The Heartland Alliance International (HAI), a service-based human rights organisation committed to promoting the rights of vulnerable populations, says the coronavirus is jeopardising progress toward eliminating viral hepatitis.
The Chief Executive Officer of the organisation, Mr Bartholomew Ochonye, made the remarks in an interview with the told News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Abuja.
Ochenye said this situation on viral hepatitis was not peculiar to Nigeria alone but cut across the globe.
He charged policymakers to scale up treatment for viral hepatitis virus infection in Nigeria and to also elevate it to a public health priority for adequate action.
The CEO said that the government should work toward reducing poverty, increasing health and preventing disease which is socially distributed.
“We see this with hepatitis, we see this with COVID-19,’’ he said.
He called for joint efforts to raise awareness about the disease in the country.
“Hepatitis could be eliminated or controlled in Nigeria if collaborative efforts are started and people are enlightened about the preventive measures on how to protect themselves from the lethal, blood-borne viral infection.
“In addition to coronavirus, there is an urgent need to create awareness about other communicable diseases, especially hepatitis B and C in Nigeria,’’ he said.
Ochonye complained about the poor interest of international donor agencies in sponsoring activities that could help people know more about the disease and precautionary measures against it.
He appealed for a commitment from government, individuals and corporate organisations to fight against hepatitis.
“I am concerned that the level of knowledge of the disease is low in Nigeria and that has been responsible for the rise in the figure of confirmed cases.
“Many are unaware that they are carrying the disease because of the high cost of testing.
“We are working with key populations in Akwa Ibom, Cross River and Lagos state to enlighten the people about hepatitis using different platforms.
“In a society where figures of diseases like are growing, largely because of increase in awareness, that of hepatitis is rising significantly due to poor knowledge about the disease.’’
“It should be a cause for concern for us all.
“ Viral hepatitis is the only disease in Nigeria that is on the increase.
“Nigerians must improve on their health-seeking behaviour, though it has become complicated because of COVID-19 pandemic that disrupted socio-economic activities globally.
“People must be mindful of what they eat, drink and their lifestyle, particularly sexual related activities,’’ Ochonye said.
He commended the intervention of the Federal Government in the fight against hepatitis but requested for more actions, particularly on testing and vaccination.
Edited By: Vivian Ihechu/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)https://nnn.ng/ngo-says-covid-19-jeopardising-progress-in-eliminating-viral-hepatitis/
Flood: Reptiles invade homes in Anambra community
Dangerous reptiles have began to creep into some residential houses in Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra, as a result of flood.
Mr Arinze Awogu, Transition Chairman of Ogbaru Council Area who disclosed this on Sunday, said some displaced people were already moving into the holding camps prepared for them.
Awogu said the level of the River Niger had continued to rise, making streets and flood channels that emptied into the River to flow backwards.
He said no fewer than 1,000 persons have been forced out of their homes.
Ogbaru is a coastal local government with all its 16 communities on the banks of River Niger.
He reported that a big cobra which found its way into an apartment in Atani, was killed with the assistance of operatives from the Atani Divisional Police Station.
According to him, the cobra was killed in Atani, the man in whose house it was killed miraculously escaped being bitten by the snake the previous night as he went into his Boys Quarters in search of some documents.
“On sighting the snake, he quickly shut the door and invited the police from Atani police division who teargassed the room and the reptile became uncomfortable, but as it made its way out, it was killed by those around,” he said.
Awogu advised people of the area to always shut their doors at all times and spread repellants to ward off the unwanted guests as most of them had been displaced from their natural habitat.
“Snakes and other dangerous reptiles are being driven out of their habitats by the flood and people’s homes are likely to be where the deadly animals may be seeking refuge,” he said.
The council chairman said more people were being displaced from their homes by the flood and that they had started moving into the three holding camps in the council.
He regreted that flooding had become a yearly experience for the people and assured them of care while in the camps.
