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Welcome to a Pot Pourri of reports from our stable. This will grant you a window into hot topical reports of National interest issuing out of the largest Radio Network in West Africa.

REPORTS

33rd Kano international Trade Fair commences
Mujtaba Ramalam
Kano


Vice President, Namadi Sambo says dialogue is the only solution to conflict resolution.

The Vice President stated this in a message to the opening of the 33rd Kano International trade fair with the theme "Peace as Panacea for Economic Development".

Represented by the Acting Managing Director, Nigeria Free Trade Zone, Mr. Ted Nnongo, Sambo said the nation’s industrial development would be achieved when conflicts are not allowed to become rancorous.

The State Governor, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, represented by his Deputy, Alhaji Abdullahi Ganduje said the state would collaborate with the private sector to enhance industrial development.

Earlier in the remark, the Chairman, Kano chamber of commerce, Industry Mines and Agriculture, Alhaji Ahmed Rabiu said a total of eight countries are participating at the fair.


FG to send delegation to John Cardinal Onaiyekan consecrated

Femi Bobade
President Goodluck Jonathan is sending a delegation, headed by Senate President David Mark, to represent the Federal government at the consecration of John Cardinal Onaiyekan by Pope Benedict at the Vatican tomorrow.
Other members of the delegation are the Chief of Staff to the President, Chief Mike Oghiadomhe, the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, the FCT Minister of State, Olajumoke Akinjide and the Chaplain of the Presidential Villa Chapel, Veneral Obioma Onwuzurumba.
President Jonathan has also mandated the delegation to stop over in Hanover, Germany to visit Taraba State Governor Danbaba Suntai, who is receiving treatment, for injuries sustained in a , plane crash.
The delegation which is expected to leave Abuja today is due back on Sunday.


Need for collaboration to tackle terrorism emphasized

By Chukwuma Agbanusi


The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur says there is need for Nigerians to collaborate in tackling insecurity and underdevelopment.

He stated this in Abuja at a dinner hosted in honour of the appointment of Air Marshal Alex Badeh as the Chief of the Air Staff.

Alhaji Bamanga Tukur said security should not be left to the security agencies alone but Nigerians need to unite in the fight against terror.

He stressed that education remains the major key to transforming the country.


The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Azuibuike Ihejirika pledged a renewed commitment of the military towards ensuring the security of the nation.

The occasion, under the auspices of the Adamawa Community Association, had top military and civilian personnel from Adamawa State and other parts of the country in attendance to honour Air Marshal Alex Badah.


Avocats Sans Frontieres France wants Nigeria to halt death penalty 

BY BOSE IJELEKHAI

An International Organisation working on issues of access to justice and freedom, Avocats Sans Frontieres France, wants the Nigerian Government to reform its criminal justice system with a view to halting death penalty.

Marking the World Day against Death Penalty, the Organisation’s Head of Mission, Ms Celine Lemmel said the Nigeria’s constitution guarantees right to life but also permits execution of such life upon pronouncement of the court. This, scenario she said was not justifiable under the International law.

Other speakers on the occasion however advocated death penalty for more serious offences that involve the loss of lives.

The debate on the abolition of death penalty has been ongoing for more a decade and there are divergent views on the issue.

While some believe that death sentence does not prevent capital offences such as murder, armed robbery, treason and kidnapping, others are of the opinion that it serves as deterrent to perpetrators.

Avocats Sans Frontieres is among those calling for the abolition of capital punishment because the system was capable of eliminating innocent citizens.

Ms Celine Lemmel explained the stance of the Organisation.

Currently there are 800 inmates on death row in various prisons in Nigeria. Majority of who cannot afford the services of a lawyer let alone counsel of their own choice. In most cases, their convictions are based on confessional statements made under duress during interrogation by the law enforcement agencies. Besides, these agencies lack apparatus to carry out forensic investigation.

While supporting the review of the law on death penalty, the Director Human Right Institutes with Nigeria’s National Human Rights Commission, Mrs. Oti Ovrawah, said death sentences should only be pronounced where lives were lost. She further explained,

 For instance in the event of robbery cases where loss of life does not occur, case by case reviews need to be considered to enable the use of other sentences instead of the death penalty which is prescribed by the laws in operation today.

