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Group, Kwara Govt collaborate to curb malnutrition

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A group, the Civil Society-Scaling up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN), says it is collaborating with the Kwara Government to reduce high rate of malnutrition among infants and pregnant women in the state.

Mrs Jane Egemonye, the Senior Monitoring and Evaluation Officer for CS-SUNN, said this during the group’s advocacy visit to the Kwara Ministries of Health, and Planning and Economic Development in Ilorin.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that CS-SUNN is a coalition, made up of NGOs and non-profit organisations with a vision toward transforming Nigeria to a food and nutrition secured economy.

It also engages governments and mobilises non-state actors to advocate relevant policies, funding, programme implementation and build capacity of local communities to scale-up nutrition.

Egemonye, while presenting the Kwara policy brief on nutrition to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Planning and Economic Development, Alhaji Abdulazeez Oyelowo, said the state was presently home to a large population of malnourished children and pregnant women.

The CS-SUNN official said the latest report by the National Nutrition Health Survey (NNHS) indicated that the state has under-5 mortality rate of 45 deaths per 1,000 live births and an infant mortality rate of 40 per 1,000 live births.

According to her, nutrition as an essential component of well-being, had over the years, been receiving less attention by the state government.

Kwara State Government’s investments in the key nutrition interventions have been very poor between 2015 and 2018.

“Most times despite budgetary allocation, little or no funds are released.

“It has been observed that even when government expands the size of the state budget, the budget for nutrition specific interventions do not follow the trajectory.

“Also, 32.5 per cent of children under-five are stunted, 7.0 per cent are too thin for their ages, 19.9 per cent are underweight and only 35.7 per cent of children less than six months are exclusively breastfed in the state,’’ she said.

Mr Ambrose Evhoesor, SC-SUNN Project Officer, said the advocacy visit was part of the collaboration aimed at finding lasting solution to the menace of malnutrition prevalence in the state, especially among children under five years.

Evhoesor described the ministry as very strategic and in vantage position to make the collaboration a huge success.

He, therefore, solicited the cooperation of the ministry in the area of having a robust planning and modalities for scaling up nutrition activities in the state.

Responding, the permanent secretary, ministry of planning and economic development, identified inadequate resources as a major factor affecting the full implementation of most of the government’s policies and programmes.

Oyelowo described the advocacy visit as very timely as the state was witnessing political leadership transition.

According to him, it will afford the ministry the opportunity to put forward necessary recommendations for the incoming administration.

He said the issues of inadequate budgetary allocation and release of funds were not peculiar to nutrition alone as they were already receiving the attention of concerned authorities.

Oyelowo commended the group for the partnership and its foresight, urging it to maintain the tempo.

Health

Makarfi: College of health technology to be fully digitised – Provost

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Dr Suleiman Usman, Provost Shehu Idris College of Health Science Technology, Makarfi said on Tuesday that work is going on to fully digitise all official activities in the institution.

Usman made the disclosure in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in his office at Makarfi, Kaduna State.

Usman said the college had already established an e-library and was making efforts with Glo network on networking the entire college.

“It is not only going to be e-library alone, we have already measured the parameters, service will be available all over the college, wherever you are within the college you can easily access the Internet.

“However, the e-library is part of the 2019 revised budget of the institution, it has been approved, we are waiting for the money.

“In addition to that, by next year the college will begin Computer Based Tests (CBT) entrance exam as against the old method of manual exam.

“We have already gotten and designed a place in the college, we are going to mount over 300 computers with full internet service, so that all our activities will be through the Internet,” he assured.

The Provost identified transparency as another of his priorities, recalling that initially, so many things in the college were being done under the carpet without the knowledge of the staff and even the management.

“I have set up the Policy Transparency Unit, so that whatever we do in the college is made public, everybody have access to what we were doing.

“If you need any information about what we are doing, we will make it available to you.

“Right now as I am talking to you, I have already liaised with the ICPC, and about five of the college staff will go for training at the ICPC headquarters.

“After the training, the commission will come down to the college to draft a standard procedure manual for the college so that everything we are going to do will be rotating within that manual,” he noted.

Usman also said that the college had introduced e-monitoring tool to measure lecturers’ performance.

