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54Gene Launches Clinical Research Program in Nigeria

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54Gene

By Adedapo Adesanya

Abuja-based healthcare startup, 54gene, has launched its Clinical Program Services (CPS) division, which will provide end-to-end clinical development services, intelligence, logistics, and infrastructure and ultimately enable successful conduct of clinical trials in Africa, starting from Nigeria.

The launch comes at the same time as the appointment of 54gene as the Nigerian country partner for the International Registry of Healthcare Workers Exposed to COVID-19 (UNITY Global) Study.

In partnership with Certara, a global leader in biosimulation, the startup will provide clinical trial management oversight and support for all aspects of the study conducted in Nigeria.

54gene’s Clinical Program Services division is focused on partnering with global pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, and multilateral health organisations to discover, develop and commercialize new therapeutic and diagnostic products, the company said in a press release.

The research division is led by Mrs Kemi Williams, the Vice President of Clinical and Regulatory Affairs, who brings years of driving clinical excellence, delivering regulatory competency, and ensuring operational efficiency to the company.

On the launch of the Clinical Program Services division, 54gene Chief Commercial Officer, Mrs Jessica Rich, said, “The inclusion of Africans in clinical programs is critical to the production of medicines and health products that are more efficacious and safe for people of African descent.

“It is vital that we continue to collaborate with African researchers and institutions to generate data that meets the scientific rigour found in worldwide studies and to increase African inclusion in global studies. It is essential that more research takes place on the continent and we are ready to be part of that change.

“Alongside key partners like Certara and other important stakeholders across the continent, the UNITY Global Study is a great opportunity for some of the best clinical teams across Sub-Saharan Africa to come together and ensure outcomes of any COVID-19 studies are relevant to Africans.

“The insights generated from this program could potentially unlock breakthrough clinical discoveries that can improve health outcomes for millions of people globally.”

The UNITY Global study aims to develop prevention policies based on real-world data collected from 10,000 healthcare workers in low and middle-income countries, including Pakistan, Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Senegal, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

The registry’s primary objective is to examine the link between the use of preventive treatments and the occurrence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in healthcare workers providing care to patients with COVID-19.

With the nature of the virus and its impact on the global healthcare system, it is crucial to develop guidance and policies for protecting healthcare workers, who are at the frontline of combating the disease.

The registry will collect information on a weekly basis from enrollees across a 12-week period. Data collection includes medications being taken by healthcare workers, their level of exposure to COVID-19 patients, their health status, and other factors such as the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), which would likely mitigate their risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

In addition, the registry will record SARS-CoV-2 antibody test results. The study is funded by a grant from the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator.

On his part, Mr Roman Casciano, general manager of Certara’s evidence and access group added: “Healthcare workers have a high incidence of severe COVID-19 as they are repeatedly exposed to individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2.

“With limited evidence on the effectiveness of the preventative measures and treatments currently being used, collaborating with key partners such as 54gene is invaluable for expanding the current body of research.”

“Through our country partners’ support and findings from the registry, we hope to provide meaningful data to inform decision making that will help protect healthcare workers worldwide battling COVID-19 on the frontlines.”

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.

Health

Oyo Introduces Mobile App to Track Waste Collection

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track waste collection

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

A mobile app designed to monitor waste management, especially to track waste collection, has been introduced by the Oyo State government.

This is part of a new step geared towards simplifying waste management in the pace-setter state and making it one of the cleanest states in the country.

The Oyo State Waste Management Consultant, Mottainai Recycling, unveiled the app on Thursday in Ibadan, the state capital.

The Chief Strategy Officer of Mottainai Recycling, Ms Uloma Airhienbuwa, disclosed that the easy-to-use application would help track the ‘movement and management’ of hazardous and other solid wastes.

According to her, the waste management app, which can be downloaded on all smart devices, is designed with user convenience and sustainability, offering several key features to facilitate waste and recycling pickup requests.

“The app also offers clarity on when your waste is picked up and by whom; and an ability to pay your waste bill,” she said.

Speaking further, Ms Airhienbuwa hinted that it also has a fun and transparent way of incentivizing waste sorting, noting that, “The app has a user-friendly interface. It provides an intuitive and user-friendly interface that allows waste generators to easily navigate and make pickup requests with just a few taps.”

