2017 KOGI ANA/ROTARY LITERARY CONTEST: OVER 1, 000 ESSAY ENTRIES RECEIVED

Kogi State Chairman of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Dr. Kennedy Obohwemu has revealed that no less than 1,000 essay entries were received from students spread across the length and breadth of the state as the 2017 ANA/Rotary literary contest for schools and colleges kicked off last month with the Essay Writing category.

image

The history-making multi-staged literary competition is geared towards encouraging healthy academic rivalry among youngsters. It is open to all public and private Secondary Schools spread across all 21 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Kogi State.

For the first stage of the competition which was concluded last Friday, students were made to write an Expository Essay on the topic: ‘The Power of your Vote: A catalyst for a stable and united Nigeria’.

Dr. Kennedy Obohwemu, who is also the President-Elect of the Rotary Club of Lokoja Metro, announced the results of the preliminary rounds while speaking to newsmen in Lokoja.

“In assessing the entries, examiners looked out for how much students knew of the issue, their capacity to express that knowledge in standard English usage and their ability to follow tested methods of expressing knowledge acquired through observation, reading and experience,” Dr. Kennedy said.

The next stage of the competition, which is the sub-regional finals, is scheduled to begin next week Wednesday, June 28, 2017 and last till Wednesday, July 12, 2017. The Sub-Regional Finals will produce champions in each of the 21 LGAs of the State. The Regional Finals will follow almost immediately, producing winners in each of the three Senatorial Districts (Kogi Central, Kogi East and Kogi West). The Grand Finale will hold in September.

For the sub-regional and regional finals, participants shall go through quiz competition, debate and spelling bee stages.

For the quiz, participants shall be served with standard WASSCE/WAEC question papers on English Language (Comprehension, Lexis & Structure, Test of Orals). They shall be further tested on Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and General Knowledge.

The debate shall feature sensational arguments on topical issues and current trends in Science, Technology, Politics, Religion and the Arts. Examiners shall look out for the ability of candidates to express themselves in an informed opinion on contemporary issues of national significance. Topics shall be disclosed to schools at least two weeks before the scheduled final date.

The spelling bee shall assess the candidate’s ability to spell words in the English Language correctly. Students shall pick numbers from a pool of questions, and shall be required to provide the correct spellings (as response to the questions) within a stipulated period of time. The current edition of the Oxford Advanced Learners English Dictionary is recommended for use. Participants should pay attention to stress patterns and syllables in the English Language. Correct application of Syntax and Morphology shall be looked out for. Words could be long or short, but attention must be drawn to details.

A number of mouth-watering prizes are available for winners of the historic competition, including scholarships worth N250, 000, fully equipped library, laptops, educational materials, branded souvenirs from sponsors like Grace FM 95.5, 7-Up, Glo, Thermocool, Scanfrost, Treasures Bakery, etc. Teachers of winning schools also go home with as much as N100, 000.

Posted in News | Leave a comment

2017 ANA/ROTARY LITERARY CONTEST: SHORTLIST OF SCHOOLS FOR SUB-REGIONAL FINALS RELEASED

The 2017 ANA/ROTARY LITERARY CONTEST FOR SCHOOLS & COLLEGES kicked off in earnest last month with the Essay Writing category.

The history-making multi-staged literary competition is geared towards encouraging healthy academic rivalry among youngsters. It is open to all public and private Secondary Schools spread across all 21 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Kogi State.

For the First Stage of the competition which was concluded last Friday, students were made to write an Expository Essay on the topic: ‘The Power of your Vote: A catalyst for a stable and united Nigeria’.

Speaking to newsmen in Lokoja, the Kogi State Chairman of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) who doubles as the President-Elect of the Rotary Club of Lokoja Metro, Dr. Kennedy Obohwemu revealed that no less than 1,000 essay entries were received from students spread across the length and breadth of the State. He was pleased to announce the results of the preliminary rounds.

“In assessing the entries, examiners looked out for how much students knew of the issue, their capacity to express that knowledge in standard English usage and their ability to follow tested methods of expressing knowledge acquired through observation, reading and experience,” Dr. Kennedy said.

Below are the schools that have qualified for the next stage of the prestigious competition, as exclusively revealed to Footprints:

KOGI CENTRAL

1. Adavi LGA
a. Government Science Secondary School, Ozuri-Oniyeka
b. Success College, Ozuri
c. Local Government Science Secondary School, Ozuri

2. Ajaokuta LGA
a. ASCL Staff Comprehensive Secondary School, Ajaokuta
b. Children of the Kingdom Comprehensive Secondary School, Ajaokuta
c. Government Science Secondary School, Adogo

3. Ogori/Magongo LGA
a. Community Secondary School, Ogori
b. Community Secondary School, Magongo

4. Okehi LGA
a. Ruth Elton Secondary School, Obangede
b. Government Girls Unity Secondary School, Oboroke
c. Community Secondary School, Obangede

5. Okene LGA
a. Government Girls Science Secondary School, Otutu, Okene
b. Abdul Aziz Attah Memorial College, Okene
c. Demonstration Standard College, Onyukoko, Okene
d. Local Government Secondary School, Ohiana, Okene
e. Unity Model School, Okene
f. Ebira Community Secondary School, Okene
g. Government Girls Secondary School, Ogaminana, Okene
h. Soladad College, Okene
i. Queen of Apostles College, Okene
j. College of Arabic & Islamic School, Okene

