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NGO to educate more Lagos women on cervical cancer prevention



A non-governmental organisation (NGO), known as Sebeccly Cancer Care, has said it is committed to educating more women in Lagos communities on the prevention of cervical cancer.

The founder of the organisation, Dr Omolola Salako, said this at a Health Educators and Community Mobilisers Orientation held in Lagos on Friday.

The programme was organised by the NGO, in collaboration with the state Ministry of Health, state Primary Healthcare Board and ACT Foundation.

Salako, a Consultant Radiation Oncologist at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, said the organisation wanted to join the global community toward eliminating cervical cancer in Nigeria.

She said: “The cost of cancer care is astronomical when compared to the cost of prevention.

“What we are trying to address today is empowering women in the communities to know that cervical screening is good, beneficial, economical and a life saver.

“We also want to empower our health educators and community mobilisers on their approach toward women, so that we can have more women flocking the primary healthcare centres for cervical screening.“

Salako said that many women that attended the programme presented cases of the condition in advanced stages that could not be cured.

She said that even when presented in early stages, the possibility of curing them was still a challenge as radiotherapy was not readily available.

“Where radiotherapy is available, it is very expensive and not affordable to the greater population.

“There are not enough oncologists and surgeons to carry out surgery in a speedy manner.

“There are some states in the country that do not have surgical oncologists skilled in removing these cancers.

“Back in the clinic, what we are seeing are cases that are incurable, poor quality of life, because they come in with infections,“ she said.

Earlier, the organisation’s #TimetoScreen Programme Officer, Dr Awele Okeke, said it  planned  to screen about 7,000 women in Alimosho, Ikorodu, and Lagos Island Local Government Areas (LGAs).

“Sebeccly inaugurated the #TimetoScreen project in 2017 and in two years, it has screened about 5,000 women.

“This year, the NGO wants  to go a step further to screen 7,000 women and to this effect,  we have partnered with the state ministry of health and our sponsors, ACT Foundation, to bring this initiative to the community.

“To screen 7,000 women, we have decided to train 30 community mobilisers and health education officers so they can pass the accurate message across to women in the community,” Okeke said.

Two participants described the programme as timely, saying that many women in the community were ignorant about cervical cancer and the importance of screening.

One of them, Mrs Abiodun Orojakinwa, the Chairman, Social Mobilisers Committee, Alimosho LGA, said that finance remained women’s major inhibition against going for screening.

“Many women have been looking for the opportunity to get screened but they lacked the finance.

“We appreciate Sebeccly for bringing this initiative and screening our women free of charge. This will go a long way to helping many women,” Orojakinwa said.

Also, a Health Educator, Mrs Kowiu Kazeem, said she would go into the community to sensitise the women so that they could take the opportunity to get screened.

Kazeem said: “We will make sure we inform women in our communities. This way, more women will be screened, thereby reducing cases of cervical cancer in our country.

“When they get screened, they will be assured about their status and we the educators will know the next step to take, if anyone is detected to have the condition.“ 









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NGO empowers 23,817 young girls, women in Kaduna



A Kaduna-based Non-Governmental Organisation, Empowering Women for Excellence Initiative (EWEI), said on Saturday that it had empowered 23,817 young boys, girls, and women in the last 12 years.

The Programme Officer of the NGO, Ms Grace Isah, made this known in a statement in Kaduna, as part of activities to celebrate 12 years of service to humanity.

Isah explained that with the support of partners, committed staff and mentors, EWEI had been delivering multi-sectoral interventions for the empowerment of girls and women.

Over the last 12 years we have watched with humility and thankfulness the 23,817 lives we have been able to touch positively, and this has kept us going.

“We have learned from our mistakes and successes over the years and we will continue to support women and girls access opportunities and resources they need to improve their wellbeing,” she said.

She said that the young girls, boys, and women were empowered under the NGOs various programmes and projects designed to impact positively on their lives.

