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Gov Ishaku Calls On Governors of Northern States to Support Their Wives on Drug Addiction Victims Rehabilitation Project.

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Taraba State Governor, Arc Darius Dickson Ishaku has called on Governors of the 19 Northern States to throw their weight behind the campaign of their wives to check drug addiction and rehabilitate victims.


Gov Ishakuh made the call when he received in audience a delegation of Wives of Northern States Governors Forum led by Dr (Mrs) Aminat Bello, wife of the Niger State Governor, in Jalingo.
Members of the Forum arrived Jalingo on Tuesday for a strategy meeting on their campaign against drug abuse.
Governor Ishaku described drug abuse in the country and particularly in the North as endemic and alarming and said the role being played by the Northern Governors Wives Forum was noble and must be encourage

 

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He called on governors in the region to support the Forum to energize them to do more for their states.

Ishaku commended the Forum for their unique approach towards tackling the endemic problem of drug abuse and for the achievements recorded in the Northern States so far. He said posterity would be kind them for these achievements.

In her address, the chairperson of the Forum, Dr Aminat Bello, said the Forum’s approach of sensitising and rehabilitating drug addicts has given hope to thousands of youths in the North.
She said they were in Taraba State to support the efforts of Barr Anna Darius Ishaku, wife of the state governor, to do more in rehabilitating victims of drug abuse.
In her opening address, Barr Anna Ishaku said drug abuse was partly responsible for most of the crimes threatening the country today and called for support against it.
She thanked members of the Forum for coming to Taraba State to give support to her efforts at taking addicted youths out of the drug debacle.
She acknowledged and commended the role of her husband, Gov Ishaku, the Deputy Governor of Taraba State, Engr Haruna Manu and many other officials of the state government for supporting her project.
Barr Anna Ishaku had raised funds and built a drug victims rehabilitation centre in Jalingo which was commissioned by Gov Ishaku and handed over to the state government during the visit of the Northern Governors Wives.

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According to Mr Bala Dan Abu SA to the Governor on Media and Publicity, Gov Ishakuh made the call when he received in audience a delegation of Wives of Northern States Governors Forum led by Dr (Mrs) Aminat Bello, wife of the Niger State Governor, in Jalingo.
Members of the Forum arrived Jalingo on Tuesday for a strategy meeting on their campaign against drug abuse.
Governor Ishaku described drug abuse in the country and particularly in the North as endemic and alarming and said the role being played by the Northern Governors Wives Forum was noble and must be encouraged.
He called on governors in the region to support the Forum to energize them to do more for their states.
Ishaku commended the Forum for their unique approach towards tackling the endemic problem of drug abuse and for the achievements recorded in the Northern States so far. He said posterity would be kind them for these achievements.

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In her address, the chairperson of the Forum, Dr Aminat Bello, said the Forum’s approach of sensitising and rehabilitating drug addicts has given hope to thousands of youths in the North.
She said they were in Taraba State to support the efforts of Barr Anna Darius Ishaku, wife of the state governor, to do more in rehabilitating victims of drug abuse.
In her opening address, Barr Anna Ishaku said drug abuse was partly responsible for most of the crimes threatening the country today and called for support against it.
She thanked members of the Forum for coming to Taraba State to give support to her efforts at taking addicted youths out of the drug debacle.
She acknowledged and commended the role of her husband, Gov Ishaku, the Deputy Governor of Taraba State, Engr Haruna Manu and many other officials of the state government for supporting her project.
Barr Anna Ishaku had raised funds and built a drug victims rehabilitation centre in Jalingo which was commissioned by Gov Ishaku and handed over to the state government during the visit of the Northern Governors Wives.

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Rep accuses resident doctors of receiving multiple salaries

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Rep. Tanko Sununu, Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Healthcare Services says a large number of resident doctors working in federal institutions are receiving multiple salaries.

Sununu said this while briefing newsmen on Thursday in Abuja over the ongoing strike by the Nigeria Association of Resident Doctors (NARD).

“Let me cite an example, in the list of names submitted to the Budget Office, there were many names of doctors appearing in multiple hospitals.

“An account is receiving salary payment more than once in a month, which I was called by the Budget Office that if I can sign an undertaken, then their salaries will be paid,” he said.

He, however, said that he insisted on a no answer, adding that the right thing must be done and the list was sorted out to correct the anomaly.

He said those that had received multiples salaries and the hospitals involved were sorted and forwarded to the committee.

He said that the committee would table it before the house for necessary action, adding that the right thing must be done to end the current NARD strike.

He called on the striking doctors to tamper justice with mercy, stressing that Nigerians believed that their demands were genuine, but there were processes to achieve such demands.

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“On behalf of the speaker, the National Assembly we stand to ensure that everybody is respected accordingly but we have to also follow due process,” he said.

