P.M. NEWS Nigeria » Living http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com First with Nigeria News - Nigerian leading evening Newspaper - Fri, 29 Aug 2014 04:26:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 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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Top 10 Secrets To Happiness http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/31/top-10-secrets-to-happiness/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/31/top-10-secrets-to-happiness/#comments Thu, 31 Jul 2014 14:46:06 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=205151 Catholic pontiff, Pope Francis has revealed top ten secrets to happiness. Some of the secrets are: slowing down, being generous and fighting for peace.

A publication, Catholic News Service, quoting an interview published in part in the Argentine weekly “Viva” on 27 July, listed the pope’s Top 10 tips for bringing greater joy to one’s life.

According to Pope Francis, everyone should be guided by the principle of  “Live and let live.” This number one secret, he said, has a similar expression in Rome with the saying, “Move forward and let others do the same.”

The second recipe is: “Be giving of yourself to others.” People need to be open and generous toward others, he said, because “if you withdraw into yourself, you run the risk of becoming egocentric. And stagnant water becomes putrid.”

He said the third secret is to “Proceed calmly” in life. The pope, who used to teach high school literature, used an image from an Argentine novel by Ricardo Guiraldes, in which the protagonist — gaucho Don Segundo Sombra — looks back on how he lived his life.

“He says that in his youth he was a stream full of rocks that he carried with him; as an adult, a rushing river; and in old age, he was still moving, but slowly, like a pool” of water, the pope said. He said he likes this latter image of a pool of water — to have “the ability to move with kindness and humility, a calmness in life.”

The fourth secret is having  “a healthy sense of leisure.” The pleasures of art, literature and playing together with children have been lost, he said.

“Consumerism has brought us anxiety” and stress, causing people to lose a “healthy culture of leisure.” Their time is “swallowed up” so people can’t share it with anyone.

Even though many parents work long hours, they must set aside time to play with their children; work schedules make it “complicated, but you must do it,” he said.

Families must also turn off the TV when they sit down to eat because, even though television is useful for keeping up with the news, having it on during mealtime “doesn’t let you communicate” with each other, the pope said.

Another secret is that Sundays should be holidays. Workers should have Sundays off because “Sunday is for family,” he said.

According to Pope Francis, finding innovative ways to create dignified jobs for young people is another secret to happiness. “We need to be creative with young people. If they have no opportunities they will get into drugs” and be more vulnerable to suicide, he said.

“It’s not enough to give them food,” he said. “Dignity is given to you when you can bring food home” from one’s own labour.

The seventh secret is to respect and take care of nature. Environmental degradation “is one of the biggest challenges we have,” he said. “I think a question that we’re not asking ourselves is: ‘Isn’t humanity committing suicide with this indiscriminate and tyrannical use of nature?’”

 Stop being negative. That is another secret to happiness. “Needing to talk badly about others indicates low self-esteem. That means, ‘I feel so low that instead of picking myself up I have to cut others down,’” the pope said. “Letting go of negative things quickly is healthy.”

According to him, secret number 9 is: don’t proselytize; respect others’ beliefs. “We can inspire others through witness so that one grows together in communicating. But the worst thing of all is religious proselytism, which paralyzes: ‘I am talking with you in order to persuade you,’ No. Each person dialogues, starting with his and her own identity. The church grows by attraction, not proselytizing,” the pope said.

Finally, he says working for peace makes one happy. “We are living in a time of many wars,” he said, and “the call for peace must be shouted. Peace sometimes gives the impression of being quiet, but it is never quiet, peace is always proactive” and dynamic.

Pope Francis also talked about the importance of helping immigrants, praising Sweden’s generosity in opening its doors to so many people, while noting anti-immigration policies show the rest of Europe “is afraid.”

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Arik to suspend flights to Liberia, Sierra Leone over Ebola virus http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/28/arik-to-suspend-flights-to-liberia-sierra-leone-over-ebola-virus/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/28/arik-to-suspend-flights-to-liberia-sierra-leone-over-ebola-virus/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 13:49:39 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=204868 Arik Air

Arik Air on Sunday said it would suspend flight operations to Monrovia in Liberia and Freetown in Sierra-Leone on Monday following the first Ebola virus death officially confirmed in Lagos.

This was disclosed in a statement issued and signed by the airline’s Head of Corporate Communications, Mr Ola Adebanji, in Lagos. It said the suspension would be in force until further notice.

NAN reports that the first Ebola virus death officially confirmed in Lagos involved a Liberian national. He had flown into Lagos on a foreign airline from Monrovia via Lome in Togo last week.

The statement said the flights suspension decision was a precautionary measure aimed at safeguarding the lives of Nigerians.

“We are taking this important step as a concerned corporate citizen, bearing the interest of Nigerians at heart.

“We acknowledge the steps the Federal Government of Nigeria is currently undertaking to prevent the spread of the deadly Ebola virus,” it said.

The statement said the airline felt compelled to take the business decision to immediately suspend flight services into the two Ebola virus-affected countries.

It said this was due to its interest in the well-being of Nigerians.

“At the early stages of the virus development across West Africa, the Gambian Government took the proactive decision to stop airlines, including Arik Air, from bringing in-bound passengers from Monrovia, Conakry in Guinea and Freetown into Banjul in Gambia.

“Hence, in line with the actions taken by the Gambian Government, we trust and are confident that the FGN shall take all steps necessary to control and curtail the spread of the virus,” the statement said.

It advised that all in-bound flights into Nigeria, which originate from any of the Ebola-affected countries, be immediately suspended.

“Our core vision and purpose are to provide world-class experiences and services which are safe, reliable and contribute towards both improved user quality of life as well as the elevation of Nigeria’s global standing,” the airline said.

However, Arik assured customers and Nigerians that their continued safety would always be at the forefront of all business decisions taken by the airline management.

