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Nigerian doctors in UK lament exploitation, slave labour

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Nigerian medical doctors and their counterparts from developing countries working in the United Kingdom have lamented exploitation in the course of their work.

This was revealed by BBC on Tuesday adding that an investigation proved that Nigerian doctors recruited by a British healthcare company are expected to work in private hospitals under conditions not allowed in the National Health Service (NHS).

BBC spoke to several foreign medical practitioners and one of them was a young Nigerian doctor, Augustine Enekwechi who worked at the private Nuffield Health Leeds Hospital in 2021.

Enekwechi said his working hours were extreme – on 24 hours a day for a week at a time. He claimed he was unable to leave the hospital grounds, adding that the working environment looked like “a prison.”

The doctor further said the challenges could pose health risks to patients in the hospital.

“I knew that working tired puts the patients at risk and puts myself also at risk, as well for litigation,” Enekwechi said. “I felt powerless… helpless, you know, constant stress and thinking something could go wrong.”

Nuffield Health refutes the allegations
Nuffield Health disputed those working hours, saying its doctors are offered regular breaks, time off between shifts, and the ability to swap shifts if needed. The company added that “the health and well-being of patients and hospital team members” is its priority.

Enekwechi was hired out to the Nuffield Health Leeds Hospital by a private company – NES Healthcare. It specialises in employing doctors from overseas, many from Nigeria, and using them as Resident Medical Officers (RMOs) – live-in doctors found mainly in the private sector.

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We want to make Lagos a model city on climate resilience in Africa, says Sanwo-Olu

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The Lagos government says it will improve the living conditions of residents of the state by building the needed partnerships with investors on climate resilience.

Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the state governor, said this at the just-concluded United Nations climate change conference (COP27) in Egypt.

During his presentation, Sanwo-Olu told investors that his administration hopes to protect the city from climate shocks and respond to the threats affecting livelihoods.

“We are taking bold action to address the impacts of climate change in Lagos. Way back in 2018, we developed the climate action plan, so we do have a plan for climate change in Lagos,” he said.

“All of these plans are targeted at ensuring that we achieve net-zero by 2050 which is less than three decades from now.

“We have developed a portfolio of projects. We believe that these projects will essentially help achieve our goals. We are trying to see that we have an immediate response to climate threats. We want to build resilient infrastructure in all of our public spectrum. We want to ensure that we have resilient communities and be able to protect the vulnerable groups in our society.

“So, we see that even on these projects that we’ve mentioned, it comes to around like $8 billion, which we believe can come through private, public investments.

“We are looking to be able to attract low cost public funding, and where possible, commercial investment to support on this our resilient journey. We believe that investments will enable us to complete adaptation plans; it will also help us conduct extensive feasibility studies. In all of these, we want to make Lagos a model African city, a city for climate resilience in Africa.”

Samuel Egube, Lagos commissioner for economic planning and budget, said the state has one of the most detailed adaptation plans and hopes that it can be a model for Africa and the world.

“In this plan, we have about 38 projects structured around three broad areas. One of the areas is to build resilience infrastructure and public places; the second one is to build resilient communities; and the third is to protect the vulnerable,” he said.

“Around the infrastructure, one of them is to build about 18km of embankment and sea walls to protect our people. If that is done, it will protect over two million people, 700,000 of which are vulnerable populations.

“We also intend on the vulnerable community side to build risk insurance to cover over 8.5 million people. This is a parametric risk insurance, through satellite images and data that can trigger payout quickly when those risks occur.”

Speaking on Oando’s partnership with Lagos in its resilience drive, Ainojie Irune, president of Oando clean energy, said Lagos climate plans are in line with the company’s strategic plans as an energy firm.

“We do understand that the value of energy is not necessarily in its feedstock or where it comes from, but its utilisation. Climate change has certainly brought a different question — how do we do this in a sustainable way? And all the sciences are pointing to our ambitions as a country for 2060. But Lagos state been even more ambitious. Business has set the timeline for 2050 — 10 years,” Irune said.

“Now, that visioning alone is the reason why we’re partnering with Lagos state, and the partnership is to ensure that we move 30 percent of the GHG emissions today from transport into renewable energy, taking off all the municipal buses on the road over a period of time and shifting them from diesel buses to electric buses across the entire state.”

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WHO recommends new name for monkeypox amid racism concerns

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) has recommended ‘mpox’ as a new name for monkeypox.

Human monkeypox was first identified in humans in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and is endemic in Africa.

Following the outbreak of the virus in European countries earlier this year, concerns about racism and stigmatisation were raised.

Photos of Africans to were used to depict the virus, despite the outbreak not being in Africa.

In a statement on Monday, the organisation said its move was prompted by concerns of “racist and stigmatising language online”.

