Indonesia Vaccinates Millions To Halt Deadly Diphtheria Outbreak

An Indonesian girl cries as she receives a vaccination shot against diphtheria at a village clinic in Jakarta on December 11, 2017. PHOTO: ADEK BERRY / AFP

Millions of Indonesian children are being vaccinated this week as the country responds to a widespread diphtheria outbreak that has killed dozens, officials said Monday.

Some eight million children and teenagers across the Southeast Asian nation will receive the shot to prevent further spread of the disease which is caused by a bacterial infection.

It can lead to breathing difficulties, heart failure, paralysis, and even death if left untreated.

Widespread incidents of the communicable disease are relatively rare in Indonesia, although it had the second largest number of reported cases globally from 2011-2015, behind India, according to the World Health Organization.

This year, nearly 600 cases have been detected in 95 Indonesian communities across 20 provinces, killing 32 people.

The vaccination programme started from Monday in three of the country’s most populous provinces, including the capital Jakarta, and could continue into next month, officials said.

The spike in cases is due to poor public awareness as well as a growing anti-vaccination movement in Indonesia, the health ministry said.

“Diphtheria cases have been rare for a long time in Indonesia, so people were no longer aware of the danger and did not take their children for vaccinations,” senior ministry official Jane Soepardi told AFP.

Officials hope to halt the spread before Indonesia hosts the Asian Games next year.

“It was not scary at all. My teacher told me we all must be vaccinated and it did not hurt either,” Ragil Setiawan, a 10-year-old student at an elementary school in Tangerang, just outside of Jakarta, said Monday after getting his shot.


Chinese Firm To Establish Eight Million Dollars Corn Mill In Cross River

Cross River, Ben AyadeA Chinese conglomerate has expressed its determination to set up a feed mill and maize farm in Cross River state, worth eight million Dollars.

The move by the investor is expected to boost Governor Ben Ayade efforts to diversify the economy of the state.

The Chairman of Wuhan Longfecund Agriculture Development Company Ltd, Wuhan in China, Yongsheng Cao, disclosed this when he paid a courtesy visit to Governor Ben Ayade at the government house in Calabar.

Speaking through an interpreter Cao said, he is optimistic that, setting up the feed mill and maize farm in Cross River State will thrive as the state and China share same topography.

Giving a nod to the immediate start of the farm, Governor Ben Ayade said, Cross River State is expanding their horizon in Agriculture and taking a leap into agricultural phase to ensure a leading direction.

The governor affirmed that, parts of Akamkpa, Uyanga, Obubra and Yala were suitable areas for maize farming based on soil studies earlier conducted.

Ayade reasoned that the partnership between Cross River State government and the maize centre in China will provide the state with a first class knowledge, first class technology, first class farming and first class mill as all sweet corns used in our salads were imported.

Customs Impound Contraband Goods Over N226m

To assert the Federal Government’s commitment to fighting smuggling in the country, the Federal Operations Unit of the Nigeria Customs Service Zone ‘C’ Owerri has impounded various contraband good items with duty paid value of N226, 496,810.

While taking journalist round the impounded items at their warehouse at the Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘C’ headquarters in Owerri the Imo State Capital, the Customs Area Controller Mr Victor Dimka disclosed that the seizures were intercepted at various locations within the area of coverage of the zone which spans the entire South-South and South-East states making it 11 states in total.

He added that most of the seizures were made on Eleme-Aba road.

According to Mr Dimka, he said their action is in line with the desire of the present leadership of the Nigeria Customs service whose main objective is to work tirelessly in fighting the ugly menace of smuggling and to make sure that if not totally eradicated, it should be completely reduced to its barest minimal.

And the mandate of the zone is to personally lead onslaught against smuggling before it ruins the economy of the nation.

He added that 9 of the smugglers have been arrested and are in detention.

If found guilty in court, they will be remanded in prison. He appealed to the members of the general public to support the Customs service by giving information about the smugglers and their activities.

Fire Razes Kara Village, Properties Worth Millions Lost

An unfortunate fire disaster has razed a large part of the residential part of the Kara village in Ogun State.

Scores of houses and kiosks were brought down by the fire but no loss of life has so far been reported.

Eye witness account says the fire started at about 7pm and was caused by a cooking fire inflaming a nearby generating set.

The fire service arrived the scene at about three hours after the fire started exhausted their only tanker then drove back to get more water while the fire raged on.

Property worth millions of naira was lost in the fire as well as valuable documents.

Many residents have now been rendered homeless and it’s difficult to say exactly the number of houses destroyed by the fire.

Kara is a border village between Lagos and Ogun state.

N300m Worth Of Pirated DVD Seized By Customs, Copyright Commission

A forty feet container loaded with 612,000 copies of pirated DVDs and 45,900 units of DVD jackets estimated at N300 million has been confiscated by operatives of Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) and Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) at the Apapa Seaport in Lagos.

A report by the Ports Monitoring Officer of NCC, Mr. Joe Ojika, which disclosed this in Lagos on March 8, 2013, stated that upon a tip-off to the Custom Officers of the Commission, the container marked MRKU4366990 was intercepted on the verge of leaving the port on March 6, 2013.

It indicated that a vehicle with Registration No. XU 814 BDG which freighted the container was turned back at the exit gate of the port for anti piracy inspection at the Enforcement Department of the NCS.

“A joint inspection team made up of officers of the Nigeria Customs Service drawn from its various units and the NCC officers conducted inspection on the container on 7th March 2013,” it stated.

According to the report, “The inspection revealed that the container contains 600 cartons with each carton containing 1,020 copies (612,000 copies in all) of cinematographic DVDs and 45,900 units of empty jackets. The estimated market value of the contents of the container is put at about N300 million”.

It stated that investigation was on-going, adding that the container would soon be handed over to the Commission by the Customs.

It would be recalled that last year, the Commission, in collaboration with Nigeria Customs Service, recorded an unprecedented confiscation of 13 containers of 3.6 billion (3,613,315) units of pirated products, valued at N4.75 billion at different seaports in the country. Whereas, 11 of the containers were stacked with pirated books of Nigerian and foreign authors, the remaining two were loaded with pirated musical and film works of local and foreign titles.

This brings to 14 the total number of containers of pirated copyright works impounded so far at a cumulative total estimated cost of N5.05 billion.

15 million Nigerians suffer from chest-related diseases

No fewer than fifteen million Nigerians are currently suffering from asthma, tuberculosis and other chest related diseases.

The national president of Nigerian Thoracic Society; Professor Greg Erhosa announced this while briefing newsmen at an annual national conference of the society in Ilorin.

He attributed the high number of Nigerians suffering from asthma and other chest diseases to lack of preventive measures adding that the chronic disease has claimed lives of several eminent Nigerians and the downtrodden.

The need for the establishment of thoracic health centres in each of the six geopolitical zones in the country he believed would address the challenges while also urging the three tiers of governments to set aside funds for the prevention and care of the chest related disease