Teenager who was told her tumour was inoperable has life transformed by surgical charity in Africa.

A teenage girl who had to quit school and her job due to a painful, ‘inoperable’ tumour on the side of her face has had life-changing surgery from a charity.

Khoudia, 18, from the Kaolack region of central Senegal, was 10 when she first noticed a small lump on her cheek that kept on growing.

Her mother, Atta, was quick to take her to several hospitals in the hope of treatment but was told the tumour was inoperable. As the years passed by, Khoudia’s childhood was overshadowed by feeling rejected by her peers.

Atta said: “The only thing that my daughter told me all the time was, ‘I want to keep studying. But when she used to go to school, her friends used to make fun of her, and she would come back crying.”

By the time Khoudia was 16, the tumour had become immensely painful. She felt like her face was being pricked by needles.

Khoudia said: “I used to get pain till I could not see.”

She eventually had to drop out of school and could no longer work seasonally as a maid.

During yet another unsuccessful hospital visit, Atta heard the news that international aid charity Mercy Ships had one of its hospital ships in the port of Dakar, delivering free surgery to those who have little access to safe medical care. She began exploring Mercy Ships as an option but discovered it had finished its current service.

Amazingly, the ship then returned to Senegal, and Atta was overjoyed when Khoudia was cleared for surgery at age 18.

Khoudia said: “I never thought that this tumor would be removed from my cheek. So when they told me they were going to do it, I said, ‘OK,’ but I never imagined that they would remove it all.”

American nurse, Mary Toupin who was volunteering and looked after Khoudia, said: “They were just so happy to finally be here. They had been on a journey together, and they had finally come to this day they had been waiting for.”

The volunteer surgeons of Mercy Ships performed a left parotidectomy to remove the tumour. It was a life-changing maxillofacial operation that had been eight years in the making.

“After the surgery, when they took off the bandages, they gave me a mirror,” Khoudia remembered.

“I looked at myself and said, ‘Wow!’ I was so happy from then on.”

Her mother watched the moment and was just as joyful.

Atta said: “When they came and took off the bandages and I saw that, I was so happy because I never imagined that could be removed. I never thought I would see her cheek without the tumour in my life.”

French nurse Caroline Grob was struck by Khoudia’s bravery.

Caroline said: “It just blew my mind. She had a huge mass in her face and was just smiling. Never complained.”

She added: “When she saw her face after the surgery, she was even more joyful.”

Mary said that it was “such a privilege” to be there for the bandage removal. “That’s something really special,” said Mary. She called it “a moment that they will remember forever.”

A month after her surgery, Khoudia was pain-free and her face had healed, so she was discharged from the hospital.

She and Atta applauded the good news. Atta remarked: “I am just so happy. Now, I will return home with my beautiful daughter.”

As she prepared to return to her village Khoudia said she was most excited to see her father, as she is very close to him.

Khoudia said: “There will be a big party when I come home; I know it.”

Mercy Ships operates hospital ships that deliver free surgeries and other healthcare services to those with little access to safe medical care. An international faith-based organization, Mercy Ships has focused entirely on partnering with African nations for the past three decades. Working with in-country partners, Mercy Ships also provides training to local healthcare professionals and supports the construction of in-country medical infrastructure to leave a lasting impact.

Each year, more than 3,000 volunteer professionals from over 60 countries serve on board the world’s two largest non-governmental hospital ships, the Africa Mercy® and the Global Mercy™. Professionals such as surgeons, dentists, nurses, health trainers, cooks, and engineers dedicate their time and skills to accelerate access to safe surgical, obstetric and anesthetic care. Mercy Ships was founded in 1978 and has offices in 16 countries as well as an Africa Service Center in Dakar, Senegal.

“World Autism Acceptance Week 2023” By: Tony Ogunlowo

The theme for the World Autism Week 2023 is colour: the powers that be want to promote autism awareness with a splash of colours. As usual the autism activists will be out there in force on sponsored walks, raising money, doing talks trying to educate the general public on autism.

