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Academy of Pharmacy makes case for safe & affordable medicines; supports scientific research with Centre

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The Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy has made a passionate case for better, safer, more convenient and more affordable medicines and treatment regimens for diseases that afflict mankind, especially those that are endemic to our region of the world at its annual Investiture ceremony in Lagos.

The well attended occasion was marked by the presentation of a Lifetime Achievement Award to Chief Oludolapo Ibukun Akinkugbe for his huge contribution to the growth of pharmaceutical sector in Nigeria while General Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma bagged an Honorary Fellowship of the Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy.

Speaking, President, Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi noted that the “bestowal of the award on Chief Oludolapo Ibukun Akinkugbe is a token of our appreciation of his enormous strides not only in the Pharmacy profession but indeed in all other aspects of human endeavor. As he turns 90 in December, it is only fitting and proper that his number one constituency, Pharmacy, kicks off the celebration of an illustrious role model whose legacy of love, sacrifice and service would be forever etched in our hearts and minds.”

“It is in the same vein that we induct General Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma’s investiture as only the second ever Honorary Fellow of the Academy. He remains one of the most passionate supporters of the Pharmacy profession and a most generous benefactor of scientific research,” he added.

According to Adelusi-Adeluyi, “the Academy of Pharmacy owes society a duty to help unravel better, safer, more convenient and more affordable medicines and treatment regimens for diseases that afflict mankind, especially those that are endemic to our region of the world.”

The high point of this year’s ceremony was the announcement of the Academy’s Research and Innovation Center which is named after Chief Oludolapo Akinkugbe. According to the Academy, this is a vehicle we created to give enduring impact to research and development in Nigeria’s Pharmaceutical space.

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“It is for this reason that research is central to our operations, one of the major reasons, indeed, that the Academy came to being. We want to complement local and international efforts that support scientific research and research activities. Much of the work we have done in this regard has been in the area of advocacy, in engaging government and policy makers on the essence of scientific research and why it is critical to provide better funding and other moral support to scientific research focused institutions as well as individual researchers.”

General Danjuma who is also the Chairman of May and Baker Nigeria Plc, donated N10 million to the Olu Akinkugbe Research and Innovation Centre to support the advancement of research and development in the country.

Professor Ernest Benson Izevbigie, a distinguished scientist and former Vice Chancellor, Benson Idahosa University, in his keynote lecture at the event titled, From Plant to Patient: Driving Research and Innovation for Industry called for the translation of research findings into societal values.

Prof. Izevbigie whose ground-breaking work on the use of bitter leaf, Vernonia Amygdalina in cancer and diabetes management has commanded critical acclaim globally provided critical research insights into how he has used bitter leaf in the management of breast cancer, prostate cancer and cervical cancer with results better than western drugs.

The Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy is a specialized academy that among others, seeks to promote scientific research and professional development especially in the health, pharmaceutical and related sectors in order to help overcome challenges posed by pain and disease as well as fast-track social and economic development in Nigeria and beyond.

The event had eminent personalities that included, Senator Daisy Danjuma, Prof. Oladipo Akinkugbe, professor of medicine, Chief Oba Otudeko, former chairman of First Bank Plc, Pharm. Jimi Agbaje, managing director, JayKay Pharmacy; Pharm. Ike Onyechi, managing director, Alpha Pharmacy; Pharm. Nnamdi Okafor, managing director, May & Baker Plc, Bhushan Akshikar, managing director, Glaxosmithkline Plc, Dr Obi Peter Adigwe, the newly appointed Director General,  National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), NAPharm Vice President, Sir Ifeanyi Atueyi, chairman, Merit Pharmaceuticals, Dr Lolu Ojo, Pharm. Nnamdi Obi, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, former managing director, Neimeth Pharmaceuticals,  Founder, Alpha Pharmacy, Sir Ike Onyechi, Prof. Kemi Odukoya, former dean, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Lagos (UNILAG); Prof. Mbang Femi-Oyewo, former dean, Faculty of Pharmacy, Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU) amongst others in attendance.

 

Health

First Baby Born Via Womb Transplant From Dead Donor

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In a medical first, a mother who received a uterus transplant from a dead donor gave birth to a healthy baby, researchers reported Wednesday.

The breakthrough operation, performed in September 2016 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, shows that such transplants are feasible and could help thousands of women unable to have children due to uterine problems, according to a study published in The Lancet.

The baby girl was born in December 2017, the medical journal added.
Until recently, the only options available to women with so-called uterine infertility were adoption or the services of a surrogate mother.

The first successful childbirth following uterine transplant from a living donor took place in 2014 in Sweden, and there have been 10 others since then.

But there are far more women in need of transplants than there are potential live donors, so doctors wanted to find out if the procedure could work using the uterus of a woman who had died.

Ten attempts were made — in the United States, the Czech Republic, and Turkey — before the success reported Wednesday.
Infertility affects 10 to 15 percent of couples.

Of this group, one in 500 women have problems with their uterus — due, for example, to a malformation, hysterectomy, or infection — that prevent them from becoming pregnant and carrying a child to term.

