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Showing posts with label Experts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Experts. Show all posts

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Experts say ‘Climate change may increase threat of malaria in CAR region’ - NaijaAgroNet

Experts have said that climate change among other dangers, are capable of increasing threats of malaria in the Central African regions, reports NaijaAgroNet.

According to a new report issued at an RBM Partnership to End Malaria conference in Abuja Tuesday, participating experts hanged their position on the recent survey, saying “surveillance and programme delivery need to improve to drive progress.”

Unlike countries previously surveyed in West, East and Southern Africa in early 2018, Central African respondents saw climate change as more of a threat. One respondent in Rwanda worried that malaria was creeping up into highland regions which had previously been free of the disease, and others discussed how changing rainfall patterns could have an impact on mosquito breeding seasons.

More domestic and international funding was also cited as critical, with respondents from Cameroon, DRC, and Republic of Congo saying more support is needed. Earlier this month, at the recent Replenishment conference for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, world leaders increased funding for programmes addressing these diseases with pledges totaling $14 billion for the period 2020-2023, meeting the Global Fund’s funding target. Rwanda pledged $2.5 million, DRC, Congo and Cameroon also made domestic resource pledges of $6 million, $5.5 million and $5 million, respectively.

Dr Richard Nchabi Kamwi, Ambassador for the Elimination 8 countries and a co-chair of the study, said: “Maintaining momentum against malaria requires strong political leadership, resilient health systems and securing additional resources. The pledges made at the recent Global Fund replenishment are heartening signs that critical resources are forthcoming.” Dr Kamwi continued:

“It’s also important that Cameroon and DRC have been identified by the World Health Organization and RBM Partnership as “high burden to high impact” (HBHI) countries, ensuring these countries will benefit from increased attention and investment from the international community.” The other study co-chair is Professor Bob Snow, KEMRI-Wellcome-University of Oxford Collaborative Programme in Kenya.

HBHI is an initiative supported by the RBM Partnership to End Malaria and the World Health Organization to build international support and country-led responses to reignite the pace of progress in the global malaria fight. Respondents associated with malaria control programmes in the two HBHI countries in the study were aware of the strategy and believed that with sufficient resources it would be highly beneficial.

Isaac Oyimah/Editor

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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Ebola outbreak: Africa CDC deploys experts to DRC

The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) is deploying 25 epidemiologists, laboratory experts, and anthropologists to support the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) efforts to control the recent Ebola virus outbreak in Mbandaka and Bikoro, reports NaijaAgroNet.

This, NaijaAgroNet gathered, followed the announcement on 8 May 2018 of the Ebola outbreak by the government of DRC.

According to Africa CDC, the deployment follows an assessment mission within 48 hours and activated Emergency Operational Centre to link, scan and monitor the situation.

“The global community needs to respond to this outbreak as a crisis and not as an emergency, by quickly deploying public health assets to the affected areas expiditiously”. I want to applaud the Minister of Health of the DRC for his exemplary leadership in managing this current outbreak so far. “All our efforts should be geared towards supporting his leadrship” said Dr. John Nkengasong, the Director of the Africa CDC, upon his return this week, with a high level delegation, to the affected areas in Mbandaka and Bikoro.

The DRC government is working with partners to improve coordination mechanisms, enhance surveillance, laboratory confirmation, contact identification and follow-up, case management, infection prevention and control, safe and dignified burials, social mobilisation and community engagement, logistics, risk communication, vaccination, partner engagement, research and resource mobilisation.

During the Africa CDC team’s visits they assisted the Ministry of Health, together with other partners,  to develop three strategies: a) surveillance and contact tracing, b) Defining the various health areas affected, and c) laboratory testing and network. The Africa CDC will provide up to USD 2 million to support Africa CDC interventions. Due to the remote nature of the Equateur Province, it is expected that more efforts will need to be put in supply chain issues to ensure that essential items needed are delivered swiftly.

