As governments, organisations, and individuals across the globe adopt various means in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, a chieftain of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Bio Belu Abaye, has lauded the performance of the Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) Pillar over its contributions in Rivers State.
Speaking in an exclusive interview shortly after a recent meeting with key members of the RCCE in Port Harcourt, Dr Abaye hinted that the contributions of the RCCE in Rivers State in the face of some peculiar challenges makes the achievements more commendable.
“We had heard a few things before we even met at the meeting. So, our impression is that the (RCCE) Team has been doing reasonably well in the midst of limitations and challenges”, he said.
Dr Abaye, who is the Technical Advisor of NCDC on COVID-19, noted that though life generally has its challenges in all spheres, the fact that the RCCE was able to overcome its peculiar ones in the State makes it stand out.
“There are obviously challenges, but in spite of all that we have seen, this people continued to work. They continue to churn out activities and results in spite of these constraints.
“We must say that this is one of those states where the availability of willing active hands is obvious, and very visible to anybody who cares to work. The hands are there, the willingness is there, and they are just ready to keep working with just as little or as much support as they can get. So, I think so far, they’re doing well”, he said.
While acknowledging that the achievements RCCE has recorded so far is the result of support from UNICEF and other donor agencies, such support, he said, will be improved upon to ensure uptimum performance.
“Those supports are still going to be improved upon as we continue to engage with them (RCCE), because there are many areas where the support was not particularly sharp enough. It was there, but it was not used uptimally”, he said.
Such areas, according to Dr Abaye, include “the issue of Knowledge Attitude and Practice (KAP), use of an Open Data Kit (OPK) software on android devices to collect data. We expected that by now that should have been completed, analysis done, and probably even published”, he said.
The meeting was aimed at coming up with plans to commence the next phase of activities for the RCCE.
By: Sogbeba Dokubo
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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