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Canada running out of marijuana two days after it became legal

By News Desk, with Agency Report,

Canadians were so excited about getting their hands on some legal, recreational marijuana the country is reportedly experiencing a shortage.

Police were called to help shops struggling to handle long queues and with frustrated people unable to buy cannabis.

Bill Blair, a former Toronto police chief who has led the government’s legalisation programme, told public broadcaster CBC the country was unable to supply enough to meet demand.

“We expected, you know, certain strains might run out and there would be a bit of a run on supply,” he said.

“But, you know, they’ve got a pretty good infrastructure in place and I’m confident it will work.”

On Wednesday Canada became the first industrialised nation and only the second country in the world, after Uruguay, to legalise recreational cannabis as part of a controversial experiment in drug policy.

Under the new law, citizens will be allowed to carry up to 30 grams of cannabis in public and each household will be able to grow up to four marijuana plants.

Nestlé, Chefs promote healthier eating for children

By Health Desk,

Having a variety of fresh foods from all the essential food classes provides one with a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle, Nestlé Nigeria Plc said on Saturday in Lagos.

Victoria Uwadoka, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs (CCPA) Manager of Nestlé Nigeria, made the assertion at an event to mark the 2018 International Chefs Day.

The International Chefs Day is commemorated annually on Oct. 20.

The theme for 2018: “ Healthy Foods for Growing Up’’,  is intended to encourage children to think about what they will like to be when they grow up, and how healthy eating today can help them get there’’.

According to Uwadoka, the body needs a variety of the nutrients from protein, carbohydrate, fat, vitamins and minerals food classes to stay healthy and productive.

“We at Nestlé believe that foods and beverages can be both tasty and healthy; food plays an important role in a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.

“So, the World Chefs Day is an opportunity for us to gather with the chef community, those who make sure that we have food to sensitise people about the importance of healthy eating, healthy food habits, especially for children.

“It is important to know how to combine the food that we eat, how to eat healthy and to grow up healthy, then to achieve our dream of living a qualitative life because it is one thing to be alive and one thing to live well.

“Good food makes us live good life and well and for us at Nestlé, our purpose is to contribute to healthier future for individuals and our families,’’Uwadoka said.

SON confirms human flesh in Chinese drugs

By News Desk,

The Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has confirmed the receipt of a letter sent on Chinese Drugs reported to be made from human flesh.

The National Intelligence Agency (NIA) earlier alerted the SON, National Agency for Food Drugs and Administration Control (NAFDAC), Nigerian Customs Service on a Chinese drugs made with human flesh.

The Technical Assistant/Head, Public Relations of the organisation, Bola Fashina, explained that his organisation is on the lookout for the products even though he explained it is the primary responsibilities of both NAFDAC and Customs Service.

Investigations revealed that the capsules were filled with powdered flesh from dead babies.

They were made in North Eastern China from babies whose bodies were chopped into small pieces and dried on stoves before being turned into powder.

Thousands of the drugs were first confiscated in South Korea in 2012.

However, according to NIA, “the South Korean Customs Service, on 30th September 2018 revealed that it has seized 2,751 Chinese drugs/capsules, containing human remains from foetus, infants and flesh imported into the country by some Chinese nationals.

“The manufacturers claims that the drugs/capsules can boost stamina, cure cancer, diabetes and some other terminal diseases.

“The capsules were smuggled in suitcases and through international mail.”

The agency revealed that South Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety indicated that 18.7 billion viruses, including hepatitis B virus were found the capsules.

It stressed that the making of the human remain drugs and consuming them are crimes against humanity, which can also lead to serious health challenges.

NIA explained that it was monitoring the situation for detailed information.

“However, it is important for all relevant health regulatory agencies in Nigeria especially the Federal Ministry of Health, NAFDAC, NDLEA and SON to sensitize Nigerians of this development and warn them of the inherent dangers of patronizing drugs imported from China.

“The Customs Service, NIPOST and other mail delivery services should also step up monitoring of cargoes and packages with drugs imported into Nigeria.”

In 2011, Chinese officials launched investigations into the production of drugs made from dead fetuses.

The capsules were disguised as stamina boosters and some people believe them to be a panacea for disease.

Drug test for politicians, workers in Kano

By News Desk,

Political appointees, civil servants and prospective higher school students are now to undergo compulsory drug test in Kano state.

