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FG committed to scale up response to drug abuse epidemic

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FG committed to scale up response to drug abuse epidemic

Drug

Hajiya Aisha Abubakar, Minister for Women Affairs and Social Development, has said the Federal Government was commitment to scale up its response to drug abuse epidemic and rehabilitation of victims.

Abubakar said this when some members of the Queens College Old Girls Association, Northern chapter, visited her on Thursday in Abuja.

She noted that drug abuse had become a major public health and security challenge in Nigeria, saying it placed a significant threat to the social, health, economic fabric of the family and the productivity of the nation at large.

“The most recent statistics on Drug and Crime Use in Nigeria in February 2019 (report by United Nations Office) indicates that addictiveness to illicit and prescriptive drugs cut across all ethnicities, social groups, gender and age, and rate burden of drug use is on the increase in Nigeria.

“The high incidence of drug use by increasing numbers of women and children is most worrisome as these results in broken marriages, dysfunctional homes and an increase in social vices.

“These challenges are pointers to the fact that the drug epidemic is now a national emergency that calls for concerted efforts and collaborative action by all,” the minister said.

She said that most women and children affected are afraid to report or give information because they may be ridiculed, stigmatised or isolated.

Abubakar said the ministry was open to work with committed stakeholders who can join in the efforts to stop the negative tide.

Earlier, the President of the Association, Hajiya Fatima Betara, said that drug and substances abuse as well as addiction were serious epidemic particularly in the North.

She said research had shown that women particularly were turning to drugs to cope with social issues and divorce, abuse and depression, among others.

“The Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative were derived from the mission of the main association to positively affect our immediate communities and country at large.

“The chapter recognises that government cannot do it all alone and requires the contribution of its citizenry who are poised and ready to contribute to national development.

“Being gender focused, we have decided to target on women, the girl child and other similar issues,” Betara said.

General news

NIMR, Mobihealth launch first home COVID-19 self-swab test

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The Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Yaba, Lagos, in partnership with the Mobihealth on Tuesday launched the first home Teleconsultation COVID-19 self-swab test in the country.

Prof. Babtunde Salako, Director-General of NIMR, said the do it yourself swab testing would help to increase the number of testing.

Today, NIMR and Mobihealth launched a do it yourself swab sampling to expand coverage and the number of test per day via telemedicine approach run by Mobihealth,” Salako twitted.

The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that NIMR had earlier in a statement said the partnership would help to pilot research into the efficacy of developing telemedicine guided COVID-19 home self-swab test sample collection.

It said the programme would involve 2,000 sample collection over a period, while individuals will be guided on how to conduct a self-swab test sample collection.

The institute added that the objective is to collect rapidly and safely in order to test large samples of people for the virus.

The statement said the system will limit face to face testing and reduce the spread of infection, especially among health workers.

Mobihealth, in partnership with medical logostics firms and Lifebank, will facilitate the contactless smooth delivery and collection of self-swab test to the subject home.

Mobihealth is an international innovative telemedicine and digital healthcare platform with a mission to provide everyone on the planet timely access to quality healthcare services from around the world.

NAN reports that the institute started a drive through testing of COVID-19 on March 30, in strong partnership with Lifebank, led by Temie Giwa-Tubosun.

NIMR was established in 1977 to conduct research on diseases of public health importance in Nigeria.


Edited By: Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)

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Defence/Security

Police arrest officer over alleged killing of motorcycle operator in Adamawa

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Police in Adamawa on Tuesday confirmed the arrest of their officer, who allegedly shot and killed a commercial motorcycle operator in Maiha Local Government Area of the state.

DSP Sulaiman Nguroje, the state Police Command Public Relation Officer, confirmed the development to the News Agency of Nigeria in Yola.

Nguroje said the incident occurred on Monday at about 9 a.m in Maiha town of Maiha local government area.

“The officer is currently under arrest and the Commissioner of Police, Mr Olugbenga Adeyanju, has given directive for thorough investigation into the matter.

“As soon as the investigation is completed, the suspected officer will be charged to Court for appropriate action,” Nguroje said.

He warned that officers and men were given riffles to protect lives, not to take lives of innocent citizens and should always discharge their duty within the rule of law and to respect human rights.

Nguroje also appealed to the citizens of the state to desist from taking laws into their hands, as the Command was making efforts to protect  their lives and properties.

