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AU, ALPA Target 3000 Beneficiaries for Hepatitis Treatment in Nasarawa

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The African Union, Scientific, Technical and Research Commission (AU-STRC), African Scientific Research and Innovation Council (AU-ASRIC) have partnered with African Liver Patient Association (ALPA)  to offer free hepatitis treatment to Nasarawa State indigenes.

The Senior Scientific Officer of AU-STRC, Dr Mohammed Kyari, disclosed this  to  the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Model Comprehensive Health Centre, Shabu, Lafia.

Kyari said that the project targeted a total of 3000 persons to benefit from the free hepatitis care, tests and treatment in Shabu, Lafia.

He said the project followed a sensitization and education of communities at all levels including testing which was targeted at the age group 12-80 years old.

Kyari added that the project was a build up from the research conducted by the AU- STRC and ASRIC from 2018 to date with a priority area on “prevention and control of diseases”.

“ The hepatitis testing using the serological rapid diagnostic tests with results in 15 minutes and treatment will commence immediately for positive cases,” he said.

According to him, vaccination will be administered on those that are negative, then further testing will be administered on those tested positive through a viral load confirmation.

Kyari also said that the treatment would focus more on the elimination of mother to child transmission and timely administration of birth dose vaccines for newborns and also by raising awareness.

He added that the project was a pilot phase on the implementation of the ASRIC Flagship Project on Village free of Hepatitis in Nasarawa State, which will hold from the 6th -20th December, 2023.

“ The project is also in line with the implementation of the Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA 2024) pillar on building technical and professional competencies.” Kyari said.

NAN monitored events at the Model comprehensive health centre, Shabu, which is the location of the hepatitis free village in Lafia, Nasarawa State and the theme is “ Hepatitis Free Village”..

NAN also reports that there are a total of seven Egyptian doctors on site attending to the residents of Shabu community and about 2500 persons have since benefited from free treatment by receiving free drugs and vaccination.

Among the medical personnel from the Egyptian Liver Research Institute and Hospital (ELRIAH) working on hepatitis eradication in Lafia are Dr. Ahmed Salem, Dr. Ayman Abdelfattah and Prof. Ahmed Farahat (NAN)

Science & Tech

Tinubu @72: Minister Visits Inmates in Kuje Correctional Service

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Dr Bosun Tijani, Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, on Friday visited the inmates of Nigerian Correctional Service, Kuje to  commemorate 72nd birthday of President Bola Tinubu.

The minister, who was represented by his aide, Nafisa Bello, said the visit was to celebrate President’s birthday with inmates by providing them packs of food to put smile on their faces.

Tijani, who wished the President a happy birthday, said the gesture was a way of commending the President’s resilience, pragmatic leadership and commitment to service.

He said even though the president had instructed that no one should organise a birthday party or place any birthday goodwill advertorial messages in newspapers, it was a special day.

“We are here to celebrate President Bola Tinubu’s 72nd birthday and share love with the inmates. We have distributed food packs, we have met and had good conversations with some of them.

“We wish the president a happy birthday, long life and property,” minister said.

One of the inmate, Chiwendu Hart, who spoke on behalf of all the inmates described the gesture as an act of love, adding that they were not in the correctional service for punishment but correction.

He thanked the Federal Government and the correctional officers for rehabilitating and integrating the inmates to come out and live a crime free life.

According to him, the Nigerian Correctional Service has set up degree courses, ran by the National Open University (NOUN) and some skills to keep the inmates busy while undergoing trials.

He said that he had graduated and had a Masters in theology and waiting to enroll for his PhD.

“I am a beneficiary of NOUN, I came here with secondary school certificate but today, I am a graduate and have my Masters in theology.

“Even if after you leave the correctional centre, you can still come back and finish up the courses or the skills you started with.

“Once we leave here, we will go out there and explore what we have learnt in order to live a good life.”

He urged the Federal Government to equip some of the vocational programmes with study materials, tailoring machines, carpentry and shoe making tools.

He wished the President a happy birthday. (NAN)

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NDPC to Sustain Journalists’ Engagement for Better Data Protection Reportage

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The Nigeria Data Protection Commission (NDPC) says it will sustain the engagement of journalists for continuous propagation of data privacy and protection message.

The National Commissioner of NDPC, Dr Vincent Olatunji, communicated this when he received officials of the Nigeria Information Technology Reporters Association (NITRA) on Monday in Abuja.

Olatunji recognised that times were changing; hence journalists needed to be abreast with the dynamism in the data privacy and protection ecosystem.

He said the media had remained a great asset towards nation building and continuous engagement would ensure that they played their role maximally.

“We are aware of the freedom of expression granted to you the press by the constitution, but we felt that it is important to train you to understand that part.

“I see this collaboration as a continuous thing, more importantly, now everything is changing, we need to deepen your knowledge on data privacy.

“We cannot do awareness under this building; we need media to assist us to disseminate this information so that people can comply with the data protection policies.’’

He said that the commission was collaborating with relevant institutions in ensuring that data privacy and protection policies were adhered to.

Olatunji said that the commission was working with Committee of Vice Chancellors to further deepen knowledge about data protection.

“We are also working with National Board for Technology Education for Polytechnics and others.

“All these efforts are geared towards ensuring that the message of data protection is spread and there is virtually nothing we can do without you.’’

The national commissioner encouraged NITRA members to pursue training as certified Data Protection Officers, adding that it was a lucrative area with readily available jobs.

According to him, when the training is combined it with knowledge of journalism, there is more advantage more than other data processing officers.

