GMOs… Still a long way to go in Nigeria

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Thecla Ayoka and Abdulsalam Mahmud

The idea, concept and rationale behind the birth of genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) foods may be welcoming and visionary to some experts. But not for Nnimmo Bassey. Like in some other nations, Nigeria is where GM foods are also found in the market, though most of them are not actually produced in the country. GMOs are organisms, plants, animals and micro-organisms that have their DNAs altered using genetic engineering techniques. This, for example, can enable the particular crops or plants to develop some resistance against diseases, insects, pests, harsh weather conditions, as well as to enhance nutrition.

Research shows resistance of dangerous gut bacteria to antibiotics has increased in Osun State

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Sunday Omeika PhD

One of the major global concerns is the threat of antibiotic resistance. Advocacy groups have increased warnings that there could be an impending bug war due to increased use of antibiotics- both prescribed and abused- in these auspicious times, and a research in Nigeria has further brought the situation to local consciousness. The report recently made accessible in the Journal of Infection and Public Health examined prevalence of antibiotic resistant bacteria in the stomach and intestine regions, and how these bugs respond to commonly used antibiotics in the country.

Keywords: Antibiotic resistance; Urine; Gut bacteria; Osun State; antibiotics; LAUTECH

Pharmacists require proper training for proper antimicrobial stewardship participation in Nigeria

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Sunday Omeika PhD

In Nigeria, the government's National antimicrobial resistance action plan 2017-2022 incorporates antimicrobial stewardship. Still, there has been a lack of evidence that pharmacists, a critical group in proper antibiotic dispensing and advice, are properly seen as an important part of a successful plan until this recent study.

Keywords: Pharmacists, Antimicrobial stewardship, Hospital, Antibiotics

Study says crude oil-degrading bacteria found in Niger Delta community can save the polluted environment

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Sunday Omeike PhD

Researchers from the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT), Rivers State, have reported that there are indeed bacterial species that could be potential candidates for cleanup of crude oil-degraded environments in the Niger-Delta region.

The Niger-Delta, located in the South-South geopolitical zone of Nigeria, is home to oil exploration and the resultant contamination that comes with its spillage, process and transportation errors. This has exposed the soil, water to contamination and damaged the biological systems residing in the soil, including microorganisms and plants.

Keyword: Crude oil, Hexadecane; Octane, cleanup, bioremediation, Niger Delta.

Palm Oil Adulteration Booms in Major Open Markets in Nigeria

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Chima Azubuike

Palm Oil an edible oil and an important ingredient in the diets of many Nigerians is a product obtained from the fleshy mesocarp of the fruit of the oil palm (Elaeis guineensis). Palm Oil is one of the most consumed edible oils within the tropics. The oil palm, is grown commercially in Africa, South America, Southeast Asia, and the South Pacific, and on a small scale in other tropical areas. Despite being commonly used, research shows that over 90% of what is sold in the open market is adulterated, poorly stored with grave health consequences. Chima Azubuike, writes about the scourge of palm oil adulteration, findings and roles of regulatory bodies.

Drug Use: One Year After, How Aware Is Bauchi About The Danger Of Using Paracetamol As Meat Tenderizer?

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Charly Agwam

“What we eat could make us depend on medicine for the rest of our lives. When you compromise your kidneys or liver, you have to continue using medicine. People shouldn't be endangering their lives just because they want to eat soft meat or cow leg. Using paracetamol to cook is like setting ourselves up for early graves, because once the kidneys and liver stop functioning, other organs would collapse too."

No, one`s ability to hold breath not a test for COVID-19 – WhatsApp video has ‘no scientific validity’

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Abdullahi Tsanni

Recently, a video and message circulating on WhatsApp in Nigeria claims holding one`s breath until a red circle moves from point ‘A to B’ is a sign of ‘disease resistance’. It also claims that it is an easy test for COVID–19, the respiratory illness caused by the new coronavirus. Experts say these claims do not have any scientific validity.

R–Bridge award winners of 2020 Microbiology Essay Competition for Nigerian universities

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Editor

Last week, R-Bridge an initiative focused on empowering individuals and institutions to bridge research and innovation gaps in Nigeria, presented awards to the winners of its 2020 Microbiology Essay Competition themed, “How can microbiology improve lives and livelihood in Nigeria?.”

The Intricacies of Living with Sickle Cell Disease (SCD)

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Wealth Okete & Olaitan Owoyemi

Although there is limited information on the prevalence of Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) in Africa, available data show that the continent takes the lead on the global scene. Around 75% of all newborns living with SCD come from sub-Saharan Africa, a majority of whom live in Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Over 300,000 babies are born every year with SCD, and this figure is expected to rise 33% to 400,000 by 2050. It is estimated that up to 2% of Nigeria's population live with SCD, whereas around 10 to 30% are reported to be carriers for the disease. The lack of adequate infant screening tests and robust public health funding for SCD are major problems promoting the prevalence of the disease in Nigeria, and Africa at large.

A Day in the Life of Mohammed Auwal Ibrahim

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Abdullahi Tsanni and Mohammed Auwal Ibrahim

Mohammed Auwal Ibrahim is a biochemist, a researcher, and a senior lecturer at Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Nigeria. Now, he is a fellow of Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) working under the Structure Based Drug Discovery Group, at the National Institute for Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Tsukuba, Japan.

