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Showing posts with label Health. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Health. Show all posts

Thursday, September 2, 2021

September 02, 2021

Hope For HIV Vaccine Dims As Trial Fails In Africa

Hope of an effective Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV) vaccine may have been dashed, as researchers announced Tuesday that an advanced trial in Africa had been stopped after data showed that the shots offered only limited protection against the disease.

The therapy, by Johnson & Johnson, is one in a long line found to offer little defence against the virus. A particular candidate vaccine even increased the risk of infection.

Another trial was halted last year in South Africa after a different experimental vaccine failed to offer sufficient protection. Some 1.5 million people were infected with HIV worldwide in 2020, and 38 million are living with the ailment.

Scientists were dismayed by the most recent failure.

The principal investigator and chair of the South African Medical Research Council, Dr. Glenda Gray, said: “I should be used to it by now, but you've never used to it – you still put your heart and soul into it.”

She has been working to develop a treatment for more than 15 years

Entirely, new approaches might be needed. This month, Moderna announced that it would test a vaccine based on the mRNA platform to devise the company’s COVID-19 vaccine.

Named Imbokodo, the trial tested an experimental vaccine on 2,600 most predisposed HIV young women in five sub-Saharan African nations, as the gender accounted for almost two-thirds of new infections in the region last year.

Johnson & Johnson, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the United States National Institutes of Health-funded the exercise.

The vaccine relied on an adenovirus called Ad26, modified to carry fragments of four HIV subtypes into the body in the hope of provoking an immune response that could guard against infection.

Participants in the Imbokodo trial, which began in 2017, were given two initial shots and two boosters in a period of one year. Researchers tracked the number of new infections in the placebo and vaccine groups from the seventh month (a month after the third vaccination) through the 24th month.

Over two years, 63 of 1,109 partakers, who received the placebo, were infected with HIV, compared with 51 of 1,079 participants that received the vaccine – giving the therapy an efficacy rate of 25 per cent.

Earlier studies, including one carried out in Thailand, had indicated that the kind of antibodies the vaccine provoked might be sufficient to offer good protection from the sickness for an initial period of time.

But a parallel trial that uses a different iteration of this vaccine will continue, Johnson & Johnson said. It is being tested on men, who have sex with men and transgender people, in eight countries, including Poland, Brazil, and the United States.

The study, labelled Mosaico, is testing the vaccine against different subtypes of HIV in different populations and could produce different efficacy results.

Thursday, August 5, 2021

August 05, 2021

Your Breast Milk Is Meant For Your Babies, Stop Giving It To Your Husbands - Commissioner Urge Nursing Mothers


By Steve Oko

Commissioner for Gender Affairs Enugu State, Hon. Peace Nnaji, has urged mothers to reserve their breastmilks for their babies and not husband.

The Commissioner who stated this in a remark at a UNICEF media dialogue with select journalists from South East, South South and parts of North Central, said it was wrong for men to be sharing their wife’s breastmilk with the babies.

She insisted that the breastmilk is naturally meant for “the baby and not the man”.

Her words:” Breastmilk is meant for babies and not their fathers. Mothers should stop feeding their husbands with their breastmilk, it’s for their babies.

” It’s wrong for mothers not to breastfeed their babies for fear of having flat or saggy breast.”

The Commissioner who urged mothers to practice exclusive breastfeeding of their babies for at least the first six months after birth because of its numerous benefits.

She also expressed her displeasure with some musicians who release albums that tend to tease sagged breasts, arguing that if a woman’s breasts are flat in the course of breastfeeding, it was a noble thing.

The media dialogue which was hosted in partnership with the Broadcating Corporation of Abia State, BCA, featured lecturers and presentations UNICEF resource persons.

UNICEF Chief of Field Office, Enugu zone, Dr. Ibrahim Conteh, in a remark, urged mothers to embrace exclusive breastfeeding as no baby formula can be equated to breastmilk.

