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KSPHCDA asks LG bosses to champion routine immunization crusade for better coverage

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KSPHCDA asks LG bosses to champion routine immunization crusade for better coverage

By John Akubo

Executive Director, Kogi State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (KSPHCDA), Dr Abubarka Yakubu, has urged Local Government Administrators to be actively involved in routine immunisation against killer diseases in the state.
The executive director reiterated that children and women should be encouraged to come out and get immunised against killer diseases, and sole administrators should be fully involved.

Yakubu made the statement at the flagg-off ceremony of January 2019 Local Immunisation Days (LIDs) for women and children in Okofi, Kogi/Kotokarfe Local Government Area of the state.

He said that the LG administrators should take responsibilty and ensure that people in ‘hard-to-reach’ communities in their locality, access full implementation of all stages of routine immunisation.
He challenged them on whatever effort they can put in that will support the routine immunisation to get to the hard-to-reach settlement will go down well and be highly appreciated in protecting our children from these killer diseases.
“We want the routine immunisation to be entirely a local goverment affair, while the agency at state level would give all the needed support to the LG to carry out this exercise on their own.

He charged the local governments to see the routine immunisation as everybody’s responsibility as he does not want children to be in bondage of death from preventable diseases.

Yakubu decried some reports that are coming from LGAs especially from the areas that are hard-to-reach in terms of routine immunisation.

“It is on this note that we felt we should conduct this flagg-off at the remotest part of the settlements at the LGA level.

“This means that we are carrying the issues directly to the door steps of the people in the remotest areas at the grassroots.
He asked the sole administrators to be involved in the immunisation programme by mobilising mothers and their children in their communities to go out en masse and access the free commodities.

“We need the support of the LGs in reaching out to ‘hard-to-reach areas of the state. we are doing our best by conducting monthly routine immunisation with supportive supervision.

“We are sensitising the LGA administrators to know the implication of not getting involve in the routine immunisation programme. We will ensure that the commodities reach every LGA.

“The state has been on top of the situation and we are not going to relent our efforts to ensure sustainability of the routine immunisation programme across the state.

“We are giving fund to people in the facilities to encourage them to go inside the hard-to-reach areas so that the people can access these free commodities. It is free and save,” Yakubu said.

“We are here this afternnoon to see how we can galvanise efforts and encourage our mothers to come out enmasse and get their chdren between age 0 to 5 years immunised.

Yakubu commeded the Immunisation health officers, traditional and religious leaders, for their support and urged them to sustain the support.

“We do not want people to place politics with it because it is a health issues, I want you to take it very seriously.

“This particular area gave us some problem during the general immunisation due to security challenges and peoples ignorance, and that is why we are here to take care of them.

“Pregnant mothers will also be given immunisation that will protect them and their unborn children, thereby helping the communities and the state at large,” Yakubu said.

Programme Manager, Saving One Million Lives (SOML) programme, Mrs Sabdat Ajakaye, said the SOML was meant to improve the wellbeing and health of women and children across the country.

She said that the vaccines are free with several other benefits for women and children between age 0 and 5, and advised the people to come out en masse to access the commodities.

Earlier in her remarks, the Kogi LGA Director for Primary Health Care (DPHC), Mrs Zainab Ibrahim, said the issue of security, ethnic rivalry had been major problem from accessing those settlements.

She, urged the government to ensure that security agencies are always on ground to accompany the immunisation officers to those volatile settlements during routine immunisation.

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USAID, other stakeholders resolve to strengthen healthcare system in FCT

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USAID, other stakeholders resolve to strengthen healthcare system in FCT

By Ummul Idris

The USAID Integrated Health Programme (IHP), FCT Primary Health Care Board (PHCB) and traditional rulers have resolved to work together to strengthen healthcare system across the territory.

The stakeholders made the resolution at Orientation and  Inaugural Meeting of Area Council Health Authority (ACHA) Management and Advisory Structures for Abaji, in Abuja on Thursday.

The FCT Director of USAID IHP, Dr Juliana Nathaniel said Health indices within the FCT was poor hence major stakeholders must work together to adress it headon.

