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NGO inaugurates drugs, substance abuse-free clubs in 15 schools in Kaduna



Care and Action Research, a Non-Governmental Organisation (CaRE-NGO) on Friday inaugurated Drugs and Substance Abuse-free

Club in 15 Junior Secondary Schools (JSS) in Kaduna metropolis.

The Executive Director of the NGO, Mrs Joy Dogo, said at the inauguration ceremony in Kaduna, that the measure was to prevent drugs and substance abuse among

adolescents in the state.

Dogo said that the Prevention of Drugs and Substance Abuse Among Adolescent project was being supported by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

She explained that the clubs, made up of 20 members in each of the 15 schools, totalling 300 students, were trained on the dangers and

prevention of drugs and substance abuse.

She added that the 300 students were trained as peer group educators on the dangers of drugs and substance abuse, noting that each student was expected to reach

out to at least 50 peers.

According to her, it is easy to lure adolescents into drug and substance abuse, but very difficult to fight drug addiction.

She said that “our goal, therefore, is to prevent the ugly trend among adolescents by empowering them with life skills to help them understand the value of their lives and self-worth.

“This is designed to equip the students with self-esteem and the confidence that will enable them to say no to drug and substance abuse and help their peers to stay away from

the menace.”

The Project Officer, Mendos Dogo, said that the clubs had developed work plans that would guide their activities in their respective schools.

Dogo added that CaRE-NGO would carry out monthly supervision of the clubs to monitor their activities to ensure sustainability.

Pastor David Elisha, 37, a reformed drug addict who shared his experience with the students, advised them to do all that they can to stay away from drugs and substance abuse.

Elisha disclosed that he started abusing drugs at the age of 11 years, narrating that he roamed Barnawa market and Barnawa Shopping Complex in Kaduna

for three years as a mad man due to drug abuse.

He said “I was taken to psychiatric hospital and rehabilitation centre before I was able to come out of my addiction at 28 years and today, I am a pastor.

“I want to tell you that there is no gain in drug abuse. Indulging in drugs and substance abuse will cost you a lot and stagnate your life.

“The way out is simple: do not indulge in drug and substance abuse. Say no and be firm in your decision.”

Dr Ibraheem Baba, the Head of Training, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Kaduna State Command, commended CaRE-NGO for

supporting to prevent drug abuse among adolescents.

Baba urged the students to stay away from drugs, adding that drug addicts were in constant agony and struggling to stop.

“I, therefore, appeal to all of you to be the drivers of your peers and drive away from anyone that tries to lure you to drug abuse,” he said.

Mr Sunday Yakubu, the Principal of Government Day Secondary School, Doka, thanked the NGO for the initiative and promised to monitor

the activities of the club to ensure success.

Edited By: Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu



NAF offers free medical services to 3, 000 persons in Sokoto



The Nigerian Air Force (NAF), has began free medical outreach for Mabera Community in Sokoto Metropolis, targeting 3, 000 persons in the two-day exercise.

Launching the programme on Friday in Sokoto, Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto, described the medical outreach as a commendable gesture by NAF.

Tambuwal, represented by his Deputy, Alhaji Maniru Dan’iya, urged NAF to extend such gestures to other areas such as education, in view of the availability of diverse expertise in the service.

He commended the existing cordial relations between the community, NAF officials and other security agencies, and urged them to redouble efforts at safeguarding peoples’ lives and protecting Nigeria’s territorial integrity.

In his address, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, said that the exercise was part of efforts at enhancing community relations through the provision of humanitarian services.

Abubakar, who was represented by Air Vice Marshal, Charles Owo, the Air Officer Commanding, Tactical Air Command of the Nigerian Air Force, Makurdi, said similar outreaches had been conducted by NAF in the past.

He noted that doctors, nurses, pharmacists, laboratory scientists and other auxiliary health workers, would provide services to beneficiaries free of charge in the exercise.

