News Article | April 17, 2017
One Day I Too Go Fly Inc, an independent production company creating films exploring new narratives about Africans and Africa in a globalized age, has released its first film NAIJA BETA. The documentary is now available worldwide on the VOD platforms VHX and Vimeo. The release comes after a year of film festival engagements in Europe, Africa and North America where NAIJA BETA garnered several awards. NAIJA BETA follows a team of Nigerian and Nigerian-American undergraduate students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) who launch and run Exposure Robotics Academy (XRA), a robotics camp for teenagers, in Lagos, Nigeria. Propelling its action through a competition drama set-up, the film explores youth entrepreneurship, STEM education, and African diasporan homecoming in present-day Nigeria. “This heart warming documentary often finds itself deviating from its mission and submerging itself in the complexities of human emotions that are unfolding around it. Fortunately, deviating from its simple set up is what makes NAIJA BETA a masterpiece in its own right. It is a documentary that examines the fears of children of Africa and what lies ahead for them and the ones rediscovering home even while they were not looking,” wrote Hafeez Oluwa, reviewing the film at the 2016 Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF) in Lagos for Sodas N Popcorn, the largest movie database in Nollywood. The film premiered at the 2016 Pan African International Film Festival in Cannes, France. Since then, it has won the following awards: Best Documentary Feature - Urban Mediamakers Film Festival 2016; Best Documentary Short - Roxbury International Film Festival 2016; Achievement in Documentary Film, Feature Length - Silicon Valley African Film Festival 2016; and the High Output Director Award - Arlington International Film Festival 2016. It was also nominated for Best Humanitarian Film at RapidLion: The South African International Film Festival 2017. NAIJA BETA is directed by Arthur Musah, an engineer turned filmmaker whose own journey from Ghana to MIT, where he earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in electrical engineering and computer science, informs his films. After studying filmmaking as an Annenberg Fellow at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, Musah returned to MIT to embark on a multi-year study of African youths coming of age at the iconic American college. NAIJA BETA marks his directorial debut, and is the first of two films resulting from the project. The second film, ONE DAY I TOO GO FLY, is in post-production. NAIJA BETA is produced by Arthur Musah and Brook Turner. “While the characters in NAIJA BETA are Nigerian, the film speaks more broadly to the current wave of Africans in the diaspora who are returning to figure out their place on the continent,” said Musah. “The film documents early efforts by ambitious young African entrepreneurs, and that resonates.” Since graduating from MIT, NAIJA BETA protagonist Obinna Ukwuani and his XRA cofounder Obinna Okwodu have moved to Nigeria to launch new businesses. Okwodu is making rental housing affordable for professionals in Nigeria with his new venture Fibre. Ukwuani continues to impact STEM education in Nigeria with his CNN-featured startup Makers Academy, which recently launched its New Economy Skills Accelerator (NESA) program. NAIJA BETA main character Jemima Osunde was eager to leave Nigeria as a high-school student learning to program robots at the XRA, but now studies at the University of Lagos’ College of Medicine and is a rising star of Nigerian television and film. The film has engaged audiences at community screenings such as Girls Day at the MIT Museum and Global Entrepreneurship Week at the African Leadership University. The Yale Undergraduate Association for African Peace and Development will screen NAIJA BETA and host filmmaker Arthur Musah as a panelist at its conference April 14-15, 2017. NAIJA BETA continues its festival run, making its New York Premiere at the 24th New York African Film Festival. The screening will take place at the Maysles Cinema in Harlem on May 20th, 2017. For the latest news about NAIJA BETA, please visit http://pidgincinema.com/ or the film's Facebook page.
Borokinni A.S.,University of Lagos
Zeitschrift fur Angewandte Mathematik und Physik | Year: 2017
This study, based on a modified form of the Gurtin–Anand model (J Mech Phys Solids 53:1624–1649, 2005), investigates the effect of an internal microforce on the flow rule of viscoplastic bodies. A generalized microforce balance is obtained via the virtual power principle, and using the free-energy imbalance to suitably restrict the constitutive relations, a flow rule which accommodates two energetic length scales is obtained. This leads to a nonlinear second-order partial differential equation in the plastic strain. Finite element models for one-dimensional problems arising from a pure shear state of a viscoplastic slab are derived, while solutions for linear rate-dependent and nonlinear small strain-gradient rate-independent problems are presented. © 2017, Springer International Publishing.
