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Chloroquine Destroys COVID-19 At Early Stage Says Nigeria’s Drug & Food Agency Boss

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Chloroquine Destroys COVID-19 At Early Stage Says Nigeria’s Drug & Food Agency Boss

The head of Nigeria’s agency responsible for food and drug administration and control (NAFDAC), Professor Mojisola Christianah Adeyeye has, in a virtual press conference held on Tuesday in Abuja, affirmed the efficacy of Chloroquine against the deadly Corona Virus Disease that has halted regular activities across the world.

Adeyeye said that reliable researches and reports have proven that chloroquine can kill COVID-19 virus at the early stage. She added that remdesivir, a drug made by Gilead Sciences Inc based at Lakeside Drive in the United States of America against the virus, is efficacious at killing it at late stages.

The Professor emphasized on the cost implication of the two drugs and said that remdesivir is far way more costly than chloroquine, a reason why countries in the West African region like Ghana, Togo and Senegal have embraced the clinical use of chloroquine for treatment.

The NAFDAC boss explained that they are realising that chloroquine is effective at the early stage, a piece of information that was previously unknown. She continued. “In the cells, in the lab, remdesivir and chloroquine killed COVID-19. At what stage would they be more effective? We didn’t know at that point.

She made reference to her experience while watching CNN “about 4 or 5 days ago, and there is this surgeon – Sanjay Gupta. For the first time, he mentioned that chloroquine can be used prophylactically. I said – maybe chloroquine can work. I made the press briefing, and stated that it is only for clinical trial treatment because until you do a very robust clinical trial, you cannot say that it is going to work”.

Adeyeye asserted that “remdesivir and chloroquine work in the cells” and that 2Chloroquine was proven to work in 100 patients. We did not know at that time that the disease has about four phases – pre-exposure stage, early stage, mild stage, and the severe stage. When we now got the profile of remdesivir, what was recorded in literature and from the manufacturer was that remdesivir doesn’t work at the early stage. It works at the late stage.

“But when viruses are in the tube in the laboratory, you won’t know which is late or which is early. Both killed them. We are now understanding (sic) that it is not only one drug that can be effective for COVID-19 but it depends on the stage and the phases of the disease,” She concluded.

Jacob writes for Trends Checker about icons and popular personalities, featuring their good, bad, and ugly. Follow Jacob's and articles and posts on Trends Checker.

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Nigeria’s Police Chief Dissolves SARS following Widespread Protests

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Nigeria’s Police Chief Dissolves SARS following Widespread Protests

In a press statement released today by the Police Spokesperson, Frank Mba, the Nigeria Inspector general of police has disbanded the Special Anti-Robbery Squad known as SARS following widespread #EndSARS protests.

The statement reads:

PRESS RELEASE​

IGP DISSOLVES THE SPECIAL ANTI-ROBBERY SQUAD (SARS)

In the finest spirit of democratic, citizen-centred and community policing, the Inspector-General of Police, IGP M.A Adamu, NPM, mni has today, 11th October 2020, dissolved the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) across the 36 State Police Commands and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) where they hitherto existed.

The IGP, while noting that the dissolution of SARS is in response to the yearnings of the Nigerian people, observes that by this dissolution, all officers and men of the now defunct Special Anti-robbery Squad are being redeployed with immediate effect.

The IGP notes that the Force is not oblivious of the ever present need to combat armed robbery, kidnapping and other violent crimes in the country which was before now the core mandate of the erstwhile Squad. He assures that a new policing arrangement to address anticipated policing gaps the dissolution of SARS would cause has been evolved and shall be announced in due course.

Meanwhile, as part of measures to prevent a re-occurrence of events that gave rise to the dissolution of SARS, a Citizens’ and Strategic Stakeholders’ Forum is being formed to regularly interface with Police leadership at all levels and advise on police activities as they affect the general public.

In addition, the Force is constituting an Investigation Team which shall include Civil Society Organizations and Human Rights Bodies to work with the Police in investigating alleged cases of human rights violations. The measure, the IGP believes, will enhance transparency and accountability in police services as well as providing a system of deterrence for erring police officers whose action clearly violates the rights of the citizenry.

The IGP appreciates and commends all citizens particularly those who genuinely express their concerns for a better policing orientation in an organized, patriotic and civil manner. He reaffirms the determination of the Force to bequeath to the country a Police Force and System that is professional in service delivery and most importantly, accountable to the people.

DCP FRANK MBA
FORCE PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER
FORCE HEADQUARTERS
ABUJA

The dissolution follows widespread protest all over the country following police harassment, stealing, extortion and killing of innocent citizens especially the young men. The protest has attracted support with the hashtag #ENDSARS across the country and already gaining attention from other countries of the world.

