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COVID-19: NAFDAC approves two herbal drugs for clinical trial

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COVID-19 poses formidable risk to smooth operation of AfCFTA- AU

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) says it has approved two herbal drugs to undergo clinical trials towards the treatment of COVID-19.

A statement on Sunday by the Agency Resident Media Consultant, Mr Olusayo Akintola, however, denounced the claim of approval of IHP Detox Tea for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

The agency alleged that a claim was made in March by the Chief Executive Officer of Bioresources Development and Conservative Programme, Prof. Maurice Iwu on one of the dailies about the approval I of Detox Tea.

The statement quoted the Director-General of the agency, Prof. Moji Adeyeye, saying that ‘’Only NAFDAC has the mandate to make any pronouncement on any regulated products that showed satisfactory scientific evidence”.

Adeyeye said that the agency frowned at the media reports ostensibly circulated at the instance of the promoters of IHP Detox Tea which claimed that the herbal medicine was the only product approved by NAFDAC for the treatment of COVID-19.

The agency D-G said that a letter had been written to Prof. Maurice Iwu, that only NAFDAC was authorized by the law to make any pronouncement on the safety and efficacy of all regulated products with satisfactory scientific evidence (Clinical Trial).

Adeyeye however frowned over the statement without paying much attention to the provision of the law on the stance of IHP Detox Tea without satisfactory clinical trials.

She explained that three herbal formulations were approved for clinical trial studies during the COVID-19 Pandemic, adding that, two studies had commenced, including the IHP Detox Tea, while the third clinical trial study was yet to start.

According to her, the IHP Detox Tea clinical trial study at CMU/LUTH and NAUTH, approved for Prof Iwu’s company, was only a pilot study, and that means, it was still ongoing, and it is with a small sample size not inadequate to make a pronouncement on safety and efficacy.

She insisted that only a NAFDAC-approved phase three (3) clinical trial with enough sample size could be used to make such claims on efficacy, after regulatory approval of the study outcomes.

Adeyeye stated that the World Health Organisation (WHO) team and other well-meaning individuals in the research space found the claim of the efficacy of the IHP Detox Tea misleading and that the agency was saddled with the responsibility to deter such inaccurate information.

According to her, preparatory to the WHO visit to Nigeria for the study, NAFDAC officials on inspection of the clinical trial site of the IHP Detox Tea had already found some lapses.

‘’We discovered some 17 lapses during our inspection visit.

“We passed the lapses to this company as compliance directive to address but the company is yet to respond before going to make a pronouncement about efficacy.

The NAFDAC boss, however, asked Prof Iwu to retract the statement on the same newspapers and any other platform used for such improper and misleading representation of the IHP Detox Tea study within 48 hours.

Adeyeye said that she also directed Iwu’s company to inform NAFDAC on the action he had taken about the retraction of the pronouncement to avoid further regulatory sanctions.

The statement also reported Prof. Iwu while responding and admitting, that NAFDAC was the only authorized agency by law allowed to make any pronouncement on the quality, safety and efficacy of all regulated products with satisfactory evidence.

He reiterated gratitude to the agency for the kind approval of the pilot study protocol during the peak of the pandemic and urged the newspapers that published the report to make the necessary correction.

He noted that being an unsolicited and independent editorial decision of the newspaper, the company was not in a position to compel the newspaper to retract its story nor retract a story not published by the company or at its instance.

He said that the publication under reference was neither an advertisement nor authored by his organization or its functionary or employee.

The statement also disclosed that in a

letter dated May 17, 2022, and addressed to the NAFDAC DG, Iwu pointed out that from the text of the publication, it appeared to be an opinion of the journalist who wrote such a story.

The statement said Iwu had already admonished the newspaper to correct the misinformation that was capable of misleading members of the public.

‘’We have, however, drawn the attention of the editor of the concerned newspaper to the observation of NAFDAC for their necessary correction,’’ he said.

 

Health and Safety

Troops Neutralise 192 Terrorists, Apprehend 341 Others In 1 Week – DHQ

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Troops Neutralise 192 Terrorists, Apprehend 341 Others In 1 Week – DHQ

The Defence Headquarters says troops have in the last one week neutralised 192 terrorists, apprehended 341 others and rescued 62 kidnapped hostages.

It also said a total of 122 ISWAP/JAS terrorists surrendered with their families.

The Director of Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. Edward Buba said this at a news briefing on operations of the Armed Forces of Nigeria across the country on Thursday in Abuja.

Buba said the troops also recovered 211 assorted weapons and 6,288 assorted ammunition within the week.

He said the recovered items comprised 128 AK.47 rifles, 26 Dane guns, 1,301 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 3,260 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 1,325 live cartridges, and 140 rounds of 9mm ammunition among other items.

In the North East, Buba said the troops of Operation Hadin Kai neutralised 71 terrorists, arrested 143 suspects and rescued 58  kidnapped hostages during the week.

He added that the air component conducted air strikes on ISWAP/JAS terrorists’ hideouts and logistics hub, including their food processing unit in Kolleram village, along Lake Chad.

According to him, the Battle Damage Assessment revealed that over 30 terrorists, including senior commanders; Ali Dawud, Bakura Fallujah and Mallam Ari, were neutralised as well as their logistics were destroyed as a result of the strike.

