Senate Passes Sexual Harassment Bill In Nigeria

Nigerian Senate Passes Sexual Harassment Bill Image

One of the most significant and most traumatic factors that affect girls and young women disproportionally is undoubtedly sexual assault. But considering the environment and social impact of Nigeria, there is minimal information and facts regarding the subject. 

Statistics about Sexual Harassment in Nigeria


The Pan African Medical Journal study shows the following patterns and stats about the sexual assault in Nigeria.

  • 6.1 percent of males were recorded with the sexual assault cases
  • 93.9 percent of females are usually the victims of sexual assault which is clearly a majority
  • Most of the recorded cases occurred in the day
  • Most of the cases were recorded in the people with the age of fewer than 20 years and unmarried
  • 52 percent of the assailants were found to be known to victims
  • 48.5 percent of the cases happened at assailants’ office or house
  • The physical force was recorded in 29.6 percent of the cases and 31.1 percent of cases recorded with violence 

All of these stats and patterns are acquired by studying the 75 percent of the total cases.

Most Common Sexual Diseases in Nigeria


According to the scientific studies and researches, there are many STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) in Nigeria, but the most common of them all are listed below:

  • Gonorrhea
  • Chlamydia
  • Trichomoniasis
  • Syphilis
  • HIV
  • Herpes

Nigerian Senate Passes Sexual Harassment Bill


Due to the above figure and facts and the increasing rate of STDs in Nigeria, the Nigerian senate has passed the sexual harassment bill to uphold the basic ethical structures, specifically in high schools and universities, because there were many lecturers found in the universities committing sexual harassment.
Now because of the newly passed bill, any person committing sexual harassment crime will be sent to jail for at least two years.
Ahmad Lawan, the senate president, said that the sexual harassment bill is landmark legislation because we want to protect and save the daughters of our nation from the predators. He added that our tertiary institutions must be safe and sound to provide the students with a protective environment, and this bill will ensure it.

There is also the other side of the picture where the students were found accusing teachers of sexual harassment: essentially blackmailing to get better grades. The bill also deals with such students by making sure that in such cases, the students will be suspended.

The bill was first introduced in 2016, but the lawmakers revisited it due to the increasing cases of sexual misconduct in 2018.

After the success of the sexual harassment legislation, the education authorities and universities announced that they would work and cooperate with the government. They said that to ensure the implementation of the law, they will deal with every case by a thorough investigation.

Nigerian students, especially girls, feel very hopeful because it will make things very easy to pursue their careers and to reach their goals.

References:

https://www.kake.com/story/42346538/nigerian-senate-passes-sexual-harassment-bill

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/06/01/africa/nigeria-senate-investigates-harassment/index.html

https://www.wral.com/nigerian-senate-passes-sexual-harassment-bill/19179900/

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/nigerian-senate-passes-sexual-harassment-bill/ar-BB16uKH7?li=BBnbcA1

The Most Common STIs In Nigeria

Common Sexually Transmitted Diseases in Nigeria Image

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) or Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) are caused by viruses, parasites, or bacteria and spread through sexual contact (vagina, anal or oral), skin, mouth, or genitals. No! They cannot be transmitted from toilet seats.

STDs occur worldwide, but some infections are common in less Industrialized countries, mostly found in Africa. Some STIs lack a specific cure-only the symptoms can be diagnosed. However, others may be cured, such as Thrichomiasi, by the simple use of antibiotics (bacteria born).

For decades the prevalence of STIs in Nigeria has been on the rise at an alarming rate. Not only in the cities but also in rural areas. The condition is even worse in rural areas than in urban areas due to a lack of proper orientation.

Here are the most common sexually diseases in Nigeria.

Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea, even the name itself, is scary. It’s one of the most common and serious infections in Nigeria, and it threatens the well-being of residents. In 1963, WHO found Lagos with the highest Gonorrhea rate in the world.

Being a bacterial disease caused by Neisseria gonorrhea, it attacks and affects the genital tract. The weird part, the bacteria can also grow in the eyes, mouth, and anus. This bacterial infection leads to pregnancy difficulty, and sometimes it can lead to infertility if the fallopian tube gets blocked or damaged.

Gonorrhea symptoms usually appear within ten days after infection. But according to various studies, the sign and symptoms of the disease can take months to appear in certain unique persons.

Chlamydia

This is a bacterial infection caused by Chlamydia trachomatisIt affects both men and women and leads to abdominal pains, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), and back pains if not treated. The early stages of the disease come with no symptoms, so it becomes so difficult to detect and treat.

The silent infections are dangerous and lead to dire consequences like infertility, pelvic, and ectopic pregnancy. Fifty percent of infertility and salpingitis in women results from Chlamydia infection.

HIV

Yes! This disease has a lot of speculation around its origin. They say it came from monkeys, but religious leaders stick with the notion it’s a form of punishment from God. What do you think?