He said that the allegation that the Minister of Labour and Productivity was not willing yo meet the striking doctors was due to communication gap.

“I believe that NARD not meeting the minister is due to communication gap, even while we were seated, the minister called me to update me on development, this may not be the exact demand of NARD but the minister is doing a lot,” he said.

He said that an agreement had been signed which was at the level of implementation, adding that the process had become slow which NARD could longer understand.

He said that in spite of that fact, the National Assembly would ensure that the right things were done but the due process must be respected.

NARD had on April 1 embarked on an indefinite strike over failure of the government to meet its demands.

However, in a swift reaction, Dr Dotun Osikoya, Publicity Secretary and Social Secretary, NARD said that the allegation was not true.

He said that the association was not aware of such, adding that individuals involved should be fished out and punished accordingly.

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Kogi takes delivery of 16,900 doses of COVID-19 vaccines

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The Kogi Government on Monday night took delivery of about 16, 900 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine and the inoculation exercise will be flagged off in the state on Tuesday, April 6.

Dr. Abubakar Yakubu, Executive Director, Kogi State Primary Health Care Development Agency (KSPHCDA), led a team of officials from the agency and the Kogi Ministry of Health to receive the vaccines at the Central Medical Store, Lokoja.

Speaking to newsmen shortly after taken delivery of the vaccines, Yakubu said the most awaited COVID-19 vaccines arrived the state from Abuja at about 7:40p.m., saying Kogi was well prepared for it.

The first line of recipients of the vaccines is the health workers… The vaccine administration will be followed by the first line workers like the police, military, NSCDC, Customs officials, among others,” he said.

Yakubu said that the ministry intended to carry out the campaign as efficient as it could because the state was behind scheduled compared to other states which had almost completed their 10- day mandatory campaign for the administration of the vaccines.

The Executive Director noted that the state was initially expecting about 45,000 doses of the vaccine from the NPHCDA, which accounted for one per cent of the state’s total population.

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“However, to our surprise we are being supplied with 16,900 doses now. I think there will be further reconciliation to send the balance of the doses as soon as possible,” he said.

Also speaking, Alhaji Acheku Yusuf, Kogi Health Promotion Officer, said the ministry had solicited the support of all relevant stakeholders and is running jingles to ensure adequate sensitisation of the people about the vaccine.

On her part, Mrs. Bilikisu Adagiri, the State Cold Chain Officer, said the state was fully prepared for the administration of the vaccines to people above 18 years.

Mr. Olumide Ade-Yeye, the Vaccine Security and Logistic Consultant, UNICEF Kogi, said they were happy as a state to be part of those who would participate in COVID-19 vaccination. (NAN)

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COVID-19: FG directs states to halt vaccination halfway

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The Federal Government has asked all the states administering the COVID-19 vaccine to stop the exercise the moment they use half of the doses allocated to them.

Sunday PUNCH, through its investigations, found that the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Faisal Shuaibu, asked all the states to suspend vaccination when they reach half of the doses delivered to them.

This implies that a state that was given 100,000 doses would have to halt the vaccine rollout once the doses hit 50,000 in order for those who have received their first jab to be able to complete their vaccination.

The move, it was learnt, had become necessary due to a possible delay in the supply of the next batch of the AstraZeneca vaccines, which could affect the availability of the vaccine for a second jab for those who have taken the first.

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The shortage of the AstraZeneca vaccine in the international market is caused by a surge in the demand by the European Union and a new policy by India which manufactures the vaccine. India had said last week that it would prioritise domestic vaccination for its over 1.2 billion citizens, thereby causing a shortage in developing nations like Nigeria.

Confirming the development to one of our correspondents who made an enquiry on the matter, the Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora, said states were asked to stop vaccination halfway until more vaccines arrive because it was the smartest thing to do since it is a double-dose vaccine.

Mamora said, “On the issue of stopping at half doses, we thought this is what wisdom dictates because in a situation where we seem to be in short supply, it stands to good reason to ensure that those who have had their first dose should be given the opportunity of having the second dose.

“It is better to have a pool of people who have received full vaccination rather than just do it halfway for everybody, which I think would not be the best in the circumstance. And you are not really covered if you have your full dosage.”

When asked when Nigerians should expect more vaccines, Mamora said he could not say because it is currently a ‘sellers’ market’.

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He, however, said Nigeria was already having talks with other parties including Russia, which is producing the Sputnik V vaccine.

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The minister stated, “The truth is there is a challenge. However, we are not hopeless. The COVAX facility is not the only one we rely on. There is also AVATT, the regional facility which is the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team. So, we definitely will be looking to AVATT to help increase the initial allocation in the circumstances with what is happening vis-a-vis production and supply from India.

