Eye care: NGO screens 52,647 children in Plateau

Eye care: NGO screens 52,647 children in Plateau By Blessing Odega Outreach Jos, Feb. 14, 2019 (NNN) Seeing Is Believing (SIB), an NGO, says it has screened 52,647 children with eye impediments in the last one year in Plateau. Mr William Eboh, the Cluster 2 Coordinator of SIB, disclosed this on Thursday in Jos during […]



Eye care: NGO screens 52,647 children in Plateau
By Blessing Odega
Jos, Feb. 14, 2019 (NNN) Seeing Is Believing (SIB), an NGO, says it has screened 52,647 children with eye impediments in the last one year in Plateau.
Mr William Eboh, the Cluster 2 Coordinator of SIB, disclosed this on Thursday in Jos during a one-day capacity building workshop for media practitioners on child health.
According to him, the organisation had conducted 290 surgeries and provided 3,000 people with free glasses
He also revealed that the programme conducted 134 paediatric cataract surgeries and 156 other surgeries, with paediatric glaucoma surgeries inclusive, at absolutely no cost.
He said that the programme had a target to give out 29,884 glasses, 63 low vision devices and 688 surgeries to be conducted in 2019.
Similarly, he pointed out that 53,646 children have so far benefited from the free eye-screening conducted in schools in the 17 local government areas of the state.
The coordinator said that 503 refractive glasses and 2,534 glasses had been given to the affected children.
He disclosed that plans are currently on-going to mainstream children with low vision in special schools to the conventional schools, saying such children with the right device can see and perform optimally.
According to the coordinator, the objective of the SIB is to develop skilled and adequate manpower and to provide comprehensive child- eye-health service at various levels of healthcare delivery system in the state.
The coordinator, however, said that the programme had encountered some challenges such as limited public awareness on child healthcare.
Eboh also revealed that there is also limited awareness about their services which is absolutely free of charge.
He maintained that SIB is seeking collaboration with the media to ensure that the parents and guardians who have wards with any form of eye impediment, access their free services as no child is meant to go blind due to avoidable and treatable eye diseases.
He disclosed that the aim of the workshop is to bring to the fore factors that are responsible for childhood blindness and to seek advocacy with the media to create more awareness on ways to mitigate such factors.
Eboh explained that the programme, tagged “The comprehensive child-eye-health”, began in 2017 and would end in 2020. (NNN)
Edited by Shittu Obassa/Muhammad Suleiman Tola


NGO advocates for roles for women, girls in peace building



The AID Foundation, an NGO has called on government, religious and traditional rulers to deliberately create safe roles for women and young girls in the peace building in communities.

The Executive Director of the foundation, Mr Emmanuel Bonet made the call in a statement in Kaduna on Tuesday, to commemorate the 2020 International Peace Day.

Bonet said that such roles would enable women and young girls to bring in their unique wealth of experience, knowledge and perspective to the peace building processes across the globe.

“It is no longer news that communities consciously and unconsciously neglect to identify or consider women’s views in issues that relate to conflict or peace building.

“This is why we dedicated the 2020 International Peace Day to women across the globe who are more affected by violence and conflicts that disrupts peace.

“This was to provide them with a platform to air their views on how and what they think communities, government, religious institutions among others should do to bring about sustainable peace in our world,’’ he said.

Bonet added that AID Foundation, with support from PLAN International, commemorated the International Peace Day along with Kaduna State Youth Peace Academy (KSYPA) in Kasuwan Magani, Birnin Gwari and Kajuru simultaneously.

“In Kasuwan Magani, the KSYPA comprised of Christian and Muslim youths of Adara, Fulani and Hausa extraction who performed storm theatres within their communities.

“They highlighted the consequences of spreading rumours and brought people together to shun it.

“They also conducted a rally to increase awareness about what they are jointly doing towards religious tolerance and promoting peaceful co-existence,’’ he said.

Bonet added that in Birnin Gwari, the KSYPA mobilised Christian and Muslim youths to cleaned up the heart of the town.

This, he said, symbolised that peace has diverse approaches when people are determined to work together for a common good.

“In Kajuru, the KSYPA, like their counterpart in Kasuwan Magani also performed storm theatres for selected groups, demonstrating how dangerous it is to engage in rumour peddling.

“They ended the day with a peace rally to mobilize citizens to embrace peace,’’ he said.

The director-general called on the media to provide platforms for more women to air their views and contribute towards sustainable peace in the world.

He equally called on the media to sensitise traditional and religious leaders to consciously incorporate women in their peace building architecture and mechanisms.

“The government should equally include more women in peace building and reconciliations committees and always seek their views on issues that concern peace.

“As for the AID Foundation, we will continue to promote fairness in peace building processes,” he said.

Edited By: Kabir Muhammad/Sadiya Hamza
Source: NAN
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NCDC announces 195 new COVID-19 cases, death toll hits 1,100



The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has announced 195 new cases of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) infection in the country.

The NCDC made this known on its official twitter handle on Monday.

According to the agency, the new infection takes the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 57,437.

The health agency sadly reported two new deaths raising the death toll in the country to 1,100.

It also reported that 105 patients who had been treated and had also recovered from the infection were discharged across the country.

The NCDC said that Enugu State recorded the highest number of new cases with 51, followed by Gombe with 40, Lagos with 39, Plateau with 23, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT),  with 15.

Among other states that recorded new cases were  Rivers (12), Kaduna (8), Ondo (3), Bauchi (2), Edo (1), and Ogun (1).

According to the agency, till  date, 57,437 cases have been confirmed, 48,674 cases have been discharged and 1100 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the FCT.

The health agency said a multi-sectoral national emergency operation centre (EOC) activated at Level three, had continued  to coordinate the national response activities across the country.