According to studies, HIV/AIDS has widespread publicity in Nigeria than other STIs diseases.

This Virus caused disease is the most dreaded of them all. It’s a human immunodeficiency virus that messes with the body’s immune system- the ability of the body to fight off disease-causing vectors (Bacteria, Viruses, and Fungi). Lack of proper management results in AIDs, which is chronic and life-threatening.

Syphilis

The rate of infection of Syphilis in Nigeria has increased over the years because, at the early stages, this bacterial infection is difficult to detect. If the disease goes untreated, it eventually spreads to your brain, internal organs, and brain.

Caused by a bacterium known as Treponema pallidum, the bacterium enters the body through the mucous membranes and skin during sexual intercourse. The initial signs of this disease are genital sores, then progressed with general rushes, and finally scabs and disfiguring abscesses all over the body.

Hepatitis B

This is a life-threatening liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). It’s not only a Nigerian problem but also an African. If left untreated or unchecked, it becomes chronic, and people can die from liver cancer and cirrhosis.

In 1982, scientists developed a vaccine against hepatitis B to help in preventing 95% of the infection and chronic liver disease.

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2486771

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2486771

http://www.nigeriamedj.com/article.asp?issn=0300-1652;year=2014;volume=55;issue=1;spage=9;epage=13;aulast=Arinze

https://www.hindawi.com/journals/jstd/2015/260126/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15655014

http://www.tjogonline.com/article.asp?issn=0189-5117;year=2019;volume=36;issue=2;spage=224;epage=231;aulast=Opone

https://www.iamat.org/country/nigeria/risk/sexually-transmitted-infections

New Study Identifies What Gives Nigerian Students Confidence to Use Condoms

New Study Identifies What Gives Nigerian Students Confidence to Use Condoms Image

The center of efforts to decrease the incidence and prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases accounts for raising awareness of condom use. In Nigeria and neighboring countries, this has been a tricky endeavor as public stigma often prevents men and women from being open about their sex life. Purchasing a box of condoms isn’t such an easy task for many, but things are changing. The latest study explored and identified different reasons that gave confidence to Nigerian students to adopt healthier sex practices and use condoms. Below, you can learn more.

Attitudes about condom use

Condoms are widely promoted to encourage sexually active men and women to practice safe sex. This has become incredibly important for students i.e. people who have started with sexual activity and need to be safe and cautious to avoid potentially negative scenarios (STDs and unwanted pregnancy) down the road. That being said, there were no studies that aimed to inspect the efficacy of those efforts to promote condom use and determine whether they had any impact. 

A study whose findings were published in the journal PLoS One aimed to change that. The main objective of the study was to assess the predictors of self-efficacy for condom use among university students in Nigeria. For the study, researchers enrolled 755 students in Nigeria who were interviewed in a period between February and April 2018. The results of the study are interesting and contribute to knowledge about the sexual behavior and health of healthy young adults in sub-Saharan Africa.

Over 70% of students were between 20 and 34 years old and 80% of subjects were sexually experienced. Moreover, 78% of students stated that religion was a significant part of their lives. Interestingly, 53% of students have never discussed sex-related subjects with their mother and 84% confessed they never talked about this topic with their father.

The study revealed that sexually experienced students were most confident about buying and using condoms. This finding clearly shows that confidence in condom use stems from sexual experience. Scientists confirmed that self-belief is developed through personal experience, but other important factors played a role. Age, sex, and parental factors also contributed to a person’s confidence in condom use.

Importance of the study

Findings from the study can serve health agencies and regulatory bodies to update their campaigns and target high-risk groups such as sexually inexperienced people who are less confident about condom use. These results also show there is a lot that has to be done to encourage young people in sub-Saharan Africa to use condoms and practice safe sex, be open about their sexual experiences, and thereby protecting themselves and others.

Conclusion

Sexually experienced students are more confident in condom use than their inexperienced counterparts. Other factors such as age also play a role. These findings could shape up efforts to promote safe sex practices by targeting those who are at the least likely to use condoms.

References 

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0221804

https://theconversation.com/what-gives-nigerian-students-the-confidence-to-use-condoms-130331

Common Sexually Transmitted Diseases in Nigeria

Common Sexually Transmitted Diseases in Nigeria Image

From genital ulcers, infertility, difficulty urinating, to horrifying pain – the common sexually transmitted diseases can cause quite a variety of symptoms. Although doctors and researchers keep warning us against these diseases and how important it is to get protected against them, there are still parts of the world, such as Nigeria, where the rates of the common sexually transmitted diseases are incredibly high.

The most common sexually transmitted diseases in Nigeria

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are diseases caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites, spread by having unprotected sexual intercourse – oral, vaginal, and/or anal. Some STDs do not have a cure, but one thing that all STDs share is the difficult symptoms and the dangerous complications that can happen if their symptoms are left untreated.

