The Federal Government has advocated for victims of traffic accidents to receive prompt and adequate justice in terms of quality care and quality rehabilitation, such as physical, emotional and official compensation as part of post-accident activities.
Federation Government (SGF) Secretary Mr. Boss Mustapha said this during the 2022 World Road Traffic Victims (RTC) Commemoration Day commemoration on Tuesday in Abuja.
The Nigerian News Agency reports that the theme of Remembrance Day 2022 is "Justice, Act Slow and Act for Slow Speed Streets" and the motto is "Remember, Support and Act".
Mustapha, who was represented by Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Mr. Dauda Biu, said that they are all victims of RTCs or are affected by their consequences.
He said that RTCs have physical, social, emotional and economic implications, adding that deaths, physical disability and morbidity from traffic accidents predominantly affect the young and economically productive age groups.
He also said that survivors often suffer the ordeal of a diminished quality of life due to deformities and disabilities, post-traumatic stress and a great official loss.
According to him, the implication is that the rest of the population lives in perpetual fear of traveling safely on the roads.
“To achieve this, we will ensure that accidents are properly investigated and speedy justice is ensured for accident victims.
"Traffic offenders must be duly prosecuted according to existing laws and those found guilty must receive appropriate sanctions according to the rules provided," it said.
Speaking at the event, Minister of State for Health, Mr. Joseph Ekumankama, said it is imperative to remind stakeholders that Road Traffic Injuries (RTIs) have caused and continue to cause economic loss. to our citizens, their families and Nigeria as a whole.
Ekumankama, Atuwo's representative, said these losses were sometimes due to the cost of treatment and lost productivity.
He said the theme focusing on Justice could not have been more appropriate as that aspect of road safety is often neglected.
According to him, “it is an aspect of road safety that helps put road users in check. Speedy trial and punishment of identified traffic offenders serve as deterrents to potential; traffic offenders.
“We look forward to an improved justice system for traffic offenders and victims of traffic accidents.”
Likewise, the Head of Mission and representative of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Walter Mulombo, said that it was necessary for everyone to prioritize roads, vehicles and behaviors that are safe and guarantee alternative models such as walking, cycling, among others. to ensure a healthier, greener and more sustainable response.
According to him, “I would like to remind all of us that to achieve our goal of halving traffic deaths by 2030, urgent action by each one of us is key.
“We do not want to remember more victims, we want to live our lives together with them. Therefore, we must all rise to the occasion to achieve this feat by 2030.
“As WHO, and the UN family at large, we will continue to support the country's continued drastic and concerted action to achieve this goal. We must all Remember, Support and Act,” he said.
Source Credit: NAN
The Federal Government has renewed its commitment to improve maternal and infants nutrition in the country.
The Minister of State for Health, Mr Joseph Ekumankama, said this on Tuesday in Abuja at the launch of the Accelerating Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutritio, (MIYCN) project.
Represented by Dr Salma Ibrahim-Anas, he decried the slow progress recorded in maternal and infants nutrition.
Ekumankama government would upscale its collaboration with relevant stakeholders to achieve the goal.
He noted that the 5-year MIYCN project was been implemented by an NGO, Alive and Thrive (A&T), and funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation The minister said the slow progress was from a survey currently going on supported by Acceleration of Reduction of Nutrition in Nigeria, which recently launched the preliminary findings.
He, however, added that the survey showed progress in immunisation coverage and family planning.
“We are still not yet there, we have also seen progress in immunisation coverage, family planning which is associated with child survival and nutrition of children.
“But in other aspects of nutrition, we are still lagging behind.
The progress has been very slow,” he said.
According to him, malnutrition contributes to developmental delays, impaired educational ability, lifetime of poor health, increased risk of diseases especially chronic diseases and decline in human development.
While emphasising on the optimum requirements of nutrition to the growth and health of the mother and infant, he added that the MIYCN project would address the challenges and bring about the desired goals.
“We are not yet there.
We need to double our efforts to ensure that we really put in enough time and resources, most importantly, we need to acknowledge that there is a problem.
“What we give to the children really matters and what the mothers eat at that time, also matters.
“I believe that this project will not only accelerate maternal, infant and young children feeding interventions, but it will greatly impact the nutrition narrative in the country by directly addressing nutrition issues,” he said.