Nathaniel explained that morbidity and mortality had remained high amongst women, children, and the general population because of the weak health system which was not currently performing optimally.

She stated that the cost of health services had persistently denied the poor and vulnerable access to quality health care services and had indeed remained an issue of great concern to all and sundry.

“I am truly excited to be part of this historic event because what we are witnessing today is not just long overdue, but a very critical step towards the right direction.

“I want to congratulate the FCT leadership for this giant stride. Setting up these structures as prescribed under the PHC Act, is necessary for proper management, coordination, and effective delivery of PHC programmes.

“When in place, the structures will not only help to ensure that Primary Health Care (PHC) plans are properly articulated, but that it represents the interest and felt-needs  of the communities, thus helping to actualize the concept of bottom-top approach in PHC programming in the FCT.

“We are all aware that setting up the management and administrative structures for each AC is crucial because it is in line with the principles of the Primary Health Care Under One Roof (PHCUOR) initiative and was mandated by the PHC Enabling Act of 2019.

“Putting  these structures in place and making them functional is not just a basic requirement, but a prerequisite for accessing the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF)” she stated.

She enjoined the stakeholders involved to focus on implementation of well-articulated  strategies and interventions  to  bring about a complete turn-around  in PHC management  and the service delivery system, in order to  impact positively  on the health indices within the FCT.

Similarly, the Director, Finance and Administration of FCT PHCB, Alhaji Ishaq Sadeeq reiterated the government’s commitment to strengthen healthcare system adding that the meeting was critical in order to fortify the governance structure of PHC in FCT.

According to him, the structure is relevant in line with the Primary Healthcare Revitalisation Programme of President Muhammadu Buhari.

He explained that setting up the Abaji Area Council Health Authority was a prerequisite for FCT to access Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF).

He expressed appreciation for the technical assistance the board received from USAID funded IHP on task order seven in the FCT.

He added that the intervention had  supported FCT to implement its policies to improve management and delivery of Health Care at all levels in the territory.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ona of Abaji, Alhaji Adamu Yunusa and the Chairman of Abaji Area Council, Alhaji Abdulrahman Ajiya pledged their support for successful implementation of the health authority in Abaji. (NAN)

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Half a million families got succour from N1b across Nigeria says VSF COVID-19 taskforce

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Half a million families got succour from N1b across Nigeria says VSF COVID-19 taskforce

Victim Support Fund (VSF) COVID-19 Task Force has indicated that its preliminary N1b earmarked for cushioning the effect of Coronavirus pandemics was used to reach out to about 500 000 families across the country in real terms.
Speaking while delivering some of the support items that included laptops computers, and other technical equipments to the Federal Ministry of Health recently, the Chairperson of VSF COVID-19 Task Force, Toyon Akerele-Ogunsiji said they calculated that an average Nigerian will have a father, mother and four children, hence they provided food that will last them for at least a few weeks to a month.

She said from that point they observe to see what the government would do next from there.
According to her, the spread of Coronavirus could have peaked between March and April but for their intervention in providing more than enough food to the tune of of N1b.”For Abuja we spent about 20% out of the preliminary N1b, for Lagos 20% then for Yobe, Adamawa and Ogun State they got 10% each, maize, rice all in 10kg, sugar, salt in 2kg, 4litres gallon for cooking oil.
“One of the things priortized in our donation is the dignity of our beneficiary.
We didnt just want to donate food because we considered them as indegent of the vulnerable population.
“It was important that the food we donated will keep and sustain their families for a while.
“People were able to feed, we were giving out drugs because we priortized the immunity of Nigerians at that time. We have multivitamins, pain medicines and other supplement.
“We bought about 300. 000 pieces of tablet soaps because hand washings the single preventive mechanism against Coronavirus.”