I believe those on the autistic spectrum really don’t care about an awareness week devoted to trying to understand what they are: most would prefer to be given a fair chance to live in a world that rejects them and treats them like circus freaks. Perhaps more time should be spent on educating the ordinary man on the street about what autism really is like and how those affected by it try to live their lives.

Autistic people are no different to anybody else except their brains are wired differently: same human being but different way of thinking and living. The common belief that all autistic people are non-verbal retards is not exactly true, some will be but not all, in the same way not all ‘normal’ people are clever and can boast of high IQs. The mere fact you’ve met one autistic person doesn’t mean you’ve met them all. Don’t stereotype! People like Elon Musk, bullied as a kid in South Africa because he was autistic and weird (- he still is weird!) is on-and-off the Worlds Richest Man following in the footsteps of people like Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett and Mark Zuckerberg, all rumoured to be on the spectrum, who are using their unique talents and abilities to re-shape the world we live in. Recently Jason Arday an autistic 37-year-old Black Briton became the youngest Black professor at Cambridge University: he didn’t utter a word until he was 11 and didn’t learn to read or write until he was 18. A few years down the road and he worked hard and quickly got a first degree, 2 Master degrees and finally his PhD in Educational Studies. Not bad for an autistic ‘retard’!

The mere fact somebody is slightly different to everybody else, perhaps a bit antisocial and weird is not an excuse to discriminate against or ostracize a person.

Discrimination is a big crime in the world today: we prosecute people for discriminating against others because of their race, sexual and religious orientations and cultural differences. But sadly, people who have autism and other mental health conditions seem to be exempt from this rule. For some strange reason its ‘O.K’ to bully, harass, ridicule, alienate and ostracize people who have mental health conditions.

Nobody has any control over what they are born as, it’s a Lottery of Life: if you were born ‘O.K’ you’re lucky, if not you’re stuck with what ever you are born as for the rest of your natural life. Think about that next time when you’re ridiculing somebody who’s on the autistic spectrum or who has mental health issues.

So Autistic Awareness week, in my opinion, should  be dedicated to not just learning more about the condition – or making a song and dance about it – but to show how people live with a condition that imposes certain limitations on how they live their lives: limitations the average person would find impossible to live with. Simple things like going to a shopping mall, attending social functions can cause a sensory overload or even going outside of their own front doors can be difficult for most people on the spectrum and that’s not to talk of being hyper-sensitive to common things such as noise, bright lights, smells or even certain foods and at the same time being prone to meltdowns, struggling with depression, loneliness (-often leading to suicidal intentions), while at the same time being de-humanised by everybody around them.

Follow Tony on Twitter: @Archangel641 or visit http://www.archangel641.blogspot.co.uk

Opinion: COVID-19 and HIV: so far it seems the outcome is not what was feared| By: Morgan Morris

