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Nasarawa Govt, others to distribute 2,060,000 Insecticide Treated Nets



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From Umar Egbunu Muhammed, Lafia

The Nasarawa State Government in conjunction with the National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP) with funding from the United States President’s Malaria Initiative (U.S.-PMI), is set to distribute 2,060,000 insecticide treated nets across the state.

The state commissioner of health, Pharmacy Ahmed Yahaya gave the indication at a one-day media parley for 2022 campaign on mass distribution of Insecticide Treated Nets in Lafia, the Nasarawa state capital.

He explained that the provision of quality and affordable healthcare services to the people of the state is one of the major focus of Governor Abdullahi Sule.
Yahaya, however, reiterated the state government’s commitment to partnering with any organisation that is interested in providing quality healthcare services.
That he added that is in line with global best practice.

According to him, based on investigation and facts, mosquitoes, carrier of Malaria, could only be addressed if people sleep under the insecticide treated nets properly and consistently.

The health commissioner revealed that personnel from the ministry would start registration and issuance of cards to household across the state on January 20 to 28.

His words: “The state government had already trained personnels at the Local Government Areas (LGAs) as well as the state level preparetory to mass distribution of the nets.”

He further hinted that immediately after the registration, the distribution of the nets would kick start from February 7-15, 2022.

He explained that the ministry has put the necessary machinery in place to ensure that the nets are effectively distributed to every household in the state.

Earlier, the state Director Public Health in the state ministry of health, Dr Ibrahim Alhassan said the media parley was aimed at building the capacities of media professionals on the technicality involved in passing effective messages toward eliminating Malaria.

He said it would assist in informing the public on the distribution of the nets and the necessity to use them properly when collected.

He disclosed that the prevalent rate of Malaria in the state had dropped from above 47 per cent in 2015 to 14 per cent in 2018 as a result of combined efforts and support from the media.

He added that malaria is not just a health challenge, but also an economic matter, as it has led to loss of lives and resources that could have been use for other purposes.

He expressed gratitude to the media for their support over the years, adding that the media had contributed immensely in reducing Malaria from being a leading health challenge in the country.

Also, Kingsley Godson, Technical Team Lead on Insecticide Treated Nets Campaign in the state, explained that the state government and partners were spending huge amount of money in procurement of the nets and distributed free.

He affirmed that the ITN were procured at the cost N2.98 billion to be distributed to every household in the state.

Godson posited out that technological devices would be deployed to generate data, track nets and net cards as well as personnel in the field to ensure effective distribution.

He said that a total of 9,548 personnel would be engaged and trained for the exercise in the state.

He admonished the people to make use of the nets when distributed to them to justify the huge investment.

Contributing, the state coordinator Break through Action-Nigeria, Mr. Thomas Ohobu, encouraged people to properly and and consistently use mosquito net while sleeping in the night.

He said this would go a long way to reducing the material scourge in the state.

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Media professionals move to curb apathy towards HVP vaccination




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From Daniel Abel Lafia

Media professionals under the auspices of Sustainable Media Advocacy Foundation (SMAF), on Wednesday promised to intensify media campaigns against the negative public perception of Vaccination against Human Papilloma Virus among young girls between the ages of 9 and 14 years in the state through intensive campaigns.

The foundation Chairman, Mr. Kalu Idika made this known at its advocacy meeting organized to review its activities in Lafia.

According to the SMAF Chairman, the objective of the organization is to promote media engagement for sustainable development.

“We are available to partner with any group to create every necessary awareness for people at the grassroots level.

“We are registered professionals ready to partner with any interested organization to sensitize, promote, and reach out to the nooks and crannies of the state in any field of endeavor.

The chairman, however, recalled that the foundation had undergone several trainings and have also engaged in sensitization in the area of safe sex among adolescence, maternal mortality in partnership with local and international Non Governmental Organizations, (NGOs).

Mr. Kalu noted that the foundation is currently partnering with the National Primary Health Development Agency, (NAPHDA), to ensure girls between ages 6-14 receive vaccination against the Human Papilloma Virus, HPV launched by Governor Abdullahi Sule.

Kalu, however, stated that the Foundation has undertaken many activities in the past as well adding that they enjoyed technical support from International organizations and Nasarawa State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NAPHDA),

Mr. Ishaya Amegwa, who represented the state’s health educator, commended the foundation in ensuring adequate awareness against the myth and misconceptions about the vaccine.

