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Health / Shake Up In Nigeria Corrections Service, 7 Dcgs Redeployed by Aesculapiul: 2:28am On Jun 30, 2021
The Nigeria Correctional Service, (NCOs), has announced a shake-up in the top management of the agency as part of new strategy to reposition it for effective service delivery.
Controller-General of the service, Haliru Nababa, said “the deployments are geared towards injecting new ideas in the management of the Service to address emerging challenges as well as meet the expectations of the public, particularly in the implementation of the NCoS Act 2019.”
In a communique made public on Wednesday in Abuja, Nababa noted that seven officers holding very key positions in the agency have been redeployed and are expected to take up their postings as soon as possible.
Those affected by the new posting are Deputy Controller-Generals (DCGs), Tunde Ladipo who is moved from Non-Custodial to Health and welfare while Sylvester Nwakuche, formerly in charge of Training and Staff Development, now takes over as DCG in charge of Non-Custodial.
Others are Emilia Oputa Adaobi, covering Duty, goes to Training and Staff Development, Uche Nwobi, DCG in charge of Inmates is now moved to Training and Productivity and Akinjijonwi Tosin, is deployed to Works and Logistics.
Also, Ahmadu Adamu now heads Human Resource while Ahmadu Magaji takes charge of Finance and Account.
Health / As The Vaccination Work Progresses, The Mayor Of San Diego And Other Officials P by Aesculapiul: 3:15am On Jun 29, 2021
San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria said at a press conference on Thursday: "When we start the post-pandemic recovery, we absolutely cannot do this until the border is fully reopened. ," he said after visiting a nearby cross-border COVID-19 vaccination site. Close the PedWest border crossing.
"This makes sense because we have seen an increase in vaccination rates and a decrease in infection rates," Gloria said.
Gloria attended the press conference with Imperial Beach Mayor Serge Dedina, National City Mayor Alejandra Sotelo-Solís, and San Diego County Director Nora Vargas.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the US-Mexico land border crossing has banned non-essential travel since March 2020. Since then, the closing time will be extended every month.
On Sunday, the US Department of Homeland Security announced that the restrictions will continue until at least July 21.
Local officials noticed the ongoing vaccination work on both sides of the border.
In San Diego County, approximately 77% of residents 12 years of age and older received at least one dose of the vaccine, and approximately 65% ​​were fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.
At the same time, Baja California is about to complete a plan to manage more than 1 million Johnson & Johnson vaccines donated by the US government to Mexico.
According to the latest data from the Minister of Health of Baja California, as of Thursday, nearly 60% of the eligible population in Baja State has been fully vaccinated.
"People are being vaccinated in Tijuana and northern Baja, which is good news. Now we need to open this border," Dedina said.
"Urge que se abra la frontera. No mañana, ahorita," he added in Spanish, which means that reopening the border is a priority, not tomorrow but now.
The economic impact of the closure is extensive.
Vargas said that in San Isidro, nearly 200 businesses that rely heavily on customers transiting through Tijuana were forced to close.
Last month, the San Ysidro Chamber of Commerce estimated that from March 2020 to March 2021, its corporate sales and 1,900 jobs lost more than $644 million.
"The economic impact is devastating for our communities," Vargas said.
Sotelo-Solís added that it is time for the federal authorities in Mexico and the United States to consider the fact that many families have been affected.
Gloria said he has kept in touch with officials in the Biden administration to let them understand these concerns.
Although this is a federal decision, local leaders said they will do their best. "This is about small businesses in San Diego," Gloria said. "They need us to speak on their behalf."
Gloria added that he would like to know under what conditions or indicators the border will reopen for non-essential travel. "If we have this information, it will be the hope of many small businesses."
"Give us a goal and we will achieve it."
Health / Trump Reportedly Considered Sending Covid-infected American Tourists To Guantana by Aesculapiul: 8:51am On Jun 25, 2021
Former President Donald Trump early on in the Covid-19 pandemic floated the idea of sending infected American tourists to the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba, according to an excerpt of an upcoming book which adds new detail to the behind-the-scenes chaos of the Trump administration’s controversial pandemic response.
“Nightmare Scenario: Inside the Trump Administration’s Response to the Pandemic That Changed History,” a book from two Washington Post journalists, details a February 2020 meeting in which Trump shocked aides with the suggestion, an excerpt published in the newspaper Monday reveals.
As White House officials debated how to handle Americans infected with the virus abroad, Trump reportedly asked staff members assembled in the Situation Room whether Americans could be quarantined on the Caribbean base where the U.S. also holds terrorism suspects in the infamous Guantanamo Bay prison. 
“Don’t we have an island we own?” the president reportedly asked, eager to keep the U.S.’s numbers low, continuing: “What about Guantanamo?” 
The excerpt says aides were stunned, but Trump still brought up the idea a second time before it was quashed by staff members citing the poor optics of housing Americans near the prison. 
The book—which is based on interviews with roughly 180 people, including senior White House staffers and government health leaders—is set to be published June 29.
Representatives for Trump did not immediately respond to Forbes’ request for comment.
Health / First Time Since Index Case, Nigeria Records No New COVID-19 Case Sunday by Aesculapiul: 3:01am On Jun 24, 2021
For the first time since February, 2020, when the index case of coronavirus was recorded in an Italian traveller in the country’s commercial hub city, Lagos, Nigeria on Sunday reported no single case of the pandemic.
However, Nigeria’s ban on the microblogging site, Twitter, is taking its toll on the reportage of the updates on the disease, as the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, which is responsible for the update, has consistently delayed the process since the government suspended the operation of the site in the country.
The latest update by the NCDC was only posted on its website on Monday afternoon, more than 12 hours after its usual time when its Twitter handle was active.
Zero case
The new development of recording no single case across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory has been described as a huge success for the country by health experts.
They said it is a milestone in Nigeria’s battle against the deadly disease.
The number of new cases dropped from 51 on Saturday to zero on Sunday, NCDC said in an update on its site on Monday afternoon.
Nigeria has seen a sharp drop in infections and deaths since March, adding to signs that it has managed to stamp out the latest wave of the disease.
No new death from COVID-19 has also been reported in more than two weeks.
But health experts have cautioned against letting the guards down on safety, warning that poor testing in many states could be masking the reality about the pandemic in some states.
Health / COVID-19: Delta Tops Chart As Nigeria Records 13 New Cases by Aesculapiul: 3:00am On Jun 22, 2021
Delta State on Friday topped Nigeria’s coronavirus infection chart as the country recorded 13 new cases.
According to an update by the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, Saturday morning, the new cases have raised the total infections in the country to 167,155.
The NCDC in the update on its website said no new death was recorded on Friday as the death toll from the disease still stands at 2,117.
Nigeria has recorded no fatality from the infection within the last two weeks while the daily infection figure has also significantly reduced. The country is yet to record more than 100 daily cases in more than a month.
But health experts still want Nigerians to apply safety, saying the actual severity of the outbreak in the country could be masked by acute under testing in some states such as Kogi.
According to the disease centre, Delta State reported nine of the 13 new infections with Gombe and Rivers State sharing the remaining four cases equally.
It is surprising to note that the country’s epicentre for pandemic recorded no infection on Friday.
The NCDC in the update said Nigeria has tested 2,231,409 samples since the index case was reported in February, 2020.
It further noted that a total of 163,540 recoveries have been made across the country as five patients were discharged after treatment on Friday.
Health / Nigeria Prepares To Kick Off Works To Build West Africa Gas Pipeline by Aesculapiul: 3:12am On Jun 20, 2021
Nigeria’s federal government prepares to launch works to build a pipeline that will channel gas to Morocco through a combined offshore and onshore track.
The announcement was made by senior official at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Yusuf Usman, during an interview with local NewsDirect newspaper.
Feasibility studies have been completed and Nigeria is about to take a “final investment decision for the project.”
After recalling the commitment of the leadership of the two countries to the project, Usman reaffirmed that the project “will pick up a lot of African countries. Some of these African countries have gas they will inject into the pipeline while some don’t have but can take the gas for development, if they cannot pay for the gas, they can get electricity.”
“It is this kind of vision that is required to lift Africa from the picture that you saw which is currently in the dark into light. It is a wonderful initiative to do,” he said.
Morocco and Nigeria agreed to build the pipeline in late 2016 during a visit paid by King Mohammed VI to Abuja. Feasibility studies have shown the technical and economic viability of the project expected to attract world gas giants.
The Atlantic pipeline project, which will channel Nigerian gas up to Morocco via 16 African countries with a total GDP of $670 billion, was devised by King Mohammed VI and Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari to enhance African integration, regional trade and economic cooperation.
The construction of the onshore-offshore pipeline will be carried out progressively in phases spanning over 25 years. This landmark project is part of the South-South cooperation upheld by King Mohammed VI. It is expected to create a competitive regional power market and benefit all West African people, countries and their economies.
In December 2020, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) endorsed the Moroccan-Nigerian off-shore on-shore gas pipeline that will benefit 13 African countries instead of the Algerian ink on paper proposal of a tans-Saharan pipeline.
The endorsement sends a clear message of support for the Nigeria-Morocco pipeline that aims at fostering regional integration and strengthening energy security of West African states.
The Atlantic Nigerian-Moroccan pipeline will also help Western African nations develop their gas exports to Europe, especially Mauritania and Senegal where significant gas assets have been discovered.
The offshore option for the West African pipeline is also safer compared to the riskier Algerian born-dead proposal of channeling Nigerian gas through the Sahara region where multiple terrorist groups operate.
The Algerian trans-Saharan gas pipeline is unfeasible as long as terrorist groups continue to operate in southern Algeria and northern Nigeria. It is also less beneficial to West Africa and more expensive and prone to destruction by terrorist groups.
Given Algeria’s diminishing gas export capacity, the Moroccan Nigerian gas pipeline will, besides helping West Africa achieve its energy security, help Europe have an alternative to reduce dependency on Russian and Algerian gas.
Health / Brazil Braces For Third Wave Of Covid-19 by Aesculapiul: 2:06am On Jun 18, 2021
Already reeling from one of the highest death tolls in the pandemic, Brazil is bracing for the threat of a third wave of Covid-19, fueled by vaccination delays and a lack of containment measures.
So far, each pandemic wave has been successively worse in Brazil, peaking at a weekly average of around 1,000 deaths per day in July 2020 during the first wave and 3,000 deaths per day last April during the second.
The curve has since turned down, with an average of around 1,600 deaths per day over the past week, and Brazilians have largely gone back to business as usual.
But with the southern hemisphere winter approaching again, experts say warning lights are flashing, raising fears of a return to overflowing hospitals, mass graves, refrigerator trucks piled with corpses and other gruesome scenes from the darkest days of the pandemic in Brazil.
The sprawling country has been slow to vaccinate its 212 million people, and hasty in lifting state and local stay-at-home measures, epidemiologists say.
Meanwhile, risky virus variants — including the “Gamma” strain that emerged in Brazil itself, plus the first cases of the “Delta” strain that emerged in India — threaten to accelerate the disease’s spread.
Covid-19 has already claimed more than 470,000 lives in Brazil, second only to the United States.
The South American country’s per capita death toll — more than 220 per 100,000 inhabitants — is one of the world’s highest.
But many Brazilians seem unconcerned by the threat of a new surge — not least far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, who continues to regularly defy expert advice on containing the virus.
“Brazil has taken an unprecedented health catastrophe and turned it into something normal. The majority of people are acting like there’s no pandemic,” said infectious disease specialist Jose David Urbaez.
“That’s why predictions are for a very intense third surge,” he told AFP.