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Paracetamol no better than placebo in low-back pain http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/24/paracetamol-no-better-than-placebo-in-low-back-pain/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/24/paracetamol-no-better-than-placebo-in-low-back-pain/#comments Wed, 23 Jul 2014 23:14:32 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=204176 Paracetamol

Paracetamol, the first-choice lower-back pain killer, worked no better than dummy drugs administered in a trial of more than 1,600 people suffering from the condition, researchers said Thursday.

In fact, the median recovery time for those on placebo was a day shorter than that for trial subjects given real medicine, they wrote in The Lancet medical journal.

“Our findings suggest that… paracetamol does not affect recovery time compared with placebo in low-back pain, and question the universal endorsement of paracetamol in this patient group,” the Australian team concluded.

“Paracetamol also had no effect on pain, disability, function, global symptom change, sleep or quality of life.”

Lower-back pain is the leading cause of disability in the world, and paracetamol is “universally” recommended as the treatment of first choice, said a statement carried by The Lancet.

The Paracetamol for Low-Back Pain Study (PACE) divided 1,652 individuals with acute pain from 235 clinics in Sydney, Australia, into three trial groups.

One group received regular paracetamol doses, the other used the drug as needed, and the third was given placebo pills.

Recovery was defined as seven consecutive days of 0 or 1 pain intensity on a 0-10 scale.

“Median time to recovery was 17 days in the regular paracetamol group, 17 days in the as-needed paracetamol group, and 16 days in the placebo group,” said the statement.

All patients were given high-quality advise and reassurance, and the findings suggest these may be more important in lower-back pain management than drug therapy, said the authors.

“Our results convey the need to reconsider the universal endorsement of paracetamol in clinical practice guidelines as first-line care for low-back pain.”

A potential limitation of the study was that some participants used other treatments.

In a comment also carried by The Lancet, Bart Koes and Wendy Enthoven from the Universal Medical Center in Rotterdam applauded the team “for tackling this research question on a topic that has been without debate and evidence for such a long time.”

But they cautioned that guidelines should not be changed on the basis of a single trial.

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FG receives $82m loan from Japan to fight polio http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/23/fg-receives-82m-loan-from-japan-to-fight-polio/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/23/fg-receives-82m-loan-from-japan-to-fight-polio/#comments Wed, 23 Jul 2014 20:33:29 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=204134 Minister of Information, Labaran Maku

Minister of Information, Labaran Maku

The Federal Government has received 82 million dollars loan facility from the Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA) to boost its polio eradication programme.

Minister of Information, Laban Maku, made this known when he briefed newsmen after the Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja on Wednesday.

Maku said the concessionary facility was given by JICA at an annual interest rate of 0.2 per cent. He said that loan was secured with the support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation working in partnership with the Ministries of Finance and Health.

“Nigeria is one of the countries recognised as endemic in terms of the incidence of polio.

“But statistics given to us today as we discussed this facility showed that between 2012 and 2013, the incidence of new cases has come down by slightly over 50 per cent.

“In 2012, about 121 cases were reported. In 2013, the report showed that we had only 50 cases. This shows clearly that polio is coming down.

“It is expected that if we are able to meet the target in the next five years, it is quite possible that Bill and Melinda Gates will take off the repayment of this loan to the Japanese,” Maku said.

He said that the Minister of Health, Dr Onyeabuchi Chukwu, had assured the council that everything was on ground to ensure the successful implementation of polio eradication programme in Nigeria.

Maku also said the council was briefed by the Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on the progress made in the mortgage sector within the last six months.

According to him, Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company floated in January will soon begin the provision of affordable houses to Nigerians.

“The company is about to advertise, it will take 10,000 entries to begin with and subsequently it will expand as the company consolidates its financial base and institutional capacity.

“This shows that the mortgage industry in Nigeria is going to develop very fast and it has a high potential for job and wealth creation.

“To provide houses for 167 million Nigerians is a huge industry and this is one area where a lot of jobs are created and wealth generated in the economy.

“Whenever you are building a house, you find out that from masons to bricklayers and carpenters, in fact a lot jobs are created in every housing project,” he said.

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Maternity leave: Emulate Lagos, Odumakin tells FG, states http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/20/maternity-leave-emulate-lagos-odumakin-tells-fg-states/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/20/maternity-leave-emulate-lagos-odumakin-tells-fg-states/#comments Sun, 20 Jul 2014 22:51:02 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=203704 Women Arise for Change Initiative President, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin

Women Arise for Change Initiative President, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin

Dr Joe Okei-Odumakin, President, Women Arise for Change Initiative, has urged the Federal Government and other states to emulate Lagos State by extending maternity leave.

In an interview with NAN in Lagos, Okei-Odumakin said the extension of maternity leave to six months by Lagos state would allow nursing mothers to breastfeed exclusively.

She, nonetheless, advocated for paternity leave to allow the fathers to give adequate family bonding and involvement in childcare activities.

“I have always insisted that the three months maternity leave is very inadequate considering all that the mothers need to do to ensure care and safety of the babies.

“Most times, the mother hurried to resume work at the time the baby needs her most; but with this new arrangement, the mother has enough time to take care of the baby.

“The father also needs the leave to stay with his family and give them the necessary attention,” she said.

Dr Bunmi Ogundimu, Project Director, Colostrum International, said exclusive breastfeeding was key to the survival of the child.

She said the six months maternity leave for nursing mothers would allow them to practise exclusive breastfeeding.

“The infant mortality rate in Nigeria is on the high side with 88.4 in every 1000 births, six months exclusive breastfeeding can bring this down and save our leaders of tomorrow.

“It is nature’s way of ensuring the survival of the child and ensures that he grows into healthy adulthood,’’ she said.

In his view, Dr Oscar Odiboh, Founder, Afribaby Initiative, said that the paternity leave would allow fathers to spend significant time with their babies.

Odiboh said it would also help them to get involved in childcare activities such as helping a baby to eat and encouraging their wives to breastfeed exclusively.

“It is a period to allow fathers bond with their babies and care for their needs; it will also foster bonding between father and mother as they will be sharing the care of the babies,” he said.