He said: “One of the important things I will proudly say I have achieved is the issue of staff monitoring.

“Initially, our lecturers go to class at will, sometimes they go to the class outside normal or official hours to teach the students.

“Now each staff is being monitored by the use of a tool, this tool is used to examine the activities of both staff and students in the class and it is also used to evaluate the relationship between the students and lecturers while in the class.

“This tool is for every individual staff, we are going to use the tool to measure the performance and productivity of every staff in the college, unless you pass 70 per cent to 80 per cent, you will not be promoted.

“It is an e-tool, when you go into the class, it will identify you, the teacher will tell us the subject he/she is going to teach, then those that are doing the monitoring and evaluation will also go to the class and see,” he said.

He said timetable of each staff would be made available to the monitoring unit who would be going round to confirm and record where appropriate.

The Provost said the monitoring unit was also saddled with the responsibility of listening to the lectures to ensure that it was within context.

“If the lecturer is lecturing outside the context, we will detect it, again, the response of students to lecturers is another thing, are the students understanding the lecture or not?

“At the end of the whole exercise, we also have a tool, it is called Teacher Performance Evaluation Tool, this comes up when students are about to write their examinations.

“Before students write any examination, a questionnaire will be given to them to fill, are they comfortable with the teacher? Does the teacher teach the course to the later? Has he/she been given them notes? Did they pay for the notes?

“These are some of the questions to be answered by the students and we call them pre-examination tools.

“This questionnaire and the daily routine evaluation will be combined to come up with the performance of every lecturer,” he said.

The Provost said financial activities of the college are now online, to block some leakages discovered in the accounts section.

“If the college is to pay you even N1,000 it has to be through the Internet, in fact, my accounting staff don’t even see money, they only deal with papers, including myself.

“Another area is the aspect of registration of students especially new intakes, so many bad things happened during registration exercises,” he said.

edited by Emmanuel Nwoye/Maharazu Ahmed

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Hadejia LG vaccinates 90,752 children against measles, meningitis

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The Hadejia Local Government Council in Jigawa on Tuesday said it has commenced vaccination of 90,752 children against measles and meningitis in the area.

The Council’s Immunization Officer, Alhaji Gimba Mukaddas, told the Nigeria News Agency in Hadejia, that the exercise started on Nov. 16 and would end on Nov. 23.

He said 52,210 children aged between one and seven years would be vaccinated against meningitis, while 38,542 children aged between nine months and five years would be vaccinated against measles.

Mukaddas said 160 health personnel were engaged for the vaccination being conducted in 20 schools and health centres across the area.

Also speaking to NAN, the Council’s Chairman, Alhaji Abdullahi Maikanti, called on parents to present their children for the vaccination exercise.

He noted that improved health care service delivery remained top priority to the council.

Maikanti also called on the vaccinators to fear God and ensure that all the targeted children were vaccinated.

Edited by Saidu Adamu/Maharazu Ahmed

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Group urges budgetary increase for malaria programmes in Niger

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The Association of Civil Society Organisations for Malaria, Immunisation and Nutrition (ACOMIN) has called on the Niger state government to increase its budgetary allocation for malaria intervention programmes in the state.

Mr Kolajaiye Olasunkanmi, the State Coordinator of ACOMIN made the call on Monday in Minna while briefing newsmen on some of their activities in the state.

Olasunkanmi said that the measure would go a long way towards tackling the menace of malaria in the state and the country in general.

“We want to use this medium to call on the Niger state government to increase its budgetary allocation for malaria intervention and recruit more human resources for most of its health facilities.

“This will go a long way in tackling the issue of malaria in the state and the country at large,” he said.

He also advised Local Government Councils in the state to come up with budgetary allocations for malaria intervention programmes in order to take the campaign to the grassroots.

The Coordinator said that the group had resolved issues such as stock out of drugs and long lasting insecticide nets in some Primary Healthcare Centers (PHCs) in the state.

He also said that ACOMIN had resolved community conflict that was affecting uptake of health services in Global Funding supported health centers across the state.

Olasunkanmi said that in spite of these achievements, ACOMIN was faced with challenges of inadequate funding by the state and local governments as well as insufficient health officials.