The representative of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr. Adekola Mustapha, held that the criminal justice system in the country was no longer in conformity with International laws. According to him,

Some of these procedures were inherited from England and some of the laws that are in place now have even been repealed by England. They are no longer operational. And yet these are the procedures that must be followed before sentence can be passed on someone.

The tenth of October every year was set aside by the International community to campaign against the use of capital punishment around the world and advocate an adoption of a moratorium on death penalty, that is, to restrict the number of offences punishable by death and to respect the rights of those on death row.

Between 2002 and 2012, 141 countries have abolished death sentences in law and in practice while 97 countries have abolished death penalty for all crimes.

Web sites:

www.worldcoalition.org/international-law-abolition-protocols

www.nhrcnigeria.org


UNODC kicks off campaign on moral values

BY BOSE IJELEKHAI

A programme to restore moral values and human dignity among Nigerians has been launched in Abuja by the United Nations Office on Drugs and crimes, UNODC.

The sensitization programme tagged ‘ I Am Priceless’ is designed to expose the dangers inherent in human trafficking and smuggling of migrants.

How much will you sell a human being, how much can you sell a man? New names have been given to slavery. What laws will determine how much a man or a woman is worth? Sell me now if you can - I Am Priceless -

A poet, Mr. Ekene Atusiubah recited this poem to Probe the consciousness of Nigerians on the need to value life above material gains.

Attempts to get a better life and escape poverty, violence and other social vices are some of the reasons influencing some Nigerians to seek alternatives abroad. The restricted and expensive nature of legal migration, however forces many of them to opt for illegal means of getting to their destinations in Europe. Many of them meet their deaths along the way while others face untold hardship abroad.

Most victims who live to tell their stories often confess that they were made to believe that opportunities in Europe were very easy to come by but regretted that they were deceived.

The country representative of UNODC, Mrs. Mariam Sisoko says it is in bid to raise awareness on the realities, dangers and impacts of irregular migration that the campaign -I Am Priceless- was launched in collaboration with NAPTIP and the Nigeria Immigration Service.

The overall objective is to strengthen national capacity to better combat trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants in order to maximize the developmental potentials of migration, she said.

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of justice, Mohammed Adoke who said human trafficking and smuggling of migrants had become a source of concern to government, explained that measures were being adopted to curtail the trend. He explained that,

As part of its efforts, the Federal Ministry of justice is in the process of conveying an inter-ministerial meeting of all relevant stakeholders to adopt appropriate strategies to combat trafficking nationwide.

The three year campaign -I Am Priceless- is funded by the European Union.

Highlights of the occasion included the presentation of UNODC Goodwill Ambassadors for Human Trafficking and Smuggling of migrants. They are, Actress Joke Silver and a musician, Mr. Jude Abaga alias M.I.


States to improve transparency in public finance       

BY Biodun Dare          

The enactment of fiscal management laws by state Governments will help to improve the transparency in public finance.

The formulation and adherence to such laws would improve budget performance and ensure that funds are used for the purpose they were set aside.

The Chairman of the Fiscal Responsibility Commission, Alhaji Jibril Yelwa said this when he received a team of the Taraba State Fiscal Responsibility Commission on a study visit to his agency.

Alhaji Jibril said the Commission would establish a training school to build the capacity of states interested in setting up their own Fiscal Responsibility Agencies.

Responding, the Chairman, Taraba State Fiscal Responsibility Commission, Mr. Benjamin Ibisu, said the law setting up the body was passed by the state last year.

He requested technical support from the Federal Fiscal Commission to enable the state Commission deliver on its mandate.

Mr. Ibsisu said the fiscal responsibility Commission Abuja was already established, so they had have come to learn from the federal arm to see how the structure of the Commission was supposed to look with regards to the methods of operations and all it would  take.

The Fiscal Responsibility Commission was established in 2007 to provide for prudent management of the nation’s financial resources and long term economic stability.            


Defence HQs to organise training on Cyber techniques 

By Chukwuma Agbanusi

About three hundred personnel consisting of the Military, Paramilitary and Civilians are to be trained on Cyber Security techniques to curb crime in the society and the economy at large.

The Chief of Defense Communications, Air Vice Marshal Ndubuisi Amu stated this in Abuja while briefing newsmen on the Second edition of the World Cyber Conference due to hold later this month.

