Mr Auwal Musa, the Executive Director, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy (CISLAC), a civil society organisation, has called for aggressive public enlightenment on tobacco taxation.
Musa made the appeal at a validation of report on effects of tobacco tax on consumption and affordability in Abuja on Friday.
He said that tobacco taxation would go a long way in determining the rate of tobacco consumption in the country.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the meeting had in attendance critical stakeholders on tobacco taxation and control.
Musa, represented by Mrs Lovelyn Agbor-Gabriel, the Mobilisation and Evaluation Officer, CISLAC, said all relevant stakeholders on tobacco control must make objective studies on tobacco taxation so as to have informed data on the effort.
He explained that the essence of the meeting organised by CISLAC is to gauge the effect of the recent hike in tobacco taxation by the Federal Government in 2018, with a view to analyse if progress has been made to reduce, control and discourage tobacco consumption in the country.
He said the study on the report was very important and indispensable because it would help chart a way forward as regards the next step to take, to effectively dwindle tobacco consumption in the country.
Besides, he urged stakeholders to make objective inputs on the report of study on effect of tobacco tax on consumption and affordability as well as offer suggestions on the way forward on the subject matter.
Mr Joseph Ishaku, an official of Centre for the Study of the Economies of Africa (CSEA), presented the draft study document titled “Effects of Increased Tobacco on Tobacco Affordability in Nigeria’’.
Ishaku said that the report indicated that despite the 20 per cent ad valerom tax on tobacco products by the federal government in 2018, significant reduction in consumption of tobacco products across the country has not been met.
He explained that the average retail price of tobacco so far only led to a 5.44 percentage change in urban area while the change in the rural area was merely 4.67 per cent.
“Before the new tax regime, price of a pack of cigarette in the urban area according to the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics was N215.12, but after the new taxation it increased to N226.82, resulting in 5.44 percentage incremental change.
“For the rural area, price of a pack of cigarette before the new tax kicked in was N215.87, but after the tax hike it became N225.16, thereby making the percentage change N4.67.
“So we can see that the tax hike has not been significant enough to achieve the targeted goal of affecting the economical dynamics of a regular Nigerian smoker, that is to discourage smokers due to the change in price,’’ he said.
NAN reports that other stakeholders bemoaned the poor effect of the new tax regime on tobacco taxation and called for a coordinated and holistic manner in approaching tobacco control policy so as to effectively curb consumption in the country.
NGO, Govt. collaborate on fight against pneumonia in Jigawa
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.
Oyo govt., NGOs partner to combat diseases among school pupils
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
Kebbi Govt. begins vaccination of 978,000 children against measles, meningitis
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
NAFOWA to partner with KDSG in assisting VVF patients
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
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.
“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.
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
Adamawa launches measles, meningitis vaccination campaign
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.
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
Lawmakers set agenda for achievement of Universal Health Coverage
The three-day Health Summit, organised by the National Assembly, ended on Friday with lawmakers setting out milestones to be met in order to attain the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in the country.
Sen. Ibrahim Oloriegbe, who presented a four-year Strategic Framework Legislative Health Agenda (LHA), and a 2020 Activity Work plan for the achievement of UHC in the country, said the legislature would among other things ensure passage of an amended law on health insurance.
Olroriegbe said lawmakers would also ensure increase in budgetary allocations to the health sector.
The Nigeria News Agency , reports that the summit’s theme is “Efficiency in the Health Sector and the Role of Legislators”.
Oloriegbe, who is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, said that the agenda was to explore ways the legislators could apply their functions in achieving the set goals.
He said the legislators had identified some critical issues affecting the achievement of UHC in the country such as the absence of a health agenda to guide legislative actions towards achieving Universal Health Coverage across the country, among others.
The chairman said that in view of this, the summit resolved to ensure finalisation and implementation of legislative health agenda at national and state levels towards achieving UHC.
He said they also resolved to ensure collaboration between governments, the private sector, development partners, and civil society organisations, towards ensuring that every Nigerian accessed a full-range of health services at all levels.
Oloriegbe noted that the summit also recommended that government should ensure that all financial risks associated with seeking health care were mitigated.
He said that in order to achieve these targets, the summit suggested that the National Assembly should amend relevant sections of the National Health Act and ensure speedy review, passage and assent to the National Health Insurance Commission Bill.
According him, the summit also called for speedy passage of State Health Insurance (SHIS) Bills in states without a health insurance scheme.
Speaking of on the role of the legislative arm, Oloriegbe said that the National Assembly would ensure full implementation of legislative health agenda at national and state levels.
“Ensuring revision of the present Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF), guidelines to be in consonance with the Act and providing oversight of operations of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
“Providing oversight to operators of tertiary health institutions and ensuring the BHCPF guidelines reflect the provisions of the Act.
“Monitoring and evaluating implementation and impact of BHCPF; ensuring that government and the private sector are accountable,” he said.
On appropriation, the lawmaker said they would ensure an increased allocation to the BHCPF, and work towards increasing overall Health Budget.
Edited by Nyisom Fiyigon Dore
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