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International Drug Abuse Day: NDLEA solicits govt. support to fight menace



 The Imo Command of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA)

has called on Gov. Emeka Ihedioha of the state to support its fight against drug abuse and trafficking.

Mr Nse Inam, the Imo NDLEA commander, made the call in an interview with newsmen on Tuesday in Owerri.

He said the support should be in areas of infrastructure, logistics and funding, saying that any form of support

from the state government would be used strictly for Imo people.

Inam said the command had organised seminars for hoteliers and lectures for schools in the state as part of

activities to mark this year’s International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking is a UN International Day against drug abuse

and illegal drug trade observed annually on June 26 since 1989.

The day recognises the severe impact illicit drugs have on health, development, peace and security.

The Imo NDLEA commander said “this year’s theme is `Health for Justice and Justice for Health.’’

He noted that the command’s patrol teams had continued to raid flash points in the state in its determination

to fight drug abuse.

Inam, however, called on residents to remain conscious of their immediate environment and

encouraged them to report suspected drug peddlers to the nearest law enforcement agency.

He said “drugs can destroy vital body organs, lead to violent crimes, ravage families and the

society at large.

“We call on state governments to invest in NDLEA in the areas of logistics, infrastructure and

funding to enable us to serve the state better.”


Health minister scores Nigeria high in HIV/AIDS fight



Dr Osagie Ehinare, Minister of Health on says Nigeria is on track in the fight against .

Ehinare who was represented by Mr Araoye Segilola, National Coordinator, Department in the ministry, said Nigeria had made tremendous success in reducing the scourge.

He noted that years back, discrimination against persons living with the disease was very high, saying that today the story had changed.

Ehinare who reiterated calls for more to be done in saving lives, said identifying communities with most infections was imperative for making more progress.

“We need to work with the communities and engage them in order to save them because we do not want them to die,” the minister said.

Earlier, Sen. Chukwuka Utazi, Senate committee chairman on Primary Health care, described World AIDS Day as a day of celebration of the heroes of AIDS.

Utazi reiterated expressed government’s commitment to winning the war against AIDS by ensuring that those on treatment achieved viral suppression in line with UNAID’s 2020 Goal.

He explained that the National Assembly would continue to work in synergy with the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), in taking the campaign to the grassroots.

Dr Gambo Aliyu, Director General NACA, restated the agency’s renewed commitment to the fight against AIDS.

Aliyu said that the agency had taken drastic steps by establishing six zonal offices in Nigeria, aimed at penetrating the grassroots.

The NACA boss said that the day was a commemoration of the role communities played in the fight against AIDS.

He listed the communities as people living with , as well as their supporters.

Aliyu commended the community of people living with AIDS for their resilience even in the face of stringent funding.

He reminded the communities of their role in holding government and stakeholders accountable.

NAN reports that the World AIDS Day is marked every Dec. 1.

2019 celebration has as theme: “Communities make the difference.”

Edited by Nyisom Fiyigon Dore (NAN)

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Expert identifies malaria, other diseases as causes of premature births



Prof. Peter Ebeigbe, Chairman, Faculty of Obstetrics and Gynecology, National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria, Lagos, has identified malaria and other common diseases as the major causes of premature births.

Ebeigbe spoke with the Nigeria News Agency in Lagos that major things that caused premature births were common diseases such as infections, malaria, hypertension, anaemia, among others.

“Common disorders, if they are well managed in proper hospitals, we can prevent it.

“I can tell you that increasingly, the population is increasing, and we are having more of it.

“But in reality, because more and more women are getting help in proper hospitals, the numbers are decreasing,” he said.

According to him, if a pregnant woman has severe malaria and not well managed at a proper hospital, she can go into forced labour before the due date.

The obstetrician and gynaecologist described premature births as those babies born before their due date.

He said babies are matured when they are about 37 weeks, approximately nine months and that it was important for babies to get to that stage of development.

The expert said that the baby system needs to be developed for them to establish breathing when they come out or the hearts to work on its own when they come out.

Ebeigbe said that a woman can give birth prematurely or the baby gets troubled following which the hospital would be forced to get the baby out prematurely.

He said that antenatal care and early booking would enable the hospitals to prevent premature births.

