Food Safety: Food scientist alert Nigerians



A food scientist, Mrs Vera Eze, has advised Nigerians to always ensure consumption of safe foods to avoid sicknesses and diseases that could lead to death.
Eze, who is the Chairperson of the Abuja chapter of Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST), gave the advice while speaking with the Nigeria News Agency on Thursday in Abuja.
She observed that some of the foods consumed by Nigerians had the tendency to kill outrightly.
“Most of the foods we consume in Nigeria can kill outrightly, and this is alarming.
“It is the responsibility of food scientists to ensure that the foods we consume are safe.
”We are concerned with how our farmers cultivate their crops, to harvesting methods, to preservation and storage until they are ready for consumption,” Eze said.
She expressed the need for government to create silos and collection centres for farmers for effective regulation and distribution of foods in the country.
Eze advised Nigerians to buy unripe fruits and allow them ripen naturally because most fruits in the markets were ripened with dangerous chemicals.
She advised those who needed to ripen their fruits artificially to use ethylene gas which, she said, was safe for consumption.
“Most of the people who sell fruits these days ripen their fruits with carbide, which is a harmful chemical.
”I advise people to buy unripe fruits which they can ripen by themselves, using safe methods.
“Ethylene gas is one safe material to ripen fruits, it could be more expensive but it is safe,” Eze said.
The food scientist assured that NIFST was committed to ensuring that Nigerians stopped consuming poisonous foods capable of shortening their life spans.
”We intend to periodically bring stakeholders together to discuss challenges of food quality management and proffer solutions.
”It is part of our corporate social responsibility to ensure that all the impediments to safe food in Nigeria are identified and gradually removed.
“Our aim is to ensure that Nigerians no longer die from avoidable poisonous elements in the food they consume,” she said. (NAN)
Edited by Razak Owolabi/Muhammad Suleiman Tola


UNESCO task journalists on reportage of GBV, harmful practices




Lagos, Dec. 9, 2019 The UN Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) on Monday

urged journalists to focus more attention to reportage of issues bordering on harmful practices and Gender Based Violence (GBV)

to end the scourge in the country.

Dr Stephen Onyukwelu, the UNESCO Manager for Spotlight Initiative, made the call during the opening of a four-day training on

Gender Based Violence (GBV) in Lagos with the theme “Sensitive Reporting and Investigative Journalism.”

Nigeria News Agency reports that Spotlight Initiative is a new, global, multi-year programme embarked upon by European

Union (EU) and the UN toward eliminating all forms of Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG).

The Initiative is so named as it brings focused attention to the issue of VAWG, moving it into the spotlight and

placing it at the centre of efforts to achieve gender equality and women empowerment, in line with the 2030

Agenda for Sustainable Development around the globe.

Onyukwelu said that the initiative is an EU-UN joint venture that would benefit 25 countries, including eight African countries, comprising

Nigeria, Liberia, Niger, Malawi, Mozambique, Mali, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

He explained that six states, namely Sokoto, Adamawa, Ebonyi, Lagos, Cross-River and FCT, were selected in Nigeria to champion the implementation

of the programme in the country.

He, therefore, urged media practitioners to investigate and report issues aimed at reducing violence against women and girls, such as sexual harmful practices so as

to increase women and girls’ access to Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights.

He said “UNESCO plays a vital role in eliminating GBV and we want the media to use their platforms toward ending this menace.

We want a Nigeria where all women and girls are free from violence and harmful practices.

We want to ensure gender equality, human rights, promote inclusiveness and leave no one behind.

Dr Qasim Akinreti, Chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Lagos State chapter, who declared the workshop opened,

urged participants to focus on issues affecting the grassroots to aide in reducing all forms of abuse.

Akinreti also encouraged the media to use their platforms to educate the public on the effects, preventive measures and where victims of abuse could

seek for help.

Mrs Adeola Ekine, Chairperson, Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Lagos State chapter, advised media to champion the fight against GBV and

encouraged good parental values “which would be reflected in the society, thereby reducing ills and negative tendencies.”

A total of 33 participants, drawn from each of the six geographical zones namely: Lagos, Adamawa, Ebonyi, Cross River, Sokoto, FCT are attending the workshop.

