P.M. NEWS Nigeria » Living http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com First with Nigeria News - Nigerian leading evening Newspaper - Sat, 18 Oct 2014 14:07:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 6.4m Nigerian adults are exposed to tobacco smoke – Senate http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/16/6-4m-nigerian-adults-are-exposed-to-tobacco-smoke-senate/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/16/6-4m-nigerian-adults-are-exposed-to-tobacco-smoke-senate/#comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 03:31:07 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=216203 Senate President, David Mark

Senate President, David Mark

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, Sen. Ifeanyi Okowa (PDP-Delta) said on Wednesday that statistics had shown that about 6.4 million Nigerians were exposed to tobacco smoke in restaurants while 5.6 per cent used its products.

This was announced by Okowa at a public hearing to consider the harmonised National Tobacco Control Bill (Senate Bill) 2012 and 2014 Executive Bill.

Okowa, who attributed the statistics to the 2012 Global Adult Tobacco Survey, further disclosed that about 600,000 people die annually globally from second hand tobacco smoke.

He said it was in view of the alarming negative effect of tobacco on peoples’ health that the Senate decided to hold a public hearing.

According to him, the bill will provide the legal framework for the control of production, manufacture, sale, labelling and advertising, promotion, sponsorship and use of tobacco products and exposure to tobacco smoke.

The chairman further said the bill would provide for the prohibition of advertising, promotion and sponsorship as well as regulation of tobacco products.

“The bill we are considering today provides for health warnings and other information required on tobacco product packaging.

“It further provides for the protection of tobacco policies from commercial and vested interest of the industry as well as education and communication and public awareness as it relates to Nigerian public,” he said.

The Senate President, Sen. David Mark, while declaring the public hearing open, said the bill would help protect future generation of Nigerians from the devastating health consequences.

He also said it would protect Nigerians from social, economic and environmental consequences of tobacco use and exposure to tobacco smoke amongst others.

Mark said that anything with adverse effect on public health such as effect of tobacco, deserved the right awareness and attention.

“The statistics surrounding the impact of tobacco in the world at large and in Nigeria in particular, is staggering, a seemingly slow-killer that must not be ignored.

“Much to the contribution of the negative effect of tobacco and tobacco products in the country is the illegal production.

“Also the distribution and advertising of the product by many vendors lead to the cause of many diseases and untimely death of many Nigerians.

“This gathering has an onerous task of assessing issues not limited to just tobacco distribution, sale, advertising, manufacture and sponsorship.

“But also issues like age restriction and penalties, effects of second-hand smoke both on children and adults smoking in public places and implementation of these regulations hereafter,” he said.

He said, as a member of World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and by adopting treaty on Tobacco Control, the Nigerian Government and National Assembly had to live up to the mandate.

Mark added that the Nigerian Government and National Assembly would ensure that the adverse effects and burden of tobacco and its products on public health system was sustainably controlled.

“We must understand that for this bill to be sustained, it needs more than government backing. We must shun illegality in this business sector in its entirety.

“Our customs, judicial system and relevant health agencies have to be on deck to provide succour where and when needed,” he said.

He enjoined all stakeholders at the hearing to contribute gainfully, to help the Senate Committee on Health to arrive at a more informed and conclusive decision.

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CATE, Waka-about in Clean-Up campaign http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/13/cate-waka-about-in-clean-up-campaign/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/13/cate-waka-about-in-clean-up-campaign/#comments Mon, 13 Oct 2014 12:40:52 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=215790 Michelle Obama and some kids on a Clean-Up campaign

Michelle Obama and some kids on a Clean-Up campaign

Children And The Environment (CATE), foremost Nigerian NGO which focuses on creating environmental health awareness and promoting eco-tourism amongst young people, in partnership with Waka-about Media, publishers and promoters of culture and tourism in Nigeria, will on Saturday 18 October hold a Beach Cleanup exercise with 100 volunteers in the Lekki area of Lagos.

The programme, tagged “Let’s Cleanup & Greenup Okun Alfa Beach”, is part of a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative of both partnering outfits and is aimed at educating participants on the need to help communities keep the beach clean and beautiful.

The Cleanup exercise will also sensitise participants on guarding against the negative effects arising from Climate Change, as well as ensure that these environments are sustainable and continue to serve as places both people and wildlife can use safely.

The slogan for the one-day exercise is: ‘Stage a Rebellion against Trash – Raise Your Voice, Not The Sea Level!’

Participants are expected to meet at Ikeja for 8:00 a.m. at Forte Oil Petrol Station, Oba Akran Avenue; Surulere for 9:00 a.m. at Mr. Bigg’s, Masha Roundabout/Ogunlana Drive and at Lekki for 10:00 a.m. at first roundabout.

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Lagos steps up campaign to eliminate HIV transmission http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/12/lagos-steps-up-campaign-to-eliminate-hiv-transmission/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/12/lagos-steps-up-campaign-to-eliminate-hiv-transmission/#comments Sun, 12 Oct 2014 17:37:40 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=215695 The Lagos State Government is set for another round of campaign to accelerate the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and to reduce maternal deaths in the state.

This is contained in a statement by the state’s Ministry of Health on Sunday. The statement said that the campaign would enable infected pregnant mothers to have increased access to services, to prevent their babies from being infected and encourage more families to embrace family planning practices.

Part of the strategy, it said, was to unveil Wife of the state governor, Mrs Abimbola Fashola, as the face of Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) and Maternal Health in the state.

The strategy, the statement noted, would also provide an update on progress towards elimination of Mother-to-Child Transmission (MTCT) of HIV in the state in the light of the global plan targets highlighting achievements and gaps.

It was also expected to stimulate commitment of critical stakeholders, provide vital information on PMTCT and compile a directory of functional PMTCT sites in the state.

The goal of the campaign, according to the statement, is to catalyse high level support through the mobilisation of strategic stakeholders, including women of influence.

The aim, it added, was to improve demand for quality Prevention of PMTCT services and to encourage healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies.

