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Nigeria intensifies efforts towards COVID-19 vaccines production – Onu

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By Gistflash News

July 12, 2021

Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of Science and Technology, says Nigeria is intensifying efforts in research towards the production of COVID -19 vaccines.

Onu dropped the hint when the Cuban Ambassador to Nigeria, Clara Paulido-Escandell, paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja on Monday.

The minister said that professionals and scientists were being involved in the production process.

He said that producing COVID-19 vaccines locally would assist in creating jobs and reducing poverty rate in Nigeria as well as benefit other countries.

The minister expressed Nigerai’s willingness for partnerships with Cuba in local vaccine production.

Onu stressed that Nigeria would leverage on the existing bilateral relationship between both countries and work together in other areas for mutual benefits.

He noted that there were claims for the cure of the disease but said that the claims were being investigated at various levels.

The minister said there was need for Nigerian professionals and the Organised Private Sector (OPS) to ensure that the Executive Order No. 5 was fully operational.

He added that the ministry should be notified when any Nigerian professional suffered unfairness in procurement process.

“We want all Nigerian professionals to be at the centre of economic activities in the country,” he said.

Earlier in her remarks, Paulido-Escandel acknowledged that her last visit to the ministry offered her the opportunity of working with some agencies to achieve local vaccine production.

She listed the agencies to include the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) and Shetsco Development Institute.

The Cuban ambassador warned against the rising cases of the new COVID-19 variant.

NAN

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I spent over N6m to treat COVID-19 – Actor Pete Edochie’s son

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By Gistflash News

Sept 18, 2021

Uche Edochie, son of Veteran Nollywood actor, Pete Edochie has said that he spent over N6 million to treat  COVID-19  virus at an isolation treatment facility in Gbagada in Lagos.
Edochie took to his Instagram page @ucheedochie to share and announce his recovery experience.
He stated that the  facility where he was treated charged him N350,000 per day and was there for twelve days before being moved to First Cardiology Centre in Ikoyi for lung and heart rehabilitation.
The total cost of his  treatment had exceeded N6 million, he said, adding that many people died of the virus because of the high cost associated with its treatment.
“COVID costs a fortune and I know a guy whose treatment cost N17 million. When I fell sick weeks ago, I thought I had malaria, so I spent the first couple of weeks treating malaria.
“By the time I realised this could be something else, it was too late and I was rushed to the hospital with eighty percent of my lungs damaged.
“I couldn’t eat or breathe and I was on oxygen for weeks; I could not walk either, including having severe chest pains. It felt like I was dying and waking up over and over again, I have never seen anything like this,” Uche said.
The actor’s son  said it was the first time in his life that he had no control over anything.
 “I felt like I was on a boat drifting away in the still of the night rudder less.
“The days that followed passed by slowly and everything was a blur and I remember lying in the hospital floating endlessly like a feather in an abyss of nothing.
“The days turned to weeks and my recovery was going well. I am fully cured of COVID now and I am able to walk a little,” he said.
He added that his  lungs would take months to heal completely, but he was currently on oxygen and other medications.
Uche urged governments to invest in affordable treatments, to prevent more people from dying of the virus, while lamenting that in spite of the lockdown, wearing of nose masks and vaccines, the virus was still spreading.
“Even those vaccinated are still catching it, but thank God I am back home,” he said.
He thanked his  family members and healthcare workers for their incredible support, saying, “In all these people, I saw the face of God and I will never forget.
NAN
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Workers stranded as Edo begins enforcement of COVID-19 vaccination card

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By Gistflash News

Sept 15, 2021

Some workers were on Wednesday prevented from getting to their offices as Edo Government began enforcement of the `no vaccination card, no access to its facilities’ rules.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent in Benin who visited the state Secretariat and the Government House, reports that police constabularies were drafted to enforce the policy.

Mr John Osagioduwa, a civil servant, said he was not aware of the directive.

According to him, the proper thing was for the government to issue circular to various Ministries, Departments and Agencies to inform civil servants of the directive.

Osagioduwa said although he was vaccinated, he didn’t come with the vaccination card and had to go home and come back to work on Thursday.

Mr Felix Omende, a construction company worker, said it would not benefit the government to chase away all the people from work.

“So, how can you save lives with drugs alone without food? When palliatives were being shared, the prominent once looted them to their houses and we the poor were left suffering and dying,’’ he argued.

A former Special Adviser on Media and Communication Strategy to Gov. Godwin Obaseki, Mr Crusoe Osagie, who was also barred, said he forgot his vaccination card.

“The governor’s directives have taken effect from today, and I am just coming to the office but forgot my vaccination card, I have been refused entry because I forgot my card at home.

“I am going home to get my card to access Government House.

“The enforcement and restrictions has started with government offices and institutions today.

“And if workers go back home to get their cards and come back to work late or not at all, I am sure there will be concession for them by their directors.

“It’s not compulsory to be vaccinated, but they need the vaccination card to access government offices,’’ he said.

Commenting on the exercise, the Head of COVID-19 Enforcement Team in Edo, Mr Yusuf Haruna, said that the enforcement showed government commitment to the protection of lives in the state.

NAN

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NACA says it has identified 1.7 million Nigerians living with HIV

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By Gistflash News

Sept 15, 2021

National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) says it has identified 1.7 million out of 1.9 million Nigerians living with HIV.

Mr Alex Ogundipe, its Director, Community Prevention, Care and Support Services told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Calabar on Wednesday that 1.7 million afflicted had been enrolled for treatment.

“Our mandate is to identify people living with the virus; there are supposed to be about 1.9 million Nigerians.

“It is our responsibility to identify and enrol all of them for care and I believe we are doing well because we have identified 1.7 million of them.

“NACA is on the right path in terms of its mandate to coordinate activities on HIV response.

“You must be objective on how you rate or assess yourself. You must ask: is the assessment from the eyes of those who give you money, those of beneficiaries of your services or those other partners?

“These are the criteria we check once in a while to help fine-tune our services,’’ he said.

On the moribund nature of State Agencies for the control of AIDS (SACA), Ogundipe maintained that SACA was not a branch of NACA as they belonged to states.

He explained that it was the responsibility of NACA to train, guide and give policy direction to SACA officials, but it behoved the state governments to fund them and ensure they carried out HIV response services.

NAN

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