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KDSG to collaborate with NMA improve healthcare delivery

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Kaduna State Deputy Governor, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe said the state government would collaborate with the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) to improve healthcare delivery in the state.

The Deputy Governor disclose this on Thursday in Kaduna when she received the executives of the NMA, Kaduna State branch, led by the Chairman, Dr. Stephen Kache.

According to her, the government would continue to accord priority to the health sector and requires the support of the NMA to achieve results.

“We will focus more on health; there can never be progress with unhealthy people,” she said.

She assured that the state government had taken concrete measures to address challenges in the healthcare sector.

“We are making progress”, she told the NMA officials, adding that the government is reviewing workers packages including medical personnel.

“There is plan on the way to recruit 359 primary healthcare workers in different cader with the aim of improving the health sector across the state,” the deputy governor said.

She stressed that the government would work closely with the NMA to find ways to move the health sector to the next level.

Earlier, Kache commended the government on its strides in the health sector, including massive recruitment of 1, 125 health workers in 2017 and the upgrade of facilities and employment of highly skilled specialists at Barau Dikko Specialist Hospital.

According to him, there are improvements of the health indices of the state as shown by 2018 Smart survey especially in the aspect of routine immunization and malnutrition.

The state NMA chairman, however, said the government should do more to improve the standard of medical practice and wellbeing of doctors and other health workers.

According to him, despite the massive employment, there are still shortages in the number of qualified health personnel for the state health facilities.

He decried the non involvement of the NMA as critical stakeholder in important health care decisions taken  by the state government.

The chairman appealed to the government to assist the association with land and a bus.

Kache urged the government to improve drugs supply chain in order to tackle current bottlenecks.

Edited by Maharazu Ahmed

Defence/Security

Army provides free medical services to community in Ondo

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The Nigerian Army on Sunday provided free medical services to people of Ugbo community in Ilaje Local Government area of Ondo State.

Brig. Gen. Zakari Abubakar, the Commander of 32 Artillery Brigade, said that the gesture was part of on-going exercise of Crocodile Smile lV in the area.

He said that the gesture was to enhance the life of the people in the area.

According to Abubakar, it is also to cement the relationship between the military and civil populace.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that Nigerian Army had earlier donated some computers, printers, exercise books, generators, stationary and sporting materials to schools at Atijere community in Ilaje Local Government area on Nov.13.

NAN also reports that the gesture was part of civil-military activities as Crocodile Smile IV  flag off in the southern part of Ondo State will last from Nov.8 to Dec. 23, 2019.

Abubakar said that the medical services delivered included services at the general outpatient department for general consultation, general eye examination, health education, oral care, laboratory investigations, issuance of free mosquito nets and drugs.

He thanked the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, and General Officer Commanding 2 Division,Ibadan, Maj. Gen. Anthony Omozoje, for they exemplary leadership and for finding the Brigade worthy of hosting the exercise and approving the civil-military activities.

“The COAS is particularly  concerned about the health and well being of our community knowing fully that health is wealth. It is in this light that he has taken by his step to provide this medical outreach.

“The objective is for you to embrace peace and shun every act of violence and criminality.

“COAS believes with peace, come development. There will not be development without peace,” Abubakar said.

,Maj. James Agbe, the Commanding Officer, 32 Artillery Brigade Medical Centre, Akure, said that one of the services rendered was to teach people on how to brush.

“We also rendering free eye care handled by specialists, free toothpaste and brushes, free drugs for common ailment in the community, free mosquito net to prevent mosquito bite considering the environment in which they living as riverine area.

“Community should take the advantage of the services being provided by COAS to make maximum use of the services and drugs effectively, ” Agbe admonished.

In his welcome address, Oba Akinruntan Obateru,Olugbo of Ugbo kingdom, who was represented by the High Chief Hosea Iperepolu and Chairman of Ugbo Council of Chiefs, commended the gesture.

He said that the gesture would bring cordial relationship between the Nigerian Army and the community.

“The exercise is laudable one because we all know that health is wealth.

“This will bring cordial relationship between civilian and Nigerian Army. People are always afraid of Army, but with this new development, people will not see them as their enemy.

“When Army starts to come nearer to the people like this, people will be able to interact with them and it will reduce the rate of insurgency, kidnapping and all unnecessary crime in the societies,” he said.

Obateru charged the community to see the Nigerian Army as their friend and admonished the Army to continue with their good relationship so that people would not see them as their enemy.

The monarch promised Nigerian Army that Ugbo kingdom would continue to support and cooperate with them so that the issue of kidnapping, pipeline vandalism and many other crimes would reduce in the area.

One of the participants, Mr Akin Adetuo, a 60-year-old farmer with eye problem, thanked the Nigerian Army for the gesture.

“I am here with my eye problem so that I can see very well, but with the service rendered by Army today am very happy. May Almighty God help them as they choose to help us,” he said.

Mr Maigba Israel, who said that he came from the neighboring town near Ugbo kingdom for stomach ache and eye problem, urged the Nigerian Army to continue to support civilians, especially on health related issues.

“I am not from Ugbo kingdom, but I am from Ugbo-Nla town.

