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HomeEDUCATIONFlooding: Over 1.5m children risk malnutrition, waterborne diseases -UNICEF

Flooding: Over 1.5m children risk malnutrition, waterborne diseases -UNICEF

By Ijeoma UKAZU

Due to the ongoing severe flooding in Nigeria, the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, has said over 1.5 million children were at an increased risk of waterborne diseases, drowning and malnutrition.

In a statement released by the global body, the flood, which has affected over a 2.5million adults and children in 34 out of the 36 states in the country, has displaced 1.3 million people while over 600 have lost their lives and over 200,000 houses have either been partially or fully damaged.

The UN agency said, “Cases of diarrhoea and water-borne diseases, respiratory infection, and skin diseases were also revealed to have already been on the rise. In the north-eastern states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe alone, a total of 7,485 cases of cholera and 319 associated deaths were reported as of October 12. As rains are expected to continue for several weeks, humanitarian needs are also expected to rise.”

UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, Cristian Munduate, said: “Children and adolescents in flood-affected areas are in an extremely vulnerable situation.

“They are particularly at risk of waterborne diseases and emotional and psychological distress. UNICEF is working closely with the government and other partners to provide life-saving assistance to those who are most in need.”

International Chefs Day: Nestlé urges students on healthy lifestyles

By Ijeoma UKAZU

To mark the 2022 International Chefs Day, Nestlé professional has said healthy eating and lifestyle is the bedrock of societal development.

The Chefs Day event tagged: “Growing a healthy future” was held recently at the new Lagos State Culinary Academy, Ikeja, with students from public and private secondary schools across the state.

Addressing participants at the event, Business Manager, Nestlé Professional, Funmi Osineye stated “The wellbeing of children is the fundamental goal for parents and caregivers. It is also an indicator of societal development.

“We are, therefore, committed to working with stakeholders to enhance the well-being of generations to come through nutrition education as well as the continuous provision of high-quality nutritious food and beverages. Today’s event is a platform for continuous engagement to encourage children to be creative with food”.

Osineye acknowledged the Association of Professional Chefs Nigeria for consistently partnering with Nestlé to achieve the company’s global objective of helping 50 million children live healthier lives by 2030.

She said, “We want to thank the Association of Professional Chefs Nigeria for partnering with us through the years. We are also grateful to the administrators of the Lagos State Technical and Vocational Education Board for their collaboration to celebrate Chef’s Day 2022. We are delighted to witness the sincere interest in skilling up young people in Lagos State for gainful employment in the hospitality sector”.

Lending his voice, the National President, of the Association of Professional Chefs Nigeria, Paul Okon, added that “It has been a great pleasure engaging, educating, and enlightening children on healthy eating as we believe this is the foundation for a healthy future.

“We sincerely appreciate the role Nestlé Professional has played over the years, promoting Nigeria’s Food Tourism, supporting the capacity development of Chefs, and empowering the next generation of Chefs”.

In her comments, the Executive Secretary, of Lagos State Technical and Vocational Education Board, LASTVEB, Moronke Azeez, said, “We are delighted to be working with Nestlé on this laudable initiative which has been very impactful and a great learning exercise for the children. The event is fully aligned with the objective for the recent establishment of the Lagos Culinary Academy aimed at producing professionals for the hospitality and food service industry while equipping students for entrepreneurship and self-employment”.

The event was commemorated via a fun-filled educative workshop and practical sessions coordinated by the chefs with a hands-on approach for the children, creating recipes out of fresh food items including vegetables, and fruits and preparing healthy dishes during the cooking sessions.

The beneficiaries of the training came from Public and Private Secondary schools in Lagos, and the Lagos State Technical College. Other participants included Chefs from the Lagos State Chapter of the Association of Professional Chefs Nigeria

Speaking on her experience, Hope Shulamite, an SS2 student of Ilupeju Senior Grammar School, said, “I am happy that I was chosen to be part of this event. I particularly enjoyed creating the recipes and cooking with the chefs and members of my group. I will try out the recipe again at home and in school with my friends during our home economics practical. On behalf of all the students here today, I want to thank the organizers for giving us this wonderful learning opportunity”.

Five hours’ sleep a night linked to higher risk of multiple diseases

Getting less than five hours of sleep in mid-to-late life could be linked to an increased risk of developing at least two chronic diseases, finds a new study led by UCL researchers.

The research, published in PLOS Medicine, analysed the impact of sleep duration on the health of more than 7,000 men and women at the ages of 50, 60 and 70, from the Whitehall II cohort study.

Researchers examined the relationship between how long each participant slept for, mortality and whether they had been diagnosed with two or more chronic diseases (multimorbidity) — such as heart disease, cancer or diabetes — over the course of 25 years.

People who reported getting five hours of sleep or less at age 50 were 20% more likely to have been diagnosed with a chronic disease and 40% more likely to be diagnosed with two or more chronic diseases over 25 years, compared to people who slept for up to seven hours.

Additionally, sleeping for five hours or less at the age of 50, 60, and 70 was linked to a 30% to 40% increased risk of multimorbidity when compared with those who slept for up to seven hours.

Researchers also found that sleep duration of five hours or less at age 50 was associated with 25% increased risk of mortality over the 25 years of follow-up — which can mainly be explained by the fact that short sleep duration increases the risk of chronic disease(s) that in turn increase the risk of death.

Lead author, Dr Severine Sabia (UCL Institute of Epidemiology & Health, and Inserm, Université Paris Cité) said: “Multimorbidity is on the rise in high income countries and more than half of older adults now have at least two chronic diseases. This is proving to be a major challenge for public health, as multimorbidity is associated with high healthcare service use, hospitalisations and disability.

“As people get older, their sleep habits and sleep structure change. However, it is recommended to sleep for 7 to 8 hours a night — as sleep durations above or below this have previously been associated with individual chronic diseases.

“Our findings show that short sleep duration is also associated with multimorbidity.

“To ensure a better night’s sleep, it is important to promote good sleep hygiene, such as making sure the bedroom is quiet, dark and a comfortable temperature before sleeping. It’s also advised to remove electronic devices and avoid large meals before bedtime. Physical activity and exposure to light during the day might also promote good sleep.”

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