She explained that EWEI’s Civic Education and Participation for Women Project (CEPWOP) addresses the under-representation of women and excluded groups in the political space.

Through CEPWOP, we are giving voice to women and girls and encouraging them to participate in governance.

Also, EWEI’s Educational Subsidy Programme (ESP) was designed to support girl child education, while the Economic Empowerment Partnership (EEP) programme builds the capacity of women and girls.

EEP assists economically disadvantaged women and out-of-school girls to source for micro-credit facilities as part of effort to help them out of poverty,” she said.

The programme officer added that EWEI also engaged young women and female professionals from Nigeria and around the world via its online chart platform for horizontal learning, networking, exchange, and mentorship.

She further said that the NGO, through its Getting Involved (GI) programme, was supporting and equipping youth to raise awareness about the Sustainable Development Goals in their communities.

Similarly, since 2011, EWEI’s Know and Say No programme, had been raising awareness and strengthening institutional capacities to address gender-based violence (GBV).

“Our Safe Spaces project (OSS) equally supports women and girl survivors of gender-based violence by providing access to psychosocial support systems and economic empowerment opportunities to facilitate normalisation of their lives,” Isah said.

The officer said that EWEI would continue to encourage girls and women to harness their abilities and take more active roles in decision making and policy formation.

This, she said, would ensure that their voices were heard and taken seriously, following the hardship caused by insecurity, gender-based violence and poverty, as well as the uncertainty created by Coronavirus pandemic.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that EWEI was established in 2008 by Ms Safiya Ibn-Garba, to empower young girls and women through multi-sectoral interventions.

Edited By: Felix Ajide (NAN)



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Mongolia’s capital holds annual book festival to promote reading amid pandemic




The 27th annual Ulan Bator Book Festival is underway here to promote a reading culture, especially among children and youth, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The three-day festival starting on Friday is held both online and offline for the first time, attracting around 500 authors, publishing houses, organizations as well as thousands of readers.

Co-organized by the city’s cultural department and non-governmental organization Nomiin Soyolt Yertunts (World of Book Culture) under the auspices of the country’s education ministry, the festival includes a wide range of activities such as meetings between authors and book lovers, book exhibitions and the launch of new books.

As of Saturday, Mongolia has confirmed 193 COVID-19 infections, including four foreign nationals.

All the cases are imported ones, mostly from Russia, with no local transmissions or deaths reported so far.


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Mongolia reports 2 new COVID-19 cases, 193 in total




Mongolia reported two new cases of COVID-19 over the last 24 hours, taking its total to 193, the country’s National Center for Communicable Disease (NCCD) said Saturday.

“A total of 255 tests for COVID-19 were conducted across the country on Friday and two of them were positive,” the NCCD’s head Dulmaa Nyamkhuu told a daily press conference.

The latest cases are Mongolian students who returned home from Russia via Altanbulag border point on May 28, Nyamkhuu said.

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

One more patient has recovered from the disease, raising the total number to 71, said the official.

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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COVID-19: NGO takes sensitization campaign to market, community, women leaders in Kaduna



An NGO, Second Chance Humanitarian Aid Foundation, on Friday organised a one day seminar on COVID-19 preventive measures for market, community and women leaders in Manchok, Kaura Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

Speaking at the event, Mrs Ladi Bala, founder of the foundation, said that the organisation considered it necessary to complement government efforts in creating awareness on coronavirus at the grassroots.

The founder, who was represented by Banta Bala, Project Coordinator of the Foundation, said people at grassroots needed much sensitisation because of their vulnerability, and creating such awareness would further give them  a sense of belonging.

“The rural dwellers need to be well informed on measures to avoid contracting and transmitting the virus.

“The government is doing her best but the bulk of the responsibility is on the people to do the needful, as such, we considered it needful to contribute our token in the fight against COVID-19,” she said.

