHO has offered four classifications of FGM. The main three are Type I, removal of the clitoral hood, almost invariably accompanied by removal of the clitoris itself (clitoridectomy); Type II, removal of the clitoris and inner labia; and Type III (infibulation), removal of all or part of the inner and outer labia, and usually the clitoris, and the fusion of the wound, leaving a small hole for the passage of urine and menstrual blood—the fused wound is opened for intercourse and childbirth. Around 85 percent of women who undergo FGM experience Types I and II, and 15 percent Type III, though Type III is the most common procedure in several countries, including Sudan, Somalia, and Djibouti. Several miscellaneous acts are categorized as Type IV. These range from a symbolic pricking or piercing of the clitoris or labia, to cauterization of the clitoris, cutting into the vagina to widen it (gishiri cutting), and introducing corrosive substances to tighten it.

britain_2200082bOpposition to FGM focuses on human rights violations, lack of informed consent, and health risks, which include fatal hemorrhaging, epidermoid cysts, recurrent urinary and vaginal infections, chronic pain, and obstetrical complications. Since 1979, there have been concerted efforts by international bodies to end the practice, including sponsorship by the United Nations of an International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation, held each 6 February since 2003.