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NDLEA says NO to legalisation of cannabis consumption

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NDLEA says NO to legalisation of cannabis consumption
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NDLEA says NO to legalisation of cannabis consumption

The NDLEA boss promised that agency would continue to sustain the fight against drug abuse in the society, insisting that a drug free society was possible.

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has rejected the call in some quarters for the legalisation of consumption of cannabis in Nigeria.

Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa (rtd), the Chairman and Chief Executive of the agency said this at an interactive session with heads of security agencies, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and heads of government agencies in Jos, Plateau.

The event held on Thursday also had traders associations, youths and women groups, among other key stakeholders in attendance.

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The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some Nigerians have been advocating for the legalisation of the drug for health and economy purposes.

NDLEA says NO to legalisation of cannabis consumption

But Marwa said that legalising cannabis would truncate its ongoing fight against drug abuse, adding that such move would also take the country back to its dark days.

He disclosed that 10.6 Nigerians were currently consuming cannabis, adding that legalising it would further destroy the country.

“NDLEA rejects absolutely the call for the legalisation of cannabis; it is a choice between earning money and the importance of life

“There is no research about the healing qualities of cannabis, but we all know on the other hand that it causes brain disorder, psychosis, it destroys the lungs and other key organs of the body.

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” It definitely affects ones behaviours as well.

“As we speak, 10.6 Nigerians are using cannabis; that’s too high, yet you want us to legalise it so that more people will take it?

“We will not accept that; we in NDLEA reject the move in totality,” he said.

The NDLEA boss promised that agency would continue to sustain the fight against drug abuse in the society, insisting that a drug free society was possible.

He called on security agencies and other stakeholder to support the agency in its bid to stem the tide of drug abuse in the nation.

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4,531 Sex Workers Undergo HIV Treatment, Counseling In Ogun

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4,531 Sex Workers Undergo HIV Treatment, Counseling In Ogun
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4,531 Sex Workers Undergo HIV Treatment, Counseling In Ogun

The Ogun State Agency for the Control of AIDS has said 4,531 female sex workers have undergone HIV/AIDS testing and counselling in the state.

The agency also said it has been going to correctional facilities in the state to test inmates for HIV and counsel them on the prevention of the disease.

The Executive Secretary of OGSACA, Kehinde Fatungase, said this on Monday at a briefing to mark the 2021 World AIDS Day in Abeokuta.

Fatungase said, “25,554 out of 38,093 estimated numbers of people living with HIV/AIDS in the state are currently receiving treatment while 25,136 are on antiretroviral therapy. 4,531 female sex workers have undergone HIV/AIDS testing and counselling in the state.”

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He noted that the state was embarking on aggressive community testing, counselling and campaign to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS by 95 per cent by 2030.

Fatungase, however, attributed low level of literacy, poverty, drug abuse and gender-based violence, as factors contributing to the high prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the state.

The Executive Secretary of OGSACA who spoke on the theme of the event, ‘End Inequalities, End Pandemic, End AIDS,’ disclosed that the anti-stigma bill for people living with HIV/AIDS when passed into law would not only protect the rights of HIV/AIDS patients but also reduce discrimination against them.

4,531 Sex Workers Undergo HIV Treatment, Counseling In Ogun

He said it was unfortunate that the stigmatisation against people living with HIV/AIDS had made the campaign against the spread of the disease difficult.

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“Division, disparity and disregard for human rights are among the failures that allowed HIV to become and remain a global health crisis.

“The medicine, information and prevention tools are simply not reaching the people who need them most. We need a new approach that reduces the inequalities that drive the AIDS epidemic and puts people at the centre, prioritising human rights, respect and dignity,” Fatungase said.

The South-West Coordinator of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS, Ronke Adeoye disclosed that Ogun State had 1.6 per cent, the highest prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS among the states in the region.

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Omicron COVID Appeared In Nigeria In October – Weeks Before South Africa

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Omicron COVID Appeared In Nigeria In October - Weeks Before South Africa
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Omicron Covid appeared in Nigeria in OCTOBER – weeks before South Africa announced discovery of variant, new tests reveal

Nigeria found first cases of Omicron Covid today in travellers from South Africa
But health chief said retroactive testing had found an earlier case in October
If confirmed it would be the earliest-known Omicron infection, meaning the virus was in circulation undetected for weeks before South Africa identified it
Comes after Dutch scientists also found case that pre-dates Omicron’s discovery

Nigeria has confirmed its first cases of Omicron Covid and revealed it was in the country in October, weeks before South Africa alerted the world to its existence.

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Three Omicron cases were detected in travellers who arrived in Nigeria from South Africa within the past week, the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control said today.

But Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, the agency’s director, added that retroactive testing of Covid samples collected in recent weeks had identified another case of Omicron dating back to October.

It means that Omicron – designated a ‘variant of concern’ by the WHO and believed to be the most-infectious form of Covid yet found – was likely circulating undetected for weeks before first being identified.

The discovery comes just a day after after Dutch health authorities said they also found a case of Omicron in a sample collected on November 19, four days before South Africa sounded the alarm.

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If confirmed, the Nigerian case would be the earliest-known Omicron infection – rewriting the timeline of the variant’s origins.

However, it does not necessarily mean the variant emerged in Nigeria because it is unclear how or why the sample was collected. Dr Adetifa did not give details.

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U.S. Reports First Case Of Omicron Variant

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U.S. Reports First Case Of Omicron Variant
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U.S. Reports First Case Of Omicron Variant

WASHINGTON, Dec 1 (Reuters) – The United States on Wednesday identified its first known case of Omicron, discovered in a fully vaccinated patient who traveled to South Africa, as scientists continue to study the risks the new COVID variant could pose.

Public health officials said the infected person, who had mild symptoms, returned to the United States from South Africa on Nov. 22 and tested positive seven days later.

That patient was fully vaccinated but did not have a booster shot, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease official, who briefed reporters at the White House.

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The person is in self-quarantine and all of the patient’s close contacts have tested negative so far, he said.

Key questions remain about the new variant, which has rattled markets amid signs it may spread quickly and evade some of the defenses provided by vaccines. It has been found in two dozen countries, including Spain, Canada, Britain, Austria and Portugal. read more

Fauci said it could take two weeks or more to gain insight into how easily the variant spreads from person to person, how severe is the disease it causes and whether it can bypass the protections provided by vaccines currently available.

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U.S. Reports First Case Of Omicron Variant

“We don’t have enough information right now,” said Fauci, who serves as an adviser to President Joe Biden, adding that the variant’s molecular profile “suggests that it might be more transmissible, and that it might elude some of the protection of vaccines, but we don’t know that now… We have to be prepared that there’s going to be a diminution in protection.”

For days, U.S. health officials have said the new variant -first detected in southern Africa and announced on Nov. 25 – was likely already in the United States as dozens of other countries also detected its presence.

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“This new variant is a cause for concern but not a cause for panic,” Biden said on Wednesday before the Omicron case was announced. A spokesperson, Jen Psaki, said he the president had been briefed by his team on the first known case.

The United States has barred nearly all foreigners who have been in one of eight southern African countries. On Tuesday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) directed airlines to disclose names and other information of passengers who have been to those countries.

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