KOGI EAST

6. Ankpa LGA
a. Aleka Academy, Ankpa
b. Haskwoji Royal College, Ankpa
c. Atodo International Academy, Ankpa
d. Global College, Ankpa
e. St. Charles College, Ankpa

7. Bassa LGA
a. Bassa Model School, Bassa
b. Bassa Grammar School, Bassa

8. Dekina LGA
a. Bedrock International School, Anyigba
b. Nigeria Navy Secondary School, Okura
c. Biraidu Community Secondary School, Abocho
d. Our Lady’s College, Anyigba

9. Ibaji LGA
a. Fr. Aromeh Secondary School, Uchuchu

10. Idah LGA
a. St. Kizito Seminary, Idah
b. Polytechnic Secondary School, Idah

11. Igamela-Odolu LGA
a. Community Secondary School, Ogbogbo

12. Ofu LGA
a. Federal Government College, Ugwolawo

13. Olamaboro LGA
a. Government Secondary School, Okpo

14. Omala LGA
Iyaji Commercial College, Abejukolo

KOGI WEST

15. Ijumu LGA
a. Ijumu Anglican Science Secondary School, Iyara Ijumu

16. Kabba LGA
a. St. Monica’s College, Kabba
b. St. Barnabas College, Kabba
c. Federal Government Girls College, Kabba
d. St. Augustine’s College, Kabba
e. Bishop McCalla Comprehensive High School, Kabba

17. Koton-Karfe LGA
a. Amazing Grace Secondary School, Koton-Karfe
b. Community Girls Secondary School, Koton-Karfe

18. Lokoja LGA
a. Anchor International School, Lokoja
b. Baptist High School, Lokoja
c. Effective Comprehensive College, Lokoja
d. Faith Academy, Zango
e. Good Shepherd Anglican Academy, Lokoja
f. Government Science Secondary School, Lokoja
g. Michael Omonogu Memorial Secondary School, Lokoja
h. Salem Oxford International School, Lokoja
i. St. Clement Minor Seminary, Lokoja
j. Yabma International Science Academy, Lokoja
k. Arigbede College, Lokoja
l. Confluence International Academy, Lokoja
m. Rock & Gardens Montessori International School, Lokoja
n. Royal Crown International School, Lokoja
o. Crowther Memorial College, Lokoja
p. Rainbow International School, Lokoja
q. Al Azhar International College, Lokoja
r. St. Thomas Acquinas Secondary School, Lokoja
s. Scintillate International Model School, Lokoja
t. Bishop Delise College, Lokoja
u. Government Day Secondary School, Lokoja
v. Army Day Secondary School, Lokoja
w. Harmony Secondary School, Lokoja
x. Christfield Secondary School, Lokoja
y. Bethel Group of Schools, Lokoja
z. UBE, Sakin Noma

19. Mopamuro LGA
a. ECWA Secondary School, Mopa
b. Baptist Secondary School, Mopa
c. Cruise Memorial College, Mopa

20. Yagba East LGA
a. African Church Secondary School, Isanlu
b. St. Kizito’s College, Isanlu

21. Yagba West
a. ECWA George Campion Academy, Egbe
b. Heritage College, Egbe
c. Titicombe College, Egbe

The next stage of the competition, which is the Sub-Regional Finals, is scheduled to begin next week Wednesday, June 28, 2017 and last till Wednesday, July 12, 2017. The Sub-Regional Finals will produce champions in each of the 21 LGAs of the State. The Regional Finals will follow almost immediately, producing winners in each of the three Senatorial Diatricts (Kogi Central, Kogi East and Kogi West). The Grand Finale will hold in September.

For the Sub-Regional and Regional Finals, participants shall go through the following stages:

  • Quiz Competition
  • Debate
  • Spelling Bee
  • For the Quiz, participants shall be served with standard WASSCE/WAEC Question Papers on English Language (Comprehension, Lexis & Structure, Test of Orals). They shall be further tested on Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and General Knowledge.

    The Debate shall feature sensational arguments on topical issues and current trends in Science, Technology, Politics, Religion and the Arts. Examiners shall look out for the ability of candidates to express themselves in an informed opinion on contemporary issues of national significance. Topics shall be disclosed to schools at least two weeks before the scheduled final date.

    The Spelling Bee shall assess the candidate’s ability to spell words in the English Language correctly. Students shall pick numbers from a pool of questions, and shall be required to provide the correct spellings (as response to the questions) within a stipulated period of time. The current edition of the Oxford Advanced Learners English Dictionary is recommended for use. Participants should pay attention to stress patterns and syllables in the English Language. Correct application of Syntax and Morphology shall be looked out for. Words could be long or short, but attention must be drawn to details.

    A number of mouth-watering prizes are available for winners of the historic competition, including scholarships worth N250, 000, fully equipped library, laptops, educational materials, branded souvenirs from sponsors like Grace FM 95.5, 7-Up, Glo, Thermocool, Scanfrost, Treasures Bakery, etc. Teachers of winning schools also go home with as much as N100, 000!

    It promises to be a spectacular never-before-seen event!

    ANA/ROTARY LITERARY CONTEST FOR SCHOOLS & COLLEGES…

    … for the love of education!