“Users can initiate waste pickup requests through the app by specifying the type of waste, quantity, and preferred pickup date and time.

“Users can either make this an on-demand request or create an ideal pickup schedule for themselves. This feature enables efficient scheduling and coordination between Mottainai and users,” she added, stating that, “The app incorporates GPS technology to enable users to locate their specific waste-pickup location.”

“To incentivize waste sorting, the app incorporates a points-based system. Users earn points based on the accuracy of their waste sorting and responsible disposal practices.

“Accumulated points can be redeemed for various rewards, such as discounts on waste management services or donations to a charity organization of your choice,” Ms Airhienbuwa stated.

She said the app is continually being developed to ensure users a seamless experience for pickup requests, tracking the progress of pickups and payments and receiving rewards.

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Health

Oyo Task Force Arrests 4,000 Environmental Offenders, Generates N30m as Fines

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environmental offenders Tribunal sitting in Ibadan

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

No fewer than 4,000 environmental offenders have been apprehended by the Oyo State Environmental Task Force since its creation.

This disclosure was made by the Chairman of the organisation, Mr Ojomo Francis, during a chat on Wednesday in Ibadan, the state capital.

He explained that some of the offenders were committed to community service after trial, while others paid fines to the tune of N30 million to the coffers of the Oyo State Government.

Mr Ojomo, who is also the Waste Enforcement Officer, urged the public to obey the environmental laws of the state, stressing that this will sustain the healthiness and good neighbourliness in the society.

He added that item 11 of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations places a premium on sanitation and a sustainable environment.

Mr Ojomo appealed to Nigerians, especially residents of Oyo State, to pay attention to cleaning their environment, as the Task Force is watching everyone, reiterating the commitment of the state government towards ensuring a healthy and safe environment.

“This is not the first time we have appealed to members of the public to obey our environmental laws so that we will have sustained peace and health in our society.

“Item 11 of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations places a premium on sanitation and a sustainable environment. We do not need to attend any formal school to take care of our environment in our interest,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Oyo State Environmental Protection Tribunal, sitting in Ibadan on Wednesday, convicted five offenders for violating environmental laws in the state.

The Chairman of the Tribunal, Mr Jubreel Kareem, while speaking with journalists, disclosed that during monitoring in Ibadan, the five offenders were arrested.

He said two of the offenders, Olanrewaju Deola and Funmilayo Ayoola, were found disposing of wastes illegally at unauthorized places; they also failed to provide a standard refuse drum contrary to Oyo State Environmental Laws, 2013.

The persons admitted to having committed the offences and were convicted to three months of imprisonment or an option of fines of N5,000, N2,500, and N2,500, each.

Another offender, Olabisi Olatunde, who was caught at Preboyes, along UI-Bodija, dumping refuse on the median, pleaded guilty. The tribunal thereafter fined her N7,500.

In the same vein, John Blessing and Ali Sumaiya were caught illegally displaying goods by the roadside at Mokola.

The Tribunal ruled that this is against Section 2 sub-section 14 of the Oyo State Waste Management Law of 2014 and, after that, fined them N2,500 each.

The head of the Tribunal further warned the offenders not to violate the environmental laws of the State henceforth, saying this will serve as a lesson to them and others.

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AXA Mansard Health Offers Hilda Baci Free Heath Insurance

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Axa Mansard

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

To support a Nigerian chef, Ms Hilda Baci, who is cooking in Lagos to break the Guinness World Record for the Longest Cooking Time, the country’s biggest Health Management Organisation (HMO), AXA Mansard Health, has offered a one-year free Gold Health Insurance for her.

In a message, the HMO noted that this is to boost the morale of the 27-year-old chef and give her the confidence to progress to the end, despite the exhaustion that might have come with 70 hours of cooking she has already put in.

“Dear Hilda, you’re doing amazing! We see your determination, and we Know You Can.

“AXA Mansard Health solidly supports you. We know that when you feel secure, you can progress. So, we are supporting you with one-year Gold Health Insurance.

“We trust this can strengthen you more in the pursuit of this world record for yourself and the millions of women you inspire every day and our dear country.

“We hope this support will inspire you and serve as an additional elixir to the millions of support that you already enjoy across the world today and always. Wishing her all the best,” the company said.

Hilda Baci

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