“I believe this services will go a long way for our people, especially for me because I don’t have money to go to hospital that is why when I heard that Nigerian Army is giving free eye service, I left my food to benefit from the services,” he said.

Edited by Tajudeen Atitebi

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NAFDAC seals 47 bakeries, water factories in Borno

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National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) says it has sealed 22 bakeries and 25 “sachet  water” factories during routine inspection in Maiduguri.

The agency’s Coordinator in Borno, Nasiru Mato, disclosed this in an interview with Nigeria News Agency shortly after a raid in Maiduguri on Sunday.

Mato said some of the shut factories did not meet the minimum requirements to operate, while others were not registered with the agency.

He added that “we have done a lot in terms of surveillance, investigative inspections and prompt response to consumer complaints and alerts. The Objective is to ensure that the health and safety of the public is adequately catered for.

“Recently, we embarked on serious sensitisation visits to worship centres across the state. We have visited not less than 20 Mosques and Churches to create awareness on key issues of health concern, ranging from dangers of drug abuse and how to identify fake products.

“We have also educated people on the dangers of calcium carbide, a dangerous chemical used to hasten fruits’ ripening and the efforts has yielded positive results.

“Many people are more aware now and are wary of things happening around them.

“Operationally, we have paid surveillance and unannounced visits to bakeries to ascertain their good hygiene practices and to further ascertain their compliance to NAFDAC regulations.

“In addition, we visited factories where packaged water is produced to ensure that producers comply with good hygiene practice, as well as good manufacturing guidelines.”

He explained that where there was default, the agency meted out necessary sanctions on violators to ensure safety of consumers.

He noted that “in respect of bakeries, we sealed 22 for different categories of violations. And most of these violations are; unregistered products, products with expired licences, while some had hygienic practice.

“And in some cases, the bakeries were found using the dangerous potassium bromide, which is carcinogenic and has potential to cause cancer.

“In respect to water packaging establishments, we sealed 25 for non-compliance to regulations and importantly the failure of manufacturers to stick strictly to good manufacturing practices.

“You see, any product that does not carry NAFDAC registration is categorically defined as fake.

“That means the safety, wholesomeness and efficacy of the product has not been ascertained, so it is dangerous to the health of consumers. So, we are always calling on consumers to check for NAFDAC registration number before buying products.

“We are also calling on them to look at the manufacturing date on products, as well as the expiry date and batch number and the address of the company before buying products.”

Edited by Mustapha Sumaila/ Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu

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Marie Stopes task media on family planning advocacy

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An NGO, Marie Stopes International Organisation Nigeria (MSION), has urged media practitioners to advocate for the adoption of family planning methods for healthier and productive families.

The Director Programmes and Operations of MSION, Mr Emmanuel Ajah, made the call at a two-day workshop organised for journalists by the organisation in Ibadan, in collaboration with Network of Reproductive Health Journalists of Nigeria.

Ajah said more awareness on modern contraceptives would aid family planning, and increase productivity and development in the nation, especially in rural areas.

He added that with this, women would be empowered to have children by choice and not by chance.

He said “MSION is at the forefront of expanding universal access to modern contraceptive methods, especially in rural areas and among less privileged populations.”

He noted that “Nigeria’s modern contraceptive prevalence rate is at 12 per cent, but this can be better with improved commitment and active engagement and participation of all stakeholders.”

According to him, cultural, social, economic and religious barriers are still inhibiting women’s access to modern family planning services, hence the need for more advocacy.

Mr Emmanuel Ugoji, a Media Consultant with IPAS and Marie Stopes Nigeria, stressed the need for more funding toward family planning services in the country, particularly in rural areas.

Ugoji said that 2019 witnessed a decline in funding for family planning programmes as government paid 958,000 dollars against four million dollars released in 2018.

Mrs Angela Onwuzoo, the Treasurer, Network of Reproductive Health Journalists of Nigeria, urged media professionals to use their reportage to influence government to provide free family planning services in hospitals.

Onwuzoo also called on journalists to educate the people on the benefits of family planning.

Some of the participants at the workshop thanked the organisers for the education on sexual reproductive health.

Miss Blessing Agu, a blogger from Enugudaily.com, said “the workshop has strengthened the capacity of media professionals, built in-depth understanding of sexual and reproductive health and rights issues.

“This exercise will enhance media reporting of reproductive health issues, promote public knowledge and address myths and sentiments regarding family planning and sexual reproductive health, thus enable women to give birth to desired number of children.”

Mr Seye Ojo, from the Sun Newspaper, said the workshop had equipped him with more knowledge on sexual reproductive health and he would work toward correcting the myths concerning family planning methods.

Edited by Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu

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NGO, Govt. collaborate on fight against pneumonia in Jigawa

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An NGO, Save the Children, says it is collaborating with the Jigawa government and traditional institutions to ‘knock out’ pneumonia in state.

The Project Manager of the organisation, Mr. Abdullahi Magama disclosed this in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Dutse on Saturday.

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.

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Oyo govt., NGOs partner to combat diseases among school pupils

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Partnership

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

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Kebbi Govt. begins vaccination of 978,000 children against measles, meningitis

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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

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