Air Vice Marshal Amu stressed that the conference was vital to fighting insecurity in the country.

He said the conference is aimed at building on the knowledge and awareness on the latest development in cyber crimes and its threats to national security with a view to developing strategies for containing them, especially as cyber crimes undermine the competence of Nigeria security agencies and expose information management systems to grave danger.

On the achievement of last year’s conference on Cyber Crime, he noted that awareness was the major target both to the military and civilian populace, which was achieved.

Air Vice Marshal Amu while answering questions from Journalists on Cyber Crime law, observed that the bill is still undergoing due process, and that the draft has been submitted to the Ministry of Justice.

 The topics to be handled at the conference include; Cyber Warfare: Building Offensive Capabilities to meet contemporary challenges, Protection of national infrastructure and integrated network security: the ICT dimension, Cashless society and the Implications for National Security. Others are; Military communications imperatives to meet contemporary security challenges and Space Applications and national security: NIGCOMSAT perspectives, while the theme of the conference is “Exploiting the Cyber and Space Resources to meet contemporary security Challenges”.


Professors meet to find way forward for Maths

BY ABIMBOLA AMOSUN

The body of Professors in Mathematics wants special techniques to be applied in the teaching of the subject to meet with international best practice.

At the 2nd National Conference of Professors of Mathematics and heads of mathematics departments of universities in Abuja, the Professors agreed that the general fear of the subject by students would be reduced when the teachers employ a one-on-one friendly approach.

The professors said there was the need to completely demystify the study of mathematics and other sciences at all level of education.

They expressed displeasure over the gradual decline in enrollment in post graduate studies in mathematical science in Nigeria.

A Nigerian specialist in analytical mathematics at the Sheffield Halam University, United Kingdom, Professor Patrick Ezepue was of the opinion that university lecturers should evolve modern ways to achieve global standard.

He stated that methods used in Nigerian Universities today, have to change if we are going to catch up with the international mathematical science community.

Prof Charles Chidume of the mathematics department at the African University of Science and Technology, Abuja affirmed that the meeting was to chart a new course for the National Mathematical Centre to achieve its mandate.

Professor Godwin Ekhaguere of the Mathematics Research Programme at the University of Ibadan said it was important to analyze the current challenges in teaching the subject especially at university levels.

According to him, the Math’s Center needs to know how mathematics is taught, supervise and applied in the country.

The acting Director-General of the National Mathematical Centre, Abuja, Professor Adewale Solarin said the conference would serve as an intervention to boost interest in mathematics in the higher institutions.

“In the next few years we shall focus on administration of mathematics departments, under graduate programme, post-graduate programme, post doctoral and research programmers”, he explained.

Professor Solarin called for cooperation from local and international science-based organizations to achieve sustainable teaching techniques in the country.


FUEL SITUATION WORSENS IN THE FCT       

 By Kayode Oyebisi

The fuel situation is becoming chaotic as more black markets are springing up due to fuel shortage in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

 More filling stations located between Berger and Wuse as well as the Airport Road were jam-packed, giving the impression that the days ahead may be tougher.

 FCT residents complain that the situation was beyond ordinary panic-buying,  even though they do not know why there is scarcity.

Motorists have been appealing to the government and oil marketers not to allow the current scarcity to linger.

At the Total and Conoil petrol stations opposite the NNPC Towers, more black market operators were brandishing Jerry cans of different sizes by the road side to attract customers.

The NNPC Mega station also had an unending queue of vehicles, which blocked the road linking the Central Area from Wuse Zone Two.

Parts of the road connecting Jabi and Utako were also blocked due to the rowdy situation around Mobil and a private petrol station.

NNPC and other relevant government Agencies are yet to give reasons for the fuel situation.

Already, transporters have doubled the fares for trips since the queues resurfaced on Monday.

Transporters told Radio Nigeria that they bought fuel from the black markets at N300 per litre.

Two weeks ago, the capital city experienced similar acute shortage of petrol occasioned by the strike by the oil marketers over subsidy claims.


NSCU wants Govt to punish oil subsidy probe culprits

By Saadatu Albashir

Nigeria Civil Service Union wants the federal government to take punitive action against individuals and organizations found culpable in the oil subsidy fraud.

President of the Union, Comrade Kiri Muhammad stated this in Abuja, at the centenary celebration of the Nigeria civil service Union.

