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Stakeholders call for increase in budget for health sector



Prof. Chinedum-Peace Babalola, the Vice Chancellor of Chrisland University, Abeokuta has called on the government to ensure it allocates adequate budget for the health sector in the 2020 fiscal year.

Babalola, who is also a phamacist told the Nigeria News Agency on Saturday in Abuja that adequate budget would enable the sector perform optimally and achieve the desire goals.

“The budget allocation to the health sector has never been enough; we have not met the minimum standard of healthcare specified by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and that is because we don’t have enough finance to do all things.

“We need to increase the budget towards health, there is this national health act that prescribed that one per cent of the revenue from tax should go for the health sector, if that is implemented, a lot will happen.

“We need policies, we need support to be able to implement various health programmes, if the budget is increased, there will be enough money to curb diseases in the country, ” she stressed.

The Acting Executive Secretary of the FCT Primary Healthcare Board, Dr Ewot Ndaeyo, also called for increase in the budget for the health sector.

Ndaeyo pointed out that the budget increase would make a way for the desire result in the primary healthcare and it would affect the lives of Nigerians positively.

According to him, what the board expected for the 2019 statutory allocation is not what it got and there is no way improvement will come to the sector with inadequate budget provisions.

“The challenges that we have is in the budget, we expect to have higher than what we got for the 2019 for the statutory allocation, the 2019 health provision funds was below our expectation.

“If you don’t achieve this one, there is no way you can move primary healthcare forwards. This is the minimum package and we have done a memo to the FCTA to come in for assistance,” he said.

Ndaeyo, however, appreciated the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration for signing into law the act that would regulate the workings of the FCT Primary Healthcare.

“For the past 20 years, the FCT Primary Healthcare has been operating without a law and this does not give a sense of direction to the board.”

He said that now that the board had been gazetted for the FCT primary healthcare, things were bound to change for good.

“The FCT healthcare has been gazetted and it was assented to by the president on June 24, and gazetted in July 18, this will make the primary healthcare to come under a roof.

“The routine activities that are being done by the six area councils will now be harmonised and we will be doing it from the headquarters here, it is going to be in uniformity.

“There will be one coordination, one plan and one authority, there will be no primary healthcare functions in any other place except through the primary healthcare board, this is a significant development,” he stressed. (NAN)


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Edited by Grace Yussuf


Ogun govt. to de-worm 900,000 school children



Ogun government says it has concluded plans to de-worm no fewer than 900,000 school children in the ongoing health awareness programme across 10 local government areas in the state.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that Gov. Dapo Abiodun made this known on Wednesday in Abeokuta.

Abiodun, who spoke through the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr Adesanya Ayinde, said that the exercise was an opportunity to help children get rid of worms that might make them susceptible to skin and respiratory infections.

He said that a total of 839,273 children were being targeted during the exercise in 4,900 schools across the designated local government areas.

The governor called on parents and guardians to work harmoniously with the health workers, who were saddled with the responsibility of carrying out the exercise.

NAN reports that the second round of the exercise for children between the ages of 5 and 14, which commenced on Nov. 15, will end on Nov. 24.

The designated local government areas are: Abeokuta South, Abeokuta North, Ifo, Odeda,Yewa North, Yewa South, Odogbolu, Sagamu, Ijebu North and Ogun Waterside.

Contrary to insinuations in some quarters, the governor said that the exercise was meant to enhance the children’s health and help guard against untoward health condition that might result in absenteeism from school.

In her remarks, the state Coordinator, Neglected Tropical Diseases, Dr Islamiyat Soneye, thanked the parents for their enthusiasm towards the school-based de-worming exercise.

She urged them to encourage their wards to take part in the exercise to avoid infecting others.

Soneye noted that parents should endeavour to de-worm their kids in another three months to keep them healthy.

While monitoring the exercise in Odeda council area, the Medical Officer of Health in charge of the area, Dr Olusan Oluwaseun, described the turn-out as impressive.

He assured that all schools within the area would be touched, without leaving any out of the programme.

Oluwaseun appreciated the teachers for their support which, he said, had made the task easy, pointing out that children, who had yet to be de-wormed, would be attended to in the coming days.

Edited by Ekemini Ladejobi and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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Bullying: Psychiatrist calls for more vigilance in risk settings



A Consultant Psychiatrist, Dr Tomi Imarah, has urged the public including those in authority to be more vigilant in awareness and prevention efforts in all settings where the risk of bullying exists.

Imarah, who runs an online Mental Health Counselling service, “DrTomi Haven’’, made the appeal in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency on Wednesday in Lagos.

