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Traditional, religious leaders want legislation to check open defecation in Kaduna

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Some traditional and religious leaders in Jema’a, Jaba, Zangon Kataf and Kachia Local Government Areas (LGA) of Kaduna State, have called on local government councils to enact laws to check indiscrinate Open Defecation (ODF).

The leaders made the call on Saturday in Kafanchan during an ODF sensitisation meeting for traditional and religious leaders in the LGAs, organised by the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF).

According to the leaders, the lack of relevant laws at local levels, on environmental sanitation and hygiene is negatively impacting on the campaign against open defecation in rural areas.

They unanimously agreed that the best way to eliminate ODF in local communities was for government to enact laws to prosecute offenders.

One of the leaders, Malam Barnabas Samaila, District Head of Asso, said the law has become imperative to strengthen traditional leaders’ effort in ensuring compliance to environmental cleanliness.

“It is important that local government areas enact such laws, because the community members always remind us that there is no law that restricts people from defecating in the open.

“And we, the traditional and religious leaders, have no right telling them where to defecate and where not defecate,” Samaila said.

Reacting to the call, Dr. Elias Manza, Chairman Zango-Kataf LGA, said the local councils would look into the demand to see the possibility of enacting such laws.

According to him, such laws, when enacted, will go a long way in reducing the rate of open defecation in local areas.

He said that his council would work with community and religious leaders to make it a reality.

The council chairman commended UNICEF for championing the campaign against ODF, stressing that the practice predisposes rural population to various preventable contagious diseases.

Also speaking, Vice Chairman, Jema’a LGA, Mr. Mgboni Digah, described ODF as a serious health risk to rural dwellers.

“While the decision on enactment of law is being considered, the local government area will continue to do its best in sensitising people against such habit,” Digah said.

On her part, Mrs. Theresa Pamma, Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Specialist, UNICEF Kaduna Field Office, pledged UNICEF’s support in ensuring that the law is enacted across LGAs.

Pamma assured the traditional and religious leaders of UNICEF readiness to support the LGAs through the state to review local government byelaws to cover areas on sanitation and hygiene.

She, nonetheless, commended Kachia, Jaba, Jema’a and Zangon Kataf local government areas for the improvement recorded in discouraging ODF, adding that Jaba and Kachia LGA have done extremely well over the years.

“When we started the campaign against ODF, we did not have a single community that was open defecation free, but today, quite a number of communities in the four LGAs are now open defecation free.

“Kachia has 447 ODF communities, followed by Jaba with 255 communities while the remaining LGAs are trailing behind. Our target is for Kaduna State to be declared ODF by 2025.

“We hope to achieve this through effective implementation of the Sanitation, Hygiene and Water in Nigeria (SHAWN II) project by ensuring that every person in the state has access to at least a toilet,” she said.

Foreign

People visit traditional lantern festival in Seoul, S. Korea

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People visit the traditional lantern festival along the Cheonggyecheon Stream in Seoul, South Korea, May 28, 2020. The lantern festival lasts from May 20 to June 3 here in Seoul. (Photo by Lee Sang-ho/Xinhua)

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Metro

COVID-19: FCTA supports traditional rulers with medical items

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The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) Primary Healthcare Board has supported 17 chiefs with hand and respiratory hygiene materials and noncontact digital infra-red thermometer.

Mr Austine Elemue, Special Assistant on Media to the FCT Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Aliyu, in a statement on Sunday in Abuja.

The minister presented the medical items to the Agaba of Jiwa kingdom, Alhaji Idris Musa.

Aliyu said that the support was to guard against the spread of the coronavirus in view of the large number of people that visit the palaces of traditional rulers to seek counselling.

The minister noted that the role of traditional rulers in FCT could not be overemphasised, adding that COVID-19 response from the primary healthcare sector fits into the community response too.

Aliyu, who said that community spread of COVID-19 was no more in doubt, stressed the need for traditional institutions to continue sensitisation of activities at the community level.