Mr Peter Ibrahim, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Kaduna State Deputy Governor, harped on the need for behavioral change on the part of members of the public in the face of the pandemic.

“As much as the State Government is considering easing of the lockdown, people’s attitude especially in observing social distancing was a major challenge.

“I commend the organisers of the event, as it is part of government’s plans to engage critical stakeholders including, traditional and religious leaders, market groups and associations, amongst others in combating COVID-19,” he added.

Ibrahim urged participants to leverage on the lessons learnt at the seminar to further educate other members of the community.

Also speaking, Mr Sunday Tabishi, the Council Secretary, Kaura Local Government, commended the initiative, which according to him, was timely.

Tabishi urged the people to exercise more patience as the government was doing all within its power to bring succor to the people, particularly those at the grassroots.

Earlier, Mr Isaac Auta, a member  of the foundation, who spoke on Personal Hygiene, told participants to ensure regular washing of their hands, use of face masks and observe social distancing.

He said although there had not been any reported case of COVID-19 in the area, residents needed to observe the necessary precautionary measures, bearing in mind that the virus was real.

Malam Musa Buga, Head of Manchok market and Mrs Mageret Musa, Head of Women in the market, in their separate responses appreciated the NGO for the sensitisation, noting that it gave them a sense of belonging.

They assured the foundation of judicious use of the items they received and promised to enlighten others on lessons learnt at the seminar.

NAN reports that the seminar tagged, “COVID-19 Intervention Project”, saw presentation of 1,000 face masks as well as 10 hand washing basins to be placed at the Local Government Secretariat and the market place.

Edited By: Bola Akingbehin/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)

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NGO urges FG to introduce free HPV vaccination, screening



A non-governmental organisation, Onyebuchi Chris Ifediora (OCI) Foundation has called on Federal Government to introduce Human Papilomavirus (HPV) vaccine into the national routine immunisation for young girls in the country.

Dr Chirs Ifediora, OCI Founder, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Onitsha on Friday.

Ifediora said more deaths from cervical cancer, which is caused by certain types of HPV, may occur by 2025, if the Federal Government fails to tackle the menace head-on.

“These are not just women, but wives, mothers, sisters, aunties, in-laws, associates and so on.

Ifediora said the government could partner with institutions and international agencies to prevent cervical cancer by ensuring free vaccination, screening and treatment of pre-cancerous lesions as well as treatment of invasive cancer.

“In most developed worlds, these things are free. In Nigeria, we acknowledge that there are challenges but it is doable,” he stressed.

He said his foundation had launched Arm Our Youths (ArOY) Health Campaign, which seeks to introduce anti-breast and cervical cancer campaigns into the regular curriculum of all senior secondary schools.

Ifediora said the campaign had begun in all eligible schools in Anambra and Benue States and would have been inaugurated last month, but for the COVID-19 lockdown.

The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) is also going to introduce some breast and cervical prevention teachings into their three-week orientation program across the country.

“The programme is evidence-based, and has been endorsed by the Harvard Medical School and the World Health Organsation (WHO),” he explained.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Ekemini Ladejobi (NAN)


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World Environment Day marked in Yangon, Myanmar




A tractor works at a dumpsite in Yangon, Myanmar, June 5, 2020. World Environment Day, a United Nations (UN) campaign to raise awareness about the protection of the environment, is celebrated every year on June 5. (Xinhua/U Aung)


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World Environment Day: NGO tasks youths on nature preservation



A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), the Leadership Entrepreneurship and Advocacy (LEAD) Network, has urged youths to lead advocacy on nature and environment preservation from the community level.

The Executive Director of LEAD Network, Mr Chukwuma Okenwa, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Enugu on Friday.

Okenwa spoke on the sidelines of the World Environment Day, which is commemorated worldwide on June 5 and this year’s theme is “Celebrating Biodiversity’’.

He said that youths could make a difference even in their local communities by engaging in positive environmental enhancement practices and persuading others to treat the environment with care and respect.

