The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Monday insisted that there was no approved vaccine in Nigeria or any part of Africa for COVID-19 saying researches are still ongoing on the deadly viral disease.
WHO Immunisation Team Lead, Dr Fiona Braka, spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the efforts of the world body on the reported vaccines for the deadly virus.
Braka said COVID-19, being a new disease, has no ready vaccines, adding that public safety was the key consideration of WHO campaign for now.
“COVID-19 is a new disease, and as such, there are no ready vaccines available to be deployed for the control of the pandemic.
“However, a lot of research and scientific works are ongoing to develop vaccines, but these usually take time to ensure that it is safe for use in the wider population and also effective for control of the pandemic.
“Public safety is a key consideration in this process,” the WHO team lead said.
Braka said that the claims of vaccines developed for the COVID-19 were untrue and not to the knowledge of the WHO.
“WHO is not aware of vaccine for COVID-19 in Nigeria.
“There is a large scientific study (clinical trial) involving many countries to review the effectiveness of some drugs for the treatment of COVID-19 going on at the moment.
“The result of this clinical trial will help understand the efficacy of these drugs and may inform the review of the case management guidelines,” she said.
On the assessment of Nigeria’s performance in curbing the spread of COVID-19, Braka said that the world health body partnership with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) had been helpful.
“Nigerian Government through the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and supported by WHO had developed a preparedness plan for COVID-19 and was implementing this plan when the first case was reported.
“A network of five COVID testing laboratories was set up before the confirmation of the first case and has since been expanded to six additional laboratories over the past two weeks, making a total of 11 laboratories currently.
“From the onset of the outbreak, WHO has developed clinical guidance with input from clinicians around the globe, including in Nigeria.
“These resources include the updated Clinical Management Guidance for COVID-19, the Clinical Care training materials, and the Global COVID-19 Clinical Data Platform, the data tool which makes it possible for WHO to collect core clinical data from hospitalised patients to inform understanding of COVID-19.
“The guidance is continually reviewed, as more evidence become available.
The government has scaled up isolation facilities capacity at state level to ensure readiness to receive COVID patients,” she said.
Braka said that there would be more close observation, while the guidelines of operations of all the agencies assisting in the curbing of COVID-19 would be updated.
“The guidance of the clinical data platform will be continually reviewed, as more evidence become available.
“The government has scaled up isolation facilities capacity at state level to ensure readiness to receive COVID patients and all these helped with the containment of the first cluster of cases.
“With the return of more Nigerians from countries where the outbreak was reported, more cases have been reported and these have been more challenging to contain.
“The government at national and state levels have provided leadership for the response and more needs to be done at the state level as the cases continue to increase,” she said.
Braka, however, listed the key areas of interventions for curbing COVID-19 to include non-pharmaceutical, such as social distancing, surveillance, contact tracing, among others.
“The key areas of interventions required now are the non-pharmaceutical interventions like social distancing, handwashing and respiratory hygiene.
“Others, in addition to rigorous surveillance, are case identification, laboratory diagnosis, contact tracing and isolation and care for all confirmed cases.
“Physical distancing is one of the recommended strategies for preventing human to human transmission.
“The lockdown does facilitate physical distancing and is a welcome intervention.
“However, physical distancing alone will not stop the spread, but needs to be combined with other recommended strategies: testing, isolation of patients, contact tracing and quarantine,” she said.
The WHO official said the United Nation (UN) in Nigeria had launched a basket fund to help fight the deadly viral infection, adding that other donor agencies had also launched trust fund intervention.
“The United Nations in Nigeria has set up a Basket Fund that was launched by the SGF (Secretary to the Government of Federation) last week. Resources from the Basket Fund are supporting critical aspects of the response.
“Donor agencies and governments have been contributing to support WHO’s work in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic globally.
“Funds have been made available to WHO Nigeria through the Regional Office and Headquarters in Geneva which is financing the WHO’s current support to the response in Nigeria.
“We are also grateful to other partners who have supported WHO, Nigeria directly,” she said.
Braka said that WHO had also deployed some team of experts to other African countries.
“WHO is supporting countries globally with response to the pandemic. From the WHO Regional Office for Africa, four experts have been deployed to Nigeria currently.
“There is also remote support provided by experts from the WHO Headquarters in Geneva and the Regional Office in Brazzaville.
“These are in additional to an excellent team of public health experts who already work in all 36 states and the FCT, in the different WHO, Nigeria offices.
“WHO’s extensive Polio Programme resources have already been re-purposed and deployed, and have been crucial in supporting all affected states to mount an initial response, she said.
Braka said that states that had yet to report any confirmed case, there were resources engaged in preparatory activities and surveillance.
“WHO will continue to support Nigeria throughout the response and even during the recovery phase, she said.
