A United States drone strike killed Al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri at a hideout in the Afghan capital, President Joe Biden said Monday, adding “justice had been delivered” to the families of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
In a somber televised address, Biden said he gave the final go-ahead for the high-precision strike that successfully targeted Zawahiri in the Afghan capital over the weekend.
“Justice has been delivered and this terrorist leader is no more,” Biden said, adding that he hoped Zawahiri’s death would bring “closure” to families of the 3,000 people killed in the United States on 9/11.
A senior administration official said Zawahiri was on the balcony of a house in Kabul when he was targeted with two Hellfire missiles, an hour after sunrise on July 31, and that there had been no US boots on the ground in Afghanistan.
“We are not aware of him ever leaving the safe house. We identified Zawahiri on multiple occasions for sustained periods of time on the balcony of where he was ultimately struck,” the official said.
According to the official’s account, the president gave his green light for the strike on July 25 — as he was recovering in isolation from Covid-19. Biden said there were no civilian casualties in the operation.
It was the first known over-the-horizon strike by the United States on an Al-Qaeda target in Afghanistan since American forces withdrew from the country on August 31, 2021.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Monday evening that “by hosting and sheltering” Zawahiri, the Taliban had “grossly violated the Doha Agreement” signed in 2020, which paved the way for America’s withdrawal.
Zawahiri, an Egyptian surgeon who grew up in a comfortable Cairo household before turning to violent radicalism, had been on the run for 20 years since the 9/11 attacks.
He took over Al-Qaeda after Osama bin Laden was killed by US special forces in Pakistan in 2011, and had a $25 million US bounty on his head.
Over the weekend the Afghan interior ministry denied reports circulating on social media of a drone strike in Kabul, telling AFP a rocket struck “an empty house” in the capital, causing no casualties.
Early Tuesday in Kabul, however, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid tweeted that an “aerial attack” was carried out on a residence in the Sherpur area of the city.
“The nature of the incident was not revealed at first. The security and intelligence agencies of the Islamic Emirate investigated the incident and found in their preliminary investigations that the attack was carried out by American drones,” his tweet said.
The news comes a month before the first anniversary of the final withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, leaving the country in the control of the Taliban insurgency that fought Western forces over the preceding two decades.
Under the 2020 Doha deal, the Taliban promised not to allow Afghanistan to be used again as a launchpad for international jihadism, but experts believe the group never broke its ties with Al-Qaeda.
“What we know is that the senior Haqqani Taliban were aware of his presence in Kabul,” the Biden official said.
Taliban interior minister Sirajuddin Haqqani also heads the feared Haqqani Network, a brutal subset of the Taliban blamed for some of the worst violence of the past 20 years and which has been described by US officials as a “veritable arm” of Pakistani intelligence.
– Doctor turned jihadist –
Zawahiri, 71, lacked the potent charisma that helped bin Laden rally jihadists around the world, but willingly channeled his analytical skills into the Al-Qaeda cause.
He was believed to be the main strategist — the real mastermind who steered operations, including the September 11 attacks, as well as bin Laden’s personal doctor.
Saudi Arabia, the home country of bin Laden as well as many of the 9/11 hijackers, welcomed the announcement of Zawahiri’s death.
“Thousands of innocent people of different nationalities and religions, including Saudi citizens, were killed,” by terrorists under his leadership, the Saudi foreign ministry said.
Al-Qaeda is believed to have been degraded in the years since the US invasion of Afghanistan, and the White House official said Zawahiri was “one of the last remaining figures who carried this kind of significance.”
The organization, agreed Soufan Center researcher Colin Clarke, is “at a crossroads.”
“Despite Zawahiri’s leadership, which minimized AQ’s losses while rebuilding, the group still faces serious challenges going forward. For one, there’s the question of who will lead al Qaeda after Zawahiri’s gone,” he said.
Zawahiri’s father was a renowned physician and his grandfather a prayer leader at Cairo’s Al-Azhar institute, the highest authority for Sunni Muslims.