According to him, what can youths do differently? They can educate others on the need to respect our environment, engage in clean-up campaign and finally go and plant a tree.

Okenwa said: “It is instructive that this year’s World Environment Day comes at a time when the world is united in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Many nature advocates believe that the only possible benefit of the lockdown, occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic, is the fact that the earth enjoyed a holiday from human’s constant exploitation.

LEAD Network believes that though our environment has supported us greatly in terms of the air we breathe, food we eat, the water we drink and the sun rays that reach us, there has not been a commensurate kindness and regard to the same environment and nature itself.

“Man is part of the ecosystem. Unfortunately his tendencies to exploit the environment has been without regard to other life forms and posed a threat to sustaining lives under water and on the land in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

“Man’s negative and exploitative approach to the environment makes it imperative that youths, who are the active occupiers of the world, must stand up and advocate for positive and sustainable environment that will support them and generation to come’’.

The LEAD Network boss also lamented the “unfortunate’’ mass felling of trees in the country, which would soon result to a threat to the climate and the survival of other forms of life.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)



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President Geingob proposes liquidation of country’s flag carrier Air Namibia



Namibian President, Hage Geingob, has proposed the liquidation of the country’s flag carrier, Air Namibia.

Speaking to lawmakers while giving the State of the Nation Address, Geingob said since the airline was not making a profit, the country could not afford to keep rescuing it.

Air Namibia must be liquidated; we have a serious problem with Air Namibia.

“It must be restructured; it is not making any profits and it is just being bailed out.

“We must do something about it,’’ the President said.

Since October 2019, the airline has been forced to cut its operating costs to the bone after the treasury refused a 2-billion-Namibian-dollar ($118 million) bailout.

The airline had warned in November that it might be forced to shut down operations if it did not receive a rescue package.

The situation has been made dire by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, which saw the airline freeze operations for about two months as the country was on lockdown.


Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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NGO advocates more awareness in Gombe communities to curb deforestation



A Non-Governmental Organisation, Jewel Environmental Initiative (JEI) based in Gombe, has urged the state government and other stakeholders to spread awareness to its rural communities to help curb indiscriminate felling of trees.

Mr Ismail Bima, Chief Executive Officer of the NGO, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Gombe on Friday as part of its activities to commemorate this year’s World Environment Day.

NAN reports that the World Environment Day (WED) is the United Nations’ flagship day for promoting worldwide awareness and action for the environment and the theme for this year is ‘Celebrate Biodiversity’.

Bima said awareness needed to be taken to villages in Gombe state, saying that most of the communities in the state were not aware of the dangers of deforestation.

He said that alternative cooking energy sources should be made available to residents in rural areas, adding that if they had no alternatives to cooking their foods, they would fall back on the trees.

“The awareness will enlighten them more on the importance of having these trees in their environment. When they know, they will reduce cutting or tree felling; they will shave the trees instead of cutting them down,” he said.

Bima emphasised that tree felling for whatever purpose must be discouraged, saying that just a week ago, the organisation got a call from Kaltungo, where a Baobab tree of over 40 years was cut down completely.

“This is bad. We are just damaging our environment, culture and nature that help sustain our life,’’ the chief executive officer said.

He said the impact of environmental degradation was already being felt.

According to him, most hunters no longer see animals to hunt and even most of our kids do not know squirrels because they are becoming extinct.

“ The environment that sustains these animals has been depleted and so we no longer have the environment to keep these animals in our communities; so they have relocated.

“We must also reduce most of the chemicals that we use on soil while farming because they are also damaging the micro-organisms which we need in our environment to balance the ecosystem,” he said.

Bima, therefore, urged the state government to do more, especially in the area of strengthening environmental laws to discourage tree felling especially in the frontline local government areas where tree felling was still being practiced.

He also urged residents of Gombe communities to cultivate the habit of planting trees to complement efforts of the state government to plant one million trees every year.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)


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