The Kano State ‎Government has approved compulsory drug test the Commissioner for Information, Muhammad Garba, said the decision was taken at weekly State Executive Council meeting in Kano on Thursday.‎

‎He said that the policy was adopted to mitigate drug abuse in the state.‎

“All political appointees, civil servants particularly the ones that are due for promotion and students seeking admission will henceforth undergo compulsory drug test in the state,” he said.

Garba said the council had also approved N332 million for the treatment of malnourished children for the period of six months in 2018.‎

According to him, the council also approved N67.3 million for the construction of drainages in Warkai village in Warawa Local Government Area in order to avert flooding.‎

‎“The council also approved over N240 million for the maintenance, renovation and procurement of diesel for traffic lights and street lights for the months of April, October and June.

‎“The council approved N70 million for electrification works at Kofar-Mata, Sanka and Yakasai quarters in Kano metropolis,” he said.‎

He added that the council approved the release of N16 million for state contingents to participate in the 2018 Agric show in Kano, Nasarawa state.

“Similarly, the council also approved N16 million for equipping and furnishing of Hotoron-Arewa health centre in Nasarawa Local Government Area.
The commissioner reiterated the state government’s determination to develop infrastructure in the state.


Polio eradication debt owed Nigerians – Osinbajo

By News Desk,

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has explained that the eradication of polio remained the greatest debt the government owed to Nigerians.

He said it is the Abuja Commitment made by the Federal and State governments to provide active leadership of polio eradication through routine immunization.

Osinbajo made the commitment at the 92nd edition of the National Economic Council Meeting.

“The Abuja Commitment is a promise we all made; it is now a debt that we owe to the Nigerian people. We must individually and collectively work to achieve the Abuja commitment indicators.”

Osinbajo said the Federal Government remains resolutely committed to the crucial cause of polio eradication in the country while addressing the State Governors and members of the Presidential Taskforce on Polio Eradication who were present at the meeting.

He thanked the Ministry of Health and the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) for the remarkable progress that has been made in the polio programme.

He also commended them for ensuring that the country has not recorded any new case of the wild poliovirus in the last two years, encouraging them to sustain the tempo.

The Vice President commended the supportive efforts of the Nigerian military, stating, “Our military will continue to collaborate with you to provide security and support as you ensure that all eligible children in every part of the country are reached with the polio vaccine and other health and humanitarian interventions.”

He added that there would be need to collaborate with our neighbours such as the Niger Republic and Lake Chad Islands.

He urged state governors to collaborate closely with the Federal Government especially in the timely provision of funds, rigorous oversight, and other support that would fast-track on-going efforts to totally eradicate polio and strengthen routine immunization.

The Vice President commiserated with all the families of health workers who lost their lives in the course of delivering services to humanity, in particular, the families of Saifura Husain Ahmed Khorsa and Hauwa Liman who were kidnapped and killed by Boko Haram.

He also extended his sincere condolence to the ICRC, whose staff the two courageous and committed ladies belonged.

In his own remarks, the Honourable Minister of State for Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, told the Council that the National Emergency Routine Immunization Coordination Centre has been driving innovation strategies to improve routine immunization since its establishment in July 2017.

Zika virus cases spike in India’s Jaipur as peak tourist season nears

By News Desk,

At least 55 people have tested positive for the Zika virus in India’s tourist city of Jaipur, up from 22 a week ago, the local health department said on Sunday, raising fears the virus is spreading just ahead of peak tourist season.

Around 280 health officials are doing the rounds of houses in Jaipur in the western state of Rajasthan to detect larvae to control the mosquito-borne virus, the health department said in a statement late on Saturday.

Known for its palaces and museums and deserts close by, Jaipur is a big draw with both foreign and Indian tourists.

This is the third Zika outbreak in India, with the first in the western city of Ahmedabad in January 2017 and the second in the southern state of Tamil Nadu in July 2017 – both of which were “successfully contained”, the government said last week.

First discovered in 1947, the zika virus reached epidemic proportions in Brazil in 2015, when thousands of babies were born with microcephaly, a disorder that causes babies to be born with abnormally small heads and underdeveloped brains.

Of the 55 people found to have tested positive for Zika over the past month in Rajasthan, 38 are no longer showing symptoms of the disease, the department said, adding that officials were conducting fogging to control the mosquito population.

