The World Health Organisation (WHO)has issued guidelines on physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleepfor children under 5 years of age.

Notable in the guidelines, is the amount of screen time toddlers should get, which the UN agency said should not be more than one hour for those under 5 and none at all for those under 1.

The guidelines are to address the increasing amount of sedentary behaviour in the general population, WHO said, adding that physical inactivity can cause death, and is a contributor to the rise of obesity.

The primary audiences for these guidelines are policy makers in ministries of health, education and /or social welfare, NGOs, community or family nurses or doctors, paediatricians or occupational therapists, WHO said.

WHO’s guidelines also add that infants less than one year should spend at least half an hour every day on their stomachs and toddlers should get at least three hours of physical activity every day.

Some experts however, have some criticism of the guidelines, according to TIME.

Director of Research at Oxford Internet Institute at the University of Oxford, Andrew Przybylski, said the guidelines “overly focuses on quantity of screen time and fails to consider the content and context of use. Not all screen time is created equal.”

Dr. Max Davie, the Officer for Health Improvement at Britain’s Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health said: “Our research has shown that currently there is not strong enough evidence to support the setting of screen time limits. The restricted screen time limits suggested by WHO do not seem proportionate to the potential harm.”

Download the guidelines here.

Credit: Bella Naija

From being some of the happiest people on earth, Nigerians have slumped to the rank of the most depressed in Africa. This was the conclusion contained in the latest figures released by the World Health Organisation (WHO), which show that Nigeria has 7,079,815 sufferers of depression, that is 3.9 per cent of the population.Also, 4,894,557 Nigerians, that is 2.7 per cent of the population, suffer anxiety disorders. The country is closely followed by Ethiopia with 4,480,113 sufferers, that is 4.7 per cent of her population; Democratic Republic of Congo with 2,871,309 sufferers (3.8 per cent); South Africa with 2,402,230 sufferers (4.6 per cent); and Tanzania with 2,138,939 sufferers, that is 4.1 per cent. Seychelles has the lowest number of depressed persons with just 3,722 that is 4.0 per cent.

Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease, according to WHO. Depression can lead to suicide, which is the second leading cause of death in 15 – 29-year- olds globally. Consequently, the condition can lead to more suicide cases in the country.

In the African region, close to 30 million people suffer from depression.

The global body gave the figures in a report released ahead of the World Health Day (WHD) today titled “Depression and Other Common Mental Disorders: Global Health Estimates.”

WHD, celebrated on April 7 every year to mark the anniversary of the founding of WHO, provides a unique opportunity to mobilise action around a specific health topic of concern to people all over the world. The theme of 2017 World Health Day campaign is depression.

According to the WHO report, depressive disorders and anxiety disorders are two main diagnostic categories of common mental disorders that are highly prevalent in the population.

Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems.

The WHO noted that at a global level, over 300 million people are estimated to suffer from depression, equivalent to 4.4 per cent of the world’s population and nearly that number again suffers from a range of anxiety disorders. It, however, noted that since many people experience both conditions simultaneously (comorbidity), it is inappropriate to simply add these two figures together to arrive at a total for common mental disorders.

The WHO noted that the consequences of these disorders in terms of lost health are huge.

Depression is ranked by WHO as the single largest contributor to global disability (7.5 per cent of all years lived with disability in 2015); anxiety disorders are ranked 6th (3.4 per cent).

According to the global health agency, depression is also the major contributor to suicide deaths (about 800 000 per year).

Why are Nigerians most depressed in Africa? “The number of persons with common mental disorders globally is going up, particularly in lower-income countries, because the population is growing and more people are living to the age when depression and anxiety most commonly occurs,” the WHO explained.

Who is most likely to get depressed? “Although depression can and does affect people of all ages, from all walks of life, the risk of becoming depressed is increased by poverty, unemployment, life events such as the death of a loved one or a relationship break-up, physical illness and problems caused by alcohol and drug use,” the WHO noted.

To address the issues of depression and anxiety disorders, the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) has introduced LUTH-Suicide Research and Prevention Initiative (SURPIN) and its “ONE 1 MORE DAY” campaign aimed at reducing suicide deaths.