Speaking at the event, Communication Officer, UNICEF Enugu zone, Dr. Ijeoma Onuoha-Ogwe, appealed to media practitioners to help drive the message of exclusive breastfeeding through their various platforms.

She described the media as strategic partners in the campaign for exclusive breastfeeding and commended Journalists for their efforts in this direction while urging for more action.

In her presentation, UNICEF Nutrition Manager, Enugu zone, Dr. Hanifa Namusoke, insisted that exclusive breastfeeding is cheap and highly rewarding and urged mothers to embrace the practice.

She explained that every child needs the first breastmilk after birth “which is yellow and thick”, saying that it is good immune booster and contains vaccines.

UNICEF Desk Officer in Abia, Mr. Okezie Nkpa who represented the Director General of BCA, gave the theme of the media dialogue as Protect Breastfeeding: A Shared Responsibility.

He pledged the continued support of the corporation in promoting exclusive breastfeeding through media advocacy.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

September 13, 2020

NCDC Debunk Rumoured Declined Cases of COVID-19, Says It's Ready To Contain Emergency Response In 120mins.

Nigeria Centre for Disease Control  says it is now ready to contain any kind of epidemic outbreak in the county within 120mins, according to Director, Emergency Response Division, Dr. Evaristus Chijioke.

It siad with the training of over 521 Frontline emergency responders in over 29 states of the federation, NCDC was battle ready to contain any disease outbreak even more effective than the way it has handled the COVID-19 outbreak.

Speaking in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital during the training of some of the Frontline emergency responders, Dr. Chijioke also debunked the rumoured declined cases of Covid 19, maintaining that there is still a high level community transmission going on.

According to him, the training aims at preparing the emergency response frontliners for the fundamentals of emergency response management, emergency response coordination, incident reporting techniques etc  in line with global best practices.

"Right now what we want is for states to take ownership of the EOCs by generating their own resources and to managing. That is why we are collaborating with various ministries, CSOs, security agencies and other stakeholders because we want them to take ownership of it.

"When these pillars come together, it will naturally produce effective response towards addressing Covid-19 and other pandemics that may arise in future."

Friday, August 14, 2020

August 14, 2020

Covid-19: Youth Corp Member Donates Hand Washing Containers, Sanitizers & Facemask To C'River Govt

In a bid to complement the Cross River State government's effort in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, a serving National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) member serving in Calabar, Cross River State, Essen  Ekemini Etim, has donated 30 Covid-19 Hand washing Containers, 100 Hand Sanitizers and 100 facemask to the Cross River State Ministry of Health.

Essen, who holds a First Class (Hons.) in Medical Laboratory Science from Madonna University, Nigeria, expressed satisfaction with the landmark feat recorded by the State Governor, His Excellency Ben Ayade against the novel corona virus. He pledged to fully support the State government to fight against the global scourge.

Receiving the items on behalf of the state government, the State Commissioner for Health, Dr Betta Edu, thanked Mr. Essen for the donation, assuring that his name would be registered amongst the donors for the fight against Covid-19 and for the state awards.

In attendance at the project commissioned were; The State Commissioner of Health, Dr. Betta Edu, The Director NYSC South-South Area, Mr. Ayodele Folorunso Omotade, The State Cordinator, NYSC Cross River State, Alhaji Mohammed Nakamba, Corp Members and other distinguished personalities.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

August 01, 2020

C'River Health Commissioner, Betta Edu Emerges Acting National Chairman of Nigeria Commissioners For Health Forum

The Cross River State Commissioner for Health, Dr Betta Edu has emerged as the acting National Chairman of the Nigeria Commissioner for health Forum.

Dr. Edu broke the news of her emergence in a Facebook post.

She thanked the Minister for Health Dr. Osagie Emmanuel Ehanire for all the support to the forum thus far. Dr. Edu also thanked her colleagues for the privilege to lead the forum, promising to follow the foot step of the former chairman Dr Abba who did a great Job piloting the affairs of the Forum.

