Ned Nwoko continues anti-malaria crusade
For a while, billionaire and top businessman, Prince Ned Nwoko, has been tireless in his desire to eradicate malaria in Africa by striking different partnership deals with entertainers and organisations.
Recently, the Malaria Eradication Project initiator, Nwoko, hosted the United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator in Nigeria, Edward Kallon, the World Health Organisation (WHO) Representative in Nigeria, Dr. Walter Kazadi Mulombo, Vaccine experts and other stakeholders.
At the meeting held at Ned’s home at his village in Idumuje Ugboko Delta State, Nwoko said he wished the world could adopt the same speed applied in creating vaccines for Covid-19 to find a lasting solution to malaria in Nigeria and Africa.
He stated: “Covid-19 vaccine was discovered by scientists without knowing the source of the pandemic. We know the cause of malaria is mosquitoes; so, why have we not eradicated it? It is possible to find a solution to malaria and it is something we can do.”
Through the former Senator’s foundation, Prince Ned Nwoko Foundation, he has also contributed to the empowerment and education of youths. In 2019, it was gathered that he donated $273,000 for the rehabilitation of failed portions of the road linking South Eastern Nigeria to the nation’s capital, Abuja.
In 2019, Nwoko pledged the sum of $200,000 to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization UNESCO to support the development of sports in West Africa.
COVID-19 increasing risk factors for suicide – WHO
To mark World Suicide Prevention Day, on September 10, the American office of the World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that suicide prevention must be prioritised after 18 months of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Suicide is an urgent public health problem and its prevention must be a national priority,” said Renato Oliveira e Souza, head of the Mental Health Unit at the Pan American Health Organisation.
“We need concrete action from all elements of society to put an end to these deaths, and for governments to create and invest in a comprehensive national strategy to improve suicide prevention and care,” he added.
Globally, one in 100 deaths is by suicide, making it among the leading causes of death worldwide and the fourth leading cause of death among 15- to 29-year-olds, after road traffic accidents, tuberculosis, and interpersonal violence.
Some of the verbal or behavioural warning signs for suicide include talking about wanting to die, feeling immense guilt or shame, or feeling like a burden to others.
Other signs are feeling empty, hopeless, or trapped, or having no reason to live, or feeling extremely sad, anxious, agitated, or full of anger.
World Suicide Prevention Day is organised by the International Association for Suicide Prevention and endorsed by WHO.
This year’s theme,‘Creating hope through action’, focuses on the need for collective action to address the issue.
Buhari lists conditions for paying doctors’ benefits
President Muhammadu Buhari has given the conditions doctors must meet to get to their outstanding benefits.
Speaking during a meeting with officials of the Nigeria Medical Association at the State House, according to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, Buhari condemned the doctor’s industrial action.
He said: “The lives of citizens that could be lost or damaged when doctors withdraw services are precious enough to be worth opting for peaceful resolution of differences.”
The president added, “Let me speak directly to the striking doctors. Embarking on industrial action at this time when Nigerians need you most is not the best action to take, no matter the grievances.
“This Administration has a good track record of paying all debts owed to government workers, pensioners, and contractors and we have even revisited debts left by past administrations, once due verification is done. Debts genuinely owed Health workers will be settled.
“I learnt that some of the 12-point demand in the ongoing strike was already addressed. Though the Review of a new Hazard Allowance has not been fully negotiated because of the sharp and deep division within the ranks of the striking doctors.’’
Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors had declared indefinite strike action since Monday, August 2, 2021.
Weekly COVID-19 cases in Africa reduced by 20% – WHO
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says that the weekly COVID-19 cases have declined by more than 20 percent in Africa.
In a statement titled “COVID-19 variants prolong Africa’s pandemic wave,” WHO said: “Weekly COVID-19 cases in Africa fell by more than 20%—the sharpest seven-day decline in two months – as the third wave pandemic tapers off.
“However, the rate of deceleration is slower than the previous waves owing to the impact of more transmissible variants.
“The continent recorded more than 165 000 cases in the week ending on 5 September—23% lower than the week before, yet still higher than the weekly cases recorded at the peak of the first wave.
“The more contagious Delta variant that partly fuelled the third wave has been dominant in several countries that experienced COVID-19 surge. In southern Africa, for instance, where more than 4000 COVID-19 genome sequencing data was produced in August, the Delta variant was detected in over 70% of samples from Botswana, Malawi, and South Africa, and in over 90% from Zimbabwe.”
Also in the statement, the Africa Regional Director for the WHO, Dr. Matshidioso Moeti, said the continent was working towards increasing the rate of genomic sequencing.
“The third wave has shown us how variants can hijack the efforts to tame the pandemic. Countries must step up surveillance because, without genomic information, variants can spread undetected. You can’t fix what you don’t measure.”