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Team Nigeria holding strong at World Scrabble Championship



Members of Team Nigeria at the ongoing Scrabble World Championship in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. are giving a good account of the country as the competition enters day three on Tuesday.

A member of the Team Nigeria, Wellington Jighere, with 14 wins, is running a neck and neck race with USA’s Will Anderson, who is topping the chart after day two for a higher cumulative.

Jighere, also a former World Champion, is occupying the second spot, while Nsikakabasi Etim, also a member of the Team Nigeria, recorded 11 wins in 16 games.

However, the duo, who are in the top ten are representing Nigeria which has less players, compared with the host, America.

Other plays include Alec Sjoholm of U.s.; England’s Harshan Lamabadusuriya; Thacha Koowirat from Thailand.


Nigeria born Samson Okosagah, playing for U.S., and Russell Honeybun of Australia are all on 12 wins each, but separated by cumulative points.

The second chasing pack has Canada’s Matthew Tunnicliffe; Conrad Bassett-Bouchard of the United States; Nigeria’s Nsikak Solomon Etim, Chris Lipe of United States.

Also, Andrew Fisher from Australia and Canada’s Joshua Castellano have 11 victories, each.

Other members of Team Nigeria include Emmanuel Ofidi, Olatunde Oduwole, Osahon Omosefe and Temituoyo Mayuku are closing down on the board leaders with 10 wins, respectively.

Olawale Fashina, Dipo Akanbi, Dennis Ikekeregor and Enoch Nwali are jamming back and hard on nine wins.


Current African Champion and King of Governor Diri National Championship, Enoch Nwali, who started day two at number 96 ended the day at 34th spot after recording six wins out of eight games played.

The Health Education Student of the University of Lagos is now on nine wins overall.

Olobatoke Aka, President of Nigeria Scrabble Federation (NSF), also the leader of Team Nigeria delegation said he was very confident that Day three of the Championship would push more Nigerians toward the top end.

“It’s tough out there, the positions at the end of today’s games will determine the outcome.

“We shall know if we will have a shot at the World Championship title,” he said.


The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that these are the Africa’s best individuals standing after day two.

134 players drawn from 29 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, Oceania and North America are participating in the Championship.


Diphtheria: Children at risk as 7,202 cases are confirmed in Nigeria



A staggering 7,202 cases of diphtheria, a highly contagious bacterial infection that can be fatal without treatment, were confirmed in Nigeria last week.

The outbreak has been particularly severe among children under 14, with three-quarters of cases (73.6%) in this age group.

Most cases have been recorded in Kano state, Nigeria’s second most populous state. In the past three months, there have been 453 deaths from diphtheria in Nigeria.

Diphtheria is a vaccine-preventable disease, but low vaccination rates in Nigeria have made the outbreak possible. Only 42% of children under 15 in Nigeria are fully protected from diphtheria.

Diphtheria symptoms begin with a sore throat and fever. In severe cases, the bacteria produce a toxin that can block the airway, causing difficulty breathing and swallowing. The toxin can also spread to other body parts, causing heart kidney problems and nerve damage.


Save the Children is launching a wide-scale health response in the three most impacted states of Kano, Yobe, and Katsina. The organization is deploying expert health and supply chain staff to help overstretched clinics detect and treat diphtheria cases and to support mass vaccination campaigns.

However, Save the Children warns that a mass vaccination campaign will only be successful if the vaccine shortage is urgently addressed.

Severe shortages in Nigeria of the required vaccine and the antitoxin needed to treat the disease mean that the situation could continue to escalate, placing many children at risk of severe illness and death.

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WHO releases $16m to tackle cholera, says Director-General



The World Health Organisation (WHO) has released 16 million dollars from the WHO Contingency Fund for Emergencies to tackle cholera.

Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General said this during an online news conference.

Ghebreyesus said that the organisation was providing essential supplies, coordinating the on the ground response with partners, supporting countries to detect, prevent and treat cholera, and informing people how to protect themselves.

“To support this work, we have appealed for 160 million dollars, and we have released more than 16 million dollars from the WHO Contingency Fund for Emergencies.

“But the real solution to cholera lies in ensuring everyone has access to safe water and sanitation, which is an internationally recognized human right,” he said.


According to him, in the previous week, WHO published new data showing that cases reported in 2022 were more than double those in 2021.

He said that the preliminary data for 2023 suggested was likely to be even worse.

“So far, 28 countries have reported cases in 2023 compared with 16 during the same period in 2022.

“The countries with the most concerning outbreaks right now are Ethiopia, Haiti, Iraq and Sudan.

“Significant progress has been made in countries in Southern Africa, including Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, but these countries remain at risk as the rainy season approaches,” Ghebreyesus said.


According to him, the worst affected countries and communities are poor, without access to safe drinking water or toilets.

He said that they also face shortages of oral cholera vaccine and other supplies, as well as overstretched health workers, who are dealing with multiple disease outbreaks and other health emergencies.

On COVID-19, Ghebreyesus said that as the northern hemisphere winter approaches, the organisation continued to see concerning trends.

He said that among the relatively few countries that report them, both hospitalisations and ICU admissions have increased in the past 28 days, particularly in the Americas and Europe.

WHO boss said that meanwhile, vaccination levels among the most at-risk groups remained worryingly low.


“Two-thirds of the world’s population has received a complete primary series, but only one-third has received an additional, or “booster” dose.

“COVID-19 may no longer be the acute crisis it was two years ago, but that does not mean we can ignore it,” he said.

According to him, countries invested so much in building their systems to respond to COVID-19.

He urged countries to sustain those systems, to ensure people can be protected, tested and treated for COVID-19 and other infectious threats.

“That means sustaining systems for collaborative surveillance, community protection, safe and scalable care, access to countermeasures and coordination,” he said.

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