Saturday, 16 June 2018

Ajimobi Commissions WAMCO’s Fifth Milk Facility

By Chioma Umeha

Governor Abiola Ajimobi has commissioned FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria PLC, fifth milk collection facility for dairy farmers in Saki, Oyo State.
Speaking at the occasion, the Managing Director, FrieslandCampina WAMCO, Mr. Ben Langat, pointed out that the event was a proof of the company’s commitment to strengthening local milk production capacity in Nigeria.
“We started this investment in 2011, with a meagre supply of a few thousand litres of milk per day, working with a little above 100 farmers and one milk collection center. Today, with this fifth milk collection centre in Saki, we now have the capacity to collect over 40,000 litres of raw milk daily, from 1720 farmers.”
In a statement issued by the company’s Corporate Affairs Director, Mrs. Ore Famurewa, said, “Since 2011, FrieslandCampina WAMCO has been investing in the Dairy Development Programme (DDP) and has established the country’s largest milk collection network. Today, the company collects milk from about 1700 farmers in over 70 communities in Oyo State, who as a result receive good remuneration directly from the company.

Take Time To Exercise, It’s Doctor’s Order

Okechukwu AKAS
Whether it is prescribed or bought over the counter, drugs is critical to health care worldwide. Whether we take it for a simple headache or much more demanding conditions such as high blood pressure, we expect it to work, especially if it is recommended by the doctor or pharmacist. Drug business is a multi-billion dollar industry and, many could not have survived illness without them.
A patient takes his drugs religiously because; ‘It is the doctor’s order’ – so, there is an element of credibility attached to it. Many would hardly disobey the instructions of their personal physician.
We are used to having our doctor prescribe one drug or another, but if the same doctor prescribes exercise regiment rather than usual medication, would you take it? Well, this remains a big question begging for an answer.
Sad to say that even in most advanced nations like the United States, it is amazing that doctor’s networking is so uncommonly explored by the personal training community. Based on this, there was a press release based on a survey by American Medical Association in November 2007 announcing the launch of a new initiative called “Exercise is Medicine.”
The essence of this programme is two fronts; first, to encourage doctors to prescribe exercise for their patients, and secondly, to encourage the public to incorporate physical activity or exercise into their daily lives.
In the press release, the result of the survey by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) revealed that nearly two-thirds of patients would be motivated to exercise if advised by their doctor and given additional resources. This survey revealed two important facts on exercise.
First, ACSM recognised that exercise can curve the precipitant dependence for medicine by all groups of the society. This means that rather than walking into your doctor’s office and expect him to write you prescription for some drugs, he or she would have chosen the alternative. The second entail that over 40 million people in America who are overweight and obese would be informed that they must engage in some type of exercise.
Exciting indeed! Moreover, this fact would be driven home to many young men and women who walk about with over 38-inch waist as if a large waist is evidence of good living.
Imagine if the doctors in Nigeria will follow such directive, the effect would be quite obvious. We would have a nation with a healthy work force. So if you happen to be among the lucky ones that a doctor prescribed an exercise regiment, be sure to take the full dosage, because it is a lifestyle.

I Was Weighing 104 kg, But Today I Am 79 kg – Apostle Philips

Chioma Umeha
Apostle Hussein Philips is Pastor, House of Mercy, Lekki, Lagos. In a chat recently,Apostle Philips told Independent that physical exercise is a scriptural injunction just as he explained why visit to the gym has become part of his weekly health regimen.
How long have you been visiting the gym?
I started last year; it’s been about a year right now.
How regular do you visit the gym?
I engage in exercise a minimum of three times in a week at Genesisfitness50.
What were your initial complaints before you started visiting the gym?
As a preacher of the gospel, you need stamina; you stand minimum of eight hours in a week either preaching or teaching, so you need strength. At a time, I noticed that I was gasping in course of my daily routine; I was also losing my strength. Generally, I was always feeling tired, then I decided to visit the gym and it’s been awesome.
 Are there positive changes in your health, since you started exercising?
Absolutely, there are positive changes in my health. More importantly, I was beginning to have problems with my Blood Pressure (BP) and sugar level, so my doctor recommended that I should start visiting the gym. However, since I started exercise, my sugar level is now normal. So, exercise not just for physical fitness, but also medicinal.
Do you have other benefits?
I have stamina and this macho feeling. In fact, I feel alive and a general feeling of wellness which is very important.
What were you weighing before and now?
Before I started visiting the gym, I was weighing104 kg, but today I am 79 kg. I am still on it and hope to weigh 60 kg.
What can you do now that you couldn’t do before?
My waist was crazy; to bend and lift my waist was a problem. Number two, I couldn’t run or do any exercise without gasping for breath, but right now it’s over.
Can you say that this has reduced your visit to hospital or stop using some drugs?
I am telling you my BP and sugar has normalised. My only illness was body weakness, but now, I am okay.
Surprisingly, I thought you would have resorted to fasting and praying as a man of God to keep fit.
Laughter… The Bible says, ‘bodily exercise profited little, so it’s scriptural.’
What’s your advice to others?
Every Pastor, every Christian must engage in fitness. Body exercise has profits, so let’s take the profit.

Will Frozen Eggs Aid Pregnancy?

Chioma Umeha
Data on pregnancies resulting from frozen eggs is mixed. A small review of egg-thawing data found that 414 eggs thawed in 2013 resulted in 99 live births, meaning that slightly fewer than one in four cases were successful.
This suggests that women may need to undergo multiple IVF cycles to become pregnant.
Factors that affect the success of egg freezing and thawing procedures include:
            The age of the woman when her eggs are frozen: Younger women tend to produce more eggs, which are less likely to have defects
            The age of the woman at the time of egg thawing and IVF: Younger women are more likely to have successful pregnancies
            Sperm quality: Healthy sperm is more likely to produce a healthy embryo and a successful pregnancy
            The clinic: The success rates of freezing and thawing eggs vary between clinics
            The number of eggs frozen: A larger number of eggs offers more opportunities for IVF cycles
How Long Will Frozen Eggs Last?
Freezing an egg stops it from aging. A frozen egg that is a few years old will typically be healthier than a fresh egg from an older woman.
Most studies on frozen eggs looked at eggs that were just a few months old. It remains unclear how long eggs can safely be frozen.
Most researchers suggest that a woman should freeze her eggs when she is in her mid-to-late 20s, for use in her 30s. Women who are considering IVF in the future should not delay any longer than necessary.
According to the University of Southern California’s fertility clinic, about 75 per cent of eggs survive the thawing process.
Embryos are more likely to survive both freezing and thawing than eggs, and they are more likely to result in a successful pregnancy. If a woman has a partner, or if she intends to use donor sperm, she should consider freezing embryos rather than just eggs.
Who Should Consider Freezing Their Eggs?
Younger women have significantly higher egg-freezing success rates than older women do. Women who wish to have their eggs frozen should do so as early as possible. Most clinics work with women under 40 years old. Some clinics place restrictions on women in their 40s, and few will allow women over the age of 45 to freeze their eggs.
There are no guarantees that frozen eggs will lead to a live birth. The chance of each frozen egg leading to a live birth is between 2 and 12 percent. Factors such as uterine health, age, and overall health affect a woman’s chance of becoming pregnant.
Some reasons women freeze their eggs include:
            Career and educational plans: Women who wish to pursue advanced degrees or demanding careers may freeze their eggs when they are young to ensure access to healthy eggs when they are older.
            Romantic delays: Women who want to have a child with a partner, but who have not yet found one, may freeze their eggs for future use.
            Cancer: Chemotherapy and other cancer treatments typically destroy fertility. Reproductive cancers might mean a woman’s ovaries are removed.
            Infections, organ failure, and other health concerns: A wide range of health problems can harm egg quality.
Freezing eggs offers future hope to a woman who is receiving treatment for a serious illness that may reduce fertility.

NAFDAC Waives 50% On Registration Fee Of Smes

Chioma Umeha
The National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) said it has waived 50 per cent on registration fee for locally manufactured products to promote Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs).
The NAFDAC spokesperson, Dr Abubakar Jimoh, said that the measure would go a long way to promote economic development.
Jimoh explained that it was a new policy of the agency under the leadership of its acting Director-General, Mrs Yetunde Oni.
He said that the measure was in response to Federal Government’s policy to promote locally manufactured companies in order to boost the economy of the country.
Jimoh said that in the past, a lot of people and some licensed consultants had extorted money from innocent Nigerians in the name of NAFDAC registration.
“Sometime back, we discovered that a lot of people were extorting money from Nigerians for registration fee of products. We decided to license some consultants who are professionals.
“But those unscrupulous elements fizzled into the consultancy firm that registered with us and continued their extortion from potential entrepreneurs.
“They collect as much N250,000 to N300,000 for registration of less than N50,000, claiming that part of the money will be used to settle NAFDAC officials.
“The agency has taken decision to stop them after the expiration of their licenses; we will stop them and deal directly with intending manufacturers,” he said.
Jimoh explained that in the last seven years, the former NAFDAC director-general, Dr Paul Ohi, introduced a policy that all young graduates willing to establish businesses would be given waiver.
He said that the policy was still in existence but young graduates from NYSC were not taking such advantage.
The spokesperson noted that NAFDAC recently established a Small Business Desk to guide people going into SMEs on how to set up their small factories.

LASUTH Receives ICU Equipment From FBO

Chioma Umeha
The Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, received some sets of Intensive Care Unit (ICU) equipment from faith-based organisation (FBO) the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Apapa Family, weekend.
The equipment include: four CR 5,000 ICU Beds, four Alpha Active 4 mattresses, B-Braun Infusion Pumps, Syringe Pumps, Multi-Parameter patient monitors and bedside lockers
The FBO had also refurbished and equipped the ICU in the Surgical Emergency section of the hospital.
The Head Pastor of RCCG, Apapa Family, Idowu Iluyomade, spoke at the inauguration of the units and handing over of the equipment.
Iluyomade said that the donation was part of the church’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities.
According to him, the church has been partnering the state government in the area of health, to ensure that quality healthcare is accessible to all that needed it.
“We believe that one of the duties of the church is to serve God and humanity; this is just another milestone in our corporate social responsibility projects.
“We have been serving the state, most especially, in the last 10 years; we have mobile clinics, hospitals and we feed people in the state.
“We want to ensure that the people are healthy and have good quality healthcare, “ he said.
In his response, the Chief Medical Director of LASUTH, Prof. Adewale Oke, said that the gesture should be emulated by well-meaning Nigerians.
Oke was represented by the Director, Clinical Services and Training, LASUTH, Dr Ayoade Adedokun.
“This huge donation made by RCCG, Apapa Family, to upgrade our ICU facility to a more conducive one is quite laudable.
“This humanitarian feat will assist tremendously in the management and treatment of patients,’’ Oke said.
He urged well-meaning Nigerians including NGOs, corporate organisations and individuals to partner the government in several areas of the hospital activities.
Oke said, “ For instance, there can be the expansion of some facilities that are currently on ground; this will encourage more people to come for treatment.
“There are many areas people can assist; for instance, in the area of kidney transplantation, well-meaning Nigerians can also come on board.
“There are many people who require this kind of service but are unable to pay for it,’’ he said.
Also speaking, the Head, Department of Anesthesia and ICU, LASUTH, Dr Adetinu Majekodunmi, said there was still the need to upgrade the facilities at the hospital’s ICU.
“Some of our equipment need to be upgraded and some structural changes made; the ventilators and monitors need to be upgraded and we need additional beds in the Critical Care Unit.
“The way forward is making sure that the equipment donated are serviced and maintained and other essential things needed to be put in the unit are provided for,’’ she said.
In his remarks, the Chairman, Health Service Commission, Dr Bayo Aderiye, said that government was addressing the area of human capacity as it was currently recruiting health personnel.
“The idea is to make sure all the hospitals have enough personnel so that the problem of shortage will be solved once and for all; it is a continuous exercise.
“Employing more personnel will help a lot in discipline; when workers are stressed or over worked, there is this human tendency to do some things they ought not to do, “ he said.

Over 300 Single Parents Receive Free Medical Treatment In Lagos

Chioma Umeha
More than 300 Single Parents on weekend, received free medical treatment during the unveiling of a non-governmental organisation called, Poverty Aid Uplifting Lives (PAUL).
The event tagged, ‘Journey of Single Parents across the Nation,’ held at the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) Lagos, women who gathered from all parts of the busy commercial city got medical attention ranging from free malaria and hypertension tests to treatment as well as weight check.
Apart from the free medical treatment, 50 single parents were selected for free economic empowerment. Similarly, 100 people qualified for a raffle draw which attracted different prizes. Another 20 people went home with 50kg bag rice respectively, while each participant went home with souvenirs and free foodstuffs.
Addressing journalists on the focus on single parents, the National Coordinator of PAUL, Unoma Ebun said a lot of NGOs have done one thing or the other on women or children, but none has ever targeted single parents.
“I am a single mother, so I really know how it is. Though I had a fantastic support system; my family, my child father, friends were all by my side, yet I didn’t find it easy.
So when the international body said they wanted to start a foundation and wanted me to be part of it, I therefore suggested that we should target single parents, especially single mothers,” she explained.
According to Ebun, PAUL foundation is committed to implementing social and economic empowerment to see a society where the disadvantaged persons have equal opportunity to fulfill their economic potential.
Also speaking to journalists, Paul Nesbitt, the President of the foundation said the focus is to alleviate poverty in the society, especially among single mothers and unemployed.
“I noticed that the pains on the faces of people. In Ireland where I come from, the government looks after pregnant women, they provide money weekly to support the mother and her child. But, that doesn’t happen in Nigeria so that’s why I found the NGO in Nigeria.
One of the trustee members, Femi Adetunji, a lawyer, Justicequest Partners, also said the programme is basically about creating a balance; a level playing field for all the people who are bereaved who lost their husbands, people whose wives absconded, or people who got pregnant at young age and had to go through the burden of parenting their children alone.
“This is all about single parenting; balancing the odds, ensuring that we give them a level playing field, an opportunity for them to succeed with their children. As a lawyer, we provide the legal backings to ensure that they work within the confines of law.

Forex Scarcity, Greatest Challenge Of Experts In IVF – Dr Ajayi

Dr Abayomi Ajayi, Managing Director, Nordica Fertility clinics, told journalists at Nordica Bon Bon family fiesta held recently to mark this year’s International Children’s Day that foreign exchange (Forex) scarcity is the greatest challenge of experts in IVF practice. CHIOMA UMEHA was there. Excerpts:
What do you consider as a main challenge to Nigerian experts in IVF practice in view of recession?
The greatest challenge we have which every business has now in Nigeria is the scarcity of foreign exchange because we are heavily dependent on foreign exchange (Forex). Everything we use is imported, If we want to do IVF, everything is imported, therefore it costs money. And there is a limit to which you can increase your prices. Every challenge is just like what every other entrepreneur in Nigeria will encounter and we are also dependent on generators. For example, we have three generators and a transformer in each of our clinics.
Do you have suggestions on how federal government can assist practitioners to make IVF more accessible?
Everybody is affected by the recession. But, the greatest challenge we are facing now is foreign exchange and even the federal government is affected.

What the federal government can do to help is to ensure that we don’t have quacks, so that people who pay out of pockets will get value for what they are paying for. We have an association through which we are trying to do that, but you know that there is no association that has the ability to police policies and laws. So even if we say; some clinics are not doing it right and there is no power to police and say – we need to shut such clinics down, people will continue to go there.
Another issue is that some people who don’t know much about IVF look at cost. That’s not how to go about IVF. This is because there are different things that are involved when you are doing IVF and this depends on what the problems is. That’s what determines the treatment and probably the kind of technology that will be applied to a person.
The first thing is that our people need to know more about IVF just like every other part of health. They need to be more conscious about how things work,and then we can confront some of these people (quacks) who are doing some funny things.
Very soon Lagos state will be introducing compulsory health insurance for residents in Lagos. Do you think that will help people that need IVF?
I have not looked at what they are doing, but I know that if any insurance that is done in the past is anything to go by, it is not going to help IVF, so it’s not likely to do anything to improve access to IVF.
Recently, Mrs. Folashade Akiode received special recognition and cash gift during the Nordica Bon Bon family fiesta held to mark this year’s International Children’s Day for breaking all medical rules of menopause and having her set of triplets seven years ago, at age 57.Are you saying that at Nordica, age is no barrier and that anybody can walk in to undergo In vitro fertilization (IVF)?
Age has never been a barrier, but the fact that we have technology doesn’t mean we should use it anyhow. So what we try to do is to limit the age at which you can have IVF. We try as much as possible to limit the age at which people can have IVF to avoid abuse of technology.
A 60-year-old can have IVF, but we try not to do that in Nordica for so many obvious reasons because children are going to grow up in future and I don’t imagine a 70-year-old looking after a child,it’s really very tough, that’s why we try to put an age limit to it.
The truth is that the oldest mother in the world is 70 years. So,it is possible to have IVF at age70 as long as you are healthy and energetic, so age is not really a barrier.
Mrs. Folashade Akiode delivered her children at 57. She actually had triplet, but one died during the neonatal period. Her children would be about five years today.
Apart from Mama Akiode, another mother was recognised during the party which was organised by Fertility Awareness Advocacy Initiative (FAAI) with collaboration from Nordica Fertility to celebrate children born through IVF. What was the recognition for?
Well,the recognition was for the largest number of children in a family from Nordica. That family had six children from Nordica, that’s why we chose to recognise them, they had them two times. The first was a single term and the second and last one, was five children.
Tell us about recent Children’s Day celebration by FAAI and Nordica
Well,it is tagged – Nordica Bon Bon Family Fiesta, a celebration of the Children’s Day. In Nordica, we complete family and we have a working alliance with FAAI, they decided that we should celebrate the children and agreed to sponsor it. We are celebrating the lives of our children because to them belong the future of Nigeria and the world, so they are worthy of celebration. Since there is a day dedicated to celebrating children, we just thought it would be nice for us to join the world to celebrate our children.
What is In Vitro Fertilisation?
In Vitro Fertilisation is an assisted reproductive technology (ART) commonly referred to as IVF. IVF is the process of fertilisation by extracting eggs, retrieving a sperm sample, and then manually combining an egg and sperm in a laboratory dish. The embryo(s) is then transferred to the uterus. Other forms of ART include gamete intra-fallopian transfer (GIFT) and zygote intra-fallopian transfer (ZIFT).
Why is IVF used?
IVF can be used to treat infertility in the following patients when they have blocked or damaged fallopian tubes; male factor infertility including decreased sperm count or sperm motility.
IVF can also be performed on women with ovulation disorders, premature ovarian failure, uterine fibroids; women who have had their fallopian tubes removed; individuals with a genetic disorder and unexplained infertility.

NIMR Holds 2017 Molecular Biology Workshop

Chioma Umeha
The Molecular Biology and Biotechnology Department of Nigeria Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) will be holding its seventh annual Molecular Biology Hands-on-Training workshop.
This year’s Molecular Biology Hand-on-training workshop with the theme: “Protein Expression” will be a one-week event from August 7 to 11 at NIMR Conference room, Yaba, Lagos.
A statement on weekend, signed by Dr. SteIla Smith, the Workshop Coordinator, listed areas which the conference will focus on during the five-day Hands-on-Training workshop including, current methods in molecular biology and ethical issues of challenges in genetic research.
Other areas which the conference will cover include: Molecular evolution of viruses of public health importance – from Genomics to Proteomics; Introduction and principles of SDS-PAGE and Basic protein interaction techniques.
There will also be practical sessions on PCR, SDS-PAGE and Western Blotting, the statement said.
The Molecular Biology hands-on-Training workshop started in 2009 with the theme ‘Molecular Biology and Biotechnology: Roadmap to Specific Diagnosis.’
The themes for the previous years are: ‘Molecular Biology: The Backbone of Evidence-based Medicine’ (2010); ‘Role of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology in Research and Development’ (2011).
Others are: ‘Emerging Infectious Diseases: Combating multi-drug resistance using molecular biology approach’ (2012); The Importance of Molecular Biology Typing Techniques in Disease Mapping’ (2013) and ‘Practical Applications of Genetic Markers’ (2014).
The idea of MBBT hands-on-training workshop was first muted informally in 2007/2008.
In 2009, a total of 48 participants were in attendance, with 2010, recording 40 participants. In 2011 and 2012, 12 and 14 participants respectively attended the workshop. In 2013, a total of 36 participants were in attendance and in 2014, 16 participants were in attendance.
Over the years a total of 166 participants have attended the hands-on-training workshop that had its spread across the six geopolitical zones.
The first two years witnessed guest speaker such as Prof. Bamidele Solomon (former DG, NABDA) and Dr. Ejifome, former member of NIMR Board) who chaired the workshop opening ceremony.

Gas Flaring: Cancer Rate Will Increase In Niger Delta – Prof. Utomi

Sunday Apah

Ughelli – A developmental economist, Prof. Pat Utomi has said that the rate of cancer will increase in the Niger Delta region in the near future, unless the current rate of gas flaring is checked to stop the degradation of the environment.
Prof. Utomi noted that a healthy environment is a heritage from our fathers, but sadly we may not be able to bequeath same to our children because of activities of oil majors and our poor attitude to environmental issues.
Presenting his keynote address at the second mid-year national conference of the Isoko Development Union (IDU) women’s wing weekend, with a theme; “Building Healthy People and Healthy Planet,” he stated that history will not treat us kindly if we fail to show concern about the environment.
While advocating for women empowerment through proper education, he said that this enable them to take actions that will mitigate environmental challenges in future. According to him, women are closer to the environment as caregivers.
He said: “There is no challenge that cannot be overcome by women, because they have milk of human kindness, therefore they are critical to development and if well educated, they can trigger up development when they apply their natural strength.”
Utomi who was given “Isoko Prestigious Award,” also said that there are enough resources in the world, but sadly there are high levels of poverty because of failure of leadership.” He added, “We have leaders who don’t have the political will, ‘the know-how and know why things are not changing.”
He explained that the starting point in escaping from poverty is proper education for our children and women, stressing that women are very important factor in the education of the children, especially in their moral upbringing.
On his youth empowerment programme, he noted that many youths leave school certificated, but lack the skill and workplace attitude.
He explained that the ‘Center for Value in Leadership’ emerged to fill this gap by equipping youths with the needed skills to become wealth creator through self mastering.
Earlier, in her welcome address, the President of IDU, Amb. (Mrs.) Caroline Usikpedo-Omoniye canvassed for social inclusion of women and 50/50 affirmative action on women participation in governance, noting that if implemented, it will boost development and also empower the womenfolk.

Muslim Community Seeks FG’s Commitment To Child Killer Diseases

*Pledges Support For FOMWAN/PACFaH
 Chioma Umeha
Muslim community of Lagos State weekend, assured their full support to work with Federation of Muslim Women’s Association in Nigeria (FOMWAN) in collaboration with Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health Project.
This group made this pledge during a courtesy call by FOMWAN/PACFaH to Central Mosque in Lagos Island soliciting the Muslim community’s support in pressurising the government to get committed in the four critical areas of child health which the FOMWAN/PACFaH’s advocacy is focused.
The areas include, proper management of childhood pneumonia and diarrhoea, routine immunization, nutrition and child spacing by increasing the budget to address them.
Hajia Adama Kachalla, the Programme Officer, while speaking at the event also wants the Chairman of the Muslim Community of Lagos State to educate his followers on the treatment of pneumonia and diarrhoea for under-five children in accordance with the government’s guideline which is adoption and listing of Amoxicillin DT as the first line drug.
Alhaji Fatimoh Balogun, Chairman of Muslim Community of Lagos State, expressed joy over the visit saying: “I am extremely delighted with your advocacy along with FOMWAN and other agencies. It is fantastic and I assure you that you are actually carrying out part of the duties of Muslim Community of Lagos State under health and social welfare. You are helping us to carry out our programme, why won’t we support you?” he rhetorically asked.
Commenting further he said: “We will give you all the necessary support as we reckon the public health areas that you are tackling – management of pneumonia and diarrhoea to be very important.
“This is because we know these diseases are great killers in our community based on our statistics. Also, we have programmes for routine immunisation, we have been visiting communities and donating vaccines for immunising their children, a way of helping the government, government cannot do it all.
“Then on nutrition, the enlightenment in this area is very important, so also child spacing which is family planning,” he noted.
As a seal to their support, he gave out some action plans which he drew to support FOMWAN/PACFaH’s advocacy.
“We need to formally write a comprehensive paper on this. We will go with you to the Commissioner for Health as representative of Muslim Community of Lagos State and other agencies of the coalition to make a formal presentation of the paper to the government. We will also present the comprehensive paper of our action plan to the Commissioner for Home Affairs and equally highlight the need for budget allocation to child health.
He however, emphasised on public enlightenment, saying that even when enough money is budgeted and released on those key areas that the public needs to be educated on the importance of immunisation, child spacing and others.
“Even if they devote 100 per cent of the budget to health, it is how this money is being spent that matters. For example, in the North sometime ago, vaccines were bought and people refused to take their children to get vaccinated out of ignorance. But, if they understand the importance of immunisation, that it’s for their own good, they will collaborate and cooperate with us.
“I am going to suggest also that we have flyers that will highlight the importance of these four factors that are great killers here. The flyers will be distributed to the Muslim organisations,” he said.
Alhaji Balogun also pledged that members of the Muslims Community of Lagos State along with its health and social welfare committee are going to collaborate to ensure that the comprehensive paper with action plans will be executed.

Ogun Vows To Promote Family Planning Programme

By Chioma Umeha

The Ogun State Government has vowed to intensify efforts on policies and programmes that would enhance family planning services to further reduce the maternal and child mortality rate in the state.
The State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Babatunde Ipaye made this known while playing host to the team from Pathfinder International, Nigeria and Executive of Advocacy Working Group (AWG), in his office, Abeokuta, Ogun state Capital
Dr. Ipaye in a statement made available by the Media Officer of the Advocacy Group, Mrs. Waliyat Odemakin, said all aspects of reproductive health including access to quality family planning had been incorporated in the ‘Araya’ Health Insurance Scheme which was made free for pregnant women and children under five years in the state.
The Commissioner assured that necessary process required for the operationalization of the National Task shifting / sharing policy in the state would be fast-tracked to address the challenges of lack of skilled health personnel and equitable distribution of qualified health care workers to health facilities for efficient service delivery.
“Though fund spent on family planning services are inadequate but the state government will gear more efforts to ensure that we promote policies and programmes on family planning to improve maternal and child health care in the state”.
That is more reason why the state government had incorporated access to free family planning services, Ante-natal, post Natal care for the pregnant mothers and under five children to benefit maximally from the “Araya” health insurance scheme”. Ipaye said.
The Commissioner who noted that his ministry would consistently monitor the activities of private health facilities on family planning services against quackery, saying government would not hesitate to sanction erring health worker found guilty of sabotaging state government efforts on its efficient health care delivery cardinal programme.
In his remark, the Associate Director, Pathfinder International, Nigeria, Dr. Habeeb Salami, said the organisation was passionate to strengthening and sustaining advocacy activities at ensuring uptake and access to quality family planning services for the state to achieve the Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR) target of 52.4% by 2018.
Contributing, the chairman, AWG, Ogun State Chapter, Mrs. Kemi Balogun said the group came on board to drive the implementation of family planning activities with the view of changing the landscape of family planning in the state.
“This group is concerned on the rate at which our women and children are dying as a result of pregnancy related complications which can be prevented by uptake and access to family planning services and we have put in place advocacy strategies to assist government, relevant stakeholders and the people at improving the well being of women, children and the family are also in places.” Balogun stated.

Manufactured Goods: PSN Lauds FG’s 40% Order On Local Content Policy

Chioma Umeha
Pharmacists under the aegis of Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) have hailed the Federal Government on the recent Executive Order on support for local content in public procurement.
Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo had on May 18, 2017, signed the Executive Order, which mandated all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government to give preference to local goods and services in their procurement activities.
The order also directed that made-in-Nigeria products should be given preference in the procurement of relevant items as it stipulated that 40 per cent of spending by the MDAs must be expended on locally manufactured goods and services.
A statement jointly signed by Pharm. Ahmed Yakasai, PSN President and Pharm Gbolagade Iyiola, PSN National Secretary, which was made available to Independent, noted that the federal government deserves commendation for deeming it fit to include locally manufactured medicines in the Executive Order as specified in its Section 4F of the order.
This move will surely give a boost to pharmaceutical industry in Nigeria by guaranteeing adequate medicines supply for our local needs as well as export that will earn foreign currency for the economy, the statement added.
PSN urged the players in the pharmaceutical companies to exploit this window of opportunity with all seriousness.
“Doing this will place the pharmaceutical industry on a pedestal where it will be able to contribute its own quota to the growth of the economy by providing employment opportunities to the teeming Nigerian youths.”
However, PSN urged government to operate this policy thrust with sincerity of purpose by ensuring that companies are paid promptly by MDAs after they make supplies to them.
Recently, government parastatals had been frustrating transactions between them and private players with huge burden of debts for supplies coupled with bureaucracy and corruption endemic in the system when payments are to be made, it noted.
PSN further called for a boost in the operating environments for the pharmaceutical industry.
According to the body of pharmacists, the operating environments need to be made more conducive with improvement in infrastructure, cheap loan facilities and a regime of tax holidays as we have been canvassing all along.
The group also pledged her continued commitment towards the realisation of sustainable access to affordable and quality medicines to Nigerians.

