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Expectant mothers who consume hard drugs risk birth defect — NGO




Abuja, June 10, 2019 Vanguard Against Drug Abuse (VGADA), an NGO, says intake of hard drugs and alcohol by expectant mothers increases the risk of birth defect.

President of the organisation, Dr Hope Abraham, who made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Tuesday, said that such drugs could affect the physiological development of the foetus.

Abraham noted that hard drugs such as cocaine and alcohol are sedative substances considered strong and likely to pose risks to foetuses and nursing infants.

He added that expectant mothers who indulge in drugs were often prone to miscarriages as well as deliver babies with low birth weight, due to drug effect and poor self-care.

“It can damage the development of the unborn baby in pregnant women and interferes with the ability of the body to absorb calcium and as a result the bones become weak and thin .

“Mothers who take drugs during pregnancy could also give birth to children with foetal alcohol syndrome.

“Other drugs such as crack and heroin causes placental barrier, resulting in addicted babies going through withdrawal soon after birth.

“The expectant mother can develop liver problem, respiratory impairment and memory difficulties while the baby could be born drunk, with defects or die of complications,’’ he said.

Abraham said that the child could also be born with a defective brain which may not be dictated by X-ray and could cause soft damage to the brain.

According to him, it is scientifically proven that a child born into a family of drug addicts could become addicted to drugs due to generic component.

“Some studies have shown that when a child is taken away from parents, who are addicts, the child could still become an addict.

“Hence, it is not the environmental factor that will determine the make up of the child, but the genetic factor,” he said.

He noted that children born drunk could convulse as a result of heavy drinking in the womb and their brain prone to stress.

The NGO boss who also doubled as a medical doctor said that resuscitation could be needed and vitamin supplement administered to the infants immediately after delivery.

“Besides, special nutrition must be given to the child as most of such babies are malnourished from the womb,” he said.

Abraham advised addicted mothers to seek counselling and get treatment through detoxification and rehabilitation from a psychiatrist for about two months before considering conception.


13, 771 expectant mothers, children benefit from emergency transport scheme in Kebbi – Official  



No fewer than 13, 771 pregnant women and under-5 children have benefited from an Emergency Transport Scheme (ETS) initiated by UNCEF and European Union (EU) in Kebbi State in the past three years.

Mr Yusuf Yahuza, ETS Programme Officer, state’s Primary Health Care Development Agency (PHCDA), stated this at a media interactive session on Tuesday in Birnin Kebbi.

Yahuza disclosed that 13, 771 expected mothers and children benefited from free transport services under the ETS scheme between 2017 and 2019.

He explained that the programme was designed to convey pregnant women and children under five years in emergency to the nearest health facility for prompt medical attention.

According to him, a total of 3, 430 women and children were transported under the scheme in 2017; 5, 181 in 2018 and 5, 160 in 2019.

“The figures comprised of 10, 556 pregnant women who were mostly in labour and 3, 250 children suffering from various child killer diseases that requires emergency attention,” he said.

Yahuza who described the scheme “a huge success”, noted that the main goal was to reduce delays associated with conveying people on emergencies to the nearest health posts particularly in hard-to-reach areas with no health facility.

He said the scheme was under the UNICEF and EU-supported Maternal, New-born, Child Health and Nutrition (MNCHN) project, designed to enhance access to quality healthcare services.

Yahuza added that the programme was being implemented in collaboration with the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), the state Ministries of Health and Women Affairs as well as PHCDA.

Others are the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIO), and the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).

The programme officer revealed that a total of 21 focal persons and 675 drivers were trained and equipped by UNICEF and EU, to facilitate smooth implementation  of the scheme in 21 Local Government Areas of the state.

One of the ETS drivers, Mohammed Sifawa, described the scheme as “a service to humanity”.

Sifawa said that he often conveys women in labour to the hospitals in the middle of the night.

“We receive calls sometimes between 12: 00 AM and 2:00 AM, and we have to respond because for a woman in labour, it is between life and death.

“Once we get to the hospital we wait until the woman deliver and then transport her back to her house at no cost, because it was the right thing to do,” said.

Also commenting, Alhassan Aliyu, the NURTW Secretary in Argungu LGA, said that the ETS drivers who carry out such services were made to load their vehicles before any other drivers as incentives.

Aliyu explained that the drivers were attached to specific communities and their phone numbers made available to the community members to call during emergencies for immediate transportation to the hospitals.

According to him, the scheme has helped in building mutual relations between community members and the drivers, adding that such relationship is helping to save lives.

On his part, Aminu Mohammed, the Director, Road Traffic, Vehicle Inspection Office (VIO), said that their role was to ensure that the drivers were qualified and licensed.

Mohammed said that the drivers, kitted with reflective jackets, face cap and Identification Card, were given speedy passage on the highways to prevent delay.

