I never fail to wonder what priorities Nigerian leaders really have: whether is the Nation before self or vice-versa.
By Ifedayo Adebayo
September 22, 2009
Union leaders fault Yar’Adua’s trip for Saudi university’s opening
The decision of the Nigerian President, Umaru Yar’Adua, to travel to Saudi Arabia and participate as a Special Guest at the inauguration of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology is a thing of shame to a country whose universities have been shut for three month, national president of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Ukachukwu Awuzie, has said.
Mr. Awuzie, who spoke in an interview on Tuesday, said he hoped that by the time Mr. Yar’Adua comes back from Saudi Arabia, he would appreciate the importance of the crisis in Nigeria’s education sector.
“The Universities there are well equipped, but I will see what he intends to gain from the visit,” he said. “Some people have the intention of getting through their way always, especially in a way of forgetting agreements. But I also hope that when he comes back, he will have better focus on how to tackle the problems in the country.”
The leaders of some student unions have also criticised the president’s Saudi visit. The Student Union President of University of Ado-Ekiti, Olusola Fayemi, appealed to the Nigerian community in the country to boycott the meeting.
“It is hard to believe that our own president has failed to convince the people of this country that he can do this job. Let him go home, or maybe he should go and start living in Saudi Arabia,” Mr. Fayemi said.
“He never met with ASUU since this entire crisis started, but he knows how to dance around the world with his wife. It is an acrimony that Nigerians should reject totally.”
Another student union leader, Destiny Ekhinnabor, said Nigerian students should mobilize themselves and protest at the Saudi Arabia embassy in Nigeria to call for Yar’Adua’s return home.
“He is not an advocate of good educational system. Let him come back home to answer ASUU. Let him come and tell us what he wanted to spend 2009 education budget on,” he said.
Nigeria and Saudi Arabia are petroleum exporting countries. While the latter has 50 universities, two of which are amongst the first 500 in the world, the best university in Nigeria occupies the 6,602th position in the ranking.
Segun Adeniyi, the president’s spokesperson, had said in a statement released in Abuja on Monday that Mr. Yar’Adua is undertaking an official visit to the Arab country.
“President Umaru Ya’Adua will, at the invitation of King Abdullah Bin Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud, undertake a working visit to Saudi Arabia from tomorrow, Tuesday, September 22, 2009,” Mr. Adeniyi had said.
“President Yar’Adua is scheduled to hold talks with King Abdullah in the course of the visit and participate as a Special Guest of Honour in the opening of the new King Abdullah University of Science and Technology.”
The statement added that the president will also meet with members of the Nigerian community in Saudi Arabia before returning home on Saturday.
Mr. Yar’Adua returned from Saudi Arabia last month after a three-week holiday, during which he received medical care.
The Saudi University
The 36 million square meter-sized King Abdullah University of Science and Technology is a research institution opened on September 5 with an aim to promote research and science in Saudi Arabia and around the globe. The university is opening with a $10 billion endowment.
For the inauguration ceremony, which coincides with the Saudi National Day, September 23, King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has invited more than 3,000 Saudi and international guests, including heads of state and Nobel laureates.
The event will feature interactive exhibitions about science and technology, followed by a formal opening ceremony and a dinner. Organisers launched an inauguration website to allow people around the world follow the ceremony online.
The site will feature a live event webcast, and information about the University’s research agenda, lab facilities, faculty, students, and community.
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Since last year, 16-year-old Sunday Nnebedum has been adding colour and glamour to the annual new yam festival celebration of his people in Ezihe Igboukwu, Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State. Last year, the little lad showcased a prototype house at the festival and this year he built a prototype car, which has now informed his decision to go into car manufacturing in future.
And seriously, Nnebedum is leaving no stone unturned in his bid to achieve this nuturing as he had exhibited the talent of creativity and awaits the brushing up of the talent with education and training.
