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Africa’s oldest tortoise, ‘Alagba’ dies after brief illness

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Arguably, the oldest tortoise in Africa, popularly addressed as ‘Alagba’  (meaning ‘The Elderly one’) in the palace of the Soun of Ogbomosoland, Oyo state, Nigeria has died following  a brief illness at the age of 344.

The sacred tortoise, as reliably gathered  was sick for a few days before her demise, today Thursday, 3rd of October, 2019.

The tortoise, however became a popular breed upon ascension of the throne of the current Soun of Ogbomosoland, Oba Oladunni Oyewumi Ajangungbade III.

The Private Secretary to Oba Oyewumi, Oluwatoyin Ajamu, who also confirmed the incident informed that the tortoise, which has attracted several tourists across the globe will be greatly missed not only by the palace household but everyone who came in contact with ALAGBA during her lifetime.

”Alagba had lived in the palace for centuries. The tortoise played host to many monarchs in Ogbomoso in the past.

”Alagba became popular because Oba Oladunni Oyewumi, Soun of Ogbomosoland used his personal resources to cater for her well being.

“The tortoise had two staff members of the palace, dedicated to her. They provide food, health support and other logistics, so as to make sure she gets the best treatment.

“Often times, Kabiyesi shares great moments  with Alagba. On a daily basis, Alagba, had tourists visiting her from different part of the world.

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” The palace household, Ogbomoso community and stakeholders in the tourism sector are mourning Alagba’s passage”, Ajamu stressed.

The Palace secretary added that plans are underway to preserve Alagba’s body for historical records.

Alagba, though  believed to be older than everyone in Ogbomoso, but permutations about her  true age relies heavily on oral history. Her present age was arrived at by situating it with the period of the Soun (King) who reigned then.

Alagba was allegedly brought to the palace by Soun Ikumoyede Ajao, the third Soun of Ogbomoso, who is believed to have been born sometime in the late 16th century and who reigned in the 17th.

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Education

COVID-19: Ibadan Poly rector advocates accurate information, as institutions prepare for resumption

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The Rector of The Polytechnic, Ibadan (TPI), Professor Kazeem Adebiyi has advocated for keeping of up to date and accurate information as part of management’s efforts to curtail the dreaded Covid- 19 pandemic in our tertiary Institution.

Professor Adebiyi advocated this at a lecture he presented recently at the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso.

Adebiyi who presented a paper on staff/ staff relationship under new norms and values in Education Delivery after Covid -19 stressed the need for the Tertiary Institutions in the country to provide transparent communication in their day to day activities as part of the strategies to curtail the dreaded Covid- 19 pandemic.

He maintained that management of the institutions should as a rule listen to their staff and respond to concerns about their wellbeing.

The Rector, who also  noted that the Management should organise ways to ease the burdens on their staff emphasised that attention must also be given to their mental health and well- being.

He averred that the closure of educational institutions as a preventive measure against the spread of Covid- 19 has affected the education, wellbeing and functioning of all parties involved and efforts must be made to curtail it by living with it safely.

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Health

Every year, 1.9 million people die from tobacco-induced heart disease – Report

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tobacco responsible for 20% of deaths from coronary heart disease

 

Every year, 1.9 million people die from tobacco-induced heart disease, according to a new brief released on Tuesday by the World Health Organization, World Heart Federation and the University of Newcastle Australia ahead of World Heart Day, marked on 29 September.

This equates to one in five of all deaths from heart disease, warn the report’s authors, who urge all tobacco users to quit and avoid a heart attack, stressing that smokers are more likely to experience an acute cardiovascular event at a younger age than non-smokers.

Just a few cigarettes a day, occasional smoking, or exposure to second-hand smoke increase the risk of heart disease. But if tobacco users take immediate action and quit, then their risk of heart disease will decrease by 50% after one year of not smoking.

“Given the current level of evidence on tobacco and cardiovascular health and the health benefits of quitting smoking, failing to offer cessation services to patients with heart disease could be considered clinical malpractice or negligence. Cardiology societies should train their members in smoking cessation, as well as to promote and even drive tobacco control advocacy efforts,” said Dr Eduardo Bianco, Chair of the World Heart Federation Tobacco Expert Group.

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The brief also shows that smokeless tobacco is responsible for around 200 000 deaths from coronary heart disease per year. E-cigarettes also raise blood pressure increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Moreover, high blood pressure and heart disease increase the risk of severe COVID-19. A recent WHO survey found that among people dying of COVID-19 in Italy, 67% had high blood pressure and in Spain, 43% of people who developed COVID-19 were living with heart disease.

Governments have a responsibility to protect the health of their people and help reverse the tobacco epidemic. Making our communities smoke-free reduces the number of tobacco-related hospital admissions, which is more important than ever in the context of the current pandemic,” said Dr Vinayak Prasad, Unit Lead of the WHO No Tobacco Unit.

Tobacco control is a key element for reducing heart disease. Governments can help tobacco users quit by increasing tax on tobacco products, enforcing bans on tobacco advertising and offering services to help people give up tobacco.

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News

Nigerian physician, Funsho named one of TIME’s most influential people in the world

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TIME named Nigerian physician, Dr. Tunji Funsho to the 2020 TIME100, its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

The list, now in its seventeenth year, recognizes the activism, innovation and achievement of the world’s most influential individuals.

Dr. Funsho, a cardiologist based in Lagos, Nigeria, is the first Rotary member to receive this honor for the organization’s work to eradicate polio, having played an essential role in ensuring Africa’s certification as wild polio-free in August of 2020.

“I’m honored to be recognized by TIME for my part in ensuring that no child in Africa will ever again be paralyzed by wild polio, a disease that once disabled 75,000 African children every single year,” said Dr. Funsho. “Eradicating the wild poliovirus in Africa was a team effort that required the cooperation and dedication of governments, partners, Rotary members, hundreds of thousands of health workers, and countless parents who chose to have their children vaccinated against polio.”

As the leader of Rotary’s Nigeria National PolioPlus Committee, Funsho has worked alongside Rotary members throughout the country to raise awareness about the importance of polio immunization, encouraged governments and public figures to support polio eradication, and served as a vocal leader and advocate for Rotary’s fight to end polio in Africa.

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Dr. Funsho works closely with Rotary’s partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI): the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. As a member of Nigeria’s Presidential Task Force on Polio, he has coordinated immunization and advocacy campaigns with the Minister of State for Health and the Inter-Agency Coordination Committee for Polio Eradication. He has also worked closely with the Sir Emeka Offor Foundation, the Dangote Foundation, the Traditional Leaders Council and the Federation of Muslim Women’s Association of Nigeria.

In August 2019, Nigeria reached three years without a case of wild poliovirus. Nigeria’s progress, led by Rotary, its GPEI partners and local and national governments, was the result of decades of sustained efforts, including domestic and international financing, the commitment of hundreds of thousands of health workers, and innovative strategies to immunize children who previously couldn’t be reached due to insecurity in the country’s northern states.

On 25 August, the African region was certified wild polio-free. This historic announcement means that five of the WHO’s six regions, representing more than 90 percent of the world’s population, are now free of the wild poliovirus. The virus is now endemic in just two countries, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

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Rotary’s nearly 32,000 members in Africa have played a critical role in helping the region achieve its wild polio-free status by holding events to raise funds and awareness for polio, and working with world governments and national and local leaders to secure funding and support for polio eradication.

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