He advised pregnant women to realise that help was available and that most of the causes of premature births could be prevented through available antenatal care.

According to him, there are experts in the general hospitals as well as private hospitals that can prevent premature births.

“What hospitals usually do is to access the woman and checked if she has any disease before becoming pregnant.

“The expert will pick up on a woman to avoid premature births, and as the pregnancy grows, they are monitoring them to pick up the diseases early.

“If a woman stays at home for long before coming to the hospital, it makes it difficult to control,’’ Ebeigbe said.

He, however, urged women to utilise the help available to them by coming early to the hospital and first registered.

Edited by Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)

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Ministry trains women cooperative groups on business growth, sustainability



The Federal Government on Wednesday trained women cooperative groups from the six area councils of the FCT on how to grow a business and how to sustain business growth.

Mrs Pauline Tallen, the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, said that the two-day training would go a long way toward repositioning Nigeria’s economy and contribute to diversifying it from the “oil enclave” to agriculture and entrepreneurship development for economic prosperity.

“Globally, entrepreneurship in small, medium and large scale has been accepted as the engine of economic growth and promoting equitable development.

“The major advantage is its employment potentials at low capital cost.

highest in the employment for industrial production and exports.

its agility and dynamism.

“It has shown encouraging innovation and helped the country to survive economic recessions,’’ she said.

Tallen, who was represented by the ministry’s Director of Economic Services, Alhaji Idris Mohammed said that the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) – a policy strategy of the Federal Government – would focus on sustainable economic development through entrepreneurship development of small and medium enterprises.

She noted that women had a natural appetite for entrepreneurship and were found to be active participants in different profitable businesses in efforts to support their families.

Tallen said that many women who started petty-trading had been able to grow their businesses into bigger enterprises capable of employing large numbers of workers and generating financial support for the economy.

She said that women entrepreneurs engaged mainly in businesses such as textiles production, food processing, confectionery production, weaving, fashion designing, and soap-making, among others.

According to her, limited access to funds has been a major constraint for women entrepreneurship development.

She, therefore, stressed the need for the adoption of proactive measures to make credit facilities available to women entrepreneurs.

She said that banks and other financial institutions should be encouraged to offer their support in order to achieve the necessary growth, development, and sustainability of entrepreneurship. 

The minister urged the trainees to make productive use of the skills acquired during the training to improve their businesses.

She said that the government was committed to providing infrastructure for business growth and development.

training would expose women to wide-ranging information that would help them develop the skills needed for business expansion.

“The training will focus on Business and Financial Management, Information, Networking, and Digital Marketing, Value Addition and Business Acceleration/Entrepreneurship,” she said.

Nigeria News Agency reports that more than 600 women from various cooperative groups in the six area councils participated in the training.

Mrs Cordelia Ude, a participant, said that the training had further expanded her mental capacity and business horizon.

She added that she would practice what she had learned to improve her business.


(Edited by Chidinma Agu/Emmanuel Yashim (NAN))

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Lawmakers call for upgrading of Niger NYSC orientation camp



The House Committee on Youth Development has called on Niger state government to address the issue of infrastructure deficit at the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Orientation Camp in the state.

Mr Yemi Adaramodu, Chairman of the Committee, made the call during a courtesy visit to Gov. Abubakar Bello of Niger in Minna on Wednesday.

He described NYSC as a major platform that binds Nigerians together to interact and share ideas and culture, adding that it was necessary to ensure that infrastructure were provided to ensure continuity.

“By responsibility, the Federal and the state government has enormous role to play and Niger has been doing that for a long time, but from our observation during our visit to the camp and interaction with corps members, we saw that there is a lot that the state need to cover to make this scheme moving.

“This is because, the future of our country rest on the shoulder of these youths and we must do everything possible to encourage them for their development,” he said.

Adaramodu appealed to the state government to provide more bedding, access road, more boreholes and more facilities at the permanent orientation camp to make the corps members comfortable.

Responding, Bello said that government was making efforts to provide a befitting orientation camp for corps members posted to the state.

“We have heard your observations and we will take your observations very seriously to improve on camp facilities because we have a cordial relationship with NYSC and other federal institutions in the state.

