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49% children under five not growing well in Nigeria-UNICEF

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The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), said 49 per cent of children under the age of five in the country do not grow well as they are either stunted, wasted or overweight.

UNICEF Nigeria said this in a statement and added that malnutrition remains a major public health and development concern.

It said breastfeeding can save lives but regretted that only 27 per cent of children under six months of age were exclusively breastfed and an increasing number of children were fed infant formula.

“This means many Nigerian children are missing out on the life-saving benefits of breastmilk which is a baby’s first vaccine and offers the best possible nutrition at the start of life.”

UNICEF warned that poor eating and feeding practices started from the earliest days of children’s life put them at risk of poor brain development, weak learning, low immunity, increased infections and, in many cases death.

It said the malnutrition level in the country should be tackled and appealed to government, private sector, donors, parents, families and businesses to help children grow healthy.

It said that should this by investing more resources in interventions aimed at preventing malnutrition among young children and supporting treatment when prevention fails, supporting nursing mothers to adequately feed and care for their children.

It also advocated the the empowering  of families, children and young people to enable them to “demand nutritious food, including improving nutrition education and using proven legislation such as sugar taxes to reduce demand for unhealthy foods.”

UNICEF said healthy food environments for children and adolescents should be built by using proven approaches such as accurate and easy-to-understand labelling and stronger controls on marketing unhealthy foods.

It also said supportive systems on health, water, sanitation, education and social protection should be mobilised to scale up nutrition results for all children. (NAN)

NHM/JEO/JCE

Edited by Jane-Frances Oraka/Chukwudi Ekezie

Health

Marie Stopes task media on family planning advocacy

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An NGO, Marie Stopes International Organisation Nigeria (MSION), has urged media practitioners to advocate for the adoption of family planning methods for healthier and productive families.

The Director Programmes and Operations of MSION, Mr Emmanuel Ajah, made the call at a two-day workshop organised for journalists by the organisation in Ibadan, in collaboration with Network of Reproductive Health Journalists of Nigeria.

Ajah said more awareness on modern contraceptives would aid family planning, and increase productivity and development in the nation, especially in rural areas.

He added that with this, women would be empowered to have children by choice and not by chance.

He said “MSION is at the forefront of expanding universal access to modern contraceptive methods, especially in rural areas and among less privileged populations.”

He noted that “Nigeria’s modern contraceptive prevalence rate is at 12 per cent, but this can be better with improved commitment and active engagement and participation of all stakeholders.”

According to him, cultural, social, economic and religious barriers are still inhibiting women’s access to modern family planning services, hence the need for more advocacy.

Mr Emmanuel Ugoji, a Media Consultant with IPAS and Marie Stopes Nigeria, stressed the need for more funding toward family planning services in the country, particularly in rural areas.

Ugoji said that 2019 witnessed a decline in funding for family planning programmes as government paid 958,000 dollars against four million dollars released in 2018.

Mrs Angela Onwuzoo, the Treasurer, Network of Reproductive Health Journalists of Nigeria, urged media professionals to use their reportage to influence government to provide free family planning services in hospitals.

Onwuzoo also called on journalists to educate the people on the benefits of family planning.

Some of the participants at the workshop thanked the organisers for the education on sexual reproductive health.

Miss Blessing Agu, a blogger from Enugudaily.com, said “the workshop has strengthened the capacity of media professionals, built in-depth understanding of sexual and reproductive health and rights issues.

“This exercise will enhance media reporting of reproductive health issues, promote public knowledge and address myths and sentiments regarding family planning and sexual reproductive health, thus enable women to give birth to desired number of children.”

Mr Seye Ojo, from the Sun Newspaper, said the workshop had equipped him with more knowledge on sexual reproductive health and he would work toward correcting the myths concerning family planning methods.

Edited by Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu

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NGO, Govt. collaborate on fight against pneumonia in Jigawa

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Pneumonia

Abdullahi Shugaba

Dutse Nov. 16, 2019 (NAN An NGO, Save the Children, says it is collaborating with the Jigawa government and traditional institutions to ‘knock out’ pneumonia in state.

The Project Manager of the organisation, Mr. Abdullahi Magama disclosed this in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Dutse on Saturday.

He said that as effort was being made by the government in the areas of maternal mortality, ante-natal, post-natal, routine immunization, polio eradication, among others, less was being done in the issue of pneumonia phenomenon.

The project manager lamented that over one million children’s lives were being lost annually in Nigeria as a result of pneumonia but the society was doing nothing to arrest the situation.

Magama stressed that pneumonia is a preventable and curable disease.

