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US Partners Oyo State Government To Distribute 5 Million Treated Nets Worth N7.4B

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The United States Government has spent N7.4 billion on 5 million insecticide-treated bed nets and other logistics to eradicate malaria in Oyo State.

The donation, made on Monday through Joe Biden’s President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) is part of a national campaign to provide enough nets for every Nigerian to be protected from the deadly disease every night.

A statement from the US Embassy disclosed that the treated net is expected to reach all 33 local government areas in Oyo State.

“The bed net distribution is a critical component of the ongoing effort to end malaria in Nigeria, which results in nearly 96,000 deaths per year,” the embassy noted.

“Malaria is a leading cause of illness and death in Nigeria, particularly now at the peak of the rainy season when mosquito populations increase dramatically.

“Conquering malaria will not happen overnight and it will only happen if we all work together,” USAID’s Acting PMI Resident Advisor, Ms. Celeste Carr, said at the handover ceremony.

“In addition to the nets, PMI also provided funding for logistics, including transportation and community mobilization carried out in partnership with the Oyo State government, which led the planning, coordination, and distribution effort. The total value of the contribution is near $18 million (₦7.4 billion).

“The distribution will benefit more than eight million residents of Oyo State, providing at a minimum one net for every two people within each household,” the embassy stated.

Seyi Makinde, Oyo state governor in his welcome remarks, said malaria still poses a great threat to the social and economic wellbeing of the population in the state.

He said: “Ladies and Gentlemen, I stand here today to flag off the distribution of five million insecticide-treated nets that will be distributed across all the 33 Local Government Areas of the State. My presence at this occasion underscores the importance this administration has for the health and well-being of the people of the state.

“Malaria is still a public health challenge in Nigeria and Oyo State. It seriously challenges the health care needs of women and children in our communities, especially at the grassroots. This net distribution process is expected to increase awareness of communities on the appropriate knowledge, attitude and skills in preventing malaria caused by mosquito bites. This will further improve the health of mothers and children by reducing morbidity and mortality across communities.”

He assured that his administration will continue to provide accessible, affordable and qualitative healthcare for all, especially children and women, saying that “we cannot fold our arms and bury our heads in the sand without acknowledging the sheer magnitude of weak health systems has thrust on the public.

“It is for this reason that the state deemed it necessary to put in place different health intervention which is free and assessable to the grassroots. Such intervention includes improving access to health care delivery by providing one primary health care center per ward, improving human resources for health and providing community health insurance services Also, free education is provided by our College of Nursing and Midwifery,” he added.

The governor emphasized that his administration, in a bid to ensure that health services in the state are evidence-based, community data capturing is now electronic to ensure all grassroots households are captured and have access to health care services.

While explaining that distribution of the nets will prevent malaria, reduce the burden of malaria on the economy of the state and health care systems, he reassured that the state will intensify efforts in improving the healthcare-seeking behavior of the populace and give the right message and information needed on the use of insecticide-treated nets.

He added: “The focus of the state government in health care service delivery is in partnership for sustainability. It is in this wise, that this administration will continue to reach out to development partners, well-meaning organizations and notable individuals within and outside the country for partnership and collaboration to implement programmes and projects that will improve the health status of the people.

“In attaining this goal, I am pleased to state here that the Oyo State Ministry of Health, Health Insurance Agency and the State Primary Health Care Board, in collaboration with our colleges are working to ensure universal health coverage at a cost-effective and sustainable way.”

He thanked the institutions that partnered with the state including USAID, PMI, GHSC-PSM, & Break Through Action-Nigeria, for collaborating and supporting malaria activities in Oyo State hence making the net distribution possible.

“This partnership has bought us together today to flag off this round of free net distribution that is conducted every four years, the last round was in 2016. The USAID partners (PMI, GHSC-PSM, & Break Through Action-Nigeria) supporting malaria activities in Oyo State have collaborated with the state to make this net distribution possible.

“This support is appreciated as it actually goes beyond net distribution to diagnoses and treatment of malaria.”

“Let me make it clear that it is the goal of this administration to leave a befitting legacy in the area of health care. I recall the days when Ibadan and indeed Oyo State was a Mecca of sorts for health care services. Esteemed guest pacesetters we intend to bring those days back.”