“It is a huge ecosystem that has something for everybody to benefit; so, we need to collaborate and ensure you catch up with the changes in data privacy ecosystem,’’ he said.

Mr Babatunde Bamigboye, Head, Legal, Enforcement and Regulations, NDPC, said many data controllers continuously breached data rights of citizens unknowingly.

Bamigboye, however, said that in spite the need for freedom of speech, there was the place of privacy and rights of the people, which the commission was committed to.

He told the journalists that it was important to learn some emerging ethics that would aid balancing the rights and privacy of individuals while reporting.

President of NITRA, Mr Blessing Olaifa, congratulated Olatunji on the adoption of Nigeria Data Protection Act 2023, adding that it had empowered the commission to enforce data protection in Nigeria.

“We congratulate you on your appointment by the President Bola Tinubu; it is a measure of your hard work and tenacity for the industry growth.

‘We also congratulate you on the passage of the Nigeria Data Protection Act 2023; that has given you the impetus to operate in a way that people are now aware of data.

‘Before now, people were not much familiar and interested in data, some thought it was only data in their phones, but they are aware about information they give about themselves to institutions,’’ she said.

Olaifa, while commending the NDPC on its drive towards engaging the media in its activities, said it was necessary consolidating on the collaboration for more results.

“This is in view of the fact that the sector is dynamic and we need more capacity building to fine-tune our knowledge and upscale our skills while reporting,’’ he said. (NAN

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Zoho, Tech Company Record 50 Per cent Growth in Nigeria,

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A global technology company Zoho Corporation, on Friday  announced its 50 per cent growth in Nigeria in 2022.

Regional Director, Middle East Africa, (MEA) Zoho Corporation, Ali Shabdar said at the sideline of Zoholics Nigeria in Lagos that the growth was due to high adoption of cloud technology in the country.

Reports says that  Zoholics  is the annual users conference of Zoho.

Shabdar said that  Zoho’s growth was a direct result of Nigerian businesses embracing cloud technology, especially unified platforms, to digitally transform and build resilience to adapt to challenging market conditions.

According to him, such growth creates an economic impact in the nation’s economy  as well as job creation.

The regional director said as such, it has partnered with StartupSouth to work towards the development of startups  in the South South and the South East region.

He said that the partnership  was to empower startups with basic digital tools and unified platforms to help businesses scale rather than giving free money.

Shabdar said that Zoho Contracts would help businesses improve compliance with National  Data Protection Law (NDPL)

He said that NDPL which came into law in June mandated all businesses to ensure that their contracts include provisions for data security and breach notifications among others.

According to him, in case of non-compliance, businesses risk the loss of consumer trust and potential legal action, apart from a potential fine of up to N10 million or two per cent of annual gross revenue.

He said with Zoho Contracts, businesses could create contract templates with new revised clauses for NDPA compliance.

‘’Through the partnership, Zoho will be providing its contract management solution, Zoho Contracts, free for three months to help businesses improve compliance to the Nigeria Data Protection Law.

‘’Zoho’s unified technology stack, built from the ground up, allows us to meet such transformation needs of businesses with robust solutions that deliver consistently seamless user experiences at unbeatable value,” Shabdar said

The Regional Director, said that Zoho’s growth in Nigeria was primarily driven by adoption of Zoho One, the operating system for business, and Zoho Workplace, a unified enterprise collaboration platform.

He said that Zoho also grew its partner network by 22 per cent and more than doubled its employee in 2022 in Nigeria to reinforce its local presence and better serve the customers.

Country Head, Zoho Nigeria, Mr Kehinde Ogundare  said that  Nigeria was number five in the Middle East Africa  in the growth  of Zoho and had witnessed 87 per cent  growth in five years.

Ogundare said that the transnational local strategy of being locally rooted while staying globally connected was also key to Zoho’s growth in Nigeria.

He said that Zoho was able to serve customers directly with locally hired teams in Lagos.

According to him, Zoho is also one of the few vendors in Nigeria that continues to provide their offerings in Naira, thereby protecting businesses from the fluctuating dollar rates.

Ogundare said that the step ensured that enterprise technology remained accessible to businesses of all sizes.

‘’Our partnership with #StartupSouth, and the special offer on Zoho Contracts, are further steps that underscore our commitment to serve the business community in the region,” he said.

Ogundare said that as part of its partnership with StartupSouth, new customers would be availed  Zoho Wallet credits worth ₦ 470,000.

He said the wallet credit could be used to purchase or upgrade any of Zoho’s 55+ products, including Zoho One, the operating system for business, over a period of 360 days.

According to him, e startups will also receive training to help them leverage Zoho’s products for their growth and in a way that they can easily scale.

The Convener, StartupSouth, Uche Aniche, said that one of #StartupSouth’s goals was to provide startups associated with it an easy access to comprehensive technology solutions.

Aniche said that technology  solutions that offered great value was easy to use and had the capability to grow with the businesses as they scaled.

‘’With this partnership with Zoho, we are looking forward to helping budding businesses by removing access barrier to enterprise technology.

“Through the Zoho for Startups programme, StartupSouth ntend to onboard as many startups  and be a part of their entrepreneurial journey right from the start.

‘’Keeping in mind Zoho’s vision and mission on ‘serving the underserved’, we carefully choose whom we collaborate with.

Global Head, Zoho for Startups, Kuppulakshmi Krishnamoorthy said that Nigeria is one of the hotbeds in Africa for entrepreneurs to thrive and innovate. (NAN)

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