Agency signs MoU with bank to create access for loan for health maintenance



FCT Health Insurance Scheme (FHIS) on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the FCT Microfinance Bank to allow rural dwellers  have access to loan to take care of their health.

The Director of FHIS, Dr Ahmed Danfulani, said that the purpose of the MoU was to allow the people to have access to money for health care services.

He added that the essence of health insurance scheme was to ensure that citizens access basic quality healthcare without necessarily suffering any financial hardship.

Danfulani  said “we are targeting mainly market people, the artisan and those that have small businesses and they don’t have capital, such can be paid for by the microfinance bank and they will sort it out with them over a long period of time.”

Mr Musa Hassan, the Managing Director, FCT Microfinance Bank, said that the signing of the MoU was to allow rural dwellers to have access to quality health services.

It would also bring quality healthcare to people at the grassroots, as they would be required to form cooperatives and open accounts with the microfinance institution.

Alhaji Musa Abdulraheem, the acting Secretary, Health and Human Service Secretariat (HHSS) reiterated the purpose of signing the MoU, adding that it was geared toward achieving Universal Health Coverage in the FCT.

He said that the people could only access the service through collaboration with the bank, and urged FCT residents to approach any health institution to be able to access services.

Meanwhile, Alhaji Arabi Tukur, the Managing Director, Abuja Enterprise Agency (AEA) pledged continuous engagement and strengthening of enterprises in the FCT to facilitate business growth.

He said that part of the mandate of the agency was to accelerate business development, design and implement projects, programmes and activities that would create employment and reduce poverty in the FCT.

Tukur said that in over 13 years of supporting businesses in the FCT and beyond, the agency assisted over 73,450 individuals and businesses to thrive.

He added that “90 per cent of such businesses belong to youths and were supported with business clinics, access to finance, counseling, sensitisation, access to workspace, market linkage and many more.

“The agency has many initiatives designed to create an enabling environment for businesses in the FCT and alleviate poverty.”

Edited by Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu


NYSC partners FRSC to protect corps members



The Ondo State Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Rotimi Adeleye, has said that the FRSC has received marching orders to protect corps members nationwide.

Adeleye said this when the state NYSC Coordinator, Mrs Grace Akpabio, paid an official visit to his office on Friday in Akure.

According to the commander, the directive came from the Corps Marshall, Boboye Oyeyemi, after he met with the Director-General of the scheme, Brig.-Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the NYSC director-general had visited Oyeyemi to solicit for assistance to curb unnecessary journeys embarked upon by corps members.

The visit was also aimed at mapping out strategies to end persistent accidents that had claimed the lives of some corps members.

Oyeyemi promised to visit the camp before the end of the ongoing orientation course, to sensitise corps members on the need to resist the urge to embark on unnecessary journeys.

The FRSC sector commander said that he had briefed his men to ensure that all corps members in the state were adequately monitored to ensure that no life was lost during the festive season and beyond.

He appealed to the NYSC coordinator to encourage the corps members to join first responders’ team so as to immediately report any untoward occurrence that could threaten human lives.

“I want to appeal to you to encourage your corps members to act as first responders immediately there is any traffic gridlock or accident.

“The NYSC management is worried that some of our children, who are serving the nation, are losing their precious lives to road traffic accidents, which could be averted,” he said.

Earlier, Akpabio had said that NYSC management had resolved to make the relationship between the two federal agencies more robust so as to achieve no loss of corps members’ lives.

Akpabio thanked the FRSC for the roles it had been playing in ensuring that corps members serving in the state received priority attention always.

The state coordinator promised to mobilise her field officers to address corps members during their weekly community development meetings not to travel late in the evening or overnight.

She urged the FRSC to always liaise with the various road transport unions to assist corps members navigate the state rather than extort them.

“I want to enjoin you to encourage the transport unions not to take advantage of the corps members serving in the state to extort them, as majority of them are visiting this part of the country for the first time,” she said.

Akpabio stressed that the scheme would be grateful to the FRSC if it could enforce night travel ban on corps members and apprehend the recalcitrant ones.

NAN recalls that the NYSC had expressed concern over the rate at which corps members were losing their lives during needless trips.

