The United States Embassy proudly welcomed the arrival of 2.5million Pfizer vaccine doses in Abuja, this week.
The National Primary Health Care Development Agency received the vaccines, ensuring they were taken to cold storage to prepare for distribution to over 3,000 health facilities across all 36 states and Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
A statement by the US Embassy in Nigerian made available to The Tide in Port Harcourt, yesterday, said that “Over the next several weeks, the vaccines would be available at major markets, shopping malls, event centres, motor parks, airports, places of employment, and religious institutions as part of Nigeria’s mass vaccination campaign.
“To date, the United States has donated more than 13.5million doses of COVID-19 vaccine in partnership with COVAX, or bilaterally to Nigeria.
“Additionally, the United States has provided more than $119million in COVID-19 related health assistance.
“This includes a 40-bed mobile field hospital, ventilators and related training for 88 hospitals, personal protective equipment, technical assistance for vaccine readiness, risk communication and demand generation for vaccines, conducting an epidemiological COVID-19 detection and vaccine hesitancy survey, setting up electronic record systems, rapid response teams, training for over 200,000 military and civilian personnel on COVID-19 control measures, and technology for virtual training”.
According to the statement, “In addition, the United States leveraged the PEPFAR-supported National Integrated Specimen Referral Network (NiSRN) and laboratory investments to support expansion of the NCDC (153) molecular laboratory network nationwide”.
As U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken noted earlier this month, “The COVID-19 pandemic won’t end for any country until it ends for all countries. Otherwise, the virus will keep replicating around the world, people will keep getting sick and dying, and we won’t be able to safely reopen our economies or travel around the world for business and tourism the way we used to. That’s why the United States is committed to helping end the pandemic in Nigeria and everywhere,” the statement added.
“The United States is committed to donating more than one billion vaccine doses around the world, by early 2022.
“This includes in African countries primarily through the COVAX initiative. Improving equitable distribution remains a priority for the United States to prevent the emergence of new variants that threaten populations everywhere,” the embassy said..
Meanwhile, the United StatesCentres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has marked the 20th anniversary of its establishment in Nigeria.
A statement by the US Embassy in Nigeria said that the Nigeria country office was established in November, 2001, to support the government of Nigeria to improve disease surveillance systems, build institutional competencies, and expand human resources for health capacities.
At the 20th anniversary event, U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM), Kathleen FitzGibbon, joined CDC to celebrate the impact of CDC’s support to Nigeria’s health sector.
She stated, “CDC’s work of saving lives is the most critical mission of the U.S. Government in its support to Nigeria.”
In addition, she described the CDC mission and staff as clear evidence of the importance of health diplomacy in bilateral and multilateral relations.
The CDC Director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, also thanked the Nigeria team for their dedication and commitment to saving lives, improving the well-being of people in Nigeria, and charting a strong public health course for the future to build a healthier and safer Nigeria, the continent of Africa, and the world.
She added that despite the challenges of the last several years, the over 100-member team in Nigeria has shown great resolve and accomplished remarkable successes in collaboration with the government and partners.
In her remarks, the Country Director, Dr. Mary Adetinuke Boyd, paid glowing tribute to past leadership and recognized the staff and partners as the most critical asset for the agency.
She said the combined efforts of the government, CDC staff, and partners had made Nigeria one of CDC’s most prominent country offices that supports HIV and TB epidemic control, expands global health security, assists with malaria elimination, and reinforces vaccine-preventable diseases.
Boyd said, “since 2001, the collective work of the team has supported Nigeria to put over one million people living with HIV on life-saving treatment. In addition, it supported the government to eliminate wild poliovirus, advance towards malaria elimination and establish a robust public health institute that detects, prevents, and responds to disease outbreaks.”
CDC Nigeria is the country office of the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), established in 2001, with a vision of public health excellence for healthy Nigerians.
The office is part of the U.S. Government Mission in Nigeria that supports the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), its department, agencies, states ministries of health, and several key partners in developing, implementing, and evaluating disease response efforts and programs contributing to Nigeria’s more robust public health infrastructure.
By: Nelson Chukwudi
FG Mulls Introduction Of Private Firefighters
The Federal Government says it is proposing to broaden the scope of the National Fire Academy to accommodate private firefighters to address fire incidents across the country.
The plan, if carried out, would lead to the emergence of private firefighters in the country.
Speaking after his first official inspection tour of the academy, the Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, said the fire service could have certified private firefighters like the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps’ private guards.
He added that private firefighters were needed to enhance the fire service’s operations as well as improve their response time.
This was contained in a statement by the Minister’s Media Adviser, Alao Babatunde, yesterday.
The statement partly read, “Today, we have over 3 million private guards certified by the NSCDC. We can have something similar for the fire service. We need private fire service men to enhance our service and response time. The President’s #RenewedHope agenda has charged us to be innovative if we must change the narrative.
“As a matter of fact, this is another innovative way to generate revenue because we expect that anyone looking to become a safety or security guard should get trained and certified by this academy.”
Tunji-Ojo urged all institutions and recreation centres to engage certified fire and safety personnel trained by the academy when the plan materialises.
He said: “A lot has been done, but there is still a lot more to be done. With what I have seen here, I can guarantee you that we will work very hard to see that this facility will not only be useful in training officers of the fire service but also for the private sector.
