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Kwara commits N232m to maternal, child health, others

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Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara on Monday said that his administration has paid N232 million in counterpart funding to address maternal and child health, nutrition and malaria in the state.

The governor disclosed this at a two-day health symposium held in Ilorin with the theme: “Partnership for Health Innovation in Kwara State.

The governor, who was represented by his Deputy, Mr Kayode Alabi, said the fund would enable the state to provide subsidised healthcare delivery to the poor and the vulnerable.

“The state’s healthcare system is itself in intensive care and requires urgent attention.

“This is why we have called this symposium, to develop practical and innovative solutions that can be deployed in the short, medium, and long-term to improve on the current state of healthcare in Kwara.

“The state government will soon commence outreach programmes on maternal and child health, nutrition and malaria,’’ he said.

According to the governor, the outreach will involve nine surgical procedures with beneficiaries drawn across the state.

He explained that the procedures would include surgical on spinal bifida and hydro-cephollus shunting, among others.

“We have also approved the sums of N26.9 million for a medical outreach in partnership with the Kwara State Association of Nigeria North America Inc. and Sakinah Medical, which I’m sure are ably represented

at this event,’’ he said.

He said the state had taken immediate steps to tackle the menace of vaccine-derived polio, which broke out in January 2019, by mobilising resources for the agencies in charge for the benefit of children.

The governor said that about 24 international healthcare companies and dozens of experts were attending the symposium designed to be problem-based and solution-oriented.

He said emphasis would be on healthcare financing through state-wide health insurance and implementation of minimum standard of Primary Health Centres.

AbdulRasaq added that emphasis would also be on optimising secondary healthcare and development of specialist services in the state.

Alhaji Sadiq Umar, Vice-Chairman, Senate Committee on Primary Health Care, called for partnership between the federal government, states and private individuals to promote healthcare delivery in the country.

He observed that health care delivery was expensive and called for various ways to source for funding of the sector.

Sadiq added that primary healthcare must be functional to care for people’s health, adding that 90 per cent of Nigeria’s health issues could be solved at the level.

Earlier in an opening remark, Dr Ibrahim Oloriegbe, Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, said the health situation in the state was at a dire state.

Oloriegbe said that the state had the necessary resources, which if well harnessed, could help to improve the sector.

He lamented that one-third of the un-immunised children across the country were in Kwara and the state must put policies and programmes in place to address it.

Oloriegbe called for application of “specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound approaches’’ to solve the health issues in Kwara.

Edited by Oluyinka Fadare, Rotimi Ijikanmi

Politics

N3.9bn Light project: Kwara Legislature demands prosecution of Ahmed, Ogunshola

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The Kwara  House of Assembly on Thursday urged the State Government to hand over suspects in connection with the failed N3.9 billion Kwara Light project contract.

The lawmakers specifically demanded for the prosecution of a former governor of the state, Abdulfatah Ahmed, and former Director General of Kwara Public Private Partnership (KP3), Abayomi Ogunshola, by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC)
over alleged improper execution of the project.

The News  Agency of Nigeria recalls that the N3.9 billion electrification project was awarded in 2015 by former governor AbdulFatah Ahmed to provide illumination on some major streets in llorin metropolis and other parts of the state.

The House made the demand at plenary on Thursday in Ilorin after adopting the report of its ad-hoc committee investigating the execution of the ptoject.

The Chairman of the Committee, Mr Abolarin Gabriel, while presenting the report, informed his coleagues that the project was not properly executed in line with specification.

The Speaker, while reading the resolution of the House after deliberation and adoption of the report, said it has become imperative to prosecute the former governor and Ogunshola who jointly undertook to execute the project.

The Assembly also want repeal of the state Public Private Partnership law to curb corruption and other sharp practices in award of contracts in the state.

Besides, it called for a review of the terms and conditions of the Light Up Kwara Project.