Edited by: Emmanuel Okara and

(NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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HIV: NGO to capture, place 22,000 persons on drugs in Nasarawa



An NGO and an Implementing Partner (IP) for programmes — Achieving Health

Nigeria Initiative (AHNi) — on Friday, announced plan to capture and place 22,000 unidentified persons living with HIV on drugs in Nasarawa State.

The group made this known at the end of a five-day workshop in Akwanga, Nasarawa State, to develop 2020 Annual Operational Plan on AIDS

and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD).

Nigeria News Agency reports that AHNi is one of the IPs supporting the fight against the spread of in the state.

It is an indigenous non-profit affiliate organisation of Family Health International (FHI 360), registered in Nigeria in 2009. It

aims to provide technical assistance to the government and people of Nigeria in the implementation of public health and

development programmes.

Dr Terfa Kene, the Institutional Capacity Strengthening Adviser of AHNi in charge of North-Central, said the group

was working to identity the 22,000 persons living with the virus but failed to avail themselves for testing.

He added that once such persons were identified, tested and placed on drugs, it would go a long way in stopping the spread of the scourge.

He said “if we are able to stop the spread, it means that we are moving toward achieving zero per cent spread.”

Kene, therefore, appealed to those who knew their status to come out to access drugs and desist from self inflicted stigmatisation.

He also appealed to the public, especially health personnel, to avoid disclosing peoples’ status to the public.

Mr Olukunle Daramola, the Zonal Team Leader of AHNi North-Central, said the workshop was aimed at developing the

2020 plan to tackle HIV scourge in Nasarawa State.

He said that with the strategic plan for 2020, areas of challenges and difficult terrains that needed more attention would be given

priority “to see that HIV is eventually tackled in the state.

“With this, we will know where to intervene more through sensitisation, drugs and partnership with other stakeholders toward

ending the spread of HIV in the state and even beyond.

The Nasarawa State Commissioner for Health, Ahmed Yahaya, had at the opening ceremony of the workshop announced that

government would boost the fight with N1.8 billion.

Edited by: Abdullahi Mohammed/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu


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GBV: Older persons are being raped too – Sen. Ajoku



Sen. Eze Ajoku, President, Coalition of Societies for the Rights of Older Persons in Nigeria (COSROPIN) on Friday said that older persons were also being violated and raped and called for urgent action to curb such nefarious acts.

Ajoku told the Nigeria News Agency in Abuja that such crime was being perpetrated in silence and without any one talking about it.

He called on government at all levels and stakeholders to rise to the occasion by including the protection of older persons in the campaign against Gender Based Violence (GBV).

“Older persons are being abused every day. Older women are being raped by young persons, even older men. A woman of over 80 years in a Nigerian village said she was raped.

“After she made the revelation, about 26 older women came out to say that they were raped too and this thing thrives in silence,” Ajoku said.

The COSROPIN President who condemned all forms of Gender Based Violence, challenged Nigerians to break the silence which according to him is unacceptable.

He said that it was time to collectively put an end to sexual violence against women especially older persons for a prosperous and disciplined country.

Ajoku wondered how some people had delighted in rape and forceful violations of others, saying that it was time to address the menace.

He, however, appealed to Nigerians to eliminate all forms of elder abuse either in the form of gender violence or abuse by care providers and family members.

According to him, old age is a blessing and old people should end their journey on earth on a joyous note.

“Young people also abuse their parents by neglecting them,’’ he added.

NAN reports that the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) has declared war against Gender Based Violence (GBV) through its programme tagged “Call to Action” aimed at achieving reduction in cases of gender violence.

Edited by: Donald Ugwu


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AIDS: PEPFAR advocates change of narrative in perception



Dr Murphy Akpu, Deputy Coordinator, U.S President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has called for a change of narrative from deadly perception and nomenclature of AIDS in the rural areas.

Akpu made the call at the Candlelight Memorial by Network of People Living with in Nigeria (NEPWHAN) to remember fallen heroes and heroines of AIDS.

He said that it was time to flow with the progress so far made in the fight against by changing the name from the dreadful to a lighter name.

“HIV is no longer as deadly as it is being represented by the name in our different local languages.

“So we need to change that dreadful former name in our localities to what it is really today,” Akpu said.