The statement said the state was working in collaboration with United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nations Joint Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS).

It added that it was also working with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) as well as other relevant stakeholders to achieve this goal.

Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State

Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State

It expressed worries that in spite of the existing facilities and services, the state still contributed significantly to the unacceptably high national maternal deaths and the national burden of HIV.

This, it noted, was due to low utilisation of PMTCT and Family Planning services.

The statement further noted that Lagos state was one of the 12+1 states, which accounts for 70 per cent of Mother –to-Child Transmission of HIV burden in Nigeria with its HIV prevalence of 5.1 per cent.

This, it said, was based on the 2010 National HIV Zero-Prevalence Sentinel Survey and its vast population of 21,883,048, according to the Lagos State Bureau of Statistics.

The statement, however, said that UNAIDS was committed to revolutionising HIV prevention policies and practices that would ignite policy makers, opinion leaders and community gate keepers to focus on populations and programmes.

This, it said, was expected to make a difference in getting to zero new infections. “One of such programmes is the elimination of vertical transmission of HIV and the reduction of AIDS-related maternal deaths by half in 2015.

“This mandate is clearly in line with that of UNAIDS zero AIDS-related deaths, and UNFPA’s mandate of delivering a world where every birth is safe and where every woman is treated with dignity/respect,” the statement read.

It noted that according to the 2012 projected population figures for Lagos State, there were 1,060,225 pregnant women in that year.

This, it added, was at an HIV prevalence of 5.1 per cent, adding that about 54,071 pregnant women were infected with the virus.

It held that approximately one-third of women would, in the absence of any interventions to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV, pass the virus to their babies.

This, the statement said, translated to 16,468 preventable HIV infections among infants in the state during 2012 alone.

“The Lagos state maternal mortality ratio of 555/100,000 life-birth, or 555 mothers dying out of 100,000 mothers while giving birth, is higher than the national figure of 545/100,000 life birth.

“This statistics clearly negates UNFPA’s mandate of a world where every birth is safe and where every child is born free of HIV,” the statement said.

It added that it was against this background that UNAIDS, UNFPA and UNICEF were supporting the state government and other critical stakeholders to identify their roles in the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and maternal deaths.

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African Oscar winner, Bridget John joins Okoku’s Foundation http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/24/african-oscar-winner-bridget-john-joins-okokus-foundation/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/24/african-oscar-winner-bridget-john-joins-okokus-foundation/#comments Wed, 24 Sep 2014 13:36:14 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=213220 American-based Nollywood star, Bridget John has endorsed the Greater Tomorrow Children Foundation (GTCF), a charity-based organisation, whose primary aim is to help the less-privileged children in the Nigerian society and in the United States.

Founded by former Nigerian international Paul Okoku, the GTCF was officially launched in April 2014 in Abuja, with a firm resolve to help correct the imbalances in the society, through the provision of life-saving facilities and tools for those in dire need of them.

Touched by the gains that have been made by the foundation, Bridget, whose recent movie won the Best Diaspora Film at the Hollywood and African Film Critics, in Beverly Hills, California, USA, has pledged to be an Ambassador of the GTCF.

Speaking during an interview from her base in the US, Bridget, who produced and was the lead actress in Adora, said that it was an honour for her to help promote a project that seeks the well-being of underprivileged children and the deprived, adding that she would do everything within her means to draw attention to the plight of society’s downtrodden.

Former Super Eagles player, Paul Okoku (right) with actress Bridget John

Former Super Eagles player, Paul Okoku (right) with actress Bridget John

“I find it quite interesting and a thing of honour to be an Ambassador of the Greater Tomorrow Children Foundation and I hereby pledge my support to help project the ideals of the foundation so that we can impact the lives of our children,” Bridget said.

She praised Okoku for his humanitarian services. “Okoku, former Super (Green) Eagles AFCON medalist, is someone who I have known for a while now and what strikes me most about him is his large heart. He loves to help and that is why he founded this foundation, which I am proud to support and urge private and corporate bodies to partner with us so that we can reach out to those who really need help.

“There is so much we can do for the society by just giving a little of our support and partnership. It will go a long way to help rebuilding the lives of those who have nothing to live on.”

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3.2 million Nigerians are unnecessarily blind – Expert http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/18/3-2-million-nigerians-are-unnecessarily-blind-expert/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/18/3-2-million-nigerians-are-unnecessarily-blind-expert/#comments Thu, 18 Sep 2014 07:15:04 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=212254 Abiodun Onafuye/Abeokuta

R-L: Presentation of eye glasses to beneficiaries by Hon Yinka Mafe (in theatre attire)

R-L: Presentation of eye glasses to beneficiaries by Hon Yinka Mafe (in
theatre attire)

Dr. Daniel Anthony, an ophthalmologist with the St. Mary’s Catholic Eye Specialist Hospital, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, southwest, Nigeria has put the number of unnecessary blindness in the country at 3.2 million.

The medical doctor who spoke to journalists during an eye care intervention exercise at Yinka Mafe Foundation in Sagamu local government area of the state blamed the development on ignorance, poverty and lack of access to medical facilities.

The N5, 000, 000 (five million naira) worth of medicare which was bankrolled by a member of Ogun State House of Assembly representing Sagamu I State Constituency, Asiwaju Yinka Mafe had interventions like eye screening, surgery and distribution of eye glasses.

Speaking on the intervention, the ophthalmologist explained that the programme successfully screened over 2,000 people from across the local government, adding that such will be the first intervention of such by an individual.

“There are primarily three reasons why people are unnecessarily blind, the first is ignorance of various eye disease and various medical interventions that are accessible to them; the second is the inaccessibility to an eye care facility, and the third reason is poverty but I am happy to tell you that unknown to Mafe himself, he has actually addressed all the three factors.

