Onnoghen Absent At Tribunal On Health Grounds, Trial Adjourned

CCT Adjourns Onnoghen’s Trial Indefinitely
Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen (file)


The trial of the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, has been adjourned till March 18, 2019.

At the resumed hearing on Tuesday, the Code of Conduct Tribunal adjourned the case following Onnoghen’s absence on health grounds.

His counsel, Adeboyega Awomolo, had tendered a letter from the CJN, explaining that he developed issues with his tooth and could not make it to court.

The prosecutor on the other hand, Aliyu Umar, said he had also received a copy of the letter as well as a medical report indicating he had a high blood pressure.

He added that the health of a defendant is as important as the case on the ground and in the light of that, he would concede that the absence is on medical grounds.

He, therefore, urged the court to consider the report and adjourn the case till next week Monday or another week for a day-to-day hearing.

According to the letter, Onnoghen was given a 72-hour bed rest.

Having considered the situation, the chairman of the tribunal then adjourned the case.

Read Also: CCT Resumes Justice Onnoghen’s Trial

NACA Offers Free Medical Outreach In Plateau

NACA Offers Free Medical Outreach In PlateauThe National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) has embarked on a free multi-disease medical outreach treatment to carter for rural dwellers that could not afford the general hospitals in their domain.

Since the past four days, residents of Mangu Local Government Area (LGA) of Plateau State, North-central Nigeria have been beneficiaries of the medical outreach which took place at the Mishkaham Mangu Palace.

Various ailments ranging from HIV/AIDS counselling and testing, Hepatitis B test and treatment, blood pressure, hypertension, diabetic screening as well as free medical consultation were rendered to the public by no fewer than 50 medical doctors.

An Assistant Director with NACA, Garba Danjuma, who led the medical personnel, stressed what the residents stand to benefit from the gesture provided by the agency which was according to him, holding across the nation.

The Chairman of Mangu LGA, Titus Bise, who flagged off the exercise, reminded the people of the need to take advantage of such programme saying it does not come too often.

Having received treatment for various ailments, some of the beneficiaries shared their experiences and what they gained from the exercise.

Nigeria Army Offers Free Medical Services To Damaturu Residents

ArmyThe Nigeria Army has flagged off a free medical service to Damaturu residents in the troubled Yobe State, North-east Nigeria.

Flagging off the free medical service, the Chief of Army Staff, Major General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, said that with the support of the Federal Government, the programme would be sustained to enhance the health status of the inhabitants.

The aim of the programme, according to him, is to enhance civil-military relationship. He commended the cooperation being accorded security personnel by the people of Yobe and urged the inhabitants to sustain the tempo.

Major General Tukur Yusuf Buratai said that the Damaturu-Biu road that was taken over by the Boko Haram insurgents has been cleared of any danger by security forces.

The Army Chief, while expressing sadness that the people of the area, who have been law abiding and contributing to the socio-economic development of the country, were dislodged from their homes by the terrorists, stressed that apart from the road being safe, the two towns were also safe.

He said that security forces would continue to patrol of the Damaturu-Biu road so that commuters and inhabitants can live a normal life and be free from any molestation in the hands of the hoodlums.

The free medical service saw the residents benefiting from general medical consultation, screening for blood pressure, viral diseases, hepatitis and diabetes among others.

The residents were also offered free HIV test and consultations as well as general health education.

Fewer Blood Pressure Screens May Be More Effective

Less may be more when it comes to blood pressure checks, according to a new study.

After analyzing five years’ worth of data for more than 400 patients, researchers conclude that the current practice of screening at every visit to the doctor’s office – up to several times a year – may result in more people mistakenly diagnosed and unnecessarily treated for high blood pressure than would simple yearly screening.

Blood pressure measurements are often taken without following proper procedure, according to lead study author Dr. Gregory Garrison, so the readings can be widely inaccurate and lead to some people being wrongly diagnosed with hypertension, while others who have the condition are written off as just “more false positives.”

“One, it results in unnecessary patient anxiety, repeated clinic visits, and laboratory testing,” Garrison, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, told Reuters Health by email. “Two, it often lulls physicians into writing off a positive result because so few are confirmed.”

Garrison and his colleagues found that taking fewer readings, while still sometimes inaccurate, would weed out almost half of the false positives.