Edited by: Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu

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Nasarawa Govt. spends over N240m monthly to subsidise health services at specialist hospital- CMD



Dr Hassan Ikrama, the Chief Medical Director of Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital, Lafia (DASH), says Nasarawa state government is spending over N240 million monthly to subsidise healthcare services at the hospital.

Ikrama disclosed this while addressing newsmen on Sunday in Lafia.

He said that the money was being utilised in subsidising free medical services, especially for pregnant women, children under five years as well as the aged.

Ikrama added that part of the money goes into emoluments and training of staff.

He commended  Gov. Abdullahi Sule for giving prority to the provision of quality healthcare to the people of the state by improving facilities at the hospital.

He said that the government had increased the number of surgery theatres from One to three to enable the hospital perform more surgeries at subsidised rates to the people.

“These two new operation theatres have been furnished with state-of-the-arts equipment and are ready for use.

“The state government has also provided four brand new ultra-sound machines to the hospital.

“This is to ease scanning, especially for pregnant women and it has significantly reduced waiting time for scanning at the hospital,” Ikrama said.

The CMD assured the people of the state quality healthcare services comparable to best in any part of the country given the improvement of facilities at the hospital.


Edited & Vetted By: Joseph Edeh/ Tukur Muntari.


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Illegal operation: Lagos Govt. seals 24 pharmacies, patent medicine stores



The Lagos State Government says it has sealed 24 pharmacies and patent medicine stores in various parts of the state for illegal operation and operating beyond scope of pharmaceutical practice.

Prof. Akin Abayomi, the state Commissioner for Health, disclosed this in a statement issued on Sunday in Lagos.

Abayomi said that the enforcement was part of the mandates of the Pharmaceutical Inspectorate Unit (PIU) of the ministry to end the ugly trend of unqualified personnel handling drugs.

He said that the affected pharmacies and patent medicine shops were sealed for operating without licence; engaging unqualified persons to man and dispense drugs to unsuspecting citizens and operating beyond scope through sale of unethical products.

Other offences, the commissioner said, included displaying and storing drugs in unconducive environments, thus which compromising the potency of the drugs and rendering them ineffective.

He further explained that some of the premises visited were engaging in illegal clinical practices, such as patient admission and setting of intravenous infusions, both of which, he said, were unacceptable.

Abayomi said that government would continue to insist that the environment for the dispensation of medical care be suitable for the promotion and maintenance of good health for citizens.

He noted that the enforcement was coming on the heels of the war being waged against fake drugs and illegal drug shops.

Abayomi said that the activities of the State Task Force on Fake Drugs would not only be sustained, but further intensified until operators in the sector adhered strictly to the provisions of the law on the operation of pharmacies and patent medicine shops.

He noted that only licensed patent medicine vendors were authorised to sell drugs in their original packs and in approved pack sizes, as produced by the manufacturing companies.

According to him, the law prohibits dispensing and wholesaling of drugs by patent medicine vendors and wholesalers operating outside their scope by selling drugs in retail.

Abayomi said that government would not relent in its efforts at stopping the inherent dangers associated with the operations of unlicensed pharmaceutical outlets and drug shops.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the affected stores were situated at Abule Egba, Alagbado, Kola, Meiran, Ekoro and Oko-Oba, all in Ifako Ijaiye and Alimosho Local Government areas of Lagos respectively.

The enforcement was effected by the State Taskforce on Counterfeit, Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Foods, in collaboration with the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

Others were Pharmacists’ Council of Nigeria (PCN), Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Federal Taskforce on Fake Drugs and the police officers from Environmental and Special Offences Unit (Task Force) of the Lagos Police Command.

Edited & Vetted By: Joseph Edeh and
(NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq



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Kano State targets 3.8m children for meningitis vaccination



Kano State targets 3.8m children for meningitis vaccination

The Kano State Government has targeted no fewer than 3.8 million children between the ages of one to seven for the meningitis vaccination across the 44 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state.

This was contained in a statement by Mr Abba Anwar, the Chief Press Secretary to Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje in Kano on Sunday.

According to Anwar, Ganduje made the disclosure while flagging off the vaccination campaign at Danlasa village in Warawa LGA of the state.

