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COVID-19: Engineer Sule Tasks Commissioners, LG Chairmen On Preparations To Combat The Spread Of The Scourge.

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Yahaya Idris, Lafia

As part of preparations by the Nasarawa State Government to combat the spread of the deadly COVID 19 pandemic, the state Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule has lined up serries of meetings with Commissioners, some Special Advisers, Chairmen of Local Government Areas, as well as Overseers of Development Areas.

In an opening remarks during the meeting held on Monday, Engineer Sule listed two major items as agenda for the meeting namely, reviewing the outbreak of the Coronavirus across the country, what steps are being taken to combat the epidemic in the state, as well as the impact of the pandemic on the economy of the state.

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The Governor called on attendees at the meeting not to panic, as according to him, it is not the time to be scared but to take charge, take ownership and see what can be done to manage the prevailing situation.

He noted that even those who have the most sophisticated technologies in the World, have been affected, as they are going through some of the calamities brought by the pandemic.

Engineer Sule further stressed that Nasarawa is presently at a disadvantage, being the state with most proximity to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), which has so far recorded five cases of COVID 19, with one death.

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“That is part of the reasons we are here, in order to think together and go back to our various local government areas, ministries, departments and be able to provide leadership to ensure that we secure the state and people,” he stated.

Statistics released by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), indicates that Nigeria has recorded 36 confirmed cases of the dreaded COVID 19, with a single death recorded in Abuja.

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Health

Zulum launches 71 ambulances, drugs for Borno’s ‘pilot health centres’

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Governor Babagana Umara Zulum of Borno State on Wednesday flagged off the distribution 71 ambulances and drugs worth 80 million naira to 71 health centres identified for a pilot programme that aim to increase access to public medical services.

Launching the distribution at the State’s medical store in Maiduguri, Zulum noted that a many women were having difficulties in getting access to drugs and healthcare facilities during delivery.

“This administration is determined to provide free drugs to the less privileged women in our society.

The Governor said his administration will ensure quality healthcare service delivery, particularly to the less privileged in the society.

“Quality healthcare delivery is one of the objectives of this administration, it contained in our ten pact agenda. I have made a promise during electioneering campaign that we shall make free maternal drugs available to the less privileged.” Zulum said.

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He added “It is our duty to reduce maternal mortality rate in the State. There are thousands of women visiting hospitals for antenatal services but cannot afford to buy the delivery kit. To address this, I have directed as from today, free maternal drugs should be provided to all our antenatal patients in about 71 pilot health centres in different locations of the State.”

The Governor said the Hospital Management Board shall forward to his office detailed sustainability plans, and ensure that the scheme is captured in 2021 budget.

“I am worried of the sustainability of this program, therefore, the Hospital Management Board should roll out a template on how we can sustain this program, and forward it to my office.”

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“You should also ensure that this scheme is captured in our 2021 budget, a provision of not less than one billion naira should be made. This is what i want to see happening in my lifetime as a Governor of Borno State.”

“I have recently approved the recruitment of over 500 health personnel. You should ensure that every health facility gets nothing less than two doctors. The major facilities should have at least four doctors.” Zulum said.

He however warned that the facilities distributed should be handled appropriately by the management of various health centres.

“These ambulances has to be maintained well. The PMO shall be held responsible for any maladministration of the ambulances.” Zulum warned.

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Responding, the Commissioner of health, Dr. Salisu Kwayabura explained that about 71 health facilities will benefit from the scheme, each will get hundreds of cartons of hospital consumables and equipments.

Acording to the Commissioner, 16 Hiace ambulances, and 33 tricycle ambulances were also distributed to the health centers to ease transportation, so also strengthen referrals.

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Health

Kogi State Government To Engaged More 700 Health Professionals To Sustain Its Health Coverage In The State

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Kogi state Government has expressed its readiness to recruit additional seven hundred health professionals to help to sustain its health coverage in the state .