News Article | December 19, 2016
Harvard University's Calestous Juma will co-chair a new High Level African Panel on Emerging Technologies, created to identify and foster appropriate regulation and use of existing and emerging technologies of greatest help to Africa's economic development. Prof. Yaye Kene-Gassama Dia of University Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar, will co-chair the Panel of 10 eminent experts from diverse professional backgrounds, announced Dec. 18 by HE Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission. NEPAD Agency and the African Union Commission will work closely with the Panel, mandated to assess the ethical and safety requirements and standards of emerging technologies and help promote their responsible regulation without imposing an undue burden on their adoption. The Panel will provide evidence-based analyses and recommendations to inform continental, regional and national level legal and regulatory policy. It will also recommend regional institutional arrangements to promote and sustain common regulatory approaches. "The adoption of every technology is sometimes associated with controversies bordering on the mix of benefits and potential adverse effects. The appointed High Level African Panel on Emerging Technologies shall be used as a resource pool from which AU Member States and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) can draw expert knowledge and advice," HE Dr Zuma emphasized. Said Dr. Juma, Professor of the Practice of International Development at the Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs: "Africa has historically had an uneasy relationship with technology. By the time technologies made it Africa they were already in their twilight hours. Mobile phones changed that routine. Africans started to adopt mobile phones at their dawn and so were able to shape their evolution and create radically new industries by seeking to solve local problems." "These are the lessons that inspired African leaders to set up a high level advisory panel that keeps its eyes on the frontiers of new technologies so they can shape them to their needs. This way Africa is not always being asked to follow the paths shaped by others or even compete with them. It can help to define technological trajectories and be able to add its creations to the global economy, like it has done with mobile money. The world will have a lot more technological solutions to benefit from with Africa as an early player." Prof. Roseanne Diab, Executive Officer, Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) and Emeritus Professor, School of Environmental Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal Prof. Abdallah Daar, Professor of Public Health Sciences, Dalla Lama Faculty of Public Health, University of Toronto, with a cross-appointment in the department of Surgery. Prof. O. Ibidapo-Obe, Distinguished Professor of Systems Engineering and former Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos; currently Vice-Chancellor, Federal University Ndufu Alike Ikwo, Ebonyi State, Nigeria Dr. Rachel Chikwamba, CSIR Group Executive: Strategic Alliances and Communication and manager of the CSIR's high-level partnerships and stakeholder interactions and associated communication
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: ERC-AG | Phase: ERC-AG-SH5 | Award Amount: 2.21M | Year: 2013
Dirt permeates everyday life in urban Africa, but it is more than an empirical substance: dirt is also an ideaor a complex set of representationsthat shapes local perceptions of sexuality and the body, and influences peoples attitudes towards waste, recycling, urbanisation, ethnicity and migration. Dirt is a vital category for understanding urban cultures in Africa, and it has a history that has yet to be examined in detail. Besides the work of epidemiologists and occasional anthropological accounts, however, there have been no sustained studies of locally situated understandings of dirt in Africa. This project will identify and reflect on African representations and understandings of dirt in a comparative historical perspective for the first time. With reference to four key themescolonialism, the environment, sexuality and ethnicityeveryday cultural practices will be addressed in Nairobi (Kenya) and Lagos (Nigeria). In examining particular African locations and historical contexts, the project will evaluate not only the social and political histories of specific dirty discourses, but also the theoretical and methodological directions that the concept of dirt generates as a starting point for comparative interdisciplinary case-studies. Employing a range of methodologies, the two teams of researchers at the Participating Institutions (Kenyatta University, Nairobi, and University of Lagos) in Years 1-5, and the doctoral and postdoctoral researchers at the Host Institution (University of Sussex) in Years 3-5, will identify local African representations and understandings of dirt. In addition to other major outputs, the PI will build a website that addresses political, methodological, theoretical and ethical issues, as well as providing an archive of primary resources. Key objectives include: to learn from positive and negative valuations of words connoting dirt in Africa, and to develop a paradigm for interdisciplinary work in African cultural studies.