“People are leaving their homes and heading to the holding centres created by the Anambra government for people in flood-prone local government areas.
“The task now is to ensure they have the necessities of existence like food, healthcare and other facilities, while waiting for the flood to recede.
“In addition to what the state government is doing, we are calling on the Federal Government through NEMA to come to our aid,” he said.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Idonije Obakhedo
NIRSAL, Coy unveil insurance product for crop indemnity
The Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL Plc), has developed a Hybrid Multi-Peril Crop Indemnity-Index Insurance (HM-II).
NAN reports that the HM-ll , is designed to protect farmers from losses during a planting season caused by bad weather (low & high rainfall, early & late season dry spells.
It also covers lightning, hailstorms and thunderstorms), pest outbreak, disease outbreak, fire outbreak and permanent disability or death of the farmer.
He said that the new product was another step towards the development of the NIRSAL Comprehensive Index Insurance (NCII) conceptualised in 2018 with the ultimate goal of Agric insurance product development by factoring in commodity pricing parameter in the cover to be issued.
” Towards achieving the NCII, the launch of the HM-II marks an improvement to the NIRSAL Area Yield Index Insurance (AYII) which the corporation developed in 2017 and piloted in the wet season farming of the same year to significant effect, covering17,000 farmers and 10,000 hectares with a harvest value of N3Billion.
“This latest development is a testament to the progress NIRSAL Plc is making in the Agricultural insurance space, prior to NIRSAL Plc’s intervention, private underwriters were not insuring agriculture.
” We have brought about the inclusion of underwriters other than NAIC in underwriting Agricultural transactions and stimulated the development of new and innovative agricultural insurance products.”
Abdulhameed reiterated NIRSAL Plc’s commitment to not only protect farmers but to also help Nigeria diversify its economy, attain self-sufficiency in food production and entrench inclusive economic growth in alignment with the Federal Government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).
Also speaking, Yusuf Yila, Director of CBN’s Development Finance Department revealed that the CBN has already adopted NIRSAL Plc’s Area Yield insurance (AYII) products and looks forward to deploying the HM-II.
He commended NIRSAL Plc for always being at the forefront of agribusiness innovation and encouraged the company to continue on its upward trajectory.
Also, Mr Benjamin Agili, Managing Director REGIC, described the product HM-ll as a that product seeks to protect the small-holder farmers from farming loss during a particular farming season.
This, he said, guarantees sustainability and continuity, “ensuring the farmer is able to remain in business, no matter the loss or situation.”
On his part, Mr Sunday Thomas, NAICOM’s Commissioner for Insurance who was represented by Mr Leonard Akah, NAICOM’s Director of Policy & Regulation, said that in line with the Federal Government’s Financial Inclusion Strategy, NAICOM was eager to lend its support to the development of a product such as HM-II.
NAN reports that a key advantage of the HM-II is that in cases where such risks happen, benefits paid out to the farmer would be up to the maximum loan or the insured amount after confirmation by advanced satellite technology, an assessment by an agriculture expert, or both.
Edited By: Sadiya Hamza
Buhari greets Sen Oluremi Tinibu at 60, salutes her courage, tenacity
President Muhammadu Buhari has felicitated with the former First Lady of Lagos State, Sen. Oluremi Tinubu, who turns 60 on September 21, 2020.
In a congratulatory message by his spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, in Abuja on Sunday, Buhari joined family, friends and political associates to celebrate the milestone, adorned by many years of service to the nation and humanity.
The president saluted the senator, who has been re-elected three times to represent Lagos Central, for her courage and tenacity in many daunting situations.
He lauded Mrs Tinubu for remaining ”consistent in her passion for inclusivity, particularly as it relates to women and children, who constitute majority of the population, yet rank high on vulnerability.”
Buhari noted, with gratitude, the loyalty and dedication of Sen. Tinubu to the growth of the governing party, All Progressives Congress (APC).