“As a final push to get rid of meningitis among children between the age of one and seven, Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje has flagged-off vaccination campaign, at Danlasan in Warawa LGA, which targets 3.8 children across the state,” he said.

Ganduje called on the people to participate in the exercise and make sure that they present their children for the vaccination in order to ensure a healthier society.

The governor reminded the people about some of the diseases that were ravaging the society.

“But with similar vaccinations all such diseases are now history.

“We must always be proactive. Particularly in matters that affect our health. Therefore, don’t hide your children. Safeguard your future,” he said.

He said his administration had renovated and equipped about 300 health facilities across the state as part of renewed efforts to provide quality health care in the state.

“What we are doing now is to make sure that we take health care delivery system to people’s doorsteps. That is why we are doing our best in re-positioning the sector,” Ganduje said.

In his remarks, the state’s Commissioner for Health, Dr Aminu Tsanyawa said meningitis was one of tropical diseases disturbing African sub region and the 19 Northern states including Abuja.

The representative of the five Emirate Councils of the state, Mr Abubakar Gaya, the Dangoriba of Kano, assured of the cooperation of the councils towards success of the exercise.

The representative of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr Bashir Abba commended Ganduje’s efforts in enhancing healthcare delivery in the state.

Edited & Vetted By: Kamal Oropo/Ali Baba-Inuwa

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Nutrition Survey will lead to improved quality healthcare – Experts



Nutrition Survey will lead to improved quality healthcare – Experts

Research experts with National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), have said that the National Nutrition and Health Survey, known as SMART, would lead to improvement in quality healthcare services in the country.

They said this in separate interviews with Nigeria News Agency , on Sunday in Nasarawa State, at the sideline of a six-day 2019 training for field emulators on data collection for National Nutrition and Health Survey.

NAN reports that the National Nutrition and Health Survey was a household survey designed to provide an up-to-date information on the situation of children and women in the country.

The survey was a collaboration between NBS, Saving One Million Lives Programme For Results (SOML-PforR), National Population Commission (NPC) and Ministry of Health.

It was meant to focus on nutrition, immunisation, malaria, disabilities among others.

Ms Ozioma Ejimaonu, an expert from Abia, said that the survey would lead to a more cost-efficient healthcare system in the country.

Ejimaonu said that it was one of the key elements used to streamline the process of providing healthcare in any country.

According to her, surprisingly, SOML-PforR has provided a better definition of such survey that will improve the situation of children and women in the country.

Mrs Oluchi Okoronkwo, an expert from Imo, said that getting information about children health and use of treatment for common illness was long overdue.

Okoronkwo said that the survey would provide access to improved water and sanitation facilities in the country.

“It will be helpful to policy makers and administrators in monitoring key health nutrition programmes.

“The most vulnerable in the country remain women and children, so getting intervention on their health can only be centered on good quality data,” she said.

According to her, all healthcare stakeholders in the country must agree that such survey should be the premise on which Nigeria healthcare system is based.

Mr Adebusola Olowolagba, an expert from Oyo State, described the survey as a package solution sold as services that would redesign the challenges in food security, mortality and nutrition.

Olowolagba said that it would support the use by health care entities or patients for the electronic creation, maintenance, access, or exchange of health information in the country.

Mrs Jennifer Moses, an expert from Ondo state, described data as the “lifeblood of decision-making and the raw material for accountability.

“Today, in the private sector, analysis of big data is commonplace, with consumer profiling, personalised services, and predictive analysis being used for marketing, advertising and management,” she said.

Earlier, Dr Ibrahim Kana, National Programme Manager, SOML-PforR, cautioned the participants not to allow themselves to be used by the state governments’ officials to reduce or increase the number of children and women of their states, while conducting the survey.

Kana charged them not to breach their oath on the importance of quality data, stressing that they should not act in favour of their states.

The NBS, representative Mr Adeyemi Adeniran, Director Real-Sector and Household Statistics, said that the survey was designed as a cross-sectional household survey using a two stage cluster sampling that would be represented at the state level.

Adeniran said that the aim of the exercise was to collect data on nutrition status of under five children and women 15 to 49 of age in the country.

While urging participants against false data collection, he said that accurate data would assist in actualising President Muhammadu Buhari’s mandates of building a healthier Nigeria.