An out patient at a ward in Sagamu appreciating the sponsor

An out patient at a ward in Sagamu appreciating the sponsor

“We did health care talks, he has also brought us to his people on various areas, and on the cost of treatment, he has just given it to them free of charge. It is a project that seeks to reduce the risk of avoidable blindness in the community. We have had people coming out to do things for their communities, this is not the first time, but I must say this is eventually coming out on a larger scale that an individual will do,” Anthony stated.

While speaking on the programme, the sponsor explained that the programme was close to his heart, adding that, he believed in such interventions than distributing money to people in the name of politics.

“As you can see, my people are in need of eye care and I decided that I want to give back to the society, even if it is little and that is why we are doing this today, we organised a free eye screening for our people and I am happy that about 2,000 of them turned out in the whole of Sagamu local government across three centers.

Doctors at the theater while the surgery is ongoing

Doctors at the theater while the surgery is ongoing

“Of the 2,000, that were screened some have been selected for surgery, some require glasses and others only require drugs. We’ve given out drugs already, and today, we decided to give out glasses and commence surgery and as you can see I am just coming out of the theater.

“This is a project that is very close to my heart and that is why I am investing in it. I believe it is not just stomach care that should be done, eye care is also needed, we should forget about politicians saying we have to give people money, they’ll appreciate this better than giving them money, it is part of dividend of democracy”, the lawmaker, who is also the Chairman, House Committee on Education revealed.

Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Alhaji Isiaka Okunoren who said he has not been seeing with his left eye for some years now, disclosed that he was at the center for surgery after he got the information from his mosque, adding that, “I have earlier approached Sagamu Teaching Hospital, but I could not foot the bill given to me
which was N40, 000.”

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Nigerians need education on female condoms http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/17/nigerians-need-education-on-female-condoms/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/17/nigerians-need-education-on-female-condoms/#comments Wed, 17 Sep 2014 09:36:21 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=212087 Woman tearing a female condom

Woman tearing a female condom

Stakeholders in the health sector have stressed the importance of increasing public awareness on the use of female condoms in Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa.

This is contained in a joint statement issued by Mrs Esther Agbarakwe and Mrs Nwabundo Onyeabo on behalf of the organisers of the 2014 Global Female Condom Day in Abuja on Tuesday.

The statement said that though the global distribution and use of female condoms had significantly increased, there was room for improvement, particularly in Nigeria.

“In 2009, around 26 million female condoms were provided through international and nongovernmental funding sources, compared to 10.7 million in 2006.

“However, the global distribution of female condoms is still far less than that of male condoms as it is currently not a well-known product, with only 13 per cent of persons having heard of the female condom, and much fewer have ever used one,” the statement read.

Female Condom

It said that though the campaign for female condom use in Nigeria had been in the media for some time, stakeholders in the sector had identified strategies that could improve condom use among women.

According to the statement, the Society for Family Health (SFH) currently creates demand through innovative mass media campaigns and advocacy to key community and opinion leaders and distributes female condoms nationwide.

It said that the government in collaboration with stakeholders had in the past promoted the distribution of over three million female condoms as part of its campaign against the spread of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs).

The statement said that the effectiveness of female condoms against both unwanted pregnancy and STDs could not be over emphasised.

“The effectiveness of the female condom cannot be over emphasised as when used perfectly, its failure rate is below 5 per cent and it can be inserted up to five hours before sex.

“The principle behind its operation is basically the same as the male version: it provides a barrier to the exchange of bodily fluids during sexual intercourse that can lead to HIV transmission.

“Strong grassroots intervention, interpersonal communication and elimination of inhibiting cultural and social beliefs are keys to promoting increased female condom use in Nigeria,” the statement said.

The statement said that the country programme activities for Global Female Condom Day will hold from 13 to 16 Oct. and would include providing support for large scale female condom programming in Nigeria.

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Ebola: NAFDAC to arrest LUTH consultant on Ewedu claims http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/17/ebola-nafdac-to-arrest-luth-consultant-on-ewedu-claims/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/17/ebola-nafdac-to-arrest-luth-consultant-on-ewedu-claims/#comments Wed, 17 Sep 2014 08:11:41 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=212071 By Oluremilekun Osobu-Asubiojo

Prof Adebukola Adefule Oshitelu, who laid claims that Ewedu is capable of curing the Ebola Virus Disease

Prof Adebukola Adefule Oshitelu, who laid claims that Ewedu is capable of curing the Ebola Virus Disease

The National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and ‎Control, NAFDAC has made a pronouncement to arrest the Professor of Ophthalmology at the Lagos State Teaching hospital, LUTH, Prof Adebukola Adefule Oshitelu, who laid claims that ‘Genus Corchorus’ popularly known Ewedu is capable of curing the Ebola Virus Disease.

The Director General of NAFDAC, Dr Paul Orhii, made this known at a press briefing on the activities of the agency, which was held on Tuesday at the agency’s Oshodi branch in Lagos.

She made this claim at the 2014 African Traditional Medicine organised by NAFDAC at ikeja, Lagos, in regards for the urgent need of cooperation between Traditional Medicine Practitioners and Conventional Medicine Practitioners in order to enhance better and reliable healthcare delivery system.

According to Oshitelu, Ewedu cures Ebola by improving an infected person’s immune system, likewise providing prevention against the deadly virus for uninfected persons.

Dr Paul Orhii, Director-General, NAFDAC

Dr Paul Orhii, Director-General, NAFDAC

“The nutrients in Ewedu is so much that it could kill Ebola by preventing the virus from replicating and destroying more organs in the body. This could immediately stop the symptoms such as high fever, stooling and vomiting.. Ultimately,leading to cure” Oshitelu said.

According to the DG, this claim is even more dangerous because the pronouncement was made by a medical and pharmaceutical professor in a precarious time. “Yes, we are going to arrest the Prof Adebukola Adefule Oshitelu because she did not heed to our advise and also because she made this statement in an event organised by NAFDAC, that is the “2014 African Traditional medicine Day,” he said.

Orhii said that when a scientist discovers a remedy for a disease, the right thing to do is to publish the results in a medium other scientists respect, and not rush to the press.

