Posts tagged as: mr-

Nigeria: 70 Percent of Nigerians in Rural Areas Lack Access to Quality Medicines

By Chioma Obinna

Nigerian pharmaceutical manufacturers say 70 per cent of Nigerians living in the hinterlands have no access to quality medicines, blaming the development on the limited number of manufacturers and other stakeholders in the rural areas.

To this end, the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, PMG-MAN is convening a forum that would focus on ways to expand frontiers of availability of drugs beyond the cities to all parts of the country.

Chairman of the Forum, Mr. Biola Adebayo, said statistics released by international organisations including the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, had shown that 60 percent of medicines circulating in the hinterlands are either substandard or outright fake.

Adebayo, while speaking on the forthcoming Forum billed to hold in Abuja with the theme: “Improving access to medicines: the Imperatives of Local Manufacturing and Effective Supply Chain Management”, also blamed manufacturers and regulatory bodies for not taking up the potential of the areas for proper regulation.

“As an organisation in collaboration with Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria, we are taking drug availability a step further because most of the companies manufacturing medicines are concentrated in the urban centres and big towns leaving the 60- 70 per cent of Nigerians living in hinterlands to buy whatever that is available. “We are taking the frontier of availability beyond city centres, beyond state capitals but to rural areas where 70 per cent of our people are actually staying.”

He maintained that local manufacturing was the only way to guarantee medicine sufficiency and security as well as availability.

The Chief Executive Officer, of Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria, PHN, Mr. Muntaga Umar – Sadiq said the organisation is partnering PMG-MAN to unlock market potential in the pharmaceutical industry through the supply chains. According to him, Nigeria has a dysfunctional and complex health system which has contributed to the needless deaths of women and children, adding that one of the major drivers to prevent these deaths is access to life-saving commodities and medicines. He said all efforts to reposition the industry will make no sense if those that would use the drugs don’t have access to them.

On his part, Executive Secretary, PMG-MAN, Dr. Obi Peter Adigwe said the forum billed to hold 25th May, 2017 in Abuja would provide engagement platform for all relevant stakeholders in the manufacturing space to enable the development of an innovative approach to rigorously and comprehensively engage with challenges in the pharmaceutical sector as well as industrial policy space.

He said PHN, which represents the country’s foremost private sector platform is supporting the Forum towards its aim of saving a million lives every year through various innovations including setting up Africa Resource Centre for Supply Chain in Nigeria.

Target is to get 70 percent of local and less than 30 percent of imports.


After Buhari… ?

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Lucky Vincent School Reopens As Sorrow Mood Remains

Photo: Daily News

Lucky Vincent Nursery and Primary School.

By Zephania Ubwani

Arusha — Lucky Vincent Nursery and Primary School re-opened on Monday after losing its 32 pupils and 3 staff during the May 6 tragic accident in Karatu with the sorrow mood evident in the faces of its pupils and employees.

Pupils were attending classes from early in the morning but for those in Standard Seven were missing 32 of their colleagues who perished when the mini bus they were travelling in swerved off the road and plunged into a gorge.

Ephraim Jackson, the head teacher said 106 pupils travelled in three mini buses on the fateful trip to Karatu where they were to sit for a joint mock examination with Tumaini School.

Death claimed the lives of 32 pupils, two teachers and a driver. Three pupils – the only survivors in the tragedy – were on Sunday airlifted to the United States for specialized treatment. They have already arrived.

Mr. Jackson said teaching at the English-Medium school, which topped the National Standard Seven National Examinations in Arusha region last year, was back to normal in the academy.

“It is still a difficult time for us but our commitment to serve the society remains. We continue to pray God for what happened”, he told The Citizen.

He said he could not give statistics but noted that a big percentage of the pupils were already back to the school which was closed on May 7th, one day after the disaster which sent the nation mourning.

Several pupils were still arriving at the academy around noon accompanied by their parents. There were no confirmed reports that some of the parents intended to seek transfer of their kids to other schools because of the calamity.

Mr. Jackson said they were still waiting for counselors promised by the regional authorities and who are expected to offer their services to the traumatized pupils and staff members of the academy.

Arusha regional medical officer Dr. Timothy Wonanji said last week that a team of health officials and psychologists from the government would soon embark on a comprehensive programme to support grieving families and offer counselling to the pupils.

“We are still discussing with them the modalities on which counseling will be carried out”, the head teacher said, noting that matters pertaining to payment of consolation money to the bereaved families were being handled by the government.

Survivors of the tragic crash – Doreen Elibariki, Saida Awadh and Wilson Tarimo – arrived in Iowa on Sunday for specialized treatment.