He noted that quality data would enable international agencies to support the government on critical nutrition issues and ensure that they leveraged on it.

NAN reports that the survey will examine acute malnutrition, underweight and overweight among children and it will also look at malaria and household mosquito net ownership.

A total of 124 individuals will be involved in the survey; 115 will constitute the survey teams and nine individuals would serve as replacements where needed.

Facilitators were drawn from NBS Headquarters, UNICEF and SOML-PforR national office.

Edited & Vetted By: Ali Baba-Inuwa

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NGO wants HIV test as component of routine ante natal care



NGO wants HIV test as component of routine ante natal care

Saving One Million Lives Programme For Results (SOML-PforR), an NGO, has advocated the inclusion of as a key component of routine ante natal care.

Dr Ibrahim Kana, National Programme Manager, SOML-PforR, made the suggestion at the end of a six-day training for field officers handling data collection for National Nutrition and Health Survey.

The training was held on Saturday in Keffi, Nasarawa state.

The Nigeria News Agency, reports that the National nutrition and health survey is a household survey designed to provide up-to-date information on the situation of children and women in the country.

ost pregnant women with HIV do not know they have the infection.

“A woman, who finds out she has HIV, is able to get early treatment and support for herself, her partner, family and help to reduce the risk of passing the virus to her baby,” he said.

The programme manager also emphasised the need for quality data of the number of pregnant women living with HIV in the country.

Kana said that the number might be increasing or reducing, hence the urgent need for all pregnant women to be offered an HIV test as part of their antenatal care.

“A woman with HIV can pass the virus on to others, including her baby, during pregnancy, birth or through breastmilk.

“The HIV test will be done at the same time as other routine ante natal blood tests like blood group and Rhesus factor, full blood count, hepatitis B, rubella and syphilis.

“One sample of blood can be used for all the tests,” he pointed out.

He said that part of SOML-PforR objectives was to increase the utilisation of high impact reproductive health, child health and nutrition interventions in the country.

  SOML-PforR for the survey.

Kana said that the survey would look at reproductive health, birth attendants and HIV testing during antenatal care.

from the survey would enhance accountability, improve government management, reduce compliance costs and stimulate innovation in the country.

“I am excited about the opportunity offered to SOML-PforR by this training survey to advance issues that are important to the success of our government.

“Through the combined efforts of our staff, NBS, NPC, and FMoH, we will continue to define the future for our high impact reproductive and child health, and nutrition interventions data to make government more transparent, effective, and efficient.”

He cautioned experts against being cajoled by state governments officials to reduce or increase the number of children and women of their states, while conducting the survey.

Kana charged the experts not to breach their oath in view of the importance of quality data, stressing that they should not act in favour of their states.

 survey was designed as a cross-sectional household survey using a two-stage cluster sampling.  

Adeniran said that the aim of the exercise was to collect data on nutrition status of under-five children and women 15 to 49 of age.

false data collection, he said that the data would assist the President Mohammadu Buhari administration’s quest to build a healthier Nigeria.

He noted that the data would enable international agencies to support the government on critical nutrition issues, and assured participants that their efforts would not be in vain.

NAN reports that the survey will examine acute malnutrition, underweight and overweight among children, and will also look at malaria and household mosquito bet ownership.

It will also look at breastfeeding, dietary deficiency, vision impairment, hearing loss and communication disability.

One hundred and twenty-four individuals will be involved in the survey.

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FGGC Yola old students seek unity among children





Abuja, Dec.7, 2019The 1989 graduates of the Federal Government Girls’ College, Yola, have urged the Federal Government to initiate policies that would foster a spirit of oneness and unity among Nigerian children.

Mrs. Ngozi Saromi, President of the association, made the call in Abuja on Saturday, at the 30th anniversary reunion of the class.

The Nigeria News Agency , reports that the theme for the 2019 gathering was “Greater Together”.

Saromi challenged unity schools in Nigeria to inculcate the spirit of leadership and self-discipline in the students.

“This could be done through encouraging students to participate in the management of classrooms, boarding houses, cultural and social activities, and the development of individual talents in sports.

She said that the primary aim of the schools was to integrate and groom the students as leaders of the future, for both the public and private sectors.