    Posted in News | Leave a comment

    Africans head to US for Climate Reality Project Training in Seattle, Washington 

    Generally people often use “global warming” and “climate change” interchangeably, the climate reality project training experts says that the two terms are different entirely.
    Fortunately, a non-profit environmental organization based in Nigeria, West Africa called “TEAM 54 PROJECT”, is creating a platform for young Africans to get properly trained and have better understand of climate change science and solutions.

    image

    TEAM 54 PROJECT organization works globally to raising awareness of about the impact of Climate Change in Africa and other vulnerable nations of world.

    This African initiative is a novial one, it is totally a different way of raising awareness, by infusing the various passions that their members can demonstrate which includes but are limited to ; writing poetry, research paper, composing songs , dancing, creating innovative system, taking climate action like planting trees, organizing conferences, rallies, March and campaigns on the various green initiative in rural areas in Africa. Though majority of the groups action takes place outside Africa because the organization believe that the message should primarily be told to advanced nations and organization while the solutions and actions should be a global partnership with results manifesting in Africa.

    Whatever passion is pushed forward by the group or her membership is supported and tailored to getting the universal message across that climate changed is real and there is need for action to be taken by everyone, either as individual, institutions or as nation. The global approach that must be adopted must be based on mitigation and adaptation policies of United Nations (UN) supported by innovative technology which Africa government must explore at all levels of government.

    The exciting news about TEAM 54 PROJECT is that the group leadership led by Gbujie Daniel Chidubem, an oral surgeon turned global environmental Advocate/Activist, will head the delegation of members to the Climate Reality Project Training (CRPT)in Seattle, Washington USA in June 2017.

    Dr. Gbujie leadership and numerous activities of the organization members have been tagged a success story even on the global scene.

    TEAM 54 PROJECT is non profit organization in the world, that have received a number of international awards, and have received special invitation from international organizations like U.N, Youth Assembly of United Nations and UNFCCC to attend high level dialogue meeting on climate change.

    Just recently Climate Reality Project a non-profit organization founded by the Ex-Vice President of United State of America during the Clinton Administration 1993 to 2001.
    Mr.Albert Arnold Gore Jr. Popularly called “Al Gore”. This organization mandate is to catalyze a global solution to the Climate Change crisis by making urgent action a necessity across every level of society in the world. One way they do this mission stated above is through the leader training.

    The program which is in keeping with the mandate of TEAM 54 PROJECT, made the Dr. Gbujie create a platform to raise awareness about this training which has resulted in the selection of TEAM 54 PROJECT active members in Africa, over 30 African were selected and confirmed to attend the prestigious Climate Reality Project Corp Training which is starting from 27th-29th June 2017 in Bellevue, an area near Seattle, Washington State USA. 

    These ordinary Africans will get an opportunity of a lifetime to be trained by top experts on Climate change science and soultions. 

    The keynote address will be delivered by one of America outstanding politician the current Governor of Washington State, Governor Jay Robert Inslee. Gov.Jay Inslee is a seasoned scholar, who co-wrote a book, Apollo’s Fire: Igniting America’s Clean-Energy Economy, in the book he highlighted extensively the potential and opportunities that clean energy technologies can generate for any nation.

    Gov.Inslee has made climate change and clean energy a top priority for his administration in his state. Joining him on stage will be climate change experts, including former US Vice President and Nobel Laureate Mr.Al Gore, who will train all the successful participants who are coming from all over the world. All trained CRP fellows become Climate Reality Leaders and all return to there respective nations to raise awareness and take necessary climate action in order to make the world ecological stable and safe to live in.

    The TEAM 54 PROJECT group will use the opportunity of training to raise awareness about climate change and its destructive impact in Africa and also will appreciate outstanding personalities who have been supportive and have assisted the group and her members to attend this June training in the US. The CEO of the organization in group’s blog last week posted series of activities that members would be involved in before and after the training. 

    It is becoming clear as we approach the U.N Sustainable development agenda deadline of 2030, that climate change will be a big challenge if mankind doesn’t start to take action to educate and advocate for a better world. 
    In a brief discussion I had with Dr. Gbujie while visiting a West Africa nation to promote his organization work, he acknowledged the effort of all his members and international partners who are working tirelessly in the fight against climate change but he was quick to share that ” TEAM 54 PROJECT may have earned her strip for advocating for a better world among established organizations that share similar goals but much more needs to done, he is advocating for a common universal language for communicating the climate change crisis to Africans and to climate deniers.

    He believes that we can win the climate change crisis, by working together as human race.

    TEAM 54 PROJECT must be commended so far for her global climate actions especially in Africa, and other activities they have been involved: like planting of trees in Northern Nigeria during Earth Celebrations, seminar partnership with organization in sierra leone, International presentation on Climate change in Europe and Asia.

    The organization recent activities in southeastern Nigeria, in May 2017 created a wider awareness and increase membership in thousands. The rural green initiative was launched that said it is clear to me that Africans now are organizing themselves to finding global solution to their problems, which is a welcome dedevelopment.

    African government must now see as a priority the need tot divest from fossil fuel economy to cleaner forms of energy like; solar, wind, geothermal, and water which are healthy for the environment and EARTH as a whole.