He became involved with Egypt’s radical Muslim community at a young age and published several books which came for many to symbolize the radical Islamist movement.
He left Egypt in the mid-1980s, heading for Pakistan’s northwestern city of Peshawar where the resistance to the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan was based.
It was at that time, when thousands of Islamist fighters flooded into Afghanistan during the 1980s, that Zawahiri and bin Laden met, and in 1998 he became one of five signatories to bin Laden’s “fatwa” calling for attacks against Americans.
Jihadist monitor SITE said some militants were questioning the veracity of the report he had been killed, while others believed Zawahiri had achieved his desire of “martyrdom.”
As for Al-Qaeda’s future without him, SITE said jihadists were bullish, with one writing: “If Sheikh Ayman al-Zawahiri is dead, there are a thousand Aymans.”
10 Foods To Avoid After 40
As one advances in age, it’s vital for one to pay adequate attention to several things including one’s body. Food helps us to maintain life and growth, in the same vein, when we do not eat or eat unhealthy foods, life’s quality and growth are affected.
It’s pertinent to make deliberate and positive lifestyle changes as you attain adulthood. Some nutritionists have highlighted 10 foods individuals who are 40 and above should avoid.
A nutritionist, James Oloyede, says that people who are 40 years-old and above should take their diet seriously and be intentional about what they eat.
Oloyede adds, “There is no particular class of food that one can avoid entirely because if one does not eat it in one form, one will eat it in another but there are some foods that should be minimised and some that should be totally avoided.”
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Avoid refined carbohydrates
Oloyede explains that refined carbohydrates are foods that contain a high glycemic index and increase the blood sugar level of the consumers.
“By this we mean foods such as pasta, pancakes, doughnuts, cookies and the rest. Even in some countries, the rule is to reduce the consumption of white bread because they contain high glycemic index because they rapidly increase blood sugar.
“These have also been associated with heart diseases, weight gain, diabetes among others,” the nutritionist said.
Oyedele also cautions individuals aged 40 and above who still consume processed diet of being at the risk of having acne, otherwise known as black head or pimples.
“If you cannot completely eliminate it, it should be drastically reduced. It should be an occasional food, once in a blue moon and not incorporated into the daily diet,” he adds.
Supporting Oloyede’s position, another nutritionist, Olusola Malomo, adds that “White bread and pastas artificial sweeteners, foods containing monosodium glutamate, saturated fats and cholesterol should be avoided.’’
Every processed meat such as sausages, ham, hot dog, contains unhealthy fat that has an impact on the hydration of the body and promotes early onset of wrinkles.
Oloyede adds, “It can also cause inflammation associated with arthritis in old age. As one grows up, arthritis sets in. Part of the preservative agent when in the body breaks down to what is called nitrosamine chemicals which have been identified to be cancer inducing if they are above permissible levels. You can never tell (the quantity of the chemicals in the product), it could be an accident, deliberate, and individual tolerance also differs so it is better you avoid things like that by the time you are 40 and above.”
Oloyede notes that fast foods are not friendly to people above 40. He explains that fast foods contain a lot of ingredients in several quantities, adding that some of them can be unhealthy.
He also adds that they contain sugar, fats, nitrite, sodium, among others which have negative health consequences.
Oloyede and Malomo both agree that consumption of fruit juices by those in their 40’s and above is unhealthy.
Oloyede states that regardless of the ingredients and benefits marketed, people in this age group should avoid it.
He adds, “It is more of fructose and it contains a lot of sugar, for those who have the tendency to develop diabetes; that can accentuate it in the real sense of it.’’
Also, because it is a fruit juice, the fibre has been removed and fibre helps to aid digestion and it’s laxative in nature and needful in the bowel. “The sugar and other added preservatives are also reasons to be wary of taking this,” Oloyede adds.
Reduce alcohol consumption
Malomo states that alcohol should be avoided.