Okusanya B.O.,University of Lagos
The Cochrane database of systematic reviews | Year: 2013
Pregnant women with sickle cell disease (HbSS, HbSC and HbSβThal) may require blood transfusion to prevent severe anaemia or to manage potential medical complications. Preventive blood transfusion in the absence of complications starting from the early weeks of pregnancy or blood transfusion only for medical or obstetric indications have been used as management policies. There is currently no consensus on the blood transfusion policy that guarantees optimal clinical benefits with minimal risks for such women and their babies. The present review replaces and updates a Cochrane review that was withdrawn in 2006. To assess the benefits and harms of a policy of prophylactic versus selective blood transfusion in pregnant women with sickle cell disease. We searched the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group's Trials Register (31 October 2013) and reference lists of retrieved studies. We did not apply any language restrictions. Randomised and quasi-randomised trials evaluating the effects of prophylactic versus selective (emergency) blood transfusion in pregnant women with sickle cell disease. Trials were considered for inclusion whether the unit of randomisation was at individual or cluster level, however, no cluster-randomised trials were identified. Two review authors independently assessed trials for inclusion and assessed trial quality. Two review authors independently extracted data. Data were checked for accuracy. Out of six relevant reports identified by the search strategy, two trials involving 98 women with sickle cell anaemia (HbSS) met our inclusion criteria. The two trials were at moderate risk of bias. Overall, there were few events for most of the reported outcomes and the results were generally imprecise. One trial (involving 72 women) reported no maternal mortality occurring in women who received either prophylactic or selective blood transfusion. The same trial (involving 72 women) indicated no clear differences in maternal mortality, perinatal mortality (risk ratio (RR) 2.85, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.61 to 13.22) or markers of severe maternal morbidity [pulmonary embolism (no events); congestive cardiac failure (RR 1.00, 95% CI 0.07 to 15.38); acute chest syndrome (RR 0.67, 95% CI 0.12 to 3.75)] between the treatment groups (prophylactic blood transfusion versus selective blood transfusion). Prophylactic blood transfusion reduced the risk of pain crisis compared with selective blood transfusion (RR 0.42, 95% CI 0.17 to 0.99, two trials, 98 women); however, the margin of uncertainty around the effect estimate ranged from very small to substantial reduction. One trial (involving 72 women) indicated no differences in the occurrence of acute splenic sequestration (RR 0.33, 95% CI 0.01 to 7.92) and haemolytic crises (RR 0.33, 95% CI 0.04 to 3.06) and delayed blood transfusion reaction (RR 2.00, 95% CI 0.54 to 7.39) between the comparison groups. Evidence from two small trials of low quality suggests that prophylactic blood transfusion to pregnant women with sickle cell anaemia (HbSS) confers no clear clinical benefits when compared with selective transfusion. Currently, there is no evidence from randomised or quasi-randomised trials to provide reliable advice on the optimal blood transfusion policy for women with other variants of sickle cell disease (i.e. HbSC and HbSβThal). The available data and quality of evidence on this subject are insufficient to advocate for a change in existing clinical practice and policy.
Ladapo T.A.,University of Lagos
Saudi journal of kidney diseases and transplantation : an official publication of the Saudi Center for Organ Transplantation, Saudi Arabia | Year: 2014
Insufficient data to guide the authorities responsible for resource allocation and a focus on communicable diseases increase the challenges of care of children with kidney disease in resource-constrained settings like ours. This study was performed with the aim to describe the current spectrum of pediatric nephrology disease in a tertiary hospital in Sub-Saharan Africa and highlight the challenges encountered in their care. A 4-year retrospective review of pediatric renal admissions was carried out and the overall prevalence, disease-specific prevalence and mortality rates were determined. Results were compared with nationwide data. Kidney diseases accounted for 8.9% of pediatric admissions with a prevalence of 22.3 admissions per 1000 child-admissions per year. Nephrotic syndrome, acute kidney injury and nephroblastoma accounted for almost 70% of admissions. The overall mortality was 14.4% with acute kidney injury accounting for 36% of this. Chronic kidney disease was also associated with poor outcome. The spectrum of disease nationwide is similar with a wide variation in disease-specific prevalence between geographic regions. The prevalence of genetic and hereditary conditions was low. The prevalence of pediatric renal disease in our environment is on the increase and associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Late presentation and high treatment costs were limitations to care. Preventive nephrology, training of pediatric nephrologists and strengthening of health insurance schemes are advocated.
Afolabi B.B.,University of Lagos
Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) | Year: 2012
Regional anaesthesia (RA) and general anaesthesia (GA) are commonly used for caesarean section (CS) and both have advantages and disadvantages. It is important to clarify what type of anaesthesia is more efficacious. To compare the effects of RA with those of GA on the outcomes of CS. We searched the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group's Trials Register (30 November 2011). We updated the search on 20 August 2012 and added the results to the awaiting classification section of the review. Randomised and quasi-randomised controlled trials evaluating the use of RA and GA in women who had CS for any indication. Cluster-randomised trials and trials using a cross-over design are not included. Two review authors independently assessed trials for inclusion, assessed risk of bias and extracted data. Data were checked for accuracy. Twenty-two out of 29 included studies (1793 women) contributed data to this review.The included studies did not report some our primary outcomes: maternal death, incidence of maternal postoperative wound infection, maternal postoperative other infection such as endometritis and urinary tract infection, neonatal death.Compared to women who had GA, women who had either epidural anaesthesia or spinal anaesthesia were found to have a significantly lower difference between pre and postoperative haematocrit. For epidural, the mean difference (MD) was 1.70% and 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.47 to 2.93 (one trial, 231 women) and for spinal anaesthesia, the MD was 3.10% and 95% CI 1.73 to 4.47 (one trial, 209 women). Compared with GA, women having either an epidural anaesthesia or spinal anaesthesia had a lower estimated maternal blood loss (epidural versus GA: standardised mean difference (SMD) -0.32 mL; 95% CI -0.56 to -0.07; two trials, 256 women; spinal versus GA anaesthesia: SMD -0.59 mL; 95% CI -0.83 to 0.35; two trials, 279 women). There was evidence of a significant difference in terms of satisfaction with anaesthetic technique - compared with the epidural or spinal group, more women in the GA group stated they would use the same technique again if they needed CS for a subsequent pregnancy (epidural versus GA: risk ratio (RR) 0.80; 95% CI 0.65 to 0.98; one trial, 223 women; spinal versus GA anaesthesia: RR 0.80; 95% CI 0.65 to 0.99; one trial, 221 women).No significant difference was seen in terms of neonatal Apgar scores of six or less and of four or less at five minutes and the need for neonatal resuscitation with oxygen. There is no evidence from this review to show that RA is superior to GA in terms of major maternal or neonatal outcomes. Further research to evaluate neonatal morbidity and maternal outcomes, such as satisfaction with technique, will be useful.
