Stakeholders, on Friday in Akure, embarked on strategies to prevent outbreak of measles through vaccination in Ondo State.
Speaking at the stakeholders’ meeting, Dr Francis Akanbiemu, the Executive Secretary of Ondo State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (OSPHCDA), said that the meeting was necessary to strategise on the introduction of measles-containing-vaccine second-dose (MCV2) in the state.
Akanbiemu, who was represented by Dr Victor Adefesoye, the Director of Disease Control and Immunization of OSPHCDA, noted that measles vaccination, which started on Thursday, had been introduced into regular immunisation (RI) for children between 0 to 23 months.
He explained that MCV2 was a second dose of measles vaccination to be taken when a child clocked 15 months.
The executive secretary asked the stakeholders to dialogue with members of the public so as to spread the information on vaccination.
According to him, the participants should have total grip of the information in order not to misinform the public.
He expressed appreciation to all the supporting partners, saying that without them, the successes so far recorded would have been difficult.
Akanbiemu also thanked all the stakeholders, saying that they had done brilliantly well even when there was no money to mobilise them.
In his remarks, Dr Samuel Abiona, the Director of Community Health Services and Education of OSPHCDA, described measles as a great cause of economic loss, saying that 17,000 cases were being reported annually in Nigeria.
According to him, no fewer than 246 children die of measles daily in the world, with Nigeria contributing majorly to the figure.
Abiona said that vaccination was one of the most effective ways of preventing the disease.
The director noted that MCV2 was necessary, because it was discovered that 15 percent of children taking MCV1 could resist it, hence the need for second dose of the vaccination.
He added that MCV2 was another opportunity for children who missed MCV1 at age of nine months.
Abiona explained that MCV2 was not meant to replace MCV1, adding that the vaccination was free and safe.
“Measles is dangerous and can cause serious complications such as blindness and hearing problem; it can also affect the brain and eventually cause death.
“But the joy of it is that it can be prevented, while its vaccine is safe and free.
“The vaccine may cause mild reaction, but not complicated, and within a short time, it will go,” he stated.
Mr Adetunji Adeoye, the state Coordinator of National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHDA), explained that 70 percent of measles cases were among those who missed MCV1, hence the need for introduction of MCV2.
Adeoye said that health workers had been trained to be polite and compassionate with the children taking the vaccine.
Edited by Jane-Frances Oraka and ‘Wale Sadeeq
Ondo: We don’t substitute nominated candidates -INEC
The commission made the clarification in a statement issued by Mr Festus Okoye, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee on Monday in Abuja.
“On July 31, INEC published the provisional list of candidates for the Ondo State governorship election scheduled for Oct. 10 in its state office in Akure and also uploaded same to its website and social media platforms.
“The list contains the names of the governorship and deputy governorship candidates submitted by 17 political parties, including the AAC at the close of nomination on July 28.
“However, one of the aspirants in the primaries of the party accused the commission of substituting his name as the rightful governorship candidate of the party, while another aspirant also claimed that the commission substituted his deputy governorship candidate.
“Contrary to these assertions, INEC did not substitute the name of any aspirant or candidate.
“The commission received only one submission from the AAC through its dedicated online portal for candidate nomination.
“There was no human interface. The names uploaded on the portal by the political parties were the same names published.
“The commission only receives the names of candidates and running mates from the National Headquarters of Political Parties, duly signed by both the national chairman and national secretary,” Okoye said.
He said that by the Supplementary Regulations and Guidelines for Activities of Political Parties issued by the commission on June 9, the national chairmen and national secretaries of political parties as contained in the commission’s records shall be issued access codes to the commission’s portal.
He said that only the two party leaders had access for the electronic submission, withdrawal and substitution of names and particulars of their candidates as elected at party primaries monitored by the commission.
“The political parties shall use the access codes provided by the commission to upload the names and particulars of their candidates based on the prescribed Forms EC9 (formerly EC CF 001) and the appropriate Form EC9 (A) – (G) series (formerly CF 002) as provided on the commission’s website.
“The completed forms EC9 and EC9 (A) – (G) series, signed by the national chairman and national secretary of the political party, are uploaded to the commission’s prescribed portal along with the relevant covering letter addressed to the chairman of the commission,” he said.
Okoye said that INEC did not deal directly with aspirants, candidates or state branches of political parties in matters relating to the nomination, submission and substitution of candidates of political parties.
