Press highlights WHO’s endorsement of malaria vaccine, others

The report that the World Health Organization has endorsed the RTS,S/AS01 malaria vaccine, the first against the mosquito-borne disease that…

The report that the World Health Organization has endorsed the RTS,S/AS01 malaria vaccine, the first against the mosquito-borne disease that kills more than 400,000 people a year is one the leading stories in Nigerian newspapers on Thursday.

The Guardian reports that the World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday endorsed the RTS,S/AS01 malaria vaccine, the first against the mosquito-borne disease that kills more than 400,000 people a year, mostly African children.

The decision followed a review of a pilot programme deployed since 2019 in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi where more than two million doses were given of the vaccine, first made by the pharmaceutical company GSK in 1987.

After reviewing evidence from those countries, WHO said it was “recommending the broad use of the world’s first malaria vaccine”, the agency’s director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

The WHO said in a statement it was recommending the widespread application of the vaccine among children in sub-Saharan Africa and in other regions with moderate to high malaria transmission.

Many vaccines exists against viruses and bacteria but this was the first time that the WHO recommended for broad use a vaccine against a human parasite.

“From a scientific perspective this is a massive breakthrough,” said Pedro Alonso, Director of the WHO Global Malaria Programme.

The vaccine acts against plasmodium falciparum — one of five parasite species and the most deadly.

The newspaper says that the Nigerian Government Wednesday gave an indication that it might declare a state of emergency in Anambra if the incessant killings and rising insecurity in the state persists.

This, it said, is so as to protect the sanctity of the scheduled November 6 governorship election in the state.
Attorney of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, gave the indication while briefing newsmen at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari in the State House, Abuja.

He said no possibility will be ruled out inclusive of a declaration of a state of emergency in the determination to ensure a hitch-free exercise.

“When our national security is attacked, and the sanctity of our constitutionally guaranteed democracy is threatened, no possibility is ruled out,” Malami said.

“As a government, we have a responsibility to ensure the sustenance of our democratic order. As a government, we have a responsibility to provide security to life and properties.

“So, within the context of these constitutional obligations, of the government or the desire to establish democratic norms and order, there is no possibility that [state of emergency] is out ruled.

The Punch reports that banks have started to onboard the e-Naira feature on their applications. In its latest update, the Guaranty Trust World app has integrated a e-Naira feature.

However, when opened, the bank said, “Kindly note that you will need to download and onboard on the CBN e-Naira speed wallet app to create your e-Naira username and password.”

Recall that the Central Bank of Nigeria recently postponed the planned unveiling of the country’s digital currency, e-Naira. According to the CBN, the e-Naira wallet is a digital storage to hold the e-Naira.
It added that it would be held and managed on a distributed ledger, and required to access, hold and use e-Naira. The bank said, “Your e-Naira wallet offers a great way of making purchases with retailers on-site, transferring or sending money while tracking rewards programmes.

“You can link the e-wallet to your bank account or pay as you go with a prepay option. “In addition, the embedded security token system makes your information unreadable to fraudsters because tokens are randomly generated every time you make a payment.”

The CBN had said that banks were integral to the establishment of the e-Naira, on the e-Naira website. The apex bank said, “Integral to the establishment of eNaira is the necessity to build more synergy with financial institutions.

The newspaper says that the Nigerian Communications Commission has stated that it is not disqualifying Nigerians from getting the Subscriber Identity Module and that the age limit is in line with the constitutional provision.

The commission said this in a statement titled ‘NCC not disqualifying nigerians from getting SIM’ and signed by NCC’s Director of Public Affairs, Dr Ikechukwu Adinde on Wednesday.

The NCC argued that the age limit proposed in its draft regulation was based on the constitution, which makes 18 years the age of consent in the country.

It added that acquiring a SIM required the subscriber to be of legal status involving a contract between service providers and subscribers. It said, “The age of 18 years for SIM acquisition proposed in the draft regulation is contingent on the constitutional provision, which makes 18 years the age of consent in Nigeria.

“Also, SIM acquisition is a contract between service providers and their subscribers, which requires the subscriber to have proper legal status, be of matured mind and rational enough to bear certain responsibilities, obligations and liabilities imposed by a contract.”

It added that the age limit proposal in the draft regulation was designed to protect minors, stating that the parents and guardians of those below the age of 18 could acquire SIMs on their behalf.

The Sun reports that President Muhammadu Buhari, on Wednesday urged operators in the petroleum industry to take advantage of the new Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) to promote their investments in the oil and gas sector.
According to a statement by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, Buhari said this at an audience with a team from ExxonMobil Corporation led by Liam Mallon, its President on Upstream Oil and Gas.

According to the President: “I will expect the ExxonMobil companies in Nigeria to avail themselves of the opportunities created by the PIA and invest in further development of the Nigerian assets in line with our national interest.

“It is our expectation that your company will also support our desire to deepen gas utilization and monetization aimed at reducing our carbon footprint and facilitating economic growth and development of our country.”
Buhari also enjoined the ExxonMobil chief to collaborate on a bigger scale with the NNPC to realize the full potentials of the abundant gas resources in Nigeria.

The newspaper says that the latest projection for the economy of Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is contained in the latest edition of Africa’s Pulse’s.

The twice-yearly economic update for SSA indicated that Nigeria and others will continue to lag behind the recovery in advanced economies and emerging markets, reflecting subdued investment in SSA.

The analysis in the Africa’s Pulse, stated that SSA is set to emerge from the 2020 recession sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic with growth expected to expand by 3.3 percent in 2021, just one percent higher than the April 2021 forecast.

This rebound, it added is currently fueled by elevated commodity prices, a relaxation of stringent pandemic measures, and recovery in global trade, but remains vulnerable given the low rates of vaccination on the continent, protracted economic damage, and a slow pace of recovery.

Chief Economist for Africa at the World Bank, Albert Zeufack, said “Fair and broad access to effective and safe COVID 19 vaccines is key to saving lives and strengthening Africa’s economic recovery.

“Faster vaccine deployment would accelerate the region’s growth to 5.1 percent in 2022 and 5.4 percent in 2023 – as more containment measures are lifted, boosting consumption and investment”.

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