In view of these observations, Prof. Ifeoma Okoye, Founder, Breast without Spot Initiative, therefore, urged the Federal Government and other states to emulate Lagos state.

According to her, breast milk cannot be adequately replaced by any other food, including infant formulae.

On 17 July, Lagos State Government introduced 10-day paternity leave for male civil servants and extended maternity leave for female workers to six months.

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Medical doctors’ demands justifiable – Lawmaker http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/19/medical-doctors-demands-justifiable-lawmaker/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/19/medical-doctors-demands-justifiable-lawmaker/#comments Sat, 19 Jul 2014 13:37:26 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=203569 Kayode Obembe, NMA President

Kayode Obembe, NMA President

Ajibayo Adeyeye, Majority Leader, Lagos State House of Assembly, on Friday said the ongoing nationwide strike by medical doctors in government-owned hospitals was justified.

Adeyeye, a medical practitioner, told NAN in Lagos that unhealthy rivalry was the major challenge facing the nation’s health sector.

“It is very unfortunate that doctors are on strike. I am never happy when hospitals are closed in the country where an average person cannot afford private healthcare.

“But, the doctors’ demands are justifiable,” he said.

The lawmaker decried the unhealthy rivalry, which he said, had characterised the sector in recent times.

He said that nurses, laboratory technologists, physiotherapists and other categories of health workers were usurping the duties of doctors.

The House Leader said it was not good for somebody who is not a doctor to be appointed as the head of a hospital.

“I wonder why a matron, who probably because she had served for more than 30 years, could not take instructions from a doctor.

“Medicine requires rigorous training; it is a profession that we are taught almost everything in the interest of patients and the public at large.

“Quackery has become the norm in Nigeria. It is unfortunate that it is only in Nigeria that you can find somebody who is not a member of NMA giving treatment to patients.

“Almost everywhere you go, there are quacks attending to the patients,” he said.

The lawmaker said that many doctors could not afford to train their own children to become doctors because doctors were so impoverished

“They cannot afford to put their children in schools to train as medical practitioners. Lawyers collect 10 per cent; architects collect 3.5 per cent as commission for performing their duties.

“So, what percentage do you want to give a doctor for saving lives? The society should treat doctors fairly”, he said.

NAN reports that the Joint Health Sector Union has taken the Nigeria Medical Association to court for going on strike, claiming that the NMA lacks the constitutional right to do so.

Joined in the suit are the Federal Ministry of Health, Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity, the Registrar of Trade Unions, and the Attorney-General of the Federation.

NAN recalls that the National President of NMA, Dr Kayode Obembe, said the doctors’ 24-point demand included discontinuation of recognition of non-medical doctors as directors and consultants.

The demands also include the appointment of a Surgeon-General of the Federation (SGF), payment of clinical duty and hazard allowances among others.

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People with HIV living longer – Study http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/17/people-with-hiv-living-longer-study/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/17/people-with-hiv-living-longer-study/#comments Thu, 17 Jul 2014 22:37:32 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=203363 HIV-positive people in the world’s rich countries now live nearly as long as those who don’t carry the AIDS-causing virus, as drugs have cut the overall death rate in half, researchers said Friday.

Anti-retroviral treatment (ART) has cut the death rate from about 18 per 1,000 people between 1999 and 2001 to nine per 1,000 per year in 2009-2011, according to data from 200 clinics in Europe, the United States and Australia.

“These findings provide further evidence of the substantial net benefits of ART,” said a study published in The Lancet medical journal.

“With the advent of effective anti-retroviral treatment, the life expectancy for people with HIV is now approaching that seen in the general population.”

Developed in the mid-1990s, ART drug combinations do not kill the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), but slow its development into full-blown AIDS.

Before the advent of ARTs, which have to be taken for life, people who contracted the virus generally died after a few years, mainly from opportunistic infections and cancers taking advantage of the lowered immune defences.

The study of 50,000 HIV-positive adults found that complications of AIDS, the final immune-compromised stage of infection, were still the most common death cause, at 29 percent.

This was followed by non-AIDS cancers — mainly lung cancer — at 15 percent, liver disease with 13 percent and cardiovascular disease with 11 percent.

A decline in deaths among HIV-positive people from liver and cardiovascular disease may be due to generally healthier lifestyles — less smoking and drinking, or the use of less toxic ARTs, said the study.

The reasons for a slight increase in non-AIDS cancers, however, were unclear.

“It is very encouraging that death rates are continuing to decrease among HIV-positive people. It shows how effective anti-retroviral treatment has been and continues to be,” study author Colette Smith of the University College London told AFP by email.

“However, we must not be complacent. Disappointingly, we found AIDS was still the most common cause of death. We must make every effort to ensure that HIV-positive people are able to keep taking their medication regularly so they can experience the benefits of treatment.

“We must also increase our efforts to ensure that people who are unaware that they have HIV are tested, so they can receive care and treatment in a timely manner.”

Some 36 million people have died from AIDS since it was first identified in the 1980s.

Though ARTs have added decades to the life expectancy of HIV-positive individuals, concerns remain about the medication’s toxicity.

But the new study said “we can detect no indication of an increase in risk of death from any specific cause as a potential result of long-term adverse effects of ART.”

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Great white shark choked by sea lion http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/17/great-white-shark-choked-by-sea-lion/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/17/great-white-shark-choked-by-sea-lion/#comments Thu, 17 Jul 2014 06:40:59 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=203174 A great white shark that washed up on an Australian beach this week had a sea lion stuck in its throat which likely caused its death, fisheries officials said Thursday.

The four-metre (13-foot) white pointer was filmed thrashing around just off Coronation Beach, 430 kilometres (270 miles) north of Perth, and was later found on the sand.

The Western Australia Department of Fisheries said it had no visible signs of injury or disease, but had a large sea lion lodged in its throat.