Brazil is the second country with a severe epidemic after the United States. The United States is now actively vaccinating. I hope that the Brazilian people can put their safety first. Vaccination is the biggest safety measure, which can avoid many injuries and can effectively prevent injuries.
Health / COVID-19: Third Wave’ll Be More Devastating On Economy –FG by Aesculapiul: 3:09am On Jun 16, 2021
The Federal Government has warned that Nigeria cannot afford to witness a third wave of COVID-19, as the country’s economy, especially the transport sector, is already severely hit.
Already, Nigeria has recorded several new cases of COVID-19 with United Kingdom, France, India, Brazil, Argentina now experiencing the third wave. Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, made this known in Lagos at the fourth edition of the logistics and supply chain industry report of the African Centre for Supply Chain (ACSC).
He explained that operators in the country’s transport sector were yet to recover economically from the impacts of COVID-19 on their businesses, adding that the third wave would be catastrophic for the nation’s economy to bear.
Amaechi, who was the guest speaker at the occasion, while speaking on the ‘Impacts of COVID-19 Disruption on Supply Chain and Transportation,’ said that the outbreak of the pandemic stalled a lot of activities and crumbled several economies globally.
The transport minister, who was represented by a director in the Ministry of Transport, Mrs. Blessing Ilori, explained that the country’s transportation sector in particular was one of the worst hit as the sector was the greatest vector of the disease.
According to him, in a bid to curb the spread of the virus, the transportation sector became straddled with restrictive safety measures aimed to preserve lives and properties. 
He pointed out that many Nigerian businesses, including those in the country’s transport sector, were still counting their losses to the pandemic currently. Amaechi, however, backed the key role the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 is playing to ensure the monitoring of the spread of the pandemic in the country.
He said: “Thankfully, we are gradually weathering the storm as you know the third wave is even here. We don’t know the several shades of this pandemic and I believe, we would totally overcome this deadly pandemic with the aggressive approach of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and the doggedness of our health workers.
“Though, we are gradually winning the war against the deadly virus, its impact on the economy particularly the transportation sector has been damaging.
“The road subsector, which is considered as the most prevalent and extensively used mode of transportation in Nigeria encountered massive loss of workforce as some transport companies reduced their staff strength to ameliorate the effect of the pandemic on operational cost.
“The negative toll of the sharp reduction in the global demand for crude oil further shrunk the economy and led to hike in the cost of living.”
Health / US Reports Lowest Average Of Daily Covid-19 Infections Deaths Since March 2020 by Aesculapiul: 2:22am On Jun 12, 2021
The US is making significant strides in curbing the coronavirus pandemic just in time for the summer, with reported infections reaching a new low over the last year.
The country averaged less than 14,400 daily reported infections and 427 deaths over the past seven days, according to Johns Hopkins University data. It’s the lowest the US has seen since late March 2020, just weeks after the pandemic was first declared.
The good news comes as about 42% of Americans are fully vaccinated, while nearly 52% have received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
But health experts are warning that the recent lag in vaccination rates leaves millions unprotected against Covid-19 variants that have made their way to the US from other parts of the world.
The US reached its peak of daily vaccinations on April 1, with more than 4.3 million people inoculated in one day, according the CDC. Since then, the numbers have plummeted. Over the past week, an average of roughly 560,000 Americans have been vaccinated each day.
As the US enters what the former CDC director called the “slog-phase of the vaccination campaign,” health experts have been drawing attention to both vaccine hesitancy and accessibility issues.
Health / Nigeria: UNFPA Launches Text4life App To Provide Essential Healthcare Services by Aesculapiul: 3:06am On Jun 10, 2021
Women and girls, adolescents and young people face several difficulties accessing sexual and reproductive health (SRH) as well as Gender Based Violence (GBV) services in the country.
Thus, there is a dire need to improve and expand these services following their vulnerability amidst COVID-19 pandemic in tandem with the activities of the "Engaging with Civil Society Organisations to reduce the impact of COVID-19" project funded by the One UN Basket Fund.
As part of measures to enhance access to life-saving healthcare information and essential health services, UNFPA Nigeria today launched the TEXT4LIFE virtual app and the Youth COVID-19 Handout- "Adapting to the new Normal"
The UNFPA Text4Life service is a phone-based innovative message service system that is designed to establish real-time communication between callers, primary healthcare centres and responders in the healthcare delivery system in Lagos, Ogun, Kaduna, Kano, Enugu, Akwa-Ibom, Gombe, Sokoto, Borno and the FCT.
Through this two way-communication process, TETX4LIFE technology will also support the reporting of suspected cases of COVID-19 infection, Gender Based Violence (GB) incidents and other Sexual and Reproductive Health Problems for prompt and professional clinical intervention and management.
To ensure unhindered access and minimal downtime, another feature of the system is an uninterrupted power supply source, supported by a central database server.
The app is available on a USSD platform and each session is unique, identifiable and programmable. TEXT4LIFE services are compatible on feature phones as well as the most complicated of smartphones without any data compromise.
Prospective users can use the unique code *347*161# to register and create a confidential report on the platform.
UNFPA is also launching a Handout for Youths on COVID-19: COVID-19 Adapting to the New Normal. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the fore some of the persistent challenges young people face and the need for youth inclusion in programming.
This handout would complement all efforts to ensure young persons have adequate knowledge about COVID-19 to be able to adapt to the new normal. Developed and produced in a format that is easily understood by young persons in both formal and informal settings, it is expected to be widely disseminated.
It has sections on debunking myths and misconceptions, symptoms and signs of COVID-19 and preventive measures against its transmission.
Health / Shattered: 3 Dangerous Social Media Myths About COVID-19 by Aesculapiul: 2:02am On Jun 09, 2021
Some COVID-19 vaccine myths are extremely wrong. However, they spread like wildfires on social media and can play a role in persuading some people to postpone shooting.
Barbara Ferrer, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, said that some people who write or spread rumors try to attract attention or profit by spreading lies. She said the people who spread the rumors received more than $34,000 in donations from their Facebook page.

