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FMC Abeokuta MD, Prof Musa Olomu, Swims in Alleged Identity, Hospital Items Purchase Fraud

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Prof Olomu

When Prof. Musa Olomu was appointed about three years ago as the medical director of the Federal Medical Centre, Idi-Aba, Abeokuta, jubilation was in the air as many staff and stakeholders believe that the messiah needed for the development of FMC has come.

 

It was learnt that the jubilation was unconnected to the fact that the MD was a professor. Many believed that being an academia, he will help in restoring peace in the unionism of the institution and also bring massive development to the Centre.

 

However, weeks after his emergence, scandal started trailing his appointment as it was learnt that the MD who claimed to be a native of Kogi was discovered to be an indigene of Abeokuta.

 

While there were grumbling over the alleged deceptive attitude thaf led to gbe appointment of Prof. Olomu. Many look otherwise in anticipation that the MD will deliver on his promises.

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It was however gathered that about a year after his appointment, the MD went ahead to get a new CT scan machine worth 190 million after an alleged claim that the other scan machine is not working. But, findings revealed that two weeks after the purchase of the multimillionaire machine became faulty and since is not working.

 

Also, Prof. Olomu was alleged of diverting a sum of N300 million drugs revolving fund and illegal sale of a CT Scan belonging to the hospital . The management was also accused of buying a refurbished CT Scan for about N300 million which got spoilt within three months.

 

The MD was also accused of attempting to intimidate any staff that did not do its bidding with the construction of police post in the hospital.

 

The medical director was also currently in age scandal where he was alleged to have reduce his age just to get federal government employment.

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-Akin Alade

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OONI UNVEILS ANTI-COVID-19 HERBAL IMMUNE BOOSTING DRUGS

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The Arole Oduduwa & Ooni of Ife, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II, on Thursday unveiled series of traditional medicines made from local herbs for boosting human’s immune system against infectious diseases, including the rampaging Coronavirus disease.

 

 


 

The products launched were Verozil – an immune booster, Bitter Leaf Capsule – specially researched and produced to attack diabetes and high blood pressure, Vision Pro – an herbal product that tackles eye problems and Rio Capsule – which regulates men’s sexual disorder.

 


 

The product launch which held at the Ile-Oodua Palace in Ile-Ife, was done through a platform called Herbal Remedies International with the Ooni as its Chairman, in partnership with the ace traditionalist; Dr. Akintunde Ayeni, C.E.O./Chairman, YEMKEM International LTD.

Addressing newsmen, Ooni Ogunwusi who wondered why the African continent inports medicines and other medical ingredients from developed countries, explained that it is a proven fact which is equally established by the World Health Organization that Africa and indeed Nigeria have the best herbs which could be used for vaccine production.

“We are not doing this in isolation and I am happy to inform you that the National Assembly is currently working on a bill of the Federal Executive Council, on medical research that is alternative to orthodox medicine which is the herbal medicine.

“The Bill is to develop and regulate Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Nigeria. We will endeavor to align with global trends in Traditional Complimentary and Alternative Medicine, there is no doubt that the bill as drafted will greatly enhance the practice of Traditional Complementary and Alternative Medicine and generally facilitate the integration of the practice into the health in Nigeria and capable of contributing to the GDP growth of the country.”

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“I am very honoured to be in partnership with the best when it comes to alternative medicine practice in Nigeria, YEMKEM International who has been in the industry for the past 40 years. He owns the largest production plant in Nigeria.

“We have been on this for over one year during which we have worked with various stakeholders in the health sector including the NAFDAC, Federal and Osun State Ministries of Health, Standard Organization of Nigeria and many others who have been so supportive.

“To the glory of God, NAFDAC gave us all the approvals last September but I insisted that the products be packaged properly. To the glory of God, these products have been tested especially on thousands of Covid-19 patients including some in positions of authority who are currently free from the pandemic.”

“Now that we have gotten here, our focus is to employ one hundred thousand (100,000) youths within the next fifteen months. This will be achieved virtually.” The Ooni said.

In his goodwill message, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Job Creation, Mr. Afolabi Imoukhuede, commended the Ooni over the innovation, adding that many youths would be engaged productively through this initiative.

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Mr. Afolabi said, “If you study the value chain associated with this innovation right from the cultivation of herbs, production, packaging and distribution, it is obvious that many jobs will be created and countless doors of opportunities will be opened for our youths.

“I am impressed about this and I wish to commend the Ooni who has continued to lead from the front among other frontiers. This shows that he is committed to the development of our dear country and all of us should emulate him.” 

In the same vein, Chairman of YEMKEM Int’l LTD. Dr. Akintunde Ayeni, described the development as his greatest achievement since over forty years of practice, explaining that such landmark achievement is more spectacular because it is coming from Ile-Ife; source of mankind and natural headquarters of the Oduduwa Race worldwide.

