Zero Hunger: Obasanjo Presents Strategy For Food Security

Zero Hunger: Obasanjo Presents Strategy To End HungerNigeria’s ex-president, Olusegun Obasanjo has urged the federal government to show stronger support for farmers and build stronger institutions to end hunger in the country by 2030.

He made the recommendation while speaking on the newly developed Zero Hunger strategic review report that the federal government would need to address the reality of increasing hunger among Nigerians by 2030.

The sixty page document, which was launched in Abuja to facilitate food security, reflects Nigerians’ perspectives on effective ways to halve the number of impoverished people.

In the last few years, Nigeria has developed a reputation for evolving bold ideas to boost agriculture in the country, many of which have ended as mere paper talk.

But according to Chief Obasanjo, the latest is not just another government initiative but one that would involve intense monitoring of states to ensure rapid productivity in agriculture.

The former president also listed other important areas as recommended in the Zero Hunger Strategic Review Report.

Working with the private sector to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 2, and find effective ways to beat poverty and malnutrition, the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole said the country stands to lose over 5 million children to malnutrition in the northeast.

The promoters say the Zero Hunger road map, which has four states as pilot to monitor agricultural productivity, will be intensely monitored every six months.

Monarch Confirms Soldiers Deployment To Ekiti

Monarch, soldiers, EkitiThe Monarch in Ido-Ekiti, Ido-Osi Local Government Area of Ekiti State, Oba Ayorinde Ilori-Faboro, has confirmed the deployment of armed soldiers to the community.

The deployment was made to quell worries about the incessant armed robbery attacks in the area.

The Olojudo of Ido-Ekiti said this became necessary because the police appeared to be losing the battle and the people of the community needed to be assured that they could sleep with their two eyes closed.

The Monarch made the statement at a press conference to herald a week-long of activities marking Ajodun Ido Ogaganmodu 2016, an annual event that brings indigenes together for community development.

He assured his subjects, expected to come from within and across the country, of security during the one week festival.

The event featured prayer sessions, inter school debates, a widows’ empowerment programme, marathon race, cultural competition, medical outreach, beauty pageant, football competition, fundraising, among others.

Oba Ayorinde said the attack on a police station by unknown gunmen, prompted him to request for soldiers who are complemented by riot policemen, local vigilance operatives and hunters, to ensure security of lives and property.

About 40 gunmen attacked the station, killing a police inspector.

The first class monarch called on indigenes of the town who had made their marks elsewhere, to come home and invest, for the community to witness more development.

He explained that the security challenges in his kingdom could be attributed to the expansion of the town and influx of more people, adding that the step to bring soldiers was not too much to give residents rest of mind.

“I went to the governor to tell him that the police were not up to the task and I requested for the deployment of soldiers to complement the police.

“We have soldiers in the town now, about 20 soldiers with patrol vehicles and 20 mobile policemen. We also have the Baruba people, local hunters and vigilantes patrolling the town, ” he explained.

The traditional ruler expressed confidence that the crisis that rocked the Federal Teaching Hospital located under his domain, would not recur as the panel raised by Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole had just submitted its report.

Nigerian Government Unveils New National Health Policy

Nigerian Government Unveils New National Health PolicyA new national health policy has been approved by the National Council On Health and is expected to be sent to Federal Executive Council for approval.

According to the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, the policy captures the essentials of ensuring the reduction of maternal and child mortality, wider immunization coverage and better control and prevention of public health emergencies.

Briefing journalists in Lagos, Prof. Adewole explained that a new strategy to address the surgical need of indigent Nigerians is now being implemented under the rapid result initiative.

“There are so many poor Nigerians all over the place with surgical ailments and nobody is looking after them and we therefore conceived the idea of the rapid result initiative.

“We selected 10,000 of them to start with this year. So, 10,000 free surgeries for poor Nigerians. The only qualification is that you must be poor,” he said.

He further explained that 46 federal tertiary health institutions have been identified to handle the scheme by screening the applicants and performing the surgeries.