“One of the consequences of this unsupported and possibly fraudulent claim is that people may be misled into false sense of invincibility on the account of eating Ewedu or Bitter Kola and drop their guard.”

He added that the claim was a national embarrassment and the Agency will not take such uncorroborated claims by supposedly learned people lightly.

He urged the media to continue to support the national efforts to contain the spread of Ebola Virus Disease by publishing information that is the product of evidence-based medical research and which has been verified by the Agency.

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Oncologist wants plan for breast cancer reduction http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/15/oncologist-wants-plan-for-breast-cancer-reduction/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/15/oncologist-wants-plan-for-breast-cancer-reduction/#comments Mon, 15 Sep 2014 09:19:04 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=211748 A radiation oncologist, Dr Lola Salako, has called on stakeholders in the health sector to map out a five-year strategy to reduce the mortality rate of breast cancer.

Salako, Founder, Sebeccly Cancer Care and Support Centre, made the call in an interview with NAN in Lagos on Saturday.

She said that breast cancer was not found only among older women, but also younger women below age 35 could also have the disease.

“The fight against breast cancer is ongoing in Nigeria, however, we need to improve breast cancer care and reduce its mortality rate.

“Stakeholders need to sit at a round table and map out a five year strategy on how we can control and manage cancer,” Salako said.

She said stakeholders should not leave out the civil society organisations, cancer survivors, and private organisations in launching the initiative.

Salako also said that existing facilities like the cancer registry and treatment centre, needed to be equipped and adequately funded for effective fight against “the epidemic”.

An illustration to show breast cancer growth

An illustration to show breast cancer growth

The oncologist stressed the importance of early detection and presentation of breast cancer in the effort to reduce its mortality rate.

She said that many breast cancer patients in the country do not get the right treatment on time because they report to the hospitals with advanced stage of the disease.

“More women presently seeking treatment for breast cancer, many of these cases are already in stage three or four.

“We need to let our women know the importance of early detection and timely presentation to the appropriate doctor, increases the chance of survival.

“Early detection and presentation will help us offer them the best treatment and also have better outcome,” she said.

Salako advised women to be familiar with the shape, size and feel of their breasts at all time.

According to her, regular breast self examination, regular clinical screening and having a knowledge of family history were important factors in early detection of breast cancer.

World Health Organisation (WHO) in a report on breast cancer said, “Early detection in order to improve breast cancer outcome and survival remains the cornerstone of breast cancer control”.

According to the organisation, breast cancer is the top cancer in women worldwide, and is increasing particularly in developing countries where the majority of cases are diagnosed in late stages.

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Jonathan reiterates commitment to quality healthcare http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/12/jonathan-reiterates-commitment-to-quality-healthcare/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/12/jonathan-reiterates-commitment-to-quality-healthcare/#comments Fri, 12 Sep 2014 05:59:33 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=211274 President Goodluck Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday in Abuja restated Federal Government’s commitment to upgrade medical services in the country to world standard.

This was contained in a statement issued by Dr Reuben Abati, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity in Abuja.

The statement quoted Jonathan as saying this when the outgoing Ambassador of Cuba to Nigeria, Mr Hugo Rene Ramos Milanes, paid him a courtesy visit.

He said part of the government’s efforts was to acquire new technology and strengthen bilateral cooperation with countries like Cuba with expertise in the medical field.

The President said Nigeria had benefitted from scholarships extended to some of its medical students to study in Cuba.

“We have enjoyed scholarships given to our students in the medical sciences and the use of new medical technology.

“We hope to benefit more from Cuba’s medical expertise in tackling health challenges like Malaria,” the President told the outgoing ambassador.

Jonathan also told the ambassador that both countries could benefit from the ongoing transformation of the Nigerian economy.

He urged Cuban investors to explore the huge potential in the different sectors of Nigeria’s economy, adding that the sectors had been opened to foreign investors.

The outgoing Cuban ambassador thanked the Federal Government for the support given him throughout his tenure and pledged his country’s commitment toward assisting Nigeria in the transformation agenda.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government had offered automatic duty waiver for medical facilities and equipment to be imported by investors.

Mr Tony Elumelu, the Chairman,Federal Government’s Ministerial Committee on the Establishment of World Class Hospitals and Diagnostic Centres, disclosed this at a news conference on Thursday in Abuja.

He said the waiver would be under a special programme aimed at establishing world-class hospitals and diagnostic centres in the country.

Elumelu spoke with State House correspondents after Jonathan met with members of the committee at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He added that the move was part of efforts by the Federal Government to attract private sector investment into the health sector.

The objective, he said, was to raise the standard of healthcare delivery in the country, adding that under the programme, government would establish six world-class medical facilities and diagnostic centres in each of the six geo-political zones.

“We have just met with the President to discuss how we can fast-track the setting up of six world class medical facilities and diagnostic centres in each of the six geo-political zones in the country.

“We believe that the health sector is key to the development of the country, human capital is important and you have to have a healthy workforce for a country to develop.

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Ebola: NAFDAC begins check on fake sanitizers nationwide http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/10/ebola-nafdac-begins-check-on-fake-sanitizers-nationwide/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/10/ebola-nafdac-begins-check-on-fake-sanitizers-nationwide/#comments Wed, 10 Sep 2014 07:08:28 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=210961 DG NAFDAC Dr Paul Orhii

DG NAFDAC Dr Paul Orhii

The National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has begun a nationwide check on fake and unregistered sanitisers and other related products in the country.

The Agency’s Director of Special Duties, Mr Abubakar Jimoh, disclosed this in an interview with NAN in Abuja on Tuesday.

He said that the exercise would also involve a check on the activities of persons with claims of a cure for the Ebola disease.

The director said the Agency was aware of the activities of counterfeiters and claimants who had taken advantage of the Ebola outbreak to sell fake products and to mislead Nigerians.

Jimoh added that the director-general of the Agency had directed all its enforcement officers nationwide to be more vigilant and to check the circulation of fake products and equipment related to Ebola prevention.