“It was not easy and I wish to state that the Ooni who conceived the idea, gave us all supports including huge sum of money which made this a great success. In the whole of Nigeria, Kabiyesi (Ooni) is the only traditional ruler who has shown immeasurable commitment to the development of alternative medicine. He has been supportive morally, financially and spiritually and I appeal to other monarchs to emulate these good virtues.” Dr. Ayeni stated.

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Speaking on behalf of the Commissioner, Osun State Ministry of Health, Mr. Gbenga Adepoju, pledged government’s support for the products, noting the country has what it takes to solve her problems.

Mr. Adepoju, who is the Director of Public Health in the Ministry, said, “Kabiyesi’s activities in the development of a vaccine against Covid-19 is a huge addition to our efforts as a government. As we keep fighting against this common enemy, I want to implore us to keep observing the Covid-19 protocols including wearing of nose masks, observing social distancing and maintaining personal hygiene.”

In their separate speeches, National Agency for Food, Drugs, Administration and Control (NAFDAC) who was represented by the Director of Public Affairs, Mr. Jimoh Abubakar and the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) represented by Engineer Gideon Amosun, jointly declared their organizations’ support for the innovation, commending the frontline African monarch over the medical breakthrough.

It will be recalled, that Ooni Ogunwusi who is the natural leader of the Yoruba race worldwide had last year proffered African herbal medicine as remedies against the Covid-19 pandemic. The African foremost monarch swiftly assembled a team of professionals including a professor of public health and a WHO consultant, Professor Olapeju Esimai who led the team that distributed motorized fumigators across the 36 states of the federation and Abuja FCT as the Ooni’s contribution in the fight against the pandemic.

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Protein Nutrition: Roadmap to a healthy future

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By Reginald Onabu

The journey of life runs from childbirth to senescence. One activity that remains constant throughout this journey is daily nutrition. The foods we consume daily constitute our daily diets, which is connected to our health and wellbeing.

We must certainly eat and nourish ourselves regularly for our nutrition, growth and development. Nutrition involves more than simply eating a “good” diet; it is about nourishment on every level. This includes eating balanced, quality food, drinking clean water and eating natural fruits with nutritious value.

 

An aspect of nutrition that has been neglected, especially in Nigeria, is protein nutrition. Protein nutrition is the formation of a diet that has a larger protein percentage per calorie than carbohydrates, lipids, and fat.

Calories are micro-units of energy that constitute the basic nutrients in all food sources. However, modern Nigerian diets usually emphasize carbohydrates and fats as the main course, while relegating proteins to the background.

The Nigeria Protein Deficiency report shows that proteins are rarely included in regular diets across all states. Highlights of the report indicate that carbohydrates are the most consumed food amongst Nigerians. Rice topped the list with 91 per cent, closely followed by ‘swallows’ (such as eba, pounded yam, etc.) at 83 per cent.

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This shows the predominance of carbohydrates over protein rich-foods, which cuts across all regions in the nation.

Further analysis revealed that other carbohydrates like bread and pasta are consumed in large quantities, making up over 80 per cent of the daily diets, especially amongst the lower socio-economic classes.

This is a far cry from the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) set by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. The RDA is the amount of a food nutrient needed to meet the basic nutritional requirements. In a sense, it is the minimum amount the body needs to keep from getting ill — not the specific amount that is supposed to be eaten every day. 

The implication of this dietary habit of consuming high carbohydrate, high-calorie foods is protein deficiency. This deficiency is a lack of essential protein nutrients in the daily diet and it is the consequence of primary malnutrition that occurs when there is no protein in our staple food.

Protein deficiency is strongly associated with ill health, as both a cause and consequence. People who are protein deficient are more susceptible to diseases and infections due to a weakened immune system and tend to take longer to recover from incidents of illness. 

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Protein deficiency invariably leads to a plethora of illnesses, including marasmus, psoriasis, edema, stunting and kwashiorkor. Kwashiorkor is a condition whereby an individual’s bio ketogenic cells are being burnt out in the body to sustain the internal metabolism of the human system.

The resulting symptoms include severe weight loss, swollen abdomen, and hair loss. 

No state in Nigeria is free of protein deficiency and many families in rural and urban communities struggle with all of these forms of protein-energy deficiencies at the same time.

Nigeria can resolve these issues and build a stable, healthy future. The question is, how? The solution is protein nutrition.

Protein nutrition must be given priority. The regular nutrition pattern must gradually change and all dietary intakes should have some form of protein food source. This will go a long way to reduce the levels of protein deficiency in the nation.

The government could enact a protein-centred food policy that would involve adding proteins to staple foods during processing to enhance their nutritional quality. 

The government could also develop protein-centred plans, decisions and strategies in food cultivation, production, processing, packaging and consumption; ensuring that proteins are utilized to augment food sources.

