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Eko Basketball League: Ahmedu, Okoh, Mensah back LSBBA to succeed



Some basketball coaches in Lagos on Monday lauded the Lagos State Basketball Association (LSBBA) for the newly rebranded Eko Basketball League after five years it did not hold.

The coaches are Peter Ahmedu, the Head Coach of Dolphins Basketball club, Coach Chris Okoh of the Hoops and Read Basketball Club and  Coach Dosu Mensah of the Dodan Warriors Club.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the league formerly Lagos Basketball City League dunked off on Sunday at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos with no fewer than eight male teams and six female teams’ competing for honours.

Dolphins of Lagos crushed First Deepwater of Lagos 52-25, while Hoops and Read of Lagos edged past Dodan Warriors 65-58 in the opening games of the competition.

Ahmedu told NAN in Lagos that he was proud of the association’s leadership which came in to power not quite long and had promised to bring back the league.

“It is a welcome development; this is exactly what we want for the future of the sport in the state.

“I believe with more time the current board will organise more basketball competitions which would enable the game to come alive once again.

“The league is a perfect ground for youths in the state to showcase their talent and get the recognition they deserve,’’ Ahmedu said.

Ahmedu added that his team was able to beat First Deepwater because they were better prepared and wasted no time in proving their mental strength.

“We defeated First Deepwater because we were better prepared, they are good team and boasts of many quality players but currently they are still struggling with match fitness.

“Once we noticed that weakness, we wasted no time in earning our valuable winning points on them,’’ Ahmedu said.

Another Coach, Okoh also heaped praises on the board for reviving the league which was off for five years.

He said it would bring back that healthy rivalries and beautiful games of basketball which Lagos was known for in the past.

“I believe in the leadership of Barbara Harper, the Chairman and Olumide Oyedeji, the Vice-Chairman, these are people who love the game and love youths.

“They will definitely not leave any stone unturned to see to the progress of the sport in the state.

“We know it is a gradual process but with the way they have promised and going about the activities, I am confident that the sport will be revived,’’ Okoh said.

On his team’s success in the Eko Basketball League, Okoh said the team would excel beyond expectations.

“We will do well; we have started well and met a formidable team that has a good history in the league.

“We will take one game at a time and ensure we make it to the finals and compete favourably for the championship’s trophy,’’ Okoh said.

Similarly, Mensah of the Dodan Warriors club said that the new board had done well by reviving the sport through the rebranding of the league.

He said that with time they would also prove to the world how well they love the development of the game in the state.

“With good time and necessary decisions, we hope it will grow into what we expect it to be,’’ Mensah said.


2,000 Lagosians benefit from ”Eko Cares” initiative — Official



The Lagos State Government said that a total of 2,000 vulnerable residents have benefited from its ”Eko Cares” initiative.

Aderemi Adebowale, Special Adviser to the governor on Civic Engagement, disclosed this on Wednesday during the 2020 Ministerial Press Briefing in commemoration of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s first year in office.

Adebowale said that the initiative was part of the social inclusion programme of the Sanwo-Olu led administration.

She said that the office of Civic Engagement introduced and organised a financial assistance programme with business component tagged, ”Eko Cares”, with the theme – ”Go Forward, Grow Lagos”.

”The programme, aimed at empowering the vulnerable ones in the state, involves provision of financial assistance, up to N20,000 per beneficiary.

”This money is to be disbursed partly in cash and partly in the form of micro-investment.

”In the first phase of the programme, some Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) companies were on hand to provide instant investment in micro-distributive trade by supplying their goods to the 2,000 beneficiaries.

”The essence of this is to have a populace that can feed themselves, contribute to the development of the state and promote a stable and secured society,” the special adviser said.

On efforts at stemming the spread of COVID-19, she said the governor had approved the production and distribution of 100 units of handwashing stations at markets, bus-stops, hospitals and other high traffic public places within the state.