Sea lion taunts great white shark

“This could explain why the shark was exhibiting such unusual behaviour in shallow waters off Coronation Beach,” said research scientist Rory McAuley in a statement.

“It is possible that the shark was trying to dislodge the blockage.

“Such a large object may have damaged the shark’s internal organs or impeded water flow into his gills, contributing to his death,” he added.

“Alternatively, the shark may have accidentally become stranded in his attempts to get rid of the obstruction.”

Brad Tapper filmed the shark as it struggled in shallow waters and posted the clip on YouTube.

Tapper, who had been at the beach with his children, said a dog walker first noticed the shark when his pet refused to go in the water.

“When we spotted it, it was about 50 metres off the shore. We thought it was a diver or something,” he told the West Australian newspaper.

“It was kind of surreal, you’re watching it and you don’t realise how rare it is at the time until you get home and have a look at the footage.”

After it beached itself, some onlookers attempted to drag the shark out to sea using a tow rope, but the animal returned to shore soon after.

“We went to look at it and got within three or four metres of it but it started kicking and thrashing around again so we thought it was time to leave,” Tapper said.

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How I Almost Killed Myself —Soyinka http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/14/how-i-almost-killed-myself-soyinka/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/14/how-i-almost-killed-myself-soyinka/#comments Mon, 14 Jul 2014 14:16:02 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=202914 Jamiu Yisa

Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, has revealed how he almost killed himself with a gun out of curiosity at the age of 10. The  global citizen, who celebrated his 80th birthday on Sunday, 13 July, revealed this in an exclusive interview in the current special edition of TheNEWS magazine.

According to Kongi, as he is fondly called, “I used to go with my father when he hunted. It was a mere air gun but was good enough for squirrels, the wild pigeon and occasional rabbit.  I was just curious. One day I sat in the house frontage waiting for him to come out of his bedroom so I could accompany him.

“I just felt there was something about that part of his gun which he used to pull. I tried the same motion and it just exploded. But he knew it was his fault so he never chided me. He knew he should never have left that gun loaded and he knew me enough to know that I had learnt that lesson and I didn’t need to be reminded of it. Of course, there was a sort of mutual standoff; I wasn’t rebuked but he knew I wasn’t going to do it again.”

•Prof. Wole Soyinka

•Prof. Wole Soyinka

He said that as a child, he participated as a messenger between the different women groups, carried messages, thoroughly enjoying himself when the women rose in revolt against the excesses of the Alake of Abeokuta and his ally – the district officer when an unjust tax was imposed on them.

“My parents weren’t anti-establishment; they were anti-despotism. That is why my mother took part as one of the lieutenants of Mrs. Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti when they rose against the excesses of the Alake of Abeokuta and his ally – the district officer. They resisted feudal despotism on behalf of the oppressed women.

“As a child, I participated as a messenger between the different women groups, carried messages, thoroughly enjoying myself when the women rose in revolt. Day after day, they kept up the siege. They were threatened, they were bullied, they were assaulted. They said, ‘No, this unjust tax must go’,” he said.

Recalling how his stubborn exuberance and pranks justified his mothers’ worries when he was a child that his over-confidence would kill him one day, he said, “when a child tries out something which people, even adults, should undertake with great caution, then they think that child is over-confident and is going to destroy himself.

“I think it stemmed from the fact that if I thought about something which was possible, then I should be ready to test it. That included even the sciences – the theoretical side of which I hated. I enjoyed trying out the practical side of science at home— I used to perform experiments.  Things like that, you know, sometimes blew up in my face. Same with putative artistry.

“I would re-arrange my mother’s shop because I felt mine was the best way. I looked at customers, studied them and decided which arrangements would attract them more. She would give up and let me have my way. After I had gone back to school, she would undo everything,” he said.

Sharing some memorable experiences of how he was able to cope with older boys as a 10year-old scholarship student at  Government College, Ibadan, he said, “those school mates of mine, they were bullies. They were terrifying because they looked big. Some of them, I’m sure, had children already. Some had moustaches and so they shaved every morning.

“The ‘over-confidence’ that my mother used to complain of saved me and put me in trouble also. Because they were big they felt they should trample all over me. I had no hesitation in taking them on. It was a very good training because you defeat people like that largely with moral persistence. They knew they were misusing their power.

“Whenever they turned on me, being really small, the bullying got really intense because these big boys could not stand the idea that this rondo (small) boy was sitting while others were standing. They couldn’t stand it. They intensified the bullying, which made me even more aggressive. I must confess that sometimes I was responsible for bringing disaster on my head because I would provoke them: I would call them names they didn’t like.

“Anyway, it got too much, so I called Christopher Kolade and Mesida, and said: ‘Let’s form a tripartite alliance. Anytime any of us is bullied, the other two would come to the rescue of the others.’ And that’s what we did. I summoned the most notorious to our presence and read him the riot act. We tried to move together as much as possible. The bullying reduced.

“The very notion that the three of us were ganging up against bullying infuriated that particular bully. He just couldn’t stand it. Even though the others backed off, this individual— I remember his name very well— he just became more and more aggressive. And he somehow sensed that it was my idea.

“The library was my favourite place. Also, the library was sanctuary. When I was cornered, or didn’t feel in a battle mood, there were two places into which I escaped – the library and the chapel. Their respect for the latter used to amuse me, so sanctimonious! They would back off and start circling the chapel when I sat in there, indifferent.  I used to enjoy their frustration.

“I would just step inside the chapel and the fool would wilt. I remember one of them who decided to invade the library sanctuary. He didn’t want to beat me up inside the library; so he tried to drag me out. As we struggled, I remember that I was catapulted through the glass door and I had a huge gash. I bled profusely. And he became frightened.

“It was very amusing to see this bully cowering because he thought he had killed me. Of course, I enjoyed that sense of power over him during that incident,” he said.

Speaking on his phobia for snakes since his days as a college student, he said: “I hated snakes. I still do. If you like, I was even scared of snakes – those creepy creatures. Many of us have a superstitiouus dread of snakes. Since I was afraid of them and considered them dangerous to humanity, it seemed logical not to leave any such intruder alive – wherever possible. Made me feel safer.