He added that drugs, eye glasses and other consumables would also be distributed to beneficiaries free.

According to him, free test will also be conducted along with screening for eye ailments, hepatitis, malaria, diabetes and others.

He disclosed that no fewer than 3,000 people were being targeted for the free exercise and urged the people to take advantage of the outreach to know and improve their health status.

“Today’s event signifies our commitment to improving our civil-military relationships. It is usually said that a healthy nation is a wealthy nation.

“The exercise will in no small way contribute to the health of this community as some screening exercises such as sugar, hepatitis tests will be done along with the general medical examinations to beneficiaries.

“The exercise will also feature distribution of mosquito nets, as well as free eyeglasses and dental checks,” Abubakar said.

He told the villagers that the health professionals at the event were ready to assist them with their health concerns.

He said those requiring further treatment such as surgeries, would be referred to nearby hospitals.

Earlier, the District Head of Gagi, Alhaji Sani Umar-Jabbi, thanked the NAF for conducting the outreach in his community, noting that it would surely enhance people’s well-being.

Umar-Jabbi advised members of the community to take advantage of the outreach to access treatment, and stressed the need for the people to continue to live in harmony with security officials.

Some of the beneficiaries, Malam Yahanasu Ibrahim, Mr Nasiru Suleiman and Umar Danjarida, who spoke to NAN, expressed happiness over the gesture.

The beneficiaries described the gesture as a lifeline to them, particularly because of the free medical items such as eye glasses and drugs.

Edited & Vetted By: Chioma Ugboma/Nyisom Fiyigon Dore

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UNICEF to improve literacy level of Nigerian children through advocacy



The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), on Friday said it would help improve literacy level among Nigerian children in rural areas through sensitisation and advocacy.

The UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, Mr Peter Hawkins, told the Nigeria News Agency in Lagos that the importance of literacy and education would be better understood through advocacy.

Hawkins said that for those in the rural areas to understand that they could be liberated from poverty through education, it had to be through advocacy and sensitisation.

According to him, those in the rural areas and local communities are often neglected in the areas of education and health.

The UNICEF Representative said that the agency had taken up the responsibility of sensitising those in the rural areas on the values of education.

“It is a generational curse for parents to be uneducated and be comfortable with their children not being educated and poor.

“It is also a generational curse to allow oneself to die in poverty. The rural people need to know that the only way out of poverty is through education.

“They need to understand that they should allow their children to go to school to get them out of the generational curse of poverty,’’ he said.

Hawkins said that though private education was expensive, the public education should be patronised, because it was free to a great extent.

On the literacy level in Nigeria, he said that it had slightly improved, as an average Nigerian child struggled to be educated.

According to him, it is, however, not a good record because Nigeria should have moved from slightly educated to education for all, which should have been achieved earlier before now.

He said that those who had access to education, especially in some states across the country, were faced with different challenges.

He said the challenges included non-payment of teachers’ salaries, inadequate learning facilities and insufficient infrastructure in most schools.

Hawkins, therefore, called for multi-sectoral collaborative efforts of all stakeholders in the economy, toward realisation of Children’s right, saying that everyone had a role to play.

“Achieving child rights require collaboration and efforts of all stakeholders in the economy, including the parents, guardians, educators, governments and all sectors.

“Child rights and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) need to be integrated into business principles, strategies and plans, which, in turn, can contribute to more robust and inclusive economic growth and improved employment of young people.

“With the nation’s population close to 200 million people and an ever-increasing youth bulge, Nigeria is experiencing increased demands on schools and health facilities as well as growing challenges for young people to find work, amongst other challenges.

“A strong push will need to be made by all if Nigeria is to meet the SDGs by 2030.

“The private sector could be a critical key in unlocking opportunities for young people, addressing poverty, combating inequality and tackling environmental problems,” he said.

