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Polio victims seek funds to fight disease in Niger

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Victims of Polio in Niger have called on the state government to fund its association to enable members move into the hinterlands to enlighten the populace on the dangers of rejecting rejecting polio vaccination.

The victims, in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency , on Tuesday in Minna, lamented that their association – Polio Affected Persons Association (PAPA) – had not received any government funding “since 2014”.

“We want the Niger Government to resume funding the association as part of measures toward total eradication of the disease in the state,” Mallam Auwal Ahmed, Chairman of the association, who spoke on behalf of his colleagues, said.

“The Niger government stopped funding the association in 2014; such negligence is inimical to public health.

“We need to visit the rural areas of Niger to sensitise, educate and enlighten the people on polio and its immunisation benefits.

“There are still some places in Niger where parents reject immunisation on the excuse that it is evil.

“Our union believes that an annual tour of the 25 local governments is necessary so that members will sensitise and educate the people on the prevention of the disease,” he said.

Ahmed regretted the dearth of funds that had crippled the association, and decried government’s apathy to the plight of polio victims.

“I sincerely call on Governor Sanni Bello to use his good office to come to our aid and appreciate us because PAPA has a very important role to play in the fight against poliomyelitis,” he said.

Ahmed disclosed that women in Mashegu and Kontagora local government areas were in the habit of shunning antenatal and postnatal care, largely because of farm work.

“Most of them prefer to engage in farming activities and have often argued that such exercises were detrimental to public health.

“Such women give birth at home with local midwives attending to them. It is always difficult to convince them to immunise their infants. But if PAPA is funded, we can make a big difference,” he said.

Edited by Olabisi Akinbode and Ephraims Sheyin

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HIV/AIDS: Int’l organisation calls for collaboration to curtail spread

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Mr Batholomew Ochonye, the organisation’s Country Director, told the Nigeria News Agency on Thursday in Abuja that such collaboration was imperative to ensure that no one was left behind in HIV response.

According to Ochonye there can be no meaningful progress if anyone is left out in the provision of prevention and treatment services.

“HIV has the potential to spread fast if untreated and so, we work closely with Ministry of Health, NACA and other stakeholders with support from USAID.”

The country director, who expressed optimism in achieving HIV free community, called for funding for intervention for available to people with vulnerability.

He said minority groups of all kinds, including sexual workers and people who suffer social exclusions due culture and religion are at high risk.

Ochonye restated calls for life saving HIV prevention and care for people who use drugs as well as men who have sex with men to enable them achieve viral suppression.

Ochonye, however, called for support and encouragement for NGOs as well as donors and development partners for improved medication to ensure an end to HIV epidemic by 2030.

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Lagos Governor’s Wife advocates exclusive breastfeeding to lower breast, ovarian cancer risk

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The Wife of the Governor of Lagos State, Dr Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, on Thursday advocated for exclusive breastfeeding to lower the risks of breast and ovarian cancer among women.

Sanwo-Olu made the call at the annual breastfeeding week of the Lagos State Chapter of the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ).

The Nigeria News Agency reports that she was represented by Mrs Funmilayo Obajimi, an official in the office of the Wife of the Governor.

The governor’s wife, who is also a medical doctor, said exclusive breastfeeding could also help women to burn extra calories.

This, she said, is in addition to helping to lower the risk of Osteoporosis, a medical condition in which the bones become fragile from loss of tissue.

”As a mother and medical practitioner, I clearly understand and appreciate the positive effect of exclusive breastfeeding for at least the first six months after delivery on babies.

”Any initiative geared towards bringing it to the consciousness of the people must be appreciated and supported.

”When observed for the first six months after birth, exclusive breastfeeding helps in no small measure to reduce morbidity in children.

”It helps to strengthen the immune system and protects against serious diseases such as respiratory infection, low growth, diarrhea, pneumonia among others,” she said.

According to her, without mincing words, there are several benefits inherent in strict adherence to the practice of exclusive breastfeeding for both children and mothers.

She also advised that all hands should be on deck to create an enabling environment for mothers to breastfeed optimally, considering the theme of this year’s celebration.

She also encouraged fathers to give utmost consideration and to always create time to support nursing mothers.

Sanwo-Olu commended the ‘Nawojians’ for putting up the event, as well as for giving her the opportunity to lend her voice as an advocate of exclusive breastfeeding.