    TEAM 54 PROJECT group is also advocating for reduction in consumption of food especially meat and animal production commercialization, they believe it is also one of the ways carbon dixode emissions rate is released into nature and with reduction of our consumption habits plus better handling of our waste especially plastics and its byproduct we will be able to make earth better place to live.

    I will advocate that a training of Climate Reality Project magnitude should be organize in the various Africa regions with partnership from region organization blocs in Africa and other non-profit environmental organizations

    I want to appreciate the effort of the originator of TEAM 54 PROJECT Dr Gbujie who has created a wonderful platform that is bringing like minds all over the world together to raise awareness and proffer solutions on the climate change crisis in Africa.

    I also wish all his members heading to Washington a wonderful training. Let the green philosophy be with us.

    Audu Vincent Femi

    Is a doctor and one of African beneficiaries of Climate Reality Project Training.
    He lives in Choba
    Rivers State
    Nigeria
    bizfem2002@yahoo.com

    Posted in News | Leave a comment

    LUTH: TEN RESIDENT DOCTORS INJURED DURING CLASH WITH SECURITY MEN

    Ten members of the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba Chapter, were allegedly injured by some security men from the teaching hospital on Wednesday during a clash.

    image

    Dr Adebayo Sekunmade, the president of the ARD of the hospital revealed this to newsmen during a news conference. He said that the doctors sustained injuries when they attempted to take over their secretariat from the security men stationed there by LUTH’s management.

    Sekunmade told journalists that one of his members was inside the ARD’s secretariat at 2.00 a.m. on Tuesday but the security men ordered him out and locked it up.

    “We decided to monitor developments around the secretariat after the incident. On Wednesday morning, we saw the security men loading our belongings from there into a waiting bus.

    “When we confronted them, they said that they were directed to lock up the secretariat by the management of LUTH. We went to the Chief Medical Director’s office for dialogue but he refused to attend to us. He, however, directed us to the Chairman of the Medical Advisory Committee (CMAC) of LUTH,’’ he said.

    Sekunmade said that the CMAC, Dr Olufemi Fasanmade, told them that the management of LUTH was retrieving the secretariat from ARD. Sekunmade said that he demanded a court order from Fasanmade to justify his action but he could not present it. When contacted, the CMAC told journalists that LUTH’s management had given the ARD a letter asking it to vacate the building serving as its secretariat, six months ago.

    “Nine days ago, we gave them another letter as a reminder to leave the building but they refused, and we decided to lock up the place,’’ he said.

    Fasanmade said that the association should not have found it hard to vacate one of the seven accommodations it had within the hospital complex. He said that the management wanted to use it for an important purpose.

    “The doctors wanted to forcefully enter the building on Wednesday’s morning and LUTH’s security men had to disallow them.’’ Fasanmade said that the doctors resulted into attacking the security officials.

    “We had to invite some police officers from the Ilasamaja and Bode Thomas Police Stations to secure the building and other LUTH’s belongings. Some of the injured security officials are in the hospital wards receiving treatment,’’ Fasanmade said.

    Credit: Vangu5

    Posted in News | Leave a comment

    PASSAGE OF MEDICAL RESIDENCY BILL WILL GUARANTEE AN END TO DOCTORS’ STRIKE

    The incessant strikes by doctors in the country will end with the passage of a  bill to regulate the Medical Residency Programme, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara has said.

    Dogara spoke at a two-day Public Hearing organized by the Hon. Betty Apiafi-headed House Committee of Health Institutions.

    image

    Speaking at the opening ceremony for a two-day public hearing on the Residency Bill, a Bill for an Act to Ammend the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria to Streamline the Number of Pharmacy Schools on the Council and three other health sector bills, Dogara who was represented at the public hearing by Deputy Minority Leader, Chukwuka Onyema said the House places the health and well-being of Nigerians as top priority.

    According to him, the bills under consideration are targeted at improving the efficiency in the country’s healthcare institutions, and as such will receive full support from the National Assembly.

    The Ministry of Heath, the West African Postgraduate College of Surgeons, the National Postgraduate College and the National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria all hailed the bill on Medical Residency saying the bill would curtail the wrangling in the health sector.

    There were however arguments amongst the various stakeholders on how to harmonize the experience and certificates of medical practitioners who studied abroad and desire to practice especially on how they would qualify for residency in the country.

    The ministry’s representative Felix O. Ogenyi said the Ministry was behind the bill as it believes the bill will bring about a positive turnaround in the health sector.

    Dr. Onyebueze John, President, National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria (NARD) said the bill was timely and “should be given a favourable consideration with the suggestions given to bring about medical residency training in Nigeria that would help improve medical care in Nigeria.”

    He added, “It is sad to note that other countries have seen the training of highly skilled and specialized expertise in addition to the rehired equipment as means of earning positive balance of trade, Nigeria refused to look in the direction of manpower development in our health sector for many years.

    “Little wonder what is spent on medical tourism annually in Nigeria is astronomically high as a result of our failure to develop the health sector and give attention to postgraduate training.

    “NARD sees this bill if passed as one of those laws that will positively impact in our health sector, the health system and the masses at large.”

    However, the West African Postgraduate College of Pharmacists in their submission signed by their Secretary General, Prof. Noel Wannang and three others argued for inclusion in the residency programme law.