“We must make fire safety a personal affair. Every institution, commercial and social recreation centre should have certified fire and safety personnel, trained by this facility.
“All public and commercial buildings and infrastructure such as banks, hotels, malls, restaurants, or even government buildings should have first responders that can administer basic fire fighting remedy while waiting for the arrival of a full operation squad of the country’s Fire Service”.
Decentralise Pipeline Surveillance Contracts, Ondo Ex-Militants Urge Tinubu
A group of ex-militants in Ondo State, on Wednesday, called on President Bola Tinubu to revisit the pipeline surveillance project and decentralise the awarding of the contract.
The group, under the auspices of the Ondo State Niger Delta Coastal Vanguard, said decentralisation of the contract would enhance the security of pipelines on waterways.
This was contained in a statement issued by the Public Relations Officer of the group, Chief Lucky Ajiroba.
The statement is titled, ‘Call on His Excellency President Bola Tinubu to re-visit the pipeline surveillance contract.’
The group faulted the last administration for awarding the contract to only one company, saying the purpose for which the contract was awarded was not achieved as the security situation of the pipelines was getting worse.
The statement read, “We are the members of Ondo State Niger Delta Coastal Vanguard. The group led by Akogun Job Omotuwa comprises ex-militants in the state who voluntarily submitted their arms and ammunition in response to the good gesture of the Federal Government of Nigeria under the amnesty programme in the year 2017, and we have shown our unwavering allegiance to the terms of the amnesty initiative of the government.
“The overall effects of all these are: it has increased considerably the quantum of oil production, it has substantially increased the revenue accruable to the Federation account, and ultimately it allows peaceful coexistence among the people of the oil-producing communities of the country.
“We are aware of the sterling enterprise of this administration to improve on the security architecture of the Nigeria state and all its apparatus, with a particular reference to the pipeline surveillance and secured waterways.
“The last administration made a giant stride by awarding the pipeline surveillance to a sole company in the Niger Delta Area. It is not out of place to state that the purpose upon which the contract was awarded for was not achieved as the situation of the security of the pipeline was worse than ever before since their collaborative effort was not enough to support the constituted military authorities.
“The failure of this was ascribed to the centralization of the contract. In view of this perennial failure, there has been avalanche of agitation from every quarter that the pipeline security contract should be decentralized for the purpose of achieving the desired goal of the Federal Government which is in the best interest of the entire citizens.”
The group, which commended the President for its efforts in repositioning the country’s economy, opined that each ex-militant leader in the Niger Delta Region be identified, and the pipeline security contract be split among them.
Assembly Tasks Delta Govt On Rising Prostitution, Drug Abuse
The Delta House of Assembly has passed a resolution urging the State Government to take drastic measures against rising cases of drug abuse and prostitution in the state.
This followed the adoption of a motion by Mrs Bridget Anyafulu (PDP-Oshimili South) at plenary in Asaba.
Presenting the motion, Anyafulu decried rising cases of open sex trade and use of illicit drugs among youths in the state, especially in Asaba and environs.
“Open sex trade and use of illicit drug is not a good example for our children.
“The situation is worrisome considering the fact that both issues are illegal,” she said.
Anyafulu, also the Chairman, House Committee on Women Affairs, Community and Social Development said that urgent measures must be taken to address the situation.
“The twin evil of drug abuse and sex trade represents great danger to the lives of our young people and the society at large.
“They both underline the physical, mental and social well-being of our young people and this will also jeopardize the development, peace and security of our dear state.
“So, I want to state that no nation survives without the youth, the youth and the young general are the life wire of our nation.
“Any nation that ignores the youth is heading for doom, so the importance of the young people cannot be over emphasized, it is therefore very important that we address this ugly trend,” she said.
Also speaking, Mr Oboro Preyor (PDP-Bomadi) decried the negative impact of rising drug abuse and prostitution, saying it must be addressed.
‘‘If this ugly trend is not addressed, it would attract more young people into their folks,’’ he said.
He also urged the government to rehabilitate youths who were addicted to drug and to create other avenues of engaging them in productive activities.
The motion was unanimously adopted by the lawmakers when put to voice vote by Speaker Dennis Guwor.
The lawmakers also called for support from law enforcement agencies to ensure the arrest and prosecution of illicit drug dealers and commercial sex workers in accordance with the law in order to curb the rising trend.
Sports5 days ago
Oluwole Eyes History At Gotv Boxing
News5 days ago
Aviation Company Denies Tampering With Adeleke’s Aircraft Engine
Niger Delta3 days ago
Obi Unveils LP Candidate’s Manifesto, Campaign Office In Bayelsa …Tasks Citizens On Electing Responsible, Accountable Leaders
Metro2 days ago
World Peace Day: Rotary, Peace Corps Walk for Peace In PH
Business5 days ago
Solid Minerals Corporation: FG Plans JVs With Multinationals
News5 days ago
Biden Condemns African Military Coups, Backs ECOWAS Intervention
Sports3 days ago
NYG:190 Athletes And Official Will Represent Rivers
Ict/Telecom5 days ago
Experts Want Telcos To Tackle Structural Challenges In Industry