Nigeria to Begin Malaria Vaccine Trials in Six Weeks—NAFDAC DG
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Director General of the National Agency For Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Mrs Mojisola Adeyeye, has said the approval process for the R21/Matrix-M malaria vaccine requires more clinical trials before its full use.
She made this disclosure on Wednesday morning while speaking on Channels Television.
In her words, “The clinical trial will begin within the next six weeks. The RTS,S did not include Nigeria, because from the beginning the effectiveness was 30 per cent, so we did not agree to join the clinical trial.”
Mrs Adeyeye noted that development in a country’s governance is a contributing factor to the persistence of malaria in Africa.
She also stated that the provision of the vaccine is important for transmission prevention, adding that NAFDAC is going to do its own test, trials and levels of approval.
“For the R21, after reading the dossier, I believe Nigeria should join. This is because we have a high probability of success. If something is 75 per cent effective from the beginning, then we know they are very likely to be successful. It has 75 per cent effectiveness for a malaria vaccine, which is great.
Mrs Adeyeye noted that phase four clinical trials would be conducted and more laboratory work.
“However, it is not what is written only that we know as the efficacy; we have to check every line of the dossier to ensure that science speaks. This is science-driven. What we did was to have two sets of reviews,” she said.
According to her, for the first time in the agency’s history, NAFDAC is going to have an external expert body for phase four.
“We are going to do phase four clinical trials; it should be tested in our country. We are going to do more observation. This would involve more laboratory works, this cannot be administered until it goes through a testing process in the country before the transmission process,” Mrs Adeyeye disclosed.
The NAFDAC DG stated that the vaccination focus is mainly on children and not adults, adding that this was the limitation the RTS,S malaria vaccine had in its percentage efficacy.
“Even if it is only 30 per cent of the children that will not die or the death would be prevented, that will be good enough. But we didn’t take that up as an agency to be part of the trial. This particular R21 had been submitted to WHO, and they are going to be doing their own review,” she said.
“NAFDAC approved the R21 vaccine for children under five, specifically for those under three years. NAFDAC tested the second vaccine (RTSS), and it was not found effective enough. Nigeria is part of this one, that is R21; we gave provisional approval after a very rigorous approval process.”
In a related development, the world celebrated World Malaria Day yesterday (April 25) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) called on African leaders to increase their investment in health as part of efforts to rapidly reduce the burden of malaria and save the lives of its populations.
WHO Country Representative in Nigeria, Mr Walter Mulombo, made the appeal at a media roundtable to commemorate the 2023 World Malaria Day (WMD) in Abuja on Tuesday.
Mr Mulombo said malaria intervention, like any other health intervention,, should not be seen as a burden for the government or partners but as an enabling factor for social economic development.
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Oyo Introduces Mobile App to 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.
Oyo Task Force Arrests 4,000 Environmental Offenders, Generates N30m as Fines
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.
AXA Mansard Health Offers Hilda Baci Free Heath Insurance
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.
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