Governor Obaseki offsets medical bills of 16 Libya returnees

Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo on Wednesday said that the state government has taken over the medical bills of no fewer than 16 indigent patients, including a nursing mother who recently returned from Libya.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that office of the Chief of Staff to the governor, Taiwo Akerele, took over the payment of the medical bills.

NAN also reports that the indigent patients were chosen from Central Hospital and Stella Obasanjo Women and Children Hospital, both in Benin, Edo South senatorial district of the state.

The governor said the gesture would be extended to other senatorial districts of the state.

Obaseki was represented by the Senior Special Assistant/Personal Assistant and Administration officer to the Chief of Staff, Jaspa Olowojoba.

Obaseki said his administration was committed to improving facilities in all government-owned hospitals across the state to ensure delivery of better healthcare services to the people.

One of the beneficiaries, a fibroid patient identified simply as Tina, said, “I have always loved him and God will continue to bless him for all of us Edo people”.

Tina added: “He is a nice man and he is well educated and respect people a lot. I love him. I have spent eight days here where I had fibroid operation.”

Another beneficiary, Happy Edoror, a Libyan returnee and mother of a six weeks old baby, said her baby became ill shortly after they arrived from Libya.

While stressing that she became stranded as she was unable to pay the hospital bills of her baby, Happy said she was elated by the intervention of the governor.

She appealed to the governor for a job after nursing her baby whose father, a Libyan she said, still calls her.

Edoror said: “She is six weeks old; her father is in Libya, but still calls me. I thank the governor for paying the medical bills of my baby.

“I also want the government to help me so that I can be working because right now, I don’t have anything that I am doing.”

NAN

Okowa Flags Off Measles Vaccination Campaign

DELTA State Governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa has called on the Federal Government to implement the National Health Act to reduce the country’s dependence on counterpart fund from foreign donors.

Governor Okowa made the call today (28/02/18) during the flag off of 2018 Measles Vaccination Campaign at Oleh, Isoko South local government area of Delta State.
“I wish to make a special appeal to the Federal Government, to implement the National Health Act that was signed into law since December, 2014, a clause in that Act provides for what we call the Basic Health Care Fund because,” the Governor said, disclosing, “as at today, we are depending more and more on our development partners to provide money for vaccines generally and I know that there has been a lot of caution and warning that the funds available are dwindling and Nigeria needs to begin to make arrangements for its own vaccines purchase.”

He continued, “the Basic Health-care Fund which is at least 1 per cent of the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federal Government, is supposed to have counterpart funding from states and local governments and to be administered partially by the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency and also by the state through the state Primary Healthcare Development Agency and Local Government Health Authority.”

“We need to activate that particular clause so that we can make provisions for vaccines and also have the opportunity to train and retrain our health workers, it is well thought out and I feel very passionate about it because, while I was in the Senate, I drove that Bill to success and I feel pained that we have not still activated that clause; it is my hope that in the cause of this year, 2018, we will activate that clause and also put pressure on different states and local governments to provide the counterpart fund because, we must continue to plan for the future of our children; yes, it is important that we are supported, but, we cannot continue to rely completely on the support we get from outside the country,” he emphasised, asserting, “the health of all Deltans including vulnerable groups such as children, aged under five, pregnant women and widows, is very important to the Delta State Government and as such, policies and programmes that impact positively on the health and wellbeing of residents of the State are formulated and implemented based on our commitment to ensure that our people should be healthy at all times.”

The Governor described measles as a critical childhood disease which can cause blindness, deafness and death. He urged all stakeholders including influential community groups, traditional, opinion and religious leader, to collaborate in an efficient manner to children from measles and other childhood diseases.
“l specifically ask parents and guardians to use this opportunity to vaccinate children between ages 9 to 59 months at the nearest health facility or vaccination post irrespective of their current vaccination status,” Governor Okowa who used the occasion to thank development partners – UNICEF, WHO, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, CDC-AFENET and other well-meaning groups for their various contributions to the success of health campaign and general well-being of children and mothers in the State said.