“Our results provide a proof-of-concept for a new option for women with uterine infertility,” said Dani Ejzenberg, a doctor at the teaching hospital of the University of Sao Paulo.

He described the procedure as a “medical milestone”.

“The number of people willing and committed to donate organs upon their own death are far larger than those of live donors, offering a much wider potential donor population,” he said in a statement.

The 32-year-old recipient was born without a uterus as a result of a rare syndrome.

Four months before the transplant, she had in-vitro fertilisation resulting in eight fertilised eggs, which were preserved through freezing.

The donor was a 45-year-old woman who died from a stroke.

Her uterus was removed and transplanted in surgery that lasted more than ten hours.

The surgical team had to connect the donor’s uterus with the veins, arteries, ligaments, and vaginal canal of the recipient.

To prevent her body from rejecting the new organ, the woman was given five different drugs, along with antimicrobials, anti-blood clotting treatments, and aspirin.

After five months, the uterus showed no sign of rejection, ultrasound scans were normal, and the woman was menstruating regularly.

The fertilised eggs were implanted after seven months. Ten days later, doctors delivered the good news: she was pregnant.

Besides a minor kidney infection — treated with antibiotics — during the 32nd week, the pregnancy was normal.

After nearly 36 weeks a baby girl weighing 2.5 kilograms (about six pounds) was delivered via caesarean section.

Mother and baby left the hospital three days later.

Four months before the transplant, she had in-vitro fertilisation resulting in eight fertilised eggs, which were preserved through freezing.

The transplanted uterus was removed during the C-section, allowing the woman to stop taking the immunosuppressive drugs.

At age seven months and 12 days — when the manuscript reporting the findings was submitted for publication — the baby was breastfeeding and weighed 7.2 kilograms.

“We must congratulate the authors,” commented Dr. Srdjan Saso, an honorary clinical lecturer in obstetrics and gynaecology at Imperial College London, describing the findings as “extremely exciting”.

Richard Kennedy, president of the International Federation of Fertility Societies, also welcomed the announcement but sounded a note of caution.

“Uterine transplant is a novel technique and should be regarded as experimental,” he said.

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Health

Lack of Sleep Intensifies Anger – New Study

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A new research from Iowa State University has confirmed a link between sleep loss and anger intensity.

The study, which was published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology found that losing a few hours of sleep can make a person angrier, especially in frustrating situations.

“Other studies have shown a link between sleep and anger, but questions remained about whether sleep loss was to blame or if anger was responsible for disrupted sleep,” Zlatan Krizan, professor of psychology at Iowa State, said.

“Despite typical tendencies to get somewhat used to irritating conditions — an uncomfortable shirt or a barking dog — sleep-restricted individuals actually showed a trend toward increased anger and distress, essentially reversing their ability to adapt to frustrating conditions over time. No one has shown this before.”

Study participants were randomly split into two groups; one maintained their sleep routine and the second restricted their sleep by two to four hours each night for two nights.

Together with Garrett Hisler, an ISU doctoral student, Krizan measured anger in the participants before and after sleep manipulation by gauging their reaction to noise.

“In general, anger was substantially higher for those who were sleep restricted,” Krizan said.

“We manipulated how annoying the noise was during the task and as expected, people reported more anger when the noise was more unpleasant. When sleep was restricted, people reported even more anger, regardless of the noise.

“It is well established that sleep loss increases negative emotions, such as anxiety and sadness, and decreases positive emotions, such as happiness and enthusiasm.”

Krizan says they found sleep loss to uniquely impact anger, and not just result from feeling more negative at that moment.

Based on the results, the researchers are now collecting data to test if sleep loss causes actual aggressive behaviour toward others.

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Health

NAFDAC, Customs Set Up Joint Committee To Tackle Importation Of Counterfeit Products

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According to a statement signed by the Director, Public Affairs, NAFDAC,  Abubakar Jimoh, the establishment of the joint committee was the fall out of the courtesy visit by Director General of NAFDAC, Professor Moji Adeyeye to the Nigeria Customs Comptroller General, Retired Colonel Hameed Ali recently in Abuja.

The Customs boss said it has become imperative for NAFDAC and NCS to close rank and work together in the interest of Nigerians, particularly the youths and house wives who are exposed to the devastating effects of abuse of codeine containing cough syrups and tramadol illegally shipped into the country.

He pointed out the urgent need for NAFDAC and NCS to put in place quick measures to prevent Nigerian politicians from taking undue advantage of our vulnerable youths and getting them hooked to drugs so they can be used as thugs during electioneering campaigns.

In her response, NAFDAC DG, Professor Adeyeye hinted that the newly established joint committee will come up with action plan on Intensive Education, Training and Foreign Exchange Programme for personnel of both Agencies as well as joint enforcement operations.

She said other areas of collaboration include timely examination of suspected containers based on intelligence report, regular invitation of NAFDAC officials to participate in examination of NAFDAC regulated products, support to NAFDAC to prevent clearing agents from false declaration of consignments and timely release of containers to NAFDAC for destruction after seizure notice has been submitted to NCS.

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