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Sunday, 10 August 2014

For Ebola, an illness of exceptional contagion which first outbreak of the virus was in 1976, its origin traced to Congo and Sudan, cure for the dreaded disease seems to have been found in the United States (US).

Two American citizens in Liberia struck by the ailment while on medical missionary work, Nancy Writebol and Dr. Ken Brantly flown to the US to get treatment have improved tremendously, after being given the experimental drug.

The two Ebola victims, who had travelled 6,000 miles from West Africa in special aircraft, were admitted at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, are now getting much better. They were unable to walk on arrival, but are now doing so.

The report named the serum as ZMapp – an experimental drug, even not yet approved for clinical trials, although already used on small number of monkeys. It was grown in green house with genetically modified tobacco. So far, the drug is working well on the Ebola patients.

Manufactured by a US pharmaceutical company, ZMapp was supposed to hit the market in 2015, but is being tried because of the current deadly epidemic caused by the virus now ravaging Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea with nearly 900 people killed by the disease which has made inroad into Nigeria. With one person dead and eight people confirmed positive to Ebola, Africa’s most populous country could be fatally threatened.

The two Americans have reportedly got up on their own after the drug was administered on them, seen as a big surprise. They are already recovering.

Patients afflicted by Ebola are usually quarantined, going into isolation in the four West African countries where the disease is ravaging, well protected and temperatures taken twice a day.

The (US) plans to send 50 health experts to West Africa and help the health authorities in combating the scourge. Ebola is virtually out of control in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea as dozens of doctors and nurses have died in efforts to give medicare to victims.

Unlike Africa with poor ineffective and obsolete medical facilities, the US has top class infrastructure and medical personnel to take quick care of Ebola victims. Among these are the Centre for Disease Control, CDC, the National Institute of Allergy and Infections Diseases, IAID, and several others who are up to the challenge.

The experimental serum has brought some ray of hope to the global community including Nigeria.

The World Health Organisation has contributed $100 million to fighting Ebola and so too the World Bank, concerned about the spread and devastating effect of the scourge.

In a radio interview, Professor Oluyemi Akinloye, head of Clinical Chemistry, Medical Laboratory, University of Lagos, said only little has been done in Nigeria towards research for Ebola cure.

No magic in scientific Ebola cure. It’s a big challenge for Africa. No magic in scientific research, as there are protocols to be followed. Asked about the Ebola experimental drug, he seemed not aware of this development, but agreed that some vaccines have been produced in Nigeria and currently tested on mice which is quite good.

“The Ebola epidemic can be opportunity to test these vaccines and speed up trials in Africa. We are dealing with humans. Emphasis should be on precaution to control the spread. All scientists in Nigeria are coming together,” he stated.

Akinloye assured that physicians are talking, not doing so bad in fighting the epidemic. On Professor Maurice Iwu’s claim that bitter kola could be a remedy, he noted that this was still in experimental stage.

“Traditional medicine has its protocol and a lot still has to be done.” Other contributors to the radio programme lamented that it was shameful that since 1976, there has been no vaccine for Ebola. One of them asked what the Federal Government has been doing since the outbreak in Liberia, Sierra Leone, etc.

Chief Research Director, Research Institute of Traditional Medicine, Dr. Idowu, disclosed that research had been conducted on the virus. “We’ve gone to roots. In Yoruba, Ebola is called Ajakale-Arun, which is medicinal plant,” he stated. On whether bitter kola can cure Ebola, he said it had not been tried yet.

Source: vanguard news

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Saturday, 9 August 2014

Islamist Militant group ISIS has been killing non-Muslims in many cities in Iraq and Syria in their effort to eradicate the Christian faith in the countries...and they are not sparing children.

There's been several executions of believers, including crucifixions and the beheadings of children.

The children's heads are being erected on poles in a city park according to an eyewitness who spoke with CNN.

"There is a park in Mosul where they actually beheaded children and put their heads on a stick and have them in the park.

The world hasn't seen this kind of atrocity in generations" a prominent Chaldean-American businessman Mark Arabo told CNN See some of the horrific photos + images of extreme brutality by ISIS on their prisoners.

Members of the Sunni Shaitat tribe are taken from their homes rounded up and marched to their deaths. ISIS shared some these horrific images online. Continue... A child beheaded

Islamists killing a woman by slitting her throat and capturing her blood in a bowl,

Lined up and executed, their severed heads put on display as a warning to others:

Barefooted with their hands bound behind their backs with rope, the prisoners are marched to the execution site in the desert near Deir ez Zor in Syria

The captives are then lined up and ordered to kneel down on the dusty ground

ISIS fighters stand behind the line of men and the squad of jihadists begin to murder the prisoners

A couple of jihadists approach the dead prisoners and finish off any survivors from point-blank range

A jihadist appears holds a terrified man by his hair and begins to slice through his neck with a hunting knife

Brutal: Other captives are shot before being tied to makeshift crucifixes

A crowd of local men watch from behind a low fence, some of them are taking photos or filming the executions with their mobile phones

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LONDON (AFP) – Jose Mourinho admits it will be impossible to find a replacement for Chelsea legend Frank Lampard.

