Lagos State Opens First DNA Forensic Lab in Nigeria [2017]

The Lagos State Government has completed the construction of the first ever high-powered Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) Forensic Laboratory in Nigeria. This has been announced by the State’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem.

The State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode had last year approved the construction of the DNA forensic lab as part of the criminal justice sector reforms designed to solve crime through technology and fulfill an unmet need for DNA profiling which is a unique forensic technique that is now being used all over the world.

Speaking at a press briefing held at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre in Alausa, Ikeja to announce activities lined up by the State Government to commemorate the 2017 United Nations International Day of Peace, Mr. Kazeem said skeletal work had already commenced in the lab known as the Lagos State DNA Forensics Centre (LSDFC), and that it would be formerly commissioned in coming weeks.
Kazeem, who was represented at the briefing by the State’s Solicitor General and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Mrs Funlola Odunlami said the lab, among other initiatives of the State Government, was part of efforts geared toward enhancing peace in the State.
“The DNA forensic centre just opened this month. We are yet to commission it but it has been opened and it is a DNA crime forensic lab and at the same time, it is going to deal with other DNA matters like paternity issue. What we are doing now is skeletal work which we started this month.”
Since 2007, the State Government through the Citizens’ Mediation Centre (CMC), an agency under the Ministry of Justice, commenced collaborations with the United Nations Information Office to mark the International Day of Peace as an annual event to propagate the ethos of peaceful co-existence among residents in the State, thereby educating and sensitizing the public on the need for peaceful co-existence and respect for human dignity to engender socio-economic growth.
According to Mr. Adeniji Kazeem [represented] on activities to mark the 2017 edition of the day tagged Together For Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity For All:
“The Lagos State Government recognizes the fact that the State is the commercial nerve centre of the sub-Saharan Africa where all races converge for various purposes such as business, hospitality, tourism among others, and has put in place mechanisms that will foster development and promote economic activities in the State by instituting agencies that will attend to matters relating to Land Grabbers, Special Task Force, donation of police vehicles for security, introduction of DNA Forensic laboratory to archive blood samples of criminals, among others.
All these actions are geared toward enhancing peace in Lagos State.”
Furthermore, Mr. Kazeem said on September 18, there would be a Walk for Peace/Legal Clinic on Ikorodu Road precisely from Funsho Williams Avenue through Ojuelegba to Yaba, while on September 19, a second Walk for Peace/Legal Clinic will hold at Jubilee Under-bridge in Ajah through Ibeju Lekki Expressway and back to the bridge. On the same day, Mr. Kazeem said the CMC will hold a Legal Clinic at both venues where free legal services and mediation services will be rendered to residents of the State, while on September 21, the 18th Stakeholders’ Conference and Book Launch will hold at the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium in Alausa to mark the day.

Olakunle Akinboboye Emerge USA Cardiovascular Disease Board Chair [2017]

The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) has appointed Dr Olakunle Akinboboye, as the Chair of the Cardiovascular Disease Board.

Dr. Olakunle Akinboboye will be responsible for certifying all deserving cardiologists in the United States of America; carrying out periodic knowledge assessments of all practising cardiologists in the USA.

It is the first time that the 81-year-old body would appoint a black chair to head the cardiovascular disease board – a Board with 12 members from all over the country.

Commenting on his appointment, Dr. Olakunle Akinboboye said:

“[He is] proud to have the opportunity to chair this very important Board.

Unfortunately I am taking over the mantle of leadership at a point in time in which many cardiologists are openly revolting because of what they perceive as high handedness of the board over the years.

[My goal is] to work with other board members to come up with assessments for practicing cardiologists that are fair, and not unduly burdensome.”

Richard Baron, president and CEO of ABIM, welcomed the new chair on behalf of the Board:

“We are honored to have Dr. Berns, Dr. Akinboboye and Dr. Udden — three highly regarded physicians with significant clinical experience to serve the community in their disciplines and across specialties to offer more choice, relevance and convenience as they help to set the standards for excellent patient care.”

Dr. Olakunle Akinboboye’s Biography

Education

Dr. Olakunle Akinboboye received his medical degree from the College of Medicine at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria and later finished his internal medicine residency and part of his cardiology fellowship at the Nassau County Medical Center, State University of Stony Brook.