The resolition urged the stste government to compel the two contractors handling the project to complete it according  to specifications across the state.

The House called for transfer all activities of the project to the state Ministry of Energy for proper execution.

The speaker flayed the sidelining the ministry of energy in the award of the project, describing it as unacceptable.


Edited By: Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Health

COVID-19: Kwara commends FG for donating vehicles to epidemiology unit

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The Kwara government, on Thursday, commended the Federal Government for donating Hilux vans to the epidemiology unit of the state Ministry of Health.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Raji Abdulrazaq
, gave the commendation in Ilorin while speaking with newsmen.
He said that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) made the donation through the World Bank-funded project to support the Emergency Operation Centre in the state.
According to him, the centre caters for and handle any outbreak of diseases in the state, including COVID-19.
Abdulrazaq also observed that the donation of the vehicles would go a long way in strengthening the system and compliment the efforts of the state government to combat the disease.
He added that the state ranked fourth out of 36 states across the country in terms of preparedness and response to COVID-19, adding that this was why the Federal Government appreciated the efforts of the state government.
The commissioner said the state would not relent in its efforts at safeguarding and promoting the lives of the citizens in the state, stressing that the vehicles would be used to achieve that.
The NCDC promised us more and we are feeling the impact of the Federal Government,” he said.


Edited By: Abiodun Esan and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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General news

Kwara records 16 fresh cases of COVID-19, discharges 7 patients

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Kwara government says 16 more people have tested positive to coronavirus (COVID-19), while seven patients have twice tested negative and discharged.

Mr Rafiu Ajakaye, Chief Press Secretary to the state government and spokesman of the Technical Committee on COVID-19, made this known in a statement on Thursday in Ilorin.

According the Ajakaye, this brings the total of confirmed cases to 127, with 44 patients discharged and one death recorded in the state.

As at 9:45pm on Wednesday, the number of active cases is now 82, while 44 have so far been discharged and one death recorded,” he said.


Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Salif Atojoko (NAN)

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General news

COVID-19: Kwara Govt gives conditions for worship centres to reopen Friday

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Kwara Government says worship centres may reopen from Friday,  June 5 if religious centres  satisfy certain criteria already agreed with various religious umbrella bodies in the state.

Mr Kayode Alabi, the Deputy Governor and Chairman of the Technical Committee on COVID-19, stated this while briefing newsmen in Ilorin on Wednesday.

He,  however, warned that the concession for churches and mosques to reopen does not mean that the state had flattened the curve of transmission of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said  the decision came hours after the Kwara State Technical Committee on COVID-19 held a marathon meeting with the leadership of the Muslim and Christian communities, including the Jama’atu Nasrul Islam (JNI) and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).

“We are definitely not out of the woods as cases continue to rise, especially because of violation of travel restrictions

“The meeting centred around whether or not to reopen the worship centres across the state, as suggested by the Federal Government.

” However, in line with the presidential advisory and the positions of our religious umbrella bodies in the state, worship centres may reopen from June 5,  provided they satisfy the following conditions:

“Worship centres shall be organised by the respective head of the congregation in such a way that one attendant is at least one metre away from the next

” Each worship centre shall make provisions for hand washing or hand sanitiser and infrared thermometer

” Wearing of face masks shall be mandatory for all worshippers

“There shall be no hand shaking or hugging among worshippers

” Children remain restricted from worship centres and people above 65 or persons with underlying health conditions are urged to stay away from worship centres

“Muslims should perform ablution from their own houses. Ablution spots are not allowed for now to avoid the spread of the virus.

” Muslim women are to stay away from mosques, as suggested by the leadership of the Muslim community in the state.

“Each worship centre is to dedicate a few minutes before service or prayers to educate attendants about COVID-19 and its dangers,” the deputy governor said.

He said the government’s Rapid Response Team (RRT) shall conduct random visit to worship centres to take samples and do temperature checks.