“Following a series of consultations with global experts, WHO will begin using a new preferred term “mpox” as a synonym for monkeypox. Both names will be used simultaneously for one year while “monkeypox” is phased out,” the statement reads.

“WHO, in accordance with the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) update process, held consultations to gather views from a range of experts, as well as countries and the general public, who were invited to submit suggestions for new names.

“Mpox will become a preferred term, replacing monkeypox, after a transition period of one year. This serves to mitigate the concerns raised by experts about confusion caused by a name change in the midst of a global outbreak. It also gives time to complete the ICD update process and to update WHO publications.

“The synonym mpox will be included in the ICD-10 online in the coming days. It will be a part of the official 2023 release of ICD-11, which is the current global standard for health data, clinical documentation and statistical aggregation.

“Various advisory bodies were heard during the consultation process, including experts from the medical and scientific and classification and statistics advisory committees which constituted of representatives from government authorities of 45 different countries.

“The issue of the use of the new name in different languages was extensively discussed. The preferred term mpox can be used in other languages. If additional naming issues arise, these will be addressed via the same mechanism. Translations are usually discussed in formal collaboration with relevant government authorities and the related scientific societies.

“WHO will adopt the term mpox in its communications, and encourages others to follow these recommendations, to minimize any ongoing negative impact of the current name and from adoption of the new name.”

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Governor Adeleke dethrones three Osun monarchs

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Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke has dethroned three monarchs appointed by his predecessor, Adegboyega Oyetola.

Former Governor Oyetola has appointed several monarch few weeks before handing over government to Adeleke. These, including Akirun of Ikirun, Oba Yinusa Akadiri, Aree of Iree, Oba Ademola Oluponle and Oba Adegboyega Famodun.

The former governor also approved the appointment of 30 permanent secretaries into the various ministries.

However, Adeleke in statement signed by his spokesperson, Olawale Rasheed about 24 hours after inauguration announced that the thrones of Akirun of Akirun, Aree of Iree and Owa of Igbajo remain unoccupied pending the outcome of a Committee of Inquiry to review their appointments and subsequent installations.

According to the statement, the six Executive Orders issued by the governor which borders on reversal of monarchs appointments, appointment and placement of civil servants, employment and freezing of government accounts have been signed this morning and take immediate effect.

“All appointments of traditional rulers made by Osun State Government after 17th July, 2022, are hereby ordered to be reviewed to ensure there was strict compliance with due process of chieftaincy declarations and native law, custom and tradition relating to such chieftaincies. In the case of Ikirun, Iree and Igbajo, to avoid further breakdown of law and order, the appointments of Akinrun of Ikinrun, Aree of Ire and Owa of Igbajo are hereby put on hold pending review. Subsequently, the palaces of Akinrun of Ikirun, Aree of Iree and Owa of Igbajo should remain unoccupied, while security agencies are hereby ordered to take charge.

“All employments in the service of Osun State Government made in any capacity into any capacity in all the Ministries, Departments, Agencies, Commissions , Boards and Parastatals after July 17th, 2022 be and are hereby nullified”, he said.

The Governor, according to the statement, also ordered the reversal of appointments into civil service and directed head of government agencies to embark on staff audit immediately.

“All Heads of Ministries, Departments, Agencies, Commissions, Boards and Parastatals of Osun State Government are hereby directed to carry out an immediate staff audit of the actual number of government workers in their various Ministries, Departments, Agencies, Commissions, Boards and Parastatals, as at 17th July, 2022, and should file a report to the Office of the Chief of Staff to the Governor stating the full details and position/designation of each of the staff on the forwarded list , within 7 working days from the date of this Executive order using the attached Oath of Fidelity Template.

“All appointments in the service of Osun State Government made in any capacity into any capacity in all the Ministries, Departments, Agencies, Commissions, Boards and Parastatals after 17th July, 2022 be and are hereby reversed”, the statement reads.

Similarly, a statement issued by the Secretary to the State Government, Teslim Igbalaye ordered the immediate suspension of Osun State Independent Electoral Commission, OSIEC.

It reads, “The Executive Governor of Osun State, Senator Ademola Jackson Nurudeen Adeleke has directed the immediate suspension of the Chairman of the Osun State Independent Electoral Commission (OSIEC), Mr. Segun Oladitan and the following members of the Commission; Mr. Yusuf Oyeniran, Alhaja Suibat Adubi, Prince Yinka Ajiboye, Mrs. Abosede Omibeku, Mr. Dosu Gidigbi and Mr. Wahab Adewoyin

“This suspension is sequel to several petitions bothering on financial impropriety, dereliction of duty, absenteeism and abuse of office against the said Chairman and members of the Commission.

“Pending the outcome of investigation into the allegations against the suspended Chairman and members of the Commission, the Secretary to the Commission shall hold forth in running the affairs of the Commission”.

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