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Gov Bello at new year maintains that COVID-19 is not deadlier than other diseases



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***Says most of the new findings vindicate his earlier position

***Reels out achievements in health, education sectors

Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has reiterated his earlier position on the ruse about COVID-19.
He maintained that COVID-19 is not deadlier than other diseases ravaging the country hence equal attention should be given to cholera and other more deadly diseases.

In his new year broadcast to the people of the State on Saturday the Governor indicated that from the death ratio of COVID-19 which stands at 1.39% in Nigeria it is not deadlier than other diseases.
Recall that in a viral video, the Kogi governor condemned the use of the vaccine, saying it was meant to kill people.
Speaking in the said video while addressing a crowd, Bello doubted the authenticity of the vaccine, saying there is no cure for HIV and many other diseases troubling mankind.

“Vaccines are being produced in less than one year of COVID-19. There is no vaccine yet for HIV, malaria, cancer, headache and for several other diseases that are killing us. They want to use the (COVID-19) vaccines to introduce the disease that will kill you and us. God forbid,” he had said.
He even used what happened in Kano during the Pfizer polio vaccines that crippled and killed many children as a reason for Nigerians to beware.

“If they say they are taking the vaccines in the public allow them take their vaccines. Don’t say I said you should not take it but if you want to take it open your eyes before you take the vaccines.”
Continuing with his new year message, the Governor said
“So far we have found no reason to believe that the death ratio of Covid-19 which currently stands at 1.39% in Nigeria is evolving into deadlier numbers than those of the other diseases we have to grapple with too.

“In fact, Dr. Ifedayo Adetifa, the Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) confirmed again this month that Cholera had claimed far more lives in Nigeria in 2021 than the dreaded coronavirus pandemic has been able to do since its advent.

“Given this information and the need for us to protect all of our people against all threats, as well as the competing demands on our scarce resources, we frankly cannot in good conscience justify spending more on Covid-19 than cholera, malaria, or any of the childhood killer diseases.

“By distancing ourselves from the mass hysteria in this way we have been able to keep a cool head and confront the pandemic without fear. “The result is clear – Kogi State remains safe. Our public health institutions are in a permanent state of heightened vigilance but our society is opened for life and business to go on.
“Our people are also free to come and go while observing appropriate public health and hygiene protocols, especially those that engender protection against diseases generally and improve the overall wellbeing of the general populace. “This is why we continue to sensitise against open defecation, production, sale and consumption of unsafe foods and disregard for appropriate postures or covers while sneezing or coughing.

“Today, global expert opinion is swinging towards allowing populations and governments to have more elbow room in deciding how they will respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I can say that in this regard Kogi State has been an outlier in Nigeria since the pandemic began and we intend to keep it so.
“You, our dear people, can continue to trust us to keep monitoring the evolving situations closely, with an eye on the science while allowing common sense to guide us in your overriding best interests. “We will also continue to keep you updated with the right information, and when necessary, effective advisories.”
On the new year he said,
“We celebrate the divine gift of life as we bid 2021 goodbye and welcome 2022. We thank God for navigating us through a year which tried the courage of many individuals and the resilience of practically every nation on the earth.

“The last 12 months have been challenging – for the world, for Nigeria, and for us in Kogi State. The battles we have fought and the victories we have won do not speak of our own wisdom or power but of the mercy and compassion of the Almighty God, to Whom be all the Glory.

“Like the year 2020, 2021 found itself in the shadows of the Covid-19 pandemic. Everything from international travel to national economies continue to be adversely impacted by the genuine efforts, but also by the uncertainties and yes, shenanigans, around the disease.
“As of today, scientists and world leaders are reworking their responses to Covid-19 as the world learns more about how it mutates and spreads.
“Not surprisingly, at least to me, much of the new knowledge continue to affirm positions I have adopted from the beginning.

“In the face of conflicting information about the disease, the Kogi State Government that I lead chose early to keep an eagle eye on the case Fatality Rate of Covid-19 more than any other epidemiological event or data set associated with it.
“We also do same with each variant. This helps us to determine quickly how worried we should be for our people with each variant. Once we know the likely fatal impact, we are then able to make intelligent governance decisions on how to respond to it.

“We are then able to compare and contrast this information in relation to the threats posed by perennial killer diseases in our society such as malaria, cholera, lassa fever, yellow fever, meningitis, etc.
“It becomes easy after that to allocate resources appropriately towards each public health threat confronting us.