The flight of the injured kids to the US has been organized by the Singida North MP Lazaro Nyalandu as a co-chair of Siouxland Tanzania Education Medical Ministries (STEMM).


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Nigeria: The Guardian, Nollywood, IITA Collaborate Farming Reality TV Show

By Sam Oluwalana, Ibadan

Ibadan — The Guardian newspapers is set to collaborate with International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, Oyo State, in a Nollywood-inspired Agriculture reality show, Corporate Farmers TV reality show, to make farming attractive to Nigerian youths. According to the Producer, Kunle Agboola, who represents Corporate Farmers International Limited (CFIL), the concept of the show was developed by CFIL and IITA and will be shot within the IITA facility in Ibadan.

Agboola explained that the 45 minutes, 62-day pre-recorded show will celebrate all contestants and also give awards to youths, non-governmental organisations and industries practicing and promoting agriculture in the country.

“The show will be in the mode of Idol Africa, Fame Project, Gulder Search and others. Its pilot airing platforms would be Channels TV, STV, AIT, NTA and AfricaMagic. We have also signed an agreement with Blue Pie and NETFLIX, which have the largest paid subscription, streaming site for film and TV worldwide.

The platform has about 75 million subscribers all over the world. Investors could recover about $95m (N32.5b) from the show, while the return on investments will be between 40 per cent to 150 per cent.”

While speaking at the occasion, which had in attendance some Nollywood personalities like Yemi Blaq, Yemi Branch, Uche Ogbodo, Rykardo Agbor among other top actors in attendance. Blaq expressed pleasure for being part of the historic event.

He recounted that in his youthful days, those involved in farming were those regarded as the never-do-wells, who had tried their hands on every other thing but failed.

According to him, “Farming used to be viewed as a profession for lesser beings. There is need for a change in mindset and with this reality show, we can have a complete re-engineering of the society with our youths learning to go back to the land to make money for themselves. They will also be producing food for Nigerians while at it. This is a laudable project.”

On his part, Mr. Jamie Rixton, a top official of Panalican Equipment, representative of Massey Ferguson, told the audience that his company is passionate about farming and helping the practitioners. He stated that he had travelled through the length and breadth of the country, including the violence-prone North Eastern Nigeria without any fear whatsoever.

Coordinator of the 50th NIIA anniversary and Director, Systems and Site Integration of the institute, Mr. Kwesi Ataka, said the time was ripe for the programme and for laudable agricultural projects that would involve the youths.

South Africa: ANC Statement On Reinstatement of Brian Molefe As Eskom CEO

RESOURCE: South Africa’s Brian Molefe to Return to Eskom as CEOpress release

The African National Congress condemns the unfortunate and reckless decision taken by the Board of Directors of Eskom to reinstate Mr. Brian Molefe as Chief Executive Officer of the energy utility.

Mr. Molefe left Eskom under a cloud following the release of the Public Protector’s report into State Capture late last year. The report, while still under review, made observations against Mr. Molefe which, at the time, he had deemed serious and significant enough to warrant his resignation. Amongst others, he cited the interests of the company, good corporate governance and the interest of the public, as underlying his departure from the utility.

None of the observations against Mr. Molefe, so significant at the time, have been conclusively set aside and Mr. Molefe’s own commitment to fully clear his name is still pending. The decision therefore to reinstate him in his former position without these matters being resolved is tone deaf to the South African public’s absolute exasperation and anger at what seems to be government’s lackluster and lackadaisical approach to dealing decisively with corruption – perceived or real.

The African National Congress will seek an engagement with Comrade Lynne Browne, the Minister of Public Enterprises, under whose authority Eskom falls and under whose direction the entity should operate on this matter.

Issued by the African National Congress

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Nigeria: A-Ibom Govt Revokes 23km Road Contract

By Chioma Onuegbu

Akwa Ibom State Government has revoked the contract for the construction of 23.25kilometer Ikot Ekaide -Ikot Okoro-Ikot Ibritam road in Oruk Anam Local Government Area, for failure of the contractor to execute the job.

Commissioner for Works, Mr. Ephraim Inyang-Eyen, who issued the revocation order when he went on inspection tour yesterday without meeting the project contractor on site, said the project would be re-awarded to a committed contractor immediately.

Inyang -Eyen expressed disappointment that there was no sign of ongoing work at the site after nine months that the project was awarded to the contractor, noting that Governor Udom Emmanuel’s government would not tolerate any impediment to its determination to deliver dividends of democracy promised to Akwa Ibom people.

He regretted that government was made to believe that the said contractor, like other contractors, had the financial muscle to handle projects pending when government had the money to pay for the jobs.

