FG Dismisses Report Of Famine In Northeast

Benue Police Challenge Farmers, Herdsmen On Agatu Peace DealThe Federal Government has assured residents in the northeast that the prediction of famine in the region in 2017 is not true.

Speaking to journalists in Abuja, the Minister Of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, explained that although there could be food shortage in some states as a result of the northeast insurgency, that would however not lead to famine in the country.

Referring to states such as Borno and Yobe, the minister said: “neither the devastation in the north-eastern states nor farmers and herdsmen clashes in Kaduna state is likely to lead to famine and starvation in the country.

Meanwhile, it can be recalled that the Famine Early Warning System Network, an agency supported by the United States Agency for International Development had predicted famine in the northeast because the Boko haram insurgence had prevented the people from farming over the past five years.

According to the report, the rampage of Boko Haram insurgents contributed negatively to market activity and normal livelihoods for Nigerians.

Kaduna, GE Sign Agreement To Equip Healthcare Facilities

lassa feverThe Kaduna State government and global corporate giant, General Electric have signed an agreement to equip 278 healthcare facilities across the state.

At a ceremony held to mark the commencement of the programme in the northern state, the President of GE Healthcare in charge of Africa, Farid Fezoua, said the essence was to create an innovative healthcare system that would reduce preventable child-maternal deaths in Kaduna State.

According to him, under the partnership, GE will equip 255 primary health centres with modern medical facilities along with 23 general hospitals across the state.

The company will also provide training for healthcare professionals and a three-year maintenance agreement for the equipment.

He said the training would cover technical and clinical skills while the equipment maintenance would be managed by strong local team of biomedical engineers.

Bringing the latest medical technologies to Kaduna, Mr Fezoua said the initiative would be implemented through a localised delivery model developed specifically for Kaduna State.

“The heart monitoring devices will address cardiovascular screening issues and improve the management of high blood pressure, cholesterol or high blood glucose. GE’s basic cardiac screening device connect hearts to digital ECG, helping clinicians test more patients in less time,” Mr Fezoua explained.

Mr Fezoua further told reporters that the scheme would include bringing four of the nine GE Healthcare technologies listed in the World Health Organizations Compendium of Innovative Technologies that will provide access to antenatal screenings, obstetric scanning, essential new born care, cardiac screening and anaesthesia.

The new multi-year partnership between the Kaduna State Ministry of Health and GE Healthcare is designed to expand primary and referral care services as well as building capacity at 255 primary healthcare centres and 23 secondary healthcare hospitals across the state.

Governor Nasir El-Rufai, who was represented at the event by his Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Dr Paul Dogo, said the partnership with GE would help to improve standards of maternal and infant care, implant safer surgical standards and raise the capacity for disease prevention and infection control.

“The Kaduna State Government is seeking better health outcomes for its people. This partnership with GE will accelerate the development of our health facilities and equip them to deliver better services.

“The equipment, technologies and training our state is getting under this partnership will help to improve standards of maternal and infant care, implant safer surgical standards and raise our capacity for disease prevention and infection control,” he told reporters.

“The multi-year partnership between Kaduna State and GE will increase access to essential technologies for better maternal and infant care, heart screenings to tackle the rise of cardiovascular illnesses and improved care during surgeries,”

Other stakeholders at the event, including representatives of UNICEF and Kaduna State House of Assembly, commended the gesture by GE in boosting qualitative healthcare for citizens of the state and the assurance of its support towards achieving the state’s healthcare objective.

GE is a world’s Digital Industrial Company, transforming industry with software-defined machines and solutions that are connected, responsive and predictive.

Presently, GE Healthcare is partnering with the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Health, the United States Agency for International Development and other stakeholders to create an innovative healthcare system that will reduce preventable child-maternal deaths in Nigeria.

The programme in Kaduna will deliver at least one refitted hospital in each of the 255 wards in the state.

U.S. Gives $37M To Conflict Victims In Lake Chad Basin Region

President of the United States, Barrack Obama.

The United States government has announced over $37 million for humanitarian assistance for the conflict in the Lake Chad Basin region.

At a meeting with the Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency, the Nigerian Mission Director of the United States Agency for International Development, Mr Michael Harvey said the fund is to provide food, water and shelter for thousands of people who need humanitarian assistance.

Mr Harvey added that the fund will be disbursed to Non-Governmental Organisations and United Nations agencies, who are addressing humanitarian challenges in the region.

“The U.S. continues to be the single largest humanitarian donor to the region,” the US Embassy in Nigeria said in a statement on Wednesday.

It said the savagery of Boko Haram had triggered a humanitarian crisis in Nigeria and surrounding countries in the Lake Chad Basin region.

“Families have been driven from their homes, millions are left without enough to eat, and human rights abuses are widespread.

“Despite gradually improving security conditions, the humanitarian situation remains dire.

“Throughout the region, approximately five million people need emergency food assistance and 2.5 million people are displaced,” it said.

The mission said new funding to UN and non-governmental organisation partners would help tens of thousands of people to receive critically needed humanitarian assistance.

It listed the humanitarian assistance to include food, water, shelter, and services to address acute hygiene, protection and nutritional needs.

“The food assistance will be delivered to conflict-affected communities in the Diffa Region of Niger, including populations who fled their homes following the recent attacks in Bosso.

“This new food assistance will be coordinated with the humanitarian community in Nigeria to scale up the overall regional food response,” the mission said.

US Launches $1 Million Support Programme For Nigerian HIV/AIDS Victims

USAIDS, United States, HIV/AIDS, NigeriaThe United States government has launched a $1 million programme to support HIV/AIDS affected children and families in Nigeria.

The programme was launched by the Director of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Michael Harvey, in Benin City, the Edo State capital in south-south Nigeria.

Speaking on Wednesday at the Edo State Government House, Mr Harvey said that the programme would benefit 15,000 families affected by HIV/AIDS in Edo, Benue, Kogi and Nasarawa States, as well as the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

He also pledged that the US would continue to assist Nigeria to overcome the current economic and security challenges in the nation.