Women in their first trimester of pregnancy are being paid particular attention, said Veenu Gupta, the additional chief health secretary of Rajasthan. Research has shown women are at greatest risk of microcephaly during this period.

There is no vaccine for Zika yet, though Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceutical and some other companies are trying to developing one.

The latest cases come amid a spike in cases of other mosquito-borne diseases in the country, according to the World Health Organization.

The capital New Delhi has reported a rise in cases of dengue fever this year, with 169 reported in the first week of October, taking the total for the year to 650, according to local channel NDTV.

How 18 Nigerians die of Tuberculosis hourly

By Health Desk,

No fewer than 18 Nigerians die hourly from  Tuberculosis (TB), the National Tuberculosis, Burulli Ulcer and Leprosy Control Programme (NTBLCP), said on Friday in Lagos.

Itohowo Uko, the Deputy Director of  NTBLCP in the Federal Ministry of Health, disclosed this at an integrated media  parley organised by Breakthrough Action -Nigeria in collaboration with the Health Writers Association of Nigeria (HEWAN) in Lagos.

Uko,  who is also a laboratory scientist described tuberculosis as an airborne infectious disease caused by the germ, Mycobacterium Tuberculosis which affects the lungs mainly but may affect any other part of the body.

”According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) 2017 global report, TB is one of the top 10 causes of death worldwide and Nigeria is classified among the 14 countries with high burden of TB.

”It is estimated that two out of every 1,000 Nigerians will have TB; 104,940 TB patients representing about 20 per cent of existing patients were notified to the authorities in 2017.

“This means that there is a huge number of TB patients in communities that are not notified.

”No fewer than 18 Nigerians die every hour of TB and one case of untreated TB can infect between 10 and 15 persons per year.

”Nigeria has the sixth highest burden of TB patients globally and first  in Africa; of the 104,904 patients notified in 2017,  63 per cent were aged between 15 and 44; the working age group is the most affected,” she said.

Uko said that the statistics were scary and called on all  stakeholders to show concern to ensure a Nigeria-free TB, reduce burden, as well as reach zero TB deaths.

On the dynamics of TB, she said that TB is spread through the air when the person with TB of the lungs coughs, sneezes, sings or talks.

According to her, TB is curable and the patient is not termed as infectious after few weeks of treatment.

”Persistent cough of two weeks or more duration may be due to TB and needs to be further investigated.

”Other signs of TB of the lungs include, loss of weight when you are not trying to lose weight, drenching night sweats when others close by are not sweating like that and loss of appetite,” she said.

Uko advised the public to avoid overcrowded and poorly ventilated environments, observe cough hygiene by covering their  mouths properly when coughing and sneezing.

She also advised them not to be spitting indiscriminately in public, as well as eating a balanced diet to avoid malnutrition.

She also called for prompt diagnosis of TB in patients and recommended treatment for six months to prevent spreading the germ to others.

”TB is completely curable if detected and treated early; the drugs and diagnostic tests are free of charge in Nigeria.

”The toll-free number to call is 08002255282 if you have any of the above signs or symptoms for further guidance.

”There is  the urgent need to increase early TB case finding, notification and treatment,’’ she said.

Uko also urged the media to work with health agencies in the dissemination of health-promoting messages to the public.

In her remarks, Dr Bolatito Aiyenigba, Deputy Director, Malaria and Tuberculosis Project of Breakthrough Action-Nigeria, said the project focused on Integrated Health Social Behaviour Change in the country.

Aiyenigba highlighted maternal, neonatal, child health, as well as nutrition, family planning, malaria and tuberculosis as its areas of focus.

She also said that the project had helped to build media capacity in the reportage of malaria, family planning, nutrition and tuberculosis.

“Health is a general concern and the media has a role to play in educating and informing the public on the need to adopt healthy lifestyles and reduce the high prevalence of diseases in the country,’’ Aiyenigbe said.