Last week the African Union Peace and Security Council was briefed on the situation and will continue to receive reports.  Under Article 6(f) relating to its mandate with regard to humanitarian action and disaster management the Council can authorise deployment of military and civilian missions and assets to tackle emergency situations as it did in August 2014 in the Ebola outbreak in the West Africa sub-region. This outbreak is the 9th outbreak of the Ebola virus disease over the last 4 decades in the country.
NaijaAgroNet also gathered that the affected health area of Bikoro covers 1 075 km and has a population of 163 065 inhabitants. This huge population is supported by only 3 hospitals and 19 health centres, most of which have limited functionality. 


The risk of speard of the virus is high at national and regional levels due in part to the proximity of the epidemic focus to the Congo River which links with the capitals of the Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic. As such, Africa CDC is coordinating with these countries to ensure that their surveillance systems are activated and information is shared in real time.

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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Experts pursue sound chemicals management to promote human, environmental health

Keeping with recent calls for commitments from all to contribute towards a pollution-free planet, experts and observers joined members of the Rotterdam (RC) and Stockholm (SC) Conventions' chemical review committees for back-to-back meetings in Rome, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The team, NaijaAgroNet gathered, reviewed a record number of chemicals for inclusion in annexes of the two Conventions, both of which aim to protect human health and the environment, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

According to NaijaAgroNet findings, recommendations cut across the Rotterdam Convention, and Stockholm Convention.

NaijaAgroNet reports that over 250 experts and observers in total, from all regions of the world, gathered at the headquarters of the FAO in Rome to conduct back-to-back meetings focused on the review of scientific information on toxic chemicals, with a view to recommending inclusion in the annexes of the two conventions, thus becoming regulated by international law.


The latest FAO data, NaijaAgroNet reports, showed that international pesticide sales are valued at up to USD 480 billion a year. UNEP estimates that as many as three percent of those working in agriculture worldwide suffer from acute pesticide poisoning, with adolescents facing a higher risk.

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Monday, May 1, 2017

Nigeria under-funds fight against malnutrition, needs $912m - Experts

Nigeria is currently under-funding its fight against malnutrition as the nation needs $912 million to tackle the scourge, especially of child malnutrition which is presently pillaging the country, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Revealing this to NaijaAgroNet at a two-day Media Dialogue on “Leveraging Resources for Child Malnutrition in Nigeria” held weekend in Enugu, South-East Nigeria, Director of Nutrition at the Federal Ministry of Health, Abuja, Dr. Chris Osa Isokpunwu, described the situation as a major challenge in the country fight against child malnutrition.

Isokpunwu, who delivered paper on “Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria: What Will It Cost?” lamented that there are currently about 2.5 million severely malnourished children in Nigeria.

The medical expert quoted Federal Ministry of Health figures as showing that not less than $912 million is required to tackle child malnutrition in the country over the next five years if the problem is not to get worse.

He pointed out that the national budget provided only N2.4 million for child nutrition in 2016, while nothing was provided in the 2015 budget and N30 million was provided in 2014 but was not released.

Also, he noted that the budget for child nutrition was created for the first time in Nigeria in 2014, describing child malnutrition as “a silent killer which has to be stopped” in view of its devastating consequences.

In her paper entitled “Child Nutrition Situation in South-East and South-South Zones of Nigeria”, Ngozi Onuora, Nutrition Specialist at the Port Harcourt office of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), decried that every single day, Nigeria loses about 2,300 under-five-year-olds and 145 women of childbearing age as a result of malnutrition.

According to her, this makes the country the second largest contributor to the under-five and maternal mortality rate in the world.

Onuora equally said, there are multiple dimensions of child malnutrition which could co-exist in individuals, households and populations, including stunting, wasting, micronutrients deficiencies, overweight and obesity. “These are all manifestation of under-nutrition,” she said.