According to him, the governor initiated the Alternative Projects Funding Approach (APFA) whereby the contractor sources funds to execute the awarded contract pending when the state government pays because of the lean resources from the federation account.


Many Chibok Girls Radicalised, Married Off – Source

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Nigeria: Poor Power Supply Persists Despite Rise in Supply to 3,578 MW

By Udeme Akpan

Power generation has risen from 3,161 megawatts, MW to 3,578 MW over the weekend as Electricity Generating Companies; GENCOs continue to increase generation after the recent system collapse.

This showed 9,222MW below the nation’s 12, 800 estimated daily national demand, meaning that many individuals, households and companies did not have constant and adequate supply in all parts of the nation.

The Presidency report that indicated this on Sunday stated that, “On May 06 2017, average power sent out was 3578Wh/hour (up by 417MWh/h). The reported gas constraint was 2388MW.”

“The reported line constraint was 332MW. The reported high frequency constraint was 849MW. The water management constraint was 375MW. The power sector lost an estimated N1, 893,000, 000 on May 06 2017 due to constraints. Egbin is reporting higher gas constraints than before, causing further generation reduction,” it added.

A few days ago, electricity supply in Nigeria had dropped by 29 per cent because of a system collapse that affected the generation, transmission and distribution of power nationwide.

Authoritative Presidency report had disclosed that power supply which stood at 3,717MW on April 2, 2017, dropped to 2, 638MW, on April 9, 2017.

“On April 09 2017, average power sent out was 2, 638Wh/hour, down by 698MWh/h. The reported gas constraint was 2603MW. The reported line constraint was 0MW. The reported high frequency constraint was 282MW. The water management constraint was 0MW.”

“The power sector lost an estimated N1, 428,000, 000 on April 09 2017 due to constraints. There was heavy rainfall reported from Onitsha T/S, Benin T/S & Alaoji T/S which led to area load reduction from 70MW to 15MW, 100MW to 20MW & 300MW to 51MW respectively.”

“These led to rise in system frequency and voltage which subsequently resulted to the transmission line drippings as indicated in reports from stations. 06:21Hrs, the system frequency sharply dropped from 51.03Hz to 47.48Hz followed by system collapse..,” it had added.

Investigations had showed that the power generated was inadequate, considering the nation’s over 15,000 MW estimated daily national demand.

Mr. Muda Yusuf, the Director General of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, had indicated in a telephone interview that the nation’s poor power situation has crippled operations in many sectors of the nation’s economy.

He had said that investors in many sectors, especially manufacturing, telecoms and agriculture have been compelled to generate their independent power at higher cost. Yusuf had pointed out that the high cost of generating power has culminated in the high cost of goods and services, making locally produced goods uncompetitive in the global market.

Nigeria: Meningitis – Govt’s Failure to Heed Early Warnings, Produce Vaccines Locally Causes Over 800 Deaths

By Ayodamola Owoseye

As Nigeria takes stock of the heavy toll of the current meningitis outbreak on its citizens, concerns persist over the continuing failure of the authorities to take obvious measures to check the recurrent disease.

The current outbreak this year became an epidemic, despite the country’s past experiences with the disease and early warnings by local and international health agencies of its imminence.

The outbreak, which was first recorded in November last year in Zamfara, killed about 813 persons in 23 states across the country within 16 weeks.

Long before the first case was recorded in Zamfara State, however, the World Health Organisation, WHO, and the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, the agency in charge of primary health care in Nigeria, had issued stern warnings of likely Meningitis C outbreak in Nigeria due to previous occurrences and the epidemiological cycle of the disease.

In July 2015, the WHO predicted an outbreak of Meningitis C in Nigeria and some other African countries in 2016 and called for step-up in the production of vaccines to contain the disease before the 2016 meningitis season would start in January.

According to the WHO, in a statement published on its website, Africa was at large risk of Meningitis outbreak and an acute shortage of Meningitis C-containing vaccine threatened to severely limit the world’s ability to minimize the number of people that would be affected.

In a background to the grim prediction, William Perea, Coordinator for Control of Epidemic Diseases Unit at WHO, said meningitis tends to hit Africa in cycles. He pointed out that cases of Meningitis C had been rising since 2013, first in Nigeria in 2013 and 2014, and then in 2015.

“We have to be ready for a much larger number of cases during the 2016 meningitis season”, he warned.

Somehow, the warning went unheeded.

Instead, the Federal Ministry of Health did not start procurement of the vaccines until after deaths from the disease were reported in Zamfara and Sokoto. The two northern states were hardest hit by the outbreak, with close to 400 deaths recorded in Zamfara state alone.