She spoke in reactions to a recent bullying act carried out by some students of the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) on a 100-level student of the school.

NAN reports that a video of the students, four female, one male beating the victim had on Nov. 16, 2019, surfaced online.

The university authorities had placed the affected students on indefinite suspension pending the conclusion of investigation into the case.

Imarah defined bullying as when “a person intentionally and repeatedly carries out actions that hurts, harms, or humiliates another person’’.

According to her, this is especially when the perpetrator has more social or physical power than the victim, bullying is said to occur.

“Bullying may be physical assaults, verbal attacks like teasing, taunting, threats, name callings; social or relational attacks such as spreading rumours, social isolation, and cyber bullying.

“It is commonly experienced and reported among young children in early school years.

“However, there are all indications that bullying can occur in higher institutions and workplaces,’’ she said.

Imarah said the task starts with ensuring that our society shuns the aspect of our culture that encourages bullying.

“Modelling acts of bullying in front of young minds leaves the impression that it is alright to bully others.

“We need to ensure we are not mirroring aggressive behaviors in our homes or justifying acts of aggression being reported on all media platforms.

“When we respond to violence with statements like, “what did he do that made them gang up on him?”, we are communicating to a child that it is okay to attack others if he can find justification for it,” she said.

The consultant also urged parents and guardians not to ignore signs that suggested a child was growing up to be a bully.

According to her, they should take seriously school reports of aggressive behaviour such as picking fights with peers, spreading gossips about others, destroying properties, and causing emotional hurts to others.

“We should keenly observe a child who is emotionally detached and insensitive to the feelings of others, even family members.

“One should not take lightly frequent incidences in which children get easily frustrated, demonstrate rapid and explosive anger, justify their aggressive outbursts, and show no remorse for their actions, ” she said.

Imarah advised that when those recurrent patterns in children were observed, parents should seek professional help from child psychiatrists and clinical psychologists.

She said that it was imperative that professional help was sought in order to access guidance in cognitive and behavioural modifications that will help to improve the situation.

“There will also be need for collaborative efforts with teachers, school psychologists, social workers, guidance and counselling personnel to ensure the interventions instituted are followed up within school hours.

“Victims of bullying will also benefit from psychological support to prevent or manage effects of bullying.

“They should also be encouraged to report the incidences and not suffer in silence. Friends and family members should make concerted efforts to lend support and be there for them.

“In higher institutions and workplaces, there should be anti-bullying guidelines stipulating stiff sanctions to serve as a deterrent for bullies,” she said.

Edited by Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)

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Kebbi Govt. receives N11m from Chinese Govt. to rehabilitate hospital’s mental section



The Kebbi Government has received N11 million assistance from the Chinese embassy in Nigeria to rehabilitate the mental health section of Zauro General Hospital.

This is contained  in a statement by Alhaji Abubakar Dakingari, Chief Press Secretary to Gov. Atiku Bagudu, and made available to the Nigeria News Agency in Birnin Kebbi on Wednesday.

He said the Cheque for the amount was presented to the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health, Hajiya Halima Dikko by the Chief of Staff Government House, Alhaji Suleiman Argungu on Tuesday.

Dakingari said the money was in fulfilment of the promise by the Chinese Ambassador during his visit to the state to facilitate the treatment of mentally challenged persons at the hospital, located in Birnin Kebbi Local Government Area.

“Argungu expressed appreciation to the Chinese Embassy in Nigeria for the kind gesture towards improving health care services to the people of the state,”  Dakingari said.

On his part, Dikko assured that the money would be judiciously utilized on the rehabilitation of the mental health section of the hospital in accordance with the estimate and plan for the project.

“She also expressed appreciation to the Chinese embassy for its benevolence in providing such financial assistance to cater for the wellbeing of the mentally retarded,” he said.


Edited by Kevin Okunzuwa/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)

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Ihedioha’s wife tasks students on drug-free Imo



The Wife of Gov. Emeka Ihedioha of Imo, Ebere, has admonished secondary school students in the state to support government’s efforts to achieve a drug-free society.

She gave the charge on Wednesday, while addressing students at a conference organized by the Imo chapter of the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN) in Owerri.

Ihedioha, who was represented by her Special Assistant on Communications and Programmes,  Mr Martin Onyekwado, urged the students to avoid being lured into drug abuse by their peers.

She encouraged them to be bold enough to stand out from the crowd no matter how difficult and build a generation of drug-free Imo citizens.

“The future of every nation is her youth. To build a drug-free Nigeria, we must begin by building a drug-free Imo because charity begins at home.

