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EEDC hails Sir Emeka Offor for contribution to end polio in Nigeria



The Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) has commended Sir Emeka Offor, Chairman of Chrome Group, for his philanthropic contributions to end polio in Nigeria.

The Head, Communications of EEDC, Mr Emeka Ezeh, gave the commendation in a statement made available to Nigeria News Agency on Monday in Enugu.

Offor, who is the Chairman of Board of Directors of EEDC, is also a Nigeria’s Polio-Eradication Champion.

Nigeria News Agency recalls that the last case of polio in Nigeria was recorded on Aug. 21, 2016.

NAN also reports that the country will get the “International Polio-free Certification’’ on Aug. 21 this year, having maintained polio-free status for three years.

Offor, during the weekend made multi-million naira donation to scale-up fight against wild polio virus and get the much-awaited International Polio-free Certification by Rotary International and World Health Organisation (WHO).

Ezeh said that the entire management of EEDC was proud to associate with Offor over his numerous humanitarian gestures of love toward millions of Nigerians.

““His act of philanthropy has impacted lives, both within the South-East region and beyond.

“”Some of these acts include the book distribution initiative, where books as well as other educational materials are distributed to secondary and tertiary institutions.

“”The youth and widow empowerment programme, where widows and youths in their numbers are trained and businesses set up for them to live a meaningful life and cater for their loved ones.”

According to him, these activities are executed by his Foundation, Sir Emeka Offor Foundation (SEOF), a non-governmental organisation, involved in transforming lives through various intervention programmes.

“”These programmes included: Youth Empowerment Scheme, Widows Cooperative Scheme, Education Scholarship Scheme, Health Scheme Services as well as Infrastructure Development Scheme.

“”Although, these have been ongoing over the years,’’ he said.

The EEDC spokesman noted that Offor’s act of philanthropy and generous donations toward germane humanitarian courses should not be misconstrued by social media critics.

“His personal philanthropic gesture as a successful businessman and someone with lots of milk of human kindness has nothing to do with the operations of EEDC.

““It is also important to state that EEDC is a regulated corporate enterprise, manned and managed by qualified and competent personnel.

““Its activities and operations have nothing to do with the gestures by Sir Emeka Offor.

“”Management of EEDC is as well working assiduously to attend to the numerous identified challenges inherent in the network,’’ Ezeh stressed.


Kwara Govt. pledges partnership with PSN, others to fight drug abuse 



Kwara Govt. pledges partnership with PSN, others to fight drug abuse


By Toba Ajayi

Ilorin, Aug. 21, 2019 ( NAN) Kwara State Government has expressed its readiness to partner the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) and other health stakeholders to fight the menace of drug abuse in the state.

Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq said this on Wednesday when he received some members of the PSN led by its President, Mr Sam Ohuabunwa, who paid him a courtesy call at the Government House, Ilorin.

The governor, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Mr Kayode Alabi, also said the state government would collaborate with PSN to improve the health of the people of the state.

AbdulRazaq stressed the importance of the PSN in quality health care delivery and called on stakeholders in the health sector to play critical role in the fight against drug abuse in Nigeria.

He implored members of the society to champion the fight against the high rate of misuse of drugs as the menace was really consuming lives in Nigerians.

The governor pledged the state government’s commitment to formulate policies that would enable pharmacists to hold critical posts in the health sector in Kwara.

Earlier, the PSN President said the society was ready to partner the state government to control drug abuse in order to improve health care delivery in the state.

Ohuabunwa also called on the state government to expand and upgrade its essential drugs programme to meet the health need of the people.

He called for improvement in the welfare of pharmacists in the state as well as improvement in the status of the various health facilities.

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Health ministers assume office, restate commitments to health security, UHC



Dr Osagie Ehanire and Sen. Adeleke Mamowora, the new Minister of Health and Minister of State for Health, assumed office with commitment to boost health security and Universal Health Coverage, (UHC).

Ehanire, who was the immediate past Minister of State for Health, stated this while interacting with newsmen shortly after assuming office on Wednesday in Abuja.

