Some media practitioners and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) officials have emphasised on capacity building of their members and legislators to report and monitor the attainment of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in the country.
The officials shared their views in an interview with Nigeria News Agency in Abuja, after the just concluded Legislative Summit UCH.
Mrs Ifeyinwa Omowole, National President, Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), emphasised on capacity building for journalist to be able to interpret, understand and report UHC.
“If you need people to interpret whatever you are doing, you need to first educate and build their capacity to be able to understand.
“If they don’t understand you, they will be misquote you and misinform the public,’’ she said.
According to her, anyone who wants to cover the health beat should get trained because they are trends in the health sector on a daily basis.
Omowole said the media had a lot of role to play in democracy, saying “the role of the media is to interpret the work of the legislature to the masses.
“For the media to effectively do that, they need to interpret what Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is about?
“They need to know the effort of the legislators to achieve it and where to access health care facility.
“From the first step, the legislators have to involve the media; they have to help build the capacity of media to understand the bill they want to pass.
“When they understand it, it will be easier for them to interpret for the masses,’’ she said.
In her views with NAN, Ms Chioma Kanu, Programme Manager Health, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) said that the nature of CSOs made them to be in a better place to engage the legislators and the citizens.
“We realised that there is a wide gap between the CSOs, the citizens and the legislators; the role of CSOs is continuous advocate to fill the gap.
“Also, the CSOs have a role of monitoring the programmes of the legislators, but unfortunately some citizens are not aware of some of the programmes.
“In addition, we also expect the CSOs to build the capacity of the legislators; we understand that their job is not a career one.
“We expect CSOs to build the capacity of those newly elected legislators so that they will begin to understand the developmental issues.
“For Instance, they need to understand, the Basic Health Provision Fund (BHPF) and once they do, they will be able to do their work effectively,’’ she said.
Also speaking, Ms Mary Ajakaye, an official of Civil Society Scaling-Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN) said, the CSOs were meant to be the voice for the voiceless.
“We are to serve as a bridge between the legislators and the public.
“We are to bring synergy to whatever the legislators are to doing; they should carry the CSOs along to be able to be their foot soldier,” she said.
Sen. Ibrahim Oloriegbe, Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, in his closing remarks at the summit, said the media and CSOs needed to build their own capacity.
“I see deficit in capacity of Civil Society operating, particularly for media – media don’t have capacity to help the system, I am saying this with due respect,’’ he said.
Oloriegbe said the media and CSOs should have the knowledge to set health agenda of the legislators and inform the citizens about it.
“For instance, the Basic Health Provision Fund we are talking about, the guideline did not go in line with the law.
“We did not see any CSOs and media bring the two of us — Legislature and Executive to book and inform the citizens about it,’’ he said.
He, however, called for more coordination and continuous engagement among the legislators, media and CSOs to achieve UHC.
The three- day health summit organised by the Legislative Network for Universal Health Coverage ended on Friday with more commitment by the national and state lawmakers to achieve UHC in the country.
The theme of the summit is “Efficiency in the Health Sector and the Role of Legislators in a Decentralised Democracy”.
UHC means that all people and communities can use the preventive, curative, rehabilitative and palliative health services they need and ensuring that the use of these services does not expose the user to financial hardship.
Edited by Saidu Adamu/Kayode Olaitan
Members of Chinese medical team visit Palestinian Health Ministry’s Central Health Laboratories
Members of a Chinese medical team meet with Palestinian medical experts in the West Bank city of Ramallah, June 14, 2020. A Chinese medical team arrived in Palestine on June 10 to help Palestinians fight against COVID-19. The 10-member team, sent by China‘s National Health Commission, consists of experts specialized in various medical fields including infectious diseases, virus examination and health management. The week-long visit until June 17 is aimed at enhancing bilateral relations in the health sector and the exchange of expertise in the fight against the coronavirus outbreak. (Photo by Ayman Nobani/Xinhua)
Members of Triko Circus Theater perform aerial hammock dance in Zagreb, Croatia
Former United States envoy to Germany supports Trump’s troop withdrawal plan – Media
Former United States Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell has shown his support to President Donald Trump’s plan to reduce troops in Germany, saying there is no need to pay too much for other countries’ defence.
Trump has ordered the United States military to remove 9,500 troops from Germany, Reuters quoted a senior United States official as saying.
The move is expected to reduce the United States contingent to 25,000.
“American taxpayers no longer feel like paying too much for the defence of other countries,” Grenell told German media outlet Bild Live.
“There will still be 25,000 soldiers in Germany, that’s no small number,” added the former official, who resigned on June 1.
However, Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee on Tuesday warned President Donald Trump against withdrawing United States troops from Germany, arguing that reducing and capping troop levels in Europe would undermine the NATO alliance and spur aggression by Russia.
“We believe that such steps would significantly damage United States national security as well as strengthen the position of Russia to our detriment,” wrote the GOP lawmakers.
The Armed Services missive marks the largest Republican effort so far to convince the administration to change course. In addition to concerns over Russia, the GOP hawks argued capping the United States troop presence in Germany would impede military training and logistics.
“In Europe, the threats posed by Russia have not lessened, and we believe that signs of a weakened United States commitment to NATO will encourage further Russian aggression and opportunism,” they wrote.
“In addition, the overall limit on troops would prevent us from conducting the exercises that are necessary for the training and readiness of our forces and those of our allies.
“The troop limit would also significantly reduce the number of United States forces that can flow through Germany for deployment to bases around the world, causing serious logistical challenges,” said the lawmakers.
Trump’s term has been marked by conflict with NATO allies as he pushed for member nations to significantly boost spending on their own militaries and cast the alliance as outdated.
Republicans said the alliance should “spread its costs more equitably” but warned NATO’s “work is not done.”
“(W)e believe that our continued strong involvement in the alliance is fundamental to our nation’s security and integral to protecting our people,” they wrote, adding: “Withdrawals and limitations of the kind being reported would make that job more difficult.”
Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)
COVID-19: CSOs urge FG to assist Bauchi State Govt. with facilities, palliative
The Bauchi Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) Covid-19 Situation Room has urged Federal Government to assist the state government with equipment and palliative to curb the spread of the global pandemic.
The Chairman of Executive Directors Forum, Mr Sodangi Chindo, made the call in a statement on behalf of the CSOs Covid-19 Situation Room in Bauchi on Wednesday.
The Bauchi CSOs’ Covid-19 Situation Room is a coalition of CSOs and NGOs in the fight against the pandemic in the state.
“We are calling on the Federal Government to assist the state to help cushion the high cost of treatment and lifestyle of the people.”
He also urged the Federal Government to assist the state to widen the scope of the testing index, and called on the state government to buy more testing kits to improve the capacity.
“This is necessary because it has been reported that the virus is at community transmission I the state,” he said.
He also encouraged the state government to put more stringent measures on border lockdown as the ban has not been lifted to further curb the spread.
The chairman advised the government to involve CSOs in the distribution of palliatives around the state and reiterated the commitment of the CSOs to support government toward curbing the spread of the pandemic.