The African Development Bank Group (AfDB), says it is implementing infrastructure projects worth 11.5 billion dollars in West Africa.Ms Marie-Laure Akin-Olugbade, the Director-General, West Africa Regional Development and Business Delivery Office of the Bank, said this in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday.Akin-Olugbade said that 39 per cent of the investment which represented 4.5 billion dollars was for transport infrastructure, while 19 per cent representing 2.1 billion dollars was for investments in energy infrastructure.The director-general who said the total investment excluded projects in Nigeria, said that 0.65 billion was for investments in water and sanitation.She listed the countries benefitting from some of the Bank’s infrastructure projects to include Burkina Faso, Guinea Bissau, Senegal, Sierra-Leone and the People’s Republic of Congo, among others.Akin-Olugbade said the Freetown WASH and Aquatic Environment Revamping Project in Sierra-Leone alone, was targeted at increasing access to safe water supply by 15 per cent and seven per cent increase in access to improved sanitation.”The project will directly benefit an estimated 1,400,000 people (51 per cent women), provided with access to safe water, including new access for 1,000,000 people and restoration of a regular daily water service for 400,000 people.”The project will create more than 2,700 jobs and restore the Freetown peninsular water-shed.”In the transportation infrastructure between Lome and Cotonou, we have financed a road project and reduced the time that it takes for goods to move from Burkina Faso to port of Lome and it takes a few hours now.”This is where we believe that we can make serious impact in roads toward the agenda for industrialisation.”We need good connectivity if we want to see the dream of the AfCFTA really materialise.”The Bank is very proud of the significant investment it has made alongside ECOWAS developing the West Africa Power Pool which has consistent significant investment in transmission lines, inter-connection lines,” she said.Akin-Olugbade said that infrastructure projects were some of the big sector projects that the Bank intend to do more in the West Africa and the continent.
The International development organisation Sightsavers has commended the Federal government of Nigeria for ambitious new pledges to end the scourge of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs).At the Kigali Summit on Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases, on 23 June, and during the signing of the Kigali Declaration on neglected tropical diseases earlier this year, the government pledged to:
Journalists For Public Health and Development Initiative (J4PD), has called for intensified environmental sanitation campaign to curb disease outbreaks in Bauchi State.
J4PD Coordinator, Ms Elizabeth Carr, made the call in a statement made on Thursday, in Bauchi.
Carr urged the Bauchi State Government, to empower its Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) agencies, to enable them carry out their duties effectively.
The coordinator also advised that the WASH agencies should do more to create awareness about environmental hygiene, to prevent waterborne diseases, especially during the wet season.
“The crusade for environmental hygiene should be taken to the households and public places. This is in the interest of public health,” she said.
Carr commended Bauchi State Government for its consistency in the 16 per cent allocation to the health sector in its annual budget.
“We urge the state government to ensure timely release of the funds for effective implementation of health care programmes,” she said.
The J4PD coordinator also lauded the USAID-Integrated Health Programme (IHP), for its efforts in building the capacity of journalists covering public health.
Carr further commended the North East Development Commission (NEDC) for donating drugs and other medical consumables in the fight against the Cholera epidemic in the state.
No fewer than 48 million Nigerians still practice open defecation, according to the newly released 2021 Water, Sanitation and Hygiene National Outcome Routine Mapping (WASH-NORM) III Report.
This is the thrust at the inauguration of the 2021 WASH-NORM III Report in Abuja on Tuesday.
The Minister of Water Resources, Mr Suleiman Adamu, said slow progress being made in improving water and sanitation services was due to population expansion, low commitments from states and impact of COVID-19.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the WASH-NORM is an annual national assessment of the status of water, sanitation and hygiene services aimed at covering the data gaps in the sector.
Its primary objective is to provide data on WASH indicators to meet the needs of policy makers for better planning.
Quoting the report, the minister said poorest households were 48 times more likely to practice open defecation than the richest households.
“First, the report presents encouraging news about the WASH targets in Nigeria, though with mixed bag of trends that calls for deep introspection.
“The results show clearly that access to basic water supply services is available to 67 per cent of the population, at 92 per cent access levels, the richest households are twice more likely to use, basic water supply services than the poorest households with 46 per cent.
“Disparities also exist between urban areas and rural areas, the most common sources of drinking water recorded by households were , and only 11 per cent of the household population use pipe-borne water.
“About a quarter of the population still depend on unimproved and surface water supply for their daily water needs, access to sanitation indicators across the country shows a slight improvement, though open defecation is still prevalent.
“Evidently, 23 per cent of the population (48 million people) still defecate in the open. People in rural areas (31 per cent) are four times more likely to practice open defecation than those living in urban areas.”
The minister said states must continue to complement the efforts of the Federal Government as it cannot be business as usual.
He said instances could be drawn to how the national government had made huge investment in the water and sanitation sector with reports of vandalism and poor operation and maintenance by the states.