Adebowale said that these handwashing stations were innovatively made by local fabricators with regular supply of dispensable soap and reticulated water supply (hand free).

According to her, the deployment of these handwashing stations is aimed at fostering the culture and practice of promoting good hygiene among the citizenry, toward curbing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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COVID-19: Doctors donate palliatives to IDP Camp at Eleko, Lagos



A Lagos based NGO, Doctors Health Initiative (DHI), has donated some palliatives to families in the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp at the Eleko Beach in Lagos, to help cushion the harsh effects of COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr Anabel Ozo, who made the donation on behalf of DHI, said on Tuesday in Lagos that the COVID-19 pandemic had created ripple effects on the livelihood and hygiene of vulnerable families and communities.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that over 600 bags of palliative items, including staple food, hand sanitisers, sanitaries and beverages were given to 600 families living in the IDP camp.

DHI is a human rights organisation of medical doctors and other professionals committed to using medical, scientific and social means to serve and develop the society through the family.

It is committed to serving human life by building healthy, free and just societies; their services are aimed at the development and maintenance of healthy families; the fundamental units of societies.

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The Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in their majority are mostly homeless and hungry people who left the North-East, especially Borno in search of greener pastures in Lagos.

“ They reside in settlements along Eleko Beach area.

“They were mostly farmers and have been forced by the Boko Haram insurgents to flee their homes and farmlands and find new skills and livelihood.

“As at five years ago, most of the children were malnourished and suffering from all forms of treatable illness which their parents and guardians couldn’t afford to take them to the hospital for basic healthcare.

“ You can imagine their plights in the unstable and violent situation created by COVID-19.

The Doctors Health Initiative (DHI), through the caring hands of well meaning individuals, organisations and families sought to make a difference in the lives of the families in the IDP camp of Eleko Beach.

“We generated over 600 bags of palliatives consisting of staple food, hand sanitisers, sanitaries and beverages for 600 families living in the IDP settlement.

DHI is dedicated to serving the vulnerable in our communities and people with emphasis on women and family health.

DHI offers medical and counselling services free of charge to the vulnerable and undeserved communities with a special focus on women and children,” she said.

According to Ozo, DHI has carried out health outreaches and service projects for the families in the IDP settlement since 2015.

Responding, Chairman of the camp, Mr Jonah Jonah, commended the gesture of the doctors.

Edited By: Vivian Ihechu/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)

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Some 1,756 eggs of rare Cantor’s Giant Softshell Turtles found in Cambodia portion of Mekong River




Conservationists have discovered 49 nests of the rare Cantor’s Giant Softshell Turtles with 1,756 eggs on sandbars along the Mekong River in northeast Cambodia’s Kratie and Stung Treng provinces during the nesting season this year, a Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) statement said on Saturday.

Although this was only two nests more than in the 2019 nesting season, the number of eggs was much higher than in recent years, the statement said, adding that as of Friday, 824 baby turtles hatched from 41 nests, of which 657 hatchlings were released into the wild, while the rest were under care for future release.

Cantor’s Giant Softshell Turtle is classified as critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, it said. The species was thought to be extinct in the Cambodian portion of the Mekong River until its re-discovery in 2007 in a 48-km stretch of the river in Kratie and Stung Treng provinces.

“With continuous support from our donors and good cooperation from the Fisheries Administration (FiA), plus strong commitments of our field staff and community nest protection team, WCS has made significant progress in implementing its project over the past years,” said Ken Sereyrotha, country program director for WCS Cambodia.

“The increase in number of nests and eggs inspired us to put more efforts on the conservation of this critically endangered species,” he added.

Ouk Vibol, director of the Department of Fisheries Conservation of Fisheries Administration, appreciated the participation of local authorities, community and WCS in the conservation of the critically endangered turtles so that they can persist in the natural water bodies.

“All stakeholders should continue their efforts to conserve the threatened species, and those who still trade protected species will face legal action,” he said.