Olusanya B.O.,University of Lagos
International journal of pediatric otorhinolaryngology | Year: 2011
The Report summarizes the outcome of a recent informal consultation convened by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2009 pursuant to the 1995 resolution of the World Health Assembly (WHA) urging Member States to promote programs for early hearing detection in babies and infants. The consultation was geared towards reaching global consensus on key principles on this subject based on the experiences and contributions of leading experts from various world regions and across relevant disciplines. After reviewing the current evidence on early hearing detection in babies and infants the Report outlined guiding principles for action by Member States covering issues such as etiology, case definition of hearing impairment, options for screening, program implementation, cost-effectiveness as well as policy and legislation. The need for context-specific adaptations of current practices in the developed world to facilitate the development of effective and culturally appropriate early hearing detection programs in developing countries was emphasized. The potential role of private-public partnerships including non-governmental organizations in designing and implementing hearing screening programs was highlighted while recognizing the necessity to develop requisite support services for infants detected with hearing impairment. Overall, the Report is likely to stimulate greater interest and progress towards early hearing detection initiatives particularly in countries where necessary actions are yet to be taken to implement the WHA resolution. However, any effort in this direction must be backed by greater professional engagement, appropriate national policies and strong involvement of WHO regional offices in developing countries.
Denny L.,University of Cape Town |
Anorlu R.,University of Lagos
Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention | Year: 2012
Cervical cancer is a relatively rare disease in countries that have instituted and maintained national screening programs, with call and recall of women at various intervals and built-in quality control with appropriate monitoring and evaluation. Unfortunately, this process has failed in most areas of the world where more than 80% of new cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed. Cervical cancer affects women in the prime of their lives causing premature and needless suffering and death in a critically important segment of the world's population, despite being one of the few cancers that can be prevented with simple testing. In the past 15 years innovative approaches to both primary andsecondaryprevention of cervical cancer have been subjected to a number of large scale, scientifically valid and applicable studies that have opened the way for new approaches. Treatment of cervical cancer in Africa is hampered by the lack of diagnostic and treatment facilities, lack of healthcare infrastructure and poor pathology services. Further, there is a significant brain drain of trained healthcare workers in Africa that exacerbates the problem. Cancer is becoming an increasingly important public health problemasmore people live longer. It is timeto develop programs for the prevention, early detection, treatment, and palliation of cancer sufferers in Africa. © 2012 AACR.
Olusanya B.O.,University of Lagos
International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology | Year: 2011
Developing countries account for a disproportionate burden of infant hearing loss globally but the prospects of the more ideal universal newborn hearing screening (UNHS) have been debated. The Joint Committee on Infant Hearing (JCIH) of USA has consistently proposed targeted newborn hearing screening (TNHS) for such countries. This study therefore set out to examine the appropriateness of JCIH risk factors as a basis for TNHS in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. From a review of relevant literature published in PubMed in the last 10 years, evidence on the effectiveness of TNHS based on JCIH or other risk factors is sparse or limited. Consistent with the prevailing epidemiological profile of these countries additional putative risk factors not listed or more prevalent than those listed by JCIH such as maternal hypertensive disorders in pregnancy, lack of skilled attendant at delivery, non-elective cesarean delivery and infant undernutrition have been demonstrated besides consanguinity. While TNHS has intuitive appeal in resource-poor settings, it is likely to be fraught with diverse operational constraints that could significantly curtail its effectiveness in these two regions. Well-conducted pilot UNHS studies to determine context-specific risk factors, screening efficiency and the potential trade-offs are warranted in each country prior to embarking on TNHS where UNHS is not immediately practicable. © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.