The new acting Chairman stated that topmost on the forums agenda now is to see that Nigeria can build a more resilient health system and Achieve Universal Health Coverage through the implementation of Basic Health Care Provision Fund and state Health Insurance Scheme in all states working with the Federal Ministry of Health, National primary Health Care Development Agency and National Health Insurance Scheme.

"The forum will also seek to improve the general public health response of states to the COVID-19 Pandemic working in synergy with relevant Federal MDAs. There would be high level policy dialogues that will put health care on the political front burner in all states of the Federation working with The Honorable Minister for Health and the Nigerian Governors forum.

"We would take advantage of the present pandemic to advance discussions and actions on strategic building of health sector. It's COVID-19 today, another pandemic can put more burden on the health system in the future if we do not actively prepare. Building political capital will be crucial for our success, as a forum".

Thursday, July 30, 2020

July 30, 2020

Covid-19: Cross River Records 5 New Cases, 2 Deaths As Nigeria Hits 42,208

Cross River State, on Wednesday recorded 5 new cases of Coronavirus and 2 deaths, data from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), shows.

The state has so far recorded 45 cases of the virus with 9 recoveries and 3 deaths.

The NCDC in its daily update of cases posted on its official Twitter, says 404 new cases was recorded in the country, with Lagos topping the chart with 106 cases, followed by the FCT with 54 cases.

Others are: Rivers-48, Plateau-40, Edo-29, Enugu-21, Oyo-20, Kano-18, Ondo-15, Ogun-10, Ebonyi-9, Ekiti-8, Kaduna-6, Kwara-4, Anambra-3, Delta-3, Imo-2, Nasarawa-2, Borno-1,

The agency also announced a total of 42,208 confirmed cases in Nigeria with 19,004 discharged and 873 deaths.

Friday, July 24, 2020

July 24, 2020

Covid-19: Cross River Records 5 New Cases, Nigeria 604

Cross River State on Thursday, July 23, 2020, recorded 5 new cases of Coronavirus, bringing the total in the state to 34, with 3 recoveries and 1 death.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), confirmed this in its daily update of cases on its official Twitter handle. The centre also confirmed a total of  604 new cases of the pandemic in the country, with the total number of infections rising to 38,344.

It added that 20 deaths were recorded in the country.

According to the NCDC, till date, 38,948 cases have been confirmed, while 16,061 cases have been discharged, with 833 deaths recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Data released by the centre showed that the latest COVID-19 infections were reported in 20 states and the FCT, with Lagos State – the country’s epicentre of the disease, having the highest number of infected people (203).

A breakdown of the data provided by the NCD showed that Oyo recorded 87 cases, while FCT had 79 new cases.

Others were Edo – 41; Osun – 35; Ogun – 24; Rivers – 22; Kaduna – 22; Akwa Ibom – 20; and Plateau – 18.

Delta recorded 9 cases, Ebonyi – 9; Imo – 8; Enugu – 5; and Kano – 5; Cross River – 5 ; Katsina – 4; Nasarawa – 3; Borno – 2; Ekiti – 2; and Bauchi – 1.

It noted that a multi-sectoral national Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), activated at Level 3, would continue to coordinate national response activities across the country.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

July 22, 2020

Cross River Records Its Highest Daily Cases Of Covid-19, 576 New Cases Confirmed In Nigeria

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has confirmed 16 new cases of Covid-19 in Cross River State, its highest since the virus was confirmed in the state. 576 new COVID-19 infections was recorded in 21 states and the federal capital territory (FCT).

