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Friday, 24 January 2020
Friday, 24 January 2020 16:39

Nigeria: Lassa Fever hits Rivers State

The Rivers State Government says it has received four suspected cases of Lassa Fever have been reported in the State.

The government said the cases have received prompt and adequate attention.

“Two rumours have been investigated and discarded. Two samples have been collected and sent to the national reference laboratories for virology. All two cases are still suspected, unconfirmed and results are being awaited.

“However, the State was notified of a resident of Rivers State who was diagnosed in Edo State as a case of Lassa fever on the 22/1/2020.

“Together with the management of the hospital, the family and National Commission for Disease Control, NCDC, are working assiduously to ensure Public Health Safety in the exposed clusters ,especially among health care Personnel and the first responders,” the government said in a statement from the Ministry of Health.

According to the State government,”We are working in partnership with State, Federal Agencies and all stakeholders in the interest of public health security. There is therefore no cause for alarm as the situation as recorded is firmly under control.

“In addition, we have in stock, sufficient quantities of commodities and drugs for therapeutic and preventive interventions in case of further challenges.”

The government assured that infectious Isolation and treatment teams were all on response modes for swift intervention, saying that in view of the prevailing upsurge of Lassa cases in the country, all health service centers were to maintain simple triage systems for all patients and uphold standard infection prevention principles required for service delivery.

The Government cautioned that prevention with the use of gloves, face masks and sanitizers, as well as infra-red temperature scans at health facilities should not be compromised for any suspected viral fever. Cautious management of laboratory samples is advised.

“The public is further advised to continue all necessary preventive measures in the circumstance. Prevention is better than cure. It is important to remind you that Lassa fever is an acute Viral Hemorrhagic Illness caused by the Lassa Virus,” it said.

Published in World
Friday, 24 January 2020 15:28

Nestlé Nigeria relaunches Golden Morn

Nestlé Nigeria Plc on Wednesday relaunched its Golden Morn brand, a product created and produced in Nigeria by Nigerians with 100 per cent locally-sourced agricultural and packaging materials.

Speaking during the re-launch at its Agbara factory, Nestle Managing Director, Mr Mauricio Alarcon, said Nestle Golden Morn Maize was fortified with GRAINSMART in fresh new maize design with modern stand up pouch.

According to him, GRAINSMART is a unique blend of vitamins and minerals including Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B5, Vitamin C and Iron.

“We are committed to contributing meaningfully toward improving Nigeria’s nutrition profile and to the growth of the national economy.

“Nestle Golden Morn, a product created in Nigeria by Nigerians, is produced in Nigeria with 100 per cent locally sourced agricultural and packaging materials.

“Local sourcing is not only a smart business decision to ensure supply. It is also the right thing to do as it contributes to transforming small and medium scale businesses involved in Nestle’s value chain either directly or indirectly.

“Our business model is built on our belief that our business will only be profitable in the long term by creating value for shareholders and for the society, particularly in the communities where we operate, a concept we call Creating Shared Value (CSV),” he said.

Alarcon said that an estimated 200 million people in Africa are undernourished, a figure that had increased by almost 20 per cent since the early 1990s.

“At Nestlé, we are committed to helping to develop sustainable solutions to this menace through the inclusion if bio-fortified food crops and the fortification of our products.

“Today, over 80 per cent of Nestlé products sold in Nigeria is fortified with micronutrients, reaching 34 million households.”

Also speaking, Mr Aboubakar Coulibaly, Category Manager, Dairy, Nestle Nigeria Plc., said: “GRAINSMART is a smart blend of iron and vitamins (B1, B5 and C) specially made for cereals.

“This aids the normal release of energy in the body and contributes to mental performance and learning,” Coulibaly said.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono, represented by the Director, Federal Department of Agriculture, Mrs Karima Babangida, commended Nestle for being a key stakeholder and partner of the ministry in producing and supplying quality and nutritious products toward the reduction of malnutrition in Nigeria.

“The re-launch of Golden Morn fortified with vitamins and minerals could not have come at a better time than now.

“This is a typical private sector investment that would contribute to greatly reducing malnutrition and boosting the economy of our nation.

“The Federal Government is encouraging more private sector investment in the production and marketing of bio-fortified foods and other micronutrient-rich commodities,’’ the minister added.

Also, Dr Chris Isokpunwu, Head of Nutrition, Federal Ministry of Health, commended the company for its contributions toward improving the nation’s health indices.

Nestlé Golden Morn can be eaten by all members of the family as a smart source of energy for all.

Published in Business

The National Cotton Association of Nigeria (NACOTAN), says it will partner with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to quickens the Federal Government’s effort in resuscitating the Cotton Textile and Garment (CTG) sector.

Mr Anibe Achimugu, the National President of the association made this known on Friday in Abuja.

Achimugiu said that the association was excited over the Federal Government’s desire to see that the Cotton Textile and Garment sector was brought back to its glory days.

He said that the contribution of the sector was significant to the growth of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), hence the association’s plan to introduce technology that would assist it in data variable generation.

“We also want to ensure that farmers are properly trained about climate change, adoption of new varieties of planting seeds and to learn the appropriate use of recommended inputs,’’ Achimugu said.

According to Achimugu, the association’s plan is also to ensure that its extension service system is effective enough to support the farmers at any point in time.

He said the association would encourage women and youths to go into cotton farming to increase their capacity base from the current 151,000 cotton farmers to 300,000 without compromising quality.

“We will also be introducing the cotton harvest bag which is the first right thing in cotton production in Nigeria.

“This is because one of the challenges our cotton has been having is the negative perception of quality, which has to do with polypropylene contamination.

“But with the cotton harvest bags, we shall significantly eliminate such challenge, and also work closely with the entire players in the value chain,’’ Achimugu said.