Based on official figures – which may be somewhat under reported – COVID-19 has not been as devastating in South Africa as initially feared.
Back in March and April this year case numbers on the continent were still modest. But predictions and projections were sombre. There seemed to be consensus that African countries had weak public health systems and few testing facilities, and containment and social distancing were going to be problematic in poor communities.
More specifically, local and international organisations pointed to the fact that these areas typically have the highest incidence of immuno-compromised individuals. Experts feared that the tens of millions with HIV and tuberculosis would be disproportionately affected by COVID-19.
That did not bode well for South Africa, where well over seven million people are believed to have HIV. The immune systems of these individuals are notoriously weak, often unable to fight infections. Fears were that COVID-19 would be devastating to this community.
Those dire forecasts have, so far, not been realised. Around half of the COVID-19 cases on the continent were from South Africa. The country’s COVID-19 cases were around 653,400 as of mid-September. Some 15,705 people are estimated to have died from COVID-19; a tragic number, but not nearly as many as predicted by some. Early predictions were that symptomatic cases of COVID-19 in South Africa could surpass a million by July with 30,000 deaths by November 2020.
These comparatively “low” numbers have come as a surprise. Many possible explanations for this modest-by-comparison outbreak are being floated.
Some insights into previous outbreaks of human coronaviruses may be useful in this regard. My laboratory recently reviewed what is known at this stage – and what is still unknown – about co-infections of HIV and coronaviruses.
Human coronaviruses
There are currently seven known human coronaviruses.
Of these, the four most common and still circulating are reported to cause about 10%-30% of all common colds globally. Fortunately, research shows that they cause no more than mild to moderate cold symptoms. In rare cases, these human coronaviruses can cause more serious respiratory disease in children, the elderly, the immuno-compromised such as people with HIV and people with underlying illness. But, as far as we know, deaths as a result of infections from the “common” human coronaviruses are quite rare.
Then there are three more pathogenic or life-threatening coronaviruses. The first among these to appear among humans is the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (SARS-CoV), which causes severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, which killed around 10% of the just-over 8,000 people who were infected.
The next was the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), which causes the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) that killed an estimated 34% of about 2,494 people known to have been infected.
And now there’s the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus behind COVID-19.
We have learned that there are a number of factors linked to severe disease and death from SARS-CoV-2. These include advanced age; being a male; and the presence of other pre-existing medical conditions including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, lung disease and kidney disease. This doesn’t mean that the young and women are immune to the disease. They can catch the virus, and pass it on to others.
Of particular interest in South Africa is the risk of COVID-19 and HIV co-infections.
The HIV and CoV interactions
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a lack of published academic work on HIV and coronavirus co-infections. This is, in part, why the spectre of COVID-19 running amok in countries with large numbers of people living with HIV – like South Africa – raised anxiety levels. Particularly because, as early as the late 1980s, coronaviruses had been shown to be agents of opportunistic infections in immunocompromised hosts, and were linked to diarrhoeal disease among AIDS patients.
But otherwise, there were few known associations between HIV and coronaviruses. I know of only one reported case of an HIV-positive person infected with SARS during the 2003 outbreak. This person recovered fully from SARS.
During the same period, another study reported on a connection between HIV and SARS. In this case, 19 HIV-positive patients shared a hospital ward with 95 patients confirmed positive for SARS. Somehow, none of the HIV-positive patients became infected with the SARS-CoV. Six of the 28 medical personnel who worked in the ward were infected. At the time, researchers began speculating that antiretroviral treatment was offering patients with HIV some protection against the SARS-CoV. But, since SARS-CoV disappeared so quickly from the human population, this was not positively established.
The COVID-19 pandemic has propelled the study of HIV-coronavirus co-infections.
My laboratory recently published an overview of studies that looked at COVID-19 infections among more than 11,000 HIV-positive individuals. The risk associated with coinfections is still a matter of debate. But the estimated COVID-19 prevalence reported in various studies does not suggest increased rates of hospitalisation or mortality in HIV-positive patient populations. Clinical characteristics and disease outcomes were comparable to those described for the general population with COVID-19.
The reasons for these infection and mortality rates are still unclear. But scientists have come up with several interesting hypotheses.
One is that antiretroviral treatments have anti-CoV properties and offer some level of protection against COVID-19 infection. Another is that the weakened immune system of people with HIV stops it from “overreacting” to the presence of the coronavirus. In this way it averts the elevated inflammation that is being associated with COVID-19. A related argument has been made that because the helper T-cells have been deactivated in HIV-positive patients, the response of the immune system is tempered, again limiting the risks of excessive inflammation.
A more intriguing hypothesis suggests that the original HIV infection changes the host cells so they no longer offer a favourable environment for other viruses. This phenomenon is called “viral interference”. And it’s been argued that some cold-causing viruses have stopped at least one flu pandemic in Europe in its tracks in 2009.
Moving forward
Concern over HIV-positive patients is understandable. But current data from the COVID-19 pandemic – and past experiences with SARS and MERS – suggest that they do not form an at-risk group. This raises the question of whether HIV serves as an immunological shield against more severe forms of the new disease.
What has been quite apparent from the start is that old age and co-morbidities such as obesity, hypertension and diabetes are more telling considerations in both general infections and HIV/SARS-CoV-2 co-infections.
Based on what we now know, should a second or even a third wave of COVID-19 be forthcoming, state and health officials should consider a more strategic and targeted approach to containment.