Commissioner of health , Doctor Saka Audu made the disclosure while flagging off of ‘Nursing Now Campaign in Lokoja,the state capital.

He also announced the establishment of committee tagged “inter professionals Association committee ‘to resolve disputes among various Heath bodies in the state.

Doctor Saka noted that the crisis rocking health bodies if not amiably settled would affect Government’s effort to deliver effective and efficient health services to the populace .

He described the nursing profession as unique and Noble as their services to humanity cannot be equantify

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Doctor Saka said Government was working out modalities to resolve the disputes that led to the close down of the Federal medical center Lokoja.

In a message on the occasion, the Speaker of kogi State House of assembly, Right honourable Mathew Kolawole assured that the house would collaborate with the ministry by making law that will help to weed out quack practitioners in the state.

The speaker who was represented by the Chairman house committee on health and member representing Lokoja one constituency, Alhaji Isah Tenimu commended nursing for their efforts to safe lives of the citizens.

In a keynote address, the state Director of Nursing Mrs Martina Oguche said this year celebration is focusing on five critical areas which are, ensuring nurses and midwives have prominent voice in health policy making, recruiting more nurses into leadership positions, conducting research that help determine where Nurses can have the greatest impact.

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Various Goodwill messages came from the state head of civil service Mrs Deborah Ogunmola,The executive Chairman of primary healthcare agency, Doctor Abubakir Yakubu, and Acting Director of Nursing services, hospitals management board, Mrs, MB Olorunnyomi among others.

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Nigeria Senate Kick Against Foreign Methods Of Fighting COVID-19, Rejects N75,000 Test Fee For Int’l Flight

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The Senate has cautioned relevant stakeholders in the health sector against killing the nation’s economy by adopting foreign methods of fighting COVID-19 pandemic.

Senate’s admonition against imported measures of fighting COVID-19 came from the co-chairman of the Senate Joint Committee on Health and Aviation, Senator Smart Adeyemi (APC, Kogi West), during an interactive session with stakeholders in the Aviation and Health sectors on safety measures put in place in the wake of the resumption of international and domestic flights in the country.

Senator Adeyemi, who chairs the Senate Aviation Committee, said although based on realities on ground, COVID-19 was real but not potent in Nigeria and many other African countries.

Sen Smart Adeyemi, APC, Kogi West.

According to him, based on that reality, it was wrong for relevant authorities in the country to be swallowing hook, line and sinker, measures being adopted to fight the disease in Europe, Americas, China and other advanced countries of the world.”There is something in us as Africans that is not in them in Europe and America, which made COVID-19 not to be disastrous here as it was there.

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“In the light of this, measures that are detrimental to the livelihood and well-being of Nigerians should be avoided, so as not to kill the nation’s economy.

“People are not finding things easy outside there as a result of the way and manner COVID-19 pandemic is being fought in the country and as representatives of the people, feelers reaching us indicate revolt against government in December if drastic actions are not taken between now and then to make things easier” Adeyemi warned.
For his part, chairman of the Joint Committee, Senator Yahaya Oloriegbe (APC, Kwara Central), specifically faulted the policy adopted by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, which allows only private laboratories to carry out tests on intending travelers abroad at the cost of N75,000.

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The measure according to him, is detrimental to average Nigerians who are being forced to cough out N75,000 for the test, which he described as unacceptable.

“The amount is too high, it should be brought down and public health Institutions laboratories should be equipped to carry out the tests”, Oloriegbe said.

Also, Senator Biodun Olujimi (PDP, Ekiti South), took up both the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire and coordinator of PTF, Dr. Sani Aliyu, who were both present, on the usefulness or otherwise of facemasks in Nigeria against the backdrop that some don’t comply with the directive and are free from COVID-19.

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She said based on what she saw in many communities in Ekiti State last week, residents have jettisoned its usage of facemasks.
Responding, Dr. Aliyu said the three reasons of standard of living, demography and aggressive nature of African countries were identified to defy coronavirus.

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