The deputy governor said that government shall hold affected religious leaders responsible for non compliance with all COVID-19-related safety measures in their worship centres.

He added that all the conditions was agreed to  by the religious umbrella bodies.

He said further that the leadership of religious communities agreed that any worship centre that violated these provisions would be shutdown and its leadership strictly held accountable.


Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Felix Ajide (NAN)

 

 

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General news

Kwara explains rise in COVID-19 cases, restates need for test centre

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The Kwara State Government on Wednesday in Ilorin explained the reason behind the sudden increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the state.
Rafiu Ajakaye Spokesman of the Technical Committee on COVID-19 gave the explanation in a statement.
He said it was due to deliberate effort of the committee to contact-trace and test all persons and health workers that had contact with two Coronavirus positive persons that recently sneaked into the state.
“They were already in isolation before the test result as they had long been identified as “persons of interest” on account of their close contact with a pregnant woman who sneaked in from Zamfara and later tested positive.
“The woman was briefly treated at the Ilorin General Hospital and later at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital where she underwent an operation and later tested positive,’’ he said.
Ajakaye noted that the incident led to contact tracing and testing of no fewer than 180 persons.
“Various precautionary measures have since been taken at the two hospitals, including disinfection of relevant wards, relocation of other patients to some other wards and testing of all the contacts.
”There is also a renewed emphasis on the need for healthcare workers to treat every patient as a potential COVID-19 case.
“For the record, the rise in the cases was a result of government’s proactiveness in rounding up all contacts and testing all of them.
“Insinuations about the lack of PPEs or shortage of same are unfounded and reckless,” he explained.
He added that 23 new cases recorded included that of a contact of a deceased person whose corpse was brought into Kwara from neighbouring Ekiti State.
“The
government has, therefore, despatched a Rapid Response Team to begin an aggressive contact tracing of the case in the affected community for another round of tests.
So far, 75 per cent of our cases were imported. There is no record of community spread yet in Kwara.
“While
we commend the security agencies for what they are doing, we urge them to do much more to secure our borders and prevent influx of people into the state.
The 23 new cases, as many before now, were a backlash from porous borders.
“In times of pandemic and other emergencies, it is a crime for anyone or entity to undermine a system put in place to protect the people.
“The government, therefore, warns that any action that purports to kill the morale of our health workers and those in the frontline of this national emergency will not be tolerated,” the statement said.
It called on the Federal Government to expedite action on setting up of at least a COVID-19 test centre in the state to strengthen the capacity to test more samples while urging people to come up for voluntary testing.


Edited By: Razak Owolabi/Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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Politics

Kwara Assembly swears-in new APC member

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Ahmed Rufai, the newly elected member of the Kwara House of Assembly representing Patigi State Constituency,  was on Tuesday sworn-in by the Speaker, Yakubu Danladi.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Ahmed Rufai is the younger brother of the late member, Saidud, who died in December 2019.

Rufai was declared winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) following the bye- election in Patigi Constituency in March 2020.

The Assembly, however, had yet to swear-in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Jimoh Raheem-Agboola, who was directed by the State Election Tribunal to take over the seat of the APC member for Ilorin South Constituency, AbdulAzeez Elewu- Oluwanilo.

Raheem-Agboola, in company with scores of PDP supporters in the state, had on three occasions stormed the House for the implementation of the court judgment without success.

But addressing journalists on Tuesday on why the PDP candidate was not sworn-in, the Chairman, House Committee on Information, Mr Olumide Awolola, said Raheem-Agboola as plaintiff did not join the present occupant of the seat, Abdulazeez Elewu-Oluwanilo,  in the suit he filed.

He said Elewu-Oluwanilo had also approached the Court of Appeal to seek interpretation and implication of not being joined in the suit.

(
Edited By: Abiodun Esan/Mufutau Ojo (NAN)
)

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Health

Firm donates N2m medical supplies to Kwara Govt

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A firm, Stefolga, on Tuesday in Ilorin donated the first batch of N2 million worth of Doctors Scrubs and Patient Gowns to the Kwara COVID-19 Technical Committee.

