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NGO advocates creation of “safe space’’ for adolescent girls in Kaduna



Hope For The Village Child, a Kaduna-based NGO, on Tuesday met with 100 adolescent girls, preparatory to an advocacy visit to Kaduna State Government, over creation of Safe Space for them.

The Nigeria News Agency (NAN), reports that the Safe Space initiative is a programme designed to empower vulnerable girls delay child marriage and prevent adolescent pregnancy.

According to the NGO, the event is aimed at finding ways to equip adolescent girls with the capacity to make informed decisions about their sexuality and reproductive health.

Speaking at the meeting, the Programme Manager of the organisation Ruth Barrera, said the group was advocating for the creation of safe spaces at local government health facilities.

“We are hoping this advocacy would lead to the creation of these safe spaces like it did for persons living with HIV/AIDS, who got Heart to Heart centres.

“This will ensure government closes the gap in the implementation of the 2010 National Reproductive Health Policy on healthy sexual development and sexuality of adolescent girls.

“We hope for this to be piloted at the local government health facilities to reduce increasing incidences of unplanned pregnancies, child birth complications, early marriage, sexually transmitted diseases, unsafe abortions and dropping out of school,’’ Barrera said.

Also speaking, a clergy Jonathan Peter, said a great percentage of adolescent girls often acquired information on sexual and reproductive health from their peers, who are themselves children, thus getting wrong advice.

Peter described inadequate information available to adolescent girls as a cancer that was gradually eating up the society.

He reiterated the commitment of religious and traditional leaders towards achieving success in the planned advocacy.

“We will also create awareness starting from our homes on sexual matters and also give more teaching about sex.

He commended the NGO for convening the meeting, noting that its efforts would go a long way in complementing others. (NAN)


Edited by Nyisom Fiyigon Dore



Water-related accidents kill 13 in Mongolia so far this year




A total of 13 people have been killed in more than 10 water-related accidents across Mongolia so far this year, the country’s National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said Friday.

Five of the victims were children, the NEMA said in a statement.

The negligence of citizens, leaving children unsupervised and swimming after consuming alcohol were the main causes of the water-related accidents, it said.

As summer comes, the number of people who come to lake and rivers increases dramatically, the agency said, urging people to prevent potential accidents.


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Peru unveils phase-two economic reopening despite ongoing pandemic




Peru’s President Martin Vizcarra on Thursday announced the second phrase of its economic reopening amid the country’s ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which registered 4,284 new cases of infection in the past 24 hours.

Vizcarra made the announcement after the council of ministers approved his presidential decree calling for the restart of economic activity as the lockdown continues.

The new phase, which kicks off on Friday, aims to see at least 80 percent of the country’s economy resume operation. Currently, the economy is operating at 50 percent capacity, which Vizcarra said was “not enough to sustain 100 percent” of the country’s needs.

“We want to raise it to 100 percent and then even see growth on top of that,” said Vizcarra.

The areas slated to begin operating include small and medium-size mining enterprises, feed-making for animals, alcoholic beverages and tobacco products, footwear production, printing, and medical tools manufacturing and repair.

Also getting the green light are auto and motorcycle sale, and the sale of sporting equipment and domestic goods.

In the services sector, legal and accounting firms, architecture and engineering companies, research and development, veterinary shops, hotels, car rentals, and private security firms will be able to resume work.

According to Vizcarra, this phase will recover at least 500,000 jobs that went idle after lockdown.

Peru has reported a total of 183,198 cases of COVID-19 infection and 5,031 deaths from the disease.

“The minister of health says 76,228 patients or citizens who have had the virus have already recovered … that accounts for 42 percent, a very significant figure,” said Vizcarra.


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COVID-19: NGO donates kits worth N500,000 to Badagry Council



An NGO, Real Acts of Kindness (RAK) Development Foundation, on Thursday donated Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) worth N500,000 to the Badagry West Local Council Development Area.


The NGO’s Pioneer,Mr Mobolaji Ogunlende,said that the equipment was to support the council in containing the spread of COVID-19.


Ogunlende said  that the donation was the organisation’s  way of giving back to the society, especially,  during the fight against the  current COVID-19 pandemic.