Oloyede adds that it should be totally avoided or drastically reduced. They explain that alcohol intake affects proper hydration in the body. They note, “It sucks out water from various part of the body which then affects its elasticity and the end result is wrinkles all over the individual’s body.’’
Avoid fatty foods
Though chicken consumption is encouraged, individuals in this category are advised to remove the skin before consumption especially when fried. This would reduce the consumption of cholesterol which leads to artery and consequently heart disease.
As one advances in age, the nutritionist advises that one cuts down on sugar intake, especially processed sugar.
“When you’re above 40, there is nothing you should be doing with sugar anymore. Sugar itself causes inflammation which inhibits having a clear and beautiful skin because it damages elastin which promotes elasticity of the skin, bringing about wrinkles early in life,” Oloyede adds.
Shun energy drink
Energy drinks contain a lot of caffeine, high sodium among other components which are harmful to health. Its accumulation in the body system over time forms toxins and when the body can no longer handle it, becomes harmful and this can reduce the lifespan of the individual.
Baked foods such as cakes are high in sugar and fat and should not be taken according to cravings to promote longevity.
Limit egg, milk consumption
It is pertinent to reduce the quantity of milk with saturated fat and also the number of eggs eaten per day. If this is not done, such individuals will have lots of fat in their system, issues with their gut and consistent diarrhea.
Oloyede advocates a return to a regional diet that includes natural and unprocessed foods, fruits and vegetables as well as foods high in protein.
Full Text: Communique By Medical And Dental Consultants’Association Of Nigeria
COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF THE NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COUNCIL (NEC) MEETING OF THE MEDICAL AND DENTAL CONSULTANTS’ ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (MDCAN) HELD FROM 7TH TO 11TH SEPTEMBER, 2022, AT AKIN DEKO AUDITORIUM, UNIVERSITY OF BENIN (UNIBEN), UGBOWO CAMPUS, BENIN CITY AND BEST WESTERN HOMEVILLE PLUS HOTEL, BENIN CITY, EDO STATE, NIGERIA.
The National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the Medical and Dental Consultants’ Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) was held at Akin Deko Auditorium, University of Benin, Ugbowo Campus and Best Western Homeville Plus Hotel, both in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria from Wednesday, 7th September to Sunday 11th September, 2022. The theme of the meeting was “Needed Entrepreneurial Skills in Medical and Dental Practice in Nigeria to Reverse Brain Drain and Outward Medical Tourism”.
The opening ceremony was chaired by Prof. Lilian Imuetinyan Salami, Vice Chancellor (VC), University of Benin. The Chief Host was the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), Benin City, Prof. Darlington Obaseki. The Special Guest of Honour was the Executive Governor of Edo State, His Excellency, Mr Godwin Obaseki, ably represented by the Edo State Honourable Commissioner for Health, Prof. Obehi Akoria. The Theme Speaker was Dr. Lucky Okparaynote, the CMD of Capital Hills Hospital, Warri, Delta State.
The meeting was commenced with courtesy visits to the CMD of UBTH; the VC of UNIBEN; the Honorable Commisioner for Health; the Medical Director Edo State Specialist Hospital, Prof. I. Sunday Adeoye; two of the founding fathers and Past Presidents of MDCAN, Prof. Phillip Abiodun and Emeritus Prof. Sir Augustine A.E. Orhue.
i. There is festering crisis in almost every sector of the economy, causing untold hardships to the citizenry. Efforts by the Government have been inadequate in addressing these problems.
ii. Problems in the health sector remain largely unresolved by the Government, with health care workers leaving the shores of the country in droves to more secured climes with better conditions of service.
iii. The problems encountered by Medical graduates seeking placement for housemanship persists.
iv. The failure of the relevant Government agencies to act promptly on the welfare issues concerning our members might engender disruption of services in secondary and tertiary health institutions across the country, by their failure to implement the payment of the approved Hazard Allowance; pay outstanding arrears occasioned by skipping; extend the retirement age of health workers to limit ongoing massive brain drain in the health sector; correct the shortfall in the salaries of honorary consultants who are clinical lecturers in the Universities, etc . The Government has refused to address these despite repeated negotiations and pledge to resolve these issues.