This brings the total cases of the virus in the state to 29, out of which 3 has recovered while 1 death has been recorded.
The agency announced this in its update for July 21.
According to the breakdown of cases, no state recorded more than 100 new infections.
Four new deaths were recorded on Tuesday, increasing the number of fatalities from 801 to 805.
However, with 344 patients discharged on Tuesday, the recovery rate rose from 15,333 to 15,677.
Out of 37,801 samples now confirmed positive for the coronavirus in all 36 states and the FCT, a total of 21,319 cases are active.
The testing capacity recorded some improvement with more than 10,000 samples tested in less than one week — 3,995 samples were tested on July 20, 2020.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

July 19, 2020

Cross River Records 1 New Case Of Covid-19 As Nigeria's New Cases Increased by 653

Latest case update by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) for Saturday, July 18, shows Cross River State has recorded 1 new case of Coronavirus.

This brings the total cases recorded by the state to 13 with 3 recoveries and 1 death. Nigeria recorded 653 new cases.

653 new cases of COVID19 in Nigeria

























Cross River-1




Federal Ministry of Health, NIGERIA and 7 others

Monday, July 6, 2020

July 06, 2020

Covid-19: NCDC Update For July 5, 2020

544 new cases of #COVID19Nigeria;

Akwa Ibom-8

On the 5th of July 2020, 544 new confirmed cases and 11 deaths were recorded in Nigeria
No new state has reported a case in the last 24 hours.
Till date, 28711 cases have been confirmed, 11665 cases have been discharged and 645 deaths have been recorded in 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory
The 544 new cases are reported from 19 states- Lagos(199), Ebonyi(65),Oyo(47), Ondo(46), Ogun(31), Edo(30), FCT(28), Katsina(25), Plateau(15), Bayelsa(11), Kaduna(10), Adamawa(10), Akwa Ibom ( 8 ), Gombe(7), Kano(4), Taraba(3), Rivers(2), Abia(2), Ekiti(1)

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Sunday, July 5, 2020

July 05, 2020

Coronavirus May Not Have Originated From China - Expert

Coronavirus may have lain dormant across the world and emerged when environmental conditions were right for it to thrive - rather than starting in China, an Oxford University expert believes, reports The Telegraph.

Dr Tom Jefferson, senior associate tutor at the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine (CEBM), at Oxford, and visiting professor at Newcastle University, argues that there is growing evidence that the virus was elsewhere before it emerged in Asia.

Last week, Spanish virologists announced they had found traces of the disease in samples of waste water collected in March 2019, nine months before the coronavirus disease was seen in China.

Italian scientists have also found evidence of coronavirus in sewage samples in Milan and Turin, in mid-December, many weeks before the first case was detected, while experts have found traces in Brazil in November.

Dr Jefferson believes that many viruses lie dormant throughout the globe and emerge when conditions are favourable. It also means they can vanish as quickly as they arrive.

"Where did Sars 1 go? It’s just disappeared," he said "So we have to think about these things. We need to start researching the ecology of the virus, understanding how it originates and mutates.

"I think the virus was already here, here meaning everywhere. We may be seeing a dormant virus that has been activated by environmental conditions.

"There was a case in the Falkland Islands in early February. Now where did that come from? There was a cruise ship that went from South Georgia to Buenos Aires, and the passengers were screened and then on day eight, when they started sailing towards the Weddell Sea, they got the first case. Was it in prepared food that was defrosted and activated?

"Strange things like this happened with Spanish Flu. In 1918 around 30 per cent of the population of Western Samoa died of Spanish Flu, and they hadn’t had any communication with the outside world.

"The explanation for this could only be that these agents don’t come or go anywhere. They are always here and something ignites them, maybe human density or environmental conditions, and this is what we should be looking for."

Dr Jefferson believes that the virus may be transmitted through the sewage system or shared toilet facilities, not just through droplets expelled by talking, coughing and sneezing.

Writing in The Telegraph, Dr Jefferson and Professor Carl Henegehan, Director of the CEBM, call for an in-depth investigation similar to that carried out by John Snow in 1854, which showed cholera was spreading in London from an infected well in Soho.

