The National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has said contrary to report that 70 per cent of medicine in circulation in the country are fake, only about 15 per cent have been confirmed to be substandard.
Speaking at the official inauguration of 73 vehicles acquired by the agency to help in its enforcement operations, the Director General of the agency, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye said as part of the consideration for certification of the Maturity Level 3 by the World Health Organisation (WHO), NAFDAC had developed capacity to detection of fake drugs.
She said: “There was a rumour that about 70 per cent of medicine in circulation within the country are fake. That is not true. It is about 13 per cent or 15 per cent because we doing what called risk-based sampling for products that we know can be easily faked.
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“It is part of consideration for our maturity Level 3. It is part of the capacity that earned us the Maturity Level 3.
“We have mechanisms in place to go after any product that could be easily faked and then resolve it and know how much of it is there.
“But we are going to be mitigating it. As we speak, our staff are uploading some tools on their laptops and we are going to using a device that cost about $57,000 each and we need 40 of them.”
Adeyeye also spoke on the progress of expansion work at the agency’s vaccine laboratory at Oshodi in Lagos state, saying that it will be ready within the next 12 months.
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No going back on December strike – UK nurses
Nurses across the UK are set go on strike after ministers rejected their pleas for formal talks over NHS pay.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) says there is no going back on the individual action, declaring that its members will stage the national strike – the first in its 106-year history – on 15 and 20 December.
The industrial action is expected to last for 12 hours on both days – most likely between 8am and 8pm.
The unprecedented national industrial action will seriously disrupt care and is likely to be the first in a series of strikes over the winter and into the spring by other NHS staff, including junior doctors and ambulance workers.
The RCN said it had confirmed the dates after the UK government turned down its offer of formal, detailed negotiations as an alternative to industrial action.
“Ministers have had more than two weeks since we confirmed that our members felt such injustice that they would strike for the first time,” said the RCN general secretary, Pat Cullen. “My offer of formal negotiations was declined and, instead, ministers have chosen strike action.
“They have the power and the means to stop this by opening serious talks that address our dispute. Nursing staff have had enough of being taken for granted, enough of low pay and unsafe staffing levels, enough of not being able to give our patients the care they deserve.”
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The strikes will take place in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The RCN will announce which particular NHS employers will be affected next week, when formal notifications are submitted, it said.
In Scotland, the RCN has paused announcing strike action after the Scottish government reopened NHS pay negotiations.
The strikes are taking place after a series of individual ballots were held at NHS trusts and boards, rather than one national ballot.
At more than 40% of England’s hospitals, mental health and community services nurses will not be entitled to strike because the turnout was too low in those ballots. Action can happen, however, at all of Northern Ireland’s health boards and all but one in Wales.
FG: Over 1.6 Million Nigerians Now on HIV Treatment
The federal government has said it has been able to put 1,619,133 persons living with HIV on regular treatment.
The number represents 98 per cent of the population that had tested positive to the virus.
It said based on the findings it made, government was working towards expanding the points of service from the current 6,000 to about 40,000 locations identified in the mapping across the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The Director General of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Dr. Gambo Aliyu who gave an update on government’s efforts, described the achievement as a significant leap when compared to 838,020 persons captured in the treatment net in 2017.
Addressing stakeholders and the media at a press conference to flag off this year’s World AIDS Day in Abuja, Aliyu said the theme of this year’s World AIDS Day which was, “Equalise to End AIDS: Equal Access to Treatment and Prevention Services,” seeks to end unequal access to HIV prevention and treatment among vulnerable population groups.
He said the objective was to promote equal access across population that were marginalised, among the vulnerable and key affected population groups by removing economic, social, cultural and legal barriers to HIV prevention services across population groups that are vulnerable to HIV.
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According to the NACA boss, Nigeria’s success story was evident from the significant dip in the HIV prevalence of 3.4 per cent in 2017, to a population based prevalence of 1.3 percent in 2018
“As at the end of September 2022 we have 1,619,133 persons on treatment, which represents a significant leap when compared to 838,020 persons in 2017.
“Our treatment sites have increased from 251 in 2007 to 2,262 in 2020,” he said.
Aliyu disclosed that new HIV infections have gradually declined from 103,404 in 2019, to 92,323 in 2021.
He added that significant growth in key population treatment centres have risen from 10 in 2017, with a coverage of 16,147 to 118 in 2021 with coverage of over 221,010
Also, he said pre-COVID 19 Molecular laboratory assessment done in 27 sites was now in over 100 sites accessible for prevention and treatment purposes
In the same vein, Aliyu said through Alignment 2.0 HIV prevention and treatment was now shifting ownership to states while guaranteeing continued partnership and support from Donors
He noted that the launch of N62 billion Trust Fund of Nigeria (HTFN) was a further step towards sustained country level funding and ownership of the national response.
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