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Coronavirus: Lagos lawmaker empowers constituents on the production of hand sanitizers

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Amidst the growing concerns of the Coronavirus pandemic in the state, a member of the Lagos House of Assembly, Hon. Rasheed Makinde  has reached out out to his constituents. 

Makinde who represents Ifako Ijaiye constituency II notes that rather majoring on the negatives of Coronavirus, his constituents should catch in on the economic opportunities available in the situation.

The lawmaker aided by the Makinde Formidable Legend (MFL),  empowered 20 people with required skills of producing hand sanitizers, one of the items needed to prevent contracting of the ravaging Coronavirus.

 The lawmaker while declaring open the training programme noted that, it would have had more numbers of participants but for the restriction on social gatherings that limited the figure to maximum of 20 people .

“We are here to train our people on how to make sanitizers,initially we targeted training 200 participants but had to reduce the number from 180 to 20 because of restriction on social gatherings.

” I urge you who are the privileged few,to go back to your communities and wards to empower more people,we pray we can contain the scourge of the  coronavirus,this also afford our people an added source of income when produced in commercial quantities.

“China broke the chain of poverty through Small and  Medium scale Enterprises (SME) and now a world economic power base,with respect to economic acceleration,so nobody should feel to big,make good use of this training.

“The essence is to prevent the spread of Coronavirus in our constituency and thank God we have no records of the ravaging virus here and we want to sustain that. 

“More so the training today is to equip our people about necessary knowledge they will be using from time to time,for themselves especially my constituents to produce the sanitizer.

“As well as to give them the opportunity to avail themselves of the economic opportunities in the situation at hand.To enable them cater for their needs and that of their loved ones. 

“Aside this we are embarking on food distribution to over five hundred people in my constituency,we packaged it and sort of food items,like garri,rice,indomie,groundnut oil,maggi and other essential items will be distributed as from tomorrow to our constituentsacross our political structural frames here.

“Now this hand sanitizer,we are producing well over 2000 bottles,which will be distributed across all the public institutions we have in our constituency;the police stations,CDC halls so that those CDA’s coming there can get their hands sanitized as preventive measure.

“Same goes for the churches and mosques, the limited numbers the law allows to come there we want to get them covered. 

“Palaces of our traditional rulers will also get this preventive item,our political leaders and consensus base will also get some sanitizers as well.”

Assessing Lagosians level of compliance with the social gatherings pronouncement of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu,he said,” by our own style in this clime we hardly take things serious,especially government pronouncements and caution.

“In other climes the measures are strictly adhered to by the citizenry, but in Nigeria if not that we had some nationals been affected by the virus,may be a comedian will have taken it as a tool for his jokes a lot of it would have flooded the social media. 

“Lagos remain a pacesetter, a nation state,we are clearly different from other states,I make bold to say that.

“We took it so seriously and you can see our government moving out, fumigating public spaces against the spread of this pandemics. 

“The Governor has come up with several measures to contain the spread of the virus,he has also instructed health officials in various local governments across state to go out and fumigate their communities.

“He is also distributing food items like we are also doing here to cushion the effect of this on our people economic wellbeing. “Owing to the restriction pronouncement by Mr Governor. Our compliance is much at 75 per cent,compared to all other states in the federation. 

“I thank the Speaker Lagos State House of  Assembly,Rt.Hon.Mudashiru Obasa who deemed it fit to come up with that bill,which  gives the Governor necessary legal backing to contain the spread of the Coronavirus.

Wife of the lawmaker,Alhaja Oluwatoyin Makinde while addressing the participants noted that the scheme is to take people from the begging pot to the cooking pot,a point at which they will be self reliant.

“Let’s remove the fear that is prevalent now and put on the garment of faith,keep to precautionary measures as stated by the government. I also urge you all to take hot ginger or lemon water every morning,it is quite helpful. 

The Grand Patron Makinde Formidable Legend,Engineer Omolade Balogun in a chat with National Daily the programme is in fulfillment of MFL’s earlier pledge to do an empowerment programme every month.

“Aside this sanitizer production skill acquisition, we have numerous empowerment scheme in the offing,in the agricultural value chain,a tuber crop like cassava has a lot in stock.

“You can get garri,cassava flour(lafun) and many more,with this we can sustain the concept regularly every month. 

“By next month, when we pray this Coronavirus pandemic would have been contained,we hope to have between 150-200 participants at our empowerment programme.

“MFL empowerment programme caters not only for theoretical aspect but also the practical,people will witness the trainers do it and they will become trainers for others in their wards and communities.

“By this avenue we are sure before the end of this year a lot of people will have been empowered. Via this capacity building to the extent of being self reliant. 

“We are so happy for having a visionary leader whose passion is to imbue people with capacity to flourish and not to wait on politicians for handouts at electioneering periods, which really cannot sustain them for long.