The Mother of the Day, Mrs Toro Oladapo, also emphasised the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding.

Oladapo, a former NAWOJ President, also commended the association’s executives for organising the event.

NAN reports that the 2019 event was entitled: ”Empower Women, Enable Breastfeeding.” 

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World safety organisation restates need for safety of pupils in schools

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The organisation Deputy Director in Nigeria, Dr Okunola Olusola, gave the advice in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Lagos.

Olusola, also a Paediatric Neurologist at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), Benin said: “The first thing a school must do is try to make the environment setting safe for every child’s return to schools.

“Most importantly the crèches where the defenceless babies will be kept should be free from danger.

“I will also advise that beds should be used for the children instead of cots for easy monitoring and in the event any child runs into trouble, such as death.

“Though in Nigeria cot death is not something that we get to see because most of the time the baby stays on the same bed with the mother.

“But, there is need for us to be watchful; the reason why a baby may die in cot varies; some may die of food choking and will not be noticed.”

He also said that some could have breathing problems and seizures which was the reason schools and daycare owners must limit its use.

According to Olusola, bed will not take much space like cots and it is economical to use.

He said if schools were bent on using cots, it should be for fewer babies and more attendants be employed to check on them.

Olusola also warned against laying babies on their tummy, adding that to some, it might not be comfortable for them.

“Laying babies on their tummy may not be beneficial because some babies feel good laying on their back when they sleep.

“The risk of cot death heights between one and four months of age but, remains a threat until babies are 12 months,’’ he said.

The expert said a child that has breathing problem and whose health condition was not good could suffocate and die when left to sleep alone in the cot.

He said that a child suffering from cardiac problem could also die, saying, “all these things cannot be detected after the child’s demise and autopsy will not reveal some of these things’’.

Besides, he urged stakeholders to use every available means to reduce child mortality.

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Immunisation: Katsina Govt targets 2.5m children

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The Katsina State Government says it is targeting to immunise 2.5 million children against child killer diseases in the state.

Dr Kabir Suleiman, the state Director of Disease Control, told the Nigeria News Agency on Thursday in Katsina that the exercise had started and would last up to Aug. 29.

“Children under five years will be immunised against measles, whooping cough, tetanus, Diptheria, yellow fever and Polio.

“The immunisation will be conducted in the 34 Local Government areas of the state.

“Vaccination of the children will be conducted by health personnel working with the State or Local Councils.

“The state government has already procured enough vaccines for the exercise,” Suleiman said.

The director said that the government was collaborating with donor agencies to drive the exercise.

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FCT minister pledges increased support as NYSC swears in 1900 members

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Support

By Kadiri Abdulrahman

Abuja, Aug. 22, 2013 Mr Muhammed Bello, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has pledged the territory’s increased support to the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in the territory.

Speaking during the swearing in ceremony of 1,900 corps members for the 2019 batch “B” Stream 2 orientation course, Bello urged officials of the scheme not to hesitate to present its challenges to his office for urgent action.

He advised corps members to take full advantage of the NYSC Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development programme (SAED) for their post-NYSC self reliance adding that necessary support would be accorded them.

The Minister also assured them that the FCTA was working with all relevant agencies to ensure that their security was guaranteed, while urging them to be security conscious.

Bello’s address was delivered by Mr Samuel Atang, Director of Administration and Finance in the FCTA.

Mrs Walida Siddique-Isa, FCT Coordinator of the NYSC, assured the minister that resources and contributions from the FCTA toward the orientation course were duly received.

The coordinator thanked the administration for improving facilities in the camp, while advising the corps members to be law abiding.

Siddique-Isa who urged the Corp members to be discipline, law abiding, security conscious and always maintain the NYSC dress code, warned them not to tamper with the NYSC uniform as “it is a national symbol .

Chairperson of the NYSC governing board, Mrs Safiya Umar, emphasised that the aim of the scheme was to promote unity and integration.

In an address delivered on her behalf by Mrs Hajarat Alayande, Director of Youth Development, FCTA, Umar urged the corps members to work toward those set goals.

She reiterated the need for corps members to take active part in the SAED programme “for self reliance and to curb  high rate of unemployment as well as long term value creation.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that 1,900 corps members, comprising of 977 males and 917 females took part in the swearing in ceremony.

The  oath was administered by Justice Peter Afen on behalf of the Chief Judge of the FCT.

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