Exploring why so many outbreaks happen at food factories and meatpacking plantscould uncover major new transmission routes, they believe. It may be shared toilet facilities coupled with cool conditions that allow the virus to thrive.

"We’re doing a living review, extracting environmental conditions, the ecology of these viruses which has been grossly understudied," said Dr Jefferson.

"There is quite a lot of evidence that huge amounts of the virus in sewage all over the place, and an increasing amount of evidence there is faecal transmission. There is a high concentration where sewage is four degrees, which is the ideal temperature for it to be stabled and presumably activated. And meatpacking plants are often at four degrees.

"These meat packing clusters and isolated outbreaks don’t fit with respiratory theory, they fit with people who haven’t washed their hands properly.

"These outbreaks need to be investigated properly with people on the ground one by one. You need to do what John Snow did. You question people, and you start constructing hypotheses that fit the facts, not the other way around."

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Friday, July 3, 2020

July 03, 2020

Cross River State Begins Testing for Covid-19 At State-owned Hospital

Cross River State Commissioner for Health and Chairman of Covid-19 Response Taskforce, Dr Betta Edu on Friday afternoon during the inspection of Cross River State Covid-19 Testing and Sample Collection Centre at Lawrence Henshaw Memorial Hospital, Calabar disclosed to Press men that testing of already collected samples of COVID-19 has started today following the completion of the training at Lawrence Henshaw Memorial Hospital Calabar while the walk in drive-through testing will begin on Monday 6th July, 2020.

The Honorable Commissioner who was accompanied by the Permanent Secretary, Barr Takim Asu Takim and Special Adviser Health to the Governor, Dr David Ushie call on Cross Riverians who may come down with symptoms of Covid-19 irrespective of class to avail themselves at the Sample Collection Centre, Lawrence Henshaw Infectious Disease Hospitals for testing.

She said the reference laboratory has the intensity and capacity to bring out eight test sample result from the Gene xpert machine and 96 test sample results from the PCR machine every 45 minutes in an accelerated speed that could enable the state record almost 500 test per day. According to her, testing has began today but you can drive- through by. Monday. She called on all not to panic as Covid-19 is not a death sentence but should come forward for testing as the need arises.

Dr Edu stated that Cross Riverians at this moment that were not keeping to the state prevention guidelines and COVID-19 Taskforce protocols should sit up as State government would not condone such act again especially as we move towards the most decisive 2nd phase of Covid-19 prevention Control.

Friday, June 26, 2020

June 26, 2020

'You May Have Imported Covid-19 Into C'River Via RDTs', Med Lab Scientists To C'River Govt, Clarifies On NCDC Trainig

The Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria(AMLSN), Cross River State Branch has faulted the state's use of rapid diagnostic test kits (RDTs) for screening of persons at border communities in the state.

Recall that the Cross River State government had announced the deployment of rapid diagnostic test (RDT) kits for massive screening of persons at border communities and "areas of interest" in the state.

The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Betta  Edu stated this in a press briefing on Monday, June 22 during an update on the effort of the state's Covid-19 Response Task Force in containing the virus.

AMLSN in a press statement signed by its Chairman, Benedict Ndem and Secretary Dennis Ekpo, said the RDT kits comes with both positive and negative controls which, apart from not being validated by relevant authorities, comes with risk of infection.

The statement reads in full:

A Press Release By  The Association Of  Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria, Cross River State Branch Concerning The Update On COVID-19 By The State Task Force

The Cross River State Branch of the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria is compelled to issue this Press Release, following recent events in Cross River State,:  a  Video, which went viral, showing the Honourable Commissioner for  Information and an Update on the State’s response on COVID-19 by the State Task Force, presented by the Honourable Commissioner for Health. As a body of Healthcare Professionals, saddled with the professional duty of Medical Laboratory Diagnosis (including COVID-19 testing), we are obligated to take more than a passing interest in the following developments:

The Viral video
The Honourable Commissioner for Information is seen alleging that the Federal Ministry of Health is planning to import COVID-19 into Cross River State, through a planned COVID-19 training at the Nigerian Navy Reference Hospital, Calabar. We consider this a serious allegation with grave implications being that it is coming from the Official Image-maker and mouth piece of the State Government. The allegation is capable of throwing spanners in the works in the efforts to increase testing for COVID-19 and fight against the pandemic. As Professionals, we have a responsibility to inform the public without bias and/or prejudice. 

