Media, gateway to community, crucial in eliminating Polio virus- WHO



The World Health Organisation (WHO) has described media as the gateway to the community and useful tools in the fight against polio virus.

Dr Fiona Braka, the WHO Immunisation Team Leader, made the assertion at a Town Hall meeting organised for journalists to kick start the second round of the 2019 Polio Vaccination campaign in Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the campaign will begin on June 15 and last till June 18.

It aims at administering two drops of polio vaccine to all children who are below five years of age.

The campaign will hold across the 20 local government areas of the state, using a house-to-house approach.

“In recognition of that role you play, you are gateway to the community; you are gateway to the population at large, because you carry a message that people listen to.

“Also, it is important that the message you carry is accurate and it’s convincing that people will bring their children out for this programme.

“We are in the middle of an outbreak, and we must respond to the outbreak; the outbreak response must be of high quality to interrupt the transmission of the virus,’’ she said.

According to her, Nigeria has made remarkable progress in the fight against polio; we are now 32 months without a wild polio virus in Nigeria.

She said that the outbreak which the country was currently facing was a different trend and needed appropriate response.

Braka said that the main goal of the response was to interrupt that virus, which could only be achieved with everyone collectively to bring out children to get two drops of polio vaccine.

She said the virus had been detected in three canals in Lagos-Makoko, Itire and Maracana, adding that so far this year, seven viruses have been isolated in the state.

Braka said the vaccine was meant for all children to take, irrespective of their previous vaccination status.

“The vaccine that we are going to provide is not the routine vaccine that we have given through the healthcare facilities or outreach services.

“We do not want any child to miss this opportunity, because it also has a defined period within which we are going to provide the vaccine.

“WHO recommends all children to get this vaccine; it is safe, it is effective and it is free of charge,’’ Braka said.

In the same vein, Ms Hayon Nam, the Communication for Development Specialist, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), said the media was the most influential in disseminating information.

“We know that many mothers and caregivers do not know much about polio and, therefore, do not vaccinate their children.

“So, we want the media to send the correct information, raise the awareness to the people so that they can make informed decision for their children,’’ she said.

Dr Tayo Lawal, the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Primary Healthcare Board, said the media was very crucial in the campaign to eradicate polio as well as critical to its successes.

“Definitely, your role as agenda setters, gatekeepers and influencers, analysers of the big data and controllers of a large portion of the market place where ideas are preferred and negotiated is undisputed, hence the reason why we are collaborating.

“Let us work out a strategic plan that is robust and effective in communicating the benefits of immunisation to the populace.

“We will be glad if you can oblige us space and time in your various media to propagate this message,’’ he said.

Earlier, Dr Titilayo Goncalves, the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Health, commended the media for always being there to disseminate information essential for knowledge-based action on the part of other stakeholders.

“You have never let us down in the past, I know that we can still depend on you to take this message to every platform,’’ she said.

NAN reports that at the meeting, Rotary International donated 2,000 aprons to Lagos State Government for immunisation workers as a means of identification.

Edited by Olagoke Olatoye


Former United States envoy to Germany supports Trump’s troop withdrawal plan – Media



Former United States Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell has shown his support to President Donald Trump’s plan to reduce troops in Germany, saying there is no need to pay too much for other countries’ defence.

Trump has ordered the United States military to remove 9,500 troops from Germany, Reuters quoted a senior United States official as saying.

The move is expected to reduce the United States contingent to 25,000.

“American taxpayers no longer feel like paying too much for the defence of other countries,” Grenell told German media outlet Bild Live.

“There will still be 25,000 soldiers in Germany, that’s no small number,” added the former official, who resigned on June 1.

However, Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee on Tuesday warned President Donald Trump against withdrawing United States troops from Germany, arguing that reducing and capping troop levels in Europe would undermine the NATO alliance and spur aggression by Russia.

“We believe that such steps would significantly damage United States national security as well as strengthen the position of Russia to our detriment,” wrote the GOP lawmakers.

The Armed Services missive marks the largest Republican effort so far to convince the administration to change course. In addition to concerns over Russia, the GOP hawks argued capping the United States troop presence in Germany would impede military training and logistics.

“In Europe, the threats posed by Russia have not lessened, and we believe that signs of a weakened United States commitment to NATO will encourage further Russian aggression and opportunism,” they wrote.

“In addition, the overall limit on troops would prevent us from conducting the exercises that are necessary for the training and readiness of our forces and those of our allies.

“The troop limit would also significantly reduce the number of United States forces that can flow through Germany for deployment to bases around the world, causing serious logistical challenges,” said the lawmakers.

Trump’s term has been marked by conflict with NATO allies as he pushed for member nations to significantly boost spending on their own militaries and cast the alliance as outdated.

Republicans said the alliance should “spread its costs more equitably” but warned NATO’s “work is not done.”

“(W)e believe that our continued strong involvement in the alliance is fundamental to our nation’s security and integral to protecting our people,” they wrote, adding: “Withdrawals and limitations of the kind being reported would make that job more difficult.”

Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)
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COVID-19: Wazobia Media partners Lagos on remote learning



Leading indigenous broadcasting brand, Wazobia Media, says it is partnering with the Lagos State Ministry of Education to provide remote learning services for students due to the closure of schools following the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus.

Tatiana Nouri, Co-Founder and Chief-Executive-Officer of Wazobia, made this known in a statement on Monday in Abuja.

She said that the compulsory shutdown of schools since March was to ensure the safety of students while curtailing the spread of the virus.

“The global pandemic, which spread into Nigeria, led to the shutdown of all schools by Federal and State Governments across the country.

“The bid to combat the spread of the deadly virus has also disrupted curricular activities of schools.

“In ensuring that students are better prepared for their upcoming examinations, especially the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and National Examination Council (NECO), this partnership became imperative.

“It gives parents and students the opportunity to experience seamless daily learning for free by top accredited tutors on dedicated programmes.

They are on the Wazobia Max TV showing on all terrestrial platforms from 2.00 p.m. till 3.45 p.m. and 12.00 p.m. till 2.00 p.m. on Wazobia 95.1 FM from Mondays to Fridays,’’ she said.

Nouri added that the educational broadcast by the Wazobia Media was driven by commitment to add value by educating students and members of the society.

“The daily broadcast, which began on March, 30 covers various subjects, like Mathematics, English Language, Chemistry, Physics, Financial Accounting, Biology, Economics, Yoruba and Literature in English.

“It has redefined learning for students, especially during this global pandemic, and has afforded millions of students across Nigeria the opportunity to excel at their forthcoming examinations.’’

She encouraged parents and students to take advantage of the opportunity provided through this interactive learning on Wazobia platforms.

Meanwhile, the Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Folashade Adefisayo, has expressed gratitude to the Wazobia Media for its role in the partnership.

She stated that, due to the lack of access to online learning platforms by most students in public schools, it became imperative to explore other communication channels with large followings.

The engagement with the Wazobia Media is driven by its innate family values, strong emotional connections and deeply rooted following across various communities within Lagos State and beyond,’’ Adefisayo said.

The News Agency of Nigeria , reports that Wazobia is an indigenous media house with a unique delivery and distribution of entertaining channels, contents and productions.

Edited By: Emmanuel Okara/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)
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Kuwait to host Arab Media Forum on media role




The forum will kick off on June 20 through Zoom platform with participation of officials, experts and media representatives from Arab countries as well as the Arab League (AL), Madhi Al-Khamis said in a press statement.

“Media has an important role in crises, especially during implications due to the spread of coronavirus at the local and Arab levels,” he said, affirming the importance of the role of media in managing crises in terms of contributing to controlling and resolving related issues.

The three-day forum will include a number of sessions discussing several topics and deliver awareness messages to the public, he noted.

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Immunisation ongoing in Kwara inspite of COVID-19-Official



Dr Michael Oguntoye,  the Director, Primary Health Care System in the state Ministry of Health, gave the advice in Ilorin during a sensitisation meeting on measles campaign.

“All health facilities are open during this period of COVID- 19 and routine immunisation services will be rendered.

“Immunisation is a core health device that should be prioritised for the prevention of communicable disease and safeguarded for continuity during the COVID- 19 pandemic and other pandemics for that matter where feasible, ” he said.

According to him, immunisation delivery strategies may need to be adapted and should be conducted under safe conditions without undue harm to health workers, caregivers and the community.

Oguntoye observed that there was risk of disruption to routine immunisation and other primary Healthcare activities due to the  COVID- 19-related burden on the health system.

He added that there was decreased demand for vaccination because of social distancing requirements or community reluctance to visit health facilities for fear of the disease.

Oguntoye warned that disruption of immunisation services, even for brief periods, would result in increased numbers of susceptible individuals and raise the likelihood of outbreaks prone vaccine preventable disease (VPD) such as measles.

He noted that such outbreaks due to low vaccine uptake might  result in increased rate of illnesses and deaths,  especially among young infants and other vulnerable groups.

“As a result, the Kwara government in conjunction with UNICEF is creating awareness among the population that immunisation and other Primary Health Care (PHC) services are still available in our centres and other health care facilities,” he said.

Oguntoye said the health facilities in the state were already positioned to provide immunisation and other PHC services to clients in environments that were  safe for both the health workers and clients.

Also speaking at the meeting, Dr Marion Adekeye, the State Nutrition Officer, Kwara State Primary Healthcare Development Agency,  explained that Vaccine Preventable Diseases (VPDs) were those that could  be prevented by immunisation.

She listed some of these child killer diseases to include Tuberculosis, Poliomyelitis, Hepatitis B, Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Haemophilus and Influenza among others.

Adekeye blamed those who got afflicted or died from the diseases on the inaction of parents to ensure they were  immunised.

According to the expert , refusing immunisation destroys lives as this might result in incidence of abandoned children or disability.

Dr Dupe Shittu, the Social Mobilisation Officer for Kwara State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, said health facilities in the state were in optimal condition.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Mufutau Ojo (NAN)
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