“We are conscious of the fact that counterfeiters thrive when there is high demand for any regulated product. They do a lot of study and take advantage of the desperation of the people in times of emergency like we have with Ebola.

“So, NAFDAC as a regulatory agency has not folded its arms, we know their methodology, we already know the nuances of counterfeiters.

“The NAFDAC boss directed all NAFDAC formations all over the country to be vigilant and to watch out for fake hand sanitisers and also claimants, because this is the time for people to come up with fictitious claims either for cure or prevention of Ebola.”

He said that the Agency’s officers at all entry points into the country had been mandated to step up their watch on health products coming into the country.

Hand Sanitizer

Jimoh said NAFDAC was also worried about the distribution of unevaluated screening gadgets by some individuals but noted that its officials were in the field to arrest the situation.

“At the border, our port inspectorate directorate has been directed to redouble their efforts to ensure that some of the unregistered products are not smuggled into the country.

“We have also alerted the public on the possible sale of unevaluated and unregistered Ebola test kits to the public. We have alerted health workers and hospital authorities to watch out for the this particular product,” he said.

Jimoh urged Nigerians to be careful with the products they purchase, stressing that NAFDAC registration numbers could be faked by counterfeiters to sell their products.

He said NAFDAC would soon publish a list of registered and approved hand sanitisers and other kits in order to guide Nigerians on what choices to make.

Jimoh said the effort of the Agency was aimed at assisting other stakeholders to end the scourge of Ebola in Nigeria.

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NDLEA arrests 30 suspects, seizes 31kg of Indian hemp http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/10/ndlea-arrests-30-suspects-seizes-31kg-of-indian-hemp/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/10/ndlea-arrests-30-suspects-seizes-31kg-of-indian-hemp/#comments Wed, 10 Sep 2014 00:14:11 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=210924 The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in Niger on Tuesday said it had seized 31 kilograms of dried weed suspected to be Indian Hemps from 30 suspects in Suleja area of the state.

Alhaji Abdullahi Abdul, the state commander of the agency, told a press briefing in Minna that the arrests were made during raiding of five spots in the area on Saturday.

“Thirty one kilogrammes of dried weeds suspected to be cannabis sativa and other pscho-active drugs were recovered from eight dealers arrested at these joints,” he said.

Abdul said that another 22 suspected drug addicts were arrested at various joints during the raid.

He said the operatives of the agency raided Yan Gwangwan by IBB Market, New Kwata by abattoir, Old Army Engineering Barrack, Kantoma and Old Minna Garage all in Suleja.

Marijuana

Marijuana

The Agency’s commander said two drug addicts and three officers’ sustained injuries during the raids, adding that one of the addicts has been treated and discharged.

He said that the NDLEA’s vehicle was destroyed by some suspects who escaped and later ambushed the agency’s personnel.

He said that the activities of the suspected drug barons continually fuel all sorts of violent crimes in Suleja and its environs.

“The raid of these joints was very important to NDLEA in order to arrest the dealers operating in these joints and dislodge them,” he said.

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Academy of Science partners FG to tackle Ebola http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/08/academy-of-science-partners-fg-to-tackle-ebola/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/08/academy-of-science-partners-fg-to-tackle-ebola/#comments Mon, 08 Sep 2014 08:45:51 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=210656 The Nigerian Academy of Science says that it is collaborating with the Federal Government in the fight against Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the country.

The President of the academy, Prof. Oyewale Tomori, made this known in an interview with NAN in Abuja Sunday.

He said that members of the academy had been involved in the management of Ebola for a long time in providing guidance in the area of laboratory.

“Our members are involved in organising and coordinating the activities of laboratories, if they do not diagnose properly, we cannot know what we have and how to go about looking for a solution.

“Even before the virus came into Nigeria, scientists had provided support to the Federal Ministry of Health.

Prof. Oyewale Tomori

Prof. Oyewale Tomori

“We advised on the need to strengthen port health measures as a means of checking the entry of some of the very deadly diseases, including Ebola into the country,” he said.

According to him, the search for Ebola cure is a worldwide challenge, not that of Nigeria alone.

The president, however, said that the academy had nonetheless been involved in the search for a solution.

“Since the first Ebola virus broke out in 1976, this is the first time we are having it in Nigeria, so it could not be regarded as our sole problem.

“Finding a cure for Ebola, therefore, is getting international response since it is a cross-border menace,’’ he said.

Tomori, a professor of virology, cautioned on the handling of Ebola issues because of the sensitive nature of the virus.

“It is so dangerous that you need the right equipment because it will be suicidal to work with Ebola cases without the right kind of equipment.

“To work with Ebola cases we need to improve on certain things, some basic infrastructures like constant electricity supply and bio-security,” he said.

He advised the Federal Government to look beyond the immediate Ebola crisis by funding the health sector and the development of science in general in the interest of the country.

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Ebola: Panic grips Abakaliki Teaching Hospital http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/07/ebola-panic-grips-abakaliki-teaching-hospital/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/07/ebola-panic-grips-abakaliki-teaching-hospital/#comments Sun, 07 Sep 2014 04:46:50 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=210499 File Photo: People fleeing a scene Photo: naijagists.com

File Photo: People fleeing a scene
Photo: naijagists.com

Ebonyi State Government has dismissed claims of a possible Ebola Virus Disease outbreak in the state. Panic gripped the state after a patient exhibited symptoms akin to that of the deadly Ebola Virus.

The rumour began from the Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki and became an item when doctors, nurses and patients at the hospital fled the hospital premises for fear of not contacting the virus.

It was reported that a doctor at the hospital began the rumour after a patient he was treating began to exhibit symptoms similar to that of Ebola.

Rather than quietly divulge his observation, the doctor was reported to have raised alarmed when he further realised that the woman had recently came into the state from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, where the virus has killed two people and infected others.

In a swift reaction to the pandemonium, Commissioner for Health, Dr. Sunday Nwangele, dismissed the rumours and urged the public to go about their business normally.