Edited & Vetted By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Adeleye Ajayi

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NGO wants FG to create office of Presidential Aide on PWD



Mrs Lois Auta, Founder of the CEDAR SEED Foundation, on Friday called for the creation of position of Special Adviser to the President on People with Disabilities (PWDs) in Nigeria.

Auta made the suggestion in an interview with Nigeria News Agency in Abuja.

She said that the position was imperative to address the pressing needs of People with Disabilities in the country.

The PWDs rights advocate, who reiterated the need for such office, said it would bring demands of people with Disabilities to the attention of the President.

“We need the office of Special Adviser on PWDs because it will serve as link between the presidency and disability community,” Auta said.

According to her, it always seems as a tokenism or doing a favour for disabled people. Our rights should be given to us, not based on charity.

Auta called on Nigerians to begin to appreciate and focus on the abilities or strength of People with Disabilities rather than their weaknesses and disabilities.

“My message to Nigerians is to focus on our abilities not disabilities, see the person not the challenge.”

The CEDAR SEED President, however, called for mandatory education of people with disabilities for a greater nation.

She explained that education was vital in the empowerment of people with disabilities anywhere in the world especially Nigeria.

“Engage people with disabilities positively with job employment to enable them to contribute their quota to nation building.”

Edited & Vetted By: Donald Ugwu

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Zamfara: 4,340 adolescents graduate from sexual, reproductive health training in Kaura-Namoda LGA.



No fewer than 4,340 adolescents graduated from Sexual and Reproductive Health training conducted by an NGO, `Save the Children International’ (SCI),in Kaura-Namoda Local Government Area of Zamfara state.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the training was conducted under the Non-Governmental Organisation’s `Reaching and Empowering Adolescents to Make Informed Choices for their Health’ (REACH) project.

The Community Engagement and Advocacy Coordinator of REACH project in the state, Hajiya Fatima Musa, disclosed this on Friday at the safe space field visit at Kuryar Madaro Community.

According to her, the REACH is a three year project funded by Global Affairs, Canada, implemented by the Save the Children International in three northern states.

She said the project targets 100,000 adolescent boys and girls between the ages of 10 to 19 in Zamfara, Katsina and Gombe states.

“In Zamfara, two local government areas of Kaura-Namoda and Talata-Mafara were selected for the project, targeting over 33,000 adolescents.

“Out of over 16,000 married and unmarried males and females covering 10 to 14 and 15 to 19 years in Kaura-Namoda local government area, a total of 4,340 adolescent boys and girls have so far graduated from the programme.

“This project is expected to improve decision making, access of high quality gender-responsive and adolescent-friendly SCI services as well as addressing sexual and reproductive health risks among others,’’ she said.

She commended the implementing partners, the Voluntary Aid Initiative (VAI) and other stakeholders for supporting the project in the state.

Head of VAI, Mr Musa Aboki thanked the beneficiaries for proving the positive impact of the programme especially in terms of hygiene, parent-children relations, education and taking informed decisions.

Aboki called on government at all levels to appreciate efforts of SCI and intervene for the continuation of similar engagements across the state.

In his remarks, the District Head of Karyar Madaro, Alhaji Mahmud Muhammad thanked SCI and REACH for choosing his community as one of the communities to implement their projects in the state.

Muhammad said the programme has promoted the wellbeing of the entire community and called on government and other stakeholders, to come up with various programmes to support the girl-child education.

“I am also appealing to government to engage female graduates into the state civil service to address most of the development challenges bedeviling our progress as a state,’’ he said.

The traditional ruler assured of continued support and cooperation to any partner with a mission of helping the society.

Various stakeholders including government officials, religious and traditional leaders, media, CSOs, children’s parliament and community representatives were in attendance during the visit.

Edited & Vetted By: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Tukur Muntari.

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Group backs WHO report, calls for increased funding to eradicate malaria 



RBM Partnership to End Malaria, a global coalition on Malaria, has supported WHO report, showing that global investments and actions are making big difference, while half of the world population are still at risk of dying from malaria.