We are aware that the NCDC National Testing Strategy has 4 prongs as elucidated in the document: ‘National Strategy to Scale up Access to Coronavirus Disease Testing in Nigeria’, published on April 15, 2020. Prongs 1 and 2 have been achieved and no Laboratory in Cross River State was included. Prong 3 involves "The re-purposing of point-of-care Tuberculosis Testing GeneXpert Laboratories for COVID-19 testing". The target is to re-purpose one GeneXpert Laboratory in each of the 36 States and FCT and is expected to increase the country's testing capacity by 1,300 tests per day.

The Nigerian Navy Reference Hospital Calabar, was selected in Cross River State by NCDC and National TB and Leprosy Control Programme for Prong 3 of the National Testing Strategy. The purported hands-on training is part of capacity development in preparation for possible activation of the project. These capacity development activities should not and cannot translate to importing of COVID-19 into Cross River State. So far, there are 37 approved Laboratories, in the NCDC Laboratory Network, spread across different States of the Federation, and trainings were conducted for Medical laboratory personnel before they were activated. There was no report of importation of COVID-19 as a result of these trainings which are usually conducted in controlled environments. Why should the case of Cross River State be different? One who lives in a glass house should not throw stones. 

The State COVID-19 Task Force might have already imported the virus into the State; for according to its report, the Task Force claimed to have performed COVID-19 screening using RDT Kits. These kits, as we know, come with both positive and negative controls!

2. Testing of COVID-19 in Cross River State.

The level of COVID-19 testing in Cross River State is abysmally low and of serious concern. Records from NCDC indicate that as at 10th June 2020, only 9 COVID-19 screening tests had been conducted for the State. The disparity between number of samples collected and actual test performed raises more questions than answers.  On the other hand, the State has conducted test using RDT Kits, as reported in the CRS COVID-19 update. The Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN), in May 2020, made public its validation of COVID-19 RDT Kits in Nigeria. The MLSCN revealed that no single RDT Kit in the country was able to meet up with 95% level of sensitivity and specificity. It was on this strength, that the NCDC placed an embargo on the use of RDT Kits to test for Coronavirus. The consequence of the use of RDT kits with less than the required sensitivity and specificity, is their inability to pick true positive and true negative cases when in use. This scenario leads to high levels of false positive and false negative results. 
If this was used for screening at the point of entry as reported, then somebody should be held accountable for putting the lives of Cross Riverians at risk. The gold standard for testing for COVID-19 remains RT-PCR, for now. We want to appeal to the COVID-19 State Task Force, and by extension, Cross River State Ministry of Health, to stop risking the lives of Citizens by screening for Coronavirus using non-validated and non-certified test kits.

The statement, ‘the public must know that testing for COVID-19 does not work magic as we are made to think’, encapsulates the Task Force’s prejudice against testing. It can then be inferred that testing is not a priority for Cross River State Government. For the purpose of disabusing the minds of the general public, testing remains the gateway in and out of the Coronavirus pandemic. For, it is through testing, that one’s status is determined and in the event of being infected with the virus, it is also testing that determines the response to treatment, as well as when one is rid of the virus. For standard practice, a patient must test negative before he is discharged.  It is therefore worrisome to note that patients in the Isolation Centres in Cross River State are subjected to blind treatment in the twenty-first century. We are calling on the NCDC to investigate the claims of the procedure of management in Cross River State Isolation Centres.