The young Nnebedum who will enter JSS3 when the schools resume later this month is a student of Christ the King Secondary School, Igboukwu.
Indeed, his prototype automobile was a cynosure of all eyes at the 2009 National Iwa Ji Celebration held at National Yam House, Igboukwu on Saturday, August 29, 2009, as he drove it round the arena. The pseudo vehicle which he told Daily Sun is a Mercedes Benz is powered manually with bicycle-like chains though it has a steering, brake pedal and electrical components as in a real vehicle.
The young boy, who said he produced a beautiful prototype house at last year’s yam festival, narrated how the idea of building the automobile came to him and how he actualized it.
Building of the motor: According to him, they were taught in school the use of gear and chains and after the lesson, he had a sleepless night thinking of what to make out of that lecture. “When I came back from school after we were taught of the use of chain and gear, I took a good look at the bicycle in our house, and was imagining how the Oyibo (white) people made it.
“After a long look and study of the bicycle, especially how the chain propels it to move, I decided that I will build a motor (automobile) that will be propelled by chains or if you like call it a ‘bicycle motor’”. Having taken the decision, Sunday said he immediately started sketching what was going on in his head on a paper and after the drawing, he did a skeleton-sort of the object like the way baskets are made. “Then, I showed it to my parents and told them what I wanted to do.
They encouraged me and gave me some woods and tapauline and I moved into action to construct the motor. After the wood work, I took it to the welder who built the chain area for me after I had told him what I wanted and how he should do it. “After that was constructed, that includes the steering, dashboard and doors; I went back to the drawing board and drew the electrical part of it. That is how the wire will run, the positioning of the lights (headlamps, trafficators, brake lights, their switches on the dashboard and even the radio), the music you are listening to is from the motor.
“So, after wiring and placing the lights, I used aluminum paint to paint it and later I sprayed it and that is what you are seeing now; I hope it’s fine?”
Parents’ contributions: Sunday noted that his parents, Mr and Mrs Chukwuma Nnebedum were helpful in his production. “My parents were very pleased with me and they encouraged me to continue. They gave me the whole money I used in building this, that is over N19, 000.”
Previous work and unfulfilled promise: Last year’s yam festival, if you were here, I am the boy who built house (prototype). That last year, they promised to give me scholarship, but up till now, nobody gave me anything.
This motor, now I took it to the Igwe’s palace the day he held his new yam festival and he promised to give me N50, 000 and said that I should bring it today, August 29, 2009 for the world to see and for him to fulfill the promise, so I am here and waiting.
Ambition: The 16-year-old boy told Daily Sun that his ambition is to acquire good education and to be trained to be able to manufacture automobile.
“I want the government and well meaning people to come to my aid, so that I can get quality education and be well trained as an engineer to bring my vision of building a real car to reality”.
source: click here
888 – – – – – 888
Congratulations Nnebedum Sunday.
More grace to your elbows.
Nigerian infant, Indian in first swap liver transplants
By Ben Ukwuoma with agency reports
BATTLING for survival on different continents, an 18-month-old Nigerian child and an Indian housewife, suffering from advanced liver failure, have virtually given each other a new lease of life and the answer to the problem of organ donor shortage.
Dike Ezeanya, son of a Nigerian businessman, and 44-year-old Priya Ahuja have undergone what is being claimed as the first successful swap liver transplant, also called paired donation, for which a team of 35 doctors laboured for 26 hours in four operating theatres.
“In such cases, an incompatible pair of donor and recipient are matched with another incompatible donor or recipient pair and the livers are exchanged between them,” Dr. A.K. Soin, chief liver transplant surgeon, Sir Ganga Ram hospital (SGRH) said.
Five months after his birth, doctors diagnosed Dike with Billiary Atresia – a rare condition of newborn infants in which the common bile duct between the liver and the small intestine is blocked or absent. If unrecognised, the condition leads to liver failure. And this is exactly what happened to Dike. On the other hand, Priya’s state was also critical. Already suffering from advanced liver failure due to Hepatitis C infection, she was later diagnosed with tuberculosis.