Also, Abdullahi Mohammed, the Route Commander of the FRSC, said that the drivers were adequately trained on how to transport women and children during emergency.

“We particularly trained them on how to ensure that their vehicles are in good shape before conveying any woman; they are also exposed to Highway Code and the need to obey traffic rules,” Mohammed added.

Edited By: Rabiu Sani Ali

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Food vendors, exhibitors expectant of better times as Lagos Trade Fair opens



Food vendors and exhibitors on Friday in Lagos, spoke on their expectations at the 2019 Lagos International Trade Fair opened at the Tafawa Balewa Square.

Mrs Agnes Emodofu, a Food vendor, prayed this years fair would profit her.

“I feel this year’s fair will be better because I didn’t gain last year.

“So, I expect that the sales will be more and there would also be increased awareness for people to turn up,” Mrs Agnes Emodofu, a food vendor told the Nigeria News Agency at the venue.

She said that even though there had been radio and television jingles, more could still be done to increase interest in the fair.

Emodofu said she was, however, unhappy she had yet to have power supply at the venue.

“You can see how my customers are sweating; the organisers promised to give us steady light but nothing yet. Power supply should have come a day before this day,’’ she said.

Mrs Nwanyi Ijeoma, another food vendor, also looked forward to a good outing, but prayed the environment would become more conducive as the days go by.

‘`We were promised electricity but till this minute there is no light; asides no electricity, there is also inadequate sanitary facilities for people to use.

“I hope as the fair progresses, all these basics would be put into place,’’ she said.

Mr Hope Akan, the Marketing Manager of Nycil Baby Products, said he hoped to make good sales in spite of low purchasing power of people.

He said that though there was a slow start with regard to access to some basic facilities, it could pick up later.

“We paid for light, but there is no light for now and we do not know the reason why it is so.

“However, this is the first day of the fair, so I feel they are still setting up some facility. I hope before the day runs out, there will be supply,’’ Akan said.

However, at 2.30pm when this story was filed, there was still no power supply.

NAN also reports that many exhibitors were still setting up their stands.

Conglomerates like the DSTV, PEPSI, were seen setting up their stands while young boys and girls were being briefed about how to market their goods.

Cleaners where seen cleaning and picking up litters around the complex.

Security men were also seen on ground to ensure there was peace and orderliness in the complex.

The trade fair will end Nov. 10.

Editing by Oluwole Sogunle




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General news

Nigerians expectant from Buhari’s current cabinet — APC South Africa



The All Progressives Congress (APC), South Africa Chapter, on Thursday said that Nigerians were expecting a lot from President Muhammadu Buhari’s new cabinet, hence the need for them to hit the ground running.

The group, in a letter addressed to the President and jointly signed by Mr Bola Babarinde and Prof. Folorunso Fasina, the Chairman and Secretary-General respectively, said there should be no need for fanfare.

A copy of the letter made available to the Nigeria News Agency in Lagos on Thursday, is entitled: “Re: Nomination and Inauguration of Ministers and the Federal Cabinet”.

The group, which congratulated Buhari on his second term in office and appointment of ministers, said the appointed cabinet members were chosen based on their pedigrees and abilities for service delivery.

“We also congratulate you on the inauguration and assigning of portfolios to the members of the Federal Cabinet under your leadership.

“We use the opportunity to congratulate all ministers and other political appointees and to advise them to hit the ground running immediately.

“As you have attested to, the society expects a lot from the current cabinet, therefore, there is no room for fanfare and unnecessary celebrations, a situation that may give room for sycophancy and mediocrity,” it said.

The chapter urged the appointees not to allow anyone to mislead them and make them derail from the president’s set agenda.

“We commend the president for restructuring of the cabinet, reorganisation of the ministries, especially that of the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing.

“We believe that Babatunde Fashola will now be able to function more effectively in the ministry with a reduced workload.

“The merger of the Ministry of Finance with National Planning will help the Federal Government in faster turn-around and quick decision making on budget and fund disbursement to ministries.”

According to the group, the cabinet members should desist from building walls around themselves, but be open to listen to all criticisms and be ready to humble themselves and serve the people they swore to work for.

The group, which noted that it was aware that some people in the Diaspora were creating a negative image of the country, added that there were also many positive minded ambassadors of the country in the Diaspora.

“The leadership and members of the APC South Africa are ready and willing to support the current cabinet to succeed if given the opportunity to contribute positively to moving our nation forward.

“We are pleased to communicate our continuing loyalty to your government and our availability and willingness to collaborate with the executive,” the group said.

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Abia govt. discourages expectant mothers from patronising quack birth attendants




Abia govt. discourage expectant mothers from patronising quack birth attendants


Adindu made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Umuahia on Monday.

He expressed concern that expectant mothers in Nigeria were going through difficult circumstances during child birth, leading to high rate of maternal mortality.