He said that such action was the exclusive preserve of the political parties as represented by the national chairman and national secretary.
“The commission duly published the names of the governorship and deputy governorship candidates as submitted by the national chairman and secretary of the AAC.
“Aspirants, candidates and state branches of political parties, with issues or challenges relating to their nominated candidates should approach and resolve such issues with the national chairmen and secretaries of their respective political parties,” Okoye said.
AAC National Chairman, Dr Leonard Nzenwa in a separate statement, confirmed that the name of of the party’s deputy governorship candidate for the Ondo governorship election, published by INEC was the authentic name submitted to the commission by the party.
He said that the names of the candidates published by INEC were the ones submitted by the party to the commission as empowered by the party’s Constitution and Electoral Act 2010 (As Amended).
“The party wishes to make it clear that the party’s leadership, through its national headquarters submitted names of its candidates to the commission.
“It is within powers of the party’s chairman and its leadership to exercise this task as it has nothing to do with the INEC or any other stakeholder for that matter,” he said.
Nzenwa enjoined party faithful to remain calm, law-abiding and continue to work to uplift the party.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Kayode Olaitan (NAN)
COVID-19: PTF, INEC working on elections protocols- PTF Chairman
Mustapha said: “The national response will continue to guide the adoption of the sector’s specific guidelines and protocols.
“This is just as the PTF is currently concluding discussions with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the appropriate guidelines to be adopted for elections in some parts of the country.
“The elections will begin with the Aug. 8 by-election in Nasarawa State, to be followed by Edo and Ondo State elections in September and October respectively.
“I, therefore, wish to use this opportunity to implore parties’ leaders, aspirants, members and their supporters to remain mindful of the virulent nature of COVID-19 during electioneering and other election processes.
“We need to remain alive to enjoy the benefits of our democracy.”
He also stated that the PTF would continue to push forward with the community engagement, risk communication and support to the states.
“There is an ongoing surveillance in the high-burden local government areas, just as we ramp up our precision efforts.
“Similarly, the Federal Government is supporting the states to firm up their Incidence Action Plans, preparatory to their accessing the World Bank facility for the fight against COVID-19,” Mustapha said.
According to him, subject to the President’s approval, the report would be presented with the way forward to Nigerians at the next briefing on Aug. 6.
Edited By: Folorunso Poroye/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)
Doctors suspend strike in Ondo
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that doctors, who are employed by the state government, withdrawn their services on June 24, over unpaid allowances.
In a statement, the State Chairman of NAGGMDP, Dr. Oluwafemi Aina on Monday said the strike was suspended after the government acceded to some of their demands
The doctors, however, implored the state government to address their other demands, which include: immediate domestication of the Special COVID-19 Hazard and Risk (Life) Insurance for all doctors, who were part of the frontline health care providers in the state.
The doctors also demand for immediate circulation and institutionalisation of the modalities of the already begun deductions of doctors salaries into the National Housing Fund Contributions by workers in the State’s public service.
The doctors are demanding for the payment of the remaining Special COVID-19 Hazard and Risk Allowances and payment of arrears of the Minimum Wage and consequential adjustments of basic salaries, which other non Health Public Servants in the state have been enjoying since January 2020.
Aina assured the state government that members of the association will continue to discharge their duties with passion.
Edited by Edith Bolokor/Felix Ajide
Ondo spends N3.13bn on workers’ allowances, hazard bonus
The Ondo State Government on Monday said it had spent over N3.13 billion to offset the outstanding allowances of workers and medical staff in the state.
Mr Donald Ojogo, the state’s Commissioner for Information and Orientation, disclosed this on Monday in Akure.
“The agreement for the payment was the outcome of last month’s (July) meeting between Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu and union leaders in the state,” Ojogo said.
He said Akeredolu had last week approved that the outstanding allowances be paid following the conclusion of the series of meetings brokered by the Head of Service, Mr Dare Aragbaiye.
“Part of the resolution was that the July allocation from the Federation Account should be used to offset these allowances.
“Some of the already cleared outstanding allowances include deductions, leave bonuses as well as pensions,” he added.
Ojogo also revealed that 30 per cent of consolidated basic salary as hazard allowance for Medical Health Workers were also paid.
Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Mufutau Ojo) (NAN)