Alhaji Idi Amin, the Chairman of Maiha Local Government Council, expressed dismay over the incident and described it as “unacceptable”.

Amin assured the family of the deceased, Arabo Tambajam, 20, and the people of Maiha town that the local government council would follow the case until justice was done.

“I am in shock the way and manner this young man , Arabo Tambajam, 20, recklessly shot by the security officer who supposed to protect the lives of people in the area.

“I am assuring the people that the management of the Local Government Council would not rest until justice prevail,” Ameen said.

He however called the locals not to take laws into their hands as government was making efforts to ensure justice was done.

NAN gathered that the deceased was a commercial motorcyclist in Maiha town.

Tambajam was allegedly shot and killed by a police officer at a checkpoint after he allegedly refused to give the police N100.

Late Tambajam was said to have earlier given the officer N50 to allow him pass, but refused and demanded for N100.


Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Politics

DSTV: Reps C’ttee vows to implement pay-as-you-go package

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The House of Representatives ad hoc Committee investigating  non implementation of  pay-as-you-go package by DSTV and other satellite providers in the country  has assured Nigerians of justice.

Chairman of the ad hoc committee, Unyime Idem, gave the assurance while addressing journalists on Tuesday in Abuja  after the inauguration of the committee by the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila.

Idem, also Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Communication, representing Ukanafun/Orukanam Constituency of Akwa-Ibom, said the matter before the committee affected vast majority of Nigerians.

“As chairman of this ad hoc committee, I want to assure Nigerians that their interest will be protected.

When I moved the motion on the floor of the house, I stated that business of this nature, the customers should be given the right to choose what they want.

“We have interacted with Nigerians and what they want is pay-as-you-go so that when they are out in their respective locations, their subscriptions can be there and they will make use of it when they return.

“We are here to defend our constituents who happen to be the consumers; based on the inauguration today, I can tell Nigerians that justice will be done at the end of the day,” he said.

Edem said the committee was ready to step on toes, saying that constituents elected reps based on courage and boldness and that would be brought to play.

The lawmaker said all stakeholders including the regulators and service providers would be invited  to deliberate on ways to open up the sector.

He said that all bottle necks would be critically looked into with the view to liberalising it for more interested Nigerians to benefit.


Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

 

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Foreign

2nd LD Writethru: 1 killed, 3 wounded in explosion in Kabul

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One person was killed and three others were wounded in a bomb explosion in downtown Kabul, capital of Afghanistan, on Tuesday, an Interior Ministry spokesman confirmed.

“One worshiper was martyred and three wounded after an improvised explosive device detonated in the courtyard of Wazir Akbar Khan mosque at 7:25 p.m. local time,” spokesman Tariq Arian told Xinhua.

He revised earlier preliminary reports that the blast was caused by a suicide bomber, adding that a bomb disposal team also found and defused explosive materials at the site of the blast after the incident.

The blast damaged two adjuncts and a main building of the mosque in Wazir Akbar Khan neighborhood, where the cluster of foreign embassies is located.

A university lecturer and praying leader of the mosque, Mohammad Ayaz Niazi, was among the wounded, according to Arian.

The injured were shifted to a nearby hospital.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack so far.

The blast was the latest in a string of bomb attacks in the city within the past one month.

On Saturday, a journalist and a driver were killed and six people wounded after militants of Islamic State (IS) targeted a local TV channel’s bus by a roadside bomb near a traffic circle in Kabul.

(XINHUA)

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Health

Firm donates N2m medical supplies to Kwara Govt

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A firm, Stefolga, on Tuesday in Ilorin donated the first batch of N2 million worth of Doctors Scrubs and Patient Gowns to the Kwara COVID-19 Technical Committee.

The company’s , Chief Femi Sanni, said the donation was its token contribution towards the excellent work the state government was doing in the fight against the global pandemic of COVID-19, particularly through the Technical Committee headed by the deputy governor.

Sanni expressed hope that the materials donated would go a little way in adding to the great investment of the state in the health sector.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Stefolga is the country’s leading supplier of speciality vehicles such as Mobile Health Exam Clinics, Mobile Dental offices and Mobile Tax Offices, among others.

They are headquartered in Abuja with office in Canada and partners in USA, Turkey and Kenya.

According to Sanni, who is a native of Ilorin, plans are at an advanced stage for the establishment of a Stefolga Specialty Vehicle Assembly plant with the company’s partners in Kwara.