Morgan Morris, a freelance writer for the WHO, amongst others, and filmmaker based in Cape Town, contributed to this article.

Over 10,000 health workers in Africa infected with COVID-19.

The World Health Organization (WHO)(https://www.afro.who.int/) today warned of the threat posed by COVID-19 to health workers across Africa. More than 10 000 health workers in the 40 countries which have reported on such infections have been infected with COVID-19 so far, a sign of the challenges medical staff on the frontlines of the outbreak face.

This comes as COVID-19 cases in Africa appear to be gathering pace. There are now more than 750 000 cases of COVID-19, with over 15 000 deaths. Some countries are approaching a critical number of infections that can place stress on health systems. South Africa is now among the worst-hit countries in the world.

“The growth we are seeing in COVID-19 cases in Africa is placing an ever-greater strain on health services across the continent,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “This has very real consequences for the individuals who work in them, and there is no more sobering example of this than the rising number of health worker infections.”

So far, about 10% of all cases globally are among health workers, though there is a wide range between individual countries. In Africa, information on health worker infections is still limited, but preliminary data finds that they make up more than 5% of cases in 14 countries in sub-Saharan Africa alone, and in four of these, health workers make up more than 10% of all infections.

Inadequate access to personal protective equipment or weak infection prevention and control measures raise the risk of health worker infection. Surging global demand for protective equipment as well as global restrictions on travel have triggered supply shortages. Health workers can also be exposed to patients who do not show signs of the disease and are in the health facilities for a range of other services. Risks may also arise when health personnel are repurposed for COVID-19 response without adequate briefing, or because of heavy workloads which result in fatigue, burnout and possibly not fully applying the standard operating procedures.

In many African countries infection prevention and control measures aimed at preventing infections in health facilities are still not fully implemented. When WHO assessed clinics and hospitals across the continent for these measures, only 16% of the nearly 30 000 facilities surveyed had assessment scores above 75%. Many health centres were found to lack the infrastructure necessary to implement key infection prevention measures, or to prevent overcrowding. Only 7.8% (2213) had isolation capacities and just a third had the capacity to triage patients.

“One infection among health workers is one too many,” said Dr Moeti. “Doctors, nurses and other health professionals are our mothers, brothers and sisters. They are helping to save lives endangered by COVID-19. We must make sure that they have the equipment, skills and information they need to keep themselves, their patients and colleagues safe.”

Also Read: Slovenia becomes first country to declare end of coronavirus pandemic.

WHO has been working closely with health ministries to reduce health worker infections since the outbreak began. The Organization has trained more than 50 000 health workers in Africa in infection prevention and control, with plans to train over 200 000 more, as well as providing guidance documents and guidelines on best care practices and the most up-to-date treatment regimes.

WHO is also helping to fill gaps in the supply of personal protective equipment. Currently, 41 million items of personal protective equipment are ready to ship from China to cover the needs of 47 African countries. Shipments for an initial set of 23 African countries are planned to start during this weekend.

As a result of concerted efforts by WHO and partners some African countries have managed to reduce health worker infections considerably. For example, two months ago over 16% of COVID-19 infections in Sierra Leone were among health workers. The figure has now dropped to 9%. Cote d’Ivoire has reduced the proportion of infections among health workers from 6.1% to 1.4%. Scaling up infection prevention and control measures can further reduce infections among health workers.

Dr Moeti spoke about health worker infections in Africa during a virtual press conference today organized by APO Group. She was joined by Hon Dr Léonie Claudine Lougue, Minister of Health of Burkina Faso; Hon Dr Alpha T. Wurie, Minister of Health and Population of Sierra Leone; and Dr Jemima A. Dennis-Antwi, International Maternal Health & Midwifery Specialist.

Seychelles is coronavirus-free!

Seychelles have been certified coronavirus-free after all 11 patients who had tested positive for COVID-19 have, after a period of treatment, now tested negative for the virus. Public Health Commissioner Jude Gedeon has announced.

The chief executive of the Health Care Agency, Danny Louange, said that the last patient to be tested negative has been transferred from the isolation centre at Perseverance to the quarantine centre at Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay.