Nwangele said the patient had peptic ulcer and not Ebola Virus Disease, noting that, the state government is well prepared to handle any outbreak.

“False alarm, it is a case of peptic ulcer, disregard the alarm, there is no Ebola Virus Disease in Ebonyi State, Nigeria.”

“Meanwhile, Government of Ebonyi State, through the State Ministry of Health, the Rapid Response Team and Treatment Committee are by His Grace ready to handle issues of Ebola Virus Disease in the Ebonyi state.

“We will also continue to enlighten the entire public to comply with universal precautions as already established which include hand washing, use of sanitizers, restriction of travels to Ebola virus-affected destinations, restriction of conveyance of corpses, minimise contacts with people, etc.”

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NAFDAC arrests 8 over adulterated drugs, foods http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/05/nafdac-arrests-8-over-adulterated-drugs-foods/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/05/nafdac-arrests-8-over-adulterated-drugs-foods/#comments Fri, 05 Sep 2014 22:41:59 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=210346 In the file: Prescription drugs

In the file: Prescription drugs

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) in Kwara has arrested eight patent medicine sellers and bakers for selling adulterated foods and medicine.

The NAFDAC Coordinator in Kwara, Mrs Juliana Abayomi, made the disclosure in an interview with NAN in Ilorin on Friday.

She said the eight were arrested in different parts of Kwara North Senatorial District during an unscheduled assessment visit by NAFDAC officials to the area.

The coordinator said several drugs, bread and the snack called Gala were found to be adulterated and were confisticated from them.

Abayomi said that the eight medicine sellers were arrested in Kaiama, Gure, Kosubosu, Okuta and Chikanda town.

She said the Agency had sealed a bakery in Chikanda for producing bread with bromate.

She then warned fruit sellers against using calcium carbide to preserve fruits being sold to people, adding that
the Agency would not hesitate to deal with any fruit seller caught in the act.

The coordinator reminded the people of the state to always ensure that manufactured products had NAFDAC registration number before purchasing them.

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‘One Person Commits Suicide Every 40 Seconds’ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/04/one-person-commits-suicide-every-40-seconds/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/04/one-person-commits-suicide-every-40-seconds/#comments Thu, 04 Sep 2014 12:32:14 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=210111 One person commits suicide every 40 seconds, an avoidable tragedy that fails to grab attention because of taboos and stigma, a UN report said Thursday.

In a study released three weeks after the apparent suicide of Hollywood great Robin Williams, the World Health Organization also warned that media reporting of suicide details raises the risk of copycat behaviour.

“Every suicide is a tragedy. It is estimated that over 800,000 people die by suicide and that there are many suicide attempts for each death,” said WHO chief Margaret Chan in the landmark report capping a decade of research.

“The impact on families, friends and communities is devastating and far-reaching, even long after persons dear to them have taken their own lives,” she added.

WHO, which called suicide a major public health problem that must be confronted and stemmed, studied 172 countries to produce the report.

Robin Williams

Robin Williams, commited suicide

It said that in 2012 high-income countries had a slightly higher suicide rate — 12.7 per 100,000 people, versus 11.2 in low- and middle-income nations.

But given the latter category’s far higher population, they accounted for three-quarters of the global total.

Southeast Asia — which in WHO-speak includes countries such as North Korea, India, Indonesia and Nepal — made up over a third of the annual.

Suicides in high-income countries, meanwhile, accounted for around a quarter of the global figure.

The most frequently-used methods globally are pesticide poisoning, hanging and firearms, but jumping from buildings is a common method in highly urbanised areas in Asia.

WHO cautioned that suicide figures are often sketchy, with less than half of those nations keeping clear tallies.

As a result, it said, it crunched a range of data to enable it to craft country-by-country estimates of the suicide rate.

The global rate was put at 11.4 per 100,000, with men almost twice as likely as women to take their own lives.

The most suicide-prone countries were Guyana (44.2 per 100,000), followed by North and South Korea (38.5 and 28.9 respectively).

Next came Sri Lanka (28.8), Lithuania (28.2), Suriname (27.8), Mozambique (27.4), Nepal and Tanzania (24.9 each), Burundi (23.1), India (21.1) and South Sudan (19.8).

In their wake were Russia and Uganda (both with 19.5), Hungary (19.1), Japan (18.5) and Belarus (18.3).

In high-income countries, mental disorders such as depression were present in up to 90 percent of people who died by suicide, compared with around 60 percent in countries such as China and India, WHO said.

The UN agency said its goal by 2020 was to cut national suicide rates by 10 percent.

But a major challenge, it said, is that suicide victims are often from marginalised groups of the population, many of them poor and vulnerable to a string of pressures.

And low-income countries whose health systems already struggle to deal with infectious diseases have particular difficulty detecting and helping people at risk of killing themselves.

“Suicides are preventable,” said Chan.

“This report encourages countries to continue the good work where it is already ongoing and to place suicide prevention high on the agenda, regardless of where a country stands currently in terms of suicide rate or suicide prevention activities,” she added.

Experts have repeatedly castigated the media and social network users for giving lurid details of suicides, whether of celebrities such as Williams or unknown individuals who killed themselves in a bizarre fashion.

“Inappropriate media reporting practices can sensationalise and glamourize suicide and increase the risk of ‘copycat’ suicides,” the report said.

“Media practices are inappropriate when they gratuitously cover celebrity suicides, report unusual methods of suicide or suicide clusters, show pictures or information about the method used, or normalise suicide as an acceptable response to crisis or adversity,” it said.

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Water experts call on FG to establish laboratories http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/27/water-experts-call-on-fg-to-establish-laboratories/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/27/water-experts-call-on-fg-to-establish-laboratories/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 10:38:12 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=208865 Abiodun Onafuye/Abeokuta

To ensure that the health of Nigerians are not endangered through the type of water they drink, it has become inevitable for the Federal Government to enact a law that will make it compulsory for all water packaging companies to have laboratories capable of performing some levels of quality parameter testing.