    “The purpose of this memorandum is to draw the attention of the House of Representative’s Committee on Health Institutions and the general public to the fact that the residency programme for Pharmacists already exists and should be properly captured in the proposed bill before the House of Representatives,” the organization said.

    The Chairperson of the Committee, Hon. Betty Apiafi said that it’s time for the Ministry of Heath to include residency funding in the budget. According to the committee, the Ministry of Health should ensure that there is a budget for the residency programme.

    She further stated, “In the last two years the committee on health institutions has put a lot of effort towards solving the seemingly intractable and multifaceted challenges that bedevil the health sector.

    “The residency programme bill is an example of the National Assembly intervening to deal with the problem of obsolete laws that are not in tandem with international best practices.

    “This bill will act as the comprehensive policy of government on the funding, the curriculum, scheme and tenure of the residency programme. It will also resolve the issue of non-uniformity of the residency programme at different institutions as these are the major issues that made the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) and the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) at specific institutions commence strike with disturbing frequency”.

    Recall that the House passed for second reading ‘A Bill for an Act to Regulate the Medical Residency Training Programme in Nigeria and for Related Matters” on March 30. The bill was sponsored by Hon. Betty Apiafi, Chairperson, House Committee on Health Institutions.

    Credit: The Nation Online

    Posted in News | Leave a comment

    THE ‘ONE-OFF’ PILL THAT CAN CAUSE TWO STONE WEIGHT LOSS

    Millions of Britons could lose more than two stone by taking a pill which contains a balloon, a study suggests.

    The results – unveiled at the world’s largest obesity conference – showed it can be an effective alternative to weight loss surgery.

    image

    Experts said the NHS should now consider funding the pills for millions of Britons, with more than one in four obese.

    After the pill is swallowed, the balloon swells up in the stomach when it is filled with water – restricting the amount of calories a person can eat.

    The study of 42 adults found they lost two stone and six pounds on average after four months.

    Because the Elipse Balloon does not require endoscopy, surgery or anaesthesia, this may make it suitable for a larger population of obese patientsDr Roberta Ienca

    The pill – dubbed a “gastric band in a tablet” – is licensed for use, but not yet available on the NHS. It costs around £3,000 privately – around half the price of stomach stapling.

    Researchers from the University of Rome said the balloon technique could be used widely and bring “significant cost savings” to health services in the long run.

    The head of the NHS has recently warned that obesity is the greatest challenge facing the service, fuelling £10bn spending on diabetes.

    The research, presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Porto, found patients who were given the one off pill, lost an average of 36 pounds – over 14 per cent of their total body weight.

    They also saw significant improvements in their health including blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and blood sugar control.

    The ease of the technique  – avoiding anaesthetics or surgery – meant it could be popular with swathes of failed dieters, they said.

    The pill is attached to a thin tube, meaning the balloon can be filled with water after it reaches the stomach.

    Experts said counselling was necessary to ensure that patients kept the weight off, after the empty balloon passes out through the body.

    Dr Roberta Ienca, from the University of Rome, said: “Because the Elipse Balloon does not require endoscopy, surgery or anaesthesia, this may make it suitable for a larger population of obese patients not responding to diet and lifestyle treatment.”

    The pill would not even need to be administered by a doctor, she said, suggesting nutritionists and dieticians could dole out the medication. 

    The results triggered an “incredible” reaction from patients, who had struggled with their weight for years, she said.

    Professor Jason Halford, from the European Association for the Study of Obesity, said: “This is to help people manage their appetite. If they have the balloon but they are also modifying their behaviour and the balloon helps them do that, that would be excellent. In that context it could be a solution for people who don’t want to go for full bariatric surgery.”

    The researcher, from the University of Liverpool, said “millions” of people could benefit from the treatment, if NHS would agree to pay for it.

    Prof Halford said: “I think this is for people before they would get to the point where they need bariatric surgery. It would be an alternative to an anti-obesity drug, which would come between the BMI 30 plus when people have tried everything and drugs have not worked….for somebody in that position it might be a good intervention.”

    Dr Simon Cork, Research Fellow at the Department of Investigative Medicine, Imperial College London, said:“This is an interesting study with interesting outcomes for clinical practice.” 

    “Currently gastric balloons have to be inserted under general anaesthetic or sedation.  This not only limits the number of patients who can have them implanted, but also increases surgery time and has significant costs associated with it.”

    Tam Fry, chairman of the National Obesity Forum, said:  “Balloons should take all the fear and angst out of a bariatric procedure.  If you need treatment and are offered the balloon experience, go for it.”

    Credit: The Telegraph

    Posted in News | Leave a comment

    POPE NAMES PORTUGUESE CHILDREN SAINTS AFTER 1OO YEARS

    Pope Francis was greeted by crowds of hundreds of thousands as he made saints of two shepherd children at the Fatima shrine complex in Portugal.

    image

    “We declare the blissful Francisco Marto and Jacinta Marto saints,” the pontiff said to loud applause.

    It is 100 years since the two – and a third child – reported seeing the Virgin Mary while tending sheep. The third is also on the way to sainthood.

    Portugal boosted security and re-imposed border controls temporarily.

    Roman Catholic pilgrims converged on the Fatima Sanctuary from countries as far away as China, Venezuela and East Timor.

