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National Health Dialogue: NPHCDA advocates for good governance to fix health sector challenges

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(NAN), Dr Garba Bulama of the Department of Planning Research and Statistics, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), says good governance will solve 80 percent of the country’s health care delivery challenges.

the ongoing annual National Health Dialogue in Abuja on Wednesday.

The dialogue was organized by Premium Times, an online newspaper, Project for Advocacy in Child and Family Health, Project Pink Blue and the Nigerian Governor’s Forum.

The Nigeria News Agencyreports that the two-day event has as its theme ‘Universal Health Coverage: The role of State and Non-State Actors in Healthcare funding.’

Bulama noted that everything in the health sector revolves around governance, stating that once governance is fixed, the nation’s problems in the sector will almost be over.

 states to key into the health care under one roof initiative to minimize duplication and enhance access to health services.

“But for shortfalls in implementation and execution, there was no shortage of ideas when the policy was approved by the National Council on Health in 2011 and later backed by the National Health Act, 2014,” he said.

inadequate funding, shortage of health facilities and and professionals as  major challenges in the country’s health system.

He also said there was no accurate data and statistics of the country’s population, health indices and health facilities.

ho was to be covered, how to finance Universal Health Coverage and how to implement it.

constitutional provision on specific roles of different actors.

He added that states and federal actors were also not working in synergy in attaining universal health coverage.  

NAN reports that the dialogue brought together stakeholders in health and development sectors to discuss the challenges and prospects of UHC in Nigeria.

According to the organisers, since the enactment of the National Health Act in 2014, efforts targeted at providing quality and affordable health care for Nigerians in line with the goals of UHC have not been achieved.

The participants are expected to come up with actionable strategies for sustainable health care financing in the country.

AIR/MZA 

Edited by Maharazu Ahmed

Foreign

Libya’s UN-backed government forces take over Tripoli International Airport

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Forces of Libya’s UN-backed government on Wednesday announced taking over the former International Airport in the south of Tripoli from the rival eastern-based army, as the armed conflict between the two parties continues.

“Our brave forces completely freed the Tripoli International Airport and are now pursuing the fleeing forces of Haftar (commander of eastern-based army) towards Qasr bin Ghashir in the east of the airport,” Mohamed Gonono, spokesman of the UN-backed government’s forces, said in a statement.

The spokesman added that the UN-backed government’s forces have launched ten airstrikes on the eastern-based army in the airport.

The UN-backed government’s forces on Wednesday launched an operation to “free Tripoli International Airport.”

For more than a year, the eastern-based army has been trying to take over Tripoli and topple the UN-backed government by leading a military campaign.

The fighting killed and injured hundreds of civilians and displaced more than 150,000 others, despite repeated international calls for cease-fire.

(XINHUA)

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Sport

E-Sports federation prepares for 2020 national league games

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The e-Sports Federation says preparations for the 2020 On-line National League Games has begun in spite of the coronavirus pandemic affecting sporting activities in the country and beyond.

Mr Christopher Yaba, Secretary of the federation said on Wednesday in a statement after the federation’s virtual board meeting on Tuesday.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that e-sports (electronic sports) is a form of sport competition using video games.

Yaba said that the board urged its athletes to brace up for the league games, noting that a portal for registration would soon be made public.

”The meeting commended the Federal and State Governments for their efforts  in containing the dreaded coronavirus pandemic that had so far claimed the lives of over a million people across the world.

“We thank our members for their compliance with the lockdown directives aimed at holistically fighting the global scourge,

The e-Sports federation further reassures its young and energetic followers of their commitment to continue to build on the solid foundation laid by the founding fathers of the game.

“As a body that focuses on sports, the organisation commends its partners for their consistent support,” he said.

The federation scribe called on investors to take advantage of the huge opportunities embedded in e-sporting activities in Nigeria.

E-sports often take the form of organised, multiplayer video game competitions, particularly between professional players, individually or as teams.


Edited By: Chinyere Bassey (NAN)

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Economy

Afreximbank partners International Trade Centre to enhance businesses in Africa

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The African Import-Export Bank (Afreximbank), says it is collaborating with International Trade Centre (ITC), to help businesses make the most of the African Continental Free Trade Area.

This was disclosed in a statement issued on Wednesday in Abuja by Mr Amadou Sall, the Manager, Communications and Event (Media Relations), Afreximbank.

Sall said that Afreximbank would be teaming up with ITC to train small-business owners and young entrepreneurs in Africa to trade with other African countries as part of the new African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.

He said the training would be focusing on how to export within the AfCFTA, a new free-trade area amid the economic strain of climate change and the Coronavirus pandemic.

According to him, the training will give business owners the knowledge and skills they need to engage effectively in cross-border trade under terms of the emerging free-trade area for Africa.

He quoted ITC Acting Executive Director, Ms Dorothy Tembo, as saying that Intra-African trade was structurally low at 15 per cent compared to Europe at nearly 70 per cent, for example.