He said the entire WASH sector might not be able to meet the sustainable development goals without a concerted effort by the states to commensurate with the efforts made at the federal level.
“So what we are trying to do now, also we have changed our strategy a little bit, using the FCT as a model, and to make it more advocacy-based.
“But we have two states that are coming and working as seriously towards ending open defecation, I will like to really celebrate them when that happens.”
Ms. Jane Bevan, the UNICEF Chief of WASH, said the survey had re-empahsised the challenges and gaps between current levels of access to WASH services and the goals set out in the National Open defecation-free road map.
“WASHNORM findings showed that only 16 out of the 28 state urban water utilities are fully functional, while only eight per cent of urban water utility consumers are metered at the time of the survey.
“Open defecation remains a challenge in the country with data from the WASHNORM 2021 survey showing that as many as 48 million Nigerians practise open defecation, representing 23 per cent of the population.
“In spite of the efforts by government and partners at ending open defecation, the rapidly growing population is dwarfing the gains made so far, the outbreak of COVID-19 was an opportunity for increased effort in hygiene promotion’’.
Bevan said achievement of results at scale would make significant difference in the WASH sector and move the country towards achieving SDG six.
She however commended efforts of the ministry in scaling up access to WASH, calling for sustainability of current strategies and ensure functionality of all WASH schemes.
The Statistician-General of the Federation, Mr Semiu Adeniran said the inauguration of the report was an important milestone in the National Bureau of Statistics’ statistical production strategy.
He said this was geared towards meeting the needs of policy and decision makers, development partners, researchers and the wider public.
“WASH is an integral part of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda which seeks to end extreme poverty in all its forms. Safe WASH is crucial to human health and well-being.
“It is not only a prerequisite to health, but contributes to the attainment of better livelihoods, school attendance and human dignity, and also, helps to create healthy environments for communities.
Adeniran noted that the report which was the third in the series of national assessments of the status of WASH Services with the first edition launched in 2018, gave reliable, comprehensive, and up-to-date WASH data to inform strategic decision-making and address critical gaps in the sector.
He said the vast amount of data collected under the survey would be used for strategic and efficient allocation of resources, as well as for developing and implementing well-targeted policies and programs.
NAN recalls that the WASH-NORM is a collaborative effort between the National Bureau of Statistics, Federal Ministry of Water Resources and the UNICEF
With the support of WHO and Health Cluster partners, the Ministry of Health aims to vaccinate more than 633,000 people against cholera in Juba County in South Sudan.
"The oral cholera vaccine (OCV) confers immunity for up to three years. We appreciate the efforts of the state Ministry of Health and partners in organizing the campaign," said Hon. Yolanda Awel Deng Juach, Minister of Health of the Republic of the South. Sudan.
"It is high time another round of LCOs were carried out to prevent the occurrence of cholera in Juba. I urge all those eligible for this vaccine to receive the oral cholera vaccine to protect themselves and their loved ones from cholera." ", said the Hon. . Awel.
Cholera is a deadly disease, but it can be prevented if people have access to clean drinking water and proper sanitation facilities. It affects both children and adults and can cause death within hours if left untreated. Cholera is spread through contaminated food and water and can spread quickly and widely in crowded and unsanitary conditions.
The country has faced several cholera outbreaks that have affected vulnerable populations living in internally displaced persons (IDP) camps, urban informal settlements, cattle camps, as well as rural populations, island dwellers and communities along the Nile River. .
Between 2014 and 2017, South Sudan reported more than 28,600 cases of cholera, resulting in 644 deaths. No confirmed cases of cholera between 2018 and 2021. Currently, a cholera outbreak was declared in Bentiu, Unity State on May 7, 2022 with a positive culture result obtained at the National Public Health Laboratory on April 14 of 2022.
Oral cholera vaccination campaigns, along with water, sanitation and hygiene and other interventions, including reinforced messages on safe drinking water, hygiene and sanitation (WASH), are critical to reversing current cholera trends in South Sudan and achieving the global goal of achieving a 90% reduction in cholera deaths by 2030.
“Oral cholera vaccines provide short-term protection and serve as a bridge to implement long-term, sustainable WASH interventions in cholera hotspots,” said Dr. Fabian Ndenzako, WHO Acting Representative in South Sudan. "Cholera has been spreading in populations with inadequate hygiene and sanitation conditions, so sustained and intensified cholera prevention and response efforts are critical to mitigating the risk of recurrent and persistent cholera outbreaks."
We appreciate the financial support of Gavi and the International Coordination Group (ICG) on vaccine supply, which brings together WHO, IOM, UNICEF, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC), he said. Dr Ndenzako. These efforts are critical now that we have cholera cases in Unity State and the rainy season has already begun in most of the country.
Since January 2022, more than 175,000 people have been vaccinated in the first and second rounds of oral cholera vaccination campaigns in Bentiu and Rubkona counties in Unity State.