“The role of traditional rulers in FCT cannot be overemphasied. There are three approaches to COVID-19 response in FCT from the health sector itself.

“Primary health sector, the public health sector and the secondary health sector which will also pass through the tertiary and specialist hospitals.

“The response from the primary healthcare sector fits into the community response too.

“They are all represented here. The response may appear belated but it has to take a lot of planning and focused strategic activities to ensure that we work together as a team and reactivate that partnership that can make things to happen.

“Prevention and control are very critical particularly hands and respiratory hygiene and using noncontact infra-red digital thermometer that could help us to detect some of the major symptoms of the disease known as COVID-19.

“The community spread of the virus is no more in doubt, it is very obvious that it’s ongoing. The traditional institutions are the custodian of sensitisation and mobilisation of activities in the community level.

“And without you being protected, going by the number of meetings you are going to hold, for advice and counselling, there is need to protect yourselves as frontline workers.

“In response to this critical observation, the administration has approved PPE to the 17 graded chiefs that will protect and aid surveillance.

“We are here with infra-red digital thermometer, hand sanitizers, face masks and buckets. This will go a long way to strengthen our partnership.”

Receiving the items on behalf of the traditional rulers, Musa stressed that with the support, traditional rulers would have a sense of belonging.

The monarch urged the FCT Primary Health Care Board to work as a team, even as he tasked them to tap from the knowledge of the traditional rulers.

“This is what we have been seeing in other states. First, let me commend the FCT Minister of State for presenting these items so that it will go round to all the graded chiefs.

“I am happy as a representative of northern traditional rulers in the FCT. It is what we have being waiting for.

Edited By: Buhari Bolaji/Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

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Iraqi makes traditional cookies for Eid al-Fitr in Baghdad

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An Iraqi makes traditional cookies known as Kleicha for the Eid al-Fitr in Baghdad, Iraq, on May 23, 2020. Kleicha, a popular cookie made with flour and butter in Iraq, is in various shapes with fillings. (Xinhua/Khalil Dawood)

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Foreign

Roundup: Zimbabwe to explore using traditional Chinese medicine to fight COVID-19

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Zimbabwe highly values traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and plans to set up a unit at the country’s main hospital in Harare to explore integrating the medicine in Zimbabwe’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking at a joint press conference with the visiting team of Chinese medical experts who completed their two-week visit to the country on Friday, Health and Child Care Minister Obadiah Moyo said Zimbabwe was keen to tap China‘s traditional medicine for the benefit of its population.

“We have plans to use TCM in Zimbabwe. We are lucky that among the team of doctors who are visiting there is a specialist in TCM,” said the minister.

“So we are going to set up a unit at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals. They have already identified the facility where the TCM unit will be based so that we can be able to develop it,” he said.

“TCM is a very useful area which we are seriously looking at. So the visiting doctor who is here is going to lead us in that aspect and when the next team comes we want to see more TCM doctors coming in,” Moyo said.

He added that the country wants to enhance research collaboration with China on development and use of the traditional medicine in curing the virus.

“We would also want to try the other medicines that the Chinese people have been using for COVID-19 and we can have a combined research effort with the Chinese government to also look at our plants and we get advice on how we can develop those herbs and use them,” he said.

Chinese ambassador to Zimbabwe Guo Shaochun said the two-week visit to share and exchange knowledge in fighting the pandemic had been rewarding for both sides.

Chinese experts learned a lot about how Zimbabwe has been tackling COVID-19 and in turn contributed their knowledge and expertise to Zimbabwe’s fight,” he said.

He said the two-way flow of ideas will go a long way toward defeating the virus and increasing health care cooperation between the two countries.

In addition to technical support, China has donated a significant amount of medical supplies to the country to help it combat the virus.

Guo praised Zimbabwe’s efforts so far in combating the pandemic.

“Since the onset of the first case on March 20, Zimbabwe has put up a good fight against COVID-19. China is also very pleased it has been able to assist Zimbabwe in various ways. The war is not over yet. China‘s support will not stop either,” he said.

