Connect with us

Economy

Lassa Fever: NCDC Activates Emergency Operations Centre

Published

on

NCDC

By Adedapo Adesanya  

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has activated the national multi-sectoral and multi-disciplinary Lassa fever Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) in response to the Lassa fever outbreak in some parts of the country.

This became necessary given the increase in the number of confirmed Lassa fever cases across the country and a joint risk assessment with partners and sister agencies.

The agency revealed that in its latest situation report (January 23, 2022), a total of 115 confirmed cases with 26 deaths (a case fatality ratio of 22.6 per cent) have been reported.

These cases were reported from 30 Local Government Areas (LGAs) across 11 states. Furthermore, the reports in weeks 1 and 2 show the highest number of confirmed cases recorded in the last four years for the same period.

Lassa fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic illness transmitted to humans through contact with food or household items contaminated by rodents infected with the Lassa fever virus. Person-to-person transmission can also occur, particularly in a hospital environment with inadequate infection control measures.

Like several other countries in West Africa, the disease is endemic in Nigeria and is often recorded during the dry season, often between November and May.

NCDC noted that since 2016, it has worked hard to improve diagnostic capacity for the disease and it currently has seven laboratories that can conduct confirmatory tests for Lassa fever in Nigeria.

These laboratories, the agency revealed are coordinated by the NCDC National Reference Laboratory (NRL) and has improved active case detection for the disease.

Similarly, care for affected individuals has improved with NCDC providing support to states including the provision of emergency medical and laboratory supplies as well as oral and intravenous Ribavirin for preventive and curative treatment to treatment centres across the country.

In addition, Nigeria through NCDC is participating in the largest-ever Lassa fever study that aims to provide an accurate assessment of the incidence of the disease in West Africa.

This will also accelerate the development of vaccines and therapeutics for Lassa fever. These are supported by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the Wellcome Trust.

To support and strengthen the response efforts of states, NCDC has continued to deploy Rapid Response Teams (RRT) as required to states. The RRTs through the State Public Health Emergency Operation Centres (PHEOCs) work with states across all response pillars to strengthen preparedness and response activities.

This includes outbreak investigation, contact tracing, response coordination, case management, psycho-social care for infected people, risk communication, and infection prevention and control activities.

Furthermore, using a One Health approach, the NCDC is working with relevant ministries, departments, health agencies, and partners to strengthen the capacity of states to effectively manage this outbreak alongside COVID-19 and other diseases of public health relevance. It also engages in risk communications activities through radio, posters, flyers, and social media.

The Federal Ministry of Environment is also implementing a Lassa fever Environmental response campaign in high burden states.

Lassa fever presents initially like any other febrile illness such as malaria. Its symptoms include fever, headache, sore throat, general body weakness, cough, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, muscle pains, chest pain, and in severe cases, unexplainable bleeding from ears, eyes, nose, mouth, and other body openings.

The time between infection and the appearance of symptoms of the disease is 3 to 21 days. Early treatment and diagnosis increase the chances of survival.

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Lassa Fever: NCDC Activates Emergency Operations Centre – Enaira

Leave a Reply

Economy

Nigeria’s Pension Funds Reach N14.27bn as Contributors Near 10 million

Published

on

Pension Funds

By Adedapo Adesanya

The National Pension Commission (PenCom) says the total number of registered contributors and the value of pension fund assets stand at 9,795,957 million and N14.27 trillion respectively, as at June 2022.

The Director-General of PenCom, Mrs Aisha Dahir-Umar, gave the figures at a recent workshop themed Increasing Informal Sector Participation In The Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS): The Case for Micro Pension Plan (MPP).

Mrs Dahir-Umar, represented by the Head, Corporate Communications, Mr Abdulqadir Dahiru, said the increasing number of pension funds and contributors was responsible for the recapitalisation of the Pension Fund Administrators (PFA’s) by PenCom.

“The reason for the recapitalisation exercise was to ramp up the capacity of the PFA’s to manage the increasing number of registered contributors and the value of pension fund assets which stood at 9,795,957 million and N14.27 trillion respectively, as at June 30, 2022.

“PenCom increased the Minimum Regulatory Capital (Shareholders’ Fund) requirements of PFAs from N1 billion to N5 billion in 2021.

“All PFAs have complied with the commission’s directive to increase their minimum capital during the exercise which had a 12-month transition between April 27, 2021, and April 27, 2022,” she said.

According to her, the theme of the workshop aligned with the commission’s objective of expanding coverage of the CPS as it relates to the micro pension plan.

The director-general explained that the objective was to bring into the CPS, Nigerians working in the informal sector and those who were self-employed through the MPP.

Mrs Dahir-Umar noted that strategic efforts to drive the MPP remained one of the significant areas of focus of the commission.

She said the MPP was conceptualised to expand pension coverage to the informal sector, including small-scale businesses, entertainers, professionals, petty traders, artisans and entrepreneurs.