“This is grave economic sabotage to this great country and we are strongly supportive to the stand of the Nigeria Labour congress’ call on the federal government to take drastic measures to investigate and prosecute the companies and organizations found involved in the subsidy crisis.”

Mr. Muhammad said the Union would continue to protect the right of civil servants. This he maintained could be achieved if government exposes those who misappropriate public fund.

The President, Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, Comrade Peter Esele called on trade unions in the country to develop new industrial strategies to conform with changes around the world.

On the occasion, the National president, Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Abdulwaheed Omar, said labour struggle is the most unifying factor among Nigerians and called on the unions to continue to protect the rights of workers.

The Nigerian civil service union was founded in 1912, to among other things, protect the interest of indigenous people, job security and improved condition of service of members.

The Union was also to serve as an avenue to enhance the condition of living of the local work force, under the employment of the colonial rulers.

The centenary celebration will feature the commissioning of the Union’s first secretariat in Abuja, named, CENTENARY HOUSE.

“This is grave economic sabotage to this great country and we are strongly supportive to the stand of the Nigeria Labour congress’ call on the federal government to take drastic measures to investigate and prosecute the companies and organizations found involved in the subsidy crisis.”


NHRC holds dialogue on good governance

BY BOSE IJELEKHAI

A National dialogue on Effective Leadership and Good Governance is being conveyed by the National Human Rights Commission as part of her efforts to sensitize the leaders on improving the living standards of the citizens.

At a news briefing in Abuja, the Executive Secretary of the Commission, Professor Bem Angwe explained that the inability of government to meet the socio-economic needs of the people had contributed to the myriads of problems facing the country.

 According to him, the Forum would proffer measures to ensure that people, particularly those at the grassroots feel the impact of governance.

“The Commission is going to provide an avenue for the leaders in this country to look inwards and then adopt appropriate strategies that will continually remind them of their commitments and obligations to the Nigerian people. The Commission is also going to monitor the activities of persons that have been placed in leadership position and remind them of their commitments to the people.”

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation,  Anyim Pius Anyim, the Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha and Non- Governmental Organisations made presentations at the National dialogue.

The dialogue is the third that is being held this year. The first and second discourse focused on Human Rights and Security; and Food Security as a Fundamental Human Rights.


Defence College marks 20th Anniversary 

BY Chukwuma Agbanusi

A former Head of State, Retired General Ibrahim Babangida has advocated collaboration between the Federal Government and the National Defence College in finding solutions to the persisting security challenges in the country.

At a lecture to mark the twentieth anniversary and graduation of Course twenty participants of National Defense College in Abuja, General Babangida said in developed nations Defense Colleges serve as the think-tank for problem solving especially in the field of security and Nigeria should not be an exception.                          

He noted that the vision of the Institution is on course in view of the fact that the military contribute to the deepening of democracy in the country.

“The idea behind establishing this college is to serve as a breeding ground for nurturing and creating new leaders for the Nigeria Armed Forces in particular: a cream of leaders that can well anticipate and respond to the changing global and domestic realities. The new orientation for the armed forces was even more significant at the time as Nigeria was in the midst of the transition to democratic governance. Reorienting the armed forces with the necessary ethos of operating under civil and democratic control was an absolute necessity. And no one can doubt the fact that this country is today reaping the benefits of that initiative and this is largely due to the roles played by this institution.” General Babangida said.

He however stressed that government should utilize potentials in the College in solving problems.

“My final point on the way forward for NDC is that it should be given more recognition as the leading institution providing solutions on security and defense issues to the government. It needs to be patronized by the relevant arms of government as is the case in other parts of the world. In this respect, the National Assembly should be interacting more closely with the NDC to use its services to assist in their work on defense and security.” He said.

Special guest on the occasion, the Minister of State for Defence, Erelu Olusola Obada was of the view that with the achievement s of the College, more research should be carried out on the security challenges facing the nation.

“Global interdependence, multi-literalism and the increasing threat of local and international terrorism has now become the norm in our present age. At times it seems as if we are overwhelmed by the growth and complexity of security challenges which also manifest as economic unrest, small arms and light weapons proliferations and drug trafficking just to mention a few. Clearly there is a need for our security needs to be met but through national strategic vision by effective coordination of our efforts at stabilizing our polity and ensuring national development. Therefore as the College looks forward to the next decade of its life, there is need for it to continue to evolve with the changing nature of its environment.” Erelu Obada said.