While stating that such programmes like the Contributory Health Insurance Scheme were designed to ensure healthy Deltans, the Governor assured Deltans that his administration was renovating primary health centres across the state to improve access to quality primary healthcare services to reduce the burden on secondary healthcare facilities.
Commissioner for Health, Dr Mordi Ononye, Chairman, Delta State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Isioma Okobah, Chairman of Isoko South local government area, Sir Itiako Ikpokpo and others who spoke at the occasion which was attended by traditional rulers, representatives of UNICEF, WHO and other donor agencies, commended Governor Okowa’s administration for its commitment to the payment of counterpart funds and to the well being of Deltans.

Lovely  Ofigho

ASHAFA TRAINS 120 PARTICIPANTS IN SKILL ACQUISITION PROGRAM

The Senator representing Lagos East Constituency at the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly, Distinguished Senator Gbenga Ashafa has once again displayed his commitment to empowering his constituents and ensuring that they improve upon themselves and the society.

Ashafa in partnership with a Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria organized a 5-day entrepreneurship Seminar/ Skill Acquisition Training Program for constituents of Lagos East which commenced on Monday 12th of February, 2018 and ended Friday, 16th February 2018.

According to Ashafa the exercise was in line his commitment to ensure that he empowers as many of his constituents towards the attainment of economic self-sustainability.

Ashafa in his remarks said “Considering the economic challenges that Nigeria has experienced in the past few years, and the effect on majority of Nigerians, we were faced with Two choices. The first being whether to sit down and complain about the decline in the availability of jobs, or the second, being for us to square up our shoulders and face the challenge with a view to keying into the diversification drive of the Mohamadu Buhari led APC government, by acquiring entrepreneurial skills and contributing our quota to the rejuvenation of our economy. Obviously, we have adopted the more sensible second option and I am pleased to say that we are already seeing the benefit”

120 Lagos East constituents participated in the 5 Days skill acquisition exercise. The participants were trained on Phone repairs, laptop repairs, general electronics repairs and catering.

At the end of the program the participants apart from receiving certificates of attendance were also empowered with Cash to enable them startup. Those who took part in the skill acquisition training for catering were also given a bag of flower each while those who took part in phone and Laptop repairs training were given complete tools boxes to aide them in repair works.

You would think Ashafa was done but there is more. The participants of the program at the closing ceremony thanked the Senator for the program and expressed their desired to set up a co-operative society to enable them enhance their chances of a successful start up business.

Ashafa who was was impressed with the idea and to show his excitement pledged the sum of N1.5 Million to kick start the co-operative society and another N1.0 Million to be given to them in another 6 months. Making a total pledge of N2.5 Million.

Ashafa encouraged and charged them to make use of the knowledge they have acquired from the training and to ensure that they impart the knowledge on others too so that they also can benefit from what they have learnt.

Dignitaries who graced the closing ceremony of the exercise included Chief Lanre Rasaq (Chairman of the event), Senator Anthony Adefuye (Co-Chairman), Alhaji Dengel Anifowoshe and Hon. Tasir Shoniyi.

Others are Hon. Wasiu Adeyemi, Hon. Busayo Adebayo and Hon. Abidun Awoderu. Just to mention a few.

This will not be the first time that Ashafa has partnered with SMEDAN to train constituents in Lagos East. The last of this kind of training was held in 2017. Participants in that program were trained on identifying business opportunities, financing of a small-scale business and were shown necessary tools required in setting up their own SME, especially in the Agricultural Sector.

Governor Aregbesola releases N1bn for pension payment

Gov. Rauf Aregbesola of Osun has approved the release of N1 billion for the payment of contributory pension to retired civil servants in the state.

Dr Festus Oyebade, the state Head of Service, made this known on Friday in Osogbo at a meeting of the Forum of Head of Service/Permanent Secretaries, Coordinating Directors, Director-General, General Managers and Executive Secretaries.

Oyebade said additional N200 million was also released for the payment of gratuity to the pensioners.

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The Head of Service stated that the governor was committed to the welfare of all retired and serving Public Servants, hence the approval of the funds.

He said the economic resources of the state needs to be improved upon for the government to be able to carry out its constitutional duties.

He said that all hands must be on deck to improve the state internally generated revenue for the benefit of all.

Oyebade commended the governor for the gesture and expressed optimism that more funds would be released to take care of the backlog of pension and gratuity of retired civil servants in the state.

Ayodele Bello

Bayelsa flags-off 13-day measles vaccination campaign

Bayelsa State Government on Friday kicked off a 13-day aggressive measles immunization for children between the ages of 9 months and five years across the state.