With transplantation being their only hope, doctors hit a dead end – unavailability of compatible cadaver donors. But by a stroke of luck, Dr. A. K. Soin, chief of liver transplant unit, Dr. Neelam Mohan, paediatric hepatologist and Dr. Sanjiv Saigal transplant hepatologist found that the blood group of Dike’s mother, Chinwe, was A which matched with Priya. On the other hand, Priya’s husband, Haresh, belonged to the blood group B which was the same as Dike.
A 35-member surgical team then took 50 per cent of Chinwe’s right liver and transplanted it into Priya while Hariesh gave 20 per cent of his left liver to save Dike. Almost two months after the surgery, both Dike and Priya are now in normal health.
According to Mohani: “While both donors’ blood groups did not match their own recipients’, they were suitable for the other recipient. Dike’s father had the same blood group as the kid but he had very fatty liver and so wasn’t a suitable donor. When we suggested the idea of a donor exchange, which is also called paired donation, both families jumped at the opportunity.
“The blood groups of Dike and his mother Ezeanya Chinwe, the donor, were B positive and A positive respectively and that of Priya and her husband Haresh (donor) were A positive and B positive respectively. Both donors’ blood groups did not match their own recipients’ but they were suitable for the other ones.
“Dike was detected with advanced liver failure five months after his birth. His family flew down to SGRH in February 2009 for treatment.
“Immediate remedy could not be chalked out. Dike’s father was not medically fit to donate,” Neelam Mohan, pediatric hepatologist at SGRH said adding, “only a cadaver donor could be of help.”
Meanwhile, Ahuja, who was admitted to the hospital in March 2009, was also detected with advanced liver failure three months later.
“Since both were struggling with their lives due to terminal liver failure and with no cadaver donor and living donors’ liver not fit for them, the idea of swapping donors struck us, ” Soin said.
“The biggest challenge in paired donation transplants is that both transplants must take place simultaneously, otherwise the donor for the second transplant may refuse to undergo surgery once his own loved one has received the donated organ,” Soin said.
Sanjiv Saigal, the Transplant Hepatologist in charge of Priya’s case said: “This opens up unique opportunities for matchmaking between donors and recipients from different families, thus helping save more lives with liver transplants.”
Priya’s husband was said to have donated 20 per cent of his liver to Dike while the child’s mother donated 50 per cent of her liver to save Priya.
Interestingly, swapping is still not officially allowed in India. The team of doctors at Gangaram hospital, who conducted the swap did take the approval from an in-house regulatory body before going ahead. “It was the only way to save Dike and Priya. Three members on the committee are from the government,” said a doctor.
India has been planning to launch a national organ transplant programme. The health ministry had drafted changes in the Transplantation of Human Organs Act, 1994 under which swapping of vital organs between willing but incompatible donors was to become legal.
The current rule restricts organ transplant to between blood relatives (father, mother, son, daughter, wife, husband, sister and brother), near and distant relatives and those having love and affection towards the patient.
Swapping will help patients who have relatives willing to donate but are medically incompatible for the recipient.
Dr. Saigal said: “Encouraged by this case, we have instituted registration of patients with medically suitable family donors who do not match their own recipients due to inappropriate blood group or liver size. This opens up unique opportunities for matchmaking between donors and recipients from different families, thus helping save more lives with liver transplants.”
Dr. B.K. Rao, chairman of Ganga Ram Hospital added: “This swap transplantation will come as a blessing at the time of acute organ donor shortage. Around 30 per cent of rejected donors can become suitable swap donors, increasing transplant rates by 30 per cent.”
India at present requires 30,000 liver transplants a year. Unfortunately due to the country’s abysmally low cadaver donation, doctors end up carrying out about 400-odd transplants a year.
source: click here