3. General laxity

We have observed an increased laxity among members of the public towards adherence to personal safety guidelines as advocated by the NCDC. This may be due, largely, to the continuous bombarding of the public psyche with zero status of the State by various Agents of Government. We are calling on  all residents of the State, to take responsibility for their health by ensuring that they comply with the  NCDC guidelines of use of face mask, conscious physical and social distancing,  general and  personal hygiene, including regular washing of hands and use of hand sanitizers.

4. Signs of community transmission

The transmission of Coronavirus is presently suspected to be at the community level across the country. Hospitals and Clinics in Calabar Metropolis are currently reporting high cases of patients with flu-like symptoms, with loss of taste/smell. This is causing heightened fears among the populace and worry among Care-givers. This further raises doubt on the ‘zero status’ of the State. This underscores the urgent need for testing. Testing remains the only empirical way of determining if these are cases of COVID-19, or other ailments altogether.

5. Production of PPE by Government

The efforts of the State Government in the production of PPE is worthy of commendation. Proper standardization and sustained production will ensure the availability of PPE. This will go a long way in boosting the morale of health-care workers in the State; apart from generating the much needed revenue for the State.

It is said that when two elephants fight, the grass suffers. The current flexing of muscles between the Cross River State Ministry of Health and NCDC, has dire consequences on the health of the poor residents of the State. There are no international or local awards or laurels for zero status of COVID-19 pandemic. We are therefore joining other health professionals, and all well-meaning Cross Riverians, to send an SOS to the relevant authorities to by-pass bureaucracy and activate a Testing Centre in Cross River State, without further delay. We pray the government of Cross River State to remember that it has a responsibility to protect the lives and property of the Citizens of the State.

Branch Chairman          Branch Secretary


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Monday, June 22, 2020

June 22, 2020

Covid-19: Against FG Standard, C'River Government Deploys RDTs For Testing At Border Communities

By Obio Monday
Dr Betta  Edu
(Grassroot Reporters)
The Cross River State government says it has deployed rapid diagnostic test (RDT) kits for massive screening of persons at border communities and "areas of interest" in the state.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Betta  Edu stated this in a press briefing on Monday, June 22 to give an update on the effort of the state's Covid-19 Response Task Force in containing the virus.
This is against the federal government's warning on the use of RDTs in the country.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN) had in March this year warned against the use of RDTs in the country. The only method of testing approved in the country is the use of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and the Genexpert machines.
The NCDC had said in a tweet: 
"Remember, rapid test kits can give false results.
"We continue to scale up testing. Every state has been provided with supplies for sample collection".

The centre added that:
“Both NAFDAC and the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria are working with several companies to evaluate tests kits. All new PCR kits will undergo validation. We will also be guided by approved technology from WHO,” the agency had assured the nation".

On its part, the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN) boss, Dr Tosan Erhabor said that so far no rapid diagnostic test kit has met the standard certification for use in testing for Covid-19 or any infectious disease control in Nigeria. 

However, on Monday, Dr Edu said at the press briefing:
"The state Government has commenced massive screening for persons at border communities and areas of interest using the antigen RDT method that has 100% specificity and 95% sensitivity. Furthermore, we will commence training for Head teachers and principals of schools working with the Ministry of Education to prepare them for school resumption which might happen anytime soon".

She lamented the failure of the NCDC to accredit testing centres in the state.
"Failure of NCDC to respond to our request for testing site at Lawrence Henshaw Memorial Hospital and UCTH despite the provision by the Cross River State of a PCR machine and Gene-Xpert machines in at least two facilities in Calabar. 

"The travel distance, risks, delays at the testing center sometimes due to lack of reagents, extraction kits, etc and costs involved may have possible effects on waiting time of the various samples which eventually gets tested. We continue to work and improve on all these fronts, provide vehicles for the teams to move around easily and carry out their duties".


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