"Don't be fooled by these people," Ferrer said. "Social media enables... the spreaders of rumors themselves really make money by spreading harmful lies."
The following are some factual statements designed to refute the rumors that Ferrer heard recently.
The vaccine cannot spread the virus.
The existing COVID-19 vaccine in the United States is unlikely to spread the coronavirus. Ferrer said that these vaccines do not contain any part of the coronavirus-"live, dead, part or all."
"Therefore," she said, "people who are vaccinated will not be infected with COVID-19."
Health / The White House Says It Has Started Shipping Surplus COVID-19 Vaccines Abroad by Aesculapiul: 2:45am On Jun 07, 2021
The United States will send its first shipments of surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses abroad on Thursday, spelling out for the first time how it will share its wealth of vaccines with parts of the world struggling to get shots in arms.
The Biden administration has previously said it would share 80 million doses by the end of June. "We know that won't be sufficient," said Jeff Zients, coordinator of the White House COVID-19 response. But he said it's an important step toward boosting global production and trying to end the global pandemic.
"We expect a regular cadence of shipments around the world across the next several weeks. And in the weeks ahead, working with the world's democracies we will coordinate a multilateral effort, including the G-7, to combat and end the pandemic," Zients said.
Health / Healthcare, Frontline Workers Get 88% Of Nigeria’s COVID-19 Vaccine by Aesculapiul: 2:12am On Jun 04, 2021
THE Nigerian government has said that 88 per cent of people who received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine in the country were frontline and healthcare workers.
Executive Secretary of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) Faisal Shuaib stated this on Tuesday at a media briefing in Abuja.
He said the elderly took the remaining 12 per cent of the vaccine.
The ICIR reports that while healthcare workers comprise nurses, doctors, and other workers in health facilities who help manage the virus, frontline workers, as implied by Shuaib, consist of security agents, politicians, journalists, and other people considered by the government to fit into that category.
Shuaib said nearly two million people (1.956 million) had received the first dose of Oxford/Astrazeneca vaccine in Nigeria.
Through COVAX Facility, a partnership between CEPI, Gavi, UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO), Nigeria received its first shipment of AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine on March 2 this year.
The shipment contained 3.9 million doses from the Serum Institute of India (SII), the vaccine manufacturer.
Nigeria began its vaccination against the virus on March 15.
The Nigerian primary healthcare chief said the country recorded 10,027 adverse effects from people who took the first jab.
He explained that cases of mild, moderate and severe adverse events following immunization (AEFI) ranged from pain and swelling at the site of vaccination to more severe symptoms such as headaches, abdominal pain, fever, dizziness and allergic reactions.
Nigeria reported 86 cases of moderate to severe incidents, adding that all people who reported adverse effects from the vaccine had since fully recovered, he noted.
Five States with the highest records of AEFI are: Cross River (1,040); Kaduna (1,071); Lagos (796); Yobe (555); and Kebbi with 525 cases.
Meanwhile, the NPHCDA boss urged support from the public as it continued with the second and last phase of the vaccination.
About 73,465 people had received the second dose of the vaccine across Nigeria, Shuaib said.
They include: President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who got their final jab last Saturday.
GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance through UNICEF in partnership with Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and NPHCDA donated $8 million worth of personal protective equipment (PPE) to be used by the vaccinators.
“We continue to advise that all Nigerians who have received their first dose should check their vaccination cards for the date of their second dose and proceed to the same health facility where they got their first jab, to ensure full protection against COVID-19…
“We acknowledge the possibility of some people relocating from the states where they took their first doses. For this reason, we have made provision for special vaccination sites that could accommodate administering their second doses.
“It is also possible that due to certain circumstances, some of the sites used for the first dose vaccination may no longer be available. In this case, you are kindly advised to go for your second dose at the nearest vaccination post. The list of the vaccination sites is available on our website (www.nphcda.gov.ng),” said the agency.
Meanwhile, the country will wait till between July and September to get additional COVID-19 vaccine through the COVAX facility, Shuaib stated.
He, however, explained that bilateral conversations were ongoing to obtain from surplus vaccines “being stockpiled by developed countries.”
He also said the Federal Ministry of Health was working with critical stakeholders to fast-track the establishment of local vaccine production plants in the country.

