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Experts blame unabated infectious disease on disruption of ecosystem

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Medical experts have attributed the reoccurrence of Emerging Infectious disease (EIDs) to the inability of the government to control the disruption of the ecosystem through human activities.

According to them inadequate funding of healthcare research and environmental impact studies together with the government’s inability to regulate the way people destroy the environment has led the increasing cases of outbreaks caused by dangerous pathogens.

The experts stated this during the 5th African Conference on Emerging infectious disease and biosecurity yesterday in Abuja organized by Global Emerging Pathogens Treatment Consortium (GET)

The Principal Investigator GET, Prof Akin Abayomi, noted that Nigeria and Africa, in general, have been destroying the ecosystem through the felling the forests, causing animals to move out of the forest into the human communities. He said the interaction between animals and humans is increasing due to population expansion and destruction of the Ecosystem thereby forcing animals out of forests.

He said the increasing frequency and range of EIDs: Ebola, Lassa, Yellow fever, Monkeypox, cholera, Bird flu and meningitis adding that shrinking natural resources is creating human competition for water leading to demographic conflict.

The don stressed the need for government to spend more on health care delivery research and creation of awareness lamenting that there is a lag between what government should be spending and what is being spent.

The chief operating officer, GET, Dr. Dotun Bobadoye, lamented the impact of changing climate and the increasing security challenges in Africa are having a combined effect on the emerging infectious disease and biosecurity threat in the continent.

He maintained that the aim of the conference was to come out with ways of addressing climate change and its impact on security and Emerging Infectious Disease in Africa adding that the communique developed at the end of the conference would be sent to relevant government agencies to develop policies to address the current challenges.

The Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Prof. Chike Ihekweazu, pointed out that with the nation’s exponential growth rate of 2.8 percent including the internal and external migration coupled with poverty and lack of education are all responsible for the spread of the infectious disease.

There are also several medications available to help control symptoms of allergic reactions, including antihistamines – these can be taken when you notice the symptoms of a reaction, or before being exposed to an allergen to stop a reaction occurring; decongestants – tablets, capsules, nasal sprays or liquids that can be used as a short-term treatment for a blocked nose; lotions and creams, such as moisturising creams (emollients) – these can reduce skin redness and itchiness; and steroid medication – sprays, drops, creams, inhalers and tablets that can help reduce redness and swelling caused by an allergic reaction.

For some people with very severe allergies, a treatment called immunotherapy may be recommended. This involves being exposed to the allergen in a controlled way over a number of years, so your body gets used to it and doesn’t react to it so severely.

What causes allergies? Allergies occur when the body’s immune system reacts to a particular substance as though it’s harmful.

It is not clear why this happens, but most people affected have a family history of allergies or have closely related conditions such as asthma or eczema.

The number of people with allergies is increasing every year. The reasons for this are not understood, but one of the main theories is it’s the result of living in a cleaner, germ-free environment, which reduces the number of germs our immune system has to deal with.

It is thought this may cause it to overreact when it comes into contact with harmless substances.


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