“The MPP was implemented to curb old-age poverty by assisting the workers, as mentioned above, to contribute while working and build long-term savings to fall back on when they become old, ” Mrs Dahir-Umar said.

The director-general stated that to create awareness of the MPP, the commission, in collaboration with the Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria, was currently championing an industry media campaign in major cities in the country’s six geopolitical zones.

She said it was expected that the exercise would bring about increased effectiveness and efficiency as well as improved service delivery in the industry.

“Let me re-affirm the commission’s commitment to creating awareness and holding social dialogue on the workings of the CPS with relevant stakeholders towards the smooth implementation of the scheme in Nigeria,” she said.

Continue Reading

Economy

Outrage Over Payment of N18.39bn Daily for Fuel Subsidy

Published

on

fuel subsidy

By Adedapo Adesanya

Some Nigerians have started to express anger over the disclosure by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, that the sum of N18.39 billion is used by the federal government daily to pay for fuel subsidy.

Speaking during an investigative hearing of the House of Representatives ad hoc committee looking into the petroleum subsidy regime between 2017 and 2021, the Minister revealed that, “The total amount of subsidy per day is N18.397 billion per day.”

“So, if you are projecting for the full year, it would be N6.715 trillion. If you are projecting for half year, it would be 50 per cent of that,” she informed the lawmakers.

According to the Finance Minister, this was calculated using the information provided by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited and the regulator, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA).

She said the information showed that 64.96 million litres of fuel are the projected average daily truck out, adding that N1.774 trillion was paid to independent oil marketers as subsidy in four years.

Aside from the increasing cost of petrol importation, economic and energy experts have continued to decry the rising cost of fuel subsidy by the federal government.

In January, the federal government said it will retain fuel subsidy indefinitely and amended the 2022 budget to provide funds for that purpose, a move that saw the provision jump over 800 per cent to N4 trillion.

Mrs Ahmed, at that time, said the government realised that the timing of the planned removal of the petrol subsidy was problematic and would worsen the suffering of Nigerians.

According to her, all payments on fuel subsidies were supposed to cease from July 2022 but, “subsequent to the passage of the [Finance] Act, we went back to amend the Fiscal Framework that was submitted to the National Assembly to incorporate this demand, but after the budget was passed we have had consultations with a number of stakeholders.

“It became clear that the timing is problematic, that practically there is still heightened inflation, and also removal of subsidy will further worsen the situation, thereby, imposing more difficulties on the citizens, and Mr President clearly does not want to do that.”

Continue Reading

Economy

Naira Exchanges at N694/$1 in Peer-to-Peer FX Segment

Published

on

Nigerian Naira

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Naira depreciated against the United States Dollar at the Peer-to-Peer (P2P) window of the foreign exchange market on Thursday by 0.32 per cent or N2 to sell for N694/$1 in contrast to the preceding day’s rate of N692/$1.

However, it closed flat against the greenback in the Investors and Exporters (I&E) segment of the FX market at N429.38/$1 amid a slump in the value of transactions at the ecosystem.

According to data from the FMDQ Securities Exchange, forex transactions worth $63.30 million were carried out during the session compared with the $120.46 million reported a day earlier, indicating a decline by $57.16 million or 47.5 per cent.

But at the interbank segment, the local currency moved in the same direction on Thursday, appreciating against the British Pound Sterling and against the Euro.

It was observed that the domestic currency appreciated against the Pound Sterling by N1.72 to trade at N508.24/£1 compared to the previously traded rate of N509.96/£1 and against the Euro, the Naira gained N11.06 to settle at N420.83/€1 compared with the previous day’s N431.89/€1.

Also, in the black market, the domestic currency improved its value by N2 to trade at N678/$1 in contrast to the N680/$1 it was sold on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, in the cryptocurrency market, investors counted more losses as the appetite for the digital coins waned, with Shiba Inu (SHIB) dropping 9.9 per cent to sell for $0.00001343 and Dogecoin (DOGE) losing 8.4 per cent to close at $0.07429.

Cardano (ADA) depreciated by 8.1 per cent to settle at $0.4951, Solana (SOL) slumped by 6.2 per cent to sell at $38.30, Binance Coin (BNB) slid by 5.0 per cent to close at $291.64, Ripple (XRP) depreciated by 3.7 per cent to finish at $0.3616, Litecoin (LTC) went down by 3.0 per cent to quote at $58.99, Bitcoin (BTC) recorded a 2.5 per cent drop to end at $22,818.66, while Ethereum (ETH) retreated by 1.5 per cent to trade at $1,817.11, with the US Dollar Tether (USDT) retaining its previous day’s value of $1.00 due to the strong performance of the US Dollar against other currencies.

Continue Reading

Latest News on Business Post

Like Our Facebook Page

%d bloggers like this: