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Updated: Lagos medical college shut as students, workers contract COVID-19, contact tracing begins

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The Lagos State University College of Medicine says it has shut down its campus in Ikeja after some students and members of staff of the institution tested positive for COVID-19.

Head, Centre for Information, Press and Public Relations of the Lagos State University, Ademola Adekoya, confirmed this in a statement titled ‘Lagos State University College of Medicine close hostel as three students test positive for COVID-19’.

The student union, in a separate statement, said the test results showed that some students and workers of the college were COVID-19 positive.

Adekoya said those affected had been isolated; their roommates already being tested, just as the authorities had begun tracing all those that must have had contact with the affected students.

Part of the statement read, “The management of Lagos State University wishes to inform staff, students and the general public that three students of the Lagos State University College of Medicine have tested positive for COVID-19 leading the college to immediately close down all her hostel facilities.

“In addition, stakeholders are also informed that roommates of the three students who tested positive and their associates are being tested.

“The college already isolated the affected three students and has commenced contact tracing of all affected students.

“The hostel facilities were immediately closed for decontamination upon confirmation of the status of the affected students.

“All students of the College have been advised to proceed home to self-isolate for the next 14 days from where their health status will be monitored by the College. Phone numbers/contacts of all students are already obtained to that effect.

“Any students showing symptoms at home are to contact the college through dedicated lines for necessary assistance/treatment.

“Meanwhile, the college has handed treatment packs to all three who tested positive.

“The college is also providing psychological support to the three students who tested positive and their roommates.

“Parents, guardians and the general public are assured that the safety of all staff and students is of top priority and the Lagos State University as a whole will continue to enforce compliance with COVID-19 guidelines and protocols to ensure the safety of all within her campuses.

“Management also again enjoins all students, staff and the general public to take personal responsibility and continue to observe COVID-19 guidelines as the virus is real and deadly.”

The student union’s statement said the provost of the college mandated every student to evacuate the hostel and isolate themselves at home for two weeks with effect from Friday January 15.

The union said courses and examinations had been put on hold, adding that a communique containing modalities for school resumption would be circulated after the two-week isolation period.

It said, “Owing to the present reality of the COVID-19 we are faced with and after an evidence-based investigation that some students and college staff have been confirmed positive for coronavirus, the provost has mandated that every student to evacuate the hostel and isolate themselves at home for the next two weeks effective from Friday 15th January. This was a decision made at an emergency academic board meeting.

“The provost advised that any student with likely/ classical symptoms of the virus should fill a form which shall be sent across board in the shortest time possible and the concerned individuals shall be called upon for testing tomorrow whilst they await the results of their test at home.

“The provost also reiterated that the college isolation bay would be set up within the two weeks of isolation and complete evacuation of students from the college arena.

“We strongly encourage everyone to strictly adhere to the COVID-19 guidelines as stated by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control in a bid to help mitigate the spread and impact of the deadly virus within and beyond the college arena.”

 

COVID-19

Ogun bags best performing state award in RI, Covid-19 vaccination

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Ogun State Deputy Governor, Engr. Noimot Salako-Oyedele

The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has declared Ogun  as the overall best performing state in the SouthWest on Routine Immunisation (RI) and Covid-19 Vaccination.

This was contained in a statement made available by the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Tomi Coker in Abeokuta, after the conferment of the award at the Immunisation Performance Award ceremony, held in commemoration of the 2022 African Vaccination Week in Abuja.

Coker, according to the Press Officer, Ogun State Primary Health Care Development Board (OGSPHCDB),  Yemisi Fashola, quoted that the award was in recognition of the state’s commitment and support towards improving the performance on Routine Immunisation and other primary health care activities in the country.

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The Commissioner stated that the award was received by the Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, who was represented by his Deputy, Engr. Noimot Salako-Oyedele.

While appreciating the Federal Government for deeming it fit to recognize the efforts of the State government at improving the wellbeing of its citizenry, Coker attributed the award to the support and hard work of the total health force, as well as the cooperation of residents in the State.

The Health Commissioner, who hailed the health workers for their efforts, said the African vaccination week was geared towards strengthening immunisation programmes in African region, by increasing awareness on the importance of every person’s need and right to be protected from vacation- preventable diseases.

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COVID-19: NAFDAC boss confirms Nigeria’s vaccines meet global standard

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NAFDAC Director General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has confirmed that vaccines produced in Nigeria including those for COVID-19, will be of “internationally acceptable standard”.

NAFDAC Director General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, made the affirmation in a press statement signed by the Agency’s Resident Media Consultant, Sayo Akintola

Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, the statement indicated made the disclosure during an oversight visit to the NAFDAC facilities and COVID-19 laboratory projects in Lagos last week Friday, by the House of Representatives Committee on COVID-19.

She described the Federal government’s FG huge spending on the fight against the virus as exemplified by the construction of the new laboratory, equipped with modern instruments and amenities at the Agency as a wake-up call for the country.

Prof. Adeyeye noted with dismay that the health sector had hitherto been neglected before the present administration responded through the COVID-19 Committees of the National Assembly, ‘’particularly the members that are here today’’.

In order to ensure that the health sector is strengthened, the NAFDAC asserted that the regulatory Agency must be strengthened.

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“If the regulatory agency is not strengthened, the industry will not be strengthened,’’ she said, adding; ‘’we have the African Free trade Agreement already here with us now for the nation’s pharmaceutical industry to take advantage of with quality products.’’

She added: ‘’there will be a lot of competition and if NAFDAC’s laboratory is not strengthened, we will not be able to compete’’.

‘’For vaccines, we are hoping that the vaccine facilities from the public- private partnership will soon happen’’, warning that ‘’but if the regulatory agency is not strong, we can make vaccines that will destroy our own people’’.

With NAFDAC now very strong with WHO Maturity Level 3 certification, Prof. Adeyeye enthused that ‘’Nigeria can now make her own vaccines and we can assure the populace that there is quality in whatever is being manufactured because of NAFDAC’s strength’’.

On the impact of COVID-19 fund has, she said this should resonate well with the whole country, that if you put the right people in the right places, then the vision of the government can be realized.

‘’Whatever approvals that are being given by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on funding our activities, you can actually touch such and this is what has happened here today’’, Prof. Adeyeye excitedly told the visiting lawmakers.

She commended the House COVID-19 committee, and the Healthcare Services Committee of the 9th Assembly for committing to ensuring that NAFDAC as a regulatory agency is known internationally.

Speaking in the same vein, Chairman, House Committee on COVID-19, Haruna Mshelia commended the NAFDAC boss and her team for leveraging on latest technology to upgrade the Agency to a standard that is next to none in Africa.

“We have seen with our eyes how they have leveraged on latest technology to upgrade the organization to a standard that is next to none in Africa. I think they need to be commended. We have seen the warehouse. We have now seen the laboratory which is under construction. They have gone very far, and the standard of the construction is good’’, he said.

He added: “We have also seen the equipment awaiting to be installed in the laboratories. I have to say kudos to the DG and her team for getting good value for money as far as COVID-19 funds for NAFDAC is concerned. Other Agencies should come to NAFDAC and learn how they have leveraged on ICT to move their organization forward so that everywhere our standard can be uplifted with everyone seeing it” Mshelia advised.

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FG to test locally-made COVID-19 vaccine in November

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The COVID-19 vaccine developed by the Federal Government is set for trial by November

The PUNCH reports that the project, which is a mega research grant intervention tagged,  ‘Accelerated development of COVID-19 vaccines using innovative technological approach’, is a collaborative effort involving cluster researchers from five different institutions to consolidate problem-solving research and promote innovation in the country.

The PUNCH had earlier reported that Tertiary Education Trust Fund awarded a total of N1.25bn to four clusters of researchers.

One of the clusters, which is the Vaccine Production Cluster, got a total grant of N450m.

According to a statement by TETFUND and made available to our correspondent in Abuja, the VPC is made up of researchers from the National Veterinary Research Institute Vom; Usman Danfodiyo University Sokoto; Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Jos; Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, Lagos; and National Research Institute for Chemical Technology, Zaria.

The statement titled, ‘TETFund-sponsored COVID-19 vaccine ready for trial November’ read in part, “The Vice Chancellor of Usman Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Prof Lawal Bilbis, who led the team of researchers to brief the Executive Secretary of TETFund, Sonny Echono, on the progress so far explained that they were able to make the breakthrough through the maximum support of the fund.

“He recalled how the COVIC-19 pandemic ravaged and unleashed untold hardship on humanity globally, noting that Nigeria was only saved by divine intervention, since the nation was not prepared for such eventuality.

“TETFund believed in us and supported us to get to where we are now. That is why we have come to give a firsthand report on the progress made so far.”

A presentation by Dr Bashir Bello of Usman Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, revealed that it had become a matter of urgency for Africa to join the rest of the world in the production of its own vaccine, as it was estimated that the continent currently imports 99 per cent of its vaccines and consumes 25 per cent of global vaccine supply.

-The Punch

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