“In 27 days’ time we will step into the 7th year of our exciting journey in this New Direction. For each and every one of those years, I make bold to say, we have made consistent progress towards sustainable, verifiable and replicable results.
“Every year we have reached for new altitudes in governance and established fresh attitudes in leadership in pursuit of our electoral promises to you. Today, our results speak louder than ourselves.

“When we emphasise the successes of our response strategy to Covid-19 as I have just done above, we do so as part of accounting for our overall achievements in government.

“Our best value has always come from putting our people and the things that are important to them first. “In our effort to do more of this we made Education, Health, Infrastructure and Utilities, Job Creation and Youth Engagement, Civil Service and Pension Reforms, Agriculture, Security, as well as Cooperation and Integration among all Nigerians in our state our expanded thematic focus in this second term.

“Generally speaking, we have been spectacularly and successfully busy in the health sector, way beyond Covid-19. In our first term we constructed, renovated or equipped hundreds of Primary Healthcare Centres across the state, with a good number of them fitted with solar lighting facilities to ensure that they can operate by day and by night.

He said they have maintained the tempo into his second term as they have been upgrading secondary and tertiary healthcare infrastructure across Kogi State.
“Some of our enduring legacy efforts in this area include the construction of a 300-bed Reference Hospital in Okene. When completed it will have ultramodern equipment for diagnosis and treatment of most diseases occurring in our society.

“We are also renovating and remodeling the Specialist Hospital, Lokoja including the construction of a brand new administrative block.
“At the same time we are building brand new General Hospitals in Badoko, Ajaokuta LGA and Gegu Beki in Kogi LGA.

“We are also constructing a new clinical complex in Prince Abubakar Audu University Teaching Hospital, Anyigba as we rush to start a medical programme in the school.

“In addition, we are constructing an advanced clinical complex in the General Hospital, Isanlu simultaneously with comprehensive overhauls of the Zonal Hospital Idah and Adavi Eba Cottage Hospital.

“So, as you can see, we are not talking COVID for lack of any other achievement, but as a necessary corollary to all we do to secure the healthcare and wellbeing of you great people of Kogi State.”

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Niger Assembly moves to tackle drug abuse, hawking of fake drugs




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The Speaker of the Niger state House of Assembly, Abdulmalik Sarkindaji has indicated that the Assembly is at the verge of promulgating a law that will curb the circulation and proliferation of fake drugs in markets and substance abuse among the people especially the youths.
The Speaker pointed out that the proliferation of fake and substandard drugs in the market calls for urgent attention adding that the 10th Assembly will do everything possible to minimize the trend.
The Speaker spoke on Monday after he led members of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigerian (PSN) on a 4.5km road walk to mark World Pharmacists Day in Minna, the Niger state capital.
He said, “These problems of fake drugs and drug abuse will soon become a thing of the past in the state. As you know, we have a professional pharmacist as a member of the 10th Assembly. “We are in the process of promulgating appropriate legislation to tackle these problems. I can assure the people that in no distance time, we will start moving motions and passing laws to curb this menace”.
He decried the increasing rate of fake drug hawkers who have been pouring into markets and selling fake drugs to people especially in rural communities.
He added saying,
“The Assembly will continue to collaborate with the Pharmacists Society of Nigeria (PSN) in the fight against fake drugs and abuse”.
He called on professional Pharmacists in Niger state to remain dedicated to the duties and adhere to ethics of the profession for the benefit of the people.
Also speaking , the Chairman of PSN in Niger state, Pharmacist Yakubu Maji Isah appealed to residents of the state to avoid irresponsible self medication, adding that ” people should stop patronizing street hawkers of drugs, that peddle fake drugs which are killers”.
He pointed out that the society is ready to collaborate with the state lawmakers to eradicate the menace of drug abuse and proliferation of fake drugs in the state.

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Outbreak: Diphtheria Kills 520 Children in Kano- DG Primary Healthcare Agency




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From: Ahmed Rufa’i, Dutse

Diphtheria outbreak in Kano has claimed not less than 520 children the Director General primary healthcare development agency in the state, Muhammad Nasir Muhammad has disclosed

The DG of the agency made the disclosure in a key note address presented at a one day orientation for media practitioners on Diphtheria Outbreak drawn from JIgawa, Kano, Katsina and Sokoto states.

