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Handwashing: FG Seeks Private Sector Involvement

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Minister of Water Resources, Alhaji Suleiman Adamu, has called on the private sector and other stakeholders to do more to encourage handwashing practice in all public places across the country.
Adamu made the call at an event to commemorate the 2022 Global Handwashing Day with the theme, ‘Unite for Universal Hand Hygiene’ in Abuja, Monday .
Represented by the Deputy Director, Water Quality Control, Elizabeth Ugoh, Adamu noted that handwashing was the first line of defense against diseases, and stressed the need for contingency plans to forestall possible outbreaks.
Adamu stated that the Handwashing facilities should be adapted for the most vulnerable persons, like those living with disabilities, saying this would promote inclusive development.
“All of us; government, donors, civil society, private sector, media, researchers and community, must commit to playing our part in ensuring that opportunities for handwashing are provided for everyone, everywhere.
“We should strive to eliminate existing disparities and inequalities in access as we promote effective handwashing through policy, programmes and advocacy at all levels towards making it a national culture that is imbibed by all’’.
He said behavioural change required that the action be performed consistently at key times, adding that strategies that would ensure the sustainability of these practices should be engaged.
Adamu noted that the ministry had demonstrated the necessary political will needed to drive a lasting change in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Sectors (WASH) in Nigeria.
Also speaking, UNICEF Representative, Job Ominyi, said the theme for the day had shown partners’ coordination through the inauguration of the Hand Hygiene for All Roadmap.
He said all stakeholders must urgently play their commensurate roles to make universal access to hand hygiene a reality.
Ominyi stated that universal embrace and practice of hand hygiene was capable of significantly reducing numerous diseases.
”UNICEF continues to be available and committed to collaborate with other development partners in supporting the FG to realise universal access to hand hygiene”, he said.
WaterAid Nigeria Representative, Emmanuel Iorkunbur, said there was need for the private sector to make hygiene materials available, affordable and accessible to all including disadvantaged populations.
“Together, we must invest in hygiene behavior promotion, citizens must practice hand washing and make it a lifestyle across all states local government and rural communities.
”As a member of the global handwashing partnership, WaterAid Nigeria will continue to collaborate with all stakeholders, especially government at all levels to strengthen systems and build industry partnerships’’, he said.

National Coordinator, Organised Private sector in WASH,  Dr Nicholas Igwe, said cholera outbreaks and COVID-19 pandemic had raised the importance of handwashing as an effective way of disease prevention and control.

Igwe said public health was important for the prosperity of the country, adding that the private sector was working to realise this through sanitation.

October 15 is celebrated as Global Handwashing Day, to increase awareness and understanding about the importance of handwashing, as an effective and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives.

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Agriculture: NDE Earmarks N4.2m For Unemployed Youths 

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The National Directorate of Employment (NDE) has concluded plans to disburse N4.2 million loan to 42 unemployed youths in Adamawa State to boost agriculture production in the State.
The NDE Director-General, Malam Abubakar Fikpo, made this known at the orientation course for beneficiaries of agricultural empowerment scheme in Yola on Wednesday.
Fikpo, represented by the NDE Coordinator in Adamawa State, Malam Ibrahim Jimada, said each beneficiary would access N100,000 as start up capital.
He said the beneficiaries were trained under the Department of Rural Empowerment scheme (REP) on sustainable agricultural development.
“They were trained on Agricultural Enhancement Scheme, Sustainable Agricultural Development Scheme, Community-Based Agricultural Empowerment and Graduation Agricultural Empowerment scheme,” he said.
The NDE boss advised beneficiaries to take advantage of the training to earn a living.
Head of Department, REP, Mr Edam Duke, commended NDE for the programme and urged the beneficiaries to be committed as they would appreciate the gesture at the end.
“Those who are serious will soon be self-employed and employers of labour. The Federal Government is committed to creating employment opportunities for youths,’’ he said.
In her remarks, Head of Department, REP scheme in Adamawa State, Zainab Audu, said farming was a lucrative business and urged beneficiaries to pay attention to the orientation for successful implementation in the field.
“With this skills you will become millionaires and employers of labour within a short time if you put it into practice,” Audu said.
She called on the beneficiaries to be good ambassadors of their respective communities by ensuring peace and unity for sustainable development.
Also, Miss Deborah Gisilanbe, who spoke on behalf of the participants thanked the Federal Government and NDE for the training and gave assurance that they would utilise the opportunity toward achieving the objectives of the programme.

