…Begins Vaccination Today
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has certified the AstraZeneca vaccine safe for use in Nigeria.
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, announced this on Friday at an event held at the National Hospital in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
He explained that the government agency cleared the vaccine for use in the country after it concluded its final test on it.
“The long-awaited day is here on which Nigerians can now join others in the global community to be vaccinated against the dreaded COVID-19 virus.
“For us in the health sector, it is a relief and the marking of the start of a tedious but hopeful exercise to see our fellow citizens develop immunity against this virus,” he told the gathering at the event.
Ehanire added, “I am also relieved again to announce that at 12 minutes past midnight today (Friday), I got a text message informing me that NAFDAC has certified this vaccine for use, otherwise we will not be sitting here today.”
Meanwhile, Nigeria on Friday commenced its COVID-19 vaccination as a medical doctor, Dr. Cyprian Nyong, of the National Hospital, Abuja, will receive a jab of the AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 vaccine any moment from now.
The Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, flagged off the exercise on behalf of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
At the exercise on Friday, Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Faisal Shuaib, described the moment as a “watershed”.
The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, also said it was crucial “to first cater for those who cater for us”.
NAFDAC Alerts Nigerians On Substandard Paracetamol From Liberia
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has issued a public alert against the intake of substandard Paracetamol from Liberia.
Taking to Twitter on Thursday, NAFDAC issued an official statement to warn Nigerians against purchasing the drug before even thinking about taking it.
“The National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) is notifying the public of a substandard paracetamol suspension PARA CLEAR SUSPENSION 125 received from Liberian Medicine and Health Product Regulatory Authority for laboratory testing in the NAFDAC Central Drug Control Laboratory (CDCL),” NAFDAC wrote.
“Laboratory analysis of the sample confirms that the product contains toxic ethylene glycol, a toxic substance that is not expected in product formulations.
“The product also failed the requirement for acute oral toxicity with five deaths of the laboratory animals recorded,”
NAFDAC said that diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol are toxic to humans when consumed and can prove fatal.
Public Alert No. 017/2023.
Alert on substandard Paracetamol Suspension received from Republic of Liberia.#NafdacALERTShttps://t.co/kKHpE9sCCN pic.twitter.com/L3LopU9ww5
— NAFDAC NIGERIA (@NafdacAgency) June 15, 2023
It further stated that the toxic effects can include abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, inability to pass urine, headache, altered mental state and acute kidney injury which may lead to death.
According to NAFDAC, Paracetamol Suspension is used for the treatment of mild to moderate aches and pain including headache, migraine, neuralgia, toothache, sore throat, menstrual pains etc.
It is also used for the reduction of fever and to be used as an adjunctive treatment to relieve symptoms of cold and flu.
Although the product is not in NAFDAC database, importers, distributors, retailers and consumers are advised to exercise caution and vigilance within the supply chain to avoid the importation, distribution, sale and use of substandard (contaminated) syrups.
NAFDAC said that all medical products must be obtained from authorized/licensed suppliers. The products’ authenticity and physical condition should be carefully checked.
NAFDAC implores members of the public to desist from purchasing medicinal products from unauthorized sources such as roadside vendors and street hawkers as fake drugs are mostly smuggled into the country from neighbouring countries and distributed through such inappropriate channels.
“Anyone in possession of the above-mentioned product is advised to discontinue sale or use and submit stock to the nearest NAFDAC office,” it said.
“If you, or someone you know, have used this product, or suffered any adverse reaction/event after use, you are advised to seek immediate medical advice from a qualified healthcare professional.”
Healthcare professionals and consumers are advised to report any suspicion of the sale and use of substandard and falsified medicines to the nearest NAFDAC office.
Similarly, healthcare professionals and patients are also encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of the medicinal product to the nearest NAFDAC office.
JUST IN: COVID-19 No Longer Global Health Emergency – WHO
The World Health Organization has said COVID-19 is no longer a global public health emergency.