Edited By: Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Health

COVID-19: Doctors donate palliatives to IDP Camp at Eleko, Lagos

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A Lagos based NGO, Doctors Health Initiative (DHI), has donated some palliatives to families in the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp at the Eleko Beach in Lagos, to help cushion the harsh effects of COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr Anabel Ozo, who made the donation on behalf of DHI, said on Tuesday in Lagos that the COVID-19 pandemic had created ripple effects on the livelihood and hygiene of vulnerable families and communities.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that over 600 bags of palliative items, including staple food, hand sanitisers, sanitaries and beverages were given to 600 families living in the IDP camp.

DHI is a human rights organisation of medical doctors and other professionals committed to using medical, scientific and social means to serve and develop the society through the family.

It is committed to serving human life by building healthy, free and just societies; their services are aimed at the development and maintenance of healthy families; the fundamental units of societies.

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The Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in their majority are mostly homeless and hungry people who left the North-East, especially Borno in search of greener pastures in Lagos.

“ They reside in settlements along Eleko Beach area.

“They were mostly farmers and have been forced by the Boko Haram insurgents to flee their homes and farmlands and find new skills and livelihood.

“As at five years ago, most of the children were malnourished and suffering from all forms of treatable illness which their parents and guardians couldn’t afford to take them to the hospital for basic healthcare.

“ You can imagine their plights in the unstable and violent situation created by COVID-19.

The Doctors Health Initiative (DHI), through the caring hands of well meaning individuals, organisations and families sought to make a difference in the lives of the families in the IDP camp of Eleko Beach.

“We generated over 600 bags of palliatives consisting of staple food, hand sanitisers, sanitaries and beverages for 600 families living in the IDP settlement.

DHI is dedicated to serving the vulnerable in our communities and people with emphasis on women and family health.

DHI offers medical and counselling services free of charge to the vulnerable and undeserved communities with a special focus on women and children,” she said.

According to Ozo, DHI has carried out health outreaches and service projects for the families in the IDP settlement since 2015.

Responding, Chairman of the camp, Mr Jonah Jonah, commended the gesture of the doctors.


Edited By: Vivian Ihechu/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)

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General news

COVID-19: NGO distributes face masks to cleaners, security guards in Kano

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A Kano based Non-Governmental Organisations, Community Health Research (CHR), has distributed over 1,000 face masks to messengers, cleaners, security guards and food vendors in Government offices in Kano State.

Distributing the face mask to the beneficiaries on Tuesday, Hajiya Rabi Mustapha, one of the AMMKaS officials, an NGO under the CHR, said the donation was a collective effort of various humanitarian organisations in Kano.

 

According to her, the distribution of the face masks was to ensure that the beneficiaries protect themselves from COVID-19,  so as to halt the transmission of the virus.

 

Mustapha added that the NGOs have also distributed face mask to water vendors, market women, vegetable, meat and fruit sellers across the state.

 

“We hope to reach more people wherever they are doing their businesses and enlighten them on the disease and preventive measures.”

 

According to her, the CHR has also distributed over 5,000 sanitiser  and soap to various health facilities across the state.

“The main objective is to raise awareness, prevent and control COVID-19 spread in the state.

 

“We are also discouraging issues related to stigma and discrimination towards discharged COVID-19 patients, and enlightening people to differentiate between fake and genuine information on COVID-19,” she said.

 

Some of the beneficiaries who spoke to newsmen commended the effort of the group, calling on individuals and other organisations to emulate the gesture.

 


Edited By: Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)

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Defence/Security

Oyo PCRC lauds Olukolu, ex-Oyo CP

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Rev. Peter Omofoye, the Oyo State Chairman of the Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC), has lauded the immediate past Commissioner of Police in the state, Shina Olukolu, for reviving and saving the committee from going into extinction.

Omofoye said this on Tuesday in Ibadan during a send off party organised by the committee in honour of Olukolu.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Olukolu was deployed to head the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) in Lagos State and was replaced by Nwachuckwu Enwonwu.

He commended the former commissioner for his deep understanding of community policing, adding that his legacy in the state would continue to be remembered.

According to him, Olukolu combated crime in the state and the people appreciated him for the successes recorded during his tenure.

The successes of PCRC is not complete in the state without mentioning Olukolu. We really enjoyed him and salute his courage.

“Today we are trying to celebrate and show little appreciation for the policy and system you introduced in the state.