“I preferred to attack them instead of running away. I grew up with an attitude that you must overcome your fear – but this I only realized in retrospect,” he averred.

His wife, Folake described him as the best human being one can think of and who is very concerned about other people and their suffering even to his own detriment sometimes.

“He’s just a warm person. Looking at him, you may not know this, but that is who he is. He is someone you would want as a friend. He is very loyal. He is the best friend you can ask for.

“Professor Soyinka is a great provider as well; you are not going to get the Lamborghini or Bentley Continental GT, but you will get your school fees and it won’t be late. He is very responsible,” she said.

Dr. Olaokun Soyinka, Commissioner for Health, Ogun State and first son, while describing him as a father and a public figure, said to him as a kid, Soyinka looks 10 times as big and was quite scary in his mind because of his appearance in particular.

“But of course he was not strict because as a father, he was a very relaxed person in terms of allowing you to be yourself, to explore your boundaries and freedoms with just one or two fairly strict no-go areas. Following his instructions to the letter or respecting other people or other people’s property, important roles that kids tend to neglect, you do it at your peril.

“Yet, he is not a spanker or beater. He doesn’t believe in disciplining children with the rod. It was either he was giving you lines that you write a thousand times after you had done something naughty. At an early age, he established the fact that you can be strict and fair,” he said.

Moremi Soyinka-Onijala, lawyer and one of the daughters of the Professor, recalls the thrills and the pains of growing up as a child of the Nobel Laureate as well as the personality of the renowned playwright.

 Speaking on her fondest memories of Soyinka as a father, she recalled she and her sisters used to plait his beard and his hair because he has always had a lot of hair.

“He would sit down patiently and we would take a comb and we would be weaving and practising styles and all that. And when we finished, he would say, “Now that you are done, loosen it and comb it back.”

“I also remember when my siblings and I used to have the opportunity to go and watch the performances at the Arts Theatre. Because we were always free viewers, my father would not let us sit on the chairs that are paid for, so we had to sit on the stairs and just enjoy the show. Those are just a few of the memories.”

Speaking on his globe trotting nature, she said, “definitely, it was a concern and even though we are grown up, it still is a concern, not just for us the children, but also for the grandchildren. Our dad is not, and never was a typical dad; neither is he a typical grandfather at all. Right from when I was a toddler and when some of my younger siblings were born, he wasn’t around a lot. He was either away in detention, away in exile, or pursuing other career interests. He was at University of Ibadan briefly, and then resigned, I can’t remember for what reason.”

In the special edition of  the current edition of TheNEWS magazine circulating nationwide, there are at least 17 tributes by renowned associates, wife, sons and daughters of the professor in commemoration of his birthday. The tributes were written by Folake Wole-Soyinka, Yemi Ogunbiyi, Biodun Jeyifo, Femi Osofisan, Kole Omotoso, Moremi Soyinka-Onijala, Tejumola Olaniyan and Femi Soyinka.

Others are Okey Ndibe, Odia Ofeimun, Akin Adesokan, Olaokun Soyinka, Promise Ogochkwu, Folabo Soyinka-Ajayi, Bankole Olayebi and Dapo Adeniyi. Ask your vendor for the collector’s item.

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Malala, Pakistani girl-child campaigner calls for Chibok girls release http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/13/malala-pakistani-girl-child-campaigner-calls-for-chibok-girls-release/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/13/malala-pakistani-girl-child-campaigner-calls-for-chibok-girls-release/#comments Sun, 13 Jul 2014 12:51:10 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=202793 Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl-child education campaigner, who survived an assassination attempt by the Taliban, has called on Boko Haram terrorists to free the abducted Chibok school girls.

NAN reports that Malala, who commenced a three-day visit to Nigeria on Saturday, celebrated her 17th birthday in Abuja at a dinner held in her honour at Transcorp Hilton hotel.

“On my 17th birthday my wish is to see every child go to school and I want to see my Nigerian sisters being released from their abduction and I want them to be free to go to school and continue their education,” she said.

Malala was accompanied to the dinner by her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai and members of Malala Fund, including Shiza Shahid, the 25-year old founder of the organisation.

Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai

A 32-man guest list at the event included members of civil society organisations and representatives of international organisations in Nigeria such as USAID, DFID, British Council and DFID.

Ima Niboro, Managing Director of NAN, presented a birthday card and flowers to Malala on behalf of President Goodluck Jonathan.

“Thank you Malala for coming to Nigeria, Mr President personally signed this card, he shares your vision, your dreams and your ambitions and he is happy that you are here,” Niboro told Malala.

During her three-day visit to Nigeria, the 17-year old Pakistani girl is scheduled to meet President Jonathan and other top government officials.

She will also mark the Malala Day on July 14, in Abuja to champion her cause for free and compulsory education for every child around the world.

The education advocate informed the guests at the dinner that she would welcome ideas and opinions from them on how to ensure the safety and education of every child in Nigeria.

“I also hope to listen to those girls who were abducted and later ran away from their abductors and it would be really nice to listen to the parents of the girls.

“They are the ones who can really tell us what their daughters are suffering and what they are suffering too,’’ she said.

In his remarks, Malala’s father, Ziauddin said “since centuries we have been ignoring half of our population, so we should stop it now.”

“We feel very honoured and I want to share with you one thing: what you can do for your society as a social activist, women rights activist nobody else can do.

“In the Swat District (in Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) I was contributing to my community in education, I had a school and I was a poor man in terms of money but I had an institution I started from the scratch.

“I was able to send 120 students on scholarship to my school so your existence in your community is the biggest capital you have, your involvement with your community is the biggest capital you have which I have lost.

“I will regain it one-day but the difference I was able to make when I was there, I can’t make it now so you should capitalize on your being in your communities,” he said.