He said, “Most of our mothers do not feel comfortable going to hospitals and health centres when they want to give birth.

“They rather visit quacks and many of them die in the process.”

He expressed the hope that the initiative would help to reduce the activities of quacks.

According to him, some  communities in the state, especially in Ohafia Local Government Area, have made it compulsory for all expectant mothers to patronise health centres or recognised hospitals during child birth.

“In these communities, any woman caught going to quacks or other places rather than government health facilities will have to pay a fine.

“That measure will actually make people to patronise our health facilities,” Adindu said.

He said that government had equipped some of the health facilities to attend to antenatal challenges.

He said that the Wife of the Governor, Mrs Nkechi Ikpeazu, had distributed thousands of delivery packs to the health centres.

“You don’t need to go to market, the entire delivery pack is there. We are giving free antenatal care and free delivery in our primary healthcare centres.

“But if it involves surgery, we will refer the patient to a secondary health facility,” Adindu said.

He said that the agency had also successfully carried out capacity building for workers in the agency.

He said that the gesture was designed to ensure that its health professionals were armed with the necessary skills to handle issues of child birth.

NNN reports that Nigeria loses approximately 145 women of childbearing age and 2,300 children under five daily due to lack of basic health care.

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Kano Govt. distributes safe delivery kits to 2,000 expectant mothers




Muhammad Nur Tijani‎

Kano,March 20,2019 The ‎Kano State Government on Wednesday distributed delivery kits worth N150 million to more than 2,000 pregnant women in the state.

Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje said while distributing the kits at Gama Primary Health Care center in Nasarawa Local Government Area that the gesture was to assist the women.

Ganduje represented by his, deputy, Alhaji Nasiru Gawuna, said, “today we are witnessing another milestone as we distribute free delivery kits to pregnant women in the state.

“The exercise is aimed at reducing hardships and saving the lives of pregnant women during delivery in the state.”

‎He said the state government spent N150 million in the purchase of the kits which included diapers, surgical gloves, sanitary pads, baby soap, oil and other materials.‎

Ganduje added that government had trained 1,936 traditional birth attendants and distributed over 10,000 delivery kits to women in the state.

‎The governor said that the training had enriched the skills of the attendants on safe delivery of babies.

The state’s Commissioner for Health, Dr Kabir Getso, said the state government was committed to providing free quality healthcare, especially to women and children who were the most vulnerable in society.‎

According to him, the state government also renovated 300 primary and secondary health facilities to ensure effective healthcare delivery services in the state.

‎Meanwhile, government has flagged off distribution of over 3,000 medical glasses, drugs as well as free cataract and lid repair surgeries across the state. ‎

‎Eedited by Ejike Obeta

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Bauchi expectant mothers conveyed to health facilities in ‘wheel-barrows, pick-up vans, says guber candidate






Alhaji Shuaibu Adamu, Governorship candidate of New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) in Bauchi state said expectant mothers in some rural areas of state were being conveyed to health facilities in ‘wheel barrows’ and ‘pick-up vans’ .

Adamu made the remark on Sunday in Bauchi while fielding questions from members of the public during an interactive session organized for governorship candidates of all political parties in the state.

The candidate, who said he observed such development while on campaign tour of the state, said most health facilities in rural areas across the state  lacked enough qualified health personnel.

He also attributed the high rate of malnourished children in the state to poverty ravaging the people.

“The high rate of malnourished children in the state is due to corresponding high level of poverty being experienced in the state.

“If elected into office, our government will introduce a deliberate programme whereby mothers will be  given food supplements after delivery for their babies,” he said.

Adamu said that the NNPP would replicate the current Federal Government’s school feeding programme as complement, especially in primary and secondary schools.

He also pledged that his administration would work with the 42 CLOs in the state towards evolving various nutritional and health programmes for mothers and children.

The governorship candidate also promised to conduct local government elections in the his first year in office,  to enable the third tiers of government stand on its own.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NNN) reports that the interactive session was organized by CSOs and CLOs in Bauchi state. (NNN)


Edited by Kamal Tayo Oropo

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Kano State Govt distributes safe delivery kits to expectant mothers




By Tukur Muntari
Kano, Feb. 15, 2019 (NNN) The Kano State Government has distributed safe delivery kits to 300 expectant mothers free of any charge in Garo town of Gwarzo Local Government Area of the state.

The Wife of the state governor, Dr Hafsat Abdullahi Ganduje, distributed the items at the Garo Comprehensive Health Centre as part of effort to boost healthcare delivery system in the state.

Presenting the items to the beneficiaries on Friday, Hafsat called on them to make the best use of the facility to ensure safe delivery.

She said the state government was committed to providing quality healthcare free especially to women and children who are the most vulnerable in the society.