The government said the campaign is part of efforts at preventing children from untimely death and other serious lifelong complications associated with the viral disease.

The state Commissioner for Health, Prof. Ebitimitula Etebu, made this known at a press conference held at the Ministry of Information and Orientation in Yenagoa.

Etebu said the measles immunization will take place from March 1-13, 2018 at every hospital, school, market, church, mosque and Motor Park across the state.

The commissioner emphasized that the measles immunization has no relationship with the Monkey Pox and called on caregivers and mothers to ensure that every child is presented for the vaccine.

Etebu said the vaccine was necessary regardless of previous vaccination statues.

The Health Commissioner who disclosed that the campaign against measles is being co-sponsored by the Federal Government, partners and donors, said the vaccine is free, safe and beneficial to the health and welfare of children.

Also speaking the Commissioner for Education, Mr Jonathan Obuebite, announced government decision to lift ban placed on medical outreach to schools imposed during the Monkey Pox episode.

Obuebite said the lifting of the ban became necessary in order to allow the school children access to lifesaving immunization.

The commissioner said it is an offence for any teacher to prevent health workers from immunising children in any school.

He noted that government investment in health would only be meaningful when children are healthy enough to attend school and learn.

Obuebite said that he would accompany the health workers to some schools during the exercise in order to demonstrate the importance government attached to the wellbeing of every child in the state.

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Also, the Commissioner for Information Mr Daniel Iworiso-Markson, explained that government’s investment in public health, particularly the establishment of Diagnostic Centre, indicated its commitment to preventive healthcare.

Iworiso-Markson said the government had paid its counterpart funding for the measles immunization outreach in 600 schools across the state.

He called on public office holders, House of Assembly members, community and traditional leaders to encourage caregivers and parents to understand the importance of the measles immunization.

The Information Commissioner also said the government would sensitise the public through the media in native languages to mobilize support for the vaccination.

He urged the media to give the immunization campaign the widest publicity possible to ensure that every caregiver is aware and encouraged to present their children for the vaccination.

Meanwhile, Social Officers of the Ministry of Women Affairs have been directed to return to the field and educate parents, especially women, on the need to present their children for the state-wide measles vaccination exercise.

The Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs. Martha Jenakumo, who gave the directive, said Gov. Seriake Dickson was committed to the success of the exercise.

She therefore urged mothers to present their children for the measles vaccination.

The World Health Organization (WHO) Nigeria Immunization Team Leader, Dr. Fiona Braka, commended the state government for its commitment to the immunization programme and its prompt payment of it counterpart funding.

Braka explained that the measles immunization was to enhance community protection against diseases, and called on all stakeholders to play a role in ensuring that every child in the state is vaccinated.

NAN

Taraba govt empowers 448 youths, women

The Taraba Government and Taraba Rescue Watch have donated empowerment materials to 448 youths and women, who graduated from the second batch of the skills acquisition training scheme.

Gov. Darius Ishaku, who presented the materials to beneficiaries on Wednesday in Jalingo, urged them to utilize the materials to be self-employed.

He challenged them to continue to build on the skills acquired from the scheme to enable them to improve their lives and employ others within their communities.

According to him, the scheme is aimed at reducing unemployment among youths and women in the state.

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“The aim of this scheme is to tackle the menace of unemployment among youths and women.

“I urge all of you not to sell the starter materials given to you but utilize them to train and empower others,” he said.

The governor said that approval has been given for the training of the third batch of 648 youths and women, who would be paid with N10,000 monthly for the three months training.

Mr Ali Jubrin, a beneficiary, who was trained on solar energy, thanked the state government for the opportunity to be able to produce devices that can make life better for people.

Computer systems, industrial sewing machines, solar panels, carpentry tools were among tools distributed to the beneficiaries.

 

Sokoto introduces ambulances services with 300 vehicles

Sokoto state government said has introduced specialised ambulances to deepen access to medical care and improve emergency service delivery across the 23 local government areas of the state.

The state commissioner of health, Dr. Balarabe Shehu Kakale, told journalists in Sokoto Tuesday that already, 300 vehicles equipped with necessary health gadgets and equipment, have been provided in the pilot phase of the scheme.

“We’re upping the ante in medical care provision for our people. By this, we plan to provide both emergency response and patient transfer when the need arises.