WCS and FiA have been working to conserve the species since 2017 through disrupting the illegal capture and trade in freshwater turtles, a community-based nest protection program, and support to community fisheries and community development, the statement said.


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Laos to undertake prior consultation for Sanakham hydropower project on Mekong River




Laos will undertake the Mekong River Commission’s (MRC) prior consultation process for its Sanakham hydropower project, the sixth proposed project on the Mekong mainstream, an MRC press release said on Monday.

The run-of-river dam will operate continuously year-round and produce 684 megawatts of electricity, it said.

In its notification submitted to the MRC Secretariat based in Lao capital Vientiane, the Lao government provided a set of engineering documents and technical feasibility study, including the project’s social and environmental impact assessments and sediment and fisheries study, which will be shared with other MRC member countries including Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam.

According to the notification, the project’s construction is expected to begin in 2020 and finish in 2028, the year the commercial operations are also set to begin. The energy generated by the project will mainly be exported to Thailand.

“Laos submitted the project as an intra-basin water use around the year on the mainstream of the Mekong River, which is subject to undergoing the prior consultation process. The submission will enable the notified Member Countries and members of the public to have detailed information and study of the project’s water use and any potential impacts stemming from the project,” said An Pich Hatda, CEO of the MRC Secretariat, according to the press release.

The prior consultation process normally lasts six months but could be extended further by the Joint Committee. It is not meant to approve or disapprove the proposed project.

The Sanakham project is approximately 1,737 km from the sea, lying about 155 km from Vientiane at downstream. The powerhouse is about 350 meters long and 58 meters high, and has 12 turbines, each producing 57 MW of electricity.

According to the submitted documents, Datang (Lao) Sanakham Hydropower Co. Ltd is listed as the project developer. The total cost of the project is estimated at 2,073 million U.S. dollars. Of these, about 27.7 million U.S. dollars are allocated for environmental and social mitigation measures and monitoring programs.

The MRC Joint Committee Working Group (JCWG) is scheduled to meet on June 16 to discuss key issues around the prior consultation process of the project, including the starting date of the six-month process.

The MRC is an intergovernmental organization for regional dialogue and cooperation in the lower Mekong river basin, and was established in 1995 based on the Mekong Agreement between Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam.


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China-Laos railway completes beam setting of 1st cross-Mekong River bridge




All the beams of the Luang Prabang cross-Mekong River super major bridge of the China-Laos railway have been installed, according to the Laos-China Railway Co., Ltd. (LCRC), a joint venture based in Lao capital Vientiane in charge of the construction and operation of the railway.

The LCRC told Xinhua on Thursday that with the last 32-meter prestressed T-beam steadily settling down on the piers on Thursday, the beam setting work of the bridge, undertaken by China Railway No. 8 Engineering Group (CREC-8) was successfully completed.

The China-Laos Railway crosses the Mekong River twice to the north of the ancient Lao capital of Luang Prabang, some 230 km north of capital Vientiane. The continuous beam of the Luang Prabang bridge was completed in July 2019, seven months ahead of schedule, while the installation of T-beam began on April 9.

The Ban Ladhan cross-Mekong River super major bridge, also constructed by the CREC-8 closed its continuous beam on April 1.

The Luang Prabang cross-Mekong River bridge, some 230 km north of Lao capital Vientiane, has a total length of 1,458.9 meters and is composed of 28 span T-beams and six spans continuous beams. It is the most difficult and most technically complex bridge on the entire railway.

To ensure the successful completion of the bridge erection, the CREC-8 beam manufacturing and installing department made careful preparation, formulated a special construction plan and closely monitored the construction.

According to project manager Zhang Jiahong, amid the COVID-19 outbreak, the project department in Luang Prabang has carried out the beam installation work while paying close attention to epidemic prevention and control.

Taking advantage of the experiences of epidemic prevention and control in China, the Chinese engineering team took multiple measures, including strictly implementing the safety production management system, to successfully complete the tasks of beam fabrication, transportation and installment before the rainy season sets in.