The researchers looked at Mayo Clinic records for 68 patients diagnosed with high blood pressure and 372 patients without high blood pressure. Based on the readings from every doctor’s visit, all 68 high blood pressure cases were identified, but 110 people without high blood pressure would also potentially have been wrongly diagnosed because of a stray high measurement.

When the researchers analyzed the same data but only considered one measurement per patient per year, they identified 63 of the patients with high blood pressure – at or before the original date of their actual diagnosis – and got 67 false positives, according to the results published in the Annals of Family Medicine.

An office blood pressure measurement can be inaccurate if it is not performed with the patient seated, arm supported, after a five-minute period of rest. Otherwise, blood pressure can rise temporarily for a variety of reasons, including the mild stress of being tested by a doctor, known as the “white coat effect.”

“Blood pressure technique is not good at all, and does overestimate a lot of the time,” said Dr. William Cushman, chief of the Preventive Medicine section at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Memphis, Tennessee.

But he disagrees with the Mayo team’s conclusion. Overestimation results in unnecessary expense and anxiety, but doesn’t usually harm the patient, said Cushman, who was not involved in the new study.

If less frequent testing fails to identify a few positive cases, that could be a bigger problem, he told Reuters Health.

In the study, annual testing failed to identify five of the 68 cases of hypertension, or a little over seven percent, which was not statistically significant in that case. But it could become significant when applied to a larger population, according to Cushman.

“In populations, we don’t want to miss ten percent of people,” Cushman said.

High risk patients with high blood pressure can start to see the benefits of treatment after six months or a year, so waiting twelve months between tests could have consequences for some, he added.

For most people, hypertension is a slow moving disease, and a diagnosis delayed by a few months or a year is unlikely to have noticeable negative consequences, according to Garrison.

“However, we have a number of patients, perhaps as many as 30 percent, who have hypertension for years without diagnosis and proper treatment,” Garrison said. “This can result in heart disease, kidney disease, and many other complications.”

These people can have elevated readings for years that go unnoticed or undiagnosed because they are written off as false positives and attributed to pain, infection or some other cause, he explains.

Measuring blood pressure less often and taking each reading more seriously could help catch some of those undiagnosed cases, Garrison believes.

The United States Preventive Services Task Force, a government-backed advisory body, recommends blood pressure screening once every two years for people at low risk for the condition and once yearly for those at high risk.

Doctors continue to test at every visit partly because patients expect it, Cushman said, and partly because there are generally no organized efforts to ensure patients and doctors remember to screen every year or two.

Before doctors can start screening less, that kind of system of reminders needs to be in place to ensure no patient falls through the cracks, Cushman said.

Getting blood pressure taken is very important,” he added. “If an adult has not had their blood pressure taken in a year, or they don’t know what it was, then they should get it taken fairly soon, or ask for it,” he said.

SOURCE: bit.ly/Yp5jZD Annals of Family Medicine, March/April 2013.

Energy Drinks Cause High Blood Pressure, Doctor Warns

The Chief Medical Director Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Wale Oke on Monday said the consumption of energy drinks can cause high blood pressure and such beverage should be treated as drugs.

While speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Dr. Oke said  energy drinks have been able to penetrate the Nigerian market are treated as beverages which is why it does not go through rigorous and extensive research by  National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

He said, “These drinks contain caffeine which can cause individuals with health challenges to become hypertensive. Consumption of the drinks can also increase blood pressure or cause abnormal heart rate.”

He revealed that non-sugar energy drinks have been directly linked with blood clot formations in the human body and have been banned in over two European countries.

He opined that Nigerians have embraced the ‘fad’ in order to help them keep awake whilst being ignorant to the internal damages the drinks cause.

He advised that Nigerians should cultivate the habit of visiting the hospital for regular comprehensive tests.

Link between sudden Blood Pressure drop and increased risk of Heart Failure

According to researchers , people whose blood pressure drop rapidly when they move from laying down to standing is known as Orthostatic Hypertension and may cause the risk of developing heart failure.

The link between Orthostatic Hypertension and heart failure is stronger in people ages  45-55 years old compared to those 56-64.

High blood pressure is present in over half of people who developed heart failure.

Coronary heart disease and hypertension contribute to the risk of heart failure while Orthostatic blood pressure measurement may supplement what is already known about the risk for heart failure and requires no additional equipment, just a standard blood pressure cuff.”

Heart failure is a disease that occurs when the heart stops pumping sufficient blood to the body and the organs.