Consultant Psychiatrist and LUTH-SURPIN Coordinator, Dr. Raphael E. Ogbolu, told The Guardian yesterday: “SURPIN has hotlines (09080217555, 09034400009, 08111909909, 07013811143) through which members of the public seeking help can reach us. The main target groups are those at risk of suicide and are contemplating an attempt, those who have survived an attempted suicide and therefore may be in critical physical condition, and those who are bereaved by the suicide of a family member, because they themselves also then become at risk.”

According to the WHO, the health condition affects people of all ages, from all walks of life, in all countries. It causes mental anguish and impacts on people’s ability to carry out even the simplest everyday tasks, with sometimes devastating consequences for relationships with family and friends and the ability to earn a living. At worst, depression can lead to suicide, now the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year-olds.

Yet, the condition can be prevented and treated. A better understanding of what depression is, and how it can be prevented and treated, will help reduce the stigma and lead to more people seeking help.


Credit: Guardian

Flagging off the campaign on Thursday at Gwandu, Gov. Atiku Bagudu, said more than two million people were being targeted.

Bagudu said the second round of vaccination became necessary following reported suspected cases of yellow fever in the state and neighbouring states.

“In March, the first round of yellow fever vaccination was conducted in eight LGAs of the state following reported suspected cases of yellow fever in Kebbi and other states of the country.

“In view of the danger posed by yellow fever to the health of the people, the Kebbi State Government has collaborated with the Federal Government and our development partners, notably WHO,UNICEF and GAVI to conduct second round of yellow fever mass campaign in 13 LGAs of the state beginning from today,” he said.

Bagudu assured that the state government would continue to collaborate with development partners in the fight against yellow fever and other preventable diseases in the country.

The governor thanked the development partners and National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) for their support in the campaign.

Earlier, the state Commissioner for Health, Alhaji Umar Kambaza, said the exercise would cover Argungu, Augie, Arewa, Aliero, Dandi, Birnin Kebbi, Gwandu, Kalgo Bunza, Jega, Zuru, Dakaba and Danko Wasagu Local Government Areas.

He explained that children from nine months up to 44 years would be vaccinated against yellow fever in the state.

Kambaza called on eligible people to make use of the opportunity to get vaccinated.

Alhaji Muhammad Abubakar, a representative of NPHCDA, Abuja, called on stakeholders to cooperate and mobilise people for the campaign.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the campaign would last for 10 days and would take place in 847 vaccination posts from Nov. 29 to Dec. 8.

Credit: Pulse, NAN

Dr Adamu Ningi, the WHO Bauchi State Coordinator, disclosed this at a meeting with the Emir of Bauchi, Alhaji Rilwanu Adamu, and the Chairman, Social Mobilisation on Immunisation and Emir of Dass, Alhaji Usman Othman, in Bauchi on Friday.

He said samples were collected from various locations on a monthly basis and it has been discovered that the polio virus type 2 was found at Gwallaga mosque area linking three wards of Makama B, Hardo and Dankade.

Represented by Dr Khalid Abubakar, the state coordinator attributed the new strain to non-compliance to immunisation schedules.

In Bauchi LGA, only 52 per cent of children are fully immunised, 29 per cent didn’t complete while 19 per cent have never been immunised.

“The latest strain of the virus are from isolated environmental samples collected from Gwallaga mosque area, Obonna Royal Hotel refuse site, Shafa bridge and FGGC drainage.

“The circulating vaccine derived polio virus is linked to the one earlier discovered in Hadejia, Jigawa State,” he said.

Also speaking, the state chairman, social mobilisation on immunisation, said the state has been without any reported case of polio for over five years.

Othman however regretted that it was unfortunate to record a new case despite efforts to prevent its resurgence from reported cases in Yobe and Jigawa states.

He noted that immunisation teams failed to report non-compliance cases in the past while supervision was poor.

The first class traditional ruler said the meeting was designed to engage the traditional institution and seek ways to contain the virus.

According to him, since the detection, WHO, UNICEF, the state government and traditional leaders have intensified efforts to check its spread.

In his remarks, the Emir of Bauchi emphasised the need for ward heads to always accompany house-to-house teams during immunisation plus days to avoid non-compliance.

While promising to support to eradicate the virus in his domain, Adamu however charged governments and the general public to intensify environmental sanitation and close supervision.

Speaking earlier, Dr Shakhawar Hossain, the UNICEF State Lead Communication Officer, said intense campaigns must be mounted and traditional leaders should be on ground to answer key questions on polio immunisation.

Credit: Pulse News