On his part, Dr Victor Ogbodo, the Country Project Director, A&T, said the project would be implemented in Bauchi, Borno, Kaduna, Kano, Lagos, Sokoto and Yobe States to increase access to high-quality maternal and child nutrition services Ogbodo said: “We are building the capacity of Community Based Organisations (CBOs) and strengthening primary healthcare platforms for efficient and integrated delivery of maternal and young child services.
“This is in collaboration with government, the CBOs and other nutrition stakeholders.
” Mr Likoma Julius, representing the Federal Ministry of Budget and Planning, urged the benefitting states to ensure sustainability of the project.
Also, Ms Laurie Rushton, representing USAID, while reiterating their commitment towards improving Nigeria’s health status, assured that the project would enable Nigeria achieve the World Health Assembly Nutrition target 2025. Speaking on behalf of the focal states, Dr Tijjani Hussain, the Executive Secretary, Kano State Primary Health Care Management Board, pledged their support to the success of the project.
“The launch of this project comes at the right time that the states are making concerted efforts to improve nutrition.
“It will complement what the states does as it will improve our system and we stand to benefit from it.
“I wish to express our commitment and we will provide the needed support to make sure the project succeeds,” he said.
Mr Ifedilichukwu Innocent, the Chairman, Civil Society Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN), said they would support nutritional needs of women and children, especially in poor and hard to reach communitities.
The Federal Government says it will provide cancer equipment in six teaching hospitals to ensure proper treatment in the country.
The Minister of State for Health, Mr Joseph Ekumankama, said this in Abuja on Thursday at the cancer awareness summit with theme “Reducing the Scourge of Cancer in Nigeria through Early Detection and Treatment’’.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the summit was organized by the Radiographers Registration Board of Nigeria (RRBN).
He said the summit was timely as there was lot of demand for cancer treatment due to the increase in the cases.
“The Federal Government is doing much to make such that cancer equipment is installed in the six teaching hospitals that will give Nigerians adequate cancer treatment.
“I want to assure you that President Muhammadu Buhari is doing much to ensure that Nigerians are given adequate cancer treatment.
“Very soon, we will be presenting a bill to the Federal Executive Council to make provision of cancer centres at various political zones so people will have easy access for cancer treatment,’’ Ekumankama said.
According to him, the summit is right on time as it is coming in the October that is cancer awareness month.
He said the summit was also important due to the demand of radiographers both for radiodiagnosis and radiotherapy in the country.
The minister said that according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Nigeria needed a minimum of 3,000 radiotherapy and diagnostic radiography.
Ekumankama said that however, the country currently had less than 1000 in the country.
He called on stakeholders to address the issues of lack of experts on cancer treatment.
He noted that the board was the first point of call for cancer treatment so they were very important in the country.
Prof. Mark Okeji, Registrar of the board, said that according to the Global Cancer Observatory, Nigeria has one of the highest cancer mortality rates in the world with approximately four out of five cases resulting to death.
Okeji said that the risk factors may not automatically precipitate it nor may increase its severity when present.
He said that examples of some of the risk factors include old age, family history of cancer, tobacco smoking, obesity, excessive alcoholic intake among others.
“We know of the national Cancer Centre in Abuja, the various cancer registries across the country and many other interventions from private and NGOs cares for cancer patients.
“Their impacts are like a little drop of water in the ocean, yet to be felt by cancer patients because every cancer patient in Nigeria pays out of pocket,’’ Okeji said.
Okeji explained that the board, in the past four years, had embarked on conscious effort to increase the number of training departments in the universities of which efforts were currently yielding huge result.
He said the summit was to bring together policy makers, stakeholders in cancer management in hospitals, regulators whose duties were to check quackery in order to reduce some of the risk factors.
Okeji said the summit would be holding annually as the board contribution to the advocacy towards entrenching a national policy for a subsidized treatment course for cancer patients.
The Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) has expressed commitment to support traditional medicine practitioners in the country.
The Minister of State for Health, Mr Joseph Ekumankama, said this at the commemoration of the 2022 African Traditional Medicine day on Wednesday in Abuja.
Ekumankama said that traditional medicine played a major role in people’s life and national development but its innovation was still low or remained on individuals.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the theme of this year’s celebration is “Two decades of African traditional medicine day: Progress towards achieving universal health coverage in Africa”.
Ekumankama said the theme called for taking stock of achievements in the sector since the inception of the annual remembrance of ATM Day from 2001-2020 and the impact on the healthcare delivery system.
