ECA Rates Nigeria High In Road Safety [2015]

The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has adjudged Nigeria as one of the best three performers among 23 countries in accomplishing activities of the African Road Safety Action plan.

This is according to a mid-term review report from the Third African Road Safety Conference organized by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), which took place in Addis Ababa.

According to Bisi Kazeem, Head, Media Relations and Strategy, while reacting to Nigeria’s ranking and her accomplishment, he stated that the Corps Marshal and Chief Executive of the Federal Road Safety Corps, Boboye Oyeyemi, appreciated the Federal Government’s efforts in ensuring the enduring road safety culture is continually imbibed; he also showered encomium on the resilience of the officers and men of the Corps.

The African Road Safety Action Plan, which owes its roots to the 2011 UN Decade of Action for Road Safety, placed priority on understanding of road safety institutional arrangements, road safety management and related activities, achievements, opportunities and challenges in African countries.

Kazeem revealed that the report from the conference stated that 40 percent of member countries are in the process of implementing more road safety management activities.

It listed Nigeria, Ghana, and South Africa as the leading countries with clear prospects of accomplishing the activities of the African Road Safety Action Plan.

He added: “Performance of the Plan is measured based on road safety management, mobility, vehicles, road users, and post-crash response.”

It noted that varying results have thus far defined the afore-listed performance indicators, given that some countries record high rates of successes in some areas, but record low performances in others.

However, he stated that the report observed progress has so far been made.

It also advised that the importation of safer and newer vehicles and improved traffic education in schools are sure steps to reducing Road Traffic Crashes.

The conference was organized by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) in collaboration with African Union Commission, Sub-Sahara African Transport Policy Programme, Global Road Safety Facility of the World Bank, African Development Bank and the International Road Federation.

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UNIMAID Advances Herb Research On Cancer Therapy

A team of seven Nigerian scientists from the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID), has made progress in a groundbreaking research into the use of local herbs for cancer therapy.

The team, led by Professor of Pharmacology at the university, Isa Marte Hussaini, is currently exploring different Nigerian plants for the cancer therapy research.

Already, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRID) have applauded the research, promising to work with the scientists to conduct pre-clinical trials.

Prof. Hussaini, who presented the study to the Nigerian Academy of Science (NAS), said eight out of the 54 plants so far identified showed more promise than the current drugs used in the treatment of cancer.

He highlighted how three of the plants showed impressive anti-cancer activities against both breast cancer and brain tumour. According to him:

“We are working to develop effective cancer therapy using Nigerian medicinal plants. We have characterised and identified some plants. We have tested them and they are very effective. Eight out of the 54 that we have are better than even the current drugs that are used in the treatment of cancer. We are trying to identify some of those active compounds that are responsible for this anti-cancer activity. Afterwards, in partnership with NAFDAC or NIPRID, we will do animal and even pre-clinical studies.

The team is made up of medical doctors, surgeons, pharmaceutical chemists and pharmacognosists, and then medicinal herbalist – a consultant. I am a pharmacologist. We have several papers that we have published. We have some papers ready for publication.”