Some of the most common STDs in Nigeria are:

  • Chlamydia

Chlamydia is a common STD in Nigeria, affecting around 9.6% of its population. The prevalence of Chlamydia is especially high in Lagos, affecting around 51% of the people – both men and women living there. It is because of the lack of symptoms at the early stage of Chlamydia, that makes this disease so difficult to be detected and properly treated. This also increases the risk of spreading the infection by those who are unaware of either its existence or ignorant about the health risks that it poses. 

  • Gonorrhea

Back in 1963, Lagos was found to be the highest carrier of the gonorrhea infection in the world. Now, decades after, the rates of gonorrhea in Nigeria are still dangerously high, although we see a continuous decline in most countries worldwide. In fact, gonorrhea is considered to be the most common STD in this country. According to recent surveys, the prevalence of gonorrhea is considered to be as high as 28.1%.

  • Syphilis 

Another common STD in Nigeria is syphilis. Many people who got infected with syphilis are asymptomatic, it is easy for this infection to be spreading, while its rates keep on increasing. A 1989 study showed that when tested, 1.5% of the pregnant women in Lagos have tested positive for syphilis. Syphilis is a highly dangerous disease during pregnancy since it can be easily transmitted to the baby in the womb, causing horrifying complications such as premature death.

Conclusion

Nigeria is one of the countries with high rates of STDs. Unfortunately, the people of Nigeria are not speared of any STD; however, there are some STDs such as gonorrhea, syphilis, and Chlamydia, that are more common than others. With that being said, it is of vital importance to spread the word about getting tested, protected, and properly treated against any of these common STDs.

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5856484/

https://europepmc.org/article/PMC/4209648

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2486771#:~:text=PIP%3A%20Gonorrhea%20is%20the%20most,be%20as%20high%20as%2028.1%25.&text=Most%20women%20at%20STD%20clinics%20have%20vaginitis%20and%20vaginal%20discharge.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2486771

Herpes in Nigeria

Common Sexually Transmitted Diseases in Nigeria Image

Herpes is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that targets the mouth and reproductive organs of the body. The disease is caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV), which has two types: type 1 (HSV-1) and type 2 (HSV-2). 

HSV-1 is known to cause oral herpes, which infects the lips and mouth. Symptoms include cold sores and fever blisters. HSV-1 is not considered an STD by many healthcare experts, but it is still a serious health concern.

HSV-2, better known as genital herpes, is more severe than its oral counterpart. It affects the genital area, unlike HSV-1, which is limited to the mouth and causes lesions, including blisters and sores, on the skin. HSV-2 can only be contracted by skin-on-skin contact with an infected person. To contract HSV-2, you must come into direct contact with either the mucous membranes from or an exposed cut of an infected individual.

Having one type of HSV does not guarantee that you have the other one too. The two types act independently of each other and even target different areas. However, it is still possible to have both if you contract them at the same time, but one cannot cause the other.

Herpes in Nigeria

Nigeria is in the midst of a healthcare crisis; the rates of genital herpes in Nigeria are higher than in any other country with an estimate of 77.8% of adults being carriers of HSV-2. Older people have a higher prevalence of the disease, with the 51-60 year age group having the greatest rate of disease occurrence. The rates of prevalence are higher in unemployed people than in those with jobs. 

Pregnant women also experience cases of HSV-2. A survey carried out in Benin, Nigeria, showed that a staggering 46.3% of consenting pregnant women from a sample population were HSV-2 positive. 

Diagnosis of Herpes

Herpes is diagnosed by either one or a combination of the following methods:

  • Viral Culture: A lab test is conducted on a sore or tissue sample from the patient.
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR): This method is used to replicate your DNA from a sample of your blood, sore tissue, or spinal fluid. The resulting DNA is then tested for HSV.
  • Blood test: a blood sample is tested for the presence of HSV antibodies.

An expert physician, especially one working in a region densely affected by herpes, can also diagnose the disease based on a simple physical exam.

Portable Herpes Test Kits

Due to the strong prevalence of HSV in Nigeria, the government and many organizations have made efforts to make self-examination common. Luckily, this can easily be done with the help of portable herpes test kits. 

These kits contain testing materials like cotton swabs and test tubes, as well as shipping envelopes. A person who suspects an infection must collect either a sore tissue sample or mucus sample and send it to the given address marked on the kit inside the special envelope provided inside the package. After a few days, you can access the test results online.

If you’re worried about being infected, but feel uncomfortable about going to the hospital, this is the perfect choice for you!

Challenges Associated with Treating Herpes in Nigeria 

Nigeria is suffering from a herpes epidemic. Despite efforts from the World Health Organization (WHO) and other NGOs, the virus still runs rampant amongst the Nigerian people. There are several challenges associated with the eradication of HSV in Nigeria. 

