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‘PMTCT Ownership, Key to Ensuring General Access’ … Need for Reliable Documentation

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The Programme Manager, Rivers State Agency for the Control of AIDS (RIVSACA), Dr Naaziga Francis, has stated that ownership of the PMTCT processes is a major means of checking the spread of HIV in the society.

Dr Francis, who spoke recently, shortly after a PMTCT Focal Persons meeting organised by the state AIDs and STIs control programme (SASCP), stated that ownership of the PMTCT process by all stakeholders will ensure, for instance, that follow-ups are made to all, or most, HIV positive pregnant women and their children.

Ownership of the process, he explained, means that all processes put in place “to make it easier for both identified HIV pregnant women and their children access necessary health care should be closely followed to ensure that they succeed”.

Such processes, he said, include knowing the number of positive women and children.

“If you know the number of (HIV positive) women and children, you have to follow them up since you know them by name and in person.

“If you do a proper follow-up, you can also project their date of delivery, and subsequently call them to find out if they actually come to deliver in he facility, or go somewhere else. You can then know what to do either case”, he said.

He further stated that another process is proper documentation of the data of HIV positive women and their children.

Noting that lack of proper and reliable documentation of HIV positive women and their children is a major challenge, which, he said, can only be overcomed if it is diligently done from the point of diagnosis, and followed up accordingly from stage of stage..

On his part, the Coordinator of ARV Services at the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital (RSUTH), Dr Alali Dan-Jumbo, said beyond documentation being done at various stages, there is also the need to motivate the PMTCT Focal persons at various levels.

“It is a well known fact that anything not documented, even if you have done it, will look as if it has not been done.

“We need to motivate the focal persons at various levels: whether it is in PMTCT, or Monitoring and Evaluation (M & E). The main challenge, I think, is at the point of reporting what you’re doing.

“This is because, most times, some persons will see writing these reports as extra work, and may not do it diligently. When his happens, it affects reliable documentation”, he. said

In her presentation on the PMTCT situation in Rivers State, the PMTCT Focal person, SASCP, Mrs Agnes Dum-Igoni, stated that PMTCT has recorded poor performance due to low Antenatal Care (ANC) service uptake, and sub-optimal ART coverage among identified positive pregnant women.

Others, according to her, are low rates of facility deliveries, low uptake of early infant diagnosis services and low reporting of services rendered especially from some health facilities providing PMTCT and unskilled providers.

She, however, noted that if all hands are on deck, most of these issues identified will a thing of the past.

By: Sogbeba Dokubo

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Rivers

Council Boss Vows To Uphold Oath Of Office

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The Chairman of Ikwerre Local Government Council (LGA) of Rivers State, Engr Samuel Nwanosike, has said he and his team of executive believe in the oath of office they took in delivering dividends of democracy to the people.
Nwanosike, who stated this last Tuesday, at Ward 1, Isiokpo, when he financially empowered 50 people to go back to farm, 20 people to go back to school, and 10 people to start up small scale businesses, said his administration believes in the oath of office after being re-elected.
He assured the people of his administration’s determination to continue what he called the good work of his administration in the local government, saying that “because I took Oath of Office to protect lives and property of the people of the local Government, stand on that oath.
Nothing, no political party, no friends and well wishers would make me to derail from making sure that that oath is upheld”.
The chairman noted that the empowerment programme was aimed at giving back to the people in order to continue their farm works, go back to school and establish small scale businesses.
“We are here today to give back to our people because, as Ikwerre people, we are traditionally farmers. We are not in mechanised agriculture yet, but we have a culture and tradition and a custom in which a lot of our dignitaries and big men have been trained, which is peasant agriculture.
“That’s what we have been doing as a people. Before Mr President will bring his tractors and the seedlings from IITA and other mechanised equipment, let’s continue what has been keeping us alive by assisting our people to do the peasant farming they are used to and make life easy for them.
“We are here to say that despite the going back to farm programme, we are also going back to school, because a community that has abandoned there people from education has created room for crisis.
“So, we are saying because we have fought insecurity in Ikwerre Local Government, Isiokpo in particular, we must send our people back to school.
“The Councillors and F & GPC have also approved that we should send Ikwerre people back to school. That is why you can see that Ikwerre people came out in their numbers, those that will be writing JAMB and those that will also be writing WAEC in different schools.
“Whether they attended those schools or not, we have made arrangements for the principals of those schools to give our people opportunity to write JAMB and WAEC”, he said.
Nwanosike also disclosed that his administration is supporting the people to improve in their businesses with “little capital”.
The Council boss charged the beneficiaries to utilise what has been given to them, stressing that no government in the world can provide all the people’s need at once.
“To those who were not part of the beneficiaries now, we encourage them to wait for next turn of the empowerment programme.
“Despite the infrastructural development we have done in the 13 Wards and in the Local Government Headquarters, we also believe that we need to impact in our people”, he noted.
While revealing that his administration has successfully destroyed 284 illegal refineries in Ogbodo Community of Isiokpo, and ensuring at oil bunkery become a thing of the past in Ikwerre LGA due to the war declared by the State Governor on illegal refinery, Nwanosike beseeched the member representing Ikwerre/Emuoha at the National Assembly, Hon Barr Boniface Sunday Emerengwa, to take the gospel back to Abuja.