The president of the association said that unity schools had been a huge success that should be built upon, and regretted that most school structures were in dire need of rehabilitation.

“The schools are crucial to Nigeria’s stability and must be given the needed support to perform that role,” he said.

She called on the government and other relevant agencies to put measures in place to ensure that the role was actively and effectively played in the future of the country.

Speaking on the anniversary, she said; “We have always given back to our alma mater; we have been doing this all the time and it is a continuous process.”

Dr Adesuwa Ogli, President, Women Optometrists in Nigeria  (WIN), who is also a member of the class of 89, urged the government to focus more on reforming the education sector.

She said that with quality teaching in unity schools, national unity could come back to the country.

Ogli said: “We must restore the glory of the schools so that future generations will enjoy what we enjoyed,” she said.

Mrs. Nyisom Dore, an Assistant Editor-in-Chief in the Nigeria News Agency, who also spoke at the occasion, said that the school had played a huge role in moulding them to become role models.

Dore challenged her class mates to give something back to the society and the school that had given them so much.

Some of the activities at the 30th anniversary included a medical outreach, social night, an Annual General meeting, presentation of awards, among others.

Edited & Vetted By: Saidu Adamu/Ephraims Sheyin

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Eye centre performs 900 operations in 12 months



Eye centre performs 900 operations in 12 months

Mr Yunusa Zarumai, the Chief Nursing Officer at the Eye Centre, General Hospital, Minna, says no fewer than 900 patients underwent minor and major surgeries at the centre from January to December 2019.

Zarumai, an Ophthalmic Nurse, told Nigeria News Agency in Minna on Saturday that Niger residents and some other Nigerians were taking advantage of the eye centre to treat their ailments.

The nursing officer attributed the high number of surgeries to the awareness created by the centre.

He explained that “on clinic days, which are Mondays and Wednesdays, we usually receive not less than 160 patients who come here to access our services.

“Patients from neighbouring states also prefer this centre because of the milestones we have achieved in successful operations and quality eye treatment and care.”

According to him, the eye centre carries out different eye operations on about 75 patients monthly.

He said that the cases treated at the centre successfully included cataract, globe rupture and corneal laceration.

He added that the centre helped patients to replace damaged eyes with enucleation, noting that though the replaced eyes were synthetic, it helped to curb the stigma some visually impaired patients faced from the public.

Zarumai said that though no artificial eyes had been produced by the centre, but it had fixed over 50 artificial eyes for patients who bought them from elsewhere.

He urged residents and citizens to avail themselves of the services of the centre by ensuring regular checks.

Edited & Vetted By: Oluyinka Fadare/ Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu

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ICT bedrock of any sub specialty, says Kebbi first lady



Mrs Zainab Bagudu, wife of Kebbi Governor, on Friday in Abuja, emphasised the role of ICT in every sphere of human development.

Mrs Bagudu stated this during the closing ceremony of a five-day training on ICT and entrepreneurship for females living with disabilities, and female artisans on Computer Hardware and Mobile Phone Repairs and ICT Entrepreneurship.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the theme of the training was “Empowerment, Progress and Self Actualisation through ICT”, organised by the National Centre for Women Development

(NCWD) in Abuja.

The centre also donated laptops to beneficiaries of the training, comprising 30 deaf women and 70 female artisans.

The governor’s wife, who advised the women to make judicious use of the laptops toward empowering themselves, urged them not to allow their disabilities to hinder them from soaring high, but should be focused and strive toward achieving success.

The Director General of NCWD, Mrs Mary Ekpere-Eta, applauded President Muhammadu Buhari “for his efforts toward supporting grassroots development.”

Ekpere-Eta said that the training would equip persons living with disabilities to pursue their dreams and enable them to contribute to development of the society.

She added that “we cannot do without ICT in this dispensation, so, that is why we adopted this convention of training women with disability since Dec. 13, 2006, seeing the world has gone digital.”

Julie Okah-Donli, Director General, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) commended the centre for including female victims of human trafficking in the training.

Okah-Donli, who was represented by an Assistant Director in the agency, Mrs Similade Adekunle, encouraged the beneficiaries to make use of the skills acquired toward empowering themselves and others.

Edited & Vetted By: Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu

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