A medical doctor in Kano State, Dr Tijjani Haruna, has attributed poor academic performance among some students to phone addiction.
Haruna, who is working with the Mohammed Abdullahi Wase Specialist Hospital, Kano, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kano on Sunday.
“The mobile addiction that starts at an early age may lead to poor academic performance, skiving class, sleep disturbances and in more serious cases, to mental problems,’’ he said.
According to him, the ugly trend can make users prone to obesity, lack of concentration and other diseases.
He said that schools and the family have an important role to play in checking the ugly trend by preventing children from using mobile phones from childhood, before they become addicted to it.
Some parents in Kano have also expressed concern over the addiction of youths in the use of smart phones, describing the menace as “disturbing and dangerous to their health”.
In separate interviews with NAN, they condemned the actions of most of the youths in the state addicted to cell phones.
Malam Ali Sadiq, a parent, lamented that “most of the youths who are in the age bracket of 18 to 35 years are addicted to smart phones, while few of them who are outside of this age bracket are also in the habit of using mobile phones anywhere they find themselves”.
Sadiq appealed to parents and other stakeholders in the state to educate their children on the dangers associated with persistent use of cell phones.
Another parent, Mrs Maimuna Bala, also expressed dismay over the “ugly trend” seriously distracting their studies and other activities.
“Many parents are out of touch with the dangers faced by their children on tablets and smart phones,” she said.
Mr Gabriel Adekoya, another parent, also said that youths between the ages of 18 and 30 in the area are the most affected because they over concentrate to their smart phones anywhere they go.
“Our youths nowadays are always glued to their phones, tapping away on WhatsApp, posting selfies or scrolling YouTube for the latest videos, some of them hardly relate directly with real people around them because of addiction,” Adekoya said.
Mr Abass Yusuf, an Electronics engineer in the city, said that you hardly see people ranging from youths and even some old people in the society without smart phones irrespective of the dangers of using such gadgets.
“These smart phones come with social media applications like Whatsapp and Facebook, people hardly spend half of the day without going through messages sent to them via Whatsapp and Facebook.
“The most annoying thing is people over concentrate by surfing through their smart phones while at places of work, eateries or places of worship,” Yusuf said.
However, Dr Arikawe Adeolu, a Medical Practitioner, Federal Medical Centre, Jabi, Abuja, advised Nigerians to develop good phone hygiene as the device has the capacity to hold millions of micro organism.
Adeolu told NAN that the mobile phone picks these micro organisms from frequency of use and where they are placed.
He said that research shows that micro organisms found on mobile devices were more than those found on toilet sits as constant use without cleaning meant an accumulation of bacteria.
Adeolu said that these micro organisms found on phones can be picked from anywhere as users place them on various surfaces, drop them on the ground and carry it with them when using the toilet.
He said that because the device was hardly ever cleaned by the users it retains these micro organisms which can subsequently put the user at risk for developing diseases.
The expert said that micro organisms found on phones can hardly be cleaned by simply dusting them.
He called for a more hygienic method of cleaning to keep the devices free from micro organisms and bacteria enabling a more healthier lifestyle.
“The phone is a very dirty device because it is one of the few things we hardly ever clean; we put it down and pick it up all the time, but never took our time to clean it.
“Some persons while going to use the toilet take their phones along with them and they drop it on the sink or other places in the toilet.
“When they are done, they pick it up and continue using it not knowing what bacteria the device has picked up.
“Research has shown that the micro organisms found on the phone are more than those picked on the toilet sit and this is something that should cause a major health concern to everyone.
“This is because the device is quiet a personal item to all users and it is used on a daily basis.
“The phone picks organisms and bacteria from everywhere. The fact that you pick it and drop it from one place to the other all the time is enough,” said the medical expert.
Adeolu explained that although this unhygienic lifestyle with the phone does not directly affect one’s health due to the integrity of the skin, an individual’s health could be affected if the same hands used in handling the phone is used to consume food.
He said that micro organisms injested could increase one’s risk of developing diseases especially in individuals who have weak or low immune system.
The expert advised that the phones be cleaned at least once every week with antiseptic wipes. (NAN)