And the AfCFTA will open a market of 1.2 billion people.

“Against the backdrop of the current COVID-19 health and economic crisis, African micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) need support to take full advantage of the continental market.

“Through this partnership, African businesses will have the opportunity to learn, plan and succeed in growing their business by taking full advantage of the AfCFTA,” Tembo said.

Similarly, Ms Kanayo Awani, Managing Director of Afreximbank’s Intra-African Trade Initiative, said the initiative was necessary.

According to her, increasing intra-African trade through exports of goods and services by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is the cornerstone of the AfCFTA.

“It signals an optimal strategy to aid businesses and develop regional value chains, which have become more relevant with the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our joint initiative with ITC is a proactive way to support the implementation of the AfCFTA and to provide SMEs with the tools to respond more effectively to the economic and social challenges presented by the global pandemic,” Awani added.

She said that the training would be conducted through ITC’s popular multilingual SME Trade Academy platform, under the auspices of the Afreximbank Academy (AFRACAD).

She further explained that the programme would be piloted in Nigeria, Rwanda, and Côte d’Ivoire and would be launched in close collaboration with trade promotion organisations of the three selected pilot countries.

Afreximbank and ITC will work toward increasing opportunities for small-business owners to export and supporting countries to achieve their overall trade goals at the regional, continental and global levels.

ITC is also partnering Afreximbank to support South Sudan in increasing its trade competitiveness, boosting its exports through economic diversification and creating investment opportunities through the development of a trade and investment promotion strategy

Awani noted that the promotion strategy would identify several priority sectors with a high potential for trade and increasing job opportunities, especially for women and young people.

ITC will work with the country’s ministry of trade, investment agencies and private-sector associations to ensure the strategy provides sustainable solutions for the country’s development,’’ she said.

The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is a Pan-African multilateral financial institution with the mandate of financing and promoting intra-and extra-African trade.


Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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Education

Stakeholders advocate research management in Nigerian varsities for national development 

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Stakeholders in the education sector have stressed the importance of research management development in Nigerian universities as a tool for promoting national development.

According to the stakeholders, it will also ensure realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Prof. Ayodele Jegede, the Director, University of Ibadan Research Management Office (UI RMO) disclosed this in a statement in Ibadan on Wednesday.

Jegede in his reflection on the 10th anniversary of RMO as well as well as its achievements, said the help of collaborators was also worthy of note.

Also speaking, Prof. Idowu Olayinka, the Vice Chancellor, University of Ibadan (UI), eulogised the pivotal role of RMO in the development of the institution and how it had opened a new chapter for the institution.

UI will professionalise research management in order to open up job opportunities in research administration.

“The university will digitise the research management system in order to ensure that the institution remains the choice brand for cutting-edge multinational institutional research collaborations.

“Considering the role of research in national development, government should channel resources to research management.

“As a properly organised research management system is a necessary condition for a nation to maximise the opportunities in the fourth industrial revolution and knowledge based economy.”

Also, Prof. Olufemi Bamiro, a former Vice Chancellor of the university, noted that multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary researches were veritable tools to address national development initiatives.

He, however, stressed the importance of the triple helix which involves government-academia-industry partnership as a powerful tool for achieving socio-economic development of nations.

“With the government facilitating the flow of research-driven knowledge and innovation from universities to the industrial space, the power of the triple helix toward the building of industrial competitiveness with the centrality of academia -universities and polytechnics – is illustrated by the case of Tshumisano Trust Agency of South Africa.

“This is being done through its funding of research-driven innovation for transfer to the target industrial sectors to improve competitiveness.

“Under the programme, universities and technicians in polytechnics are challenged by the government with industrial problems with research-driven solutions deployed to the relevant Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

“In a continual process of increasing the industrial competitiveness of these actors, significant results are being achieved under the scheme,” he said.

Bamiro said that there were a great number of researches from Nigerian universities that litter the system proudly displayed in research fairs with no takers to commercialise them.

He added that maximising the triple helix was the way forward and toward relevance of universities and problem solving.


Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Ese E. Ekama (NAN)

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Foreign

Former Japan international Kanazaki tests positive for COVID-19

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Former Japan international footballer Mu Kanazaki has tested positive for COVID-19, his club Nagoya Grampus has announced.

The announcement was a hard blow for the J-League, which last week decided to resume the first division league season on July 4 behind closed doors.

Nagoya said that club staff will resume work from home because of Kanazaki’s infection.

Kyodo news agency said that the 31-year-old Kanazaki had a headache and a 38.5 degree celsius fever after a group training session on Friday. He underwent a test for the coronavirus on Monday, with the positive result being released the following day. He is currently hospitalized in the Aichi Prefecture.