The US Embassy disclosed that the PMI program in Nigeria is jointly implemented by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in coordination with the Government of Nigeria.

“Since 2011, PMI has procured more than 61 million insecticide-treated nets as part of a $712 million overall contribution to malaria control in Nigeria. PMI also supports advocacy and mobilization to encourage members of the community to sleep under the bed nets every night, and trains health workers to test for malaria before treatment,” it stated.

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EFCC Chairman, Bawa Slumps in Abuja

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The Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa, broke down while presenting his brief address and was rushed out of the banquet hall at the presidential villa on Thursday.

Bawa was offering his goodwill message at the National Identity Day celebration when he suddenly stopped speaking and asked to be excused.

“Please, excuse me, I can’t continue,” he said then walked off the stage before slumping on his chair and was eventually taken out.

Earlier, he mentioned that the EFCC was grieving the loss of a colleague.

He broke down while talking about a man the commission arrested in Ibadan, Oyo State, with 116 SIM cards.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, and other senior officials at the event accompanied the EFCC boss as he was taken out of the hall.

The Master of Ceremonies later announced that Bawa’s condition was stable.

“I am happy to announce to you that the EFCC Chairman is now stable,” he said.

The minister, during his speech, also said that Bawa was stable but should be put in prayers.

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Osinbajo to Represent Nigeria at ECOWAS Meeting in Accra Concerning Situation in Guinea

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President Muhammadu Buhari would be represented by his deputy, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, at the 2nd Extraordinary Summit of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government on the political situation in the Republic of Guinea today.

Prof. Osinbajo had participated last week at the previous ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit on the political situation in Guinea and Mali. That meeting was held virtually on the 8th of September.

The Authority decided then that Guinea be immediately suspended from all ECOWAS governing bodies and statutory meetings. ECOWAS leaders had also called for the immediate and unconditional release of President Alpha Conde and other arrested persons; demanded the immediate return of Guinea to constitutional order; and decided to immediately dispatch a high-level ECOWAS mission to Guinea to assess the situation.

The physical meeting taking place today will review the situation in Guinea in light of the report of the ECOWAS high-level mission to Conakry.

The Vice President, who leaves Abuja this morning, would be accompanied by the Foreign Affairs Minister of State, Ambassador Zubairu Dada, and is expected back in Abuja later today.

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Senate Passes Bills To Establish Two Federal Universities in Ekiti, Nasarawa states

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The Senate on Tuesday passed two bills seeking to establish two federal universities in Ekiti and Nasarawa States.

The bills are the Federal University of Health and Medical Sciences Iyin, Ekiti State (Establishment) Bill, 2021, and Federal University Lafia Teaching Hospital (Establishment) Bill, 2021.

Both bills are sponsored by Senators Opeyemi Bamidele (APC, Ekiti Central), and Tanko Al-Makura (APC, Nasarawa South).

The passage of both bills followed the presentation and consideration of two separate reports by the Committee on Health (Secondary and Tertiary).

Chairman of the Committee, Senator Yahaya Oloriegbe (APC, Kwara Central), in his presentation, said the bill to establish the Federal University of Lafia Teaching Hospital was “necessitated as a result of the precarious health conditions faced by the resident.”

According to him, the bill to establish the Federal University of Health and Medical Sciences Iyin, Ekiti State, seeks to promote and emphasize teaching, research and extension of knowledge in the field of medicine and environmental sciences.

In a related development, the Senate on Wednesday passed a third bill to amend the University Teaching Hospitals (Reconstitution of Boards) Act.

The bill’s passage by the upper chamber followed consideration of a report by the Committee on Health (Secondary and Tertiary).

Senator Oloriegbe in his presentation explained that the amendment bill seeks to amend the First Schedule to the Principal Act to include the University Teaching Hospital, Lafia and Modibbo Adama University Teaching Hospital.

In a related development, a bill seeking to establish the Federal College of Education, Kaiama, Kwara State, scaled second reading during plenary.

The bill was sponsored by Senator Sadiq Suleiman Umar (APC, Kwara North).

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, after the bill was considered, referred it to the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND.

The Committee which is chaired by Senator Ahmad Baba Kaita was given four weeks to report back to the upper chamber.

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