The National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration and Control, (NAFDAC), has presented a preliminary result of a clinical test it conducted on the substances that recently caused strange illnesses in Kano State.
NAFDAC director-general, Professor Mojisola Adeyeye, presented the findings to governor Abdullahi Ganduje, on Wednesday in Kano.
Chief press secretary to the governor, Abba Anwar, said in a statement that the NAFDAC DG has informed governor Ganduje that some of the five substances tested were poisonous and could cause difficulty breathing normally.
Professor Adeyeye was quoted as saying two of the five substances were brought into the country illegally and were not registered. NAFDAC said the agency was investigating with all seriousness and had placed the operation of two companies on hold.
The substances are said to have citric acid. NAFDAC said the final result would be presented to the state government.
She commended the state consumer protection council for its unrelenting commitment in fighting the marketing of poisonous substances, fake and counterfeit drugs in the state.
Adeyeye revealed that the agency would establish a coordinated wholesale centre for drugs, and it’s building a state office and a well-equipped laboratory in Kano.
Governor Ganduje assured that the state government would partner with NAFDAC to keep the state and the country safe and healthy.
“We appreciate your effort in working hand-in-hand with us in taming this strange illness in the state.
“For now, the source of those substances are known to the authorities: while we arrested many consignments, we are still combing our markets thoroughly,” he said.
Ganduje said he was happy that the process of examining the substances was hastened by NAFDAC.
The governor disclosed that the state government is building a drug market at the new Dangwauro modern market, to sanitize the drug procurement system.
“The drug market there is almost completed. We have put in place at the drug market offices of NAFDAC, NDLEA, customs and excise, among others.”
“We will not relent in our effort to control the drug market in the state,” he said.
The NAFDAC boss was accompanied by the agency’s director of enforcement and Kano State coordinator, as well as former president of pharmaceutical society of Nigeria, Ahmed Ibrahim-Yakasai, among others.
The director-general also presented an award of excellence to the governor for his commitment to the war against drug abuse in the state.
WHO, Africa CDC Urge African Nations To Keep Expired COVID Vaccines
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Africa Centres for Disease Control (Africa CDC) have urged African countries not to destroy COVID-19 vaccines that have expired. Many countries on the continent got AstraZeneca vaccines through the U.N. facilitated Covax scheme for their campaigns.
Now, the W.H.O. says countries whose stocks might have expired should hold on to the stock and wait for further guidance. The Africa CDC says it has spoken to the manufacturer and has been reassured that the vaccines are still safe.
Reports say many vaccines can be used up to 36 months after manufacture, but because COVID-19 jabs are new, there is not enough data to prove their effectiveness over longer periods.
The call came after Malawi and South Sudan said they would discard more than 70,000 doses of the AstraZeneca jabs that were out of date.
The rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in Africa has been slow, partly because of supply issues and skepticism about the jab.
Out of 55 African countries, 41 have benefitted from the delivery of vaccines via the global-sharing scheme Covax. Seven are yet to receive their first batch.
Lagos Shuts All COVID-19 Vaccination Centres
Lagos has closed all COVID-19 vaccination centers across the state, after vaccinating more than a quarter of a million persons, completing the first phase of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign. That makes Lagos the only state that has inoculated more than 200,000 residents during this period.
Authorities say the first vaccination exercise ended on tuesday and all vaccination centres have been shut down. Lagos State received from the federal government half a million of the nearly four million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine delivered to Nigeria.
The National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, NPHCDA, had advised states to stop vaccination after administering half of the doses supplied to them. This is to ensure those who had already received the first dose would be able to get the second jab.
Lagos health commissioner, Professor Akin Abayomi says the remaining doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine have been reserved at the Lagos State cold chain store for the 2nd dose exercise, starting from late next month.
He urged Lagosians who have already received the first jab to keep their next appointment dates for their second dose at the same health facilities where they got the first jab.
Disruption In Oxygen Supply Kills Many COVID Patients In India
Twenty-two COVID-19 patients on ventilators have on Wednesday died in a hospital in western India after a disruption in the supply of medical oxygen caused by a leak.
According to Reuters news agency quoting the Nashik district’s collector, Suraj Mandhar said an oxygen tanker leaked outside a hospital in the city, halting its supply for about half an hour before it later resumed for nearly 150 other patients in the hospital.
Media reports said all the victims were on ventilators and in need of constant oxygen supply in the hospital dedicated for COVID-19 patients.
Fire officer Sanjay Bairagi said the leak was halted by the fire service within 15 minutes, but there was supply disruption in the Zakir Hussain Hospital in Nashik, a city in Maharashtra state that is the worst hit by the latest surge in coronavirus cases in the country.
Television images showed white fumes spreading in the hospital area, causing panic.
Surinder Sonone, a police officer, said the leak occurred in a pipe connecting the oxygen supply to the main tank in the hospital complex.
India with the second highest confirmed cases of COVID-19 behind the United States has reported more than 15.6 million infections as the total number of fatalities stood at 182,553.
State Health Minister Rajesh Tope said the state government has ordered an investigation into what caused the leak.
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