Achimugu said that the players included the ginners and textile manufacturers, saying “working closely with them shall ensure sustainability for cotton production in Nigeria.”

He commended the recently introduced cotton BG 2567 and BG 25271 cotton varieties by the Federal Government, which he acknowledged would boost productivity in the sector.

“I believe in the wet season of this 2020, we’re hopeful that about 10,000 farmers will benefit from the two new varieties, which will subsequently increase to reach a wider number of farmers.

“We have in this country the capacity to produce seeds and make them available to farmers which is great, but that is what is lacking at the moment.

“If not for this intervention, we would have been experiencing poor seeds,’’ he said.

Published in Agriculture

Angola rose 19 places in the international ranking of countries that fight corruption, impunity and promote respect for human rights.

The information was provided on Thursday by the Minister of Justice and Human Rights, Francisco Queirós, in statements to the press.

He explained that, out of 180 countries evaluated by the International Transparency Organization in 2019, Angola went from 165 to 146.

The minister justified this position by the policies that the Angolan Government has been applying in the fight against corruption and impunity, as well as in the promotion of human rights, with positive effects.

He affirmed that the positive evaluation was due to the fact that many cases of corruption have been brought to court, without taking into account the recent developments linked to "Luanda Leaks".

He said he believed that the current policies will contribute to the recovery of the dignity and good name of Angola at the international level, as well as the rescue of the respect of the international community and Angolan society.

All of this will be important in terms of ethics and good practices, as well as in improving the business environment, in order to provide citizens with better living conditions.

Francisco Queirós considered that "the economy is improving profoundly because the Government's policy is correct and on track".

However, the minister acknowledged that there is still a long way to go in this process, but the steps taken in two years confirm that international organizations consider the policies implemented to be successful.

The minister ruled out the existence of baised persecution of certain individuals.

He reiterated that "whoever commits irregularities will be brought to justice".


Credit: ANGOP

Published in Economy

Almost 2,500 tons of waste is generated daily in Accra. This is as a result of refuse being dumped and the environment being littered with polythene, bottles and drinking water sachets. Garbage blocks the gutters and can cause flooding and disease outbreaks.

One of the many sources of pollution are plastic sachets in which drinking water is sold on the streets of Ghana. The sachet drinking water business in Ghana is big. Sachet water is packaged in 500 mL polyethylene plastic bags which are heat-sealed on either end. It is a fast-growing source of drinking water in Ghana.

Known on the street as “pure water”, water in sachets is considered to be safe, hygienic and affordable. Consumed mostly by low and middle-income earners, the perception is that sachet water is of higher quality than tap water.

Sachet water is produced under the authority of Ghana’s Food and Drugs Board, which has been keen to promote the proper disposal of the plastic sachets. This is because discarded sachet bags pose serious environmental risks. They are fertile ground for mosquitoes to breed in, block drains and if they’re burnt they cause air pollution.

As a result, some water production companies carry ecological information with the words “respect the environment” and a symbol of a person depositing a sachet into a dustbin.

I conducted research to establish whether consumers pay attention to the messaging on some of the sachets. Did this “green marketing” affect their behaviour? Previous research has shown that consumers can be educated through green marketing tools such as eco-labeling, eco-branding, and environmental advertising .

I also wanted to understand how social factors such as age, gender, education and income affected people’s attitudes and use of water sachets.

The results of the study show that personal factors play a role in people’s behaviour. This includes age, income, education level, and gender.

Based on the results, it could be deduced that older people understand purchasing behaviour better. In addition, levels of education and income are positively associated with green buying behaviour. Green buying behaviour is where consumers are interested in buying products and services that are environmentally friendly while avoiding products that would harm the environment.

Despite this awareness, the problem of poor sanitation continues to be a major problem on the beach. I inferred from this that consumers continue to litter the beach because the environment is filthy.

My findings led me to recommend that a number of steps could be taken to reduce the impact of used water sachets on the environment. These included the provision of litter bins, enforcement of beach sanitation rules and regulations, and introduction of sanitation beach guards. I also recommended that there should be collaboration between regulatory bodies and the producers of sachet water to monitor improvements in labelling sachets.

Factors influencing people

I engaged with 1,589 people aged 18 and over at Labadi Pleasure Beach in Accra in 2017. Labadi beach is one of the oldest entertainment beaches in Ghana and has a serious sanitation problem. It is littered with waste materials, including sachet water bags.

I found that personal factors such as age, income, education level and gender influenced consumers’ decisions in purchasing green sachet drinking water. The older the consumer, the better he or she understood green purchasing behaviour. Older consumers said they knew about the implications of environment degradation, and most said they tried to dispose off the sachet bag in a bin.

In addition, the level of education and income were positively associated with green buying behaviour. Female consumers were also more concerned with green products.

Over 88% of those interviewed said they were aware of eco-information, that they bought eco-friendly products and read the product labels on the sachet water.

The way forward

Ghana needs to take advantage of the fact that people are environmentally conscious. It needs to do so by ensuring that environments are cleaned up. Based on the high levels of awareness on environmental issues, I believe that this will encourage people not to litter.

Several practical steps could be taken. For example, there should intensive monitoring of litter bins on the beach. Beach guards should be hired to enforce sanitation regulations. Beach authorities and producers of sachet water should collaborate to carry out sanitation exercises, and weekly or monthly cleaning exercises. And fines could be imposed for littering.

My research points to the fact that managing sanitation is possible in developing countries if the government, producers, marketers, sellers, and consumers come together towards a common goal.The Conversation


Alexander Diani Kofi Preko, Senior Lecturer, Marketing, University of Professional Studies Accra

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Published in Opinion & Analysis
  1. Opinions and Analysis


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