A statement on Friday stated that the decision was reached at WHO’s International Health Regulations Emergency Committee held Thursday at its 15th meeting on the pandemic.
WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, also agreed with the committee’s resolution that COVID-19 is no longer a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC).
“For more than a year the pandemic has been on a downward trend,” Tedros said at a news conference Friday.
“This trend has allowed most countries to return to life as we knew it before Covid-19. Yesterday, the emergency committee met for the 15th time and recommended to me that I declare an end to the public health emergency of international concern. I have accepted that advice,” he said.
The global health body had declared the coronavirus outbreak to be a public health emergency of international concern in January 2020, about six weeks before characterizing it as a pandemic.
At the time, there were fewer than 10,000 cases of the virus, most of them in China.
The statement further read, “WHO declares a PHEIC when an emergency is ‘serious, sudden, unusual or unexpected’, with implications for health beyond the affected state’s national borders – and the status helps trigger a set of measures and legally binding obligations that facilitate a coordinated international response.
“Lack of PHEIC status does not mean COVID-19 is no longer a pandemic: the DG noted that this news does not mean COVID-19 is over as a global health threat.
“Several PHEICs have not been related to pandemics, and several sustained epidemics or ‘pandemics’ have not been assigned PHEIC status.”
NCDC Raises Alarm, Says Nigeria At Risk Of Marburg Virus
…Says Virus Can Be Transmitted By Infected Person Without Systoms
…Urges Nigerians To Maintain Social Distance
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) says Nigeria is at moderate risk of the importation and impact of the Marburg virus ( MVD).
In a statement on Wednesday, the Director General of NCDC , Dr. Ifedayo Adetifa, said this is based on the organization’s assessment following the outbreak in Ghana.
The Marburg virus causes a rare, highly infectious disease and severe haemorrhagic fever in humans and non-human primates just like the Ebola virus.
Dr Adetifa said, “Based on available data, the overall risk of both importation of the disease and its potential impact on the Nigerian population is said to be moderate as assessed by NCDC experts and partners given the following:
“The proximity (same region), high traffic from Ghana and countries that share borders with Ghana, the incubation period of 21 days of the virus, heightened surveillance at point of entry, Nigeria’s capacity to respond to the outbreak in country and the fact that persons with MVD transmit the virus when they become symptomatic unlike for SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19 that can also be transmitted by infected persons without symptoms.”
He said there was currently, no case of Marburg virus in Nigeria, adding that several measures are being put in place to prevent an outbreak of the disease in-country.
While saying that NCDC is on high alert, he said Nigeria has the capacity to test for the virus presently at the National Reference Laboratory in Abuja and the University of Lagos Teaching Hospital laboratory Centre for Human and Zoonotic Virology.
He said diagnostic capacity can be scaled up to other laboratories if required as Nigeria had the resources (human, technical and laboratory) for prompt identification and management in the event of a single imported case.
However, he said the risk of importation may be further reduced as the current situation in Ghana is under control as reported by Ghana Health Service.
According to him, point of entry surveillance has been heightened, trained rapid response teams are on standby to be deployed in the event of an outbreak and the NCDC’s Incident Coordination Centre (ICC) is on alert mode.
He said the NCDC is also amplifying risk communication efforts and continues to work with states and partners to strengthen preparedness activities which include– review of risk communication protocols, plans and messages in the event of an outbreak.
He advised Nigerians to avoid non-essential travel to locations where the outbreak is reported for the moment, and also avoid direct contact with blood, saliva, vomit, urine, and other bodily fluids of people with suspected or confirmed Marburg virus.
The outbreak in Ghana is the second incidence of the virus in West Africa following the previous incidence in Guinea in August 2021.
The disease was first discovered in 1967 following outbreaks in Marburg and Frankfurt in Germany, and Belgrade, Serbia.
Since then, outbreaks and sporadic cases have been reported in some African countries.
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