The Commandant of the College, Rear Admiral Thomas Lokoson observed that stronger Institutional framework in any nation remains the bedrock of growth, as such; the National Defence College should be given the necessary support.

“We also know that nations are as strong as their Institutions allow them to be. What this portends is that the stronger the Institutions, the stronger the nation. That is why all around the world, countries are investing heavily in building strong institutions that would be the engine of growth and development.” Rear Admiral Lokoson said.

The theme of the Anniversary and graduation lecture is “Strategic Vision and National Development: Reflecting on the Creation of the NDC 20 years after” and about 130 participants would be graduating in this batch.

The National Defence College was established on 16 June 1992 with temporary site in Lagos with thirty participants. In 1995, the College relocated to its present site in Abuja, which is also a temporary one. Known as National War College, the Institution was to provide strategic leadership qualities to top military officers in fashioning out better ways of solving current and future problems confronting the nation.


NNPC restates support for science education

BY KAYODE OYEBISI

As part of efforts to touch the lives of young Nigerians positively, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, has reiterated its commitment to the support of science based subjects in secondary schools in order to sustain the growth and development of the petroleum industry.

The Group Managing Director of the Corporation, Engineer Andrew Yakubu, attested to this during the Grand Finale of the 10th edition of the NNPC Annual National Quiz Competition in Abuja in which students representing Abia State emerged winners.

According to Yakubu, as a responsible organization, the NNPC will continue to support the Federal Government in its bid to encourage science education among youths and to develop the manpower for the future of the country.

“The NNPC National quiz competition is aimed at preparing the participants for promotional and qualifying examinations into tertiary institutions by improving science education and sharpening their competitive spirit”.

The GMD urged the students to take full advantage of every opportunity to develop themselves to be adequately prepared and equipped to fulfil the development aspirations of the country.

He said that most recipients of the Corporation’s scholarship instituted ten years ago have graduated with impressive results, adding that the emerging winners of the competition would be awarded scholarship for higher studies.

“In keeping with our usual tradition, the emerging winners of this competition will be awarded scholarships to any tertiary institution of their choice in Nigeria. The scholarship will cover the duration of their course of study”.

Speaking for the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Fidel Pepple averred that education is the foundation on which nations are built saying that NNPC has paid great attention to the national quiz competition because it is an instrument for enhancing science education and promoting cross cultural interaction among the students.

Mr. Pepple explained the position of the Corporation. “We have paid great attention to this national quiz competition because we see it as an instrument for enhancing science education in the country, coaching students towards their promotional and qualifying examinations, building friendships amongst them and enlightening students and the public on NNPC activities” he said.

Mr. Enyinnaya Kingsley, who spoke on behalf of the winners of the quiz competition, thanked the management of the NNPC for the competition and assured that the confidence reposed in them would not be misplaced.


Army uncovers a gun manufacturing factory in Nasarawa State

-By Chukwuma Agbanusi

The current security challenge has been a source of concern to all security outfits in the country. Of major concern is the proliferation of light arms and ammunitions in the society. To this end, the Nigerian military Set up check points in major streets and roads across the Country.

Recently, the Guards Brigade Nigeria Army uncovered a gun manufacturing factory in Takpa, Nasarawa State and arrested two suspects.

The suspects, in their mid forties, Bello Bulus and Iliya Noma, were arrested on Saturday by 10 o’clock in the night by the Army troop at the Akwanga-forest check point. They were found in possession of a locally made single barrel pump action gun. On interrogation, the suspects led the Army to the factory but the manufacturer allegedly known as Adogi Akolo was nowhere to be found.

According to Iliya Noma, he was not aware of his friend’s gun deals.

“I am a tractor operator, working with Chief of Panda. This guns I did not buy them. I was together with Mr. Bello Bulus when we were arrested. How they arrested us is that, I was together with him that day he come buy this gun. As I follow him to Lafia, he say make I follow him come to Bedi on going there his car could not pass the road to Bedi so we parked the vehicle at a village called Panda Sarki. So I waited for him there. He took a bike to Bedi. It is around 10 P.M, I say night don come so we will have to left till tomorrow. He said no problem we can still go buy now. He did not tell me it was a gun he went to buy. When we left and got to the check point, the army check the car and saw a black leather and ask us to open it. So when Bulus opened it, it was a gun. So they catch us there and take us to Lafia and ask us where we bought the gun. We took them to Adogi Akolo house but he was not there”.