NaijaAgroNet gathered from statistics provided at the Media Dialogue by nutrition experts that malnutrition, though a national problem is much worse in the North.
As said by the experts at the dialogue held on Thursday and Friday, April 28 and 29, 2017, in Enugu, the statistics showed that the total number of children affected by malnutrition in the South-East in 2016 was 34,889 while 6,700 deaths were recorded.

Also, NaijaAgroNet gathered that  in the South-South, 86,304 children were affected, out of which 16,700 died, while the South-West had 84,417 cases and 16,300 deaths; North-West 1,594,462 cases and 308,000 deaths; North-Central 43,635 cases with 8,400 deaths; and North-East 695,998 cases and 134,000 deaths.

Malnutrition, experts say, not only contributes to close to 50 per cent of deaths in children under five, but also results in a massive cost for the nation.


The Media Dialogue attracted print, electronic and online journalists from Enugu, Lagos and Abuja. Moderated by Geoffrey Njoku, UNICEF Communication Specialist, and Mrs. Ibiba H. Bello, Head, Child Rights Information Bureau, Federal Ministry of Information, Abuja, the event featured a broad spectrum of experts who explored various relevant themes. They included Dr. Bamidele Omotola, Nutrition Specialist at UNICEF Abuja; Dr. Ken Ozoemena, Social Policy Specialist, UNICEF Enugu Office; and Onche Odeh, a Communication Consultant among others.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

All-time low produce affects livestock says experts

Agriculturists have said that the increasing all-time low food production in the war-torn Syria has affected livestock, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Experts from both World Food Programme (WFP) and Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) made this known in a latest joint report, saying that livestock producers are equally feeling the effects of the crisis.

“With the upkeep of their animals becoming ever more difficult and costly, many herding families have been forced to sell or slaughter their sheep, goats and poultry,” they said.

Equally, they said that ongoing fighting and widespread insecurity continues to limit access to grazing land and water sources, while animal feed has become unaffordable for many pastoralists.

This, they stressed as particularly true in areas with large numbers of internally displaced people who brought their livestock with them when fleeing their homes. The country's veterinary service, meanwhile, is rapidly running out of animal vaccines and routine drugs, making it harder for herders to keep their animals healthy and productive.

“As a result, Syria - once an exporter in livestock - has seen its herds and flock shrink significantly since the beginning of the crisis. Today, there are 30 percent fewer cattle, 40 percent fewer sheep and goats, and a staggering 60 percent less poultry − traditionally the most affordable source of animal protein in the country,” they said.

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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Agro experts to seek adoptive solution for Africa @COP22

A set of high-level experts in African agriculture and climate change issues would be converging at the city of Marrakech, Morroco to proffer solution as part of the 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 22), reports NaijaAgroNet.

Discussions, NaijaAgroNet gathered will centre on how to implement an ambitious new initiative launched by the Moroccan government that seeks to mobilise some $30 billion for Africa to transform and adapt its agriculture to a changing climate.

NaijaAgroNet also reports that the event would showcase the most promising climate adaptation strategies for the continent, which could deliver food security to the 230 million people still suffering from chronic hunger in the region.

The high-level experts, NaijaAgroNet gathered would include representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture, Morocco and Senegal, members of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Mohamed Badraoui, Deputy Director General, INRA-Morocco, Richard Mrabet, Member of the Scientific Committee of the AAA initiative (INRA), Mohamed Ait Kadi, President, General Council of Agricultural Development (CGDA) , Olga Speckhardt, Head of Global Insurance Solutions, Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture, Bruce Campbell, Director, CCAFS, and Sonja Vermeulen, Head of Research, CCAFS among others.

NaijaAgroNet recollects that some 100 per cent of African countries have included agriculture in their climate action plans, known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), highlighting the grave risk that climate change poses both to food security and economic growth on the continent. Yet African nations remain underequipped to act on these pledges.


Key policy recommendations from each session will be captured and developed into a framework for implementation for the Moroccan Adaptation of African Agriculture initiative.