The China-Laos Railway is a strategic docking project between the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative and Laos’ strategy to convert from a landlocked country to a land-linked hub.

The 414.332-km railway, with 198-km tunnels and 62-km bridges, will run from Boten border gate in northern Laos, bordering China, to Vientiane with an operating speed of 160 km per hour.

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Lagos launches ‘EKO TELEMED’ for non-COVID-19 medical consultation



The Lagos State Government says it has launched the ‘EKO TELEMED’ for residents, as part of efforts to protect citizens and reduce their risk of contracting COVID-19.

The state Ministry of Health, through its Twitter handle, said that the initiative was done through the Lagos State Health Management Agency (LASHMA).

Dr Emmanuella Zamba, General Manager of LASHMA said that ‘EKO TELEMED’ was designed by LASHMA as part of its COVID-19 response.

Zamba said that the project would increase access to care, reduce the challenge of going to hospitals during this period of restricted movements, except for emergencies.

“It would also create an entry point for the quicker evacuation of confirmed and severely ill COVID-19 cases to the designated treatment facility.

“This is aimed at ensuring better health outcomes for affected citizens, and reducing morbidity and mortality associated with the pandemic,” Zamba said.

She said that through the project, residents would have access to highly-trained and experienced physicians for non-emergency primary care consultation through voice or video call from April 22.

Zamba urged residents who develop any non-COVID-19 health issues during the lockdown period to call 08000EKOMED = 08000356633 toll-free line for consultation.

She added that the toll-free line would enable residents converse with doctors in any of the four major languages in Lagos State which are English, Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo.

The General Manager said that Doctors and Case Managers would be available 24/7 on ‘EKO TELEMED’ to provide medical services to residents for a period of eight weeks as the state continues to roll out its strategies for containing the COVID-19 pandemic.

“If further medical treatment is needed after due consultation with the medical doctors, non-coronavirus cases would be referred to designated Healthcare Providers under the Lagos State Health Scheme (LSHS) or preferred Healthcare Providers,” Zamba said.

She added that patients with high COVID-19 suspicion will be directed to designated testing sites and isolation centres in Lagos State through the toll free 08000CORONA hotline.

Edited By: Wale Ojetimi (NAN)


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Nollywood Actress Yewande Adekoya welcomes new baby girl



Nollywood Actress, Yewande Adekoya, popularly known as “Kudi Klepto”  took to her Instagram handle to announce the arrival of her new baby girl on Friday.

Adekoya, who displayed her baby bump in a black see-through mesh dress and a pair of jean shorts also congratulated her husband, Actor cum movie producer, Abiodun Thomas.

The actress expressed her excitement and said she had stayed off the social media for a while due to the bundle of joy she was carrying, which has finally been delivered.

“God, we give you all the glory, our joy knows no bound.

“Our little princess is here.

“Now you all know why I have been away from work and social media, I have been baking a bun in the oven.

“Welcome my love.

“Congratulations to us my love,’’ she said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the actress had featured in many Nigerian films among which are: “Fadaka”, “Omo Elemosho”, “Iyawo Adedigba”, “Kurukuru” and more with several awards to her credit.

Edited By: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)


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General news

COVID-19: NGO donates food items to aged, persons with disabilities in Isale-Eko



Erin Jogun Ola Life Foundation for Community Development, an NGO, has donated foodstuffs to 500 persons with disabilities and the elderly in Idi omo, Isale-Eko, to relieve effects of the COVID-19 lockdown.

Founder of the initiative, Mr Falade Oyekan, told the Nigeria News Agency that the donation was part of the organisation’s support to residents in the community during the lockdown.

Oyekan said the organisation would on Friday continue with the distribution of food items to 500 people below 60 years of age and to 1,000 children in the area.

Accoding to him, the idea is to provide assistance to people in every age group in the community, including persons with disability as they comply with the stay-at-home order of the government.

“We are aware that it has not been easy for many people to sustain themselves during this lockdown period.