He said that the decision to start the PPE kits’ donation from Badagry West LCDA was because of his belief that charity begins at home.


“I am from the council and I believe in the saying that charity begins at home; that is why we are starting from Badagry West, as a  way of complementing the Hon. Joseph Gbenu-led administration.


“What we brought here today include:  20 boxes of Latex hand gloves, 40 packets of Disposable Gowns/aprons, five eye goggles, 10 pieces of face shield.


Others are : 40 pairs of elbow gloves, 25 packs of face masks,  five pieces of  infrared thermometers, hand sanitiser and hand washing soaps.


“It is my belief that all these PPE kits will be judiciously used by  the council to curtail the spread of the pandemic in the council and its communities,” he said.


Ogunlende urged the council’s staff to  always practise social distancing and the use of  face masks in line with the  Lagos State Government’s directive.


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From left: Dr Toyin Akinloye, the Council Medical Officer, Mrs Omodara Bolaji, the Apex Nurse,  and  Mrs Carolyne Olowo-Osi, the Community Health Officer checking the PPE kits donated to Badagry West LCDA


Receiving the kits at the council’s Secretariat in Kankon, the Chairman,Mr Joseph Gbenu, thanked the NGO  for the donation.


Gbenu promised that the kits would be useful to the council in containing  COVID-19.


He also  said  that the council had done a lot  in containing the spread of  COVID-19 in the area through  disinfection and distribution of food palliatives.


He added that the council had  established a COVID-19 holding centre at Apa  in April where the the donated PPE kits donated would be useful.


“On behalf of the good people of Badagry West Local Council Development Area, I thank you for donating these kits.


Badagry West is your home base, for sometime now I have seen a lot that you have done, not only in Badagry West, but in  other local government areas.


“If someone can think deep after the distribution of foods, sanitisers, and soaps and still go further to buy PPE kits  for the council, he needs to be appreciated,” he said.


The chairman handed over the kits to the council’s Medical Officer, Dr Toyin Akinloye, for even distribution across the five Primary Health Centres (PHCs) in the area.


Akinloye said that the donation of the PPE kits was timely  as the PHCs were running out of the equipment.


“We are really running short of  supplies of PPE kits and RAK has just donated them to us at a very good time.


” I am sure that  the health workers will be praying for the NGO.These kits  are exactly what we need for the frontline workers,”  he said.


NAN reports that dignitaries at the presentation include: Mr Rauf Yemaren, Vice Chairman, Badagry West LCDA, Mr  Gusanu Sovi, Secretary to the council, Mr Anthony Godonu, the Supervisor  for Health.


Others are: Amusa Rasaq, Majority Leader of the council, Mr Ayodele Hunge, Council Manager,  Mrs Omodara Bolaji, the Apex Nurse,  and  Mrs Carolyne Olowo-Osi, the Community Health Officer.


Edited By: Victor Asije/Peter Dada (NAN)


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Angola redoubles border surveillance amid fears of reported Ebola cases in DR Congo




Angola on Thursday said it is intensifying precautionary measures in the border areas of the eastern Lunda Norte Province with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) to prevent the import and spread of Ebola in its territory after the DR Congo reported the emergence of new cases.

According to Lunda Norte Governor Ernesto Muangala, the local government has enough biosafety material and drugs to prevent contagion and possible positive cases of the Ebola epidemic.

The DR Congo announced early this week the emergence of a new Ebola outbreak in Wangata county, Mbandaka, in the northern province of Equator.

Lunda Norte government said it is anticipating prevention measures not to be caught by surprise, although the outbreak has not yet spread to the provinces of Kasai Central, Kasai and Kwango in the border areas.

The provincial governor explained that intervention health teams and epidemiological surveillance are being strengthened which, in addition to raising awareness about Ebola, will advise citizens living along the borders with DR Congo to continue to observe the COVID-19 pandemic prevention measures.

The police are also stepping up actions in the border areas to stop the entry and exit of Angolan and Congolese citizens in both countries, the official said.

Lunda Norte shares a 770-km border with the DR Congo.