According to the WHO, this year’s was the fourth Meningitis C outbreak in Nigeria in the last five years.

The difference this year, however, was that it is of epidemic nature, as 9,645 cases were suspected and 813 deaths recorded in 43 local government areas in 23 states in the country.

Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Niger, Kebbi were the states most affected. Zamfara was the first to record the outbreak in November 2016. But the state did not report it to the appropriate health agency for intervention until February, about four months after the first incident.

According to Health Minister, Isaac Adewole, the Nigerian government could not immediately start the administration of vaccine to the affected states because it did not have vaccines for the type C meningitis in stock. It was after the outbreak that the authorities started soliciting the assistance of the WHO and other international partners to procure vaccinations and drugs to contain the spread of the deadly disease.

Mr. Adewole, a professor of Medicine, said containing the spread of the disease had at that point become an emergency for international health agencies, the federal government, state government, local government and concerned individuals across the globe.

Explaining why the country did not act on the early warnings ahead of the outbreak, the Minister of State for Health, Osagie Ehanire, said the drugs and vaccines are “extremely expensive” and have a short shelf life.

“The vaccines are expensive to make and if acquired and stored without use, they could expire and there is just a limited stock of the type C vaccine as it is not much in demand. This outbreak has led to a greater demand,” he said.

Though there is now a decrease in the rate of causalities, the government has now succeeded in providing vaccination only in two states, Zamfara and Sokoto.

Other states were yet to be catered for at the end of April, as the government had not been able to procure enough vaccines due to shortage of supply across the globe.

Statements from the Nigerian Ministry of Health showed that the government within the first month of soliciting international support got an estimated 1,300,000 doses of the vaccine. These consist of 500,000 vaccines from WHO and 800,000 from the British government. It said it was still expecting more vaccines from other international health donors.

Vaccine shortage

In 2015, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, IFRC, Médecins Sans Frontières, MSF, United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, and WHO; (the four organizations organisations, which together constitute the International Coordinating Group for Vaccine Provision for Epidemic Meningitis Control – ICG) had called on vaccine manufacturers to step up meningitis C-containing vaccine production by five million doses ahead of the 2016 meningitis season in January.

“We have had preliminary discussions with vaccine manufacturers and impressed upon them (manufacturers) the need to produce a stockpile of five million doses of vaccine so as to be ready for flare-ups of the disease next year in Africa, but so far they haven’t yet revised their production plans to meet demand”, said Imran Mirza, Health Specialist, Program Division, UNICEF.

According to the WHO, substantial progress had been made in recent years in protecting Africa from other main sub-types of meningitis with, for example, the introduction of the MenAfrVac vaccine against meningitis A in 2010, which was also administered in Nigeria same year.

Much work, however, needs to be done to protect the African meningitis belt from meningitis C outbreaks.

Within six months in 2015, there were 12,000 cases of Meningitis C in Niger and Nigeria, and 800 deaths recorded from both countries. Though there are few vaccine manufacturers globally, Nigeria unfortunately is one of the countries where infectious vaccine preventable diseases become endemic due to lack of vaccines to prevent occurrences.

Health experts have lamented the inability of Nigeria to produce vaccines locally.

The Nigerian Medical Association, in a press statement during the meningitis outbreak, lamented the government’s response to the epidemic and condemned the late immunisation of Nigerians against the disease.

Mike Ogirima, president of the association, said the government’s reactive measures were ineffective based on the epidemiology of the disease and demanded immediate resuscitation of local vaccine production (LVP) at Yaba, Lagos State and the expansion of the scope of LVP at the National Veterinary Research Institute, Vom, Plateau State. The facility in Yaba has been moribund since 1991.

“Our pharmaceutical industries should be challenged and supported to produce our consumables. This should be the new order instead of budgeting huge sums of money for importation of vaccines and other consumables”, Mr. Ogirima said.

The minister, Mr. Adewole, had said the country will need $1 billion to vaccinate 21 million people against the strain C meningitis.

In an interview with the Nigerian Guardian newspaper, Toyosi Raheem, National President, Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria, AMLSN, said the government needs to encourage local production of vaccines in the country and the resuscitation of the laboratory in Lagos.

He recalled that the Lagos laboratory was producing bacterial vaccines for local use and for export to neighbouring countries in the 60s and 70s, before it went moribund.

He, however, blamed gross mismanagement and corruption across all sectors, inappropriate leadership, lack of teamwork among health professionals and lack of commitment to the Nigerian project for Nigeria’s inability to produce its own vaccines.