“That is why our organisation is doing its bit by providing food items to members of the community that would last them for some days as the lockdown continues.

“Today, we distributed to 500 people who are above 60 years of age.

“On Friday, we will continue with the distribution to another 500 people who are below 60 years of age and to 1,000 children.

“Considering the number of people involved, the distribution will be done in line with the health guidelines as was done today,” he said.

Items distributed included rice, garri, bread, sugar, tomato paste, spaghetti, salt, maggi, and beverages.

Oyekan also urged residents to endure and stick with the stay-at-home directive as well as observe social distancing to safeguard lives.

He also advised them to adhere strictly to the global health guidelines issued by the World Health Organisation.

`A lot of people still believe the coronavirus does not exist. People should stop living in denial and not joke with their lives.

“The lockdown is not meant to punish us, but for our good.

“Although, it might be difficult and boring staying at home, we should try our best to adhere to the restriction order to protect our lives.

“Our prayer is that none of us would be consumed by the virus but it is always good to play safe than regret


actions later,” he said.


Edited By: Bola Akingbehin/Emmanuel Yashim

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Kenyan HealthTech Startup Afya Rekod launching AI Consumer Data Driven Platform in support of Global Efforts to Curb Corona Pandemic!




The AI and Blockchain powered platform aim to capture real time users’/patients’ health data; drive connectivity and engagement between patients, doctors and other health care providers; the company is sprinting to launch 4 months ahead of original launch plans.

Kenyan health tech startup Afya Rekod is sprinting to launch its AI and Blockchain built consumer driven health data platform amidst the corona virus pandemic in support of global efforts to curb the disease by providing a portal for people across the world to store their health data in real time, with a special focus on Covid 19.

This advanced system is built to help users store their own health data, access health information and connect to health service providers was set to launch end of July 2020.

The Founder and CEO of Afya Rekod John Kamara said “Afya Rekod is a medical data storage platform that allows patients to store their health records, the medication they take as well as keep journals of their statuses and that of their kids and families. The platform is AI driven and uses various AI modules to help detect abnormalities, detect early out breaks and monitor mobility and evolution of diseases via timely data analytics.”

“Africa and most of the third world countries have limited doctors and access to health care services. Lack of patient data in real time makes the problem even more damaging to both patients and health service providers across the continent. Over 65% of Africans live in rural communities that are not connected and are off grid in terms of access to health care services. This is the problem we are trying to solve”. Explained Kamara.

However, the ongoing Covid 19 pandemic has shown the world once again that centralized health management systems that rely solely on people walking into a health facility are not sufficient. The world also needs decentralized systems that enable people to update their own records, anytime, anywhere, in multi formats.

One of the critical issues affecting the world during emergencies like this includes inefficiency that leads to untimely deaths due to lack of or limited data, scanty access to health care services, unverified information and lack of, and delayed responses among other things.

“We are fast tracking to launch the platform 4 months ahead of its time to enable the world to capture real time data that will hit map areas where the Corona infections are growing and monitor the growth in real time by collecting user generated information from millions of users across multiple geographic locations to allow for sufficient data analysis in support of the global efforts to curb the disease.”

 “Afya Rekod comes at a crucial time when the world is experiencing one of the biggest pandemics of its generations and we need to monitor the movement and evolution of the virus very closely to determine the changing nature of symptoms among other things.” further stated Kamara.

The growing digitization of health care at a time when the world is required to isolate provides an unprecedented opportunity for the world to come together and unite in efforts.

Afya Rekod is currently in discussions with various entities across governments and developing partners to explore how their efforts can be accelerated urgently for Covid 19.

The platform presents a unique ability to address critical emerging health needs as it has a differentiated product that is centered around the most important entity in a health equation, an individual/a patient which presents a rapidly growing opportunity to launch an AI engine that solves and help the world prevent and monitor the spread of global pandemics like Coronavirus Disease (Covid-19).

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