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Malaria: Nigeria Accounts For 32% Global Deaths …Stakeholders Proffer Solutions



Out of the global annual estimates of 627,000 malaria deaths, Nigeria has been said to account for 200,640 deaths, representing some 32 per cent of the toll in 2013 alone.
The Rivers State Commissioner for Health, Dr Theophilus Odagme, made the disclosure in his state-wide broadcast to mark the 2016 World Malaria Day in Port Harcourt, Monday.
Odagme stated that the year’s theme: ‘End Malaria for Good’, and slogan ‘yes, it’s achievable’, reiterated the government’s commitment to ensuring that the percentage is not only reduced to its barest minimum but that the scourge of malaria comes to an end in the country.
According to him, “May I again, use this opportunity to remind the entire good people of Rivers State that ‘the federal, state, local governments, and the private sector in Nigeria hereby commit themselves and all the people to intensive action to attain the goal of malaria-free Nigeria, that is a country where malaria is no longer a public health problem, and malaria-related deaths are less than 1:100,000 population”.
In achieving set targets, Odagme said that the state government has over the past one year, distributed anti-malarial commodities such as Artemisinim Combination Therapy (ACTs) and the long-lasting insecticide nets (LLINs) through its third party logistics, The Riders of Health.
He said the government has been conducting training and retraining of medical personnel on the current World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines on the management of malaria, while providing a robust M & E structure that captures malaria data from all its health facilities.
Odagme said that in addition, the government has been coordinating meetings amongst partners and facilitating prompt dissemination of information to the public on malaria, encouraging the use of Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDTs) for testing prior to use of drugs, conducting advocacy, communication and social mobilization at the state and local government levels, among others.
The commissioner urged all hands to be on deck to ensure a free-malaria nation, saying “together, we join hands today, and say, ‘yes, it’s achievable’”.
Also speaking, the Director, Centre for the Control of Malaria, University of Port Harcourt, Dr Hamilton Ofurum, said that the fight against malaria needs the collaboration of all stakeholders in the state to ensure that the environment and surroundings are kept clean always.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Caroline Wale, during the distribution of free LLTMNs to civil servants in the state, urged Rivers people to embrace the use of LLTMNs, which she said, are the most effective for now in the prevention of malaria, and encouraged all to keep their environment clean and avoid stagnant water, which breeds mosquitoes that spread malaria disease.
The Director of Public Health in the ministry, Dr Nnanna Onyekwere, said that all water-fronts and bushes around the state capital must be cleared to avoid mosquitoes.
He listed Ahoada, Bori and Port Harcourt, among others, as places where the ministry has distributed free mosquito nets in the last couple of years to reduce the burden of malaria in the rural areas.
Similarly, the Chairman, Rivers State Waste Management Agency, Felix Obuah, has said that for Rivers State to record a free-malaria regime, the people must improve on their sanitary habit, which he said at present, was very unacceptable.
Obuah, who gave the advise in a statement signed on his behalf by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Jerry Needam, insisted that the people must keep their environment clean to avoid the breeding of mosquitoes and the spread of malaria.


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Obasanjo, Abdulsalami, Sultan, Others Brainstorm On Insecurity



Rising insecurity and agitations for secession by different ethnic groups across Nigeria has attracted the attention of elder statesmen and other national leaders to a meeting in Abuja.

The meeting was organised by Interfaith Initiatives for Peace jointly led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, and Emeritus Cardinal John Onaiyekan, and the National Peace Committee chaired by Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd).

Reporters were barred from taking part in the closed-door meeting, expected to proffer solutions to the ongoing security challenges threatening the peace and unity of the country.

It was also an exploratory meeting on pressing issues of national unity, security, peace, integration, economic revitalisation and development, women and youth welfare and general progress.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo; former Head of State, General Abdulsalam Abubakar (rtd); Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar; Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi; Tor Tiv, Prof Ortese Iorzua James Ayatse, Emeritus Cardinal John Onaiyekan; President General (Ohanaeze Ndigbo), Prof George Obiozor; and Afenifere leader, Ayo Adebanjo; were all in attendance.

Others sighted at the meeting are President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba; CAN General Secretary, Joseph Daramola; JAMB Registrar, Prof Ishaq Oloyede; Etsu Nupe, Yahya Abubakar; former Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe, among several political and traditional rulers at the meeting.

Elder statesmen, Chief Edwin Clark, also attended the event at the Congress Hall of Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, but could not participate in the meeting because he could not climb the staircase to the meeting room.

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Fighting Corruption Difficult In Democratic Setting, Buhari Laments



President Muhammadu Buhari says fighting corruption in democratic setting is a difficult task to accomplish.

The president disclosed this during an interview with Arise Television which was televised, yesterday.

According to him, the war against corruption has not been easy for him since he became a democratically elected president six years ago.

He, however, stressed that his administration had succeeded in easing out corrupt public officials without making noise about it.

Buhari recalled that much was achieved in the fight against corruption when he was military Head of State in the early 80s “when a lot of people were sent to prisons before I was also booted out”.

The president frowned at the way and manner local government system was being managed, saying the local government administration was almost non-existent in the country.

He cited situation where state governors continued to starve the local governments of funds saying “in a situation where N300million is allocated to local government and they are given N100million is not fair”.

On activities of bandits and kidnappers particularly in the North-West and North-Central zones, Buhari said he had given the police and Armed Forces the instructions to be ruthless with bandits and vandals terrorising innocent citizens across the country.

He stated that he had told the security agencies to treat bandits and other criminals in the “the language they understand.

“Problem in the north-west; you have people over there stealing each other’s cattle and burning each other’s villages.

“Like I said, we are going to treat them in the language they understand.

“We have given the police and the military the power to be ruthless. You watch it in a few weeks’ time there will be difference.

”Because we told them if we keep people away from their farm, we are going to starve. And the government can’t control the public.

“If you allow hunger, the government is going to be in trouble and we don’t want to be in trouble.

“We are already in enough trouble. So, we warn them sooner than later you’ll see the difference,’’ he said.

On farmers/herders clashes, the president said the problem had persisted because old cattle routes and grazing areas had been violated by development, adding that those who had taken over such traditional arrangements would be dispossessed.

On the fight against insurgency, Buhari dismissed the assertion that majority of Boko Haram members were foreigners.

According to him, the majority of the Boko Haram members are Nigerians, saying this was further corroborated by Borno State Governor, Prof Babagana Zulum.

The president stated that his administration had done a lot to fight the terrorists and insurgents but the problem in the “North-East is very difficult.”

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Igboho Declares June 12 Day Of Protest, Warns Buhari



Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, has declared June 12 as day of protest for Yoruba nation agitators.

The self-acclaimed Yoruba activist said the agitators will hold ‘peaceful rallies’ across the South-West region on Saturday, June 12.

Igboho, who spoke through his spokesman, Olayomi Koiki, in a live video programme aired, last Wednesday night, called on South-West governors to cooperate with the peaceful protesters during the exercise.

He warned the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration not to attack the agitators.

He said, “Let us warn the Federal Government that if there is bloodshed this weekend, the international community is watching, if the military kills any Nigerian this weekend, it is going to be very hot.

“The Yoruba nation rally will go ahead in every part of Yoruba land and the rest of the country where it will hold.

“Red alarm will begin on Friday. People should stock up food Items from Friday night.

“We are not backing down this weekend; we are ready to take back what belongs to us.”

He also enjoined agitators to ‘fast’ on Friday.

This is coming after NANS under the leadership of its National President, Comrade Sunday Asefon, had declared June 12 as National Day of peaceful protest to call on the government to act decisively towards addressing insecurity.

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