With the help of the media engagement, more people are coming out even as parents are bringing their girls within the age bracket to receive the vaccine.

‘The media came to our assistance and created the necessary awareness that we needed at that time to encourage the young girls to avail themselves for the vaccination.

In a remark, the Research Monitoring and Evaluation Technical Support Lead of The Challenge Initiative, Taco, Oluwafemi Timothy Rotimi, commended SMAF for the collaboration commencement and implementation of its programme in the state.

Rotimi also noted that the Foundation had reached out to various communities and the public through its media platforms in order to communicate the positive outcome impacted on the wellbeing of the people of the state.

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Malnutrition: USAID doles out RUFT worth 3.5 million Dollars to Nigeria




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The United States government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), has donated 60,000 cartons of Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUFT) to Bauchi, Kebbi, and Sokoto States to mitigate severe acute malnutrition in Nigeria.

USAID in a press statement made available to journalists after the official handover of the RUFT in Abuja on Thursday, said the approach became necessary as millions of Nigerian children are being affected by malnutrition.

The agency stated that the approach is in collaboration with the Nigerian government, to strengthen local RUTF manufacturing, as well as incorporate RUTF into state health systems such as health insurance, drug revolving funds, and health budgets.

The statement reads in part, “The United States government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), donated over 60,000 cartons of ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF)-valued at $3.5 million to the governors of Bauchi, Kebbi, and Sokoto states in Nigeria. The handover is part of USAID’s bid to expand access to treatment for severe acute malnutrition.

“In Nigeria, severe acute malnutrition remains a significant public health concern, affecting 3.6 million children. With challenges of food insecurity, limited access to quality healthcare, and inadequate nutrition interventions, multisectoral collaboration and innovation is needed. Expanding sustainable local access to affordable, life-saving nutrition commodities is essential to address severe malnutrition in Nigerian children.”

The agency added that the approach also  improves the quality of groundnut inputs for manufacturing RUTF, to strengthen the quality of nutrition health services and to integrate humanitarian nutrition services more sustainably.

Speaking at the handover ceremony, USAID Mission Director, Melissa Jones said, “Reducing malnutrition is a critical component of improving health, education, and inclusive economic development.

“We commend Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Health for including RUTF and other nutrition commodities in the list of essential medicines. Doing so allows this life-saving essential food to be procured and made available at all health facilities.”

Bauchi State Deputy Governor, Hon. Mohammed Auwal Jatau, commended USAID for its interventions in Bauchi.

Jatau gave the indication while receiving 17,500 cartons of RUTF donated by the USAID to the Bauchi State government.

The Deputy Governor said to reciprocate  the gesture, the administration of Governor Bala Mohammed would continue to fulfil the obligations of the Memorandum of Understanding, MoU.

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Diphtheria Outbreak: UNICEF Donates 3.1 m Vaccine Dosages




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By Ahmed Rufa’i, Dutse

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has donated 3.1 million Diphtheria vaccines as part of the organization’s response to Diphtheria out break in the country.

This was disclosed by the UNICEF country Director, Ms Christian Manduate while speaking during a courtesy visit to the JIgawa state governor, Malam Umar Namadi Danmodi at government house Dutse.

The country Director promised a continuation with interventions and technical support for the improvement of education, healthcare, birth and death registration in the state.

According to her other areas of its intervention included Child Nutrition and other aspects of economic and human capital development

Ms Christian Manduate commended governor Namadi for achieving milestones on child protection and development in the state.

She said JIgawa state is among the beneficiary of the 3.1 million vaccines from the UNICEF.

Ms Manduate appealed to the governor to be part of their advocacy team in northern states, as she promised to provide more technical assistance through training of Jigawa health workers.

According to the country Director, despite effort made by Jigawa government to fight five child killer diseases there are numerious challenges on the high number of malnourished children in the state.

She maintained that, most of the Diphtheria victims are unimmunized children with zero dose record, adding that UNICEF will continue collaborate with the government to improve nutrition and reduce the number of out of schools children.

In his response, the JIgawa state governor Malam Umar Namadi lauded UNICEF, saying that their interventions are yielding fruitful result in almost all the critical sectors in Jigawa.

Governor Namadi promised to timeously release counterpart funds to UNICEF, indicating that the state government has gone far on it’s plan to involve Almajiri system into formal education system, to reduce the number of out of school children.

He commended the UNICEF team for visiting Jigawa and promised that he is opened for more collaboration to save and improve the lives of children in the state.

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