v. There is drastic shortage in medical manpower, cutting across all levels and cadres of health professionals, with various health workers failing to accept positions advertised by most of the Government hospitals. Furthermore, some Tertiary Health institutions lack Heads of Department in some clinical Departments due to this on-going massive brain drain in the health sector. This shortage in healthcare manpower has impacted negatively on the quality of healthcare services offered to the citizens. This has also negatively impacted on the well being of the remaining healthcare workers, who often suffer from burnout.
vi. Medical entrepreneurship is a gold deposit yet to be substantially mined by the stakeholders in Nigeria. Tapping into this great opportunity has the potential to reverse the Brain Drain and attract inward Brain Gain.
vii. The progressive and dynamic leadership geared towards continuous improvement of standard of care, provision of quaternary healthcare services and improved welfare of staff, demonstrated by the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) Management team headed by the CMD, Prof. Darlington Obaseki is commendable
viii. The increased tax deductions from the salaries of MDCAN members is adding to the the push factors driving brain drain. ix. The persistent failure of payment of salaries of our members in Abia State Teaching Hospital for about two years, despite several appeals to the Government of Abia State.
x. The futile effort by the allied health Professionals to encroach into the core areas of medicine, through attempts to establish Residency Programmes in purported ‘clinical aspects’ of the allied professions persists
xi. There was an attempt to cause confusion in our Tertiary Health Institutions through an obnoxious bill seeking to amend the Teaching Hospital Act.
xii. The lingering strike action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) portends ominous signs for the future of this country.
xiii. The perennial bottleneck with accessing third party research funds (Grants) by our Colleges of Medicine staff across the country persists. This has negatively impacted the ability of researchers to meet with the obligations already agreed to with the funders while also increasing unemployment of graduate students who are often engaged on these research projects.
i. The Government should intensify efforts at resolving the economic and security challenges in the country, in order to move the country on the part of sustained progress.
ii. The Government should, as a matter of urgency, put all processes in motion to encourage healthcare workers to stay in the country, thereby curtailing mass exodus to other countries.
iii. The relevant Government agencies should remove all obstacles hampering the placement of House officers to public hospitals and make the process seamless.
iv. The Medical and Dental Consultants’ Association of Nigeria hereby strongly demands the release of relevant circulars elongating the retirement age of Hospital consultants by the Government.
v. The depressing shortfalls in the salaries of the Honorary Consultants who are Clinical Lecturers should be corrected immediately. We advise the Government to note that we can not guarantee industrial harmony in the Government Hospitals, if these demands are not met within the next two weeks. We therefore call on all well meaning Nigerians to intervene, in order to avert the impending crisis.
vi. MDCAN encourages her members to convert brain drain to brain gain through personal development and adoption of entrepreneurial skills to augment their significantly devalued income in the face of rising inflation and devaluation of the Naira.
vii. The Association enjoins our members to make use of the opportunity presented by the Medical entrepreneurship.
viii. The Government is urged to give tax implementation a human face to avoid further depletion of hard earned salaries of MDCAN members, especially in this period of harsh economic realities. MDCAN appreciates tax exemption on call duty allowance of members granted by states such as Delta and calls on other State Governments to emulate this. The relevant Government Agencies, such as IPPIS, must ease the implementation of these tax relief.
ix. MDCAN is in total support of the NMA’s resolution directing NMA Abia State to issue a 21 day ultimatum to the Abia State Government, over non payment of doctors’ salaries for twenty (24) months and directs all her members to key into all actions by the NMA to compel Abia State Government to resolve the crisis with doctors.
x. All attempts by non – doctors to encroach into the Medical and Dental Profession must stop forthwith. MDCAN dissociates herself from the so called Residency Training Programmes for non doctors and calls on the relevant Government Agencies to be wary of the dangers this portends.
xi. We once more appeal to the House of Representatives to throw away the obnoxious bill seeking to amend the Teaching Hospital Act in its entirety.
xii. The Association reiterates her unwavering support for the ongoing ASUU strike and urge the Government to intensify efforts at resolving the impasse, in order to end the protracted strike action.
xiii. We appeal to Government to put policy in place to ensure seamless access to third party research funds in our institutions by excluding such funds from the Treasury Single Account and its attendant breaurocracy.
