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Marwa advances reason drug test for politicians, students, workers remain sacrosanct

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Marwa advances reason drug test for politicians, students, workers remain sacrosanct  


***signs MoU on free supply of kits


Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Brig. General Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) has indicated the new order demanding drug test is conducted on politicians, workers and students will provide urgent help for those who need treatment and rehabilitation, in addition to serving as deterrence.

He stated this in his remarks while signing a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, with a firm, Primly Services Limited for the supply of free drug test kits to NDLEA in Abuja on Thursday.    
This was contained in a statement by the director media and advocacy of the agency Femi Babafemi in Abuja on Friday.
The statement indicated that Marwa who was elated that the MoU was finally signed almost three years after the federal government had approved the deal said, “at the centre of drug demand reduction is drug testing. 
“Practically, all Nigerians should be subjected to drug test; politicians, students, workers and all. We have set the ball rolling at the agency because charity begins at home. 
“This will enable us know those afflicted, who need treatment and rehabilitation. Equally, it will deter drug abuse because if you know that the result of a drug test will hamper your progression in school, political career or at work, it will deter you.

“In the same vein, we do expect parents to make sure their children don’t get married to addicts by insisting on drug test before marriage.”
Marwa expressed delight in the readiness by the Managing Director of Primly Services Ltd, Dr. Vincent Udenze to always contribute to efforts to rid Nigeria of illicit substances. 
“In the course of PACEDA work, Primly Services was part of our resource persons and through that we got to know about this MoU, which had been approved by the Federal Government since 2019 and I’m surprised that up till 2021, it has not been executed until now.”
Thanking the firm for its professionalism and willingness to partner with NDLEA in fighting the drug scourge afflicting the country, Marwa said apart from the high quality of the test kits, they are coming at no cost to the agency, adding that the company will only recover its cost from testing. 
“We should continue to look for more ways of cooperation to make Nigeria a drug free nation, which is a task that must be done.”
Speaking earlier, Dr. Udenze said apart from the test kits coming to NDLEA at no cost, “we will ensure that the kits are one of the best in the country and we will not fail in our duty in this regard.”   

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At last resident doctors bow to pressure, suspend nationwide strike

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At last resident doctors bow to pressure, suspend nationwide strike

The National Association of Resident Doctors, (NARD) on Saturday suspended its 10 days old strike after sustained pressure mounted on them to shelve the strike by stakeholders.
The National President of the Association, Dr Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi said the strike was suspended after series of long hours of meetings with various stakeholders in the health sector.
He said based on their responsibility to Nigerians and the fact that the Federal government has met some of their demands they have no option but to call off the strike.

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Resident Doctors would account for the blood of any patient that dies on account of their ongoing strike action, says senate

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Resident Doctors would account for the blood of any patient that dies on account of their ongoing strike action, says senate

The Senate committee on health has faulted the strike action embarked upon by the resident Doctors which is having a telling effect on patients.

The chairman of the committee Senator Ibrahim Oloriegbe said Nigerians would hold the resident doctors responsible for the blood of any patient that dies on account of their ongoing strike action.

Oloriegbe spoke at the public hearing  of the bill entitled  “Federal Medical Centre, Mubi, Adamawa State (Establishment) Bill, 2021” sponsored by Senator Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed (Binani) 

According to him, the National Assembly made every effort to avert the doctors ongoing strike to no avail. 

“We had a marathon meeting just before Easter on March 21st specifically and we agreed on all the issues that were raised by the resident doctors.

He said there three Germain issues which included the payment of salary to house officers which as at that time they also agreed had been essentially been cleared which was the major reason they wanted to go on strike.

“The second one was what they claimed to be payment to local resident doctors, which was an aberration where there was not supposed to be local but the government agreed to commence payment which has started to be done.

“Those are the two critical ones that were germane most of the other issues that were raised were not even issues within the purview of the federal government because they were issues of state governments that owed salaries or something. 

He said they are issues that relate to things that were in 2014, 2015 which was as at that meeting, the Federal Ministry of Finance confirmed that a committee has been set up to look at the other aspects. 

“So we are surprised that the resident doctors went on strike. However, we are not reneging, my counterparts in the house of Representatives are meeting with the resident doctors.”

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World Health Day: Govt decries shortage of vaccines as communities groan over neglect n Nasarawa

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World Health Day: Govt decries shortage of vaccines as communities groan over neglect n Nasarawa

Umar Egbunu Muhammed, Lafia

The Nassarawa State Government has raised the alarm over shortages of essential supplies of COVID-19 vaccines for its citizens who are yet to access the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination particularly the vulnerable persons in the state.

This state commissioner of health, Pharmacist Ahmed Baba-Yahaya made the disclosure during the World Health Day in Lafia, the Nasarawa state capital on Wednesday.

According to him, “The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the light on the inequalities among the citizens amidst shortages of essential supplies, poor people have been pushed to the back of the queue in accessing COVID-19 test kits in the state.”

He continued: “There are several shades of inequalities, discrimination based on gender, place of residence, income, educational level, age, ethnicity and disability to disadvantage of the vulnerable populations across the state.”

He, however, emphasized that there was need to start to act on the social and economic determinations of the people, by working across sectors to improve living and working conditions, particularly the marginalized groups.

While reacting on the challenges being faced by the vulnerable persons in the state, he urged leaders at various levels to work together to address inequalities in their respective countries, specially on COVID-19 vaccines.

The commissioner of health also admonished pharmaceutical companies to expand their manufacturing capacity to overcome current supply shortages in the state, urging wealthy individuals to partner with the state government so that the most at risk populations in all countries could be protected.

Also residents in Lafia, the Nasarawa state capital, Awe, Keana and Obi local government areas and others in the state have expressed worry over lack of access to COVID-19 test in their locality.

Narrating his ordeal, Mr. John Daniel, said they could not access the COVID-19 test in their community, owning to the fact that the health workers trained by the Primary Development Agency in charge of administering COVID-19 tests are focussing on tge rich in the state.

He said: “We are poor people. We have been relegatedto the background because we are not government workers.”

Also speaking to our correspondent, Ovey Timothy, said since the state government commenced the COVID-19 test the health workers have not be able to reach their community.

His words: “We are calling on the state government to urgently intervene and come to their rescue.”

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