    Earlier on Saturday, the official Twitter account of the Pope posted a message with reference to the Virgin Mary.

    “Whenever we look to Mary, we come to believe once again in the revolutionary nature of love and tenderness,” it said.

    The pontiff also met Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa for a private meeting ahead of the ceremony.

    On Friday, Pope Francis flew into Fatima, north of Lisbon, in a helicopter and travelled through town in his “Popemobile.”

    At a candle-lit vigil he called for harmony between all people at the Chapel of the Apparitions and spoke of wars “tearing our world apart.”

    The chapel is built on the very spot where the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared.

    The Pope will leave Fatima soon after Saturday’s mass, ending a 24-hour trip.

    Two of the children – Jacinta and Francisco Marto – have now been canonised for the miracles attributed to them. They died in the 1918-1919 European influenza pandemic.

    The three secrets of Fatima were written down by their cousin, Lucia dos Santos, who died in 2005 aged 97. The beatification process for her began in 2008.

    The Church attaches great value to their visions, as Mary is believed to have revealed truths to help mankind. The Church says the first vision came on 13 May 1917.

    In a video message to the people of Portugal, the Pope said he was going to present himself to Mary “and I need to feel you close, physically and spiritually, so that we are one heart and one mind.”

    What are the three secrets?

    They are prophecies written down by Lucia, years after the apparitions that the three said they had witnessed. She spent her adult life as a nun at a convent in Coimbra.

    The first two secrets in Lucia’s account were revealed in 1942.

    The first described a terrifying vision of hell, with a “great sea of fire,” demons and human souls

    The second is interpreted as Mary’s prediction that World War One would end and that World War Two would start during the papacy of Pius XI

    Mary also called for the “consecration” of Russia, saying: “If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church.”

    Lucia sealed the third secret in an envelope, which was handed to the Vatican in 1957 and only revealed in 2000.

    It described an angel demanding “penance!” Then the Pope and other clergy climbing a mountain, only to be killed by soldiers firing bullets and arrows.

    According to Pope Francis’s predecessor, Benedict XVI, the visions described in the three secrets are “meant to mobilise the forces of change in the right direction”.

    They are not like the Bible – a text he describes as a “public revelation.”

    The Fatima visions are “private revelations,” he writes. Their purpose is “to help live more fully” in accordance with Christ’s teaching.

    The late Pope John Paul II was shot by a Turkish gunman on 13 May 1981.

    He believed that his survival was due to Mary’s divine intervention, and that the third secret had predicted the attack on him.

    John Paul donated the bullet to Fatima, and it was inserted into the crown adorning a statue of Mary there.

    Pope Francis visit follows John Paul II and Benedict XVI, who also made pilgrimages to the Fatima Sanctuary.

    Security is high at the site, with Portugal deploying 6,000 police and emergency workers. Concrete blocks have been placed on approach roads, to stop any terrorist “ramming” attack with a vehicle.

    Only nine border crossings are open, with systematic checks, as Portugal has suspended the Schengen open borders pact.

    Local accommodation is far more expensive than usual, as hotels and residents cash in on the papal visit.

    Credit: News Express

    Posted in News | Leave a comment

    A CLIMATE LEADER AT THE UN: BUILDING A CLIMATE-RESILIENT MINDSET

    Dr. Daniel Chidubem Gbujie is a Climate Reality Leader who recently attended the Climate Reality Project (CRP) training in Denver, Colorado in March 2017, facilitated by former US Vice President, Al Gore.

    As one of his first Acts of Leadership on Climate Change following the Denver training, Dr. Gbujie succeeded in being invited to the United Nations High-Level Event for Action on Climate Change and the Sustainable Development Agenda that took place on 23 March 2017 in New York. Dr. Gbujie attended as a Climate Reality Leader and the representative of his organisation, the Team 54 Project, a non-profit organization that raises awareness about climate change impacts in Africa and sustainable development options through a global network of passionate persons. The high-level event was attended by with a panel of ministers from various nations, senior government official and other high-level UN representatives and stakeholders.

    image

    In his opening remark, Mr Peter Thomson, President of the UN General Assembly, said that “equity, innovation and investment must steer the global drive to build climate-resilient societies and economies powered by clean energies for global growth”. The Secretary-General of the UN, Mr Antonio Guterres, added: “Climate change is both a massive opportunity and an unprecedented threat”. He stated that the present situation of climate change was clear and indisputable with evidence from the sea rising, 2016 being the hottest year recorded and carbon dioxide emissions topping the critical 400 parts per million levels.

    “There is no longer any doubt that human activity is causing dangerous global warming”, Mr Guterres asserted. In support of the UN Secretary-General, Mrs Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), reiterated that there are potential rewards for taking actions on climate change and fully implementing the sustainable development goals.

    image

    The highpoint from the discussion was that urgent climate actions are necessary and these actions are opportunities to improve the health and well-being of human beings while stepping up the efforts to achieve the sustainable goals. This will ensure responsible use of natural resources while protecting the environment for future generations.

    In the sessions that followed, the participants deliberated on climate science, efforts been taken to address implementation of the Paris Agreement, various climate-friendly initiatives and how to scale up implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and of the Paris Agreement.