Mental disorder affects 1-in-5 adolescents

By News Desk,

President Muhammadu Buhari has received a 1042-page compendium of projects executed by all ministries from 2015 to 2017.
The compendium was presented to the President by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, shortly before the commencement of the Federal Executive Council Meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The SGF said that the compendium was based on briefings by cabinet ministers on the various projects executed by their respective ministries between within the period.
“The document will lend credence that President Buhari has fulfilled his campaign promises.
“It is a valid and vivid proof of the giant strides by this administration,’’ he said.
Mustapha said that the document would be circulated to all the Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) to serve as a reference point.
The meeting was attended by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, Chief of Staff to the President, Malam Abba Kyari and cabinet ministers

Also, Ondo State Government says it has approved N1.5 billion for the take-off of a cancer treatment centre.
Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo, said this at the Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria’s 5th Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference with the theme: “Mental Health Disorders in a Depressed Economy”.
According to him, the state government’s effort is also geared towards tackling mental depression by providing good healthcare services to citizens at affordable fees.
The governor, who was represented by the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Wahab Adegbenro noted that the centre would reduce the incidence of travelling abroad for cancer related treatment.
He said that the state government recently employed 15 additional medical consultants to boost provision of quality healthcare to citizens.
He urged medical personnel in the state to work assiduously for the sake of humanity and pledged to ensure prompt payment of workers’ salaries to alleviate the suffering of people.
The governor also said that a lot of empowerment programmes were on-going to get people engaged in meaningful economic activities, adding that government would continue to provide environment conducive for work.
Earlier, the Acting Chairman of MDCAN ODSGH, Dr Ishaq Ojodu, said the objective of the conference was to sensitise the public to the rising trend of mental disorders in the country.
“We want people to know that the situation is worst but they can develop coping mechanism to deal with depression.
”They don’t need to go to the extreme and use drugs that can damage their mental capabilities permanently but instead they should engage in social activities.
“We want families to be involved in creating support systems which have broken down in Nigeria.
“We also want to sensitise the government to its roles to provide health insurance that will afford citizens the quality health services they need,” he said.
The guest speaker, Dr Kolawole Mosaku, Head of Department of Mental Health, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile Ife, appealed to government to tackle mental depression through reduction of health inequalities.
Mosaku, who was represented by Dr Olukayode Aloba, of the Department of Mental Health, OAU, said that social security and protections should be guaranteed to all citizens.
According to him, youth employment and control of substance abuse must be cardinal targets of government.
He said that psychiatric care services must be available for easy access and welfare facilities provided for citizens who require it.

Meanwhile, as the world marks World Mental Health Day, the Chief Consultant Epidemiologist of Nigeria, Dr Godwin Ntadom, has called on parents and guardians to keep close tab on their wards to curb drug use and avert severe mental health disorders.
World Mental Health Day is observed annually on Oct. 10, with the overall objective of raising awareness on mental health issues around the world and mobilising efforts in support of mental health.
For its part, the global health organisation in a report to mark the day, titled ‘Coming of age: Adolescent health’, noted that half of all mental illnesses begin before the adolescent age of 14 but most cases go undetected and untreated.
According to WHO, depression is one of the leading causes of illness and disability among adolescents and suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15 to 29 year-olds.
The harmful use of alcohol and illicit drugs among adolescents is a major issue in many countries and can lead to self-destructive behaviour such as unsafe sex or dangerous driving.
Eating disorders are also of concern, the global health agency warned.
Dr Tarun Dua, mental health expert at WHO explained that half of mental health disorders arise before the age of 14.
“If these are left untreated, they extend into adult life, thus impacting educational attainment, employment, relationships or even parenting.”
“Evidence is growing that promoting and protecting adolescent mental health benefits not just adolescents’ health, in both short and the long term.
“It also promotes economies and society as a whole, with healthy young adults able to make greater contributions to the workforce, their families and communities.”
The organisation, therefore, called for investment and greater integration of mental health into broader health and social care systems worldwide.

And, the Federal Capital Territory Fire Service says it will engage over 600 public and private schools in the territory on fire safety best practices.
Julius Opetusin, Assistant Comptroller-General of the service said the campaign aimed to educate, equip and prepare students with basic knowledge of fire safety, hazards and prevention.
Opetusin said that the service aimed to achieve this through its collaboration with the Fire Fighters Magazine, FCT Universal Basic Education Board (UBEB) and other joint partners.
“The students will also learn fire protection and equipment handling amongst others as a part of our corporate social responsibility as we embark on aggressive enforcement of the National Fire Safety Code in the FCT,’’ Opetusin said.
For his part, Minister of the FCT, Alhaji Muhammad Bello, said though such incidences were rare in the FCT, it was imperative to safeguard the lives of students and staff.
The Minister who was represented by Umar Shuaibu, an official of the FCT, said: “The fire service has decided to step in to bridge this gap with information gathering by establishing fire safety clubs in Nigerian schools.
“This will help their sister agencies to stem down carnage of kidnapping especially in soft spot areas like our educational institutions,” Bello said.
The minister assured Nigerians that his administration would work in line with the initiatives of this campaign to put fire safety measures in place in schools in the FCT.
“We will ensure that these plans will include details as regards fire alarm procedures, building floor plans, staff and students duties in case a of a fire emergency as well as exit drills.’’