The company’s , Chief Femi Sanni, said the donation was its token contribution towards the excellent work the state government was doing in the fight against the global pandemic of COVID-19, particularly through the Technical Committee headed by the deputy governor.

Sanni expressed hope that the materials donated would go a little way in adding to the great investment of the state in the health sector.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Stefolga is the country’s leading supplier of speciality vehicles such as Mobile Health Exam Clinics, Mobile Dental offices and Mobile Tax Offices, among others.

They are headquartered in Abuja with office in Canada and partners in USA, Turkey and Kenya.

According to Sanni, who is a native of Ilorin, plans are at an advanced stage for the establishment of a Stefolga Specialty Vehicle Assembly plant with the company’s partners in Kwara.


Edited By: Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Health

Kwara Govt tasks officials on appropriate use of immunisation equipment

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The Kwara Government on Tuesday called for judicious use of equipment, including vehicles, donated to support immunisation and Primary Health Care (PHC) services in the state.

Dr Raji Abdulrazaq, the state Commissioner for Health, gave the task while inaugurating the State Emergency Routine Immunisation Centre (SERIC) on Tuesday in Ilorin.

Abdulrazaq said the donated vehicles and equipment would strengthen the PHCs in the state.

The commissioner noted that the state was committed to ensuring that its PHCs were ranked as the best in Nigeria.

He enjoined stakeholders at the PHCs in the state not to relent, but should continue to write proposals that would highlight the requirements to strengthen such healthcare facilities.

Abdulrazaq noted that the equipment and vehicles would facilitate wide coverage of immunisation of children throughout the state.

Dr Michael Oguntoye, Director, State Primary Health Care Development Agency, said the state government and development partners were worried because of the problems in spite of the national routine immunisation.

Oguntoye spoke on the sidelines of the inauguration of the equipment.

According to him, the last multiple indicator cluster sampling in 2016 and 2017, shows that there is very poor performance in routine immunisation in the country.

He said the Federal Government, for the first time, accepted the report of the Multiple Indicator Sampling and declared a state of emergency on public health immunisation to protect the population of immunised children.

Oguntoye, who is also the Programme Manager for SERIC, said the data showed that about 4.3 million Nigerian children were left unimmunised, despite availability of vaccines in Nigeria.

“As such, the state of public health emergency was declared on routine immunisation in the country, which brought about the establishment of the Emergency Response Centres on Immunisation.

“The objectives of establishing them is to ensure the responsiveness in the resolution of routine immunisation gaps in the country and to strengthen coordination for routine immunisation,” he said.

Oguntoye noted that the SERIC in Kwara, would among other objectives, identify bottlenecks and barriers to routine immunisation design and implement strategies to address the barriers, to increase coverage.

According to him, all eligible unimmunised children will be identified through tailored specific approach, while ensuring the availability of vaccines to local government health facilities.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that some of the donated items included two Hilux vehicles, laptops, computers, projectors, public address systems and photocopiers.


Edited By: Folorunso Poroye/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Health

COVID- 19: Kwara has not lifted ban on religious activities –Commissioner

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Dr Raji AbdulRazaq, Kwara Commissioner for Health, says the state has not lifted ban on religious activities placed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

AbdulRazaq stated this during an interview with News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Ilorin.

He said that although the Federal Government hinted on lifting ban on religious activities in the country, it had however given modalities to all the states on how best to go about it.

He added that the state government would meet to deliberate and come out with what was  best and would protect the people in the state.

The commissioner, therefore, warned that the government had not lifted any ban and no religious house should disregard the directives on social distancing.

He added that if there were any changes to the directives earlier placed the state government would communicate same to the public.

News Agency of Nigeria reports that Kwara currently has 111 confirmed case of COVID-19 and one recorded death.


Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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

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