He confirmed that the health department is gradually reopening some of its services that had stopped since the pandemic started.

Mauritius is now coronavirus-free.

Mauritius has become coronavirus-free with no active case for 15 days, the country’s ministry of health has announced. Data from US-based John Hopkins University revealed that the Indian Ocean island nation recorded 332 coronavirus cases, 322 recoveries and 10 deaths.  73,572 COVID-19 tests have been carried out, including 50,077 Rapid Antigen Tests and 23 495 PCR tests (polymerase chain reaction).  220 recently repatriated citizens from abroad were still under quarantine.

With a population of 1.2 million people, one of the reasons attributed to this feat is their response to the pandemic. They went into FULL extensive lockdown campaign as soon as it uncovered 3 Coronavirus cases. 

Also Read: Buhari orders the use of Madagascar’s herbal drug to treat covid-19 patients.

Their healthcare system is reportedly well-developed , with approximately 73% of the services provided by the public sector and the remaining catered by the private sector.

4,222,968 cases have been detected worldwide, with 288,368 deaths and 1,476,137 recoveries.

African countries stats.

Confirmed cases = 66,319
Number of deaths = 2,344
Recoveries = 23,143
Infected countries = 53
Virus-free countries = 1 (Lesotho)

Countries in alphabetical order
Algeria – 5,891
Angola – 45
Benin – 319
Botswana – 24
Burkina Faso – 760
Burundi – 15
Cameroon – 2,689
Cape Verde – 260
Central African Republic – 143
Chad – 322
Comoros – 11
Congo-Brazzaville – 333
DR Congo – 1,024
Djibouti – 1,227
Egypt – 9,746
Equatorial Guinea – 439
Eritrea – 39
Eswatini – 175
Ethiopia – 250
Gabon – 802
(The) Gambia – 22
Ghana – 4,700
Guinea – 2,146
Guinea-Bissau – 761
Ivory Coast – 1,730
Kenya – 700
Lesotho – 0
Liberia – 211
Libya – 64
Madagascar – 186
Malawi – 57
Mali – 712
Mauritania – 8
Mauritius – 332
Morocco – 6,281
Mozambique – 103
Namibia – 16
Niger – 832
Nigeria- 4,641
Rwanda – 285
Sao Tome and Principe – 208
Senegal – 1,886
Seychelles – 11
Sierra Leone – 338
Somalia – 1,089
South Africa – 10,652
South Sudan – 156
Sudan – 1,526
Tanzania – 509
Togo – 181
Tunisia – 1,032
Uganda – 121
Zambia – 267
Zimbabwe – 36

Buhari orders the use of Madagascar’s herbal drug to treat covid-19 patients.

President Muhammadu Buhari  President has given instructions for the airlifting of Nigeria’s allocation of the Madagascar COVID-19 Syrup for prevention and cure of Coronavirus. He also gave clear instructions that it must be subjected to the standard validation process for pharmaceuticals, Boss Mustapha. Secretary to the Government of the Federation.SGF disclosed at today’s at the daily briefing of the task force, which is headed by him.


“Madagascar has made allocations to various countries & sent them to Guinea Bissau. We‘re supposed to make arrangements to freight’s allocation from Guinea Bissau; it‘ll be subjected to the standard validation process for pharmaceuticals.” Mustapha confirmed 

As all countries are interested in finding a cure to the deadly COVID-19, Health Minister, Osagie Ehanire said Nigeria will get the herbal product and subject it to analysis to see how it works and how it is used.


“Concerning the question on the cure from Madagascar, this has been making the news and we have the promise of being able to get a sample of the herb/botanical product for analysis and also probably use that opportunity to speak with the health authorities particularly the scientific community on how they use it. We will also give that to the research community with us here (in Nigeria) to examine and do what they can do with it. We will like to compare the sample with the strain here in our country whether they are identical or similar and see what properties it has. Things like that are normally subjected to analysis to find out how it works,” Ehanire said.