“Indeed, Nigeria and other African countries have delivered on key policies and programmes, aimed at promoting and developing various forms of TCAM practices and products within the region,” he said.
The minister said that the progress recorded so far was critical to achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
According to him, about 80 per cent of the population, especially those residing in rural communities, patronise TCAM services as their main source of health care.
He said that the availability, accessibility, affordability and acceptability of TCAM made it popular among communities.
“Achieving UHC requires multiple approaches which include the primary health care approach, life course approach, and both are critical.
“A primary health care approach focuses on organising and strengthening the health system so that people can access services based on their needs and preferences, at the earliest, and in their everyday environments,” he said.
The World Health Organization (WHO) Representative, Dr Francis Ukwuije, Health Economist, said that Nigeria was one of the African countries that reported improvement in the availability, affordability, accessibility and safety of traditional nedicine practices.
Ukwuije said that the country produced and was involved in the large-scale cultivation of medicinal plants and producing traditional medicine locally.
He said this was according to the progress report on the implementation of traditional medicine strategy in Africa.
“There were submissions from Nigeria to the regional expert committee for products developed as therapeutics for COVID-19, the submissions are still under review,” he said.
He called on governments to continue to strengthen collaboration between science, technology and innovation institutions such as NIPRD, NIMR; traditional health practitioners and the private sector.
He said that such collaboration would fast-track research and development, and local manufacturing of traditional medicine-based therapeutics for the health and well-being of Africa’s people.
He, however, said that WHO would continue to provide technical assistance to Nigeria to ensure local manufacturing of Pharmaceuticals and traditional medicine-based therapeutics.
On the role of traditional medicine in treatment of COVID-19, Zainab Sharif, Director and Head of Department Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines (TCAM), said COVID-19 called for the need to exploit the African treasures by looking inward for local solutions.
Sharif said the pandemic had harnessed awareness of the values of traditional medicine, investing in research to produce home-grown solutions and well-being of the Continent.
“TMPs submissions of 59 herbal products for the management of COVID-19-related symptoms have led to the listing of some herbal products.
Pharmaceutical companies in Western countries are looking forward to Africa for APIs. “COVID-19 herbal medicines such as Madagascan COVID-19 herbal mixture has been reportedly used in the management of patients with related symptoms and is currently under the third phase of clinical trial.
“Trials in 12 Member States, including South Africa, Nigeria, and Congo are currently ongoing.
TMPs have played a significant role in prevention measures in most communities in Africa,” she said.
The National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) on Monday says it will collaborate with other stakeholders to eliminate harmful biological agents known as biorisk, in the environment.
The Director General (DG) of NBMA, Dr Rufus Ebegba, said this during a two-day capacity building workshop organised for officers of the agency in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the workshop is in collaboration with Health Security Partners and Biosecurity Engagement Programme.
Ebegba said that biorisk are organisms which cannot be seen through the human eyes and are harmful.
The DG further said that the workshop was to educate research institutions on organisms which could be infectious and dangerous to human health.
“NBMA would work with all stakeholders that have related mandates to ensure biosecurity in the country.
“The process is just starting, we will be convocating a national conference very soon on how to implement national biosecurity policy,” Ebegba assured.
The Minster of State for Health, Mr Joseph Ekumankama, commended NBMA for the workshop to strengthen the capacity of officers of the agency.
Ekumankama who was represented by a director in the ministry, Dr Oyinye Nwankwor said that the NBMA policy was aimed at institutionalising a coordinated and functional biosecurity system in the country.
He said that the policy would minimise the risk of bio-threats to human health, biodiversity and the environment.
The minister assured that his ministry and relevant parastatals under the ministry would be actively involved in the implementation of the policy which its overall aim would attain a bio – secured nation.
Dr Kinsley Odiabara, Director, Medical Laboratory Services in the ministry said that the concept of biosafety and biosecurity needed to be well understood to avoid confusion.
“Biosafety tells you what to do so that you can avoid exposure to pathogens anywhere you find yourself, not to infect yourself and others.
“Biosecurity is much more dangerous and complicated, it tells you that if you do not manage your biological agents and materials that contain biological agents, you may run into trouble,” Odiabara said.
Dr Prasid Kuduvalli, Director of Scientific Programmes, Health Security Partners promised to strengthen its partnership with NBMA to support the course of biosafety in Nigeria.
Kuduvalli said the partners had worked with over 30 countries as Health Security Partners to prevent and protect against biological threats.