He said that it is in view of this that the NGO has selected Kiyawa as a pilot Local Government Area to sensitize, educate and enlighten the people on the possible causes and treatment of pneumonia.

According to him, good health practices like routine immunization, exclusive breast feeding, good nutrition, improved indoor ventilation, environmental hygiene and sanitation will prevent pneumonia.

Magama stated that Pneumonia is an inflammation of the lungs caused by bacterial or viral infection, in which the air sacs is filled with pus and may become solid which is accompanied with difficulties in breathing.

He said that pneumonia can be caused by a variety of organisms, including bacteria, viruses and fungi.

The Project Manager said that the signs and symptoms of pneumonia include chest pain, cough, fatigue, fever, sweating and difficulties in breathing, among others.

Magama disclosed that relevant stakeholders like the State Primary Health Care Development Agency, UNICEF, WHO, Nigerian Medical Association, Civil Society Organizations, traditional institutions, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria have pledged to assist in the fight against pneumonia in the state.

The District Head of Kiyawa, Alhaji Adamu Aliyu told the Nigeria News Agency in an interview that the NGO should take their sensitization and enlightenment campaigns on pneumonia to market squares at the grassroots

The Jigawa Commissioner for Health, Dr. Abba Umar has pledged the commitment of the state government to assist in the fight against the scourge in the state. .

Edited by Tukur Muntari.

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Oyo govt., NGOs partner to combat diseases among school pupils

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Partnership

Ibadan, Nov. 16, 2019 The Oyo state government has expressed its readiness to collaborate with Non-Governmental organisations to curb the menace of neglected tropical diseases among primary school pupils.

Dr Wasiu Olatunbosun, the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, said this in a statement in Ibadan.

He quoted Dr Nureni Adeniran, the Executive Chairman, Oyo State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), as saying this when he received executive members of the State Primary Health-care Board and a non-governmental organisation, Evidence Action, in his office.

According to the statement, the NGO is on an advocacy visit to the SUBEB boss.

“Adeniran, on behalf of the state government, promised to lend necessary support required to the team, so as to ensure that Primary schools across 33 Local governments are reached by the programme.

“We would ensure Universal Basic Education Authorities across the 33 Local Governments receive circulars alerting them of this exercise ahead of its commencement on Nov. 26,’’ he said.

The SUBEB boss said the board was also looking into ways of engaging in preventive other than curative measures.

He noted that it was practically impossible for the state government alone to engage in such activities without involving NGOs.

“School-based de-worming exercise for primary school pupils in the state is an exercise which should not be taken with levity, considering the havoc some of these neglected tropical diseases may have caused in some parts of the country,” he stressed.

He added that the state government was fully aware of the dangers involved in the neglect of tropical diseases.

“This is why the government is lending its full backing of the de-worming exercise,” he said.

He also expressed optimism that deworming exercise would be extended to out-of-school children in each local government area of the state.

The statement further revealed that the visit by the team was to intimate the SUBEB of the forthcoming de-worming exercise, which serves as curative measure for some tropical diseases, especially in rural areas.

“The Nov. 26 annual outreach exercise is organised by the State Primary Health-care Board in collaboration with Evidence Action, targeted at primary school children.

“De-worming drugs would be administered to every child, while it would end on Nov. 29,” the statement said.

Edited by Ekemini Ladejobi/Donald Ugwu

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Kebbi Govt. begins vaccination of 978,000 children against measles, meningitis

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The Emir of Gwandu, Alhaji Muhammadu Bashar, on Saturday urged parents in Kebbi to get their children vaccinated against measles and meningitis, to safeguard their health status.

The emir, who made the call in Birnin Kebbi at the official flag off of measles and meningitis vaccination campaign in the state, said it was in the interests of the parents to do so.

”We are calling all parents to have their children vaccinated against measles and meningitis across the state because measles and meningitis are killer diseases, so that we stand the best chance of permanently eradicating the diseases.”

The emir directed all village and ward heads in his domain to mobilise people under them to avail their children for  the vaccination.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Hajiya Halima Dikko, who was represented by Dr Abubakar Bature, said 978,000 children would be vaccinated against measles and meningitis across the 21 local government area of the state.

Dikko explained that the measles vaccination was for children aged 9-59 months, while the meningitis vaccination was for children between 12 to 59 months.

She assured parents that the vaccines were effective, safe and free.

”This campaign for the two antigens would be done concurrently by 4,000 trained health workers at 400 vaccination points in all the 225 wards across the state ”, she added.

She thanked Gov. Abubakar Bagudu and development partners such as WHO and Unicef for their support.