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Monday, October 24, 2016

Experts say climate change may cause decline in nutrients

Experts have raised alarming over the global effects of climate change to food which may lead to loss of nutritional content of some foods, such as declining zinc, iron and protein counts in staple cereals, and trigger new health issues, including diarrhoea for humans and an array of transboundary animal diseases, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Experts at the Food and Agriculture Organisation, beyond 2030, scientific evidence has shown negative pressures on food production will be increasingly felt everywhere. Until then, adverse impacts of higher temperatures are sharply skewed towards developing countries, pointing to dimmer prospects for their food self-sufficiency.
They said that helping smallholders adapt to climate change risks is critical for global poverty reduction and food security.
Close attention, FAO experts said, should be paid to removing obstacles they may face and fostering an enabling environment for individual, joint and collective action.
Further, FAO urged policy makers to identify and remove such barriers, stressing that these obstacles can include input subsidies that promote unsustainable farming practices, poorly aligned incentives and inadequate access to markets, credit, extension services and social protection programmes, and often disadvantage women, who make up to 43 percent of the agricultural labour force.
The report stresses that more climate finance is needed to fund developing countries' actions on climate change.  International public finance for climate change adaptation and mitigation is growing and, while still relatively small, can act as a catalyst to leverage larger flows of public and private investments. More climate finance needs to flow to sustainable agriculture, fisheries and forestry to fund the large-scale transformation and the development of climate-smart food production systems. Adaptation and mitigation of climate change must  occur in tandem. 

Without action, agriculture will continue to be a major contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions. But by adopting climate-smart practices and increasing the capacity of soils and forests to sequester carbon, emissions can be reduced while stepping up food production to feed the world's growing population, the report said. Food systems can further contribute by minimizing food losses and waste, as well as by promoting healthier diets that also leave a lighter environmental footprint.
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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Experts list key dominant food trade in sub-Saharan

Experts at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and Food and Agriculture Orgaanisation (FAO) have projected some key dominant food trade to be expected in the next nine years, reports NaijaAgroNet.

This was contained in the latest Agricultural Outlook by the two organistion, saying that the bulk of all commodity exports will continue to originate in just a few countries, noting that imports, however, will be far less concentrated among countries, although China is projected to remain a critical market for some commodities, in particular soybeans. 

The duo of OECD and FAO emphasised the importance of well-functioning markets in enabling food to flow from surplus to deficit regions and improving food security.

At the Outlook's launch in Rome, OECD Secretary General Angel Gurría said: "Although we are now witnessing a period of lower agricultural prices, we need to remain alert as changes in markets can take place rapidly.”

He also said that the key priority for governments in the current context is to implement policies that will increase agricultural productivity in a coherent and sustainable way. Getting our agricultural policies right is critical to end hunger and undernourishment in the decades to come.


"Significant production growth is needed to meet the expanding demand for food, feed and raw products for industrial uses, and all of these have to be done in a sustainable way," said FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva. 

"We are optimistic that most of that future demand for agricultural commodities will be mainly met through productivity gains rather than expansion of crop area or livestock herds," Gurria said.

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Monday, December 14, 2015

Breaking news: McGill researchers point to fossil fuels replacement



Experts at the McGill University have disclosed that metal powders, produced using clean primary energy sources, could provide a more viable long-term replacement for fossil fuels than other widely discussed alternatives, such as hydrogen, biofuels or batteries, reports NaijaAgroNet.

A study in the December 15 issue of the journal Applied Energy made available to NaijaAgroNet showed that technologies to generate clean electricity, primarily solar and wind power are being developed rapidly.

Lead author of the new study by McGill University, Professor Jeffrey Bergthorson, pointed out that at present, people could not use electricity for many of the things that oil and gas are used for today, such as transportation and global energy trade.