57-Year-Old Mother Of Triplets, Others Get Cash Gift

Chioma Umeha
History was made over the weekend, when a 57-year-old mother, Mrs. Folashade Akiode was honoured during the Nordica Bon Bon family fiesta held to mark this year’s International Children’s Day for breaking all medical rules of menopause and having her set of triplets seven years ago.
Mrs. Akiode who retired from the Lagos State Civil Service as Director of Service, but now doing her own business was married for 18 years before she had In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) at Nordica fertility Clinic, delivering a set of triplet.
Making the presentation of N50,000 to Mrs. Akiode, Dr Abayomi Ajayi, Managing Director, Nordica Fertility nationwide told journalists that the event which held in Lagos, was organised by Fertility Awareness Advocacy Initiative (FAAI) with collaboration from Nordica Fertility to celebrate children born through IVF.
Dr Ajayi also said that the main objective of NORDICA is to complete families, noting that age is not a barrier to achieving pregnancy through IVF.
The Fertility expert explained that Nordica also tries as much as possible to limit the age at which people can have IVF to avoid abuse of technology, recalling that the oldest mother in the world is a 70-year-old.”
For Mrs. Akiode, the gyneacologists explained, “She delivered her children at 57. She actually had triplet, a boy and wo girls, but the boy died during the neonatal period.”
“Age has never been a barrier but the thing that we have technology doesn’t mean we use it anyhow and so what we try to do is to limit the age at which you can have IVF.”
On the major challenge of fertility experts following the recession, Dr Ajayi said that power supply poses a challenge as fertility treatment industry are dependent on generators to do business. However, he acknowledged that there’s a limit to which fertility treatment centres can increase price.
He however called on the federal government for intervention and to help see that there are no quacks in the system, so that people who pay for the service can get value for their money, saying that when there are quacks those who think IVF is expensive will start patronising them.
Another family of Olayemi Sofunlayo who had six children through IVF were also awarded N100,000 for emerging the largest family from Nordica Fertility Centre during the occasion.
“Well, that was the largest children in the family from Nordica. They had the six children from Nordica, that’s why we chose to recognise them, they had them two times.” Dr Ajayi said.
While telling her story, the visibly excited Mrs. Akiode said that accessing IVF was not so expensive for her since she was working and even training other people.
Commenting, Engineer Oladipo Soetan, treasurer of FAAl, said, “We are the support group to Nordica facility. We have an association that comes to create awareness among people who are looking for babies. There are many families out there whose families are not completed, we have passed through Nordica. In view of this we came together to form an association to create awareness to the general public to know that IVF babies are normal babies. Many people run from IVF, thinking that IVF children are not normal and we are here to say that IVF babies are normal babies, very intelligent with high IQ. As parents we are spreading the gospel for people should do IVF if they have challenges with fertility.
“l have one boy, Emmanuel, after 19 years of fruitless marriage, at that time my wife was close to 50 before we had him. Actually if you see him he looks like me. We are like identical brothers. By July he will be nine.”
Mrs. Tola Ajayi, Clinic Manager, Nordica Fertility Centre, said that the Nordica Bon Bon family fiesta was organised to create awareness about IVF, adding, “the only unique thing about the goals of the party is that it will address that issue of difficulty for parents to identify with IVF, to say, ‘We did IVF.’ “That’s the issue and it took some efforts for us to be able to get them to come for the party.”

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