“We partnered with you and you made us to know that we are human beings, you made the world to know PCRC.

“We will continue to remember you and God will be with you,” Omofoye said.

Also speaking, the South West Chairman of PCRC, Mr Ibrahim Olaniyan, said Olukolu was a blessing to the Nigeria police, Oyo state and the Yoruba race.

Olaniyan called on the new commissioner to emulate his predecessor, saying that they trusted the wisdom and ability of the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to send aseasoned police officer.

He said that the state’s PCRC and the national body in general would continue to partner with the police to reduce crime to the barest minimum.

The new commissioner, who was represented by DCP Attahiru Isah, congratulated Olukolu for his leadership style and prayed that he attained greater heights in his career.

In his remarks, Olukolu thanked the stakeholders for their cooperation and attributed his achievements in the state to them.

I appreciate the IGP, Oyo State government, PCRC and others for the opportunity and support they gave to me,” he said.

He also thanked God as well as officers and men of the command “who are always there day and night to ensure that the state was secured.”

NAN reports that Olukolu was presented with different gifts as well as certificate of commendation and recognition by the PCRC.

(
Edited By: Sam Oditah/Mufutau Ojo (NAN)
)

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Foreign

1st LD Writethru: UN chief appeals for urgent funds for Yemen

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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday asked for 2.41 billion U.S. dollars to address the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, which remains the world‘s largest, as well as COVID-19.

Tackling COVID-19 on top of the existing humanitarian emergency requires urgent action. The pandemic is making it even more difficult and dangerous for humanitarian workers to reach Yemenis with life-saving aid,” Guterres said during an online pledge conference for Yemen.

“We must preserve the major humanitarian aid operation that is already under way — the world‘s largest — while developing new public health programs to fight the virus and strengthen health care systems,” he said, adding “we have already made a start, supporting rapid response teams across the country, procuring essential supplies, and working with front-line health workers and communities to get information out to millions of people.”

“But we need to do much more. This requires increased funding,” he emphasized.

So far this year, funds have not been forthcoming. Aid agencies estimate they will need up to 2.41 billion dollars to cover essential aid from June to December, including programs to counter COVID-19. More than 30 out of the 41 major UN aid programs in Yemen will have to close in the next few weeks unless there is extra funding, he said.

“I thank those donors who pledged funding ahead of today’s event, and I urge all of you to pledge generously today, and to transfer pledged resources quickly. There is no time to lose,” he added.

More than five years of conflict have left Yemenis hanging on by a thread, their economy in tatters, their institutions facing near-collapse, said Guterres.

Eighty percent of the Yemeni population, or 24 million people, need life-saving aid, and 2 million Yemeni children are suffering from acute malnutrition. Since the start of the year, some 80,000 more people have been forced from their homes, taking the total displaced population to almost 4 million, he said.

The first confirmed case of COVID-19 was reported in Yemen on April 10. The pandemic poses a terrifying threat to some of the most vulnerable people in the world, weakened by years of conflict, and with a health system that is already on the brink of collapse.

Since then, reported cases are in the hundreds and are highly likely to be undercounted, since testing rates are some of the lowest in the world. There is every reason to believe that community transmission is already under way across the country. Reports indicate that in Aden, mortality rates from COVID-19 are among the highest in the world, he said. “That is just one sign of what lies ahead, if we do not act now.”

Only half of Yemen‘s health facilities are operational. There are shortages of testing devices, oxygen, ambulances and basic protective equipment. Many health care workers are among those who have contracted the virus. Even hospitals that are operational and equipped may not have a reliable electricity supply, he noted.

Public health measures are particularly challenging in a country where trust in the authorities is weak, and half of the population do not have access to clean water to wash their hands, he said.

In addition to COVID-19, cholera continues to threaten the lives of Yemenis, with 110,000 people contracting it so far this year. Meanwhile, the recent floods have raised the risk of malaria and Dengue fever, he noted.

The UN chief stressed the need for peace in Yemen.

Ending the war is the only way to address the health, humanitarian and human development crises in Yemen. Civilian casualties have risen each month this year, and more than 500 people have been killed or injured since January, he said.

He repeated his call on all parties to agree on the UN proposal to achieve a nationwide cease-fire, make progress on economic and humanitarian measures to alleviate suffering and build confidence, and resume an inclusive Yemeni-led political process.

(XINHUA)

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