“Biofuels can be part of the solution, but won’t be able to satisfy all the demand; hydrogen requires big, heavy fuel tanks and is explosive, and batteries are too bulky and don’t store enough energy for many applications,” Bergthorson, who is a mechanical engineering professor and Associate Director of the Trottier Institute for Sustainability in Engineering and Design at McGill said.

“Using metal powders as recyclable fuels that store clean primary energy for later use is a very promising alternative solution,” he said.

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Monday, September 14, 2015

Experts recommend conservation agriculture


NaijaAgroNet:


Experts have recommended soil management practices such as Conservation Agriculture (CA) to increase productivity based on three principles, NaijaAgroNet reports.

The principles include minimal soil disturbance (reduced tillage), permanent soil cover (mulching) and crop rotation."CA reduces production costs, is friendly to the environment, and helps to maintain high yields," said the executive secretary of the Nairobi-based Africa Conservation Tillage Network, Saidi Mkomwa.

In conventional agriculture, NaijaAgroNet gathered, the practice is to plough the land and loosen the soil before planting. But agricultural experts are warning against the  method, saying that it is not sustainable for the world's burgeoning population -- which the United Nations projects will reach 8.5 billion people by 2030, from 7.3 billion currently -- as it is putting a strain on land resources.

According to experts, when the plough turns the soil, it alters its structure, causing the particles to become loose and weak, and this affects yields. The situation is worsened by the effects of climate change.

Another expert on sustainable management at the New Partnership for Africa's Development, (NEPAD), Rudo Makunike, said: "It is not only an adaptation mechanism for climate change, but it also helps to build resilience in farming systems."

NaijaAgroNet recalls that the impact of climate change affects all sectors of the economy including water, energy, infrastructure, agriculture and food security, as well as tourism. The knock-on effect is lingering poverty on a continent that lags behind in meeting the UN Millennium Development Goals.

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Pix:Rudo Makunike,

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Experts reject GMOs, opts for other Technologies





Tanzanian experts have dismissed the much touted benefits of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in crop production saying there are better options, NaijaAgroNet reports.

The benefits of GMOs include creating plants that are resistant to weeds, pest and other diseases, bigger yields, less uses of herbicides and other pesticides, foods with better texture, flavour and nutritional value and a longer shelf life for easier shipping. GM is also claimed to possess an essential sustainable way to feed the world.

Speaking to newsmen on the issue of GMOs, a lecturer at the Open University of Tanzania (OUT), Dr Noorali Jiwaji, said that so far Tanzania had not fully put all existing technologies into practice.

“There are various technologies and methods developed by our local scientists, but we have not utilized them to the extent of deciding to shift to GMO,” he said. Jiwaji, NaijaAgroNet gathered, drew attention to the wealth of knowledge that abounds in the country that was hardly disseminated to farmers which, to a greater part, might have better results than GMO.

Another expert, the District Agriculture Irrigation and Cooperative Officer (DAICO) in Sumbawanga, Mr Kwileluye Habona, argued that scientists should be given a chance instead of politicians.

“So far no country has benefited from GMO, this is a sign that we don’t need it here in Tanzania as we can decide to opt for other technologies which our scientists have proved,” he said.

NaijaAgroNet also learnt that in East Africa, Kenya and Uganda have commenced field trials of GMOs, but Tanzania is still on laboratory trials due to lack of a science-based and cost-effective regulatory system.

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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Youth in agriculture’ll Boost Mass Job Creation in Nigeria



 

With the recent focus on youths in agriculture, experts have agreed that the huge potential in agriculture will boost mass job creation in Nigeria, reports NaijaAgroNet.

This was the position of South West Regional Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) Dr Lekan Quadri at the three-day business training for young entrepreneurs in agriculture, held at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) Ibadan.

Lekan who stood in for the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, made inferences to the links between youth unemployment and the opportunities of an agrarian economy, which he said, could provide the biggest potential for mass job creation, NaijaAgroNet learnt.