The team arrived in the country on May 11 and met Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Vice President Kembo Mohadi and World Health Organization officials, among others.

During its visit, the 12-member team of Chinese medical experts engaged with Zimbabwean government ministries and institutions, in addition to touring four of the country’s 10 provinces to share their experience with local medical staff in combating the pandemic.

These areas visited by the team include Harare, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland Central and Mashonaland West.

The team also donated medical supplies to the hospitals they visited including Marondera Provincial Hospital, Chinhoyi Provincial Hospital and Mvurwi Hospital.

The team comes from southern China‘s Hunan Province and is made up of experts from infectious diseases and respiratory illnesses, intensive medicine, infection control, traditional Chinese medicine as well as public health and nursing.

At the press conference, leader of the Chinese medical team Zhu Yimin presented a report with recommendations on fighting COVID-19 to the Zimbabwean government.

Zhu said measures taken by Zimbabwe to fight the pandemic have been effective so far, as shown by the relatively low number of COVID-19 cases that stand at 51, including 18 recoveries and four deaths since the onset of the outbreak in March.

He urged the Zimbabwean government to continue enforcing preventive and control measures against the pandemic, noting that in the absence of a vaccine or cure for COVID-19, self isolation remained key in curbing the spread of the deadly virus.

The country should also increase community awareness, screening, monitoring and testing for COVID-19, he said.

Zhu added that they were encouraged to note that the Zimbabwean government greatly values the advice and proposals from the Chinese medical experts.

“Our proposals may not be comprehensive enough and our knowledge of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country may be limited but we admire the greatness and perseverance of Zimbabwean people and tremendous efforts by the Government of Zimbabwe in dealing with COVID-19,” he said.

(XINHUA)

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Women make traditional cookies ahead of Eid al-Fitr festival in West Bank city of Nablus

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Women make traditional cookies ahead of the Eid al-Fitr festival which celebrates the end of Ramadan amid the COVID-19 lockdown in the West Bank city of Nablus, May 19, 2020. (Photo by Nidal Eshtayeh/Xinhua)

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Foreign

Pakistani shoemakers make traditional shoes in Peshawar

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Pakistani shoemakers make traditional shoes locally called “chapli” for the upcoming Eid al-Fitr festival in Peshawar, northwest Pakistan, May 19, 2020. (Photo by Saeed Ahmad/Xinhua)

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Foreign

Palestinian women prepare traditional cookies ahead of Eid al-Fitr festival

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Palestinian women prepare traditional cookies ahead of the Eid al-Fitr festival in celebrating the end of the holy month of Ramadan, during the lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic, in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah, May 18, 2020. (Photo by Khaled Omar/Xinhua)

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Foreign

In pics: traditional sweets “Qatayef” during holy month of Ramadan in Damascus

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Photo taken on May 18, 2020 shows the traditional sweets known as “Qatayef” during the holy month of Ramadan in Damascus, Syria. (Photo by Ammar Safarjalani/Xinhua)

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Foreign

Hungarian gov’t to fund establishment of traditional Chinese medicine department at university

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The government of Hungary has decided to provide funding for the establishment of a department of traditional Chinese medicine at a university in Budapest, local media reported.

“The government is providing 5.9 billion Hungarian forints (18.16 million U.S. dollars) to expand the Faculty of Health Sciences at Semmelweis University to include a department of traditional Chinese medicine,” local news portal Index said.

The government said it will make one billion Hungarian forints available in 2020. The assets of the new department will be managed by Semmelweis University.

The new department will cover the entire range of healing, research and training activities related to traditional Chinese medicine and will welcome students from across Europe.

Semmelweis University in Budapest has been offering courses in traditional Chinese medicine since 2010. (1 U.S. dollar = 327.47 Hungarian forints)

(XINHUA)

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Contact US: editor @nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247 @gmail.com

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