In a telephone interview with the NAN, Pakistani High Commissioner to Nigeria, Amb. Muhammad Saleem said the High commission “was not informed of her visit to Nigeria.

“However, we welcome her to Nigeria because she is doing a great job.

“She is a daughter of Pakistan and we are proud of her achievements and we hope her visit to Nigeria will go a long way in resolving the issue of the kidnapped Chibok school girls.

“She’s a great daughter of Pakistan and we welcome her campaign for education,” Saleem said.

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Exclusive: Wole Soyinka reflects on his life at 80 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/13/exclusive-wole-soyinka-reflects-on-his-life-at-80/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/13/exclusive-wole-soyinka-reflects-on-his-life-at-80/#comments Sun, 13 Jul 2014 09:33:41 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=202763 Prof. Wole Soyinka

Prof. Wole Soyinka

Professor Wole Soyinka gives a broader view of his life at 80 in a scintillating interview with the TheNEWS. It’s a must watch and must see! The Nobel Laureate speaks on death, his view about life and the future.

He also speaks on how his childhood in Ake Abeokuta moulded his life in this interview with TheNEWS magazine team led by Kunle Ajibade.

Click here to see it all:

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Boost For Cardiac, Renal Patients http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/11/boost-for-cardiac-renal-patients/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/11/boost-for-cardiac-renal-patients/#comments Fri, 11 Jul 2014 15:49:37 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=202557 Kazeem Ugbodaga

The Cardiac and Renal Centre

The Cardiac and Renal Centre

Cardiac and renal diseases constitute a growing health burden globally, with millions of people dying each year, according health statistics. Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for growing cases of cardiac and renal failure due to poor medical facilities to cope with the huge demand. Most cases of cardiac and renal failure cannot be treated in the country, with expertise sought outside to treat the few opulent people who can afford the high cost of treatment.

In Nigeria, cardiac and renal failure is a common phenomenon, killing many people. This is as a result of lack of a purpose built renal specialist centre in the nation to cater for the growing demands of hapless patients.

In Lagos, cardiac and renal failure, few years back constituted a burden. Most cases were treated outside the country. In a bid to address the issue of unavoidable death arising from cardiac and renal failure, the Lagos State Government decided to take the bull by the horns and build a Cardiac and Renal Centre in Lagos.

At a well attended state-wide diabetes and hypertension screening programme, 20 per cent and five per cent of clients had hypertension and diabetes mellitus respectively.

This gave rise to the construction of the Cardiac and Renal Centre at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital Annex at Gbagada General Hospital, Lagos, southwest Nigeria. The state government, through the Ministry of Health considered it appropriate and timely to have a befitting cardiac and renal centre following increasing number of patients with end stage renal failure, periodic nature of the cardiac and renal missions limiting the number of beneficiaries as well as the need to conserve the financial resources currently being expended in the management of patients with renal and cardiac problems in foreign countries.

The facility which is designed to handle heart and kidney related disease also offers out-patient services, diagnostic services, ultrasound, CT scan, echo cardiography, stress electrocardiography, laboratory services, fluoroscopy, ocular investigation for complications from hypertension, diabetes and renal conditions, haemo-dialysis for acute and chronic kidney diseases with 24 dialysis machines, admission for all cardiac conditions that requires hospital stay, critical care in intensive care unit (ICU) and high dependency wards, cardiac catherization, non invasive cardiology, open heart surgery, renal surgery, nursing and diabetic services, rehabilitation services and corporate wellness programme.

The 67-bed centre sits on 2,317 square metres or 24,792 square feet of land. The design provides access to all floors by two bed lifts and a wide ramp which allows two trolleys to pass simultaneously. Fire/service stairways are provided at the side of the elevator and at the back of the building.

Contract for the construction of the edifice was awarded to Deux Project Limited at an initial cost of N1.043 billion on 22 September, 2008 while the project commenced in March 2009 with a one-year completion duration. The cost of the project was later reviewed with the addition of N796.059 million in 2011 bringing the total cost of construction to N1.839 billion.

Facilities inside the Cardiac and Renal Centre

Facilities inside the Cardiac and Renal Centre

The contract for the equipment of the facility was also awarded to Deux Project Limited at a cost of N3.389 billion, bring the overall total cost of the project plus equipment to N5.228 billion.

To manage the project, the Lagos State Government last week signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Renescor Health Limited Liability Partnership to run and manage the facility under a 5-year Operation and Management (O&M) concession renewable for another five years term, subject to satisfactory performance and mutual agreement of the parties wherein the proponent will provide all of the healthcare services and total facilities management required for the value-engineering Renal and Cardiac Centre.

The agreement takes in mind the establishment of a state government sponsored foreign capacity building for a minimum of four medical personnel; remuneration, via an annual concession fee of 2.5 per cent of net revenue and a 60 per cent share of net profit to the state government. N2.8 billion, which is 28 per cent of the revenue per annum, is projected for staff salary for the duration of the 5-year concession. The maintenance reserve provision of the facility is provided to the tune of N1.26 billion, which shall be jointly managed by the state government and proponent.

At the signing of the agreement last week for the take-off of the centre, Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris noted that the government considered it appropriate and timely to have a befitting cardiac and renal centre due to the increasing number of patients with end stage renal failure, decrying that cardiac and renal disease constituted a growing health burden globally, explaining that “there is what is called a triple jeopardy in the health sector, especially in Lagos and Nigeria which require efforts of stakeholders in state health system to address.”

“We have what we call double jeopardy but now it is triple jeopardy in the sense that we do not only have problems with communicable diseases, we are now having problems with non-communicable diseases, and the third one has to do with mental health. But this project is trying to address the major aspect of the non-communicable disease burden.

“Not only that, we also do know that these two disease burden jointly cause serious complications in people who have these problems; and once you have these problems, you have them for life if they are not properly treated,” Idris explained.

The Commissioner stated that government had over the years always earmarked as part of its free health policy quite a huge chunk of its budget to sponsor people abroad for various medical problems that could not be treated in the country where the needed expertise and facilities were not available, adding that these factors prompted the government to build the cardiac and renal centre.