We appreciate the Special Guest of Honour, His Excellency,Mr Godwin Obaseki, the Executive Governor of Edo state, for his role towards the success of this NEC meeting, Benin city 2022. Similarly, we appreciate the Honourable Commissioner for Health, Edo state, Prof. Obehi Akoria, for her immense support for the event. Our gratitude also goes to Prof. Lilian I. Salami, the Vice Chancellor of UNIBEN,who was the chairman of the occasion.
We wish to specially thank the Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry Health Mr Mahmuda Mamman and our Chief Host Professor Darlington Obaseki, the Chief Medical Director, University of Benin Teaching Hospital. Our appreciations equally go to two of the founding fathers of MDCAN, Professor Phillip Abiodun and Emeritus Professor A.A.E. Orhue for their immense support for the success of this NEC meeting.
We remain grateful to all our speakers especially Dr. Lucky Okparayanote for their insightful lectures and intellectual diets provided to the participants and members of the public. The sponsors of this event are appreciated for their supportive partnership, and we wish to specially thank members of the Fourth Estate for the immense publicity they have given to this event.
Finally, we wish to express our sincere gratitude to our dear hosts, the Executive Committee, and members of MDCAN UBTH, Benin, especially the hardworking LOC of Benin City 2022 for their uncommon hospitality, sacrifice, and dedication towards the success of this event. This LOC has shown the world that Benin city is truly the cradle of human civilization.
Dr. Victor Makanjuola Dr. Yemi R. Raji President Secretary General
Family Kicks As UBTH Seizes Students’ Corpse
The management of University of Benin Teaching Hospital, UBTH, has reportedly held the remains a 12-year-old student of New Era College in Benin, Edo State, Glory Ekeleyede, over inability of the family to settle an outstanding bill of N400,000.
Ekeleyede died on July 15 at the UBTH due to an illness.
Speaking, the deceased’s father, Samson Ekeleyede, said he does menial jobs to feed his family, adding that his daughter’s sickness completely wrecked the family and they were still indebted to many people in their desperation to save her life.
“Our finances were completely wrecked due to Glory’s sickness. I do menial jobs outside to feed my children. My wife sells tomatoes and pepper in the market and that is how we have been managing.
“Glory hardly fell sick but the only time she took ill was the one that led to her death. We took her to some places for treatment because we thought she had a fever but when she wasn’t getting better after three days, we took her to Supreme Hospital where she was born and they referred us to UBTH.
“At UBTH, we did many tests and bought lots of drugs but she eventually died and we were told to pay an outstanding bill of N393,910 before we could take her corpse. They refused to let me have her body until I offset the bill.”
Ekeleyede said his family is appealing to the Edo State government, non-governmental organizations, and public-spirited individuals to come to their aid.
When contacted, the Public Relations Officer of UBTH, Joshua Uwaila, said he was not aware of the case, but stated that the deceased’s father may not have gone through the right channel to seek the assistance of the hospital.
“We have a department; medical social services. That is where cases of indigent patients and social issues are handled and those are the ones that escalate it to management. Of course they also have to do their own investigations to actually ascertain if you are truly indigent.
“So, if you are going to waive bills or you are going to give some person reductions, you need to do your investigations to find out if it’s somebody that is deserving.
“This has to do with federal government’s revenue, and one cannot just by fiat tell them not to pay. The best that they can do is to write to the CMD who is the only that can do something on the issue.
“The management needs payment for services to sustain the hospital. So anything that has to do with government revenue, everyone is careful. It’s a pathetic situation but someone has to pay the money (good Samaritan, charity, NGO) someone should pick the bill.”
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