Lampard was released by the Blues at the end of last season and has since signed for new MLS franchise New York FC, while also agreeing to play for Manchester City on loan until his new club start training in January.

The 36-year-old established himself as one of Chelsea’s all-time greats during his 13-year stay at Stamford Bridge, becoming the club’s record goalscorer and winning the Champions League, Europa League, Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup.

Mourinho knows Lampard’s departure has left a significant hole in his squad, and the Blues manager claims even new signing Cesc Fabregas won’t be able to replace the England international on his own.

Speaking to Rio Ferdinand for BT Sport, Mourinho said: “Frank is Frank, he is irreplaceable. No chance. “Fabregas is the player we need to modify a little bit the profile of our game. We want to give the next dimension to our game in midfield.

“But I think we can never say – in spite of Cesc, who is a fantastic player as you know – that, ‘This guy is coming to replace Frank’, because Frank is Frank. “One day he will be alongside Peter Osgood in terms of a statue being built for him, because he’s fantastic.”

Chelsea finished last season without any silverware and came a frustrating third in the Premier League.

Mourinho, in the second season of his second spell as Chelsea boss, has invested heavily in rebuilding the squad with the likes of Fabregas and Diego Costa and Filipe Luis, but he is certain the title race will be tougher than ever.

“In England it is even stronger now than in my first period,’ he said.

“Even more now because when I first came Man City didn’t have this financial situation they have now. Even Tottenham at this moment, all the top five or six.

“In this moment can you tell me who is going to win the Premier League? You can’t tell me.

“Can you tell me which one of the top five is going to be outside the Champions League? You can’t say.

“This is what I want. For my concept of what a league should be, this is the best.”

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This is Union Bank’s Yaba branch in Lagos and that is the Chief Executive/Group Managing Director, Mr. Emeka Emuwa serving customers yesterday. #FearOfEbola

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Friday, 8 August 2014

Luis Suarez arrived in Lausanne on Friday morning to plead his case before the the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to halve his four-month FIFA ban for biting.

Barcelona’s Uruguyan striker, in a blue checked shirt and jeans, was tight-lipped as he ran the gauntlet of press photographers on his way into the hearing shortly before 10 am local time (0800 GMT).

Suarez was banned from all football-related activity for four months after biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini on the shoulder during a World Cup group game in the Brazilian city of Natal.

He subsequently left Liverpool for Barcelona in a 95 million-euro ($127 million) deal but will have to wait until late October before he can play for his new club.

His legal team said on Thursday they were confident of obtaining a reduction of the ban to two months, meaning the former

Liverpool striker would be available to play from 25 August, and for him to be allowed to train with Barcelona for the duration of his suspension.

The verdict was not expected for several days.

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Ogun State Commissioner of Health, Dr. Olaokun Soyinka | credits:

The Ogun State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Olaokun Soyinka, on Thursday said the state government had written a letter to the authorities of the Redeemed Christian Church of God to take precautionary measure against the spread of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease during the RCCG annual convention which started on Monday.

Soyinka said this in Abeokuta, the state capital, while addressing a press conference on the preventive measures being taken by the state.

The commissioner said the letter was sent to the RCCG authorities last Friday, and that the government requested the General Overseer, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, to pass the information to the congregation about Ebola in order to guard against its spread.

He said, “We wrote a letter and sent a team to the Redeemed Christian Church of God, because they are having their annual convention. We asked them to make sure they are vigilant.

“We wrote them last week Friday and reminded them of the dreaded Ebola virus and we commended them for what they have been doing. We asked Pastor Enoch Adeboye to pass the general information on Ebola to the congregation.”

Soyinka further said the state governor, Ibikunle Amosun, had instructed the health ministry to interact with Muslim and Christian leaders and any other groups that have large crowd.

While he explained that the state had started training programme for health officials in local government areas, he noted that the state was already collaborating with Federal Government agencies in the border areas to prevent carriers of the virus from entering the state.

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PANIC has overtaken many homes over the latest scourge. Nothing dominates discussions these days like Ebola, the virus that defies cure, and appears to defy diagnosis until the patient is at death’s gate.

All the symptoms are normal for most Nigerians. We have regular bouts of fever from either malaria or typhoid or both. We sweat from our high humidity, whether during the rainy season or dry weather.