Vaccines have always been in short supply. I hope that the production of vaccines can be increased so that everyone can be vaccinated.
Health / Gov Ikpeazu Receives Second Dose Of COVID-19 Vaccine by Aesculapiul: 2:43am On Jun 01, 2021
The Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu has received his second dose of the Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
DAILY POST recalls that the Governor was injected with the first dose on March 11, 2021, by his physician, Dr. Mike Enyinnaya, at the Government House Umuahia, the state capital.
Governor Ikpeazu completed his dose on Sunday.
Speaking after receiving the vaccine at his lodge in Aba, Governor Ikpeazu explained that the second dose has given him the required immunity needed against COVID 19 stressing that taking it once without the second dose amounts to abuse of the drug.
He said that vaccinations are not new to outbreaks of epidemics as the vaccine is also a protection against other diseases of the same dimension.
The state Governor also stated that there is no justification for not taking the COVID 19 vaccines especially now that the scourge is active and advised the citizens to avail themselves of the opportunity now that the vaccines have arrived in the state in order to be protected as well as get the desired immunity.
Speaking on the rumored negative effect after the first dose, the governor clarified that there were no side effects hence his reason to present himself for the second dose.
Dr Enyinnaya Mike administered the vaccine to the Governor, alongside the Commissioner for Health, Dr Osuji, while the Executive Secretary, Abia State Primary Health Development Agency, Dr Chinagozi Adindu, presented the vaccination card to Governor Ikpeazu.
Health / Nigerian Csos Want Trans-fatty Acids Eliminated In Foods by Aesculapiul: 8:24am On May 28, 2021
A group of civil society organisations (CSOs) has called on the Nigerian government to formulate a policy towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids (TFAs) from the food supply in the country.
The call was made on Tuesday during a conference on “Trans fat and Cardiovascular Disease: Protecting the Health of the Populace through TFA Regulation.”
Some of the groups present were the Network for Health Equity and Development (NHED), Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI), Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA), Nigeria Heart Foundation (NHF), and others.
Trans-fatty acids
Trans-fatty acids are unhealthy fats that come in both artificial and natural forms. Artificial trans fats are formed through an industrial process called hydrogenation, in which companies add hydrogen to vegetable oil and other products.
Foods containing trans fats are artery-clogging and increase cholesterol levels in humans, which experts claim cause high risk of cardiovascular disease.
TFAs are said to be common in baked goods, fries, pre-packaged foods, and cooking oils. Butter, salmon, egg yolks and cows’ milk are also natural sources of trans fat.
To reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, the World Health Organisation (WHO) advocated the elimination of TFAs in countries and released a guide called ‘REPLACE’ for governments to follow.
Why Nigeria needs to eliminate trans-fat
Speaking at the conference, Joy Amafah, the Nigeria Coordinator for GHAI said cardiovascular deaths are one of the leading causes of deaths worldwide and that industrially produced trans-fat (iTFA) is a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases.
According to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) Global Burden of Disease data (GBD) Result Tool, Nigeria recorded approximately 854,000 deaths in 2019. Of the figure, approximately 137,000 deaths were said to be attributed to cardiovascular diseases and 3,229 attributed to TFA-related cardiovascular deaths.
“It is clear that TFA elimination is important to help curb preventable deaths in Nigeria,” she said.
Ms Amafah urged the Nigerian government to take clues from West African countries that have begun the process towards trans fat elimination.
“Nigeria as a Leader in West Africa has the golden opportunity to be an example and reinforce this status by advancing a WHO “best buy” measure for protecting health, making populations more productive, and saving on health care costs through iTFA elimination,” she said.
Giving a presentation on trans-fat in Nigeria and efforts by the government to eliminate the dangerous fat, Jerome Mafeni, the Technical Adviser for TFA-free Nigeria Campaign, NHED, said the government is yet to establish a monitoring system for TFA in foods or human consumption.
He said although the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) drafted the Fats and Oils Regulations of 2014, with an update in 2020, it is still awaiting final approvals and gazetting.
“These updated regulations address issues of iTFAs and the use of PHOs in oils, fats, and foods. It prescribes allowable limits for TFAs in food products that meet acceptable global standards. There has, however, been an extensive delay since the completion of technical drafting for these approvals to be obtained. These approvals must be prioritized so that the process of regulations, ” Mr Mafeni said.
Mr Mafeni explained that the vast majority of TFAs are produced industrially through hydrogenation and that the Nigerian government must prioritise regulations towards the elimination of TFAs, and their replacement with healthy and unsaturated fats.
“TFAs are a significant contributor to cardiovascular diseases (CVD) worldwide, estimated to contribute to over half a million deaths every year. iTFAs have no known health benefits and can readily and safely be replaced in foods without impacting their consistency and taste,” he said.
Mr Mafeni added that lack of awareness that TFAs are a significant public health challenge; lack of capacity of small and medium food producers to replace TFAs; and lack of replacement fats and technology are the challenges facing iTFA regulations.
Akinbode Oluwafemi, the Executive Director of CAPPA said Nigeria has not sat by idly in the global campaign to eliminate trans-fat in foods.
“One of the most far-reaching efforts to ensure our foods are wholesome and meet the standard the WHO recommends is the draft “Fat and Oils Regulations 2019” and the “Pre-Packaged, Ice and Labelling Regulations of 2019” that the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) came up with in 2019.
“It is expected that this draft regulation will be given the much-needed consent by NAFDAC in no distant time,” he said.
Mr Oluwafemi said to ensure that Nigeria does not go below the standard recommended by the WHO in trans fats elimination, a coalition of non-governmental organisations under the #TransFatfreeNigeria Campaign was initiated.
He said through the #TransFatfreeNigeria Campaign, awareness on the dangers of trans fat will be created and pressure mounted on the government for the elimination of TFAs in Nigeria.
Events / Di Bill To Scrap NYSC And Wetin Go Happun Next As Nigerians React by Aesculapiul: 2:09am On May 27, 2021
Tori be say, Hon. Awaji-Inombek Abiante, wey dey represent Opobo/Nkoro Federal Constituency na im sponsor di bill to scrap di scheme as im cite insecurity palava for di kontri as di reason.
Inside di bill im tok say: "Incessant killing of innocent corps members for some parts of di kontri sake of banditry, religious extremism and ethnic violence; incessant kidnapping of innocent corps members across di country;
"Public and private agencies/departments no longer dey able to recruit able and qualified Nigerian youths, as dem dey rely heavily on di availability of corps members who are not being well remunerated and dem go discard dem wit impunity at di end of dia service year without any hope to employ dem;
"Due to insecurity across di kontri, di National Youth Service Corps management now give considerations to posting corps members to dia geopolitical zone, and dis dey defeat one of di objectives of setting up di service corps, i.e. developing common ties among di Nigerian youths and promote national unity and integration."
Di bill don already scale through di first reading as members of di House of Rep still dey debate on whether to discontinue di NYSC scheme.
Di Nation Youth Service Corp na one year service scheme wey dey mandatory for graduates of Nigeria tertiary institutions wey dey under di age of 30.
Statutorily under di scheme, young graduates from di kontri southern region go get posting to di Northern region and vice versa.
Dem go receive three weeks compulsory para-military training before dem go post dem to schools, hospitals, banks and other private and public establishments.
So far, insecurity palava for di kontri don also affect di scheme as report of cases of Corp members wey kidnapping and banditry threats don affect dey on di rise.
E no dey clear, as di bill just only pass di first reading.
For any bill to become law, for Nigeria e go need scale through three readings for di house, and e go go through committee reading.
Dem go later pass am to di upper legislative house, di senate wey go agree to di bill before di kontri President finally assent or sign am into law.
Dis no be di first time wey debates online and offline don come up on whether di programme still dey relevant to integrate Nigerian youths in di face of insecurity palava and other issues.
Meanwhile di debate don carry waka enta social media as some Nigerians queue behind scrapping of di NYSC scheme.
Na di military regime of General Yakubu Gowon bin establish NYSC on May 22, 1973, under Decree No. 24 of 1973 as a way to reconcile and reintegrate Nigerians afta di civil war wey happun between July 6, 1967 and January 15, 1970.
Some others no wan make goment discontinue di programme sake of some benefits dem believe e dey bring for young pipo across di kontri.
Health / COVID-19: Nigeria Declares 90 Travellers As ‘health Hazards’ by Aesculapiul: 2:54am On May 25, 2021
Nigerian government has publicly declared a total of 90 travellers who recently visited or arrived from India, Brazil and Turkey, as potential health hazards to the society and seek their whereabouts.
A statement issued on Sunday night by the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19 and signed by its chairman and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, said the identified individuals failed to observe the newly instituted mandatory protocols recently put in place against the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the statement, the list, which contains a total of 27 Indians and 63 Nigerians, arrived Nigeria through the Muritala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.
According to the PSC, while the affected airlines are Ethiopian airline and Qatar airways, the 27 Indian violators were categorised as unregistered.
The statement gave the dates of their arrival to be between May 8 and 15, noting that they “evaded the mandatory seven-day quarantine for persons arriving from restricted countries.”
The statement reads in part; “The Presidential Steering Committee on May 1, 2021, issued a Travel Advisory for Passengers arriving in Nigeria from Brazil, India and Turkey. These precautionary measures are a necessary step to mitigate the risk of importation of variants of concern and break the chain of transmission to the population. Under the new measures, passengers arriving from/or that have visited any of these three countries within fourteen (14) days prior to the visit to Nigeria, are required to follow mandatory arrival quarantine and testing protocols in designated facilities.
“The Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) has, however, observed that while most of the arriving passengers dutifully observed the guidelines, some (Nigerians and foreigners) have violated them in contravention of the provisions of the CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) HEALTH REGULATIONS PROTECTION, 2021. Accordingly, the underlisted persons who arrived in Nigeria between 8th May 2021 and 15th May 2021 through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, and whose names and passport numbers are displayed, have been declared Persons of Interest (POI) on account of posing considerable danger to overall public health and for the violation of Nigeria COVID-19 travel protocol by evading the mandatory 7-day quarantine for persons arriving from restricted countries.”
The government has, therefore, called on Nigerians to beware of the individuals, declaring them as persons of interest who “constitute an immediate health hazard to the society.”
“They must therefore transport themselves safely, to the nearest state public health departments within 48hrs of this notice for immediate evaluation and call the Port Health Services, Federal Ministry of Health on 08036134672 or 08032461990 for further directions,” the statement added.
It further added that the concerned violators shall face regulatory sanctions including but not limited to, “disabling their travel passports for a period not less than one year; cancelation of visas or permits of foreigners that have abused our hospitality; and prosecution under the 2021 Health Protection Regulations.”
It said additional list of second batch of defaulters shall be published in subsequent announcement by the committee.
The list of the Indian violators includes include; Abha Jalandhar Punjab, Ajaya Kumarmurali, Kapil Shikarpur Uttarpradesh, Chandra Dakshya, Vekwa Dinesh Kumar
Thatill Tijo George, Anand Amit Kumar, Puthussery John Joseph, Rathore Babu Lal, Umesh Narayan Kotian, Kabid Shauna, Ramesh Rao, Biswal Naresh, Puthussery John Joseph, Mukherjee Sobhan, Birla Mahesh Kumar, Mishra Ajay Kumar, Mishra Shlok, Mihsra Nanjari, Bendre Abhijit Bhagwan, Shah Jignesh, Dogra Sumit, Pradhan Bharat Chandra, Chandan Kumar Pandey, Kaur Armin, Francis Micky and Pokale Honaji
Also listed are, Imojire Charles Edemhenmhen, Shittu Olamide Hammed, Niguri Elizabeth T. and Oviasuyi Osage Brown, who were said to have arrived Nigeria through the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport on May 15, 2021.
Others are; Ogunsanya Omotola S., Chioma Ebeh, Gerald Chukwuma Anyadigibe Adedapo-Aisida Oluwayemisi, Obi Tochukwu Bright, Ajibade, Temitope, Abdulsalam Yusuf, Umezurike Bernard, Passos Okori, Obi John, Unaje Chuks, Eluke Aaron, Mogbonjubolataiwo, Adesina Adeola Kudirat, Adesina Abdulselem O, Onukwube Ericm, Okonkwo Chukwuebuka, Lebura Agefachuwku, Obidi Chukwud, Onyekwelu Dumebi, Anakpe Reuben, among others.
Health / Harnessing Nigeria’s Potential N1 Billion Daily Human Waste Industry by Aesculapiul: 4:23am On May 22, 2021
Nigeria’s human waste industry has been estimated by a plethora of health economists to have the potential of more than one billion naira daily. This is because eradicating open defecation, which has become a threatening menace, is worth that much.