Both AVATT and COVAX are multilateral facilitators, but we also have bilateral negotiations. For example, the Sputnik is bilateral in the sense that it is government to government. Sputnik is Russian and as soon as we have the dossier and approval from NAFDAC, then we will consider it.”

Mamora stated that the Federal Government might have to increase its budget for vaccines since AstraZeneca, which is the cheapest in the market, is not readily available.

He said, “One of the reasons we settled for AstraZeneca is not just because it is cheap but is as good as the others. They are giving it out at cost value. The challenge is that the initial element in terms of cost projection would have to increase because AstraZeneca is the cheapest. So, we may have to reconsider our initial cost projection. That is the challenge I see.”

The Federal Government had received 3.9 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines through COVAX, a global initiative co-led by the Global Vaccine Alliance, Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and World Health Organisation. The initiative was designed to ensure fair and equitable access for every country.

The vaccine arrived in Nigeria on March 2, 2021 while in the second week of March the government began distribution to states, except Kogi, whose governor, Yahaya Bello, had described COVID-19 as glorified malaria.

Persons who opt for AstraZeneca vaccines must take two doses which are usually administered at least two months apart. It was learnt that Ekiti, Bauchi and Kwara states had already administered half of their vaccine supply and had complied with the government’s directive to halt further roll-out.

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Meanwhile, the Chairman, Bauchi State Primary Health Care Development Agency and Contacts and Surveillance Sub-Committee Chairman, Bauchi State Task Force on COVID-19, Dr Rilwan Mohammed, told Sunday PUNCH that the Executive Director, NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaibu, wrote to Commissioners for Health in the states to suspend vaccination so that people who had received the first jab could get the second one.

Mohammed stated that Bauchi State was given 89,570 doses but had to stop administering the vaccines immediately after it received the letter having administered about half already. “We have 32,000 coverage but the call-up data is actually 41,000 just that we are still uploading to the national site because of network problems,” he added.

He stated, “There is a shortage of supply of the COVID-19 vaccine, and the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Faisal Shuaibu, wrote to all the states that we should suspend vaccination when we reach half of the doses we got.

“The Federal Government realised that within eight to 12 weeks, you must be able to give the second dose but if there is no second dose to give, that means we have wasted the first dose, so they told us to stop if we have reached halfway.

“There is a crisis in the AstraZeneca production. India is having COVID-19 mutation in their country, so they decided to allocate more doses to themselves before exporting it. Secondly, the European Union which initially claimed that the vaccine had some issues has now come back after they found out that the vaccine is okay and they had made a forward request.”

Nevertheless, he explained that the state had set aside a small portion of the vaccine for intending pilgrims because vaccination had become a requirement for those visiting holy cities.

He added, “There are 4,000 Muslim pilgrims, meaning we would need 8,000 doses for them, while there are 170 Christian pilgrims, meaning we would need 340 doses for them, including their staff.

“We have a complaint from the Hajj and Christian commissions and Jerusalem and Saudi authorities have given an order that all those coming for pilgrimage and their staff must show evidence of COVID-19 test and vaccination (first and second doses).”

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He said he would write to the Executive Director of NPHCDA to request for vaccines to be administered on the pilgrims.

Mohammed said there had only been 145 reactions – mostly mild – out of the tens of thousands vaccinated in the state so far, noting that the rule that sick persons should not be vaccinated had saved the state from controversies.

He added, “We have only 145 reactions due to COVID-19 vaccine and most of them are mild. Somebody went to our vaccination post in Darazo but unfortunately he was ill, so we told him that one of the conditions was that if you were sick we wouldn’t be able to give you a vaccine. The next day, he died. If we had allowed him to be vaccinated, people would say it was due to COVID-19 vaccination.”

He ruled out the possibility of the state going to look for a vaccine on its own, noting that it was best to use the one already certified by NAFDAC and that there was already a strategic plan for vaccination roll-out in the country.

Asked when the vaccination would resume, he said they had been told to start administering the second dose from May 24 because the vaccine would expire in June, since every batch has its expiry date.

Benue stops vaccination

Meanwhile, the Benue State Government says it has suspended the vaccination exercise, in line with the caution from the Executive Director, NPHCDA.

The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Joseph Ngbea, told one of our correspondents on the telephone on Friday that the state had stopped vaccination, though it did not make a formal announcement.

Ngbea said, “Yes, we have stopped the vaccination of people but we did not announce it, although there are a few people looking to be vaccinated. For example, on Thursday, we still vaccinated one of the former governors of the state who demanded for it. Unlike when we were encouraging people to come out and take the vaccine, we have stopped that.

“We had a meeting with the Executive Director of National Primary Health Care Development Agency who cautioned us to stop giving out the vaccine because of the Indian ban on export of the vaccine.”

 

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