Towards ensuring easy communication and information access on COVID-19 in Rivers State, the Lead Coordinator, Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE), Mr Mordecai Olowole, has called for the establishment of Emergency Operation Centres (EOCs) in all local government areas of the State.
Making the call during the flag-off of the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) Community Sensitisation and Engagement programme at the headquarters of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area (OBALGA), Mr Olowole emphasised the importance of domesticating EOCs up to the community level.
He stated that primarily, UNICEF, through the RCCE, has been canvassing the domestication of the State EOC. “The operations Centre is at the State level, but there’s nothing that stops every local government area from having its own under the leadership of the LGA”, he stated.
Addressing the OBALGA Chairman, Hon Solomon Eke, the RCCE Coordinator expressed the need for the Chairman to establish EOC in his domain to enhance communication on COVID-19.
He further urged the Chairman to also establish the LGA version of Risk Communication team “which will be doing advocacy continuously to support these ones (RCCE), so that at the end of the day, everything will be collaborating and complementing each other”.
Earlier in his address, the leader of the RCCE team to the LGA boss, Mr Napoleon Adah, had called for the support of the council in terms of security for members of CSOs assigned to carry out community sensitisation and engagement in the LGA.
“We want to crave your indulgence to assure us that as the teams go to their different locations, to carry out the sensitisation, you will be there to provide adequate security and necessary support”, he said.
In his response, Hon Eke assured the support of the LGA in all efforts to check the trend of COVID-19 in the LGA, noting that the security of members of CSOs carrying out their legitimate assigned duties are already in place.
While using the opportunity to state various efforts that have been put in place at the LGA in the fight against the pandemic, Eke urged the CSOs to explore the existing security and COVID-19 protocols to carry out their various responsibilities.
He said: “As the NGOs go round their jobs, the first point of call should be the paramount ruler of the community. He will call his executives,the CDC, youth bodies and women” to make it easier for them to carry out their functions.
The second port of call, he said, should be the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of the area.
HIV: FG Restates Commitment To Prevent HIV Among Adolescents
The Federal Government yesterday restated its commitment to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS among adolescents in the country.
The Ministry of Health in collaboration with NACA, UNFPA, UNICEF, launched a document on prevention of HIV in Abuja.
The document is integrated into three titles; “The HIV Investment Case for Adolescents and Young People (2021-2025), The National Condom Operational Plan (2021-2025) and National Condom and Lubricants Quantification (2021-2025).”
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, Sen. Yahaya Oloriegbe, identified condom as key in the prevention of the spread of HIV among young people.
Oloruigbe, who commended the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) and partners for the effort, called for local production of condoms.
“We need to look inwards by encouraging local manufacturing of condoms in view of government’s dwindling resources, as well as breaking away from over dependence on international donors,” he said.
The Director General of NACA, Dr Gambo Aliyu,asserted the agency’s success in the containment of HIV through prevention and treatment responses.
Aliyu said that the country was committed to achieving the 2030 target of 95-95-95 through collaboration with stakeholders by investing in adolescents.
He added, “we have made huge success when it comes to treatment and prevention with drastic reduction in transmission.”
The NACA boss however affirmed the belief of the agency in using the document to achieve the 95-95-95 target for 2030.
Mrs Zainab Garba of the Federal Ministry of Health commended NACA for launching the document, saying it would enhance young people’s access to Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights.
Garba reiterated the importance of condom in reducing the spread of HIV and maternal deaths among young people, saying it was key in preventing all manners of sexually transmitted infections.
Doctor Warns Against Indiscriminate Use Of Contraceptives
A medical expert, Dr Umar Musa, on Monday warned women against indiscriminate use of contraceptives.
Dr Musa, President, Kaduna State Resident Doctors Association, gave the advice when he spoke with newsmen in Kaduna, noted the indiscriminate consumption of contraceptives to ward off unwanted pregnancies and cautioned that while they could forestall unwanted pregnancies, contraceptives were not antidotes for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
He said there was a particular contraceptive pill in hot demand, but also cautioned that its indiscriminate consumption could delay conception or damage the uterus.
“Too much of this contraceptive will weaken the wall of the womb and damage the uterus which will cause miscarriages in the future.
“There are lots of risks associated with the constant use of this drug. Most ladies consume contraceptives in clinically unsafe ways.
“They use these drugs without knowing the way they interact with the body system and forgetting that people react to drugs in different ways,’’ he said.
Musa also advocated tighter restrictions on the sale of contraceptives and suggested that the use of condoms was an option to stave off unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.
“While a condom may look like a major inconvenience and a fun killer for many, it would protect one from sexually transmitted diseases and prevent pregnancy”.
Covid-19: NCDC Records 213 New Infections, Two Deaths
Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) recorded 213 additional new cases of Covid-19, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 171, 324, as of July 26, 2021.
The NCDC disclosed this on its official Twitter handle yesterday morning.
The health agency also stated that it recorded two Covid-19 related deaths on Monday, while additional nine people recovered from the virus, as of July 26, 2021.
It added that the new infections were recorded in 12 states, namely: Lagos-157, Rivers-20, Plateau-12, Enugu-6, Oyo-6, Gombe-3, Bauchi-2, Imo-2, Kaduna-2, Edo-1, Ekiti-1, and Ogun-1.
It noted that since the outbreak of the Coronavirus Disease in the country on February 27, 2020, a total of 2,134 persons lost their lives, while 164,798 recovered from the virus and discharged from health centres across the country.
NCDC added that a multi-sectoral national emergency operations centre (EOC), activated at Level 2, had continued to coordinate the national response activities.
It stated that the country tested more than 2.4 million samples for the virus and had detected 10 Covid-19 Delta variant, recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a variant of concern, given its increased transmissibility.
The variant had been detected in over 100 countries and may spread further.
The variant has also been linked to a surge in cases in countries where it is the dominant strain in circulation. There are ongoing studies to understand the impact of the variant on existing vaccines and therapeutics.
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