She reiterated the fact that healthcare is not only about providing medication and drugs adding that the taskforce extended its support in combating the COVID-19 pandemic beyond drugs and medicals to human capacity development as well as provision of technical support for the Federal Ministry of Health. She said the quality of human capacity will determine to a very large extent the successes the ministry will achieve in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Today we are providing technical equipments to the Federal ministry of health, we are supporting them with the ministerial expert advisory committee and we are also providing support for the development and the management of the national pandemic action plan.
“We are going to be supporting the ministry by renovating the elevators within the ministry because now we have more staff coming in and out spending more time within the ministry than they use to and we are providing support for the secretariat.
“We are paying for Zoom subscription, we are covering the cost of Wi-Fi of the COVID-19 of the FMOH we believe that healthcare is not just about providing medication and drugs, the human capital element is also very crucial.
She said the VSF earmarked N1B naira in the first phase of its intervention, adding the the second phase got N832, 720, 000,480 adding the the third phase will get a little less than N1b.
She said so far the task force has given support worth more than N150m to the federal ministry of health which is apart from the support it gave to the Nigerian Center for Disease Control (NCDC).
On the extent to which the support of the taskforce has impacted positively in bringing down the pandemic she said,
“I am very bold to say that we are probably the first private sector led humanitarian initiative in this country that responded to the COVID-19 pandemic at the peak of it.
“COVID-19 task force was set up by General Danjuma and was inaugurated on the 30th of March and we tried to take action and by 14th of April we were already in Abuja here at the Malaysian Garden in Karu to give out food items, medicals, PPE, drugs, family care drugs to IDPs in Abuja from Abuja on the same day we were in Borno to meet with Governor Babagana Umaru.
“From Borno we were in Yobe to Kano and from there we moved on to Lagos and Ibadan and Ogun State.”
She said they chose to intervene in Lagos, Ogun and Abuja because they were the frontline COVID-19 locations
She said, “The people were so Hungary they could not stay at home, they had to go out. As schools resumes she said, “We are going to set wash facilities going forward, we are going to providing wash facilities for schools, support the gradual reopening of schools from Nursery to primary and secondary because we want children to be able to wash their hands.
“We will setup more boreholes, donate tablet soap for hand washing, wristband hand sanitizers that children can press constantly and sanitizer their hands support teachers, we know that education is important and we cannot stop the education of children.
“What we must do as a responsible organisation is to make sure we set in motion a system where the health and the hygiene of children are not compromised as they go to school.”

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Respite as FMC Lokoja resumes wednesday 23rd, september, three months after deadly attack

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Respite as FMC Lokoja resumes wednesday 23rd, september, three months after deadly attack

The Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Lokoja chapter of the Joint Action Congress (JAC) on Thursday suspended their three-month old industrial action embarked upon following deadly attack by unknown hoodlums.
It would be recalled that while the FMC was under lock and key, health workers and patients who needed specialised care were at the recieving end.
Suspected hoodlums had stormed FMC, Lokoja, in the early hours of Wednesday-July 1, destroying the administrative block, carting away computers and files allegedly relating to COVID-19. 

I a statement after emerging from a meeting with the management of the hospital, JAC said it suspended the strike after the show of commitment by the hospital management to guarantee and ensure the safety of lives and property of the workers, among other demands.
According to the statement, “This decision is premised on the compliance with our request to guarantee safety of lives and properties among other things as a result of attack by unknown hoodlums on the Federal Medical Centre Lokoja and her staff dated 1st of July 2020.”

It however disclosed that the tertiary health institution will resume full services from Wednesday 23rd September 2020. “We have decided to resume full services on the 23rd of September 2020.” The statement, jointly signed by the various unions and professional associations, thanked the Minister of Health, Kogi State Government, State House of Assembly, FMC Lokoja Board and security agencies for their intervention, and people of the state for their understanding. Recall that medical doctors and other health professionals of the facility had on July 1, 2020, embarked on industrial action after the hospital was invaded by hoodlums. The Kogi State House of Assembly has recently called for the urgent reopening of the medical facility in the interest of the masses.

The House, in a motion of urgent public importance, argued that the continued closure of the health institution was not in the best interest of the people of the state considering the deteriorating health situation of the people of the state, hence called for its immediate reopening. 

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