Although more guns were found in the factory, Bello Bulus claimed it was his first time of buying one and it was just for protection of his family and nothing else.

“Sir, this is the first time am buying this thing. I am not the one that is making them. I bought it for protection for myself and family. Not all the guns that are here are mine. The other guns are owned by the manufacturer”.

Meanwhile, the Commander, Guards Brigade, Brigadier General Emmanuel

Atewe spoke on efforts to get hold of the owner of the factory, Adogi Akolo.

“The wife and one of the children are with us. We are making effort to ensure that he is arrested. I want to ask the public to cooperate with all the security agents and report this kind of illegal possession of weapons because there are some people that are trained to handle weapon. Weapon is not what you play with. Don’t be afraid to report it”.

Other items recovered from the factory include 11 quantities of Dane Gun, 2 locally made pistols, one welding machine, hand drilling machines and 3 bench devices. Others are 36 quantity of 7.62 NATO ammunitions, 39 of 7.62mm special ammunitions, charms and two Toyota vehicles.


NEW DRUG FOR TREATMENT OF TB IN SIGHT                                                                    

By Godwin Odemijie 

An approach to discover the first new tuberculosis combination drug regimen cleared a major hurdle when Phase II clinical trial results found it could kill more than 99 percent of patients’ TB bacteria within two weeks.

A study published in Lancet today says it can also be more effective than existing treatments.

 These results add to a growing body of evidence that the new regimen could reduce treatment by more than a year for some patients.

The findings from researchers and the non-profit TB Alliance raise hope for a treatment breakthrough amid the growing and dangerous epidemic of drug-resistant forms of TB that, in some cases, are becoming untreatable.

The clinical trial tested a combination of one completely novel drug candidate, a new TB drug candidate already approved to treat other infectious diseases, and one existing TB drug. These results, along with pre-clinical data, suggest that this novel combination could treat both drug-susceptible and some forms of drug-resistant TB in only four months. Currently, people with multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) require 18 to 24 months of treatment. Even those with ordinary TB need six months of taking drugs every day.

According to Mel Spigelman, MD, CEO and President of TB Alliance,

“These findings confirm the promise of novel TB regimens to be shorter, simpler, safer, and, compared with today’s MDR-TB drugs, much less expensive. The next trial to advance this regimen is already underway. We now have real momentum toward bringing to market treatments that will ultimately help save millions of lives.”

TB Alliance’s push to test new drugs in combination has been done to produce a regimen that not only would be faster and easier for patients, but also would tackle two other challenges as a major step in stopping the spread of drug-resistant TB—the complexity and high cost of treatment. This promising regimen eliminates the use of injectables and projects to reduce the cost of MDR-TB therapy by as much as 90 percent. www.tballiance.org

TB is one of the world’s most ancient and deadly infectious disease, dating back thousands of years and found in remains of Egyptian mummies. When HIV/AIDS exploded in the 1980s and 1990s, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, that epidemic triggered a historic jump in the number of TB deaths. An estimated 1.4 million people die from TB, and roughly 9 million people develop the disease, each year. One-third of all people on earth—nearly 2.5 billion people—have a latent form of TB.

The study, NC-001, or New Combination 1, was a two-week trial successfully completed at two centers in South Africa. It involved the new combination therapy called PaMZ, consisting of the novel TB drug candidate, PA-824; moxifloxacin, an established antibiotic not yet approved for use in first-line TB therapy and being developed in partnership with Bayer Healthcare AG; and pyrazinamide, an existing TB drug. NC-001 was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (www.gatesfoundation.org), the United States Agency for International Development, UK aid, and Irish Aid.

“Treating drug-sensitive and drug-resistant TB with the same regimen can simplify the delivery of TB treatment worldwide,” said Andreas Diacon, MD, the trial’s principal investigator and lead author of the Lancet study. “The results of this study give healthcare providers on the front lines of the TB epidemic hope for better, faster tools needed to stop this disease.”

