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COVID-19: Nasarawa Suspends Marriage, Naming Ceremonies, Lockdown Markets, Others



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Our Reporter, Lafia.

In its efforts to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Nasarawa State Government has suspended all social gatherings including weddings and naming ceremonies, with security agencies directed to monitor strict compliance by residents.

This was made known during a press conference organized by the state committee on COVID-19, chaired by the state Deputy Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Akabe, on Thursday.

Also as part of the measures put in place by the state government to combat the spread of the coronavirus, all markets across the state have been shut, except those selling food items and pharmaceutical shops.

According to the Chairman of the committee, shortly after its inauguration, various sub-committees have been formed, including those of food security, security, heath, justice and law, as well as the sub-committee on local government.

“This sub-committees have gone to work and have made their interim submissions to the committee, which in its meeting today, considered all the submissions and arrived at certain decisions to guide the state,” Dr. Akabe stated.

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On the suspension of all social gatherings, the committee on COVID-19, said where it has become necessary to hold such ceremonies, attendance should be restricted to members of the immediate family of not more than 20 people.

The committee further announced that motor parks in the state have been collapsed to only one in each local government area, with medical professionals to be drafted to monitor commuters coming and going out of the state.

It added that government will no longer allow commercial vehicles to pick and drop passengers by the roadside except at designated motor parks.

Regarding the law banning street begging in the state, Dr. Akabe said henceforth any one seen begging on the street will be arrested, with arrangement in place to relocate such beggars to their states of origin.

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This is just as the committee announced that worship centres such as Mosques and Churches will remain closed until further notice.

It further announced that the previously established 10 isolation centres in the state have now been collapsed to five general hospitals including the Federal Medical Centre, Keffi and Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital, Lafia. The general hospitals are Medical Centre, Mararaba-Gurku, Doma, Akwanga, Awe and Toto with the committee to carry out inspection visit at the facilities.

On any anticipated total shutdown of the state, the committee said arrangement has been put in place for the purchase of foodstuff such as maize, beans, rice and millet, among others, for reservation in case there is eventual lockdown.

“The Commissioner of Agriculture and Water Resources have been mandated to go round the state and identify the food reservoirs and bring in a proposal immediately, with a budget line on how we can now begin to purchase food and reserve it just in case we have to lockdown,” the Chairman explained.

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Additional measures put in place to cushion the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic include, the rehabilitation of ten broken down boreholes in each local government area as temporary measure to ensure supply of clean water.

Also, setting up taskforce committees at local government levels by council chairmen, to be extended to the ward level, to replicate the work of the state Committee on COVID-19, as well as recalling retired nurses to run the isolation centres.

And in other to further protect civil servants in the state, the Committee directed that all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), provide hand sanitizers and face masks in their respective offices.

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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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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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