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Mongolia reports 1 new COVID-19 case, 21 more recoveries




Mongolia reported one new COVID-19 case in the past 24 hours, bringing the nationwide count to 186, the National Center for Communicable Diseases (NCCD) said Thursday.

“A total of 469 tests for COVID-19 were conducted across Mongolia yesterday and one of them tested positive,” NCCD’s head Dulmaa Nyamkhuu said at a daily press conference.

The latest case is one of the over 170 Mongolian nationals who returned home from Russia on a chartered flight on May 26 amid the pandemic, said Nyamkhuu.

According to the official, all the confirmed cases, including four foreigners, were imported, mostly from Russia. No local transmissions or deaths have been reported in the country so far.

Nyamkhuu added that 21 more patients have recovered from the disease, raising the total number to 65.

On March 10, a French national tested positive for the novel coronavirus, becoming the first confirmed COVID-19 case in Mongolia.


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PMAN mourns Majek Fashek; pioneering of ‘Kpangolo’ Beat



The Performing Musicians Employers’ Association of Nigeria (PMAN) has described the  late Majekodunmi Fasheke, popularly knobwn as ‘Majek Fashek’ as a wonderful music maker/performer and  the creator of the  of ‘Kpangolo’ Beat.

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Obi Casmir, the President of PMAN, told the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday that the death of Fashek, the ‘Rainmaker’ was a big loss to the Nigerian music industry.

NAN reports that Fashek died on June 1 at the age of 57 in New York, having battled  a prolonged health issue.

The PMAN family is in a state of mourning because a wonderful, talented music maker, performer and the  creator of  ‘Kpangolo’, a unique beat had reached his bus stop and disembarked.

“The health challenge did not allow him to live beyond 57 years but it is not the length of years one spends on earth, but the depth of life lived,” he said.

The PMAN boss popularly known as ‘Voombastic Uncle P’ added that Fashek’s album ‘Send Down the Rain’ has remained unique as he also died on  June 1 which was a rainy day.

Also, Koffi ThaGuru, a commedian and  a singe told NAN that Majek Fashek was a unique figure, irreplaceable and there were no two of his kind even in the Reggae music.

ThaGuru said that the death of Fashek came as a soothing relief as the image, pain and suffering of the rain maker in recent years had been very troubling.

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“Fashek was one of a kind, but the stress of his health challenge was just too much, so it was better that he had gone home to rest.

Personally, I think he is  now  at peace with his creator.

“He was one of the last laps of reggae musicians we have left; so a big void has been created with his exit, being a star who was cherished by both children and adults,” he said.

According to him,  the present day music enthusiasts hardly follow his genre, but for those of us who came up with the sound and doctrine we will feel the impact of Fashek’s death a lot.

“May his spiritual spirit rest in peace and I am also extending my condolences to the family, fans,  the music industry and the nation at large,” he added.

NAN reports that Majek Fashek started his music career in the 1980’s–he released the popular ‘Send Down the Rain’ 1987.

And in 1988,  he released ‘Prisoner of Conscience’ which fetched him  six PMAN awards including Album of the Year and Reggae Artist of the Year Awards.


Edited By: Emmanuel Okara/Peter Dada (NAN)

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18 militiamen killed by army in combat in northeast DR Congo




At least 18 militiamen from the group CODECO were killed by the armed forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC), in an operation launched since Monday in several localities of Djugu, Ituri province in the northeast of the country, according to Lieutenant Jules Ngongo, spokesman for the army on the spot in this area.

According to Jules Ngongo, this operation enabled the armed forces to recover at least six entities occupied for several days by the militiamen in the territory of Djugu. A FARDC soldier was also killed and another injured, and several weapons were recovered by the FARDC.

The combat took place in particular along Lake Albert on the border with Uganda where the militiamen gathered in several zones. According to the army spokesperson, the objective of the operations is to prevent the attackers from reorganizing to attack civilians and the police.

The ongoing fighting in Ituri province between the attackers and the military has already prompted more than a million people to flee their homes for refugees in displacement camps. Thousands more have already crossed the border into the Republic of Uganda.

According to the United Nations, attacks on civilians have intensified since March, especially around artisanal mining sites.