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Nigerian Labour Unions Suspend Planned Strike Actions

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Nigerian Labour Unions Suspend Planned Strike Actions

Following a series of meetings with the Nigerian government, the two major unions in the country, Nigerian Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress have shelved their planned national down-tooling and nationwide protests earlier slated to begin today, 28th September 2020.

The unions had earlier planned to protest the increments in the prices of electricity tariff and petroleum motor spirit (PMS), popularly called petrol.

The increments came into effect on September 1 allegedly causing the people of the oil-rich nation some pains owing to the prices of goods and services that skyrocketed.

The planned protest was suspended following agreements reached by the warring parties through a communique signed by the representatives of the government and the unions. The statement was released to the press and a copy is reproduced below:

JOINT COMMUNIQUE ON THE RESOLUTION OF TRADE DISPUTE* *BETWEEN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA (FGN) AND THE ORGANIZED LABOUR REPRESENTED* *BY THE NIGERIA LABOUR CONGRESS (NLC) AND THE TRADE UNION CONGRESS (TUC) HELD AT THE STATE* *HOUSE BANQUET HALL ON SUNDAY, 27TH SEPTEMBER 2020

A Bipartite Meeting between the FGN and the two Labour Centres – Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC),
Having been convened at the Banquet Hall, State House, Abuja to discuss emerging labour issues arising from recent cost – reflective Electricity Tariff adjustments and deregulation of the downstream sector of the Petroleum Industry,
Recognizing the public outcry and protest over the recent Federal Government twin policies on Electricity Tariff Reform and full implementation of deregulation of the downstream sector of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry resulting in the planned nation-wide industrial action by Organised Labour,
Bearing in mind the spiral and negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic on world economy,
Further bearing in mind that due to impact of COVID-19 pandemic the world is undergoing socio-economic transition which has affected price stability, sustainability of enterprises, employment, and other socio-economic indices,
Acknowledging that the spiral and negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy has given rise to the need for a new socio-economic order,
Recognising the need to sustain enterprises for retention and creation of jobs as well as sustainable growth and development,
Acknowledging the need for social concertation between the Federal Government and workers’ representatives, namely the two Labour Centres – The NLC and TUC,
To aid in the dialogue and communication, the Federal Government side made presentations to show the state of economy and the drive behind the recent cost – reflective Electricity Tariff adjustments and deregulation of the downstream sector of the Petroleum Industry,
Bipartite meeting to address and resolve the issues in dispute between the FG and Labour Centres were held on September 15, 24, and 27, 2020,
After exhaustive deliberations on the issues raised by Labour Centres, the FGN stated that it has fashioned out palliatives that would ameliorate the sufferings that Nigerian workers may experience as a result of the cost – reflective Electricity Tariff adjustments and deregulation of the downstream sector of the Petroleum Industry. The palliatives will be in the areas of transport, power, housing, agriculture and humanitarian support.
After thorough debates and negotiations on various issues raised by all parties, the following resolutions were reached and mutually adopted:
ELECTRICITY TARIFF REFORMS

The parties agreed to set up a Technical Committee comprising Ministries, Departments, Agencies, NLC and TUC, which will work for a duration of two (2) weeks effective Monday 28th September 2020, to examine:
the justifications for the new policy in view of the need for the validation of the basis for the new cost reflective tariff as a result of the conflicting information from the fields which appeared different from the data presented to justify the new policy by NERC;
metering deployment, challenges, timeline for massive roll – out.

The Technical Committee membership is as follows:
Mr Festus Keyamo, SAN – Hon. Minister of State Labour & Employment – Chairman
Mr Godwin Jedy-Agba – Hon. Minister of State Power – Member
Prof. James Momoh – Chairman National Electricity Regulatory Commission – Member
Engr. Ahmad Rufai Zakari – SA to Mr. President on Infrastructure – Member/Secretary
Dr. Onoho’Omhen Ebhohimhen – Member (NLC)
Comrade Joe Ajaero – Member (NLC)
Comrade Chris Okonkwo – Member (TUC)
1no. Representative of DISCOS – Member
The Terms of Reference (ToR) are as follows:
To examine the justification for the new policy on cost – reflective Electricity Tariff adjustments.
To look at the different Electricity Distribution Company (DISCOs) and their different electricity tariff vis-à-vis NERC order and mandate.
Examine and advise Government on the issues that have hindered the deployment of the six million meters.
To look into the NERC Act under review with a view to expanding its representation to include organized labour.
The Technical sub – committee is to submit its report within two (2) weeks. During the two weeks, the DISCOs shall suspend the application of the cost – reflective Electricity Tariff adjustments.
The meeting also resolved that the following issues of concern to Labour should be treated as “stand – alone” items:
The 40% stake of Government in the DISCO and the stake of workers to be reflected in the composition of the DISCO’s Boards.