Water expert, Mr. Babatunde Jooda said this at a lecture in Abeokuta on Tuesday 26 August. He disclosed that for producers of sachet water who cannot afford laboratories, the government must ensure that regulatory agencies strictly monitor their activities to ensure that they produce quality water.

He spoke while presenting paper at a workshop, organized by the South West zone of the Nigerian Water Supply Association (NWSA).

The association is a body whose members, among other things are concern with efficiency of water supply for domestic, industrial and other needs in the country.

The workshop which attracted participants from Ogun, Oyo, Ondo, Osun and Lagos states was themed: “Water and Sanitation: Key Factors to Healthy Living”.

Pure Water

Jooda, a water engineer of high repute, insisted that the appeal was necessary at this time when public water supply through bottled and sachet water had risen to 31 per cent.

According to him, “Today sachet water (Pure water) is an industry that has more than 18,900 manufacturers and millions of business concerns benefiting from it one way or the other, noting that, “the packaged water industry has served us better in the direction of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG)”.

“It is therefore necessary for us to examine the dynamics involved in managing both quality and challenges involved in this responsible business which is found to be one of the fastest selling commodities in Nigeria with a view of improving its activity and mandate.

“The consumer expects that whatever water is packaged and sold to the public is expected not to have any damaging effect on the health of the people and should be safe”, Jooda revealed.

The water engineer explained that in advanced counties, producers of water, both government and private concerns are highly liable for injuries or objectionable features caused by the water they supplied to the public.

He recommended among other things that governments should encourage producers of packaged water by eliminating multiple taxation and must also, “look for alternatives to plastic packing materials that have been found to be the causes of certain illness and deaths”.

Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State, who was represented by the State Commissioner for Special Duties, Mr. Olu Odeyemi, however, disclosed that 1.8 million people die annually in developing countries through water borne diseases.

Amosun said his administration had made provision of quality water to the people, a priority, which must be accomplished.

Another water quality expert, Mrs. Muinat Jaji who also delivered a paper at the one-day workshop, explained that in most of the developing countries, the major causes of death is consumption of polluted water.

“The establishment of Nigerian Standard for Drinking Water Quality will ensure the safety of the drinking water supplies and protection of public health. The effective protection of public health against water related diseases requires a preventive integrated management approach which includes the protection of drinking water from catchments and source to its use by consumers,” she affirmed.

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Not all Ebola victims will die, says Fashola http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/09/not-all-ebola-victims-will-die-says-fashola/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/09/not-all-ebola-victims-will-die-says-fashola/#comments Sat, 09 Aug 2014 09:54:38 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=206233 Governor Babatunde Fashola

Governor Babatunde Fashola

Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State on Friday said it was wrong for people to believe that those who were infected with the Ebola virus would automatically die.

Fashola made the clarification during his inspection visit to the Isolation Ward for patients with Ebola symptoms at the Mainland Hospital, Yaba, Lagos.

According to him, the consequences of testing positive to the disease will depend on what is done and what is not done to save the lives of the victims.

The governor pointed out that there were reported cases of people recovering from the disease in other parts of West Africa, where the virus was endemic.

“Now from what the Centre for Disease Control told me yesterday there is no known cure for the virus, but if it is known and diagnosed early, patients can make full recovery because here you can give them very intense medical care.

“Some of these will involve managing their waste, managing their body fluids, giving them antibiotics and fluids to rehydrate their body and to ensure that their immune system is able to find a standing chance to combat and make full recovery as we have seen in some parts of Liberia and Sierra Leone.”

He urged Lagos residents not to panic about the development but take the right precautions against the spread of the disease.

Fashola explained that reporting suspected cases to the right authorities, isolating patients and avoiding unprotected contacts with patients were some precautions that would help contain Ebola spread.

The governor explained that the creation of Isolation Wards at the hospital was part of measures by the State Government to bring the threat under control.

Fashola urged private hospitals to establish a first line of defence against the spread of the disease by taking precautions right from entry of patients and creating Isolation Wards.

“The private hospitals must isolate because we cannot do this alone. People are going to go to them sometimes before they are referred to us.

“So they must take the same precaution and defence and create isolation wards in their hospitals now for people they suspect might have the disease.

“They should monitor if they are all cleared, discharged and if they are not cleared, let us know immediately so that we can either come and pick or you move to us.”

Fashola implored those having the virus to be courageous enough to report themselves for care and avoid close contacts with other people.

He urged residents to maintain good personal hygiene and environment as diseases thrived in dirty environments.

While commending the Nigerian Medical Association for suspending its strike to attend to the national emergency, he urged health workers to continue to do their best to contain the spread of the disease.

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Ebola drugmaker’s shares surge after US eases restrictions http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/08/ebola-drugmakers-shares-surge-after-us-eases-restrictions/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/08/ebola-drugmakers-shares-surge-after-us-eases-restrictions/#comments Fri, 08 Aug 2014 20:34:48 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=206154 Shares of Canadian company Tekmira Pharmaceuticals surged on Friday after US officials loosened restrictions on the use of its experimental drug to treat the Ebola virus.

Near 1925 GMT, Tekmira shares were 36.1 percent higher at $19.42 a share.

Tekmira announced on Thursday that the US Food & Drug Administration had “verbally confirmed” that they shifted the classification of its TKM-Ebola treatment to a partial clinical hold from a full clinical hold.

“This action enables the potential use of TKM-Ebola in individuals infected with Ebola virus,” the company said.

“This current outbreak underscores the critical need for effective therapeutic agents to treat the Ebola virus,” said Tekmira chief executive Mark Murray.

Tekmira

“We recognize the heightened urgency of this situation, and are carefully evaluating options for use of our investigational drug within accepted clinical and regulatory protocols.”

Two Americans infected with Ebola have shown signs of improvement since being given ZMapp, a treatment made by private US company Mapp Pharmaceuticals.

There is no proven treatment or cure for Ebola and the use of experimental drugs for treatment has sparked debate with the latest outbreak in West Africa.