The number of confirmed cases has continued to rise in Japan since Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe lifted the COVID-19 state of emergency two weeks ago. A total of 34 new infections were reported in Tokyo on Tuesday, marking the first time since May 14 that new daily infections topped 30.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Former Afghan president supports China’s efforts to safeguard national security

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Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai expressed his support for China‘s efforts to safeguard national unity and security in a meeting with Chinese Ambassador to Afghanistan Wang Yu on Tuesday.

Hong Kong‘s affairs are China‘s internal affairs, and shouldn’t be interfered with by any other country,” Karzai said during the meeting.

China‘s principle of ‘one country, two systems’ has effectively preserved national unity and promoted Hong Kong’s prosperity,” Karzai said.

“I firmly support China‘s efforts to safeguard national unity and security,” he added.

Karzai later expressed his support for the one-China policy on Twitter, posting, “China‘s right to protect its national security must be respected.”

“All countries should adhere to international law and the basic principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries,” he tweeted.

Chinese lawmakers voted overwhelmingly at the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC), the country’s top legislature, last week to approve a decision on establishing and improving the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to safeguard national security.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Republican National Convention site to be changed as North Carolina insists on coronavirus measures: Trump

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United States President Donald Trump said Tuesday that the Republican party was “forced” to choose another location for its presidential nominating convention, as North Carolina rejected its demand for a full-fledged gathering amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump said on Twitter that because of North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper‘s refusal to accommodate a fully-attended 2020 Republican National Convention in the Spectrum Arena in Charlotte, “we are now forced to seek another

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do not know what the status of COVID-19 will be in August, so planning for a scaled-down convention with fewer people, social distancing and face coverings is a necessity,” Cooper said in a letter to the Republican National Committee on Tuesday.

“We are happy to continue talking with you about what a scaled down convention would look like and we still await your proposed plan for that,” Cooper wrote.

The Republican National Committee sent Cooper a letter on Saturday, demanding a 19,000-person convention in his state. Trump reportedly told Cooper in a phone call on Friday that he wanted the convention to be held without requirements for masks and social distancing.

Following Trump’s tweet on Tuesday, Cooper tweeted that “it’s unfortunate” that the Republican party “never agreed to scale down and make changes to keep people safe. Protecting public health and safety during this pandemic is a priority.”

The convention, at which Trump is expected to be confirmed as Republican presidential nominee seeking re-election later this year, has been postponed until August 24-27 due to the spread of the coronavirus.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Uganda to evacuate over 2,400 nationals abroad amid pandemic

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Uganda plans to evacuate over 2,400 nationals stranded in 66 countries abroad amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa said here on Tuesday.

The Ugandan government is in consultations with the United Nations (UN), airline companies and countries involved, to make the final evacuation plans, he said.

Airport and border closures amid the pandemic, which have been in effect since March 22, have caused troubles for Ugandans to return home.

Kutesa said that each returning citizen will be tested for the virus and only those who are negative will be allowed to return home. On arrival, they will undergo a 14-day mandatory quarantined and will be tested before being released to the communities.

The government has talked to airlines such as Ethiopian Airlines, since the company can arrange to pick up Ugandans from different locations and gather them to a more central place, from where special flights can be arranged to bring them back home, said Kutesa.

He added that discussions have also been held with the UN, asking the agency to consider placing stranded Ugandans on its humanitarian flights across Africa.

He noted that the United Arab Emirates has agreed to arrange at least three flights to bring back home the migrant workers stranded in the Arab country.

“Fortunately, many of these migrant workers already have air tickets which were provided by their former employers,” he said.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Leader of Mongolia’s ruling party calls for synergy to promote national development, interests

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Ukhnaa Khurelsukh, leader of Mongolia’s ruling Mongolian People’s Party (MPP), on Tuesday called on voters to promote synergy and unity for the country’s development and interests.

Khurelsukh made the remarks during the launching ceremony of the party’s election campaign for the forthcoming parliamentary elections.

“There are no party interests that go beyond the interests of the country. I am calling on all people or voters to synergize their efforts to promote the interests of Mongolia, support the economic growth, strengthen justice in the country, and to improve people’s livelihood,” said Khurelsukh.

“I am confident that the next four years will be the years for Mongolians to consolidate their achievements, increase economic growth, reduce unemployment and poverty, create new jobs, and strengthen freedom and justice,” he said, calling for a resounding support from voters.

A total of 76 candidates from the MPP are running in the upcoming parliamentary elections under the slogan “Let’s synergize.”

According to the country’s General Election Commission, 485 candidates from 13 political parties and four coalitions as well as 121 independent candidates are running for the parliamentary elections scheduled for June 24.

Mongolia’s opposition Democratic Party is participating in this year’s elections under the slogan “Let’s allot the benefits of economic growth to every household and protect citizens by laws.”

The Asian country’s parliament, the State Great Khural, is unicameral, consisting of 76 lawmakers with a four-year term.

The previous parliamentary elections in Mongolia were held in 2016.

(XINHUA)

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