“He is already preparing for the next election now through capacity building so that nobody awaits such selfish advances like two,three dericas of rice.

” I advise our people to take their personal hygiene seriously  they should not wait till they start seeing symptoms of the virus, no,they should adhere strictly to the precautionary measures of hand washing,sanitizing,social distancing and others.

“Coronavirus does not signal an end to life,it can only be contracted through contact and once we stop the contact it cannot spread,let’s cut the link by staying at home,let’s follow all instructions issued by government to the letter.

An MFL member, Mrs.Kikelomo Soremekun one of the beneficiaries commended the lawmakers selfless style.

“It is not common among house of Assembly members in Nigeria,Hon. Makinde is a selfless leader,this empowerment has a far reaching effect,it is an additional source of income for me but what is key is the love for humanity that this portrays.

“We are expected to go back to our communities and help to safe lives.” 

GidiNews is exclusively designed to cover and report Lagos, Nigeria's commercial capital city. We bring you news updates, reports, opinions and analyses in Politics, Business, Sports, Entertainment, Crime, Health and Education among others. GOT NEWS FOR US? Reach us: +2349090870065, +2348055441309

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HEALTH

“Nigeria to increase effort in fighting sub-standard products”

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By Michael Dibie

Minister of state for Health, Joseph Ekumankama has reiterated that the government of Nigeria will continue to fight the activities of sub-standard products in the health sector which has over the years impeded operations in the industry. The minister made the promise at the West African Postgraduate College of Pharmacists (WAPCP)/ The National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) scientific workshop held in Abuja.

According to the minister, the government will increase its effort in fighting the menace through the activities of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration (NAFDAC) and Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON),

“Sub-standard product has been a fight we have been fighting for years and we will continue to do so, it may not stop today but we will support the agency to continue to fight it, he said”

Speaking on the workshop, he notated that auspicious event is aimed at bringing together critical stakeholders within the pharmaceutical sector to review the existing capacities for the local production of API in Nigeria and develop strategies to accelerate the process in the West African Region, leveraging on the African Free Continental Trade Area (AfCFTA).

According to the minister, there are still significant barriers to access to quality medicines and healthcare provision to the Nigeria population.

“The situation where there is no single pharmaceutical company that produces any APIs or pharmaceutical excipients locally is no longer tolerable. All of the APIs used by the industries in Nigeria are imported from India, China, the USA and Germany, he added”

In a keynote address, the Director General (NIPRD), Dr. Obi Peter Adigwe said that NIPRD has proffered solutions both national and international willing to bring in innovations that can help Africa and taking Nigeria projects to the next level.

“We train people in the area of traditional medicines through harnessing local ingredients and creating jobs. Our multi-billion Laboratory is almost completed and new innovations in the health sector are being looked into in other to access new ways or avenues of doing things, he added’
He also noted that NIPRD will continue to focus on innovative projects for the people that will encourage job creation and access to quality health delivery

President of the West African Postgraduate College of Pharmacists, Prof. Cecilia Igwilo called on developed countries to support the sector in getting all the active ingredients from the research table into the pilot table to production. She urged the agencies to partner for developmental research projects.

‘If we have active ingredients, we want to push 1-3, we must make sure that we patted that through the proper organization so that it will be there for the next 10 years depending on the duration in other to recover and ensure that no other person does what we are doing, she said”

Speaking on the effect of the Covid-19 on Africa, Chief of Party, USP, MOPA ESUGA said. The African continent was worst hit by scarcity of essential medication and needed medical supplies on account of export bans placed by India and China.

According to him, the manufacture of APIs is still at a modest level in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Africa taking the lead.
“I believe my role today is not just about the science of API manufacturing but agenda-setting that should galvanize the key stakeholders towards strategies that make for the manufacture of APIs in the West Africa sub-region”

It should be noted that in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), where the overall pharmaceutical market size is worth US$ 20 billion annually, the production of life-saving medicines is furthermore concentrated in very few countries: 50 per cent of pharmaceutical manufacturing takes place in South Africa and an additional 40 per cent in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and Uganda combined.

The overall African Pharmaceutical sector is worth US$ 30 billion per annum. However, the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector in Africa contributes to only 25-30 per cent of the continent’s needs.

NIPRD is a Federal Government Parastatal under the Federal Ministry of Health. The institute was designated a center of Excellence in the African sub-region in research and development of drugs and vaccines, phytomedicines, and diagnostic towards improving the health and well-being of Nigerians and mankind.

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HEALTH

“This is why you may have contacted Omicron without knowing” -WHO

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The Omicron COVID-19 variant is more transmissible than the Delta strain and reduces vaccine efficacy but causes less severe symptoms according to early data, the World Health Organisation said Sunday.

The Delta variant, first identified in India earlier this year, is responsible for most of the world’s coronavirus infections.

