P.M. NEWS Nigeria » Living http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com First with Nigeria News - Nigerian leading evening Newspaper - Sat, 13 Sep 2014 20:55:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 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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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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