“A copulation of these factors prompted the need for us to build facilities locally, find a way of staffing them locally to provide the needed services to treat people of these ailments, reduce the number of money we are spending to sponsor people abroad, and more importantly to build local capacity,” he added.

Idris also opined that setting up of the facility would help bring back home Nigerian medical specialist as a way of ‘brain gain’ to defeat the ‘brain drain’ phenomenon, lamenting that over the years, quite a number of indigenous medical personnel had left the country for greener pastures outside of the country due to lack of infrastructure and facilities with which they could exhibit their skills.

According to him, “we have over 2,000 specialists in the United States and a similar number in Europe and Canada. And this is one way of brain gain instead of brain drain, because if you establish a facility with the right equipment and infrastructure, we can use that to attract the specialists abroad back home where they can exhibit their expertise and at the same time build local capacity here. That was the basic underlining reason why we decided to embark on this project.”

Facilities inside the Cardiac and Renal Centre

Facilities inside the Cardiac and Renal Centre

He noted that the need to get a suitably qualified competent consortium that had the needed requirement to run the facility prompted the state to opt for a Public-Private Partnership, PPP, agreement through the office of Public-Private Partnership, adding that this aim resulted in the appointment of Renescor Health Limited Liability Partnership to run and manage the facility.

Commissioner for Finance, Ayo Gbeleyi said that the reason for opting for qualified competent consortium of medical professionals to manage the facility through a PPP initiative was due to dearth of appropriate competent staff in this environment and the highly specialized nature of the equipment and services to be rendered within the facility.

He said that the PPP office was quite convinced about the capabilities of the private managers, as they are expected to provide quality services in line with international best practices, promote medical tourism, provide training field to develop the capacity of the state’s own health personnel and facilitate a gradual paradigm shift on dependence on foreigners with the skill empowerment of local professionals.

The Managing Director of Renescor Health Limited Liability Partnership, Dr. Ladi Awosika commended the government for building the state-of-the-art facilities which he described as first of its kind in Sub-Saharan Africa apart from South Africa and Angola.

He stated that the Cardiac and Renal Centre has been built to very good specification that specialists that had signed up with the company attest to, adding that the centre has facility for tele-medicine which would make every procedure going on in this facility to be reviewed by colleagues anywhere in the world, thereby ensuring that training and cutting edge facility therapy would be available at the facility.

Awosika explained that Messr Renescour is made up mainly of Nigerian specialists who had been in the Diaspora and could not get a place to work in Nigeria, noting that when they saw what was on ground, they pledged to contribute their quota through the facility.

“As at today, we have about 200 Nigerian specialists who have signed on to be a part of this. Some of them have decided that it will not even be for money, rather they will take one or two weeks vacation to be at this centre to impart their knowledge and skills to the people of Lagos in particular and Nigeria in general,” he said.
Awosika noted that more facilities of the magnitude of the cardiac and renal centre is required in the state to be able to satisfy the demands of more than 21 million residents of the States and promote medical tourism in Lagos, pledging that his company would not let Lagos down.

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WHO urges all gay men to use preventive drugs http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/11/who-urges-all-gay-men-to-use-preventive-drugs/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/11/who-urges-all-gay-men-to-use-preventive-drugs/#comments Fri, 11 Jul 2014 08:54:31 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=202485 The World Health Organization on Friday urged all men who have gay sex to take antiretroviral drugs, warning that HIV infections are rising among homosexual men in many parts of the world.

“We are seeing exploding epidemics,” warned Gottfried Hirnschall, who heads WHO’s HIV department.

Infection rates are rising again among men who have sex with men — the group at the epicentre of the AIDS pandemic when it first emerged 33 years ago, he told reporters in Geneva.

While images of skeletal men dying of AIDS in the 1980s pushed the world to act, a younger generation that has grown up among new treatments that make it possible to live with HIV are less focused on the disease, he suggested.

Today, this group is 19 times more likely than the general population to be infected by HIV, Hirnschall said.

Margaret Chan, Head WHO

Margaret Chan, Head WHO

In Bangkok for instance, the incidence of HIV among men who have sex with men stands at 5.7 percent, compared to less than 1.0 percent for the overall population, he said.

In its new recommendations for combating the HIV/AIDS pandemic, published Friday, the UN health agency for the first time “strongly recommends men who have sex with men consider taking antiretroviral medicines as an additional method of preventing HIV infection”.

US authorities made the same recommendation in May.

Taking pre-exposure prophylaxis medication, for instance, as a single daily pill combining two antiretrovirals, in addition to using condoms, has been estimated to cut HIV incidence among such men by 20-25 percent, WHO said, adding that that this could avert “up to one million new infections among this group over 10 years”.

The new guidelines also focus on other high-risk groups, saying men who have sex with men, transgender people, prisoners, people who inject drugs and sex workers together account for about half of all new HIV infections worldwide.

At the same time, they are often the very groups who have least access to healthcare services, with criminalisation and stigma often dissuading them from seeking help even when it is available.

When people fear seeking health care services it “will inevitably lead to more infections in those communities,” Rachel Baggaley of the WHO’s HIV department told reporters.

Globally, transgender women and injecting drug users, for instance, are around 50 times more likely than the general population to contract HIV, while sex workers have a 14-fold higher chance of getting infected, WHO said.

The world has generally been making great strides in tackling HIV, with the number of new infections plunging by a third between 2001 and 2012, when 2.3 million people contracted the virus.

And by the end of 2013, some 13 million people with HIV were receiving antiretroviral treatment, dramatically reducing the number of people dying from AIDS.

“Progress is however uneven,” Hirnschall said, warning that failing to address the still sky-high HIV incidence among certain groups was putting the overall battle against the deadly disease at risk.

Most countries focus the lion’s share of their attention on fighting HIV infections among the general populations, paying relatively little attention to the most high-risk groups.