Over the years, he said, getting youths in Nigeria to engage in agriculture has been an uphill task. The reasons, NaijaAgroNet gathered, are obvious, stressing that farming, as it is practised in the country, has not been seen as an attractive venture, just as the condition of those who engage in it has been most discouraging.

“However, the tide is changing. It has become obvious that the youths must be given a pride of place if Nigeria and Africa want to create business opportunities for the unemployed,” he said.

NaijaAgroNet further gathered that over 60 youth from six countries across Africa attended the business training aimed at empowering agripreneurs on “Agripreneural and Business Management.”
 
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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Experts say 1.6m children die of Pneumonia annually, Sanofi reiterates commitment to Nigeria



Experts at the Global Coalition against Child Pneumonia (GCACP) have decried that estimated 155 million children suffer Pneumonia while 1.6 million die annually, reports NaijaAgroNet.

This is coming as Sanofi Nigeria has reiterated its commitment towards the populace and provision of quality healthcare, NaijaAgroNet reports.

GCACP experts also informed NaijaAgroNet that almost all of the estimated 1.6 million child deaths occur in developing countries with most concentrated in seven countries, namely India, China, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

As said by Head of Public Affairs, Sanofi – Nigeria and Ghana, Oladimeji Agbolade in a press statement made available to NaijaAgroNet as the world marked World Pneumonia Day in Lagos-Nigeria, noted that Sanofi has strengthened its commitment in the fight against pneumonia with the Pediatric Initiative tagged ‘Healthy Children, Happy Children’ in partnership with the Pediatric Association of Nigeria (PAN).

Speaking on this initiative, Medical Director, Sanofi Nigeria and Ghana, Dr. Fifen Inoussa said, “Pediatrics is a priority for Africa because one child out of four in the world is African and 50 per cent of the worldwide infant mortality occurs on this continent. The Sanofi Pediatric Initiative corresponds to the strong desire to reinforce our commitment to child healthcare.”

For the President, Paediatric Association of Nigeria, Prof. Adebiyi Olowu, Pneumonia is one of the preventable but major causes of child mortality in Nigeria and it is essential that parents, guardians and care givers take essential precautions to ensure good health-seeking behaviour.

He also urged that preventive efforts such as proper nutrition, exclusive breast feeding, hand-washing and routine immunizations be emphasized to avoid pneumonia.

Stressing that pneumonia is a killer Prof Olowu called on government, relevant agencies and stakeholders to make concerted efforts that would significantly improve on the health of children.
Dr. Amina Biobaku of Isalu Hospital, Ogba, Lagos, one of the numerous beneficiaries of the PAN medical education programs on pneumonia supported by Sanofi, testified that the training has positively impacted her clinical practice.

Estelle Dogbo, Product Manager at Sanofi said “The Pediatrics Initiative which adapts healthcare offer to children relies on three commitments. The first commitment is the development of medicines and vaccines offer adapted to pediatric care. The second commitment involves provision of quality medical information and dedicated training to healthcare professionals by way of continual medical education programs in pediatric topics. The third commitment entails the deployment of awareness campaigns to the general public."

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Pix: L-R:  Dr. Inoussa Fifen, Medical Director, Sanofi; Dr. Ekanem Ekure, Consultant Paediatrician LUTH, Prof. Adebiyi Olowu, President Paediatric Association of Nigeria; Dr. Dorothy Esangbedo, Consultant Paediatrician, President elect Pan African Society of Paediatrics; Prof. Adegoke Falade, Consultant Paediatrician UCH Ibadan; and Head of Public Affairs, Sanofi, Mr. Agbolade Dimeji during Sanofi  World Pneumonia Day celebration at  Protea Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, recently.
2. L-R: Managing Director, GlaxoSmithKline, Lekan Asuni; Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Ado Muhammad; Chairman Senate Committee on Health, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa; and International Vaccine Access Centre Country Program Lead, Dr. Chizoba Wonodi; during the 2014 World Pneumonia Day which held on Wednesday, 12th November, at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.