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ADB opens Mongolian togrog-linked Bond Market




The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Wednesday said it has raised 21 billion Mongolian togrog (MNT), about 7.5 million U.S. dollars, in a groundbreaking issue of the first offshore MNT-linked nomad bonds.

The Manila-based multilateral lender said the issue sets a new benchmark in the international bond market for frontier currencies.

The ADB said the bond carries a 10.1 percent semi-annual coupon with an amortizing 5-year maturity. Denominated in MNT but settled in U.S. dollars, the bond issue was underwritten by ING Bank and sold to a European asset manager, it added.

The ADB said the proceeds are deployed to fund ADB’s Gender Inclusive Dairy Value Chain Project for Milko LLC in Mongolia.

“This is a milestone transaction for ADB‘s local currency operations,” ADB Treasurer Pierre Van Peteghem said in a statement.

“The emerging and frontier markets have come under pressure during the pandemic, therefore the ability to raise competitively priced term funding in Mongolian togrog at this time is a major achievement with tangible benefits in terms of currency risk mitigation for ADB‘s borrower,” he added.

According to the ADB, currency-linked bonds are important in development terms because they help plot a yield curve where government issuance is often sparse.

It said the Mongolian domestic government bonds have maturities of up to three years only, and the government has not completed any new issue of MNT debt securities since September 2017, therefore ADB‘s nomad bond serves as a relevant benchmark.

ADB is a regular borrower in the mainstream international bond markets but has also led issuances in developing Asian countries as part of its efforts to promote local currency bond markets as an alternative to bank lending.

ADB has previously issued currency-linked bonds in Armenian dram, Georgian lari, Indian rupee, Indonesian rupiah, and Philippine peso.

Established in 1966, ADB is owned by 68 members, 49 from the region.


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Monitor your children to curb drugs addiction, NGO pleads



An NGO, Adicare Rehabilitation Home, has advised parents and guardians to monitor their children and wards to prevent avoid being influenced to drug abuse and addiction by negative peers.

The NGO’s Chief Executive Officer, Mrs Veronica Ezeh, told the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Lagos that parents, guardians and alike must take up the responsibility of mentoring their children and youths in the right way.

Ezeh said to check the acts of suicide, arson, violent crimes and violence against women in form of rape, there should be concerted efforts to stop youths from using hard drugs or becoming drug addict.

She is a Psychiatric Nurse at the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba, Lagos.

Ezeh decried the high rate of drugs abuse among youths, urging parents and alike to join hands with the organisations in the campaign against illicit drug use.

She said the NGO on Feb. 26, concluded the first-phase of its sensitisation and education programme on the dangers of youth involvement in drug abuse.

Ezeh said the NGO was planning to kick-off the second-phase of the programme as soon as the pressure of COVID-19 calms down and the economy normalised.

She added that the sensitisation programme targeted youths, particularly the secondary school students within the age bracket of 13 to 19 years.

The psychiatrist said investigations revealed that most mental destitute on the streets were caused by abuse of drugs, which she said that youths were more vulnerable.

According to her, drug abuse is a habit done in secret, and the only way it can be identified in children is at the primary or secondary school levels.

Ezeh, therefore, advised parents and guardians to monitor the company, their children and wards.

She said that they should keep to know when they were getting involved in drugs, and thereby prevent them from going astray.

“I always say that parents should be able to monitor their children closely, because drug abuse is a secret habit which may be difficult to identify.

“But if a parent is close or friendly with his/her child, having established good relationship with the child, such parent will be able to know when the child is going astray or getting involved in illicit drugs.

“The moment a child starts school (either primary or secondary), try and keep a watch on him or her and monitor their daily activities.

“If they have phone, try to know their contacts and the kind of conversations they keep with their friends, and if possible, try to know their friends in person, including the families of their friends,” she cautioned.

According to her, majority of youths/students who get involved in drug abuse do not know the implications of what they are doing, rather, they take it because their friends or peers were taking.

Ezeh noted that parents were the firstline of people to educate the young ones on the dangers of drug abuse, mentor them and guide them right to grow and become responsible citizens, not drug addicts.

“It is on record that the use of hard drugs is the number one cause of mental illness, suicide, arson, violent crimes as well as violence against women worldwide.

Edited By: Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)

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