But South Africa’s discovery of Omicron – which has a large number of mutations — last month prompted countries around the world to impose travel bans on southern African countries and reintroduce domestic restrictions to slow its spread.

The WHO said Omicron had spread to 63 countries as of December 9. 

The faster transmission was noted in South Africa, where Delta is less prevalent, and in Britain, where Delta is the dominant strain.

But it stressed that a lack of data meant it could not say if Omicron’s rate of transmission was because it was less prone to immune responses, higher transmissibility, or a combination of both.

Early evidence suggests Omicron causes “a reduction in vaccine efficacy against infection and transmission”, the WHO said in a technical brief.

“Given the current available data, it is likely that Omicron will outpace the Delta variant where community transmission occurs,” it added.

Omicron infections have so far caused “mild” illness or asymptomatic cases, but the WHO said the data was insufficient to establish the variant’s clinical severity.

South Africa reported Omicron to the WHO on November 24. Vaccine manufacturers Pfizer/BioNTech last week said three doses of their jabs were still effective against Omicron.

Countries with sufficient vaccine supplies such as Britain and France have encouraged their populations to receive a third “booster” jab to fight Omicron.

(AFP) 

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HEALTH

WHO joins forces with FIFA, Quatar to launch #ACTogether campaign on CVID-19

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Using the platform of the first FIFA Arab Cup™, the World Health Organization (WHO), FIFA and the Qatari authorities are launching the #ACTogether campaign to call for teamwork and unity to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, treatments and tests.

A large proportion of the global population remains susceptible to infection and at an increased risk of severe disease and death. Vaccine inequity persists in many parts of the world; of the nearly 7.5 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines administered globally by mid-November 2021, only 0.6% had been administered in low‑income countries. The WHO is emphasizing the need to scale up access to vaccines, treatments and diagnostics, through support to the global Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator equity initiative, as well as the importance of strict adherence to public health measures.

FIFA will utilize football’s substantial platform during the FIFA Arab Cup Qatar 2021™ with a series of videos for broadcast, both in-stadium and around Doha. Team captains will also show their support for the message, while each participating member association will have assets to share with its fans via its social and digital platforms. The #ACTogether awareness initiative was first rolled out during the last edition of the FIFA Club World Cup™ in Qatar in February 2021 and its latest iteration stresses that the COVID-19 pandemic is not over.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino said: “Nobody is safe until everyone is safe and we all have our roles to play in sharing that message. Health comes first, and through football, we can reinforce the message that high infection and death rates will persist worldwide as long as there is inequitable access to tools to fight the pandemic. Teamwork is key to that and that’s why we are standing together with the WHO, the Qatar Ministry of Public Health and the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy and call for everyone to #ACTogether and lay the foundations for a healthy FIFA World Cup in 2022.”

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General said: “The emergence of the Omicron variant underlines the importance of global solidarity and working together to defeat the pandemic. I welcome the strong support from Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health, the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, FIFA, players, spectators and partners to support this vital message on the occasion of the FIFA Arab Cup. Now, more than ever, we need to facilitate equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, treatments and tests, and encourage everyone to follow public health measures. Fully funding the ACT Accelerator will help make the ambition of ending the acute phase of the pandemic a reality.”

Her Excellency Dr Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari, Qatar’s Minister of Public Health, said: “The Ministry is proud to be partnered with FIFA and WHO to promote global collaboration and ensure the safety and health of all. While the pandemic remains managed in Qatar, the threat of the pandemic is still present around the world, and unfortunately access to the tools to defeat the virus remain limited for many countries.”

Her Excellency noted that just as the players in the FIFA Arab Cup will experience a level playing field on the pitch in Qatar, the world needs to ensure a level playing field exists for getting vaccines, treatments and tests where they are needed most. She called on members of the public to continue to follow hygiene, social distancing and other preventive measures, and expressed her delight to have the chance to promote this vital message at the Arab Cup.

Mr Hassan Al Thawadi, Secretary General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, said: “The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will be the next mega-event to take place in a COVID-19 world. As organizers, the health and safety of all participants and fans is our number one priority, and our support for #ACTogether is an integral part of this commitment. Working closely with the Ministry of Public Health, the WHO and FIFA, we have no doubt that this campaign will contribute to ensuring that the tournament will be both safe and secure, and we look forward to bringing the world together, both in person and digitally, to celebrate their common humanity and passion for football.”

In using the inaugural FIFA Arab Cup 2021 to share the message, FIFA and its partners are underlining their commitment to both fair play and equity in protecting public health, reflecting core values on the pitch, all while staying true to the main public health measures.

The #ACTogether campaign is being supported by the lead partner agencies of the ACT Accelerator initiative: CEPI, FIND, Gavi, The Global Fund, UNICEF, Unitaid, Wellcome, the WHO, the World Bank and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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