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FG intensifies health workers’ response to humanitarian crisis

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The Federal Government is building the capacity of workers and stakeholders in the health sector to respond appropriately to health humanitarian crisis in the country, Dr Abdulaziz Mashi, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, said.

He made this known at the opening of a five-day capacity building workshop on humanitarian focal persons for health sector response to humanitarian crisis on Monday in Abuja.

Represented by Mr Joseph Amedu, a Director in the ministry, Mashi said that the effort was prompted by the recent social upheavels ranging from natural and man-made factors, which led to population displacement, increased morbidity and mortality.

He said “health serves as a constant denominator for measuring the severity of a humanitarian crisis and the primary goal of the health sector in any crisis is resilience, which is to maintain delivery of essential services and to reduce mobidity and mortality.

“For this reason, the government prioritised health as veritable tool for building better societies affected by man-made and natural disasters.”

According to him, government initiated the Health Sector Response to Humanitarian Crisis to ensure quality healthcare for people and communities affected by crisis and disasters, particularly vulnerable groups.

He explained that “the Health Sector Response also collaborates with key stakeholders to provide humanitarian aide to ensure health services for Nigerians affected by armed conflict through basic and essential services and health system strengthening.”

He added that the government also implemented the resolution 20 of the 61stNational Council on Health to institutionalise coordinating offices for health sector response to humanitarian crisis nationwide and strengthen the extant national coordination office on health sector response to humanitarian crisis.

Dr Ngozi Anazodo, the Coordinator, Health Sector Response to Humanitarian Crisis, said that the initiative had been in existence for over four years to provide intervention to those affected by humanitarian crisis.

Anazodo said “we have been working in Borno in the past four years and we have a huge team of 350 healthcare workers in 33 teams providing services in the local government areas of the state.”

She, therefore, reiterated government’s commitment toward supporting pregnant women, children, vulnerable and those at the Internally Displaced People’s (IDPs) camp, noting that “we have teams that are responsible and can be called upon during an emergency situation.’’

Representative of the World Health Organisation, Mr Ifeanyi Ukodoh, said the workshop would provide platform for stakeholders to proffer solutions to those affected by emergencies.

He said “the whole idea of response is to be prepared, so if we are prepared, then we can perform better and the response will be more effective and predictable.”

Also, Dr Kola Jinadu of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, said the workshop was apt, as it would prepare participants with skills to enable them to respond promptly to any humanitarian crisis.

“This workshop is timely because we now live in a world of both sometimes predictable and unpredictable humanitarian crisis. Nobody can tell when next we will have crisis, it is a global phenomenon.”

On his part, Dr Ifeanyi Ohanu from Faculty of Vocational and Technical Education, University of Nigeria (UNN), stressed the need to empower persons affected by humanitarian crisis with skills, rather than leavimg them idle in the camps or settlement areas.

He said “every human being needs to have a sense of belonging, which has to do with their psychology and behaviour that will make them to be stable and normal.

“Displaced persons need to be encouraged by helping them to acquire some skills, which will help them to be doing something rather than being idle.’’

Ms Sadiya Farouk, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, said the workshop would strengthen the much-needed delivery of quality health humanitarian services and assistance in the North East and Nigeria in general.

Farouk, whi was represented by an official in the ministry, Olufemi Alaka, commended the Ministry of Health and other partners for their prompt response in challenges affecting humanitarian setting.

Edited By: Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu

Foreign

SADC calls for collective biodiversity action

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Southern African Development Community (SADC) Executive Secretary, Stergomena Lawrence Tax has challenged citizens of the bloc to take collective action in preventing biodiversity loss and unlock the wealth in the region’s biological resources.

Tax made the charge in a statement issued on Friday to commemorate this year’s World Environment Day.

“Let us sustainably use biodiversity through value addition and bio-trade to reap the benefits of nature, while preserving it for the present and future generations,” he said.

SADC is an inter-governmental organisation headquartered in Gaborone, Botswana.

She said the region needed to be the inseparable part of nature.

“The water we drink, the air we breathe and the soil we use for agricultural production are just a few examples of the benefits that we derive from nature,” said Tax, adding that the benefits of nature should motivate people to take action towards the restoration of biodiversity.

This year’s World Environment Day is being celebrated under the theme: “Time for Nature” and “Biodiversity”.

She disclosed that SADC had adopted instruments reflecting its resolve and commitment to biodiversity conservation.

She identified such instruments as the SADC Protocol on Environmental Management for Sustainable Development, and the SADC Regional Biodiversity Strategy.

Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)

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Entertainment

Majek Fashek’s death, a big vacuum – Musicians

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Two Ibadan-based musicians, on Friday, said that the vacuum created by the demise of Majekodunmi Fasheke, popularly known as Majek Fashek, cannot be easily filled.

The musicians, in separate interviews, told the News Agency of Nigeria on the telephone in Ibadan, Oyo State that Fashek was an icon that everyone looked up to and emulated.

A female musician, Doyinsola Olatunji, said that Fashek was a legend, who was embodied with good lyrics.

She said that he was one of the best musicians to have come out of Nigeria.

“Growing up, his songs were constantly been played on radios and almost in all homes.

“His lyrics were very educating and to also note is his sonorous voice.

“He was one passionate musician and took delight in passing out the right information through songs, and those songs are indeed evergreen.

“His songs are not just songs that will be forgotten over time.

“He was one of a kind musician and was true to his genre of music and his consistency can’t be quantified,’’ Olatunji said.

Also, Dare Ayelabola, the Chief Executive Officer of ‘Another Level Band’ said that Fashek fought a good fight and eventually left a good legacy.

Ayelabola said that it was indeed good to see that he passed on a better person.

“I’m very happy that after all, he went through, he fought the good fight and a changed man before he died.

“I believe he died leaving a good legacy behind for the younger generations to learn from.

“He was a very good musician that produced good musicians with good lyrics.

“He used happenings in the society to teach and inform through his songs,’’ Ayelabola said.


Edited By: Folasade Adeniran/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Foreign

COVID-19 cases rise to 1,872 in Maldives

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The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Maldives has risen to 1,872, local media reported here Friday.

Among all the cases, 1,215 are active cases and two are foreigners being treated abroad. So far, 648 patients have recovered and seven deaths have been reported, according to the Health Protection Agency.

Quarantine facilities are currently housing 1,478 individuals, while 1,217 individuals are in isolation facilities.

Meanwhile, a newly established COVID-19 medical facility on the island of Hulhumale has completely installed all the necessary equipments and has been supplied with consumables such as personal protective equipment (PPE), the State Trading Organization said.

The facility consists of five blocks and includes 290 isolation beds, accommodation for healthcare workers, and facilities to process dead bodies.

The construction of the facility began in April and was completed on May 24 before being handed over to the country’s main Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH).

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Government-run schools in Pakistan’s Sindh to hold online classes amid COVID-19

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The government-run schools in Pakistan’s southern Sindh province will hold online classes for students stuck at home owing to the COVID-19 outbreak, according to a notification released by the Sindh education department on Friday.

The department has issued directives to all district directors to provide data of teachers and students of public schools by June 17, said the notification, adding that online classes will be held for sixth to 12th grade students.

Some 75 trainers will train teachers on holding online classes, and the provincial government has also hired information technology experts for smooth conducting of the classes, according to the notification.

The classes will be launched with the help of the United Nations Children’s Fund and Microsoft.

The provincial education department also allowed private schools across Sindh to start online classes.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Pakistan has risen to 89,249 with 1,838 deaths, according to data updated by the country’s health ministry on Friday.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

S. Africa strengthens scrutiny of political funding under new law

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has signed into law the Promotion of Access to Information Amendment Act (PAIA) which strengthens scrutiny of political funding, his office said on Friday.

The PAIA gives citizens access to information about funding for political parties, presidential spokesperson Khusela Diko said.

Under the Act, information on the private funding of political parties and independent candidates must be recorded, preserved and disclosed so as to ensure transparency and accountability.

The records must be kept for at least five years after they have been created, according to the Act.

In a ruling on June 21, 2018, the Constitutional Court declared that the Promotion of Access to Information Act of 2000 is invalid and unconstitutional as it does not provide for disclosure of information about the private funding of political parties and independent candidates.

The court ordered Parliament to make necessary amendment to bring the Act in line with the Constitution and to take any other measures it deems appropriate.

Based on this ruling, Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services put forward an amendment proposal last year, with support from the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development.

Both Houses of Parliament approved the amendment last year.

The amendment is expected to address concerns about over-reliance by political parties on private donations as well as the secrecy that clouds political party financing.

There have been concerns that the secrecy that clouds political party financing could damage democratic processes and lead to a manipulation of public policy positions in favor of certain private funders.

Since the end of apartheid in 1994, political parties in the country have been united in refusing to open their books, fueling concerns that anonymous donations from masked sources subvert democratic processes, lead to a manipulation of public policy positions in favor of those private interests and dilute the voice of citizens.

Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)

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Defence/Security

Lockdown ease: FRSC arrests 4,235 drivers nationwide

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The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) on Friday said that a total of 4,235 drivers were arrested for overloading of vehicles during the first phase of the gradual lockdown ease.

The Corps Public Education Officer (CPEO), Mr Bisi Kazeem disclosed this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja.

“The corps successfully recorded a number of arrests from May 11 to June 1. A total of 4,235 drivers were arrested for overloading of vehicles.

“Out of this number, 972 drivers were arrested for overloading their vehicles with goods.

While a total of 636 were arrested for overloading their vehicles with both goods and passengers.

Also a total of 2,627 were apprehended for overloading their vehicles with persons alone, bringing to a total of 4,235 in all.

“Meanwhile, in the course of the arrests, a total of 7,594 passengers were discharged to make way for adequate physical distancing in the vehicles, out of the 4,235 vehicles apprehended for conveying 17,614 passengers,” he said.

Kazeem noted that the corps had been able to evaluate performance in the last four weeks following the end of the first phase of the gradual ease of the lockdown.

He said that the corps was also able to identify areas of strength where significant achievements were recorded and areas where gaps existed.

Kazeem said that the corps had strengthened its capacity to address the identified gaps as quickly as possible.

He said that the corps would also sustain the tempo and to some extent, enhance the performance in the areas where it recorded huge success.

He noted that the corps was working in synergy with other security agencies through the instrumentalities of joint task force, mobile court operations and effective patrol operations.

Kazeem, however, said that collaboration was key to the success of the special patrol operations, saying that combination of the above strategies was expected to yield adequate result as expected.


Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)

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Foreign

People take part in protest over death of George Floyd in Canberra, Australia

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People take part in a protest over the death of George Floyd in Canberra, Australia, June 5, 2020. (Photo by Liu Changchang/Xinhua)

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

S. Africa strengthens scrutiny of political funding under new law

Published

on

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has signed into law the Promotion of Access to Information Amendment Act (PAIA) which strengthens scrutiny of political funding, his office said on Friday.

The PAIA gives citizens access to information about funding for political parties, presidential spokesperson Khusela Diko said.

Under the Act, information on the private funding of political parties and independent candidates must be recorded, preserved and disclosed so as to ensure transparency and accountability.

The records must be kept for at least five years after they have been created, according to the Act.

In a ruling on June 21, 2018, the Constitutional Court declared that the Promotion of Access to Information Act of 2000 is invalid and unconstitutional as it does not provide for disclosure of information about the private funding of political parties and independent candidates.

The court ordered Parliament to make necessary amendment to bring the Act in line with the Constitution and to take any other measures it deems appropriate.

Based on this ruling, Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services put forward an amendment proposal last year, with support from the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development.

Both Houses of Parliament approved the amendment last year.

The amendment is expected to address concerns about over-reliance by political parties on private donations as well as the secrecy that clouds political party financing.

There have been concerns that the secrecy that clouds political party financing could damage democratic processes and lead to a manipulation of public policy positions in favor of certain private funders.

Since the end of apartheid in 1994, political parties in the country have been united in refusing to open their books, fueling concerns that anonymous donations from masked sources subvert democratic processes, lead to a manipulation of public policy positions in favor of those private interests and dilute the voice of citizens.

(XINHUA)

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Religion

COVID-19: Imam pledges compliance with OSSG’s directives on Jumat prayer

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The Chief Imam of Ifeland, Alhaji AbdulSemiu AbdulHammed, has pledged that Muslim faithful would comply with Osun Government guidelines on COVID-19 during Friday Jumat prayer.

AbdulHammed made the promise in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Ile Ife.

He commended Gov. Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun for his efforts at ensuring that residents are protected against the novel coronavirus.

“We appreciate the governor for lifting the ban on worship centres and giving us two weeks to observe our religious services.

“The compliance of religious leaders at worship centres to government guidelines will surely pave way for the next steps either to lockdown again or total freedom of religious services,’’ he said.

The Chief Imam also lauded the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja 11, for decontaminating the Ife Central Mosque against COVID-19, especially as Friday Jumat would now begin.

He, therefore, appealed to all Muslim faithful to ensure that they used their facemasks before, during and after Jumat prayer until they return to their homes.

AbdulHammed admonished the aged people 65 years and above and others with ailments like tuberculosis and diabetes to observe their Jumat at home.

The Muslim cleric assured that all government directives would be strictly adhere to.


Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Contact US: editor @nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247 @gmail.com

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