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An effective approach will be to create public awareness of the benefits of a protein-centred nutrition. People should be encouraged to eat soybeans, legumes, groundnuts, eggs, quinoa daily. The Nigeria Protein Awareness Campaign or Protein Challenge is one of the players operating in this space. Protein Challenge is a protein pull media campaign that seeks to create awareness about the prevalence, status and impact of protein deficiency in Nigeria.

Proteins should be the main course. The narrative should be “more protein, more life”, as every cell in the human body contains protein. We all need protein in our diets to help our bodies repair cells and make new ones. Proteins are also important for growth and development in children, teens, and pregnant women.

Once people begin to grasp the tremendous benefits proteins offer, nutritious habits nationwide will change. 

Life, they say, is a process, and a child that is born today cannot become an adult overnight; so is healthy nutrition. It is a gradual process.

Protein nutrition will pave the way for a healthy future.

-END-

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House To Probe Alta Semper For Allegedly Obtaining Unlawful Waiver to Co-own HealthPlus

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The House of Representatives has directed an investigation into the legality of the operations of private equity firm, Alta Semper Capital UK (a.k.a Idi Holdings), as a part owner of popular retail pharmacy chain, HealthPlus, in Nigeria.

This came following a petition made by Oladimeji Ekengba and presented by Rep. Benjamin Kalu, which challenged the waiver granted by the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) to Alta Semper Capital purportedly permitting the private equity firm to co-own and operate the retail pharmacy, HealthPlus in Nigeria.

The petition argued that according to Section 2(2) of the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria Act, P.17, 2004 (PCN Act), a retail pharmacy can only be wholly owned by a registered pharmacist or in partnership with other registered pharmacists; and therefore, that the letter of ‘No Objection’ issued to Alta Semper as a waiver by the Registrar of PCN was an illegality.

Speaking to reporters after the plenary session today, Rep Kalu, who is also the spokesperson of the House, said “As you are aware, the PCN Act established the PCN, a body charged with responsibility for regulating the practice of the pharmacy profession in Nigeria, and also charged with the responsibility for maintaining a register of qualified pharmacists and pharmaceutical businesses.

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“The combined provisions of the PCN Act and the PCN Regulations stipulate that a retail pharmacy can only be owned by a registered pharmacist or in partnership with other registered pharmacists.

“So it was shocking to learn that by a letter dated 30 October 2017, the PCN Registrar granted a waiver to an equity investment relationship between Health Plus Limited and Alta Semper Capital UK (a.k.a. Idi Holdings) in March 2018 – in defiance of the clear stipulation of our laws, which does not permit unqualified persons to own or operate a retail pharmacy business in Nigeria.

“A mere letter cannot and must not be allowed to abrogate an Act of the National Assembly. Therefore, any structure put on that weak foundation should not be allowed to stand because it was not birthed by legality.

“The only remedy for the Alta Semper-HealthPlus anomaly is for parties to be returned to status quo. While we are open to foreign direct investment, private equity companies must come through the front door and not the back door. We are a rule of law compliant nation. Investors must understand this and comply with our laws.

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“The Covid-19 scourge has critically impacted medicine security in Nigeria. So, as we navigate the challenges of the pandemic, now more than ever, there is a grave responsibility on the government to ensure best practices and a healthy regulatory space for local pharmaceutical businesses to thrive.

“Pharmaceutical practice standards and the integrity of the supply chain should not be distorted or compromised. We cannot allow unlicensed practitioners in Nigeria’s pharmaceutical space because it could create a window for fake or substandard drugs to be introduced into the system.”

According to Kalu, the Committee on Public Petitions has been mandated by the House to investigate this issue, adding that the management of Health Plus, Alta Semper Capital, Pharmacists Council of Nigeria and every other persons who had played a role in the issue would soon be invited to the House.

He said he was confident that in reviewing the petition, the House would do justice to the concerns raised by the petitioner and ensure that the health and safety of Nigerian citizens were safeguarded against predatory or charlatan practitioners in the pharmaceutical sector.

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Further investigation by reporters showed that pharmacists in Nigeria were displeased with the relationship between Alta Semper Capital and HealthPlus, arguing that the union is based on an illegality which is harmful to the pharmaceutical sector.

Speaking to reporters, a pharmacist based in Abuja who preferred to remain anonymous said: “What happened with HealthPlus and the foreign investors sets a wrong precedence in the pharmaceutical industry if allowed to stand. It is an affront to the integrity of the profession that an unqualified person will be allowed to run a pharmacy in Nigeria simply because he is a foreign investor. This cannot happen in the legal profession or the medical profession, so why should it happen to pharmacists?

“We are happy that the House has risen up to this and we hope it will return sanity to the profession by returning all parties, both Health Plus and Alta Semper to their initial positions before the letter of no objection.”

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