The director general attributed the situation to poor rotten immunisation made with high number of zero doses among the children in the state.

Dr Muhammad decried the shortage of diphtheria vaccine in the states, Kano in particular with about 8,000 confirmed cases representing 80 percent cases.

According to him “The state recieved 200,000 dosage of vaccine and less than one million doses after the outbreak of the disease. But according to our findings we need over 6 million children to be vaccinated”.

He called on the federal government and partners to do something urgently for the speed and effective control, “I use this opportunity to appreciate UNICEF for their commitment on emergency response support”.

Speaking earlier the Chief of UNICEF Field Office in Kano Mr. Rahama R Mohammed Farah described the current Diphtheria Outbreak as a threat to child survival, health and the well-being of children

Mr Farah noted that “It is very important to understand that the Analysis of the vaccination status of the suspected cases shows that 60.8% of all suspected cases are children who were not

“As of last week, over 400 suspected cases with 11 deaths have been reported in Kano state.
Eight LGAs are the most affected: They are Ungogo (2651), Dala (989), Fagge (943), Gwale (714), Kumbotso (713), Nassarawa (538), Kano Municipal (506) and
Tarauni (269)”.

He disclosed that “UNICEF is therefore collaborating with government and partners to respond to the emergency to save lives of children affected”.

According to him, the Kano field office hss been giving support to the Diphtheria Response since the first case of the Diphtheria disease in December 2022, “UNICEF has been working with government and partners to respond to the emergency”.

“UNICEF has been and continue to support the diphtheria response in Nigeria focusing on providing technical and financial support to the government in all affected states including Kano state to implement the Diphtheria outbreak response”, Farah emphasis”.

He indicated that the outbreak needs to be urgently stopped, controlled and prevented from spreading, “last week, UNICEF delivered 1.2 million vaccines to the Kano State government in our continuing support to the government for response to the Diphtheria outbreak as Diphtheria is a highly contagious, infectious disease that can cause death”.

“The media has a key role to play particularly in infection prevention and risk communication and community engagement; You will need to educate the public and increasing the awareness of parents, and communities on the disease and the outbreak, on the importance of immunization and what parents need to do in case
of suspected cases and how to prevent infection from further spreading”, UNICEF said.

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Well-being of individuals crucial for productivity in work place – IPCR DG




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***Urges Staff to take adequate care of their mental health

The Director General of the Institute of Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR), Dr. Joseph Ochogwu has indicated that the well-being of individual workman is key to productivity in the work place.

Speaking at a Health Talk session titled, “Mental Health/Emotional Intelligence,” Dr. Ochogwu urged staff of the Institute to take proper care of their mental issues.

Ochogwu pointed out that the Individual’s well-being is key to productivity in the work place.
“We need that state of mental health balance to overcome challenges.
“Things are not getting easy now, we need unique kind of skill in balancing our individual’s well-being because if you don’t balance your individual’s well-being even your family’s well-being will suffer.”

Addressing staff of the Institute, the resource person of the programme and founder of Secure D Future International Initiative, Dr. Sa’adatu Adamu, also urged staff to take care of their health.

Dr. Adamu noted that while about 970 million people are struggling with mental health worldwide, 284 million people are struggling with anxiety.

She noted that positive thinking reflect on the psychological being of an individual, adding that negative thoughts are dangerous to one’s wellbeing.

She also told the staff that it is important that each individual takes care of himself and controls what comes into his mind, adding that when somebody dwells so much on the negative, such a person is taking a destructive part.

The expert noted that depression, one of the major metal health challenges affects so many people, advising the staff to fill their minds with positive thoughts at all time, in other to live above depression and other associated challenges.

She said that it is estimated that about 40.3 percent of people died worldwide because of mental health, adding that in this part of the world, “we are still struggling to understand mental health.”

Listing the negative effects associated with depression, Dr. Adamu indicated that the estimate of people going through mental health is higher in the country.

The mental health expert, who noted that things are difficult in the country, warned the staff not to allow their minds to dwell on what they couldn’t control, urging them to think positively and take things the way they come.

According to her, dwelling on what one can not control only makes things worse and at the end depression sets in.

She noted that the last stage of depression is when one begins to think of committing suicide, adding, “mental health is something everyone should pay attention to.”

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