By: Ike Wigodo

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Rivers

NYCN Begs Wike To Fulfill 5,000 Youths Employment

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The National Youth Council of Nigeria has appealed to Governor Nyesom Wike to fulfill his promise to employ 5,000 youths to fill vacant positions in the state civil service.
The chairman of the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN),Chijioke Ihunwo made the appeal at a media conference as part of activities lined up to mark this year’s International Youth Day.
Ihunwo, while commending Governor Wike for his investment in infrastructure, said there is a need for him to shift gear and pay attention to social welfare and economic empowerment.
Speaking ahead of the 2023 general elections, the chairman of the National Youth Council of Nigeria advised youths to go about the electioneering processes peacefully and shun violence and thuggery.
He also urged Governor Wike to give more youths the opportunity to serve.

By: Ike Wigodo

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Rivers

2023: Olumba Urges Religious Leaders To Pray, Fast

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The Personal Assistant to His Holiness, Olumba Olumba Obu, of Brotherhood Of the Cross And Star (B.C.S), Brother Namnso Etukudoh, has urged religious leaders and churches in Nigeria to fast and pray as election period approaches in the country.
Speaking in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital, Brother Etukudo said regular prayer and fasting has become necessary, particularly now that the nation is about to withness a transition to another civilian government.
Noting that he has continued to pray and fast for the nation, he urged other religious bodies to do so.
While making reference to Brotherhood’s Thursday Weekly fasting and prayers, he said “years back The Holy Father, Leader Olumba Olumba Obu, had used a certain group of priest known as ‘The 144s’ to ensure that weekly fasting and prayers in the church is not neglected”.
Etukudoh said fasting and prayer is also being held for those in Leadership positions at the local governments,, states, nations and the world at Large, adding that such prayers was not only for the kingdom, but a day in which members pray and fast for leaders and the whole world.
He explained that Brotherhood has always been ahead, “because in brotherhood, we believe so much in prayer and fasting”.
The cleric stated that it is imperative that outside the usual church events, “those with spiritual insights must always go on their knees to pray and fast for God to direct our leaders, because, most of our leaders hardly have the time to pray.
“You see, believers must seek God’s face if we want the right leaders, because failure to seek divine direction from the Holy Father and think we can do it ourselves means we would still be in what is happening across the nations and the world”, he said.
On why B.C.S has not spoken for all this while, Brother Etukudo said, “if you are abreast with the doctrine of our Holy Father, you will find out that The Holy Father Leader, Olumba Olumba Obu, believes in talking less and doing more, because when people try to talk, one could talk out of God’s divine direction, and you know the consequences”.
He further explained that it is a serious issue for word to come out of religious circle without manifestation, “especially in the likes of Leader Olumba Olumba, whose words are always authentic”, noting that “such spirit of talking any how is not of Brotherhood.”
Etukudo continued that there is need for every Nigerian to remain consistent in prayer and fasting, noting that this is the only weapon to forestall some of the challenges facing the nation.
“Outside prayer and fasting, we would then be going for load bigger than us. Nigerians must not fail to exercise their franchise peacefully during election to elect the kind of leaders that they want”, he emphasized.
On the Muslim/Muslim ticket,the B.C.S priest siad he wouldn’t speak much on that because he doesn’t know the will of God for the nation, adding that in fairness, he thinks that in the presence of God, he believes that there is nothing like Muslim, Pagan or otherwise.
“I wouldn’t like to talk more on this issue, because in the sight of God, there is no Muslim or Christian or pagan, but it is those that does His will”, Brother Etukudo explained.
He insisted that in the presence of God righteousness prevails and not the other way round, but disclosed that in a rational way of thinking as human, he believes that things should be done harmoniously for peace to prevail.
“By rational thinking, the right thing should be done to avert provoking the thought and wishes of other humans”, he stated.
The priest, however, counseled Nigerias never to lose faith for a second in God because of His love for the nation, adding that “in the face of all challenges in our country, one can still look back that truly God really loves our nation”.

By: John Bibor & Oribim Ibama

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