Our eyes acquire features that could have resulted from malnutrition. We are Ebola suspects in many ways. Enough grounds exist for the panic. People infected die quickly.

Those who make contact with them are the next in the line-up for death. Here comes a virus that kills the infected and infects caregivers, unless they take adequate care.

Adequate care is impossible, considering that the patients’ status is not known until much later. Once patients exhibit symptoms of Ebola, there are high chances that relations and hospital staff would desert them. These fears are genuine.

Governments in Lagos and Abuja have done very well in spreading information on the virus. There is more work ahead.

The outbreak of the virus shows again the poor state of our medical facilities. Only a few of them can detect the virus, still fewer are equipped to prevent spread of infection to their staff and other patients.

How many Nigerians know about Ebola? How many can protect themselves? Exploitation of the situation has started.

The telecommunications companies have transferred their unsolicited messages to Ebola, asking their clients to subscribe to information on the virus at a cost.

We would have expected that with the billions they make as profit, they would have run the messages as public service announcements.

One of the things that gave the virus more global attention is the infection of two American charity workers Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol. They are currently under treatment with experimental drugs that other countries are asking should be extended to them.

Three leading Ebola experts, among them Peter Piot, director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who co- discovered the virus in 1976, asked that the drug be made more widely available.

“It is highly likely that if Ebola were now spreading in Western countries, public health authorities would give at-risk patients access to experimental drugs or vaccines,” according to the joint statement in a newspaper. “The African countries where the current outbreaks of Ebola are occurring should have the same opportunity.”

The World Health Organisation’s special meeting next week would explore using experimental drugs in West Africa.

For Nigerians, Ebola, a virus that thrives in dirty environments, is also a call to clean up Nigeria and upgrade our medical facilities.

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Thursday, 7 August 2014

Lagos state Governor, Babatunde Fashola, has directed the immediate reversal of the school fees of Lagos State University, LASU, which was increased by the government to what it was as far back as 2011.

Governor Fashola gave the directive today August 7th at the convocation programme of LASU which held earlier today at the LASU Ojo campus ground.

The reversal comes after months of protests by students and lecturers of the university. Continue...

The Lagos State Government had in 2011 increased the fees from N25,000 to N198,000 for humanities & education, while medical students were to pay N350, 000. After the protests, the state government approved a reduction by 34 to 60%, a decision which was refused by the students.

That reduction would have seen students pay between N76, 750 and N158, 250 depending on the faculty and year of study.

LASU students celebrate school fees reversal

Lagos State University students are right now having a party at LH ground at the university campus in celebration of the school fees reversal by Lagos State governor this afternoon.

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Iraq's largest Christian town has been overrun by the same militant Islamists who have gained a foothold in parts of eastern Syria and western and northern Iraq.

The latest advance by ISIS (or the Islamic State, formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) has caused thousands of Christians in the city to flee, just as other minority groups targeted by ISIS have done, as well as Shiite Muslims.

The French government confirmed that the Iraqi city of Qaraqosh has fallen into the hands of the militant al Qaeda offshoot.

"France is highly concerned about the latest progress of ISIS in the North of Iraq and by the taking of Qaraqosh, the largest Christian city of Iraq, and the horrible acts of violence that are committed," French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said in a statement.

France called for an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council to discuss the threat in Iraq. The exodus from Qaraqosh was already under way, as the city and its surroundings have been the target of ISIS attacks for weeks.

Qaraqosh is a historic Assyrian town of 50,000 people, approximately 20 miles southeast of Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, where ISIS also has control.

When ISIS took over Mosul, many residents from there had fled to Qaraqosh. In Mosul, ISIS issued an ultimatum to Christians living there: Convert to Islam, pay a fine or face "death by the sword."

Three other nearby villages were also attacked overnight and Thursday, local police officials told CNN.

Two of the villages -- Bartella and Tall Kayf -- are predominately Christian. Hundreds of Christian families fled to the north, police said.

Source: cnn

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Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Facebook has just revealed its first mobile app that will help Africans

get online free via its initiative which was launched last year to help developing countries have access to cheap internet.

The initiative is first releasing its first app in Zambia, the app is currently android base, it gives free access to cool internet base web services totally free.

The app will allow users have access to online web services like:

• Wikipedia • Google search
• Facebook
• AccuWeather
• Go Zambia Jobs
• Kokoliko
• MAMA (Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action)
• Messenger
• WRAPP (Women’s Rights App) and
• Zambia uReport
Facebook’s boss said in his post that “Right now, only 15% of people in Zambia have access to the internet.

Soon, everyone will be able to use the internet for free to find jobs, get help with reproductive health and other aspects of health, and use tools like Facebook to stay connected with the people they love.”

But currently the free internet access will be for only Airtel Africa customers in Zambia.

Nigerians will be waiting patiently for this awesome service.

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