“We are placing ambulances in all our hospitals, across major roads and highways and other areas. Basically, we are ensuring that all the 244 political wards in the state have one functional ambulance to aid patients in need.

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“For the ones to be stationed on our highways, they will serve as primary providers of a 24/7 response to medical and trauma related emergencies. They will provide a disciplined and organised system, allowing a timely response of appropriately qualified health care workers,” he added.

The commissioner said a central communication unit has been set up at the State Specialist Hospital to coordinate the ambulances services for easy interface and direction.

He said the entire aim of the ambulance service is to ensure coordinated response in the health sector and to ensure that the right clinical/medical resources are provided to the right patient within the right time-frame for their medical needs.

While commending Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal for approving the establishment of the new service, Kakale said even though limited aspect of the service has been rolled out, the full benefit will be felt after the specialised training of para-medical workers is concluded.

Sheriff Shittu

Kebbi govt distributes drugs worth N5m to 838 epileptic, psychiatric patients

The Kebbi State Government has distributed drugs worth N5 million to 838 epileptic and psychiatric patients in the state.

Alhaji Muhammad Kwaido, the Chairman of the Zakkat Board, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Birnin Kebbi on Tuesday.

Zakkat is a body that pools funds from rich people to distribute to the needy.

“The board has distributed free drugs worth N5 million to psychiatric and epileptic patients in the last two days and we expect to distribute more drugs worth N3 million to others in future.

“We don’t know precisely the number of patients that will benefit from the next batch because the number depends on the turnout of the patients during the exercise,” he added.

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Kwaido urged the patients to take their medication as when due for effective therapy.

He stressed the need for people to assist the patients by taking them to hospital for effective treatment.

The chairman also called on local government chairmen in the state to assist in transporting the patients in their areas to the Turai Yar’Adua Hospital, Zauro, Birnin Kebbi, for care.

NAN

Buhari inaugurates special school for physically challenged persons

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday inaugurated the Comprehensive Special School, Lafia established by the Nasarawa State Government to cater for the educational needs of physically challenged children.

Buhari, while inaugurating the project, said that the institution was a demonstration of the collective ambition to uplift the standard of living of all Nigerians through social investment policies.

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“The school will cater for the blind, deaf and people living with other forms of physical challenges; it represents a clear example of our inclusive policy where no child will be left behind.

“The institution is a well thought out initiative to give hope to a key segment of the society that has been ignored and neglected by previous governments.

“We all owe it a duty to help the physically challenged by contributing to their development and self-reliance,” the President added.

NAN

Kayode Fayemi gives free UTME forms to 5,000 admission seekers

The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, at the weekend, began the distribution of free Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) forms to eligible admission seekers.

Fayemi also kick-started a free Computer-Based Training (CBT) training for candidates to boost their chances of success at the examination organised by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB).

The daily free CBT training is held at JKF Leadership Centre on Ajilosun Road, Ado-Ekiti, the capital.

About 5,000 candidates are expected to benefit from the scheme.

Addressing beneficiaries from all 16 councils, Fayemi expressed delight at the large turnout of participants.

The former governor said the distribution of free UTME forms was one of the policies of his administration which, according to him, was allegedly stopped by the Ayo Fayose administration.

To ensure speedy registration of participants, the minister promised to empower the centre with more facilities.

He said: “I am happy to see you here. I would have loved to sit with you at this training, if not for my tight schedule. When we were in government, the state used to be responsible for this scheme. But the situation has changed today.

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“I want to assure you that I am committed to ensuring that nothing inhibits your determination to achieve your dreams. It is our commitment and passion for education. This is part of a number of steps we are putting in place for you to actualise your dreams. Education is our pride in Ekiti.”

A beneficiary, Esther Ibitoye, thanked the minister, saying she would not have had the opportunity, if Fayemi had not come to her aid.

Another beneficiary, Moshood Adabiri, promised to perform well in the examination to justify the minister’s investment in the scheme.

The centre’s Programme Officer Bisi Dada and the All Progressives Congress (APC) Youth leader Femi Ogundare said beneficiaries were drawn from the 16 councils and 177 wards.

They said some youths, who had obtained the forms from other sources, also enrolled for the CBT training.

To ensure a wider reach, the officers pledged to begin a mobile CBT training.

Ekiti Defender

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