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UN Research Reveals $264bn Is Needed To End Maternal Deaths, Others

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  • UN Research Reveals $264bn Is Needed To End Maternal Deaths, Others

Recent research by the United Nations has revealed that countries need about $264 billion, the equivalent cost of 110 military aircraft, to end maternal deaths, gender-based violence, child marriage, and provide family planning to all women by 2030.

Giving a breakdown, researchers at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Kenya said an investment of $115.5 billion, which is equivalent to the cost of 46 high-end military aircraft, would end needless maternal deaths by 2030.

To end 12 million child marriage every year,  it would cost about $35 billion, according to the researchers who noted that $600 would be needed to save a girl from becoming a child bride – the equivalent cost of a one night in a luxury hotel.

Researchers said the $264 billion would be used for interventions like hiring medical staff, purchasing drugs, contraceptives and obstetric supplies, research, providing counselling and boost community outreach programmes.

Despite the commitments of countries toward three global goals related to women’s sexual and reproductive rights within the next 10 years, there was still a funding shortfall to meet these targets, according to report by the UN Population Fund.

UNFPA Executive Director, Natalia Kanem on Tuesday at the global conference said: “We now know how much and where we need to invest. These figures are a drop in the ocean compared to the dividend expected and the funds available.

“I believe it’s wrong to even refer to this as a cost. These are smart, affordable investments that will transform the lives of women and girls, their societies, and our world.

“The cost of inaction is much higher.”

One of the researchers, John Stover, director of Avenir Health said the cost was not any higher because many of the interventions to combat gender-based violence were the same required to reduce child marriage and female genital mutilation.

“Keeping girls in school and economic empowerment are key to all of these interventions. So in reality, it’s not very expensive – we have some idea how to do it, we just need the will power to go forward and do it,” Stover said.

What you should know: According to the UNFPA, more than 800 women die from preventable causes during pregnancy and childbirth every day, while more than 230 million women want to prevent pregnancy but are not using modern contraception.

UNFPA further revealed that one in three women globally has faced some form of physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, while harmful practices – such as child marriage – mean every day 33,000 girls are being forcefully wed.

About the conference: International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) is a three-day summit hosted by Kenya, which started on Tuesday.

It involves more than 6,000 participants ranging from heads of state to financial institution and civil society groups from 160 nations discussing sexual and reproductive health and rights.

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COVID-19: EU Restricts Nigerians From Entering Europe After Infecting them

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European Union Excludes Nigerian from 54 Nations that Can Enter the Region

The European Union (EU) has excluded Nigeria from the list of 54 nations that will be allowed to enter the region when it eventually opens its external borders in July.

In a statement published on schengenvisainfo.com, the union listed the 54 countries as Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Australia, Bahamas, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Dominica, Egypt, Ethiopia, Georgia, Guyana and India.

Others are Indonesia, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Lebanon, Mauritius, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Palau, Paraguay, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Serbia, South Korea, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vatican City, Venezuela, Vietnam and Zambia.

While China, the outbreak nation, South Korea and Japan, two of the most affected nations in the world, will be allowed to enter the Euro-area when external borders reopen in July, Nigeria with fewer cases of COVID-19 has been excluded from the list despite an Italian businessman been the index case.

The Italian businessman had traveled to Nigeria in February 2020 and tested positive to COVID-19 on February 27 after interacting with Nigerians that came in contact with him.

The Nigerian government had allowed citizens of Euro-area to travel into the country despite the rising number of new cases in the region, especially in Italy, France and Germany. However, the revise is the case now, even with Nigeria addressing the situation started by the European Union.

Eric Mamer, the spokesman for the commission, said “The European Union has an internal process to determine from which countries it would be safe to accept travellers.”

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FG Test-Runs Nnamdi Azikiwe, Lagos Airport Ahead of Flight Operations

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FG Test-Runs Nnamdi Azikiwe, Lagos Airport Ahead of Flight Operations

The Federal Government on Saturday conducted a test-run of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport and the Murtala Muhammed International Airport ahead of commercial flight operations following months of lockdown due to COVID-19.

In line with safety protocols, passengers will be duly screened to protect them and the cabin crew.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), provisions were made for hand wash and alcohol-based sanitisers, there were temperature checks, as well as strict compliance to social distancing of about one metre.

Also, the Federal Government has acquired robots to process passengers at the departure hall, according to NTA news.

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These robots were reportedly tested in Lagos earlier this morning.

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It would be recalled that Air Peace had flown 25 empty planes from Lagos to Abuja, Port Harcourt and back to Lagos to ascertain their working condition ahead of flight resumption.

The airline spokesperson, Stanley Olisa, stated on Thursday.

He said, “All the aircraft took to the skies flying to Abuja, Port Harcourt and back to Lagos without passengers.”

Speaking on the airline readiness, Olisa said “We have been operating ‘special flights’ to local and international destinations, and we have more of such flights in the works.

“This accentuates our preparedness for operation restart as our pilots, cabin crew and engineers have been hands-on and are current. So, we are 100 per cent ready to resume.”

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Oxford University Commences First Human Trials of COVID-19 Vaccine in South Africa

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Oxford University Commences First Human Trials of COVID-19 Vaccine in South Africa

Oxford University in Partner with the University of Witwatersrand has rolled out the first human trials of COVID-19 vaccine in Africa in South Africa.

The trials that started on Wednesday will consist of 2,000 volunteers between the age of 18 to 65 years, this will include HIV positive patients. Together they will be administered the vaccine and monitored for 12 months to evaluate how well the vaccine protects them against COVID-19.

Shabir Madhi, a professor of vaccinology at Wits University and leader of the trial said, “Once 60% of the population, especially the adult population, becomes immune, we expect that effective reproductive rate to go under 1, which basically means the virus will still be around, it will still circulate, but its chain of transmission has been interrupted.”

South Africa is now the second country after Brazil to take part in the trial outside the United Kingdom where 4,000 people had previously volunteered.

The ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine, also known as AZD1222, was developed by Oxford University scientists, that are now working with AstraZeneca on development and production.

The trial has created a mixed feeling among Africans following decades of using Africans as guinea pigs for new medical trials.

Junior Mhlongo, a volunteer who received the vaccine at a hospital in Johannesburg, said: “I feel a little bit scared, but I want to know what is going on with this vaccine so that I can tell my friends and others.”

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