Science and Diplomacy Can Facilitate The Development of Africa

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Michael Chukwudi and Olagunju Abdulrahman

As a result of lack of robust, efficient, and lasting scientific and technological capability required for economic and social progress in Africa, only 2.3 percent of the world research community comes from Africa, and the continent contributes only 2 percent of the global scientific publications (UNESCO, 2015). This situation is unlikely to improve unless the uneven support to science, technology and innovation is comprehensively and systematically addressed with the practice of good governance and diplomacy.

Government Moves To Strengthen Adverse Drug Reaction Reporting Through Phamacovigilance Policy Review

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Samuel Oyejola and Samirah Abdu-Aguye

Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs) are any unintended or potentially harmful effects that occur when an individual takes any type of medicine. They can range from relatively mild reactions like headaches or sleep disturbances to much more serious ones like skin reactions. These reactions can have many real world consequences including reduced productivity in individuals, increased length and cost of hospital stay for hospitalized patients or even death. It is estimated that ADRs occur in at least one out of every ten individuals who take medicine.

Collecting information about ADRs-a process known as Phamacovigilance, is the responsibility of drug regulatory bodies all over the world. Consequently-in 2012, the Nigerian Government launched the National Phamacovigilance Center (NPC) to mitigate incidents caused by ADRs on individuals within the country. This center is domiciled in the headquarters of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC). In spite of the operationalization of this center for close to a decade now, many Nigerians still find it unnecessary to report their ADR experiences. A correspondent for Time Nigeria Magazine found out that various factors contributed to this apathy. Chief among these are the weak healthcare systems in the country, and strained relationships between patients and healthcare providers; resulting in unwillingness of patients to report their ADR experiences.

How Important Information Is Presented On The Packs Of Children’s Medicines Sold Within Nigeria

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Samirah Abdu-Aguye and Samuel Oyejola

Clearly written and well-presented information on medicine packs has been shown to be crucial in ensuring the proper use of medicines. This is even more important given the widespread culture of self-medication in many countries, including Nigeria. Medicines to be used in children especially should contain clearly written and simple to follow instructions, since they are more prone to experiencing dose related side effects because their bodies are still developing. However, this does not seem to be the case with several of these medicines sold within the country, based on the findings from a recently published survey.

Pushing the political will to discourage tobacco smoking

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Samuel Oyejola and Samirah Abdu-Aguye

Smoking in Nigeria is a scourge. Evidence shows that the number of smokers is increasing daily, with the tobacco industry benefiting immensely from this. Regrettably, the governments’ public health policies lack effective insulation from the interest of the tobacco industry. According to several Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s) leading the campaign to ban tobacco smoking within the country, cigarette manufacturers have found ways to prevent the full implementation of policies to effectively control tobacco consumption.

Q&A | Young researchers key to driving scientific innovation for Nigeria`s sustainable economic development – Abiodun Egbetokun

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Abdullahi Tsanni

Abiodun Egbetokun is the president of the Nigerian Young Academy (NYA), which seeks to nurture young Nigerian researchers and promote the application of scientific findings and technology for national development.

Drug Use: How expired are 'expired drugs' for Bauchi rural dwellers?

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Charly Agwam FASLN

Investigation revealed that for many rural dwellers in Bauchi State Nigeria, drugs only expire when and if their local dispensers (usually sellers of drugs in small shops, also called chemist) say so. At least 68 percent of rural patients interviewed said that they only rely on the discretion of their local dispenser for safety and efficacy of non-prescription drugs they buy over-the-counter.

Benefit Of Honey In The Management of Surgical Wounds

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Abdulsalam Mahmud, FASLN

A research by a group of Nigerian Scientists at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, in Osun State, Dr. Ezekiel Akinkunmi, suggests that honeys from Nigeria would be effective alternative to antiseptic agents in the management of surgical wound infections caused by Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureaus (MRSA) and other multidrug-resistant staphylococci.

Practicing Safe Eid-Ul-Adha In COVID-19 Era

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Abdulrahman Olagunju

As Eid-Ul- Adha is centrally based on four observances, which include Eid prayers, animal sacrifice, social gatherings and charity, here are ways in which individuals can make informed decisions during the celebration according to the WHO safety guidelines.

Fruit Flies Can Boost Research In Life And Biomedical Sciences In Nigeria

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Rashidatu Abdulazeez & Prof. Andreas Prokop

The key challenges that Nigerian scientists face are poor infrastructure and research funding. Drosophila can be an important facilitator and help to square this circle by shifting the balance between investment and outcome in our favour. As has been explained in greater detail above, “you get 10 times more biology for a dollar invested in flies than you get in mice” (Hugo Bellen), and these enormous savings would then be available for infrastructural investments to raise research standards and capabilities.

Scaling up Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention (SMC) implementation in Nigeria Amid COVID-19

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Dr Jamilu Ibrahim Nikau

The international grants Nigeria is currently implementing SMC and other life-saving malaria control interventions will cease one day. Therefore, it is imperative for governments at all levels to increase resources dedicated to the fight against malaria and other infectious diseases to enable the country to attain goal 3, target 3.3 of Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs).

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