In the North Central, Buba said the troops of Operations Safe Haven and Whirl Stroke neutralised 29 insurgents, arrested 53 violent extremists and rescued eight kidnapped hostages.

In the North West, he said the troops of Operation Hadarin Daji neutralised 62 terrorists, arrested 49 terrorists and rescued 36 kidnapped hostages.

He added that troops of Operation Whirl Punch arrested 14 criminals and recovered cache of arms and ammunition as well as military accoutrements.

According to him, other items recovered are 620 parcels of substances suspected to be marijuana, 10 Yoruba Nation flags, eight mobile phones, and four handheld radios, among other items.

In the South-South, Buba said the troops of Operation Delta Safe had maintained momentum against activities of crude oil theft and recovered 792,660 litres of stolen crude oil and 117,070 litres of illegally refined AGO.

He added that troops discovered and destroyed 31 illegal refining sites with 99 dugout pits, 11 boats, 29 storage tanks, 192 cooking ovens and nine vehicles.

According to him, troops apprehended 27 suspected oil thieves and other violent extremists, recovering five weapons and 162 assorted ammunition.

In the South-East, the defence spokesman said the troops of Operation UDOKA neutralised nine terrorists, arrested 11 violent extremists, rescued 17 kidnapped hostages and recovered weapons. 

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Health and Safety

Joint Security Team Rescues 2 Kidnapped Victims in Kebbi

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Joint Security Team Rescues 2 Kidnapped Victims in Kebbi

A joint security team deployed to Suru and Maiyama local government areas of Kebbi on Tuesday rescued two persons abducted by suspected bandits in the areas.

The operation was conducted by operatives of the Nigerian Army, NSCDC, DSS and vigilante groups.

Confirming the story to newsmen in Birnin Kebbi, the Director in charge of the Security Service, Cabinet Office, AbdulRahman Zagga, attributed the success to the support of Gov. Nasir Idris in providing all the necessary tools to the agencies.

“Following the consistent efforts of the Kebbi Governor, Dr Nasir Idris in supporting the security agencies operating in the state, a joint team of security operatives on Tuesday successfully rescued two kidnapped victims.

“The operation was successful; we were able to follow the bandits from Giro forest to Boma and down to Zugu Liba forest where the victims were rescued,” he said.

The director said that the kidnappers could no longer withstand the security pressure, thereby, abandoning the kidnapped victims.

He explained that the rescued victims were handed over to the village head and the vigilante chairman of Zugu Liba village for them to be reunited with their families.

He called on the people to support the security operatives with useful information that would assist in effectively discharging their duty of curtailing the challenges of insecurity in the state. 

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Health and Safety

NDLEA Destroys 304,436kg, 40,042 Litres of Drugs in Lagos, Ogun

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NDLEA destroys 304,436kg, 40,042 litres of drugs in Lagos, Ogun

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), on Tuesday in Ibereko Badagry, Lagos, destroyed 304,436 kg and 40,042 litres of illicit substances seized from parts of Lagos and Ogun States.

The Chairman of the Agency, Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa (Rtd), said the open destruction of the seized illicit drugs was in adherence with court orders.

Marwa called for more public support for the ongoing efforts by the NDLEA and other stakeholders to curb the menace of substance abuse and illicit drug trafficking in Nigeria.

“Though a routine exercise and an established process of removing dangerous substances from our society, the public destruction of confiscated illicit drugs is usually conducted at the end of their related cases in court, “ the NDLEA boss said.

The chairman noted that the exhibits being destroyed were of mixed types.

According to him, they include illicit drugs in solid and liquid states, as well as in various classes such as cocaine, heroin, cannabis, and tramadol, among others.

He said the drugs were seized by NDLEA operatives across different formations of the agency in Lagos and Ogun states, from January 2022 till date, especially at the Lagos seaports, airports, and land borders.

“To be destroyed here today on the order of the court are solid drugs, weighing 304,436.055kg and 40, 042. 621 litres of liquid drugs.

“The sheer volume of the drug haul speaks volumes about the extent of the nefarious activities of the drug underworld,” he noted.

Marwa appreciated the traditional rulers, heads of security agencies, the clergy, members of NGOs and CSOs, as well as other stakeholders, who witnessed the ceremony.

The Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, represented by the Chairman, Badagry West Local Government, Mr Olusegun Onilude, expressed satisfaction with the efforts of the NDLEA in tackling the scourge of illicit drugs in the country.

“Almost all crimes and criminalities are fueled by illicit drugs, so the Lagos State Government appreciates the NDLEA and its leadership in their resolute fight against illicit drugs.

“The volume of illicit drugs being destroyed here today speak volume and every right-thinking person should be worried,” he stated.

Sanwo-Olu also commended the agency for taking the War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) social advocacy campaign to schools and communities across the state.

“No doubt, NDLEA is working, and the state will continue to collaborate with the agency and its leadership,” he assured.

It was reported that Marwa on Monday in Lagos, announced that 50,901 drug offenders, including 46 barons, have been arrested in the last three years.

He also said that within the period, the agency successfully prosecuted and convicted 9,034 of them, as well as seized over 7,561 tonnes of illicit substances.

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