Also, the representative of National  Primary Health Care Development Agency, Mr Akuso Yahaya, urged parents to use the opportunity to bring their children for the vaccination.

Edited by Maharazu Ahmed

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NAFOWA to partner with KDSG in assisting VVF patients

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Resident of Hayin Banki queuing to receive medical treatment during a Community Health Outreach organised by NAFOWA in Kaduna on Saturday.  Pic NAN.

NAFOWA to partner with KDSG in assisting VVF patients

Medical Outreach

By Mohammad  Tijjani

Kaduna, Nov. 16, 2019 The Nigerian Airforce Officers Wives Association (NAFOWA) says it will collaborate with Kaduna State Government towards assisting Vesico-vaginal Fistula (VVF) patients in the areas of recovery and rehabilitation.

Dr Safiya Suleiman, NAFOWA Chairperson at the Air Training Command Kaduna, stated this while flagging off a Community  Health outreach program at Hayin Banki  community in Kaduna, on Saturday.

“Presently the Ministry of Health is in the process of collaboration with NAFOWA ATC chapter  to provide  assistance to VVF patients in Kaduna State in areas of both recovery and rehabilitation,” she said.

Suleiman explained that the association has been engaging into other initiatives aimed at empowering women in the barracks.

The Nigeria News Agency reports  that  some of the services offered at the medical outreach programme included optical, dental, family planning and immunization services.

Other include deworming, provision of treated mosquito nets and other consumables like clothings.

NAN also report that  the outreach is targeted at over 1,500 residents of Hayin Banki community members.

According to Suleiman, the association will delve into wet dry season rice farming and will upgrade its bakery to boost the financial status of the chapter.

The Chairperson express appreciation to the NAFOWA National  President, Hajiya Hafsat Sadiq for having  the vision and ability to add value to human lives within the nooks and cranny of the country.

Also speaking, the Air Officer Commanding Air Training Command, AVM  Mohammed  Suleiman noted that the Airforce has always placed great value to the development and provision of adequate health facilities, to take care of its personnel and host communities.

Suleiman commended NAFOWA for impacting tremendously on the lives  of Nigerians through its programmes.

In her remarks, the Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, Dr Hadiza  Balarabe expressed hope that such initiative would enable bonding and regeneration of the spirit of oneness for which Kaduna is known for.

The Deputy Governor was represented by the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health, Dr Mahmud Shuaibu.

Balarabe commended NAFOWA for the offer of free healthcare to communities and said the state government would collaborate with the association to provide assistance to VVF patients.

“The initiative is worthy of emulation by all other agencies and organisations domiciled in Kaduna State.

“On my part, we will not fail in providing the needed nod of approval for any venture which would be of benefit to the people  of Kaduna state, ” she said.

Edited by Maharazu Ahmed

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Adamawa launches measles, meningitis vaccination campaign

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The Adamawa State Government has commenced mass vaccination of children against measles and meningitis ‘A’ across the state.

The exercise, tagged: “2019 Integrated Measles and Miningistis ‘A’ Vaccination Campaign’’ was launched at a ceremony on Saturday, in Girei, headquarters of Girei Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.

The Deputy Governor of Adamawa, who is also the Chairman Taskforce on Immunisation, Chief Crowther Seth, urged all stakeholders to ensure the success of the exercise.

Seth urged parents and caregivers to avail their children the opportunity to be immunised.

While calling for sustenance of the exercise, the deputy governor lauded the effective role of the media, traditional and religious leaders, in mobilising the public for the vaccination.

He also commended development partners such as WHO, UNICEF, and others, for their support to the state in delivering quality healthcare services.

Seth directed local government chairmen in the state to show serious commitment by attending evening review meetings on the exercise to address any challenges.

In her remarks, the Executive Chairperson of Adamawa State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Batulu Muhammad, said measles and meningitis were highly contagious and dreaded diseases that needed to be contained with the coming dry season.

Muhammad said the state was targeting more than 800,000 children for measles vaccination and 750,000 children for meningitis in the two-week exercise.

Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Mr Kennedy Bartimaus, said the ministry had enough doses of vaccines for the exercise; adding that parents needed to know that getting children vaccinated was a right and not a privilege.

Speaking on behalf of development partners, Mr Iyobosa Igbinovia of WHO, lauded Adamawa for embarking on and being part of the mass exercise.

Igbinovia assured the state of sustained support from the partners in areas of healthcare delivery.

In their respective remarks, the Chairman of Girei LGA, Alhaji Mohammed Njidda and the District Head of Girei, Alhaji Ahmed Mustafa, lauded the choice of Girei for the launch and assured their commitment to mobilise for its success.

Edited by Nyisom Fiyigon Dore

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