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Don’t Leave Nigeria To Those Messing Up The Country, Obasanjo Begs Nigerian Youths As He Offers Free Keke Ride
Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, was behind the wheels of a tricycle (Keke) on Saturday.
Obj, as fondly called, rode through some roads in Abeokuta, capital of Ogun, to pick passengers.
The sight caught the attention of many who cheered the former Head of State and also took photos.
The elder statesman, who offered rides to citizens, moved through Moshood Abiola, NNPC Mega Station, Kuto Market, among others.
The activity was part of OBJ @ 85 Free Keke Programme of the Youth Development Centre of Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL).
In his remarks, Obasanjo appealed to the youths not to leave Nigeria to those messing it up.
The ex-leader said despite the challenges, they should try to take advantage of available opportunities to make an impact.
“Things are not what they should be but youths, individually and collectively, must make contributions in order to make things the way they should be.
“If you leave things to those who are messing it up for you and who are saying you are the leaders of tomorrow, you will never have that tomorrow.
“God has given you innate ability to be what He wants you to be. If you make up your mind, God will help you and provide people who would help you”, he added.
1,895 total views, 1,417 views today
We Must Fix Nigeria, Stop Europe-Bound Migrants Through Desert – Shettima
Former Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima, has decried the migration of Nigerians to European countries for greener pastures through Libya.
The PUNCH reports that no fewer than 774 stranded Nigerians have been repatriated from Libya between August ,2021 and June 1, 2022.
But Shettima believed that the country must be fixed to put a stop to migration of citizens crossing through the desert from Nigeria to Libya with the hope of getting to Europe.
He spoke at the investiture ceremony of the Managing Editor, Northern Operations of The Nation newspapers, Yusuf Ali, as the 11th president of the Rotary club of Abuja, Maitama.
Shettima, however, called for the unity of Nigerians to overcome the challenges bedeviling the country.
He said, “We have to make this country work. Nigerians would not need to go through Libya to get to Europe for survival. I believe if we are united Nigeria will survive and that is why I am proud of the Rotary club.”
Shettima also urged Nigerians to dedicate their lives to service to humanity, adding that ‘individualism, and worship of money’ were making life unpleasant in the country.
He said, “Every lifetime, that has been dedicated to professional excellence and community good, represents the type of life, that we must valorise, especially given how much we have become swamped, by an inordinate worship of the cult of money; individualism, and a crass materialism, that has increasingly made life so nasty, brutish and short, in our country, to borrow the words of the Political Philosopher, Thomas Hobbes.”
When asked about the jostle for the vice presidential candidate of the APC, Shettima declined comment.
He said, ” This is a non partisan event it will be an insult to make a political comment here. At the appropriate time we will talk politics.”
In his remarks, Ali called on the government to ensure Nigerians have access to basic infrastructures.
He warned that failure to do this would spell doom for the nation.
Ali said, “Unless all Nigerians have access to basic needs, we won’t be able to make it as a nation. We have abundant human resources but our souls are weak and malfunctioning.”
1,305 total views, 1,055 views today
Shun Grievances, Work For APC In 2023, Amaechi Tells Supporters
The immediate past Transport Minister, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, has directed his supporters in Rivers State to set aside their anger and work for the victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2023.
Amaechi, a former governor of the state, spoke on Saturday, when thousands of APC supporters trooped out in Port Harcourt to give him grand reception after the Presidential primary election.
The former minister, who came second at the primary poll, was received by party enthusiasts, who followed him from the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, to the APC state secretariat in Port Harcourt.
Amaechi, who vowed to stay in Rivers and ensure the victory of APC, appealed to his supporters to return to their various units and work for the APC in 2023.
He said: “Please, in the contest for the presidency, we should know that we must go and vote for our party, no matter how angry you are, they have chosen, let’s go and vote for our party.
“For the stories you hear about the people who are gossiping how they are having meetings in France, let this be your own France. Vote for your party, don’t be afraid, just go home and do your work.
“Don’t be afraid, go home and work, that’s why I came, I came to thank you, I came to urge you to go home and work, let all of us be unit leaders, no more local government leaders, ward leaders.
“If you check in INEC, they are no longer announcing ward results, they are announcing unit results. So let go home and win our units and bring our units home.
“Those days of meeting, writing results have all gone, we must praise INEC, praise the National Assembly for reducing the level of rigging, where people write results and INEC will just announce, now it is almost gone.”
In his remarks, the state APC governorship candidate, Tonye Cole, assured supporters that the APC would be on the ballot in 2023.
He said: “My mission here is three-fold, one to reassure you that we will be on the ballot, number two, that there is no court case that we will lose because God is on our side, number three, we have won already.
“Why have we won? Because at the grassroots, we are number one, number two, on every ballot, we are number one, number three, we serve a God that is number one.”
1,301 total views, 1,051 views today
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