A second trial called New Combination 2 (NC-002) was launched earlier this year to test the PaMZ combination over two months in patients, further advancing it through clinical development. NC-002 is currently enrolling patients and will be conducted at eight sites in South Africa, Tanzania and Brazil, and will build global capacity for TB trials.

In addition to these results, pharmaceutical companies are seeking regulatory approval for individual TB drug candidates—advances made possible by the existence of the most promising research pipeline for TB drugs in history. TB experts say any new drug for tuberculosis would be an extraordinary development, but that new TB drug combinations are potential game-changers due to their expected impact.

The NC-001 trial also validated the approach to development of novel regimens. Mario Raviglione, MD, Director of the Stop TB Department at the World Health Organization said testing multiple new TB drug candidates simultaneously has already proven to be a major advance. www.who.int/tb.about/en

“Because of testing drugs in combination, we have already saved several years in the research process to find new, effective regimens to treat TB,” Raviglione said. “The results look strongly promising from this early trial. If further testing holds up these results and the regimen is affordable in poor countries, it is huge progress. We could shorten drug regimens substantially for everyone, regardless of whether the form of TB is sensitive or multi-drug resistant. That would be a dramatic step forward.”

The results, presented today at the 2012 International AIDS Conference, in Washington, also reveal progress in the pursuit of an antiretroviral-compatible TB treatment, critical to treating the millions of people with TB/HIV co-infection.

Today, TB remains the largest killer of people with AIDS, but very often, TB and HIV treatments cannot be given together because of drug-drug interactions and side effects.


Stakeholders meet on maternal mortality

By Godwin Odemijie 

A two day Stakeholders meeting to seek ways on reducing maternal deaths in the country is in progress in Abuja.

The meeting is to institutionalizing maternal death as a tool to minimise maternal mortality in Nigeria.

Our health editor was at the opening session......


 

       Health Minister raises alarm increasing cases of cancer 

By Godwin Odemijie 

As Nigeria joins the International Community to mark the 2012 World Cancer Day, concern about the cause of the increasing cases of cancer in the country are heightened. Curious Health Commentators are raising objection to the siting of GSM masks in residential areas and the use of chemicals to ripen fruits.

The Health Minister, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu told a news conference in Abuja that the issues raised are subjects of investigations before any decision can be taken. He however appealed to Nigerians to join in effort to reduce the burden of cancer in the country.

The Minister also emphasized the need for prevention and spoke extensively on what government is doing to stop deaths associated with cancer.

Our health editor was at the briefing.....

 


 

   

National Hospital team performs medical feat on an Albino 

By Godwin Odemijie 

A team of Nigerian Doctors at the National Hospital Abuja has saved the life of an albino cancer patient, Philips Barau in a surgical operation everyone except the doctors thought it was a mere academic exercise.

Radio Nigeria brought the pathetic condition of Philip to the public about a year ago in a report on National Hospital’s delay to admit him after the Federal Ministry of Health had paid for his treatment.

Although National Hospital has an MoU with the Albino Foundation to treat its members with skin cancer for free, Philip Barau’s case did not enjoy the provisions of the agreement, forcing the Foundation to seek financial assistance from the Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu.

The Story of Philip Barau attracted Radio Nigeria when National Hospital could not admit him even when the amount it demanded was paid to it.

However, our Health Editor, Godwin Odemijie reports that Professor Martins Aghaji led a team of seven doctors at the National Hospital Abuja to perform the feat....


The Health Minister, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu announces a return to one year overseas training for doctors as a part of steps to improve healthcare delivery in 2012

But the Nigeria Medical Association, NMA believes very little can be achieved with the slim budget announced by the Federal Government for the health sector.

However, the association of Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria says blotted budgetary allocation is now the answer to the numerous problems in the health sector.     What then is the solution to the problems in the sector?

Let us find out from the  health desk................        


Nigeria takes steps to eradicate polio

By Godwin Odemijie  

As part of efforts to eradicate polio in Nigeria, the government announced the setting up of a presidential task force on polio eradication in Nigeria to be inaugurated soon.

The Executive Director, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr. Ardo Muhammada who spoke with newsmen in Abuja  said other measures were also being put together to ensure effective immunization of children under five years in the country.

     Radio Nigeria Health Editor Godwin Odemijie tells us more on the story.......