 

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UNICEF Commends Niger On Penta3 Vaccination Coverage

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The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has commended Niger State Government for its progress in the administration of Pentavalent (Penta3) vaccine for children in the State.
Chief of Office, UNICEF, Kaduna, Mr Donald Burgess, gave the commendation at the sensitisation of Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) 2021.
It is organised by the Niger State Planning Commission in collaboration with UNICEF.
The Tide’s source reports that MICS 2021 report shows that more than 40 per cent of residents of Niger were practicing open defecation.
Burgess, who spoke through the Health Specialist, UNICEF, Kaduna Field Office, Mr Idris Baba, said Niger did well as the Penta3 vaccination rose from 20 per cent in 2016 to 39.4 per cent in 2021.
He said maternal and child mortality had reduced considerably and was far below the national average child mortality at 18 per cent per 1,000 life birth while that of the national was at 42 per cent.
Burgess added that the neo-natal mortality in the state was 20 per cent per 1,000 life birth while that of the nation was at 34 per cent.
He, however, urged the State Government to put more effort in the enrollment of out of school children especially the girl-child education which had drastically declined in the state.
He noted that educating the girl-child would help reduce maternal and child health issues as more women would be educated on their rights.
Earlier, Governor Abubakar Sani-Bello of Niger State, expressed concerns that the State was lacking on enrollment of out-of-school children, especially the girl-child education as well as on practices of open defecation among residents.
Bello, represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Ahmed Matane, urged Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to come up with policies and programmes to achieve better results, pledging government’s full support.
Niger State Commissioner and Deputy Chairman of Ministry for Planning Commission, Alhaji Abubakar Zakari, in his address, said the event was to brief Government on data regarding the situation of women and children in the state.
According to him, data is key to planning and policy development.

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Gov Inaugurates Skill Acquisition Centre In Enugu

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Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has inaugurated a Skills Acquisition Centre, Rancsfard Fashion and Skill Academy, in the State.
The centre, which provides a veritable platform for participants, especially the youths, to acquire skills in fashion and design, makeup artistry, baking and pastry production, photography and ICT, is located in Trans-Ekulu, Enugu.
Governor Ugwuanyi, who inspected the academy shortly after the inauguration, expressed delight at the facilities in it, and the initiative, lauding the proprietor.
Welcoming Governor Ugwuanyi and other dignitaries to the academy, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Lady Princess Akunna Ubosi, disclosed that her decision to establish the facility was borne out of her burning desire to create a platform where individuals, especially youths, can easily acquire lifelong entrepreneurial skills that will reduce the high rate of unemployment in the society and also ensure a productive future for young ones.
Lady Ubosi, who is the wife of the Speaker of the Enugu State House of Assembly, added that she was also inspired by Governor Ugwuanyi’s “enormous strides in building capacity amongst our youths through various skill acquisition programmes anchored by the Enugu SMEs Centre.”
She informed the Governor that Rancsfard Fashion and Skill Academy is positioned and available to partner the State Government in building capacity among the people.
“The academy is willing to train verified indigent students free of charge”, she said.
She continued that, “The academy incorporates a bakery and clothing production factory through which our finished products are sold to the general public; and we are proud to note that our products are made in Enugu State to international standards.
“The world is currently in a knowledge-based economy in which ‘knowledge’ is the only meaningful factor of production.
“Therefore, creating a learning society will not be possible without building a platform where this knowledge can be transferred from one person to another”.

By: Canice Amadi, Enugu

 

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