The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Kabiru Getso, said the state government spent N150 million on the purchase of the kits for distribution to expectant mothers across the state.

He said in addition, the state government had also procured treated mosquito nets which had been distributed to various health facilities for onward distribution to pregnant women.

According to him, the state government also renovated 300 primary and secondary health facilities to ensure effective healthcare delivery services.

He said other services and drugs being offered free to patients include accident and emergency, HIV and anti-malarial drugs.

Meanwhile, the state government says it has empowered 2,000 men and women with N40 million in the local government area.

NNN reports that each of the beneficiaries was given N20,000 to establish small scale businesses.

Other empowerment materials distributed at the occasion include spaghetti making machine, sewing and grinding machines. (NNN)
Edited by Muhammad Suleiman Tola

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Artist seeks protection of online intellectual property right



Obinna Makata, a Visual Artist, on Sunday urged the Federal Government to formulate policies for protection of artists’ works exhibited online in view of the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic..

Makata told the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos that the protection was necessary since the art industry had embraced online exhibitions as against the conventional physical exhibitions.

He said there was a great need for the establishment of favourable policies protecting artists’ intellectual property right to guard against their works being duplicated.

“With our embrace of online exhibitions and art auction, this will give room for increased cases of duplicated art works, which is criminal.

“We want government to establish policies that will automatically protect the property right of all artists, this is very important at this critical period,” he said.

Makata also called on art collectors and gallery owners who were usually involved in sales and exhibitions of art works to ensure mechanisms were put in place to guard against theft in the industry.

According to him, these set of individuals could ascertain the original owners of various art works being purchased or exhibited in the galleries.

The artist sympathised with the families of those who lost their lives due to the Coronavirus pandemic, adding that he produced a sculptural piece during the lockdown which he entitled “Palliative Expectant”.

He said that the art work addressed the way Nigerians were treated during the distribution of palliatives for the COVID-19 lockdown.

“In my work, “Palliative Expectant”, I used animal bones as my medium depicting decay, decadence and death; I also used crutches representing limitations experienced by majority of Nigerians at that period when they could not go out to get means of survival.

“This is only the first series out of the many I will be coming up with because am still gathering information about the pandemic.

“The essence of the work is to keep history alive for generations to know happenings during the Coronavirus pandemic,” he said.

Makata noted that he experienced lots of frustrations during the lockdown period, when he exhausted his painting materials and had nowhere to buy from.

He said that prompted him to explore animal bones as a medium which he was able to explore well and gained full understanding of the medium.

“Before the lockdown, I was exploring Ankara fabric and Ghana-must-go bags as my medium but now I have fully explored and understood animal bones as a good medium also.

“The lockdown period afforded me the opportunity to do this,” he said.

Edited By: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)




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Singer Simi raises concerns over plight of women in decision making



Popular Nigerian singer, Simisola Ogunleye a.k.a Simi as expressed concern over the plight of women attaining their optimum  goals especially in decision making processes.

She said via her Twitter account @Simplysimi on Monday that women have to sweat to gain spots in policies and decision making processes in the country.

She wrote,

“I woke up angry today cos of a conversation I had before bed.

“Women are so strong. So obviously strong. You sweat blood for a spot at a table that disrespects a sweat. 


“Then you spend every single day convincing people you belong there. And the damn table isn’t even all that.


“And when you say “F…. it. My life, my rules.” They ask why. It’s because it never ends. Nothing is ever enough. And complaining is a waste of time.


This is why most of the women that STAY winning have to win on their own terms. Ass-kissing is exhausting.’’


The bubbly expectant mother said that, her tweets were triggered by a discussion she had before going to bed the previous night.


She noted that although I have women are so strong but they have to struggle twice as hard to get a spot at the table, and when they get a table, they are still disrespected.


Angry at the situation of things, Simi said women have to spend every single day of their lives trying to convince people that they belong where they are.


The 32 year old singer stated that when women finally decide to be in charge of their lives and make their own rules, they are still questioned.


Simi said that she still has a lot to say about the subject matter, but noted that it is not yet the right time.


According to her, if she does not spill out what was in her mind, she may stay angry all day.


Simi, recently took to her Instagram account to share a similar story saying that feminism makes men vulnerable.


The singer stated that feminism makes many men feel vulnerable because the same society that makes them feel superior wants  women to become better.

Simi explained that life would actually be easier for everyone if men also support feminism.

The singer and her husband Adekunle Gold are expecting their first child as revealed in the music video for Simi’s latest song “Duduke”.

With lines such as “I cannot wait to see you, you are the treasure I have been waiting for… I am waiting for the day I finally get to kiss you,” a heavily pregnant Simi sings to her unborn child.

Released under her own record label, Studio Brat, “Duduke” is Simi’s first official single in 2020.

Edited By: JaneFrances / Ekemini Ladejobi (NAN)

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