Nigeria: Health Minister Visits 82 Freed Chibok Girls Receiving Hospital Care

By Ayodamola Owoseye

The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, has assured the newly freed Chibok schoolgirls of the commitment of the federal government to their health and well-being.

Mr. Adewole gave the assurance on Monday during a visit to the 82 girls at a health facility in Abuja where they are currently receiving care.

He urged the girls not to hide any ailment from their caregivers as the government was determined that they have a stable health to resume their normal livelihood.

“We are happy for you. We thank God for your release. President Buhari has shown his commitment to your plight and has directed that we offer the best of medical services. We are going to take care of you so that you can go out and live productive lives again. We are at your service, it is our job to help you. Please, do not hide anything from us”, he said.

Mr. Adewole assured the girls that everything they need for their healthcare would be provided as soon as the laboratory results were delivered.

About 82 of the girls, who were abducted from their school in April 2014, were released on Saturday as part of a prisoner swap that saw the release of some Boko Haram suspects.

The minister was accompanied by Permanent Secretary, Binta Bello, the Chief Medical Director of the National Hospital Abuja and other top officials of the ministry.

After meeting with the girls, the minister held a technical session with the hospital team on the management of the girls.

He called on the medical team to set up individual chart to track the progress of each of the girls. He called on the care providers to give special attention to psychosocial services, bearing in mind that the girls had been held captive for more than three years.

The minister also presented drugs and other essential commodities to the management of the facility.


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Women to Gain From Sh12 Billion TMEA Deal

Dar es Salaam — Tanzania will benefit from Sh12 billion committed to a trading programme courtesy of TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) to empower women entrepreneurs in the country to access have to the East African Community and international markets.

The commitment was made by the Director of TradeMark East Africa, Tanzania branch, Mr John Ulanga, while announcing Sh500 millions to support Tanzania Women Chamber of Commerce (TWCC).

The cash will enable them to implement their project on cross border women traders during a Validation Workshop for a Baseline Survey that was conducted to ascertain status of Tanzania women traders export to EAC region in Dar es Salaam over the week end.

The workshop, held in Dar es Salaam over the weekend, involved women traders to discuss obstacles to women traders across borders.

Mr. Ulanga said TMEA Women and Trade (WaT) programme seeks to increase incomes and improve livelihoods for women traders and women-owned enterprises through capacity building, addressing trade barriers and advocacy for policies that will create an enabling environment for them to thrive.

Mr. Ulanga said the survey had shown 70 per cent of cross-border business was done by women, but for a long time, they had been marginalized by a series of obstacles and barriers from geographical, gender, financial, legal, exclusion.

“Government and Private Sector need to jointly show their recognition of women’s labour by providing a fair and productive environment for them to trade,” he said adding, “It is therefore important to continually advocate for balanced frameworks and policy change that will nurture the growth of women in cross border trading”.

He further said, TMEA’s Women and Trade (WaT) programmes seek to use existing infrastructure to implement and roll out the various interventions focusing on women informal cross border traders. Women’s inclusion is very important to improving the region’s overall business competitiveness.”

Expressing appreciation for the assistance, the TWCC chairperson Ms. Jaquiline Mneney Maleko, said empowering women creates a positive multiplier effect on poverty reduction, economic growth, government revenues and employment creation, among other factors.

“We indeed are grateful to TMEA and its partners for playing a big role in reducing poverty by increasing participation of women in export and trade in East Africa, increasing in female employment, increasing the value of exports.”


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Nigeria: Ogun Govt Pays Compensation to Demolition Victims

Ogun State government has released over N1b as compensation to owners of structures demolished to pave way for road construction in the state.

While presenting cheques to the beneficiaries, Director General, Bureau of Lands and Survey, Mr. Biyi Ismail, said the turnout of the recipients at the Bureau’s office in Oke-ilewo, Abeokuta, showed that they were happy with government, saying the compensation was being paid to beneficiaries in Abeokuta, Sango, Ojodu, Ijebu-ode, Mowe, Akute, Oke-aro, and Ofada, among others.

“It is very tough for someone to accept his or her structure being demolished, but I want to thank you all for your understanding. The State government is using this opportunity to compensate those whose houses, shops, workshops or whatever they had were demolished, to give way for infrastructural development,” he said.

He assured that the development and expansion of roads would continue in other parts of the state, noting that compensation would also be paid to affected communities in due time.

Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Alhaji Elias Ayinde Bameke said the demolition was the sacrifice they had to make for the development of the state. He appreciated the state government for compensating them as promised.


Govt Has Now Secured Release of 106 Chibok Girls

In keeping faith with its promise, the President Muhammadu Buhari government, saturday, secured the release of… Read more »

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