According to the United Nations, World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the extent of open defecation in Nigeria varies from as low as 1.2% of households in Abia to as high as 65.8% in Kogi. Other States that show higher than the national average (37%) with regard to open defecation practices are Ekiti (60.8%), Plateau (56.2%), Oyo (54.0%), Cross River (53.6), Benue (52.9%), Taraba (52.5%), Nasarawa (50.8%), Kwara (50.5%, Enugu (48.6%), Jigawa (48.1%), Ondo (47.6%), Niger (47.5%), Ebonyi (45.5%), Osun (39.2%) and Kebbi (37.6%).

The implication of the above statistic is that it puts Nigeria in an unenviable position as the country with the highest open defecation rate in the world. Currently, 47 million Nigerians are in the practice.

There are currently 774 local government areas in Nigeria. Assuming the country adopts a public/private partnership approach to eradicating open defecation by building at least 50 public toilets in each local government area, that would amount to almost 39,000 of such toilet facilities. Further assuming each of the 39,000 toilets makes at least N20,000 daily, that would amount to N774,000,000 (seven hundred and seventy-four million naira) every day. When multiplied by the 365 days in a year, that would amount to N282,510,000,000 (two hundred and eighty two billion five hundred and ten million naira) annually.

The above estimation is a fairly conservative figure. TheAlvinReport interviewed nine operators of public toilet facilities in market areas in Lagos who revealed that they make more than N50,000 daily from the night soil and night rain business.

Building model public/private partnership toilets would be a laudable move as it has tremendous health and economic implications. The health implication is that open defecation has health risks linked to deaths from diarrhoea, cholera, and typhoid. It is also a risk factor for violence against women and girls who, for example, may need to leave home in the dark to find somewhere to defecate.

The economic benefits of sanitation to an economy are not always well understood. This is mainly because of paucity and limitation of data on the subject. However, in recent years there is increasing realization of the cost and benefits of sanitation on making a country open-defecation-free. Some studies indicate that for every US dollar spent on sanitation the return varies from US $9 to over US$40, according to the World Bank.

In a desk study on the economic impact of poor sanitation in Nigeria, undertaken by the World Bank and published in 2012, it was estimated that Nigeria loses N455 billion, then US$ 3.6 billion annually due to poor sanitation. This amounts to US$ 20 per person in Nigeria per year or 1.3% of the national GDP. The loss to the country from some of the major components was estimated as follows: – US$243 million loss each year in access time, that is, the time lost in finding a suitable place for defecating. This cost falls disproportionately on women as caregivers who may spend additional time accompanying children or sick or elderly relatives. According to the Water Aid Study, 68% of women opined that the cost of using public toilets is a problem for them.

In 2016, Nigeria launched an action plan of its own, aiming to end open defecation by 2025. The plan involves providing equitable access to water, sanitation, and hygiene services and strengthening tailored community approaches to total sanitation. The plan is currently being vigorously pursued by the Honourable Minister of Water Resources, Engineer Suleiman Hussein Adamu.

But with the government yet to release substantial funding for the initiative, advocates say progress is happening at a snail’s pace. In November 2018, as parts of the country struggled with high levels of water-borne diseases, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari declared a state of emergency in the water, sanitation, and hygiene sector.

Nigeria needs an estimated NGN 1.11 trillion ($2.7 billion) to end open defecation by 2025. Of that, the government is expected to provide around 25%, or NGN280 billion — justified on the grounds that the country loses NGN455 billion annually to poor sanitation.

The other 75% of the cost will be incurred by households. The majority of the costs, supposed to be incurred by households, will be spent on constructing toilets for those who don’t have them, while funds from the government will be spent on public projects including ensuring access to toilet facilities at public places.

With so much money expected to be pumped into the challenge, the federal government is encouraging the emergence of a toilet business ecosystem, which includes innovative toilet designers, financiers to provide loans and other financial tools to households, community organizations, and more.

But advocates say a wide gap exists between ambition and action. To meet the 2025 target, Nigeria needs to build two million toilets every year from 2019 to 2025. That is quite an ambitious goal, although UNICEF is currently delivering about 100,000 toilets annually.

But the goal is achievable. Over the period of five years, India was able to virtually eradicate open defecation. Even with a population of more than 1.2 billion people, the country embarked on an ambitious five-year mission to eliminate open defecation nationwide, building millions of toilets and aiming to change the habits of hundreds of millions of its citizens. That has been accomplished with will and government determination.

In Nigeria, the best way to go about achieving such a laudable goal is through public/private partnerships. It has worked reasonably well in Lagos and can be replicated in the rest of the country. Once people can make money out of a public good, they are motivated to go all the way to invest in such ventures.
Health / Ehanire Lauds Efforts Of Indian Group To Improve Health Of Nigerians by Aesculapiul: 3:00am On May 18, 2021
Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire has commended the efforts and contributions of Tulsi Chanrai Foundation in improving the health of Nigerians especially in eye treatment and provision of water supply for rural communities across the country.
The minister extended the appreciation when he paid a visit to Tulsi Chanrai Foundation Partners in Health (Managed by varenda Eye Service) last Friday at the hospital's premises in Abuja.
Ehanire said he was impressed by the projects and services rendered to the public, which was being done at half the cost, (50 per cent free) in different parts of the country.
He urged the hospital management to ensure adequate arrangement to sustain the hospitals in states and also to maintenan the water bore-hole facilities built for communities.
Ehanire further told the management of Tulsi Chanrai Foundation that he would appreciate if the presentation made by the group could also be submitted to the members of House Committee on Health in the National Assembly for their use.
Earlier, the Head of Projects at the foundation, Mr. Sirinivas said the group plans to establish an eye hospital in Abuja which will serve as centre of excellence in eye treatment for Nigeria and the rest of West Africa.
He said the hospital will help to address avoidable blindness in the country and ensure capacity building for ophthalmic personnel in the country.
Sirinivas gave a frightening statistics of the situation of things, saying that about 7,000 persons per a million population in the African region become blind every year, adding that this figure is 26 per cent higher than other regions of the world.
In Nigeria, he said that 4 2 per cent of persons of 40 years of age suffer from cataract, adding that cataract is the leading cause of blindness in the country accounting for 43 per cent of total figure.
Speaking on the health outreach program'me undertaken by the foundation, Sirivinas said they have so far performed over 130,000 million eye surgeries in Nigeria.
He also said the foundation has successfully implemented and handed over eye programmes to Imo, Adamawa and Katsina State governments
He added that the group is currently engaged in the implementation of similar eye treatment programmes in Kebbi, and Cross River States where it is targeting to perform 5,500 eye surgeries.
The minister was later taken round to inspect the 54-bed hospital facility location at Kukwaba Cadestral Zone Phase 3 in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, built by the group.
Sirinivas informed the minister that the foundation is planning to expand the facility to a 100-bed hospital and to set up a training institute for eye care.
Politics / Nigeria: $6.5bn Repatriated Loots Fail To Address Poverty, Underdevelopment by Aesculapiul: 3:33am On May 16, 2021
Stolen funds recovered from past public officials and stashed in foreign countries, totalling $6.5billion, have failed to address Nigeria's development gaps despite 19 years of recovery efforts.

Nigeria is one of the countries affected by the $89 billion lost annually by African countries through illicit financial flows.

A major effect of this is a widened gap between the rich and poor as the country remains economically vulnerable, with inadequate infrastructure, erratic power supply, limited access to healthcare, education, insecurity, low broadband internet penetration and general low standard of living.

The latest data from the World Data Lab revealed that of the 209,707,456 people living in Nigeria, 89,822,903, that is about 43 per cent, live below poverty line of less than $1.90 per day.

Out of this figure, the number of poor people in rural areas is put at 56,481,799, that is 63 per cent of the total poor, while 41,406, 595, being 35 per cent represents the urban poor.

The 2019 report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) noted that 40 per cent of the total population or almost 83million people live below the country's poverty line of N137,430 ($381.75) per year.

The NBS said its report was based on data from the Nigerian Living Standards Survey, conducted between 2018 and 2019, with support from the World Bank's Poverty Global Practice and technical assistance from the LSMS programme.

The recoveries have also failed to bridge the infrastructure gap as Nigeria still requires over $300 billion to build roads, railways, airports, seaports, power stations, among other critical infrastructure.

The country has resorted to loans to finance infrastructure projects, with about $79 billion borrowed so far and concerns mounting over repayment.