 

FG Announces Plans To Accelerate Contraceptive Prevalence to 36 Per cent

Isaac Adewole, Primary Healthcare, WHOThe Federal Government has announced plans to accelerate contraceptive prevalence rate in Nigeria to 36 per cent by 2018.

This according to the Minister Of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole, will help control the imminent population explosion and also improve the quality of life for women and children.

Prof Adewole, who was speaking at an event on family planning, said the present administration is poised at making family planning a national policy.

He noted that with statistics from the United Nation Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF) show that 2,300 under five-year olds and 145 women die daily, this tragic history can be reversed when women have access to the use of contraceptives and space their children

While a major challenge to effective family planning by most women is said to be socio-cultural, the Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund, Prof Babatunde Osotimehin, is of the opinion that advocacy to women, who are yet to key into the use of contraceptives is necessary.

Nigeria currently has a contraceptive prevalence rate of 15.1 percent.

FG To Upgrade Health Facilities In A Bid To Reverse Medical Tourism

Isaac Adewole, Primary Healthcare, WHOThe Federal Government says it is committed to upgrading health facilities across the country for efficiency and better access, in a bid to reversing medical tourism in Nigeria.

Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole gave the assurance during his 2-day working visit to the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan.

He disclosed that UCH is one of the 7 health facilities chosen across the country for comprehensive upgrade, adding that the 60-year old institution must be assisted to continue to provide leadership in quality health care delivery.

The Minister also ordered that henceforth, critical care and emergencies must be attended to promptly without any demand for money until the patients are out of danger in any federal hospital across the country.

Prof Adewole further disclosed that the model primary healthcare facility under UCH will be replicated in over 112 primary health care centres adopted by the Ministry of Health to boost health care delivery to the grassroots and de-congest teaching hospitals.

The Minister added that intense deliberations are ongoing between the federal government and all stakeholders on ways of curbing industrial action in the health sector.

The Chief Medical Director of UCH, Prof. Temitope Alonge, in his comments said the visit is a crucial one that will go a long way in assisting the hospital re-positioned for better efficiency.

Prof. Alonge said the visit is significant in many ways as it will give the minister ample chance for assessment of needy areas.

We’re Making Genuine Efforts To Correct Our Lapses – Buhari

BuhariPresident Muhammadu Buhari has given the assurance that lapses that have characterized Nigeria as a nation would be corrected.

Receiving a team led by Dr. Seth Berkley, Chief Executive Officer of Gavi and The Global Fund in State House, Abuja, Thursday, President Buhari said he was impressed with the patience and steadfastness of leading supporters of health care in Nigeria, “despite our shortcomings as a nation.”

“We are making genuine efforts to correct the lapses. We are very serious about people behaving themselves, and being accountable,” the President said.

“We thank you for deciding to re-engage with us, despite our inefficiencies. You decided to be here, not minding our shortcomings. There are other countries that would bring less problems. We appreciate your commitment, and we will do our best to put ourselves in the best shape to help us,” President Buhari said.

Buhari-Global-fund-gavi

Dr Berkley, who noted that the three focal points of the Buhari administration; security, economic development, and anti-corruption were critical to the future of Nigeria, had raised issues over the way donor funds for health care were utilized in the past.

He said Gavi and the Global Fund were disappointed when forensic audit revealed systemic weaknesses and corruption in the utilization of funds given in the past, adding that there is now a “breath of fresh air” under President Buhari’s leadership and fight against corruption and they were willing to “close the books of the past, and look into future support.”Buhari-Adewole-Gavi-Global-fund

Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole, who was also at the event, disclosed that those indicted in the audit of the donor funds in the past, which was done between 2010 and 2015, had already been questioned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and would be arraigned in court soon.

2016 Budget Defence: EFCC, Health Ministry Ask For More Funding

EFCCThe Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has appealed for more funding to help it carry out its mandate of checking financial crimes in the country.

This appeal was made by the chairman of the commission, Mr Ibrahim Magu, when he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Financial Crimes to defend the commission’s 2016 budget.

“I very much believe that even if you’re going to give us everything we have asked for, it will not be adequate but considering the situation we are, there is nothing we can do,” he said.