An all-inclusive and independent review of the power sector operations as provided in the privatization MOU to be undertaken before the end of the year 2020, with Labour represented.

That going forward, the moribund National Labour Advisory Council (NLAC) be inaugurated before the end of the year 2020 to institutionalize the process of tripartism and socio dialogue on socio – economic and major labour matters to forestall crisis

DOWNSTREAM SECTOR DEREGULATION

Consequent upon the critical review of the various challenges of the downstream sector of the Nigeria oil and gas industry vis a vis the incalculable losses associated with a subsidy regime the Country has been incurring in terms of, stifled growth in the downstream sector, diminished human capital development and massive financial leakages and flight. This is in addition to the dire financial circumstances of the Federation that precludes any ability to sustain any subsidy on PMS and making deregulation of PMS inevitable. Consequently, the Parties agreed to the following:

All parties agreed on the urgency for increasing the local refining capacity of the nation to reduce the overdependency on importation of petroleum products to ensure energy security, reduce cost of finished products, increase employment and business opportunities for Nigerians.

To address (1) above, NNPC to expedite the rehabilitation of the nation’s four refineries located in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna and to achieve 50% completion for Port Harcourt by December 2021, while timelines and delivery for Warri and Kaduna will be established by the inclusive Steering Committee.

To ensure Commitment and transparency to the processes and timelines of the rehabilitation exercise, the management of NNPC has offered to integrate the national leadership of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association (PENGASSAN) into the Steering Committee already established by the Corporation.

A Validation team comprising the representatives of the NNPC, Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), NUPENG and PENGASSAN will be established to monitor progress of the rehabilitation of the refineries and the pipelines/strategic depots network and advice the Steering Committee periodically.

Post rehabilitation, NNPC shall involve the PENGASSAN and NUPENG in the process of establishing the operational model of the Nation’s refineries.

The Federal Government will facilitate the delivery of licensed modular and regular refineries, involvement of upstream companies in petroleum refining and establishing framework for financing in the downstream sector.

NNPC to expedite work on the Build Operate and Transfer framework for the nation’s pipelines and strategic depots network for efficient transportation and distribution of Petroleum products to match the delivery timelines of the refineries as agreed.

The Federal Government and its agencies to ensure delivery of 1 million CNG/LPG AutoGas conversion kits, storage skids and dispensing units under the Nigeria Gas Expansion Programme by December 2021 to enable delivery of cheaper transportation and power fuel. A Governance Structure that will include representatives of organized Labour shall be established for timely delivery.

GENERAL INTERVENTION

To cushion the impacts of the downstream sector deregulation and tariffs adjustment in the power sector, the Federal Government will implement the following:

A specific amount to be unveiled by the FGN in two weeks’ time will be isolated from the Economic Sustainability Programme Intervention Fund and be accessed by Nigerian Workers with subsequent provision for 240,000 under the auspices of NLC and TUC for participation in agricultural ventures through the CBN and the Ministry of Agriculture. The timeline will be fixed at the next meeting.

Federal Government will facilitate the removal of tax on minimum wage as a way of cushioning the impacts of the policy on the lowest vulnerable.

Federal Government will make available to organized labour 133 CNG/LPG driven mass transit buses immediately and provide to the major cities across the Country on a scale up basis thereafter to all States and Local Governments before December 2021.

Housing: 10% be allocated to Nigerian workers under the ongoing Ministry of Housing and Finance initiative through the NLC and TUC.

Consequently, the NLC and TUC agreed to suspend the planned industrial action.

ORGANISED LABOUR;
___________________ __________________
Ayuba Wabba, mni Quadri Olalaye
NLC PRESIDENT TUC PRESIDENT

_________________ __________________
Emmanuel Ugboaja Musa Lawal Ozigi, mni Secretary General NLC Secretary General TUC

_________________ __________________
Williams E. Akporeha Festus Osifo
NUPENG President PENGASSAN President

___________________ __________________
Martin Uzoegwu Chris N. Okonkwo
President NUEE President, SSAEAC

FOR GOVERNMENT:

__________________ _______________________
Timipre Sylva Festus Keyamo, SAN
Hon. Min. of State Petroleum Hon. Min. of State Labour & Employment

__________________ _____________________
Alh Lai Mohammed Godwin Jedy-Agba
Hon. Min. of Information & Culture Hon. Min. of State Power