He also acknowledged her contributions to ”strengthening leadership structures at various levels, always providing wise counsels and advocating middle ground reconciliation in favour of greater good for greater majority.”
According to him, as the Senator turns 60, the stage for better and more rewarding service has been set, with all the experiences gathered over the years from the Lagos State Government House, and as a ranking member the National Assembly.
Buhari prayed for strength, good health and wisdom for the graceful matriarch of the Asiwaju Bola Tinubu family.
Edited By: Sadiya Hamza
Commandant urges NAFRC trainees, retirees to be mindful of swindlers
The Commandant made this known at the thanksgiving service held for officers who graduated from the Senior/Mid-Level Officers’ Entrepreneurship and Management Course 01/2020 and NAFRC Trainees Course 02/2020.
The thanksgiving service held at the Roman Catholic Church, NAFRC.
Lar said that it was typical of some criminally-minded people to want to dupe the retirees of their hard earned money, thereby urging to also be wary of quick money making schemes.
“Typically, we live in a society where there are many criminally-minded people who don’t care what labour you went through to be able to acquire the small resources you have.
“So, sometimes these people pick on gullible people in the society and sometimes innocent people who are looking for an investment to put their resources, they get duped and lose their hard earned income.
“So, our trainees, particularly those that are retiring after this course who have served 35 years and some less, courtesy of the current administration of government, retirement benefits have been enhanced substantially,” he said.
The Commandant urged the retirees on careful appraisal of business opportunities in order to ensure that they spend their benefits wisely.
“So, my advice to them is that they should be careful how they handle the resources that would be given to them when they finally disengage, they should shine their eyes.
“My advice is that they should be careful what they invest in and be careful who they relate with because alot of fair-weather friends will want to come around them to try to take the little that they have,” he said.
Lar said that the trainees/retirees have been provided with the skills they need in case of additional income asides their benefits.
“We have provided them with entrepreneurship skill, management skills ,some vocational training to be able to cope, if they want additional income.
“Because, like I said the benefits are actually enough for them to live well after retirement. But to be engaged in doing other things, some of them might want to invest,” he said.
Reacting to other para-military, government agencies joining the scheme, the commandant said that he was elated that other sister agencies joined the course.
“I am delighted because when I came in I discovered that this Centre is a national asset where we can train not just the Armed Forces but every Nigerian that is qualified.
“So, I am happy to announce that both the senior officers entrepreneurship course, mid level and the trainees course, all of them have people from the para-military and from strategic ministries, department and agencies of government.
“We have from Customs, Defence Intelligence Agency, National Intelligence Agency ,Department of State Services and also from Resettlement Centre ,we selected some of our senior civilian staffs and officers to participate in the three courses.
“For me it is a thing of joy to see that they have made friends, establish linkages that will be useful to them,” he said.
He also thanked the Defence Headquarters for approving for other sister agencies to join the training scheme.
“The Centre is already known to be a Centre of excellence for vocational training ,what is different is that we now have people who didn’t know about it joining.
“The centre of what we are doing here is agriculture. So, we expect them to go back and feed the nation, feed their communities and make money in the process and also improve their feeding,” he said.
Navy Lt. (Rev. Fr.) Maurice Vandu, the Chaplain of Roman Catholic Church, NAFRC, also enjoined the trainees/retirees to continue to be good ambassadors of the Armed Forces.
He urged them to utilise their benefits judiciously and also put into practice the skills and knowledge acquired.
Maj. Isah Yakubu, the Imam, NAFRC Mosque on Sept. 18 who preached on repentance and forgiveness, urged the retirees to forgive anyone who may have offended them during their service years and training.
The various courses conducted in the centre include Agriculture which comprise of Rabbitry, Fisheries etc, Engineering, Technical, Management, Security etc.
NAN reports that the institution plays a crucial role in preparing military personnel for economically useful life after service.
The Passing Out Ceremony is scheduled for Sept. 25.
Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz