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Rotary-led Partners for a Malaria-Free Zambia Awarded US$6 Million

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To help end a leading cause of illness and death in the southern African country of Zambia, a Rotary club-led initiative aims to save and improve lives by empowering community health workers to test, diagnose and treat malaria.

Malaria, a preventable disease caused by a parasite spread through the bites of infected mosquitoes, disproportionately affects children under the age of five and pregnant women in rural populations.

To help end malaria in Zambia, The Rotary Foundation, World Vision USA and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will each contribute $2 million for the Rotary-led Partners for a Malaria-Free Zambia program. This $6 million program will add 2,500 community health workers to the national health system in Zambia, allowing for effective malaria diagnosis and treatment for more than 1.3 million people in ten of the most highly affected districts in Central and Muchinga provinces.

“By empowering community health workers, more people in areas with little to no access to health care will now be reached by trusted members of their communities,” said Bill Feldt, member of the Rotary Club of Federal Way in Washington, USA, who spearheaded the program. “This proven health care delivery model is effective and financially sustainable, and will bring lasting protection by reducing and eliminating this disease at the local level.”

Partners for a Malaria-Free Zambia takes Rotary members’ commitment to eliminate malaria to the next level by building a longer-term, multi-stakeholder partnership on the ground in Zambia with the National Malaria Elimination Centre, provincial health leadership, PATH MACEPA and World Vision Zambia. Martha Lungu, executive director for Malaria Partners Zambia, an affiliate of Malaria Partners International, and member of the Rotary Club of Ndola (Zambia) said, “Every day I witness firsthand the effects of malaria. This program demonstrates that Rotary members are true partners in our communities and are focused on supporting community health workers to help loosen the grip malaria has on the Zambian people.”

Partners for a Malaria-Free Zambia is the first awardee for Rotary’s Programs of Scale grant. In an annual competitive grant process, The Rotary Foundation, Rotary’s philanthropic arm, will award $2 million to an evidence-based program that aligns with one of Rotary’s causes and has the capability for scaling-up to help more people. The programs are sponsored by Rotary members in collaboration with local communities and partner organizations.

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NYSC Trust Fund Bill Passes 2nd Reading

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A bill sponsored by Hon. Akinfolarin Mayowa for an act to establish a trust fund for National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has passed the second reading stage in the House of Representatives.

Mayowa, the representative of Ileoluji-Okeigbo/Odigbo federal constituency, on Thursday at the plenary, stated that the bill seeks to provide a sustainable source of funds for Corp members.

The National Youth Service Corps Trust Fund (NYSCTF) aims at equipping corps members with skills acquisition, training and empowerment. Training and retraining of NYSC staff is inclusive

The bill sponsor mentioned that the funds would also be used for the development of NYSC camps and maintenance of its facilities.

He added that it would have a long-lasting impact on job creation and the empowerment of youths.

Hon. Mayowa stated that the NYSCTF Bill would further complement the purpose of the scheme and enhance entrepreneurship among corps members.

He said, “in the early years of the establishment of NYSC, the scheme was able to carry out its objectives under the National Youth Service Corps Act.

“The management of the scheme had not only trained, equipped and empowered corps members enrolled under the scheme, but had instilled patriotism and the spirit of nationalism in corps members.

“My colleagues and I have sincerely considered the significant role this NYSCTF Bill will play if passed by this honourable house and assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari.

“Corps members and supporting staff will be trained and introduced to various skills which will make them establish a self-sustained business after the mandatory service year.”

Calling for its reading to continue and moved to the relevant committee of the house for further legislative actions, Mayowa pointed that the bill will reduce the adverse effect of COVID-19 on the nation’s economy and create employment opportunities for the youths.

“The call had become imperative in view of the effort currently being made by the government to diversify the economy, and considering the passion and willingness of the house in reducing poverty,” he said

In turn, the Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, referred the bill to the relevant committees of the house for further legislative actions following the consent of the house.

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Npower News: Latest Update On Npower Payment

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npower latest news

About 80% beneficiaries of the Federal Government of Nigeria-organised Npower scheme have received their September and October stipend.

Those who are yet to receive theirs are encouraged to exercise patience and also verify their details.

However, the November and December stipends are still pending. There are reports that the stipends will be paid to all beneficiaries in the first week of February.

Investors King had earlier reported that the stipend has been approved by the Federal Ministry for Humanitarian Affairs but there might be a delay in payment due to Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Scheme (NIBSS) validation, as this validation takes quite a while.

In view of this, graduate beneficiaries who are yet to resume are at their Place of Primary Assignment (PPA) on Wednesday, January 17, 2022 are advised to do so. This is to avoid being dismissed from the scheme.

The NPower scheme, set up by the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari on 8 June 2016 to address the issues of youth unemployment and help increase social development is currently undergoing backlash on social media for its failure to meet up with expectations.

The NPower scheme is categorized into Graduate Programmes and Non-Graduate Programmes and is targeted towards providing solutions to the nation’s under-developed public services like education, healthcare, and civic engagement.

The scheme recently included the resignation option on its portal, a development which has generated criticisms from the beneficiaries of the scheme, especially on social media.

Despite the scheme’s inability to meet up with payment of stipends, it still plans to enlist additional 400,000 Nigerian youths into the programme.

Meanwhile, all N-Power batch-c applicants are expected to update their profile and take test for possible shortlisting to the next stage of the N-Power application process. According to the National Social Investment Management System (NASIMS), all successful candidates will be sent a mail and given directions on the next stage while unsuccessful candidates can re-apply for the next batch of the programme as soon as it opens for application.

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Introduction of Sin Tax Will Lower Disease Rate, Improve Nigeria’s Health System– ACUF

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Company Income Tax (CIT) - Investors King

The introduction of sin tax has been applauded and described as a legislation that will improve Nigeria’s health system.

Dr Chiwuike Uba, the Board Chairman of ACUF, Amaka Chiwuike-Uba Foundation, in a press statement explained that sin tax will reduce the rate of diseases as well as increase government revenue.

Dr Uba commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the development and said the income from the sin tax, if well spent, would drastically enhance the nation’s health sector.

He noted that it will lead to a great reduction in the consumption of harmful goods, especially Sugar-Sweetened Beverages (SSBs) which will in turn improve citizenry’s health. 

The placement of N10 per litre excise duty on soft drinks was described as a long-awaited welcome development.

The foundation further advocated for a comprehensive sin tax in Nigeria to cut consumption of potentially health-threatening items, adding that it will increase income for better healthcare of the citizens.

Dr Uba said, “we are hopeful that the federal government will charge 100 percent excise duties on sugar-sweetened beverages, tobacco, alcohol and other potentially health-threatening products.

“The partial introduction of Sin Tax will not only lead to a drastic decline in the consumption of potentially harmful goods especially SSBs, but an increase in government revenue and improvements in the population’s health.

“According to statistics, in 2019, Nigeria was the 7th-largest country with the highest consumption of soft drinks globally, with more than 49 servings of 8 ounces per capita per year. The market is projected to grow by 17.12 percent per year from 2021- 2026. Currently, more than 100 soft drink brands are made or bottled in Nigeria from about 15 bottling or drink manufacturers.”

Speaking on the diseases caused by the consumption of SSBs, the expert said despite the awareness on diabetes, stroke, heart attacks, cancer and associated deaths, the estimated average per capita consumption of soft drinks was approximately 57.02 litres in 2021.

He added that the affordable price increased the purchase of SSBs and a price hike will reduce consumption and encourage intake of organic fruits and fruit juice which will boost agriculture.

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