He said that they intend to expand the UHC and improve quality of healthcare services in hospitals.

He assured that they would focus on health security which is in the purview of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and primary health care revitalisation.

Enahire said the ministry would enhance synergy with other relevant stakeholders to improve access to quality healthcare.

On his part, Mamowora promised to work with his closely with colleagues to achieve the three-point agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari in the sector.

Mamowora, also a medical practitioner, said the ministry would work to end inter and intra professional rivalry in the health sector.

He described healthcare sector as a team, but not a solo event, where everybody is important.

Mamowora said the ministry would also strengthen its collaboration and partnership to address access to water and power in health facilities and communities.

“One of the things we were told at the medical school was that some things occur commonly; you talk of cholera and diarrhoea, which occurs due to poor water supply,’’ he said.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that shortly after the inauguration of the 43 ministers by President Muhammadu Buhari, in Abuja, the ministers stepped into the office complex at the Federal Secretariat at about 2 p.m.

The ministers were received by the Permanent Secretary, Mr Abdulaziz Mashi.

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Psychiatric resident doctors vow to continue strike



The Association of Resident Doctors, Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba, has resolved to continue its ongoing indefinite strike demanding for optimal mental healthcare for patients.

The President of the association, Dr Afeez Enifeni, said in a statement on Wednesday in Lagos that the strike would continue until the management addressed the work experience of the overworked doctors.

Enifeni said that the doctors had on Aug. 19 held a meeting to review the current industrial action.

The doctors accused the hospital management of being insensitive to the plight of the in and out patients, who according to him, are receiving suboptimal mental health services.

“The hospital management has blatantly refused to replace the annual exit of resident doctors for the past four years.

“Instead, they have let patient load and clinical work increase significantly for hapless resident doctors whose health and academic pursuits have suffered irreparably.

“In the light of the above, the management’s insistence on employing only five locum doctors is highly provocative of our demands.

“It hardly improves the status quo which already puts overworked resident doctors at the brink of academic failure, health challenges and malpractice suits,” he said.

He urged President Muhammadu Buhari to prevail on the hospital’s management to do the needful in line with the administration’s next level agenda.

The Nigeria News Agency recalls that the resident doctors had embarked on an indefinite strike on July 31 over non-employment of more resident doctors at the hospital.

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Polio: Nigeria marks 3 years free of wild polio, significant milestone for Africa



Nigeria on Wednesday marked three years free of endemic wild polio, the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, has said.

Moeti made this known on Wednesday during telenews conference, saying it shows that Africa had passed a milestone threshold of three years with no case of wild polio virus detected.

“It also signifies that the nation’s progress in fighting the crippling viral disease can result in the whole of WHO Africa region to be certified and declared polio-free early 2020,” WHO director said.

Moeti said that this three-year landmark sets in motion a comprehensive evaluation process by the Africa Regional Certification Commission to determine if the entire WHO African Region of 47 countries could be declared to have eradicated Wild Polio Virus.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that Africa’s last case of wild polio was recorded in Borno on Aug. 21, 2016.

Polio is a highly infectious viral disease that invades the nervous system.

It can cause total paralysis in a matter of hours; the virus is transmitted from person-to-person through ingestion of infected fecal matter

Following infection, the virus is shed intermittently in excrement for several weeks with little or no symptoms in majority of cases.

The initial symptoms of poliomyelitis include fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting, neck stiffness and pain in the limbs.

The latest Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) figures show that there have been a total of 65 cases of wild polio worldwide- 53 in Pakistan and 12 in Afghanistan- so far recorded in 2019.

Moeti, “We are confident that soon we will be trumpeting the certification that countries have, once and for all, kicked polio out of Africa.”

The director commended the continent’s resilience and strong commitment to stopping the virus in overcoming the tough challenges.

“The path to eradicating polio in Africa has been a monumental effort of multinational coordination on an unprecedented scale.