Firstly, Nigeria is a developing country with the highest levels of poverty in the world, overtaking other developing nations like India and Ethiopia. This poverty is the primary reason why it has become so difficult to eliminate herpes from the area. 

Due to poverty, the Nigerian people face a severe shortage of medication as well as testing methods. Their overall lack of education has led to most adults being unaware of the dangers of herpes. This lack of awareness prevents them from practicing safe sex, which increases the likelihood of HSV contraction. 

Those who are aware of the symptoms of HSV often have limited methods of confirming it. There is both a shortage of hospitals and testing kits in the region. Even the efforts made by NGOs are insufficient to confront the healthcare issues faced by the 86.9 million people living in poverty in Nigeria.

Additionally, the shortage of clean water and the prevalence of unhygienic conditions have led to an increase in HSV cases as the majority of Nigerians cannot afford to practice good hygiene.  Due to poverty, many people also cannot afford contraceptives and are thus exposed to diseases that are transmitted through direct contact with genital sores and mucus. 

Interestingly, HSV sometimes appears with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Reports say that HSV-2 makes it easier for people to contract HIV, but making it harder to treat them because of the compromised state HIV puts their immune system in. This is by far the most complicated challenge faced by healthcare providers trying to eliminate HSV in Nigeria. 

An individual affected by HSV-2, as well as HIV, cannot be treated the way a person with only HSV-2 would. Using excessive medication would harm the patient more than help them because of how weak HIV/AIDS has made their body.

Nigeria is severely affected by herpes, which is caused by HSV. It is a viral disease that cannot be treated with antibiotics, making treatment harder than initially anticipated by healthcare experts. The majority of adults in Nigeria suffer from HSV, especially HSV-2, which affects the genital area.

Despite the efforts of multiple NGOs, termination of herpes seems near impossible due to the widespread challenges that affect Nigerians. There is no exact solution for the condition, but medical experts around the world are working towards a cure.

References:

https://www.pulse.ng/lifestyle/beauty-health/genital-herpes-causes-symptoms-and-prevention-of-this-ailment/xnv9z5t

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319524.php#transmission-of-hsv2

https://allafrica.com/stories/200810140635.html

New Survey Results Indicate That Nigeria Has an HIV Prevalence of 1.4%

Nigeria and HIV

According to a study conducted by UNIAIDS and the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), about 1.9 million people are living with HIV in Nigeria. However, the federal government of Nigeria has released a result that indicates an HIV prevalence of 1.4%.

Read More: HIV in Ghana is on the rise

This is contrary to the previous estimates of 2.8%. During the launching of the Revised National HIV and AIDS Strategic Framework (2019-2021) held in Abuja recently, Muhammadu Buhari, the President of Nigeria, acknowledged that there are now fewer people living with HIV in the country than before. This is a clear indication that the country has improved drastically with preventive measures and response to the epidemic in recent years.

Optimism of possibly ending AIDS in Nigeria by 2030

The president also expressed optimism that the end of AIDS by 2030 might become a possibility for Nigeria. He went ahead to urge all stakeholders and relevant agencies not to relent in their effort to bring the epidemic to an abrupt end.

Mike Sidibe, who is the Executive Director of UNAIDS, acknowledged the new estimates as a welcomed development. He went further to express satisfaction about the country’s present disposition towards HIV and AIDS. That it will allow the country to reach out to more people living with the virus, he also expressed optimism that the end of the epidemic is drawing nearer come 2030.

New estimates

According to the new estimates, there are more women (15-49 years) living with HIV than men. The national prevalence is 1.4% among adults between the ages of 15 and 49 years. HIV prevalence in children is about 0.2% of the total population of people living with the virus. However, several NGO’s and agencies have risen to stop the spread of HIV among children and infants.

With the new estimates, it is expected that the federal government can better invest in preventive measures and conduct effective planning for the control and prevention of HIV and AIDS in the country. More so, some populations will be controlled and limited to the barest minimum, such as female sex workers. When the virus is heavily suppressed, the rate of transmission through sex will be significantly reduced.

The Minister of Health

In a speech delivered by the Minister of Health, Isaac F. Adewole, he opined that people living with the virus need to have access to healthcare and retroviral drugs to achieve a high degree of suppression. He also said that pregnant women should have access to antenatal care and undergo proper testing for the virus during each pregnancy. “Early detection is the key to controlling the spread of the epidemic. Let’s ensure the next generation is free from HIV,” he concluded.

The new data generated are more accurate than the previous estimates because they are based on an enhanced methodology and an expanded surveillance system. Over the years, the number of facilities and agencies responsible for HIV prevention has tripled. The number of mother-to-child prevention centers has increased drastically. This has led to an increase in the response rate to the epidemic.