He has masters degrees in public health from Columbia University and business administration from Columbia Business School.

He completed his fellowship in cardiology with two years of dedicated training in nuclear cardiology and advanced echocardiography, when he moved to Columbia University.

Work

Certified in cardiovascular disease, hypertension and sleep medicine, this won’t be his first board appointment. Akinboboye serves as chair of the clinical trials committee of the organisation and also on the international board of governors of the American college of cardiology as the liaison for Africa.

He is an associate professor of clinical medicine at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York, the medical director of Queens Heart Institute/Laurelton Heart specialist in Rosedale, Queens, New York and a past-president of the National Association of Black Cardiologists’ (ABC).

The doctor won an award for “exemplary professional services and outstanding contributions to cardiovascular medicine” while serving as president of the Ibadan College of Medicine alumni association, North America, between 2004-2005.

Millard Fuller Foundation Wins Affordable Housing Award 2017

For the second consecutive year, the Millard Fuller Foundation has won the award for the Affordable Housing Project of the Year 2017 at the 11th Abuja Housing Show/Nigeria Housing Awards organised by FESADEB Communications.

The award was set up to encourage competition and competitive pricing in the Housing Construction Industry and to recognize the efforts of both established and up-coming organization in the Housing/Construction Sector in Nigeria.

Vicfold Recyclers Wins 2017 #youforG20 Competition

Vicfold Recyclers project in Nigeria has won the #youforG20 competition. The initiative champions recycling plastic waste. At the same time, it creates job opportunities. In the federal state of Kwara, Vicfold Recyclers has established a network of deposit points and plastic collectors; engaging unemployed women and young people to gather empty bottles and other waste products and in this way, they earn a little money. As a result, countless families have now managed to improve their incomes.

The concept won over the six-person jury consisting of representatives of the German Foreign Office and the editorial desk of deutschland.de as well as the testimonials of the campaign. Vicfold Recyclers will receive financial support totalling 15,000 Euro to help move the project forward.

More than 220 initiatives from all over the world competed in the #youforG20 competition. The call was for projects that in a very emphatic manner tackled a social or economic issue, or a matter of environmental policy and help improve people’s living conditions.

Sandra Musujusu Develops Treatment for Breast Cancer [2017]

Sandra Musujusu, a student of the African University of Science and Technology (AUST), Abuja, has developed an alternative treatment for breast cancer.

AUST is hosting one of the Centres of Excellence, known as Pan African Material Institute (PAMI), with research focus: electrical power, disease detection and treatment.

Sandra Musujusu’s research, using macromolecular science is aimed at developing bio-degradable polymer material which could be used as alternative for the treatment of breast cancer in the near future.

Musujusu, a Sierra-Leonean national is conducting the research under the sponsorship of the Pan African Materials Institute (PAMI).

According to Sandra Musujusu:

“My research is actually centred on the development of bio-degradable polymers for treatment of breast cancer.

I will be focusing on triple negative breast cancer which is actually the aggressive sub-type of breast cancer that is common with women from African ancestry.

I believe there is a bright future for Africa, and as a woman there is much more we can do if we are empowered. This award given to me by PAMI has empowered me to face my studies with more confidence and actually contribute to the frontier of knowledge and move Africa forward.”

The World Bank Education Director, Dr. Jaime Saavedra Chanduvi with his team visited the University (AUST) as part of his assessment tour of the 10 African Centres of Excellence (ACE) centres.

The World Bank has committed about $10 billion for the ACE project in Nigeria, as part of efforts to encourage conduct of cutting-edge research and specialisation of the beneficiaries institutions in specific development problems faced in Nigeria and indeed the African continent.

Out of 19 African Centres of Excellence, 10 Nigerian tertiary institutions won slots to churn out special research works that could compete effectively with global standards.

The ACE universities include Redeemers University, Mowe; Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria; University of Jos, Jos; University of Benin and African University of Science and Technology, Abuja; University of Port-Harcourt; Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife; Bayero University, Kano; Benue State University, Makurdi; and Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta.

The impact of ACE is evident with Redeemers University, which served as the testing site during the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in Nigeria in the year 2014, before it was brought under control.