This is especially true in sub-Saharan Africa, which is home to 71 per cent of the some 35.3 million people worldwide living with HIV, the expert said.

Hirnschall stressed that tackling infections among the most at risk should be a general concern.

“None of these people live in isolation,” he said, pointing out that “sex workers and their clients have husbands, wives and partners. Some inject drugs. Many have children.”

Decriminalising and destigmatising these groups would greatly help bring down HIV infections among them, WHO said.

Promoting condom use, widespread voluntary HIV testing, treating at-risk individuals with antiretrovirals, voluntary male circumcision and needle exchange programmes figure among the other WHO recommendations for battling the disease.

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Lagos Lawmaker Has 15 Children http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/08/lagos-lawmaker-has-15-children/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/08/lagos-lawmaker-has-15-children/#comments Tue, 08 Jul 2014 13:53:25 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=202085 Eromosele Ebhomele

The lawmaker representing Ifako-Ijaiye Constituency 2 at the Lagos State House of Assembly, Ipoola Omisore, has disclosed that at 36, he already had nine children.

Today, the 66-year old former President of the West African Outdoor Advertising Association, has 15 children and says it is hereditary.

He, however, warns people not to follow his footsteps because their situation may differ from his.

“Having many children is hereditary. My grandfather, the real Omisore, died in 1941. He was survived by 99 sons and 58 daughters yet ‘abiku’ (evil spirit that kills infants) worried him so much.

“I am the 58th child of my father and I have 18 younger ones. In my family number does not matter and we believe so much in education, even ordinary carpenter in my family might be a graduate.

“For those who come from a background of one or two children, if you try to copy me, you would regret it.

“My own is in-born and it is not deliberate. I had nine children at the age of 36, today, I have 15 children and almost all of them have graduated and are working. My first two children are doing well in Britain,” he said.

Omisore had lost his wife at the age of 39 and had to remarry, but he said it was easy producing such number of kids at that period because the country’s situation was good and he was comfortable having returned from overseas where he studied Advertising.

Asked if he still chased after women, something he said he was taught by his elder brothers as a child, he said: “I am a ladies’ man, I like them, they like me; until I get to the grave, I would not stop admiring them. So I watch what I do, what I eat and even my stature, which is natural.

“I would be 66 soon and it has nothing to do with what I do. If you want to be old, you would be old, if you want to be young, you would be young, it is a thing of the mind.”

In an interview with correspondents of the State House of Assembly, Omisore explained that his extended family in Osun lived a communal lifestyle while he was growing up.

According to him, children of the same age group moved together in droves and slept at any of the houses where evening met them.

He also recalled how they wore each other’s clothes, saying anyone who bought one of them a shirt just knew that he bought that shirt for at least 20 other children.

Ipoola Omisore also revealed that the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Osun, Iyiola Omisore, is his nephew, and that his father is a monarch in Ile-Ife.

“Iyiola Omisore was a member of the progressive family, but by error of omission or commission he got himself out of progressive politics; he was the Deputy of former governor Bisi Akande then in Osun State.

“He was in a haste to become governor, so he lost his bearing and got edged out of progressive politics. He moved to the PDP and he became a thorn in the flesh of our party.

“He is my brother; if you talk about radicalism, he is behaving like the Omisores, but he is not as bad as he is being painted. He wants something and he is displaying the attributes of his political party and I am displaying that of my party. I am an embodiment of progressive politics.”

The lawmaker said he is eyeing a return to the House, saying said his first and second terms as a lawmaker had afforded him an important place and role in the House which would remain beneficial to his constituents.

“Legislature is a different ball game unlike the executive where they say you can only serve two terms. The more you are here, the more you know the job. It was in the third year of my first term that I started to know what I should know.

“They had cheated me for long, and by the time I knew it, election was coming. By the time I came for the second term, I had been established. In your first term, you are a trainee legislator, in your second term, you are established and in your third term, you would be grounded,” he said.

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2 Brothers Rape Housewife http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/08/2-brothers-rape-housewife/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/08/2-brothers-rape-housewife/#comments Tue, 08 Jul 2014 12:18:18 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=202064 Cyriacus Izuekwe

Two bothers of the same parents, Ifeanyi Amos, 30 and Joseph Amos, 24, have been arraigned before a Magistrates’ court sitting in Ejigbo for allegedly raping a 23-year-old housewife in their Egbe-Ikotun home, Lagos, southwest Nigeria.

The arraignment followed an advice by the Directorate of Public Prosecution, DPP, which recommended them for trial for rape and stealing.

The suspects allegedly raped and obtained N400,000 from the victim who is a recharge card seller, while she was going to market to buy cards in the area.

They reportedly accosted the victim on the way and lured her into Ifeanyi’s house at 6, Ariwa street, Council bus stop, Egbe-Ikotun where they forcefully had carnal knowledge of her.

Thereafter, they allegedly stole the money she had intended to use to buy recharge cards.

P.M.NEWS learnt that they threatened to kill her if she told her husband and the police what happened, after which they sent her away.

The victim could not bear the trauma and, according to their custom and tradition in Kogi State, if any man sleeps with a married woman, such a woman must confess to avoid calamity in the family. She had to tell her husband what happened.

According to her, “since the incident happened, I have been traumatised and besides, I cannot allow my husband to touch me until certain traditional rites are performed otherwise deaths may occur in the family.”

The matter was reported at  Ikotun Police Division and the suspects were arrested and charged to court.

When they were initially arraigned, they pleaded not guilty.

The court granted them bail in the sum of N100,000 with two sureties in like sum.

They were remanded in prison custody pending when they would perfect their bail condition.

The prosecutor, Mr Femi Adeleye, sought the permission of the court to send the file to DPP for advice and it was granted.

The DPP advised that the suspects should face trial for the alleged offences of rape and stealing under the Criminal Code.

Consequently, the presiding Magistrate, Mr P.E. Nwaka adjourned the matter for trial.

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