By Friday Idachaba
Hydroelectric Power Producing Areas Development Commission (HYPPADEC) has treated more than 5,000 persons with different ailments during its four-Day Free Medical Outreach in four Local Government areas of Kogi.
The outreach which began on Saturday, March 12 in four Local Government Areas of Bassa, Ibaji, Koton-Karfe and Ajaokuta of Kogi, ended Tuesday, March 15.
Managing Director (MD) of HYPPADEC Dr Abubakar Sadiq Yelwa, disclosed this in Adogo, Ajaokuta Local Government of Kogi as the first phase of the medical intervention to the flood devasted riverine communities came to a close on Thursday.
Yelwa who was represented by Mr Jimoh Haruna Gabi, Director Admin and Finance in the Commission said provided for 1,000 persons from each of the the four local councils.
“In each of the Local Governments we go, we have budget for about 1,000 patients to be attended to.
“That is to tell you that we expected 4,000 beneficiaries in the four Local Governments that we have accommodated in the first phase because the second phase is coming very soon to attend to all these.
“When the team came, we discovered that the intervention met the need of the people. Honestly, the acceptance of this outreach is tremendous. People are even yearning for more.
“In Koton-Karfe yesterday, they told us some of the services they felt should be dispensed that were not made available like testing people for Hepatitis B and C and we immediately made provisions for them.
“The next phase will see us coming with more medical personnel and facilities to help cater for the masses who could not afford medical treatment for the various ailments eating them up without remedy considering their poor economic conditions”, the Managing Director said.
Yelwa noted that the problem was that of dearth of health facilities in rural communities especially, the riverine areas and where available, the cost of accessing the facilities was beyond their capacity.”
Also speaking, Mr Lee Ahenjir, Kogi State Coordinator of HYPPADEC said the relevance of the Commission’s intervention could not be overemphasized as when flooding and ecological issues impact the society, one of the first casualties would be access to health.
Ahenjir stressed that the responses that greeted the HYPPADEC medical outreach scheme from members of the communities had been very impressive showing that it had been a long overdue.
On how soon the second phase of the intervention would be, the Coordinator said, “Soon. It’s a quarterly programme and this is the first quarter. By next quarter there will be another scheme.”
Alhaji Isah Musa-Achuja, the Ohi of Eganyi and Chairman, Ajaokuta Area Traditional Council, said his community and subjects had seen and felt the impact of HYPPADEC through the free medical outreach and other programmes.
Musa-Achuja said, ‘Today, our people are better off in terms of health, potable drinking water, electricity and education. We don’t know how to thank HYPPADEC. If Ministries and other commissions were doing what you are doing, things would have been better.
“We are so grateful to President Muhammadu Buhari, who deemed it fit to inject life into the commission 10 years after its establishment. It’s touching lives and raising hopes in people across the country,” the monarch said.
Most of the beneficiaries spoken to described the HYPPADEC medical intervention as ‘God sent very timely” in view of the prevailing health and medical situations in the riverine areas as a result of the perennial flooding and its health hazards.
Media professionals move to curb apathy towards HVP vaccination
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.
Malnutrition: USAID doles out RUFT worth 3.5 million Dollars to Nigeria
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.
Diphtheria Outbreak: UNICEF Donates 3.1 m Vaccine Dosages
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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