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Osinbajo: FG Will Support Research On Using River Blindness Drug To Treat COVID-19

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Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has pledged the support of the federal government for a team of Nigerian professors and scientists investigating the efficacy of ivermectin — a drug used to treat river blindness — against COVID.

Osinbajo made the pledge on Monday when he was briefed by a team of Nigerian scientists led by Femi Babalola, a professor and principal investigator of the research effort, and Chris Bode, chief medical director of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH).

The team — the IVERCOVID research group — worked on a project titled: “A Randomised Controlled Trial for the Repurposing of Ivermectin in the Management of COVID-19”, which examined the effectiveness of the drug in the “treatment of patients with virology proven COVD-19 disease”.

According to a statement by Laolu Akande, his media aide, Osinbajo applauded the efforts of the team and said the federal government will support the research.

“We have an opportunity here and I am so fascinated to hear this drug has been used in the treatment of river blindness in this country,” Osinbajo was quoted to have said.

The vice-president noted Nigeria is at an advantage since ivermectin has been found useful not only in the treatment of COVID-19 but also as a prophylactic medication.

According to the statement by Akande, the other members of the research group are Lanre Adeyemo, chairman of the medical advisory council at LUTH; Adesuyi Ajayi, a US-based clinical pharmacologist; S.A. Omilabu and Olumuyiwa Salu, both project virologists; and Felix Alakaloko, the project coordinator.

“The research, carried out in the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) was undertaken following the report of a 5,000-fold reduction in viral load by Australian workers with in-vitro use of Ivermectin on COVID-19 in culture,” the statement reads.

“In its results so far, the study noted that the randomization was effective based on the distribution of age, sex, and some clinical presentation at baselines such as cough and fever. The overall results showed that the “Days-To-Negative (DTN) reduced by 3.8 days overall. While a few patients are negative by day two, 50 percent are negative by day 5.”

“The study indicated that clinical trials of Ivermectin have been carried out in at least 21 countries worldwide, including Nigeria. It referenced the “Meta-analysis of clinical trials of Ivermectin to treat COVID-19 infection” by Dr. Andrew Hill, Department of Pharmacology, University of Liverpool, UK.

“Highlighting the practical applications, the Study proposed that “Ivermectin should be considered for adoption into the uniform treatment guidelines of COVID-19 in Nigeria,” noting the “potential use of ivermectin as prophylaxis pending the rollout of vaccination programs or alongside it”.

“However, the Study emphasized that Ivermectin “is not meant to replace other COVID-19 measures such as social distancing, face masking, and hygiene, or vaccinations,” adding that, “It is possibly an additional tool which can be deployed to fight the pandemic.”

Akande added that the group said a report of its findings had been submitted to the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

Although there have been researched efforts globally on the efficacy of ivermectin, scientists are yet to agree on the use of the drug for treating COVID.

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Only God Can Give Victory Over Insecurity —– Femi Adesina

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The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, says Nigerians who fail to commit the security situation into the hands of God could be guilty of indirectly prolonging the war against insurgency.

Adesina said this in an article on Thursday titled, ‘The Decent for the Indecent, the Just for the Unjust’.

The President’s aide noted that a short viral video showed a soldier and four others singing that victory is from God alone.

Adesina, however, said many Nigerians had failed to understand that only God gives victory.

He wrote, “But victory is from God alone. That is what we must realize as Nigerians. Do we ever pray for our troops in the frontlines? Do we remember those youths, our pride, and strength, faced by death daily, as we sleep in the comfort of our homes, ensconced in the tender bosom of our wives?

“As we pray; God give me money. Give me a car. Give me a promotion. Kill my enemies. Do it now. Do we ever remember our soldiers? Ere you left your room this morning, did you think to pray…did you pray for our soldiers? Victory comes from God alone. If you don’t pray, you may be guilty of prolonging the war in North-East, North-west, North-central, and all over Nigeria.”

The President’s spokesman said rather than understand the fact that only God can give victory, some Nigerians had become wailers.

“Yes, victory is from God alone. But do some people know? Does it ever enter into their consciousness? They only wail: ‘this insurgency war has lasted too long. The banditry has demystified our military. They are cowards. The top guns don’t even want the battle to end.

“They are making money in billions.’ Okay. Making money in billions and wasting our soldiers, our youths, our future, and hope, in their hundreds and thousands because of blood money. That is all some people see; permanent cynics and sceptics, who know nothing of altruism, and whose God is their belly. They think only of pecuniary gain, nothing else,” Adesina said.

He said as the nation marks this year’s Armed Forces Remembrance Day, Nigerians should seize the opportunity to pray for the military and encourage them and not run them down.

 

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JUST IN: Lagos Okays School Reopening January 18

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The Lagos State Government has affirmed its earlier pronouncement that all public and private schools in Lagos State below tertiary level should resume on Monday, January 18, 2021, for the second term 2020/2021 academic session.

This affirmation was made today by the Honourable Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folasade Adefisayo while noting that this is in line with the Federal Government’s resolution after reaching a consensus with relevant stakeholders.

Details later…

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Drama As Pigeons Released By Buhari Refuse To Fly At Armed Forces Remembrance [VIDEO]

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The doves, otherwise known as white pigeons, released by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), at the Armed Forces Remembrance Day ceremony, refused to fly despite multiple attempts by the President thereby sparking a debate on social media on Friday.

The President had opened the birdcage at the National Arcade, picked up one of the doves, and thrown it into the air but the bird landed atop the cage and refused to fly.

Buhari, who was eager to let the white pigeons fly, opened the roof of the cage in a bid to send them all out but the birds remained adamant and decided to sit on top of the cage’s roof.

The President, who appeared tired of trying, soon left the birds and returned to his seat. Moments after the President had left, however, some of the birds flew.

The ritual of releasing doves is to commemorate the life of a departed loved one and is common at significant events like funerals or memorials. It also signifies peace.

Studies show that domesticated doves that are used to living in cages are not always keen on flying.

The Vatican stopped the ritual in 2014 when Pope Francis released two birds that would not fly out of the window of the papal apartment and required several attempts to get the birds to fly out over a crowd of spectators.

A similar incident occurred just the year prior at an event where Pope Benedict XVI released doves during a Holocaust remembrance event. The doves were attacked by a gull, with one dove being singled out and injured, according to Wikipedia.

In 2014, the doves refused to fly when former President Goodluck Jonathan freed them. The Spiritual Director of the Adoration Ministry Enugu, Rev Fr. Ejike Mbaka, described the incident at the time as a sign that God had abandoned Jonathan.

The refusal of the birds to fly on Friday, however, sparked thousands of comments on social media.

A former presidential aspirant of the All Progressives Congress, Adamu Garba, said the birds should be eaten if they cannot do what they were trained to do.

“The pigeons are tired and overtime became lazy, they don’t want to fly the spirit of The Nigerian Flag. We should roast them at Suya joint and deploy Crowwe for action,” he said.

Social media personality, Morris Monye, said the Department of State Services would have arrested the pigeons for embarrassing the President if they could.

“I guarantee you… If it was possible, the DSS would arrest the pigeons for such an affront on the President. But really, is there peace, harmony, and security in the land?” he asked.

A former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili, who is a known critique of the President, also tweeted, “Hmmm. Even the pigeons in Nigeria.”

 

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