Edited by Ismail Abdulaziz

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Diabetes: National Hospital donates free drugs, health screening to 150 persons

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Dr Ramatu Shuaibu, Consultant Endocrinologist, National Hospital, Abuja (NHA) said over 150 persons benefitted from its free health screening, consultation and drugs as part of activities to mark the World Diabetes Day.

The World Diabetes Day, annually celebrated on Nov. 14 is to raise awareness on diabetes, its prevention, complications and care for people living with the condition.

Shuaibu told Nigeria News Agency in Abuja on Monday that the effort was to enable the public to be screened so as to know their blood sugar, weight, Body Mass Index (BMI), as well as consult with doctors and get free health advice.

He said the effort was in collaboration with some pharmaceutical companies.

He added that “people should try and engage in regular screening for blood sugar any chance they get.

“The way they check their blood pressure, they should also check their blood sugar, even if they do not have any family history of diabetes, they should try and check at least once a year.”

The Endocrinologist further stressed the role of family in assisting persons with diabetes, which she said necessitated the theme for the 2019 day celebration, “Diabetes and Family.”

She explained that “diabetes is an all encompassing disease, you need the support of your family to help your care.

“Sometimes, we ask patients to come with family members so that we can talk to them because it takes a lot from the family, the dietary requirements, care, the drugs.

“We place patients on injectables. So, even if the patient is an adult, they need the support of their family.

“Also, patients with diabetes after some years tend to get depressed, so they need some psychosocial counselling, even their families do too.”

The medical expert, therefore, encouraged the public to engage in regular medical check-up to ascertain their health status, as well as adopt healthy lifestyle.

Edited / Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu

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Nasarawa among top five states promoting primary healthcare, says Gov. Sule

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Gov. Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State says the state has been rated among the top five states promoting primary healthcare activities in the country.

Sule disclosed this while receiving members of the Senior Course 42 of the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji, Kaduna State, who were on study tour to the state, and who paid him a courtesy call at Government House,Lafia, on Monday.

NAN reports that the Governor has just returned from a trip to the United States on the invitation of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, as well as Dangote Foundation, where a meeting was held in order to promote primary healthcare.

“I’m happy to announce that Nasarawa State made progress and it is one of the top five states when it comes to promotion of primary healthcare in the country,” Sule said.

He said his administration had been working hard in the area of medical outreach, and invited the team to visit the Dalhatu Araf Specialists Hospital (DASH) to witness the ongoing expansion of the facility for the purpose of promoting it to a Teaching Hospital.

“We have established specialists hospitals in Nasarawa as well as Akwanga that we have been commissioned recently.

“We have bilateral agreements in order to have one of the most sophisticated diagnostic centres also here in Lafia.

“We are also embarking on the construction of rural roads that you will see and we are establishing major roads in some of the areas of investment,” the governor stated.

He further disclosed that a Federal Government team was in the state to commence the construction of a dam in Farin Ruwa in Wamba Local Government Area, for irrigation, as well as for generating hydropower.

The governor informed the team that though Nasarawa may be peaceful, the state was contending with backlash from its neighbours, Plateau, Benue, Taraba, Kwara, Kaduna and the FCT.

He expressed hope that members of the team would use the opportunity of their training to assist Nasarawa State and Nigeria, as according to him, Nigeria needed peace.

“Nigeria needs peace because we have a President that is determined, we have leadership both at the state level and national level that are determined to ensure that citizens of Nigeria live in peace,” he said.

Speaking earlier, leader of the team, Air Commodore Hassan Idris-Alhaji, Director, Department of Air Warfare, Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji, said the objective of the tour was to familiarise the students with the socio-economic and political issues that were fundamental to the development of the country.

Idris-Alhaji  said that the tour would afford the students with the opportunity to have first-hand knowledge about the prevailing security situation, as well as the political, socio-economic and security policies, programmes and strategies that were operational in the state.

“The students of Senior Course 42 are therefore in Nasarawa State to know in specific terms, the socio-economic development that has made the state outstanding in the areas of governance in the country.

“They are particularly interested in knowing about the policies, strategies and efforts as well as challenges the state government and its local governments are facing in their bid to enhance national security,” he said.

Edited by Abdullahi Yusuf

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College introduces e-monitoring to measure lecturers’ performance

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