Youths now dominate psychiatric clinic

By News Desk,

A Consultant psychiatric with the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Teaching Hospital (ATBTH), Bauchi,  Dr Abubakar Bagudu says eight out of every 10 patients brought to the mental clinic of the hospital are youths who abused drugs.

Bagudu stated this at a lecture to mark the 2018 World Mental Health day in Bauchi on Wednesday.

He said drug abuse among young people had left them with depression and high level of suicide.

‎The consultant, who quoted the World Health Organisation( WHO) said half of all mental health cases started from ages 14, adding that most cases went undetected.

“That is why the Psychiatric department decided to create awareness among post primary school students.

“Most youths, nowadays, spend hours on the internet, experiencing horror films and crimes,” he said. ‎

Bagudu said adolescents and early adulthood were periods when many changes occurred, thus, making youths to experiment a lot of things, including drugs abuse.

He, however, said prevention started from understanding early warning signs and symptoms of mental health problems.

The consultant, who stressed the need for communities not to stigmatise said drug addicts should be re-integrates into society after treatment.

In his remark, Dr Atebgese Simon said youths took to drugs due to the influence of peer group pressure to improve self esteem, drug availability, accessibility, wrongful prescription and lack of drug education.

He added that drugs affected the vital organs of the human body and had physical, social and mental effect on an individual.

“Bauchi as you know is among the states with a high rate of codeine abuse, translating into large turnout of patients with mental problems in the state,” he said

Simon called for the establishment of a drug rehabilitation centre in the state to cater for addicts after completing their treatment.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that this year theme of the 2018 world mental health day is “Young people and mental health in a changing world.”

Red Cross trains FCT tricycle operators on first aid

By News Desk,

The Nigerian Red Cross Society (NRCS), on Saturday, trained commercial tricycle operators in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on First Aid and basic emergency response on roads.

The training was organised by the Keke Operators Positive Initiative (KOPI), an NGO, geared toward the well being and common interest of tricycle operators.

Over 100 tricycle operators from different quarters, tricycle owners and KOPI board members were present at the training, which took place  at Karshi community in Abuja.

They were taken through basic courses in First Aid such as recovery position for conscious and unconscious victims, Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), and bleeding among others.

Hassan Shettima, the National President of KOPI, said that the training was to equip tricycle operators with basic First Aid knowledge in order to curb avoidable deaths resulting from road traffic accidents.

According to him, the numbers of tricycle operators and commuters are increasing across the FCT, and there is need to build their awareness and confidence to know what to do in emergency situations.

“Tricycles constitute about one-third of commercial transportation in many parts of Abuja, including its suburbs.

“Having the operators trained on first aid will readily provide quickest response to casualties and avoid delayed assistance in emergency situations on our roads.

“Knowledge of First Aid, especially by road users, has over the years proven to be very effective, safe and simple, and that is what we want for these operators of Keke,” he said.

Shettima explained that the training, which was first its kind for tricycle operators in the territory, would be sustained and extended to other quarters for increased participation.

He, therefore, commended officials of the Red Cross for the training opportunity, while urging continuity to enable other members of the group participates in it.

Jane Nnena, the NRCS officer, who handled the sessions, said that the training would prepare the volunteers to be stakeholders in saving lives of road users.

According to her, First Aid is provided to preserve life, prevent the condition from worsening, or to promote recovery.

She explained that the two-day training would cover how to handle Breathing, Bleeding, Burns, choking and fracture of the bone, among others other accident situations.

“First Aid is the assistance given to any person suffering from sudden illness or injury before a professional medical service is administered.

“Training affords a person the opportunity to provide care for accident victims, thereby saving lives, protecting them from further injury for safe transport to the hospital.

“Accidents and sudden illnesses could occur at work places, homes, schools or the market place, hence the need for training and provision of First Aid kits,” she noted.

Nnena noted that the knowledge of First Aid should be acquired by every individual in the society, irrespective of their status, to enhance humanitarian action among members of the public.