    Dr Gbujie’s attention was drawn by one of the panellists, African Princess Abze Dijgmam, Chief Executive Officer of Abze Solar in Burkina Faso and representative of her country’s Government to the UN on sustainable development. She shared her story of how she was powering rural communities in the country with off-grid renewable appliances, highlighting the advantages of renewable while pointing out that it was a green business. She continued her presentation by saying that implementation was the important element and all-inclusive participatory framework which must include women and youth will eventually be the game-changers in moving forward.

    Dr Gbujie also noted a comment from Mr Adnan Amin, Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), who said that his agency approves soft loans to rural women in West Africa. Such loans aim at enabling women to replace the old firewood stoves, which pollute the air affecting directly the health of the rural women and their children, with renewable ones.

    The event provided Dr. Gbujie with ideas of opportunities that lie ahead and of the timely approach for collaborative efforts that will help curb greenhouse gas emissions. It deepened his understanding as to why Africa has not fully achieved its potential, be it out of ignorance or lack of political will. The SDGs and the Paris agreement support a zero-carbon and zero-poverty world. According to Dr. Gbujie, Africans must quickly embrace these initiatives for a sustainable future where the continent will be protected. They will ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning, create jobs with new innovative skills, open up economic opportunities, help in building new infrastructure and in improving the quality of life among vulnerable groups like elders, physically challenged persons, children under 5 years, the girl child, and pregnant women within remote and often deprived regions on the continent.

    Dr. Gbujie is adamant: Africans must put into action the philosophy behind the Climate Reality Project’s concept of ‘Acts of Leadership’, both individually and as nations.

    Credit: Climate Reality Africa

    Posted in News | Leave a comment

    FIFTEEN THOUSAND DOCTORS DUMP NIGERIA FOR OVERSEAS

    No fewer than 15,000 medical doctors have left Nigeria for overseas in search of greener pastures. A reliable source at the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) revealed that “over 15,000 doctors have travelled out of Nigeria to developed countries where they are now practising medicine.”

    President of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Prof. Mike Ogirima, confirmed that between 10,000 and 15,000 Nigerian doctors are working outside the country. Ogirima said that about 90 per cent of those working outside the country are trained in Nigeria where they acquired their capacity.

    image

    The NMA President noted that between 40,000 and 60,000 doctors are working in the country.

    Ogirima said: “Nigeria has trained these doctors while other countries are making use of them. That is a sad thing. Of course in a country where the working environment is not conducive, what do you expect?

    “So, we expect the government to improve the working environment, provide the necessary tools for the doctors to work with and give them needed welfare to encourage them to stay in the country.”

    Just last month, over 500 doctors took examinations in a bid to secure employment abroad.

    For Nigerian doctors looking for employment in the United States, they write the United States Medical Licensing Examination, while those seeking employment opportunities in the United Kingdom write examination with the Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB).

    Unfortunately, the conditions driving the migration have worsened with more doctors working for several months in the country without salaries.

    While providing an insight into the trend, a top member of the NMA said that in 2015, a total number of 715 doctors departed the shores of Nigeria, seeking greener pastures in foreign countries.

    “Annually, the number of Nigerian doctors departing the country to work abroad ranges between 500 to 700,” a top NMA official told our correspondent. Giving details of the doctor’s migration, a medical doctor who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said more Nigerian doctors move to the UK while a fewer number go to Canada.

    “Their final destination is, however, the United States (U.S.), which offers them better remuneration and welfare package. For these Nigerian doctors, working in the UK, Canada and other countries, including the Caribbean, working in these foreign nations is a stepping stone,” he said.

    The source added that foreign doctors, including the ones from Nigeria, don’t enter the U.S. directly. According to the source, “Migrating doctors have to go through UK, Canada and later enter the U.S. It’s easier to go to the UK, but the population of Nigerian doctors in the U.S. is more.

    “The final destination of majority of doctors leaving Nigeria for greener pastures is the U.S., because that is the country that pays more.”

    Explaining the migration, the member of NMA said going to the Caribbean to practice has been on with Nigerian doctors for a long time, but usually, that is not their final destination. When these doctors want to settle down, they usually move further to the U.S. and Canada.

    The source noted that not all the doctors in the country, an estimated 40,000, practice medicine. Some have since left the medical field to venture into other areas, some don’t renew their registration while some are dead.

    The doctors’ migration to overseas countries has, however resulted in huge workload for the medical practitioners that are left behind. Presently, the doctor-patient ratio in Nigeria is one doctor to 4,250 patients, which is far below the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended one doctor to not more than 600 patients.

    On the contrary, Dr. Adeyeye Arigbabuwo, immediate past chairman, Association of General Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (AGPMPN), Lagos State Chapter said some countries have achieved better doctor-patient ratio.

    “Cuba has the best doctorpatient ratio – one to 170; that of the United States (U.S.) is one doctor to 390 patients; while in Australia, the ratio is one doctor to 400 patients,” he asserted.

    According to Arigbabuwo, Africa especially south of the Sahara, is mainly vulnerable to poor doctor-patient ratio. “It is where we have bad doctor-patient ratio,” he added.

    Stakeholders have raised the alarm over the continued mass exodus of Nigerian medical doctors from the country for greener pastures abroad. The stakeholders are also calling for a better welfare and improved working conditions to check the dangerous trend. Prof. Mosto Onuoha, the president of the Nigerian Academy of Science (NAS), described the migration of medical doctors abroad as “a real problem.”