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Madagascar President Andry Rajoelina officially launched Covid-Organics (CVO), an organic herbal concoction, claiming that it can prevent and cure patients suffering from the novel coronavirus. He attributed recovery of 105 COVID-19 patients in Madagascar to its use.

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Madagascar slams WHO for not endorsing its herbal cure

“A marked improvement was observed in the health of the patients who received this remedy just 24 hours after they took the first dose. The cure was noted after seven days, even ten days. This remedy is natural and non-toxic,” he added.

Nigeria’s COVID-19 positive tally moved to 4,399 last night with 248 new cases and 143 deaths announced by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).


Global covid-19 cases pass four million.

The number of coronavirus cases in the world has passed 4 million.

There are 1,355,000 cases in the US, and it is the country with the world’s highest death toll, 80,300.
Worldwide, the death toll is over  277,000. Amidst the surging number of deaths and new wave of cases, some countries are easing the lockdown and this has brought mixed reactions.

In Spain, about half the population will be allowed out on Monday for limited socialisation, and restaurants will be able to offer some outdoor service as the country begins a phased transition set to last through June. Spain has recorded  26,299 deaths. Belgium is easing some restrictions on Monday, and in some parts of Germany bars and restaurants reopened on Saturday.

A recent study carried out by Marc Lipsitch, an infectious disease epidemiologist at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health reveals that the novel coronavirus will be with us for a rather long time.

“Exactly how long remains to be seen, It’s going to be a matter of managing it over months to a couple of years. It’s not a matter of getting past the peak, as some people seem to believe.” He said.

UK  Prime Minister Boris Johnson says the UK is taking “the first careful steps” in easing the coronavirus lockdown – with people in England allowed to spend more leisure time outside from Wednesday. According to him,“We now need to stress that anyone who can’t work from home… should be encouraged to go to work”

Coronavirus, worldwide.

Cases: 4,080,000

Deaths: 279,400

Recoveries: 1,425,000

Most coronavirus deaths.

United States: 79,800
United Kingdom: 31,587
Italy: 30,395
Spain: 26,478
France: 26,310
Brazil: 10,100
Belgium: 8,581
Germany: 7,543
Iran: 6,589
Netherlands: 5,422
Canada: 4,692
China: 4,633

1,000 COVID-19 tests per day to begin in Kano.

 The Aliko Dangote Foundation  has contracted 54Gene, a molecular diagnostics company specialized in research, and diagnostics, to immediately set up a 400 test/day capacity laboratory in Kano State. 54Gene is accredited by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), and has already set up labs in Lagos and in Ogun States.

The lab, which was inaugurated yesterday will start with a testing capacity of 400 tests a day, increasing to 1,000 tests a day by May 10th.  The lab will be set up at Muhammadu Buhari Hospital in Kano, where an isolation center is currently operational.

Aliko Dangote said the foundation is directly supporting the Nigerian government’s COVID-19 containment efforts in Kano State. According to Dangote, this new investment in support of increasing nation-wide testing, comes in addition to ADF’s support through the Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID).

He explained: “CACOVID is already setting up a 310 bed isolation center at Sani Abacha stadium in Kano. We are extending that capacity by another 150 beds at the Abubakar Imam Urology Centre in Kano, which is being converted into an isolation center now. These two centers will be operational pending the final validation by the Infection Prevention and Control team, which we expect will be completed in the coming days.”

Dangote pledged the Foundation’s commitment to reduce the number of lives lost to diseases, such as COVID-19, Ebola and other deadly viruses in the State.

He said the foundation would not relent in using its investments in health, education, and economic empowerment to help lift people out of sickness and poverty.

Speaking on the efforts of the Foundation to assist the Federal Government in curtailing the spread of COVID-19, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of ADF, Zouera Youssoufou, added that ADF is also supporting the Rapid Response Teams in their work to identify suspected covid-19 cases across the healthcare centers in Kano. “ADF will immediately handover to the Kano RRT, 10 new ambulances (4 that ae immediately available and 6 over the next week), two vehicles and PPEs to support the transportation of patients from different parts of the state”, she said.