“It involved providing vaccinations to hundreds of millions of children and conducting immunisation campaigns in some of the most remote locations in the world, with vigilance and exhaustive surveillance to timely detect outbreaks, including among people on the move.

“It has involved men and women volunteering in the thousands, sometimes putting themselves in harm’s way, some even sacrificing their life for this work,” she said.

Moeti noted that the successes recorded were possible with the perseverance of countries and partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative who have mobilised the financial and technical resources to get the job done.

On the challenges that could hinder progress, she said they included inaccessibility due to conflict and insecurity in some areas.

“Variations in campaign quality, massive mobile populations and, in some instances, parental refusal have prevented health workers from reaching all children everywhere with polio vaccines alongside suboptimal routine immunisation coverage.

“As a result, outbreaks of circulating vaccine-derived polio virus– a rare occurrence in communities with low levels of population immunity– are still possible in several countries across Africa.

“This August’s milestone on wild polio is a positive sign of progress across the continent, but our work has not yet done,” Moeti said.

The WHO director urged Nigeria and other African countries to remain vigilant in the immunisation and surveillance efforts.

“Every country must continue to ensure that it is closely looking for the virus and reaching every child with vaccines,’’ Moeti said.



Edited by Olagoke Olatoye

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NGO treats 300,000 children in Benue – Official



The Christian Aid-UK, an NGO based in Nigeria, said they have catered for the medical needs of over 300,000 children under five years in Benue in the past three years.

The Senior Programme Coordinator, Community Health, Ms Anne Adah-Ogoh, disclosed this on Wednesday in Makurdi at the official close-out of their three years programme in Benue.

Adah-Ogoh said that Christian Aid Nigeria through its Improved Child Health Project (PICH Project) carried out the intervention in Kwande, Konshisha, Obi and Okpokwu Local Government Areas of Benue.

She said 123,640 children benefited from the programme in Kwande local government; 117, 635 in Konshisha; 53,628 in Obi, and Okpokwu 46,648, respectively.

She said most of the aliments catered for were reoccurring ones like malaria, fever, diarrhoea and pneumonia.

She said the organisation made use of Community Oriented Resource Persons (CORPs) as volunteers, 124 Lower Level Health Facility Workers, 340 Faith and community leaders, and two local partners; Ohonyeta Care Givers and Jireh Doo Foundation, during the intervention.

Adah-Ogoh appealed to relevant authorities in Nigeria to conduct continuous capacity building for community development committees to strengthen advocacy at local government levels.

He further appealed for the provision of portable water and good roads in the rural areas for improved health and human capacity building.

In his goodwill message, the Country Director of the NGO, Mr Charles Usie, commended the Benue Government for providing a conducive environment for the effective implementation of their projects over the years.

Usie appealed to government to ensure that available data is made available at all local government areas for effective usage.

He said the project has ensured availability of drugs and improved healthcare delivery in the remote areas where hitherto had access to no medical facilities.

The Executive Secretary, Benue Health Insurance Agency, Mr Tony Egwa, said the state was in receipt of N1.7 billion federal government counterpart funding for the upgrade of 273 primary healthcare centres in the state.

Egwa said the counterpart funding was possible following the earlier N100 million counterpart fund paid by the state government.

He explained that each of the 273 council wards would benefit from the upgrade of a single primary healthcare centre.

He said that funds would also be used for the eradication of malaria in the state and pledged that the state would improve on the intervention of Christian Aid (UK) Nigeria.

The state Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Dr Sunday Eligwu, commended the organisation for their intervention in childhood illnesses.

Eligwu, who was represented by the State Director of Public Health, Dr Terna Kor, said the state government was planning to establish community based health insurance programmes across the state for improved health.

On his part, Gov. Samuel Ortom, appealed to the NGO to workout modalities so as to carry out similar interventions in the remaining 19 local governments in the state.

Represented by his Special Adviser on Special Duties, Mr Joseph Odaudu, he said the government was ready to facilitate all their projects in the state in every possible way.

“We are ready to partner with you. We will facilitate all your projects in the state because every life saved is worthwhile,’’ Ortom said.

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