    Highlighting the enormity of the challenge, he related the experience of a young frustrated Nigerian doctor, who decided to go for an examination, a prerequisite for Nigerian doctors to practice medicine in the United Kingdom.

    “This doctor went for this examination last month and the first surprise he had was that there were over 500 Nigerian doctors that came for it. So, it is a serious problem and it is one that we at the NAS, and even me as the President of NAS, are concerned about,” Onuoha said. Speaking on the menace, the president of NAS lamented that the medical doctors that are leaving Nigeria to practice abroad are the young ones, especially those that are very intelligent.

    “They are the ones that are capable of passing the prerequisite examinations. We are losing most of the brightest doctors that we have,” he said.

    The other group that Nigeria is losing, according to him, is the affluent doctors whose parents are wealthy, because they can afford to send their doctor sons and daughters for educational programmes in developed countries.

    Highlighting other factors driving this migration, Onuoha stated that many doctors who graduated for the past three to four years cannot get health facilities as placement for Residency training. “Most of the state hospitals available are not accredited for Residency Programmes,” he lamented.

    Residency is a stage of graduate medical training. A resident is one who holds the degree of MBBS, who practices medicine usually in a hospital or clinic under the direct or indirect supervision of a Consultant. During the six-year period of the Residency training, the Residents specialise in a particular field such as orthopaedics, cardiology, ophthalmology, etc.

    Another category of doctors the nation is losing are consultants, most of whom get frustrated because they just watch their patients die as a result of poor working environment and dilapidated working tools.

    Furthermore, Onuoha blamed the problem on limited hospitals that employ doctors. Federal Government is their major employer, he said, adding that although private hospitals are thriving, many of them in Abuja and Lagos are not employing many doctors. He lamented that some of the few facilities that employ doctors in Nigeria owe salaries for several months.

    Onuoha said: “As I speak with you, I know teaching hospitals that are paying employed doctors fractions of their salary, ranging from 70 per cent to 80 per cent. Many doctors in Nigeria work for several months without salaries.” Highlighting factors driving the migration, Dr. Arigbabuwo attributed the trend mainly to economic interest, saying those working in Nigeria do not have good incentives.

    “There are no incentives for the doctors to go to the rural areas and practice,” Arigbabuwo said.

    A Consultant Paediatric Haematologic Oncologist  and former Chairman of Lagos NMA, Prof. Edamisan Temiye, blamed the migration of Nigerian doctors abroad on the hostile working environment in Nigeria. He said: “There are no amenities to work with. It starts with electricity, water supply to the provision of equipment to carry out treatment on patients.”

    What is happening, according to the former Chairman of Lagos NMA, is that the Nigerian doctors are well trained, but not given equipment to work with.

    Temiye noted that another reason for the migration is that everybody in Nigeria “wants to be the doctor,” adding that the competition is unhealthy and it is only in Nigeria that such competition is seen.

    On measures to halt this trend, the president of NAS called for the harmonisation of Residency training in Nigeria. According to Onuoha, most of the time, some Resident Doctors in Nigeria write the examinations to qualify them as consultants four to five times without passing and end up getting frustrated.

    “You find them leaving the country to go and practice abroad. Something needs to be done about their training. That is why often times, the resident doctors are on strike,” he said. He urged the government to pay doctors salaries as and when due as well as look into the various agreements it signed with different professional associations in the health sector with a view to addressing their problems.

    “We cannot continue to have the Nigerian doctors’ exodus that is on now; it is not healthy for any country,” the NAS President stated. Speaking in similar vein, the immediate past 2nd Vice Chairman of the NMA in Lagos State, Dr. Olusegun Akinwotu, urged government and stakeholders to ensure the provision of adequate remuneration for doctors in the country.

    “This (remuneration) is the most attractive factor driving Nigerian doctors to emigrate abroad,” he said. Akinwotu called for improved training for Nigerian doctors so that they can work with their contemporaries anywhere in the world.

    Credit: New Telegraph

    Posted in News | Leave a comment

    DOCTORS IN KOGI STATE BEGIN INDEFINITE STRIKE OVER UNPAID SALARIES

    The Kogi chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has directed its members to embark on an indefinite strike over government’s failure to pay doctors’ salaries.

    A communique jointly signed by its Chairman, Dr Tijani Godwin, and Secretary, Dr Zubair Kabiru, after an emergency congress on Tuesday in Lokoja, said that the strike would commence on Wednesday.

    image

    The NMA expressed disappointment over government’s inability to pay the doctors’ salaries and arrears as agreed two months ago and wondered why it was difficult for the government to fulfill basic commitments.

    “We have presented our demands to the government, but none has been met; we are left with no other option than to go on strike,” the association said.

    The medical doctors frowned at government’s refusal to clear nine doctors during the screening exercise even after they provided all necessary documents, and also decried the consistent deductions in the salaries and arrears of doctors.

    The association advised doctors intending to pick up employment with the Kogi Government to be “very cautious” as many of their colleagues were owed huge sums.

    The NMA embarked on a warning strike in December 2016 but suspended the action after the government promised to pay their salaries.

    The government, however, reneged on that promise, forcing the doctors to abandon the hospitals again.

    Posted in News | Leave a comment