She said that the Foundation is also supporting the Kano State Covid-19 contact call center that responds to citizen queries and concerns around Covid-19 and refers people to the proper place for follow up, by providing extra phone lines and ICT infrastructure as well as training for the call center staff.

On training, she disclosed: “We are supporting training and incentives for covid-19 health workers.  We will provide hazard incentives and protections for the healthcare and lab workers who are working on the covid-19 response. We are also providing training to them, initially online and via distance learning, and will complement his with in-person training in Kano under strict IPC protocols developed in conjunction with the NCDC.

“ADF will continue to provide PPEs to the Kano State Covid-19 Taskforce, which will then be distributed to the hospitals as appropriate. Items already supplied include coveralls, gloves, masks, respirators, goggles, boots and sanitizers. We are expanding the CACOVID communications strategy in Kano by adding more communications and advocacy around Covid-19 prevention across radio, TV and traditional and community leaders.”

Commending ADF, Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje stated: “There’s no doubt we started on a shaky foundation, with assistance of ADF, we can see that a friend in deed is a friend in need. We are very grateful for the mobile testing Centre witch will launch with 400 samples per day and after a week, increase to 1,000 tests  per day. It is now left for us to intensify efforts to collect samples. We will ensure that all that 44 Local Government Council have collection centres.  Here in the metropolitan local government, we will have 100s of collection centres because this is where the majority of the population is”.

The governor added that the state has intensify efforts to create awareness about the reality of coronavirus.
Speaking on the collaboration, the founder and Chief Executive Officer of 54gene, Dr. Abasi Ene-Obong, the 40ft structure built with container technology, provides a unique plug-and-play solution.

Ene-Obong explained that the mobile laboratory is also fully kitted with vital instruments including an autoclave, bio-safety cabinet, centrifuge, heating blocks, vortexes, pipettes, and PCR machines to support COVID-19 testing.

He stated: “Our mobile lab is fully equipped with all the vital instruments required for COVID-19 testing, and allows us to quickly offer our services to multiple states due to the ease of transport. Its unique plug and play feature eliminates the logistics of shipping samples to another location for the processing which reduces turnaround times for test results and allows clinicians to manage and treat patients accurately, sooner rather than later.”

Ene-Obong said the company has also helped build capacity by equipping molecular scientists with the necessary skill set required to handle the instruments in the mobile lab as they would in regular molecular testing laboratories.

“Our mobile lab removes the restriction imposed by permanent buildings and allows us to quickly offer our services to multiple states due to the ease of transport and the mobile capability it provides”, he added.

UK to test randomly selected 100,000 people to check COVID-19 spread.

Reuters reports that the United Kingdom is planning to test a randomly selected group of 100,000 people to check the spread of the covid-19. 100,000 people  from 315 local authorities across England will be invited to provide nose and throat swabs. The swabs will be tested for antigens, which indicate the presence of the virus. It tests whether or not someone is currently infected with Covid-19. A later part of the study will test the public’s ability to self-administer antibody tests that show whether someone has had COVID-19 but is no longer infected, which may confer some immunity against the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Also Read: 3D printing helps the fight against COVID-19.

The testing programme, commissioned by the Department of Health and Social Care, is being led by a team of scientists, clinicians and researchers at Imperial College London alongside staff at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, and Ipsos MORI.

Health Minister, Lord Bethell said: “Understanding more about the current spread of coronavirus and the prevalence of antibodies is a vital part of our ongoing response to this pandemic. This ambitious new testing programme will help us track the rate of the infection now. And, crucially, it will help identify an antibody test that is accurate and easy to use, and which can give us an indication of how many people have already had the infection. This information will inform the future action we take to manage the spread of the virus, including the development of new tests and treatments.”

Also Read: Covid-19: Senegal hailed for developing $1 testing kits.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has announced that the UK is ‘past the peak’ of coronavirus. “Next week, we will set out a comprehensive plan on restarting the economy and reopening schools.” – He added.

The UK is now just behind Italy and set to become the country with the 2nd worst coronavirus death toll in the world. UK today has 26,711, Italy 27,967, with UK coronavirus daily deaths today at 674 & Italy 285.


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