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Nigeria, Two Others To Begin Lassa Fever Vaccine Trials

The United States said on Monday a new phase of Lassa fever vaccine clinical trials would begin in Nigeria and two other countries in West Africa soon.

In a statement issued by the Public Affairs Unit of the US Diplomatic Mission to Nigeria, said the vaccine trials would also take place in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The statement added that the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative was awarded €22.8 million by the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trial Partnership and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations to conduct a Phase IIB trial of the IAVI Lassa fever vaccine candidate among adults and children in the three countries.

The statement read: “This joint award supports an international collaboration across Africa, Europe, and North America, called the ‘Lassa Fever Vaccine Efficacy and Prevention for West Africa’ which will also strengthen the research capacity of investigational sites where Lassa fever outbreaks and disease occur frequently.

The United States said on Monday a new phase of Lassa fever vaccine clinical trials would begin in Nigeria and two other countries in West Africa soon.

In a statement issued by the Public Affairs Unit of the US Diplomatic Mission to Nigeria, said the vaccine trials would also take place in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The statement added that the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative was awarded €22.8 million by the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trial Partnership and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations to conduct a Phase IIB trial of the IAVI Lassa fever vaccine candidate among adults and children in the three countries.

The statement read: “This joint award supports an international collaboration across Africa, Europe, and North America, called the ‘Lassa Fever Vaccine Efficacy and Prevention for West Africa’ which will also strengthen the research capacity of investigational sites where Lassa fever outbreaks and disease occur frequently.

“The LEAP4WA consortium consists of the following members: IAVI Inc., U.S.; IAVI Sichting, Netherlands; Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, U.S.; Ministry of Health and Sanitation/Kenema Government Hospital in Sierra Leone; Imperial College of Science Technology and Medicine, U.K.; University of Liberia, Liberia; Epicentre, France; and Henry M. Jackson Foundation Medical Research International Ltd/Gte(HJFMRI), Nigeria.

“In Nigeria, HJFMRI will conduct the study at its Clinical Research Centre (CRC) supported by the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.

“Other supported WRAIR Lassa projects being implemented at the CRC and other sites across Nigeria include a Lassa incidence study in collaboration with the African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases, a Lassa seroprevalence study, and a potential opportunity for a CEPI-funded Phase IIa Lassa vaccine study through a WRAIR/IAVI collaboration.”

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Peace Accord With Jonathan Secured 2015 Polls- Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has disclosed that signing of the Peace Accord with former President Goodluck Jonathan and other presidential candidates in the build up to the 2015 elections contributed largely to the peaceful outcome of the polls.

The president stated this when he received the National Peace Committee (NPC), led by former Head of State, retired Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, on Thursday at State House, Abuja.

“The timing of the First National Peace Accord is significant considering political party campaigns have already commenced in the country.

“The initiatives undertaken by the NPC are commendable as these efforts would ensure issue-based campaigns.

“I look forward to the second phase of the signing of the National Peace Accord coming up in January 2023.

“You may recall that President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and I signed the first National Peace Accord before the 2015 elections.

“It is my conviction that it contributed significantly to the peaceful outcome of the 2015 election.

“It is my hope that the National Peace Committee continues this important work post 2023,” the president said.

Buhari reiterated that credible, free and fair elections could only be achieved in a peaceful environment.

He added that the signing of the Electoral Act 2021 as amended with landmark provisions underlined his resolve for a transparent and all-inclusive Electoral Process.

He, therefore, urged all stakeholders to conduct themselves in a manner that would ensure the successful conduct of the 2023 elections as well as smooth transition from one democratically elected government to another.

Abubakar, who briefed the president on the activities of the Committee in the build-up to the 2023 elections, said they met with various stakeholders, including the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Heads of security agencies.

He affirmed that the meetings further reassured the readiness and preparedness of the affected stakeholders to conduct the polls creditably.

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Supreme Court Dismisses Suit Challenging Adeleke’s Candidacy

The Supreme Court has affirmed Ademola Adeleke as the authentic candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in the just concluded Osun State Governorship Election.

This has laid to rest the suit filed by Dotun Babayemi, a governorship aspirant of the party who sought the invalidation of Adeleke’s victory.

In a judgement delivered by Justice Amina Augie, the five-member panel held that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the suit after counsel for the appellant, Adebayo Adelodun, withdrew the earlier notice of appeal that was filed within time.

At the resumed hearing, Adelodun, who represented the appellant and Babayemi informed the court that he sought to withdraw the earlier notice of appeal to replace it with the fresh application he filed.

But the panel held that Section 285(11) of the constitution stipulated that an appeal on a pre-election matter must be filed within 14 days from the day of the decision, and that having filed the second appeal out of time, the apex court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the matter.

Justice Augie, therefore, dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction.

Babayemi had asked the court to invalidate the primary election that produced the governor-elect, citing non-compliance with a court order.

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400 Staff To Lose Jobs As BBC Goes Digital

The British Broadcasting Corporation BBC world service has on Thursday disclosed that about 400 of its staff will lose their jobs as part of a cost-cutting programme and move to digital platforms,

The BBC said its international services needed to make savings of £28.5 million ($31 million) as part of wider reductions of £500 million.

In July it detailed plans to merge BBC World News television and its domestic UK equivalent into a single channel to launch in April next year.

BBC World Service currently operates in 40 languages around the world with a weekly audience of some 364 million people.

But the corporation said audience habits were changing and more people were accessing news online, which along with a freeze on BBC funding and increased operating costs meant a move to “digital-first” made financial sense.

BBC World Service director Liliane Landor said there was a “compelling case” for expanding digital services, as audiences had more than doubled since 2018.

“The way audiences are accessing news and content is changing and the challenge of reaching and engaging people around the world with quality, trusted journalism is growing,” she added.

 

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