“Even with the scarcity of resources, we will hasten with our plans to complete the orientation camp so as to provide a befitting accommodation for the corps members,” he said.

Bello, who was represented by his Deputy, Alhaji Ahmed Ketso, disclosed that the state government had made budgetary provision for the construction of the new NYSC orientation camp.

He described NYSC as a scheme that had continued to contribute to the nation’s unity, adding that the state government would continue to add value to all existing federal institutions in the state.

The house of representative delegation was accompanied on the visit by the management and staff of the Corps in Niger headed by Mrs Funmilayo Ajayi.

Edited by Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

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NIPSS course 41 participants to submit recommendations on effective funding of universal health care to FEC



NIPSS course 41 participants to submit recommendations on effective funding of universal health care to FEC


Jos, Nov. 20, 2019 The Executive Course 41 participants of the National  Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS),Kuru, near Jos, are to submit their recommendations on ways to achieve effective funding of the Universal Health Care Delivery in Nigeria to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Friday.

The Director-General of the institute, Prof. Abu Galadima,  disclosed this at a news briefing on Wednesday in Jos.

Galadima said the course entailed carrying out extensive research for which the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria picked a theme for the participants.

He said that the present 41 participants had carried out an extensive research on ways to effectively fund the universal health care delivery in Nigeria.

He said the participants traveled to 12 states in the country and held interactive sessions with various stakeholders in the health sector to know the basic challenges that impeded funding health care.

According to the director-general, the participants have also traveled to various countries such as Morocco, Kenya, Egypt, Singapore and Cuba to understand and observe how they were funding their respective health care systems.

He said he was certain their recommendations would be of immense benefits to the health sector in Nigeria .

He said the participants were trained by various experts both from within and outside Nigeria.

Galadima said the participants would graduate on Saturday during which a key note address would be delivered by the High Commissioner of Trinidad and Tobago to Nigeria on a topic entitled: “Funding Universal Health Care, Using Trinidad and Tobago As a Case Study”.

Nigeria News Agency reports that a total of 66 participants were trained in the 10-month executive course and they are the 41st set to be graduated by NIPSS.

Edited by Abdullahi Yusuf (NAN)

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Payment system key to achieving Universal Health Coverage in Nigeria- World Bank



The World Bank Group, says prepayment system is key to achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Nigeria.

Dr Christoph Kurowski, Global Lead for Health Financing, World Bank Group, said this at a four-day workshop with the theme: “Strengthening Health Financing at the Frontlines’’ in Abuja on Wednesday.

The workshop was organised by the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) for 18 states to support health financing arrangement at the sub-national level.

Kurowski said that prepayments would allow funds to be pooled and redistributed to reduce financial barriers for those who needed to use the services they could not afford.

According to him, this spreads the financial risks of ill-health across all stakeholders.

He suggested that prepayment could be derived from taxation, other government charges or health insurance from a mixture of sources.

According to him, such financial risk protection is an instrument of social protection applied to health.

“It works alongside other social protection mechanisms like unemployment and sickness benefits, pensions, child support, housing assistance, job-creation schemes, agricultural insurance and others, which have indirect consequences for health.’’

Kurowski said that government alone would not be able to raise sufficient funds to eliminate excess out-of pocket expenditures for all health services that Nigerians need, adding this was why prepayment arrangements at the sub national level must be encouraged.

According to him, It is therefore a challenge to decide how best to support health within budgetary limits.

He said that the first challenge in moving toward UHC was to define the services and supporting policies needed in any setting, including financial risk protection, the population that needs to use these services, and the cost.

Kurowski said that it required an understanding of the causes of ill-health, the possible interventions, who currently had access to these services and who do not, and the extent of financial hardship incurred by paying out-of-pocket.

He noted that acting on behalf of their populations, governments must decide how to move closer to universal coverage with limited financial resources.

NAN reports that the 19 participating states in the second batch of the health financing workshop are, Akwa Ibom, Borno, Kebbi, Nasarawa, Kwara , Enugu, Gombe, Taraba, Imo, Kogi, Yobe, Zamfara, Lagos, Jigawa, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers, and Sokoto states.

The workshop is being attended by stakeholders in the health sector.

Edited by Ese E. Ekama

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