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Expert Panel Endorses Protocol for COVID-19 Herbal Medicine Clinical Trials in Africa

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The Regional Expert Committee on Traditional Medicine for COVID-19 formed by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention and the African Union Commission for Social Affairs has endorsed a protocol for phase III clinical trials of herbal medicine for COVID-19 as well as a charter and terms of reference for the establishment of a data and safety monitoring board for herbal medicine clinical trials.

“Just like other areas of medicine, sound science is the sole basis for safe and effective traditional medicine therapies,” said Dr Prosper Tumusiime, Director of Universal Health Coverage and Life Course Cluster at WHO Regional Office for Africa.

“The onset of COVID-19, like the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, has highlighted the need for strengthened health systems and accelerated research and development programmes, including on traditional medicines,” said Dr Tumusiime.

The endorsed technical documents are aimed at empowering and developing a critical mass of technical capacity of scientists in Africa to conduct proper clinical trials to ensure quality, safety and efficacy of traditional medicines in line with international standards. Phase III clinical trials are pivotal in fully assessing the safety and efficacy of a new medical product. The data safety and monitoring board will ensure that the accumulated studies data are reviewed periodically against participants’ safety. It will also make recommendations on the continuation, modification or termination of a trial based on evaluation of data at predetermined periods during the study.

If a traditional medicine product is found to be safe, efficacious and quality-assured, WHO will recommend for a fast-tracked, large-scale local manufacturing, Dr Tumusiime explained, noting that through the African Vaccine Regulatory Forum, there is now a benchmark upon which clinical trials of medicines and vaccines in the region can be assessed and approved in fewer than 60 days.

“The adoption of the technical documents will ensure that universally acceptable clinical evidence of the efficacy of herbal medicines for the treatment of COVID-19 are generated without compromising the safety of participants,” said Professor Motlalepula Gilbert Matsabisa, the Expert Committee Chairman. He voiced hope that that the generic clinical trial protocol will be immediately used by scientists in the region to ensure that people can benefit from the potential of traditional medicine in dealing with the ongoing pandemic.

The 25-members of the Regional Expert Advisory Committee on Traditional Medicine for COVID-19 are tasked with supporting countries to enhance research and development of traditional medicine-based therapies against the virus and provide guidance on the implementation of the approved protocols to generate scientific evidence on the quality, safety and efficacy of herbal medicines for COVID-19.

The Committee members are from research institutions, national regulatory authorities, traditional medicine programmes, public health departments, academia, medical and pharmacy professions and civil society organizations of Member States.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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#EndSARS: Protesters Converge at Lekki Toll Gate Despite Sanwo-Olu 24 Hour Curfew

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#EndSARS Protesters Gathered at Lekki Toll Gate Despite Curfew

Lagos protesters defied the 24-hour curfew imposed by the executive governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, as they gathered at Lekki Tollgate to continue their agitation.

The peaceful #EndSARS protesters sang the nation’s national anthem as they held on to their Nigerian flags proudly.

Earlier today, governor Sanwo-Olu, had imposed a 24-hour curfew across all parts of the state, saying the peaceful protest has been hijacked by criminals and unscrupulous individuals.

In a statement put out by the governor, he said “I have watched with shock how what began as a peaceful #EndSARS protest has degenerated into a monster that is threatening the well-being of our society.

“Lives and limbs have been lost as criminals and miscreants are now hiding under the umbrella of these protests to unleash mayhem on our state. As a government that is alive to its responsibility and has shown a commitment to the movement #ENDSARS, we will not watch and allow anarchy in our dear state.”

“I, therefore, hereby impose a 24-hour curfew on all parts of the State as from 4pm today, 20th October,2020. Nobody, except essential service providers and first responders must be found on the streets.

However, the determined Nigerian youths matched forward as they clamoured for complete police reform and a broad-based transparent and good governance for all Nigerians and not a selected few.

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Lagos Imposes 24 Hour Curfew as #EndSARS Protest Turns Violent

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Sanwo-Olu Imposes 24 Hour Curfew in Lagos as Hoodlums Hijacked #EndSARS Protests

The Executive Governor of Lagos, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Tuesday, imposed a 24-hour curfew on all parts of the state as peaceful #EndSARS protest turned violence amid the destruction of properties and lives.

In a statement released by the governor through his official Twitter account @jidesanwoolu, the governor said “I have watched with shock how what began as a peaceful #EndSARS protest has degenerated into a monster that is threatening the well-being of our society.

“Lives and limbs have been lost as criminals and miscreants are now hiding under the umbrella of these protests to unleash mayhem on our state. As a government that is alive to its responsibility and has shown a commitment to the movement #ENDSARS, we will not watch and allow anarchy in our dear state.”

“I, therefore, hereby impose a 24-hour curfew on all parts of the State as from 4pm today, 20th October,2020. Nobody, except essential service providers and first responders must be found on the streets.”

This was after reports of numerous attacks and destruction of properties by certain elements that the Nigerian youths claimed were sponsored by politicians to disrupt their agitation and invalidate the entire protest.

On Monday, prisoners were freed in Benin, Edo State by unknown individuals either sponsored by politicians or part of the protesters that gone rogue or with different agenda.

In Abuja, a group of thugs (sponsored or not) burnt several vehicles claimed to be parked by peaceful protesters while in Lagos, the story is not different as unscrupulous elements have been stealing and attacking people.

With a 24-hour curfew now in place in Lagos and Edo States, the youths agitating may be forced to eventually meet with the government to discuss their demands and implementation methodology.

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EndSARS: Feminist Coalition Raises Over N77m Within Seven Days

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Feminist Coalition Receives Over N77 Million in Donations  in Seven Days

Feminist Coalition, one of the not-for-profit organisations, leading the #EndSARS campaign has raised over N77 million within seven days.

The group said the funds were raised “through the generosity of well-meaning people and concerned Nigerians who want their voices to be heard and their demands to be met.

The funds were raised to support Nigerian youths protesting against police brutality and extrajudicial killings by men of the now-dissolved Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigeria Police Force.

Feminist Coalition, whose objectives include “fighting injustice through peaceful protests, fundraising, and social media organisation” disclosed this in a statement on Thursday titled, ‘Progress Report – October 15th, 2020’.

The statement released by the group partly read “Over the past week, there has been a peaceful uprising by the Nigerian youth, demanding for the disbandment of the notorious SARS unit, and the end to police brutality and an unjust judicial system.

“Like everyone else, we decided to play our part and help fight the injustice through fundraising in order to sustain the peaceful protests and ensure the safety of Nigerians exercising their civic rights – by providing food, water and other refreshments, masks, medical aid, and legal aid for protesters.

“We have raised a total sum of: NGN 62,643,663.05; USD 11,474.34 (N4.3m), CAD 5,595.89 (N1.6m), GBP 5,733.49 (N2.8m), EUR 875.42 (N390,225), GHS 1,256.70 (N81,823), KES 53,016.60 (183,656) and BTC 1.28827988 (N5.5m).

“With these funds, we have supported 100 peaceful protests in 25 states, paid NGN 759,080 in medical bills for injured protesters, donated NGN 400,000 to the families of victims murdered by police officers while protesting peacefully, paid NGN 500,000 in legal aid and spent N 11,367,500 on supplies including food, water, mask among other things for the peaceful protesters.”

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