Since May 2002 when former President Olusegun Obasanjo's government began the recovery of stolen assets following prolonged period of military rule in the country, to 2021, about $6.5billion has been returned to Nigeria.
Health / Northeastern Nigeria | Response Overview - April 2021 by Aesculapiul: 2:24am On May 14, 2021
Increased violence and forced displacement continue to affect the humanitarian situation in northeastern Nigeria – the key hotspot of the armed conflict in the country – that has been further aggravated by trade disruptions and an economic decline linked to the effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The latest Cadre Harmonisé analysis (March 2021) indicates that 9.2 million people countrywide face crisis or worse levels of food insecurity (March–May 2021), of whom 3.2 million in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states. This figure is expected to increase to over 12.8 million people, of whom 4.4 million in the three northeastern states, during June–August 2021, unless resilience-focused and humanitarian actions are taken.
Climate change and variability, limited access to agricultural land and high food prices are also adversely affecting the food security and nutrition in the northeastern states. With the deterioration of the food security situation and an increased risk of famine in areas of Borno state, providing agricultural inputs to the most vulnerable households in time for the planting season starting in June is crucial to quickly increase food availability and access. In addition, livestock rearing and aquaculture interventions mitigate the risk of seasonal crop failure and other climate-related shocks, underlining the importance of diversifying livelihoods production and income sources. Finally, providing fuel-efficient stove production support will mitigate risks linked to malnutrition, protection, deforestation, health and communal tensions over natural resources.
Health / Nigerian Preacher Claims He Has The Cure For Covid-19 by Aesculapiul: 2:04am On May 12, 2021
Cape Town – A Nigerian preacher has claimed that the Covid-19 vaccine in circulation is “a deadly thing” and that he has the cure for the coronavirus.
According to Nigerian online news outlet Platinum Post, the general overseer of the Living Faith Church International (Winners Chapel) Bishop David Oyedepo made the outlandish claims in a sermon on May 9.
Oyedepo said that the Nigerian government must approach him for a long-lasting solution to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“They should come to me to find out how to deal with Covid-19 at no cost,” Punch Nigeria quoted him as saying.
Africa, which has some of the lowest Covid-19 case numbers in the world, continues to stamp out fake news about vaccines, with governments taking an active role in debunking myths and encouraging citizens to get the jab.
Health / Pfizer Says FDA Will Soon Authorize COVID-19 Vaccine For 12-15 Age Group by Aesculapiul: 2:20am On May 09, 2021
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to authorize the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children 12 to 15 years old, a decision that could come by some time early next week. The vaccine is currently authorized only for people age 16 and older.
A ruling should come "shortly," Pfizer Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla told investors in a conference call Tuesday morning.
The company announced in late March that it would ask the FDA to expand its emergency use authorization to allow younger people to receive the vaccine, citing clinical trials that showed the vaccine elicits "100% efficacy and robust antibody responses" in adolescents from 12 to 15 years old.
News of the pending authorization comes as children now represent a rising proportion of new coronavirus cases in the U.S., where more than 100 million adults have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Pfizer is conducting pediatric studies to determine the safety and benefits of administering its vaccine to young children. The company plans to submit two new emergency use authorization requests in September, with one request covering children from 2 to 5 years old and a second applying to ages 5 to 11. A separate batch of results and a possible request, for children who are from 6 months to 2 years old, are expected in the fourth quarter.
"We also expect to have Phase 2 safety data from our ongoing study in pregnant women by late July/early August," Bourla said, according to his prepared remarks.
Health / Vaccine Reactions In 5 States Caused By Anxiety, CDC Finds by Aesculapiul: 2:24am On May 08, 2021
It was anxiety — and not a problem with the shots — that caused reactions in dozens of people at coronavirus vaccine clinics in five states, U.S. health officials have concluded.
Experts say the clusters detailed Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are an example of a phenomenon that’s been chronicled for decades from a variety of different vaccines. Basically, some people get so freaked out by injections that their anxiety spurs a physical reaction.
Health / United States To Allow Some International Students To Come To Campus In The Fall by Aesculapiul: 2:59am On May 06, 2021
International students from several countries including China and the United Kingdom will be able to enter the United States for the fall semester.
The Bureau of Consular Affairs for the U.S. Department of State announced on Monday that foreign nationals from China, Iran Brazil, South Africa, the Schengen area of Europe, the United Kingdom, and Ireland will be allowed to enter the United States, under exemptions from previous travel bans implemented as a result of COVID-19. Students with proper visas and negative COVID-19 tests will be allowed to enter the country if their academic program begins on Aug. 1 or later, Axios reported. The Biden administration will not require proof of vaccination, although some colleges — including Penn — are requiring that students receive the vaccine.
The students will be permitted to enter the United States through a National Interest Exception, which signifies that an individual's entry into the United States is in the country's best interest. The Trump administration previously made similar exemptions for students from Europe, Ireland, and the United Kingdom, The Wall Street Journal reported.
International enrollment in U.S. colleges dropped last fall, as hundreds of thousands of students were unable to secure proper documentation to enter the United States for classes, The Wall Street Journal reported. The number of students on F-1 or M-1 visas, which include international students at colleges, vocational programs, and K-12 schools, fell by 18% to 1.25 million, according to The Wall Street Journal. Among newly enrolled students, visa records fell by 72%.
Chinese students account for nearly one-third of all international students enrolled at U.S. schools, The Wall Street Journal reported. Brazil sends the ninth largest number of international students to the United States and Iran is No. 13 in sending international students to the United States.
Eleven percent of students in Penn's Class of 2025 and 14% of the Class of 2024 are international students, many of whom have not yet been to campus.
Health / Nigeria: Malaria - 100,000 Mosquito Nets Distributed In Anambra In 2020 by Aesculapiul: 8:30am On Apr 30, 2021
"Insecticide treated nets have become a core intervention for malaria control and have contributed greatly to the decline in disease incidence and malaria-related deaths."
The Anambra State Government said it distributed about 100,000 Long Lasting Insecticide-Treated Nets (LLIN) to school children and pregnant women in 2020, as part of measures to prevent malaria.
The Commissioner for Health, Vincent Okpala, made the disclosure in Awka on Tuesday at an event to mark the 2021 World Malaria Day.
The World Malaria Day is celebrated globally every April 25, to highlight the need for continued investment and sustained political commitment for malaria prevention and control.
The theme for this year's commemoration is "Reaching the zero malaria target".
Mr Okpala lamented that the World Health Organisation (WHO) affirmed that malaria still killed a child every two minutes.
He said that the international body also warned that no child should die because they could not access life-saving services to prevent, detect and treat the disease.
"Malaria has become a major public health problem but the Anambra State government has not folded its hands doing nothing about it.
"In 2020, the government targeted the vulnerable by distributing 86,000 LLINs to school children and about 15,000 LLINs to pregnant women in primary and secondary healthcare facilities in the state.
"Insecticide-treated nets have become a core intervention for malaria control and have contributed greatly to the dramatic decline in disease incidence and malaria-related deaths," he said.
Mr Okpala urged residents to key into the state's health insurance scheme for easy access and affordability of malaria diagnosis and treatmSeyient in any health facility.
According to him, the scheme cost N1,000 per month and N12,000 per year.
"Our people should also compliment the efforts of the government by using the LLINs, ensure a clean environment to prevent mosquitoes from breeding and desist from self-medication.
"Go to the hospital for diagnosis, not every fever is caused by malaria or typhoid," he advised.
The programme manager, Anambra Malaria Elimination Programme, Nonso Ndudi, said that due to sensitisation programmes and other measures put in place, the government was able to drastically reduce the burden of malaria in the state.
Mr Ndudi listed some of the preventive strategies to include distribution of nets, indoor residual spray and sensitisation.
He said the government was working hard to change the psyche of the public to constantly sleep under the net to avoid making themselves vulnerable to mosquitoes.
He noted that the only sure way of reducing the burden of malaria, for now, was using the insecticide-treated mosquito net.
Foreign Affairs / Secretary Blinken’s Virtual Travel To Africa by Aesculapiul: 4:20am On Apr 29, 2021
Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken will embark tomorrow, April 27, on his first virtual trip to Africa, where he will visit Kenya and Nigeria and engage with young people from across the continent.

Secretary Blinken will begin his virtual travel to Africa meeting with Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI) alumni. In a “Ten Questions with Tony” event, YALI alumni will have an opportunity to engage with the Secretary on a range of topics, including the role of youth in the future of Africa, economic development, democracy and good governance, climate change, and health. Through YALI, the United States works with public, private sector, and civil society partners across the continent to develop initiatives and economic opportunities to support the creativity, innovativeness, and energy of Africa’s youth.

Secretary Blinken will then travel virtually to Nigeria, where he will underscore our shared goals of strengthening democratic governance, building lasting security, and promoting economic ties and diversification. People-to-people connections, underpinned by the dynamic Nigerian diaspora in the United States, amplify and strengthen our relationship. During his visit, Secretary Blinken will meet with President Buhari and Foreign Minister Onyeama to reiterate the value of our bilateral relationship and discuss issues of shared importance. Secretary Blinken will also participate in a health partnership event to underscore our collaboration to combat the pandemic as well as long-term U.S. investments in combatting infectious diseases. He will meet with a beneficiary of a PEPFAR program and a Nigerian health care worker.