The EFCC Chairman was also questioned on the agency’s decision to investigate different sectors of the economy.

As work continues on the 2016 budget that is before the National Assembly, committees have been meeting with the representatives of the different arms of the executive to put finishing touches to the over 6 trillion naira budget.

The Minister of Health also brought this same appeal for more funding when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Health.

Prof. Isaac Adewole raised the issue of shortfall in the ministry’s budget.

“When we looked at the budget including submissions from the teaching hospitals, medical centres and agencies, it came down to 347 billion and we got only 335.7 which is about 10%.”

He also touched on the Zika virus that is becoming a global concern, “I want to say that Zika has been with since 1954. About 25% of Nigerians are positive to Zika virus but what has happened is that it has done nothing to us,” he said, while explaining the need for more action.

The Committee on Local Content also scrutinized the budget of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board while the Committee on Science and Technology is also holding its meeting with agencies under its committee.

A lot of the committees are still expected to appear before the 2016 budget would be presented to the House in plenary.

60 Million Poor Nigerians To Enjoy Free Medical Care

Universities-medical careThe Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has given the assurance that 60 million poor Nigerians will enjoy unfettered medical care under President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration within the next two years.

The Minister who said this during his visit to the Federal Teaching Hospital, Ido Ekiti, added that 10,000 health facilities would be built in 774 Local Government across the country for effective service delivery to the people.

While promising that the government would pay them their dues, Prof. Adewole also advised all health workers not to see strike as the only option for negotiation.

The Ekiti State Governor, who was represented by the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Kola Oluwawole, urged the Federal Government to also look into the areas of staff welfare, considering the nature of their profession.

The Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Majekodunmi Ayodele, in his response to the Minister, appealed to workers to be patient with the management as their requests will be addressed.

University Of Ibadan Crisis: VC Reacts To Student’s Death

vc of the university of ibadanThe Vice Chancellor (VC) of the University of Ibadan (UI), Prof Isaac Adewole, has reacted to reports concerning the death of a 200 level student of the institution who died during a football match last week.

Addressing journalists at the Senate Chambers of the institution, the VC disclosed that they could not perform an autopsy to ascertain the cause of the death as the parents of the deceased, Mayowa Alaran, demanded for the corpse which has since been buried according to Islamic rites.

The VC then promised that series of measures would be taken to further safeguard lives of students on campus. He announced the establishment of Student Health Service within the hostels where the management of the University of Ibadan will commence annual medical screening of all students and staff of the institution.

Prof. Adewole added that the entire University community was sad over the death of Mayowa Alaran who was a 200 level student of Health Education.

The Professor charged the students not to incubate complaints for days but report any unusual observation about their health status instantly to avoid unnecessary loss of productive minds.

He also used the platform to apologise to the journalist who was assaulted during the students’ protest.

US Medical Partnership To Train 140, 000 Personnel

The US funded Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPIN) has disclosed that it targets to train 140,000 medical professionals in 13 African countries by the end of 2015 to improve access to basic,secondary and tertiary care in all targeted countries.

As one of the beneficiaries, 8 universities were chosen in Nigeria with the University of Ibadan being the lead university to coordinate researches, training and interventions during the 5 year programme.

Making the disclosure in an exclusive interview with Channels Television at the University of Ibadan, Programme Officer for the Initiative, Jeanne Mcdermott explained that the programme was designed for all cadres of health workers with intense capacity building and researches as key areas of focus.

She opined that though the security challenges in the country has slowed the progress rate of the programme especially in selected universities in the north, appreciable progress has however been recorded.

Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Isaac Adewole disclosed that the initiative has trained   more than 1,000 people including doctors, nurses, administration and management staff as well as medical students.

Prof. Adewole also explained that the meeting was focused on better ways of improving community outreaches and care in the country.

The purpose MEPIN is to support the development of research scientists through the provision funds.

It provides an opportunity to address many of the challenges facing Nigerian education institution with the overall goal of improving and strengthening medical education system in Nigeria.

The programme has been designed to cut across all cadres of health workers including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, lecturers, and other stakeholders.