Nigerian university holds health week
LAGOS, Nigeria, Sept. 23 -- The Lagos State University Students’ Union (LASUSU) held its annual health week between August 22nd and 26th. The Welfare Director of the Students’ Union, Olayode Adesoji, said that improving student health was one of his campaign commitments. The health week featured many activities on the Ojo campus of the University and its environs.
On Monday, the union organized a seminar on cancer. The seminar featured medical experts on various diseases that may affect young people. Present at the occasion were Dr. Randle from Lagos State University Health Centre, Dr. Betty Akeredolu, Dr. Babinton Balogun from Lagos state Blood Transfusion Centre, Mr. E. T. Umoh, president of Lagos State Red Cross,
and pharmacist Onyinye Obi, representing Sanofi Aventis.
Dr Randle identified and discussed various types of cancers ranging from cancer of the breast, of the lungs and of the skin. He said “breast cancer is the most common cancer in women and lung cancer in men. Cancer is not a single disease; more than 200 types of cancer are known."
According to Dr Randle, cancers are a result of uncontrolled cell division. Among other causes are retroviruses, DNA viruses, heredity predisposition, ionizing radiation, ultraviolet light, chemical mutagens and radon gas.
He told the students that the fast spreading diseases can be prevented by regular exercise, avoidance of alcohol, breast feeding for women and taking fruits such as sour sop (sharp sharp).
Dr. Betty Akeredolu delivered her lecture on STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infection). She said STIs are transmitted through female to female, male to male and male to female sexual contact. They are due to frugal organism transmitted through human fluid such as semen, saliva and blood, she said.
She also told students that adultery and fornication spreads STIs such as syphilis, gonorrhoea, HIV and AIDS. She warned students to stay away from sex if they are not ready to marry.
Student Nofisat Bakare said the seminar was an educative one. “Today I was exposed to some of the knowledge I need to live a healthy life as a woman," she said.
"(I learnt) most especially (about) breast cancer that has been killing a lot of young ladies in our generation." Ms Bakare added: "If a program of this nature is incorporated into the university curriculum, I think we will have less of these STIs and people will be conscious of their health."
Tuesday was the day for donating blood and providing general check ups for the students. The program was managed by the Lagos Ministry of Health. Dr. Babinton Balogon from Lagos state Blood Transfusion Centre said the units of blood donated can save several lives. Before you can donate blood, you must weigh more than 50kg and if an individual can donate three times yearly, he will be celebrated as a 'life donor'.
The students who donated blood were given a free medical check up and treatment to enable a quick recovery.
One of the students who donated blood said he'd done this because there are many people who died because of blood shortages. “I have been looking for this opportunity but to no avail. Since some people lay in hospital beds and some died because they cannot afford a pint of blood or that have a shortage of blood (and don't) survive medical treatment. If they can be truthful with this, it will go a long way to help the needy and less privileged,” Abdul-Mumin Umar told our correspondent.
On the third day, the Students Union and other students took part in a 'Malaria walk'. During the walk, the union president, Olayiwola Adebayo, informed the students about the deadly nature of malaria, its causes and prevention. Starting from the students union building, the 'walk' covered the entire campus by going from one faculty to the other.
On Thursday, the “keep LASU clean” campaign train took off at around 11 am from the Abe Igi (Under tree)- a popular rendezvous of the students. The Students union president joined by his executive council led the students in picking up litter and tidying the campus environment.
At the Faculty of Sciences, shop owners were warned to clean their premises and students threatened shop owners who refuse to maintain the standard of the union. “We cannot afford our students eating in this kind of environment," said union president, Adebayo. "We want to ensure that our environment is clean and free from all kinds of diseases. If you refuse to join us in this campaign, we will ensure that your shops are locked up.”
After the campaign, Adebayo rated the faculty of education as the cleanest faculty in the university.
On Friday, the final day of the week long program at the Theatre Arts Auditorium, there was free counseling on HIV/AIDS and free tests for students.