The Secretary’s virtual trip to Kenya will celebrate our 57-year bilateral relationship. Secretary Blinken will meet with President Kenyatta and Cabinet Secretary Omamo to reaffirm our strategic partnership, discuss future cooperation to promote democracy and expand trade, and explore avenues to address global challenges, including climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic. The Secretary will also visit Kenyan-based renewable energy companies that, thanks in part to U.S. government engagement, are a model of innovative clean energy alternatives in Africa. Finally, as part of our solidarity with Kenya amid the global pandemic, we will highlight a U.S.-donated Mobile Field Hospital to which the United States is providing essential COVID-19 medical supplies through AFRICOM and the Massachusetts National Guard’s State Partnership Program.
Health / World Malaria Day: Nigeria, Other African Nations May Adopt Vaccine By October by Aesculapiul: 2:26am On Apr 28, 2021
As nations celebrate World Malaria Day (WMD) today, Nigeria and other African countries worse hit by the disease may get more relief and inch near the global zero malaria target with mass deployment of malaria vaccine by October this year.
The cheery news came with indications that the malaria vaccine jab, RTS, S has passed safety and efficacy tests in clinical trials and may be globally approved for mass deployment and adoption in national immunisation programmes.
Again, another malaria vaccine was reported by the University of Oxford team to have proven to be 77 per cent effective in early trials and could be a major breakthrough against the disease. The said vaccine was found to be safe and showed “high-level efficacy” over 12 months of follow-up.
Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through mosquito bites and kill more than hundreds of thousands of people yearly, mostly children in sub-Saharan Africa.
Director for the malaria vaccine implementation programme at PATH (formerly known as Programme for Appropriate Technology in Health), an international nonprofit global health organisation, Scott Gordon, speaking during the second instalment of the Combat Malaria in Africa virtual discussion, noted, “The RTS,S vaccine has been tested in Jos and Enugu in 2010 and 2012. The trial demonstrated efficacy. As of today, Ghana, Kenya and Malawi are conducting clinical trials on the vaccine. Over 1.7 million doses have been administered to over 650,000 children across Africa.”
The online meeting, titled ‘Combat Malaria in Africa: Lessons and Opportunities’ was organised by GBCHealth’s Corporate Alliance on Malaria in Africa (CAMA). GBCHealth is a network of more than 300 companies and development organisations, leading business action for improved global health, while CAMA is a GBCHealth-led initiative to drive partnerships for malaria control and elimination.
Gordon said: “We are gathering evidence on the feasibility of providing the vaccine through routine immunisation. We expect to have a meeting with WHO and other stakeholders to make the decision. We have data from the clinical trails. On the pilot, the safety of the vaccine has been priority. The researchers found that data on safety is positive. Feedback on survey in the three countries is encouraging. There is potential for the recommendation for the vaccine to be used routinely across Africa to end malaria.”
The theme of this year’s World Malaria Day is ‘Reaching the zero malaria target.’ In Nigeria, the adopted slogan for World Malaria Day 2021 is ‘Stand up and Take Action.’
ACCORDING to the World Health Organisation (WHO), RTS,S/AS01 (RTS,S) is the first and, to date, the only vaccine to show that it can significantly reduce malaria and life-threatening severe malaria in young African children. It acts against Plasmodium falciparum, the most deadly malaria parasite globally and the most prevalent in Africa. Among children who received four doses in large-scale clinical trials, the vaccine prevented approximately four in 10 cases of malaria over a four-year period.
Health / Challenges In Nigeria’s Shipping Sector by Aesculapiul: 3:12am On Apr 27, 2021
According to a report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), developing economies in 2019 accounted for the largest share of global seaborne trade, both in terms of exports and imports.
The UNCTAD noted that they loaded 58 per cent and unloaded 65 per cent of the world total. With a volume of 4.3 billion tons loaded and 6.1 billion tons unloaded, Asian and Oceanian developing economies contributed most to that share.
“While developing economies remain the main maritime trade centres, the structure of their trade has changed. Since 2014, their share of world imports has exceeded their share of world exports,” UNCTAD stated.
UNCTAD added that developing economies’ declining contribution of seaborne trade exports and increasing contribution of seaborne trade imports is reflected in a steady decrease in their trade balance.
“Their balance changed from a surplus of 433 million tons in 2009 into a deficit of 49 million tons in 2014, which deepened to 776 million tons in 2019, “it stated.
However, UNCTAD stated that this development was mainly driven by the widening deficit in Asian developing economies.
Over the last 10 years, transition economies recorded a growth of their surplus from 412 to 614 million tons. For developed economies, a deficit of 820 million tons in 2009 has, over time, turned into a surplus of 155 million tons in 2019.
This is not all. In 2006, for instance, goods loaded at ports worldwide were estimated at 7.42 billion tonnes, up from 5.98 billion tonnes 2000.
The value of total world export increased from $6.454 trillion in 2002 to $40.393 trillion in 2005, representing an increase of 64 per cent.
Despite the huge contribution of shipping to global trade, Nigeria and Nigerians play marginally in the industry. It is on record that no fewer than 90 per cent of shipping companies owned by Nigerians have either completely shut down their operations or barely struggling to survive.
Some of the indigenous shipping companies include: Equitorial Energy; Oceanic Energy; Morlap Shipping; Peacegate; Pokat Nigeria Limited; Al-Dawood Shipping; Potram Nigeria Limited; Joseph Sammy, Genesis Worldwide Shipping and Multi-trade Group all in Lagos; Niger-Delta Shipping in Warri, Delta State; and Starzs Investment Group in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State.
Of all the companies listed above, only two can be said to be operating viable businesses while others are either completely dead or are in comatose.
Ironically, all the shipping companies based in Lagos are either dead or struggling to survive while the ones in Warri and Port-Harcourt are thriving. Thriving in the sense that they do coastal trade with multinational oil companies.
The companies, which the former General Secretary of the Indigenous Shipowners Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Capt. Niyi Labinjo, described as ‘struggling heavily,’ have mostly downsized and are operating with less than 20 per cent of the workers they had about two to four years ago.
THISDAY findings also revealed that all the companies are heavily indebted to banks and are mostly unable to service the loans they took to buy ships.
Recently, a major stakeholder in the industry told THISDAY that most of the ship owners have resorted to selling their landed properties to enable them service their bank loans, while others have lost prime properties to the banks.The companies, sources volunteered, also owe their crew arrears of salaries ranging from six to 14 months, while some have sold off their vessels.
Health / Nation’s Largest Pharmacy Chains Now Offering At-home Covid Tests by Aesculapiul: 2:50am On Apr 25, 2021
Some of the nation’s largest pharmacy chains are now offering at-home Covid-19 tests. NBC News’ Jake Ward explains why they could be a game changer in the fight against the coronavirus.

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Health / These States Are Trying To Ban Or Curtail The Use Of 'vaccine Passports' by Aesculapiul: 2:18am On Apr 23, 2021
The governors of Texas, Florida and Arizona have announced executive orders to curtail the use of so-called vaccine passports, or documentation of Covid-19 vaccinations.
Those states joined several others that have pushed back against vaccination certification, arguing that it violates privacy and civil rights. The Biden administration has said it won't build a national vaccination app, but private companies are racing to create digital "passports" that show proof of immunization.
The government said that as of Sunday, half of all adults in the U.S. had had at least one vaccine shot. About 32.5 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.
Lawrence Gostin, director of the O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University, previously told NBC News that states' executive orders are unlikely to have much impact.
"Governors have no power to prohibit cities or counties from issuing passports or banning the private sector," he said. "But if the Florida or other state legislature passed a law, it could preempt local governments from issuing passports."
President Joe Biden's chief medical adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci, told Politico that the federal government won't mandate vaccine passports for businesses or travelers.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters last week, "Development of a vaccine passport, or whatever you want to call it, will be driven by the private sector." She said the administration does plan to provide recommendations for digital vaccination certificates so there are applicable standards nationwide.
Such "passports," which have been under consideration by the private sector for months, could be scannable QR codes that people could pull up on their phones or simpler green check marks or red X's.

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