The PEPFAR boss, who saluted the patient community on behalf of the U.S embassy, commended them for their efforts in the war against AIDS.

Dr Gambo Aliyu, Director-General, National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), reiterated the determination of the agency to continue to support the activities of NEPWHAN.

Aliyu, who was represented by Mrs Josephine Kalu, Director in the agency, expressed desire of NACA to end the epidemics in Nigeria.

He said that the agency had prioritised issues of prevention, treatment and sustainability in ensuring victory over the epidemics.

Also speaking, Mr Adeolu Adebiyi of World Health Organisation (WHO) appreciated the progress so far made in the fight against.

Adebiyi explained that the community should be celebrating access to treatment regiment unlike in the past.

He expressed satisfaction with the availability of facilities today for those living with.

According to him, AIDS is no longer a death sentence; therefore, we need to collectively fight against stigma and discrimination because it has no medication.

Mrs Chidubem Momah, Senior Programme Officer, FHI 360, said that today the epidemic was no longer in control of the community.

Momah commended the community for their relentless efforts in stemming the epidemic as well as reducing the stigma and discrimination.

She however expressed hope that there would be light at the end of the tunnel with collective responsibility and commitment of all.

Mr Ikenna Nwakamma, first co-chairman of Coalition of Civil Societies Network for in Nigeria (CCSNHAN) urged the community to see themselves as lucky people with the introduction of “Undetectable=Untransmitable” campaign.

Nwakamma called for continuous battle to win the war against HIV with awareness and public enlightenment on grey areas such as discrimination and stigma.

Mr Abdulkadiri Ibrahim, National Coordinator, NEPWHAN, described the day as a day to remember the sacrifices of those that died fighting AIDS and those living with the virus.

Ibrahim, who thanked all the partners of the network for their support, promised to continue to speak against discrimination and stigma.

He called on governments at all levels to take critical steps in encouraging the war against AIDS.

According to him, those living with HIV should see Undetectable=Untransmitable campaign as a message of hope because it ensures access to treatment and viral suppression.

NAN reports that candlelight memorial is a continuation of the world AIDS day in which those that have fallen for AIDS are remembered.

Edited by: Donald Ugwu


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2030: FHIS seeks adequate policies to achieve UHC



Dr Ahmed Danfulani, the Director, FCT Health Insurance Scheme (FHIS), on Thursday advocated adequate policies to drive and achieve the agenda of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) before the year 2030.

Danfulani made the call in Abuja during a rally to acknowledge the effort of FHIS and to gather support towards achieving the goal of UHC before the deadline.

According to him, there is need for adequate policies to ensure that we have universal health coverage in this country, especially for the residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

To achieve this, there must be collective activities by all healthcare providers to ensure that we have quality healthcare services.

More importantly, all of us must come together to achieve UHC by the year 2030, UHC requires that nobody must be left behind, everybody must be carried along and when you carry them along, they must not suffered any financial hardships.

Health expenses must stop, there must be access to quality healthcare and facilities in the shortest bridge of all our communities, people must not travel long distance before they can access quality healthcare.

Adequate policy, adequate fund release, adequate provision of law and order, adequate equipment of human resource and without these sir, we cannot achieve the universal health coverage that we are building,’’ he said.

Danfulani thanked the Federal Government for signing the 2014 UHC Act into law that gave birth to the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF), adding that it was in the right direction.

He also thanked the Federal Ministry of Health and the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) for playing their role towards the achievement of the goal.

Speaking also, the FCT Minister, Muhammad Bello, said that the FCTA was committed to keeping the promise of meeting the deadline of 2030 for UHC for all and sundry in the FCT.

The minister, who was represented by Dr Lazarus Gaza, the Director of Human Resources Management, said that it was necessary for the nation to have healthy individuals for economic progress.

We have a saying that health is wealth, if a nation has healthy citizens; it means that nation is wealthy and it goes to say that health is assets that the nation can have.

If we have healthy citizens, it means the nation can be wealthy and productive, the FCT administration is committed to achieving the UHC by year 2030,’’ he reiterated.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the rally/road walk took off from the FHIS office in the Central Area, down to Area 10 through the Festival road to Area 11.

Edited by: Oluyinka Fadare/Felix Ajide

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