Nearly 1,000 people have died in the new outbreak and the World Health Organization declared it a global health emergency on Friday.

WHO director-general Dr Margaret Chan appealed for greater help for those worst hit by the “largest, most severe and most complex outbreak in the nearly four-decade history of this disease.”

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Ebola: Jang-led NGF to meet health minister, stakeholders http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/07/ebola-jang-led-ngf-to-meet-health-minister-stakeholders/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/07/ebola-jang-led-ngf-to-meet-health-minister-stakeholders/#comments Wed, 06 Aug 2014 23:24:07 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=205822 Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State

Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State

Governor Jonah Jang-led Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) said on Wednesday it would hold a one-day sensitisation programme to educate and inform Nigerians on the deadly Ebola virus.

This was contained in a statement in Abuja and signed by Osaro Onaiwu, the Secretary to the forum.

According to the statement, the meeting which is being organised in collaboration with the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu and all the commissioners of health in the federation, also seeks to keep Nigerians abreast of government’s efforts to combat the virus.

“The purpose of the meeting is for the minister to discuss sensitisation efforts and review the progress made in the preparedness and measures put in place to prevent the spread of Ebola.”

The statement said the meeting would arm the commissioners of health with adequate information to brief their governors on measures to adopt to curb the virus in their various states.

The meeting is scheduled for 11 August with all the commissioners for health in the 36 states are expected in attendance.

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100,000 babies die of sickle cell disorder in Nigeria annually – WHO http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/06/100000-babies-die-of-sickle-cell-disorder-in-nigeria-annually-who/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/06/100000-babies-die-of-sickle-cell-disorder-in-nigeria-annually-who/#comments Wed, 06 Aug 2014 09:36:51 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=205735 Oluremilekun Osobu-Asubiojo

Mr. Ibukun Akinduro and Mrs.Olabambo Akinduro, the parent of the late Tolulope Akinduro during the launching of Tolulope Akinduro Foundation in Sickle Cell Foundation Idi- Arab, Lagos.

Mr. Ibukun Akinduro and Mrs.Olabambo Akinduro, the parent of the late Tolulope Akinduro during the launching of Tolulope Akinduro Foundation in Sickle Cell Foundation Idi- Arab, Lagos.

At least 100,000 babies die from sickle cell disorder in Nigeria every year according statistics by the World Health Organisation (WHO), making it the number one sickle-cell endemic country in Africa.

WHO also stated that over 500,000 babies with severe forms of sickle cell disorder are born worldwide, with majority in low and middle income countries.

WHO indices for Nigeria showed that it accounts for 75 per cent of infant sickle-cell cases in Africa and almost 80 per cent of infant that die from the disease in the continent. Nigeria has the largest burden of over 40 million Nigerians as carriers and an estimated 1,000,000 living with sickle cell disorder in Nigeria.

WHO recommendation reflects that where disorders are common, special dedicated centres are required, to ensure adequate services for treatment and prevention to combat the high incidence.

Due to many lives lost to this disorder many efforts has been put in place to reduce the health burden of haemoglobin disorders through management and prevention programmes by different bodies among was the recently launching of Tolulope Akinduro Foundation under the auspice of Sickle Cell Foundation.

For this reason, Tolulope Oluwaseun Akinduro Foundation was established in memory of Tolulope Akinduro, who died of sickle cell disorder on 15 July 2013 aged 30. He was a senior consultant in Deloitte & Touche Consulting Atlanta Georgia, United State of America. The launch of the event was held at the Sickle Cell Foundation Centre Idi-Araba, Lagos.

According to Olabambo Akinduro, his mother, the experience of having to cope with her son’s sickle cell disorder has a ‘terrible situation’.

“Although Tolu was born with a debilitating illness, sickle cell anaemia, he always maintained a positive and optimistic attitude. He never let himself be defined by his illness. Tolu’s faith in Jesus never wavered no matter what circumstances he was going through.

“The death of a child is not what every mother ever wished for. That is why this foundation is being launched today in an effort to tackle the national burden of sickle cell disorder in Nigeria and the way forward”.

Tolulope was born on 26 July 1983 in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. After his primary and secondary school education in Nigeria and France. He proceeded to Clark Atlanta University in the US where he graduated in 2007 with a double major in physics and electrical and electronic engineering and a minor in mathematics. “He was an outstanding student throughout all levels of his education,” his mother said.

Upon graduation, Tolu joined Deloitte and Touche Consulting as an analyst and quickly distinguished himself in client support technologies. He was promoted to Consultant within two years of entering the organization. At the time of his passing away, he was a Senior Consultant.

“Tolu brought joy into any room he walked into. He never met a stranger and was the life of any gathering he was a part of, adding that, “Tolu may be gone, but he will never be forgotten. His joyous attitude, intellect, sense of humour and positive vibe will live on through our family, friends and loved ones. We miss him and love him now and always. Thanks for the great memories: You lived such a full life and brought so much joy and affection to everyone you knew.”

In honour of Akinduro, Chairman, Sickle Cell Foundation Nigeria, Professor Olu Akinyanju described the inheritance of Hb, as it is possible for some people inherit Hb A from their parents and have Hb AA with normal red blood cells. And persons with sickle cell disorder, SCD inherit Hb S from each parent or S from one parent and another variant such as Hb C from the other parent with abnormal red blood cells.

Akinyanju, attributed the challenges faced by the affected families as ignorance, lack of access to good services, frequent child illness death, increased anxiety, superstition, stigmatization and death .

According to National Director of SCFN, Dr. Annette Akinsete, sickle cell disease can be reduced through genetic counselling.

“Genetic counselling is a process by which people with sickle cell disorder and their relatives and healthy carriers are provided with accurate, unbiased information in a structured, coherent and coordinated manner in a caring relationship. Genetic counselling is a gateway for effective care and management of sickle cell. This is one of the services rendered by the centre, by highly qualified genetic counsellors in Sickle Cell centre. They deliver expert genetic counselling every day of the week to individuals, couples and families”

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