The RBM stated this in a statement it issued in Geneva while reacting to the 2019 World Malaria Report released by WHO on Dec. 4.

According to the report, global malaria cases and deaths are declining but at a slowed rate: from an estimated 231 million to 228 million cases and from 416,000 to 405,000 deaths between 2017 and 2018.

Estimates show that in 2018, global efforts saved almost 600,000 lives per year and prevented almost 100 million malaria cases per year compared to 2000.

ontinued global investment and commitment toward a world free of malaria have been critical to sustaining the progress the malaria community has made to date, without these global efforts, malaria cases and deaths will be significantly higher.

“Now, it is essential we step up global action and financing to close the annual two-billion-dollar funding gap to reach those at risk with sustainable access to life-saving tools. 

“We must also prioritise developing and scaling-up new, transformative tools to stay ahead of the evolving parasite, as highlighted in two landmark reports on malaria eradication published earlier this year. 

“It is crucial that we act now to hold leaders accountable and work together to achieve vital reduction targets, save millions more lives and end malaria for good.”

parts of the world, a child who gets malaria today has a better chance of survival than at any other point in history. 

“Yet, despite the availability of effective life-saving malaria interventions, too many vulnerable pregnant women and children still face the greatest risk of dying from a mosquito bite.”

He stressed that ending malaria was one of the greatest opportunities to improve child and maternal health and mortality and contribute to SDG 3, “to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.

“This report highlights the importance of further integrating malaria interventions – including prevention, diagnosis and treatment – into our health systems to reach those in most need, yet also to strengthen global efforts to achieve Universal Health Coverage.”

However, the statement noted that the report identified several global malaria success stories, with more than half of all countries now malaria-free and another 49 countries registering less than 10,000 cases.

Nigeria News Agency report that RBM Partnership to End Malaria is the largest global platform for coordinated action against malaria.

Originally established as Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership in 1998, it mobilises for action and resources and forges consensus among partners.

The platform is comprised of more than 500 partners, including malaria endemic countries, their bilateral and multilateral development partners, the private sector, Non-Governmental Organisations, community-based organisations, foundations, and research and academic institutions.

Edited & Vetted By: Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu

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NPC launches 2018 Nigeria Demographic, Health Survey



The National Population Commission (NPC) on Thursday officially launched the 2018 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) Report in Lagos State.

The Acting Chairman of the commission, Bimbola Salu-Hundeyin, said in Lagos that the NDHS was the sixth Demographic Health Survey (DHS) conducted in Nigeria since 1990.

Salu-Hundeyin, represented by the commission’s Director in Lagos State, Mr Murphy Adigun, said the survey provides up-to-date estimates on basic demographic and health indicators.

The acting chairman said that NPC worked in close collaboration with the National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP) under the Federal Ministry of Health in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

She said that this was aimed at accomplishing the survey report.

According to her, a total of 41, 821 women, aged 15-49 in 40,427 households and 13,311 men aged 15-59 in one third of the sampled households were interviewed.

“It represents a response rate of 99 per cent of women and 99 per cent of men,” the NPC chief said.

Salu-Hundeyin said she was pleased to say that new innovative approaches were used in the conduct of the 2018 NDHS.

She said: “First, the anthropometry processes was improved to collect high quality height and weight measurement from women and children.

“A new biomarker checklist was introduced to ensure that no important tasks were missed.

“Interviewers also returned to household to re-measure children for flagged cases and random re-measurement for data quality checked.”

The acting chairman said she was pleased to inform all that these new improved processes piloted here in Nigeria, had been approved as standard procedures in DHS surveys by other nations, especially in Africa.

She said that another innovation was the inclusion of the DHS program’s disability module in the 2018 NDHS.

Salu-Hundeyin said, “this allowed the commission to collect information on disability status in Nigeria for the first time.”

She said that result of the survey also shows a number of significant outcomes.

Edited & Vetted By: Olagoke Olatoye

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