“One of the biggest challenges young ones face is peer pressure and provided you are bold enough to resist it, then a drug-free generation of Imo citizens is possible,” Ihedioha said.

The ACPN Chairman, Mr Nkem Anaele, pledged the association’s continued commitment to the fight against drug abuse.

Anaele also promised to partner with relevant government agencies to fight the menace.

Also, the Imo Commander, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Mr Nse Inam, outlined the negative effects of drug abuse to include cognitive impairment and destruction of social norms.

Inam, who was represented by an officer of the command, Mrs Lucy Nwankpa, assured the students that avoiding drug abuse would keep them free from vices, such as stealing and unimaginable health challenges.

He further advised them not to form friendship with arrogant youths, “who are chronic liars and  unnecessarily secretive and angry,” adding that drug abuse often led to crime.

Nigeria News Agency reports that students that participated in programme were drawn from Government Secondary School, Owerri,  Emmanuel College, Girls’ Secondary School, Ikenegbu  and Young Scientists’ College, Owerri.

(Edited by Sam Oditah (NAN))

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Indian organisation to train 250 Nigerian doctors in 5 years



Indian organisation to train 250 Nigerian doctors in 5 years



Abuja, Nov. 20, 2019 An Indian Based Health facility, Max Super Speciality Hospital, on Wednesday in Abuja, expressed its readiness to train at least 250 Nigerian medical doctors in various fields within five years.

Speaking at a forum with doctors, Dr Arun Saroha, Department of Neurosurgery, Max Super Speciality Hospital, said the aim of the training was to upgrade doctors and healthcare in the country.

Saroha stated that doctors who were interested in the training would sponsor themselves by paying for their tickets and basic accommodation in India.

He said it was a Certificate Course which would make them specialists.

“Today we are here to talk about Neurosurgery and Orthopaedics, the next could be cancer or cardiology. We keep on changing, but for us the ideology or basics are the same.

“We are very comfortable to take about 45 doctors every year in various fields.

“We are doing the same exercise in Kenya, Sudan and Rwanda; in Tanzania, we have started recently and obviously Nigeria is another one.

“We are here to train the people; we are here to tell them what Max Health Care is all about, and what we are doing.

“This is an exercise we will be carrying out continuously for the next five years, and we come here every three months.

“The doctors are some selected representatives of our healthcare sector.”

Dr Adeoye Adetiloye, Senior Consultant Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgeon, Gwarinpa General Hospital, described the initiative was a win-win for all.

“When they come (Max Healthcare), some of their partner hospitals’ surgeons are trained; and they also render this care to Nigerians.

“So ultimately, it is the Nigerian patients that are the beneficiaries; while health workers also get trained on some of the new advances in healthcare.’’

Edited by Nyisom Fiyigon Dore (NAN)

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UNICEF advocates right macro nutrient for children to reduce stunting



Mr Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Nigeria Representative has advised Nigerian parents to give their children the right macro nutrient to reduce stunting in the country.

Hawkins gave the advice in Abuja on Wednesday at a programme organised to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

“Today shows that children are important, they have rights, have dreams and they are the hope of tomorrow,” he said.

Hawkins said that the programme was to give the children hope because they would be the good ambassador of the country.

According to him, stunted growth is a reduced growth rate in human development which is a primary manifestation of malnutrition.

He said that UNICEF showcased the rights of children because all of them were born with a particular talent that when properly used would create a better future for them.

Nigeria News Agency reports that top Nigerian artists including TuBaba, Niniola, Timi Dakolo, Chidinma, Cobhams Asuquo and Umar M. Sheriff released a song titled “For Every Child”, calling for every Nigerian child’s rights to be respected.

“With this song, we are urging all people to call for every right for every child. Every Nigerian child deserves a fair chance to safe and healthy future and to fulfill their dreams,’’ Hawkins said.

According to him, children are the most valuable asset and future of any nation, hence the need to secure their future through quality education, love and other support needed for development.

Mrs Irene Akerele, the Vice Principal of Government Secondary School, Garki said that the students who passed through the school had been groomed, adding that many of them had become great citizens in Nigeria and the world at large.

Akerele urged the students to be good ambassador of tomorrow.

“I hope that after the event, the students will understand what UNICEF is all about and the rights of every Nigerian child,’’ she said.

One of the musicians, Cobhams Asuquo said that the programme had given Nigerian children hope for better tomorrow.

Asuquo urged the children to remain unchallenged, unfitted with displace of hope.

“Children should be hopeful because they are the future of tomorrow and it starts with the decision they make today.

“ Today reminds us of who we are,’’ he said.

Edited by Ekemini Ladejobi/Ese E. Ekama (NAN)

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