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  • Author: Precious Ayomide Kanmodi x
  • Basic Medical Science x
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Abstract

Background: Historically, the Rod of Asclepius is considered as the correct symbol of Medicine. Unfortunately, many medical/health institutions in the world have erroneously interchanged the Rod of Asclepius symbol with erroneous symbols (e.g. Caduceus) to depict Medicine. This study aims to assess the official logos (i.e. institutional symbols) of university teaching hospitals in Nigeria and determine if these logos actually depict the true symbol of Medicine.

Methods: This study was a cross-sectional online survey of teaching hospitals in Nigeria on their official logos. A total of 40,556 operating hospitals and clinics in Nigeria were identified. After systematic screening, a total of 35 hospitals were identified as university teaching hospitals and used for the survey. Official information about the geopolitical zone, ownership and official logo of the selected hospitals was obtained (via online and offline search). Data collected was analysed using SPSS version 22 software.

Results: Out of the 35 surveyed university teaching hospitals, only 7 did not have snake(s) as part of their official logo. However, out of the remaining 28 hospitals that have snake(s) as part of their official logos, only 57.1% (16/28) of them have only one snake in their logo. Exactly half of the surveyed hospitals having logos with two entwined snakes (i.e. Caduceus) were owned by the federal government. Bivariate analysis showed that there exists statistically significant relationship between the geopolitical zone where a hospital is situated and the number of entwined snakes indicated in their official logo (p-value=0.034).

Conclusion: This study shows that the correct symbol of Medicine is not universally indicated in the official logos of the university teaching hospitals in Nigeria.

Abstract

Background: Tobacco smoking is an addictive behavior with heavy risks accompanying its prolonged practice. Unfortunately, more and more people are indulging in tobacco smoking habits despite the public health education programs going on worldwide about the dangers associated with tobacco smoking behavior. This study aims to survey active shisha smokers in Birnin Kebbi Local Government Area (LGA), Kebbi State, Nigeria, on the awareness of the harmful effects associated with shisha smoking.

Methods: This study was a survey of 45 active shisha smokers in Birnin Kebbi LGA. Snowballing technique was adopted in participants’ recruitment. Study instrument was a questionnaire. Data collected was analyzed using SPSS version 20 software.

Results: Majority (32/45) of the participants were males, 16 had secondary school education, and 19 were within age range of 15 to 24 years. The majority (25/45) of them began to smoke shisha at the age of 18 years or more; also, 20 participants smoked shisha in all the 30 days prior to their participation in this study. Less than half of the study participants knew that: shisha is a stimulant (6/45), shisha smoke contains carbon monoxide (10/45), and the liquid in shisha could be replaced with alcohol (15/45). However, more than half of the participants knew that shisha contains nicotine (23/45) and tobacco (25/45). Only 16, 13, 11, 9, 5, 10, and 13 participants knew that shisha smoking could lead to cancer, cardiovascular diseases, increase in the risk of infections, reduced baby weight in pregnancy, gum and mouth disease, eye disease and blindness, and harm to non-smokers, respectively.

Conclusion: Many of the active shisha smokers surveyed in this study began smoking shisha at a young age. Also, a significant proportion of them were unaware of the health hazards associated with shisha use; hence the need to educate them and even the Nigerian public on the dangers associated with shisha use.