_________________________
Sen. (Dr.) Chris Nwabueze Ngige, OON, MD.
Honourable Minister of Labour & Employment

_______________________________
Boss Mustapha
Secretary to the Government of the Federation

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The ‘Akololo’ Syndrome

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The ‘Akololo‘ Syndrome

At various times, everyone would have come in contact with a friend, family member or acquaintance whose speech would not just flow like every other person. Such ‘talks’ are filled with ‘gallops’ such as ‘unnecessary’ pauses and hesitations. Sometimes, the struggle rises to a frightening peak…familiar?’ Yes!  Nonetheless, the hiccups are not for want of what to say, but for the inability to produce words voluntarily all the time. Amongst the younger generation, jeers are shot at such people, leaving many of them withdrawn, some agitated while others are pushed into anger, which would sometime lead to dangerous outbursts.

This brings to fore, a Yoruba Language (of South-West, Nigeria) parlance that says ‘Bo pe titi, akololo yoo pe baba’. This can be interpreted as ‘ no matter how long it takes, a stammerer will successfully pronounce ‘baba’. ‘Baba’, a di-syllabic word means ‘father’ but for someone with some certain speech defects, the simple word may become a herculean task.

A stammerer would always want to force words out in the connected speech. At times, the speech projects either too slowly or fast. Usually, the inner struggles of these ones are seen written over them. While some exhibit the difficulty, those whose rate of stuttering can be controlled produce speech despite the gaps, without showing discomfort on their faces. Often time, people around them ignore and wait patiently for them to realise the words at their convenience. If you have never analysed these characteristics in such people but will rather refer to them rather spitefully as an Akololo, now you understand that their grapple is more involuntary and could be depressing.

A deeper look into stammering is that resulting from congenital and developmental speech defects. These include people with Down syndrome, Autism and partial ‘dumbness’. They are worse-affected in speech development. While many may not be able to speak in the first few years, some, later on, do naturally. Others exhibit impaired speech which improves over a period of time with intensive speech care. There are people however whose stammering, also known as stuttering developed from sicknesses either in childhood or adulthood, as a result of neurological issues, which thereafter adversely affected their speech production.

For the akololo whose speech difficulties arise from congenital issues, caregivers struggle more to bring out the best in them. Imagine a child who is undergoing comprehensive speech therapy for talk activation and ends up gaining few words, yet accompanied by stuttering! To the speech therapist, the output calls for a celebration. To the parent, the child has made progress. To the caregiver, handler or teacher, the child can now express desires and accompany action with words. Every speech milestone is celebrated like a college medal.

The societal acceptance of the akololo can only be realised with the enlightenment on the reality of their situation. The negativity which the word connotes, undermines the struggles of the affected people and trivialises the effort of their caregivers. Therefore, when next you have the opportunity to be around any stammerer or a special needs person, the best disposition is to identify with them and give them the desired support.

Oluwafisayo Atanda (Ph.D.) is a Psycholinguist. She writes from Lagos, Nigeria.

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“Africa is Now Wild Poliovirus-Free” – WHO

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“Africa is Now Wild Poliovirus-Free” – WHO

The World Health Organization has officially declared Africa wild poliovirus-free. This announcement is a huge milestone in global public health.

According to a report seen on UNICEF website “Nigeria was the last country on the continent to eliminate the wild poliovirus”. The report acknowledges the roles of health workers, policy makers and other stakeholders towards this major achievement. It gives credence to the fact that “African nations have immunized hundreds of millions of children across the 47 countries in the WHO African region with polio vaccines and strengthened surveillance networks to detect and immediately respond to any lingering traces of the virus. Nigeria was the last country on the continent to be certified wild poliovirus-free”.

However, outside the continent, the polio virus continues to circulate. Examples of places with significant impacts of the virus include Pakistan and Afghanistan. These two nations are said to be the last two polio-endemic countries in the world.

“In March 2020, 50 million children missed out on their polio vaccinations after immunization campaigns were halted in both Afghanistan and Pakistan to avoid the risk of COVID-19 transmission to children, caregivers and vaccinators themselves”, said the report by UNICEF. As a result, reported polio cases increased up to 34 in Afghanistan and 63 in Pakistan, including some in previously polio-free parts of the country.

It is, however, cheering to note that polio vaccinations have resumed in Afghanistan and Pakistan, with new guidelines and personal protective equipment for frontline health workers to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Africa’s victory over wild poliovirus is considered significant progress because the existence of polio in any other place is a threat to every other places.

It is hoped that COVID-19 will also soon experience such an announcement towards putting an end to the confusion it has thrown the entire human race into. Time will tell.

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