Meanwhile, the agency has warned that majority of Nigerian states were not testing enough.

It said, “We do not have enough data coming out of these states to ascertain if we are improving or not or where exactly we are.

“So we have to work together; in summary, it is way too early to make any interpretation whether we are flattening the curve or not.”

The NCDC appealed to more states to test consistently so that progress could be monitored on a national level.

Edited By: Ejike Obeta
Source: NAN
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Why FG is commercialising NFC — Lai Mohammed



The Federal Government says it is reforming and commercialising  the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC) to address the agency’s teething challenges and reposition it for improved performance.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made this known on Monday in Abuja while inaugurating a Steering Committee for the Reform and Commercialisation of the Corporation.

He said the federal government has engaged the services of a Business Development Consultant to conduct a due diligence on the corporation and sector and recommend a strategy that is suitable for its reform and commercialisation.

Mohammed said the NFC, which was established with a mandate to plan, promote, organise and co-ordinate the development of the Nigerian motion picture industry, has not been able to meet up with its statutory functions.

He noted that since its establishment, the Corporation has faced several challenges including inability to engage in commercial film production.

The minister said the law establishing NFC limits its operational functions such that it cannot leverage on the private sector-led growth of the industry.

He added that the National Film Institute (NFI), a unit in NFC, is not empowered to leverage its technical and professional capabilities for commercial purposes and revenue generation.

Mohammed said the NFC’s civil service structure comes with bureaucratic limitations, budgetary constraints and operational inefficiency.

“A critical look at the existing organizational structure shows that NFC is over-bloated and needs to be restructured to reflect its purpose.

NFC has obsolete equipment, with some dating back to colonial times,” he said.

The minister noted that the reform of the corporation will help in the efforts of the government to reposition the nation’s film industry, Nollywood, and make Nigeria the capital of entertainment in Africa.

Relying on International Monetary Fund data, Mohammed said Nollywood is the second largest employer of Labour and contributed N893 billion to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2015.

The minister noted that Nollywood could perform better if the NFC is restructured and needed infrastructure enabling environment are provided.

He noted that apart from wealth and employment creation, promoting film industry would help to build inclusion and reduce social tension.

Earlier, Mr Alex Okoh, the Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), said with the tremendous potentials of the film industry to reposition the nation’s economy, the government needed to play a prominent role.

Okoh said that the government is reforming the NFC to take the leading role in harnessing the potentials in the sector.

He, however, clarified that the reform process “is not a privatisation of the corporation but the commercialization of this important enterprise and agency of government”.

“The clarification is that in this reform process, there is no transfer of ownership, no sale of shares and no privatization of the entity.

“It is basically to ensure the resident value of the enterprise and its commercial viability,” he said.

He said the steering committee being chaired by the minister would consider and approve the recommendations submitted by the project delivery team for the commercialisation of the corporation.

Other members of the steering committee inaugurated by the minister are, Okoh, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mrs Grace Gekpe and the Managing Director of NFC, Chidia Maduekwe.

The Director Information and Communication of BPE, Dikko Mohammed, will serve as the Secretary to the committee.

NFC, established by Decree No. 61 of 1979 and is 100 per cent  owned by the Federal Government and has its registered office in Jos, Plateau State.

 It is established to distribute documentary films on different aspects of Nigeria’s socio-cultural and political life and provide film services for the Federal Government.

The corporation is to train young talented Nigerians in the art of film making, conducting research into Nigerian films and provide technical and financial support to film Industry and practitioners.

NFC is also established to regulate and organise professional practice in the film industry.

Edited By: Wale Ojetimi
Source: NAN
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General news

World Peace Day: NGO organises arts exhibition to promote peace, peaceful co-existence



The Dialogue, Reconciliation and Peace (DREP) Centre, a Jos-based Non-governmental Organisation (NGO), has organised an arts exhibition in some communities to mark the 2020 World Peace Day.

DREP Programme Manager, Mr Chris Ogbonna, said at the event that the initiative was to promote peace and peaceful coexistence in communities in a unique way.

“We want to see how we can use art to promote peace by deviating from regular meetings and dialogue sessions.

“The idea is to use people with different skills such as arts to engage communities with their works.

“We are using the World Peace Day to unveil these kinds of arts exhibition and promote peace,” Ogbonna said.

He said that the arts exhibitions would take place in six communities in Plateau in the next six days.

He also stated that the idea of the exhibition was to see how to impart artistic knowledge into young people.

According to the programme manager, if the youths channel their energies into gainful ventures, they will have less time for vices.

He said the group had been giving grant to artists every year to encourage them in telling the story of peace.

Dr Jacob Onoja, a lecturer with the Department of Fine and Applied Arts, University of Jos, one of the exhibitors, said that he engaged in arts that dealt with peace in communities.

Onoja said that going into the area of peace, conflict and dialogue he had seen the devastation in communities and that the devastated family members had suffered as a result of crises.

“The best way I can express it is that, in the quietness of the studio, tell the story by inscripting words in symbolic forms.

“When people relate with works of arts, you see the reactions it will elicit.

“The stories that are crafted into my works are stories of peace which if every community  imbibes, they will help to propagate peace,” he said.

Mrs Becky Soemlat of Plateau Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Hospitality, lauded DREP’s initiative of promoting peace through arts.

Soemlat described the exhibition as a welcome development that would tell the story of how peace would be achieved.

She said that the ministry had been partnering with  artists to see how they could project the peace in the state.

Alhaji Salisu Hassan, Nasarawa Filin Ball Community leader, where the exhibition was held, urged DREP and the exhibitors to mentor youths in arts.

Edited By: Abdullahi Yusuf
Source: NAN
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