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COVID-19 Vaccination: Health Care Board Alleges Sharp Practices by Health Workers

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The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Primary Health Care Board says it has commenced investigation into the allegation of sharp practices on COVID-19 vaccination being perpetrated by some health workers in the territory.

The Acting Secretary of the board, Dr Iwot Ndaeyo, said this at a sensitisation and social mobilisation meeting for the second phase of COVID-19 vaccination in the FCT on Wednesday, in Abuja.

The meeting organised for NGOs, Community and Faith-Based organisations, other stakeholders and the media.

Ndaeyo said that information had gotten to the board that some health workers were giving vaccination cards to FCT residents, in which they collected money for the purpose without vaccination.

He said that the allegation might turn out to be a rumour but that an agency had been saddled with the responsibility to identify the areas where this sharp practice was being carried out.

Ndaeyo further vowed that the law would take its full course for any health workers and officers identified to be doing that, adding that, the FCT primary healthcare have zero tolerance for corruption.

He noted that there were still many people in the city who are yet to take decision on the COVID-19 vaccination, stressing that, taking the vaccination was for their benefit and the benefit of the country.

“What we are doing here is that we are granulating social mobilisation activities/risk communication for the second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination in the FCT.

“Government cannot do it alone, we have brought in partners that have been confirmed passionately involved in the progress of the health system in the FCT and we are to agree on the message we are to give out to people about COVID-19.

“It is painful at this stage of COVID-19 pandemic that some people are yet to decide on what to do, whether to take the vaccine or not, the vaccine hesitancy is getting too much, some don’t believe the virus exists.

“We need to do more on people with this mindset, beyond radio jingles, sharing of flyers, people also don’t come out on time even when they have agreed to take the vaccine.

“People must come out on time and do the needful by taking this vaccine,” he pleaded.

Speaking also, Dr Ruquayyat Wamakko, Director, Primary Healthcare Unit of the board, noted that media advocacy, sensitisation and social mobilisation were crucial to make the people get vaccinated against COVID-19.

She pleaded with the media to help do more, particularly at the grassroots to motivate people towards the vaccination.

“The media must help to sensitise the people that COVID-19 is real, and that vaccine is available, the virus doesn’t have respect for anyone whether rich or poor,” Wamakko stressed.

Mrs Agnes-Joseph Shekwo, a member of the Breakthrough Action Nigeria, an NGO, informed the board that her organisation had been working in the area of mobilisation in all the six area councils of the FCT.

She said that her organisation had been working with Community Volunteers and Ward Development Committee (WDC) to work out social mobilisation issues at the grassroots, adding that her NGO would do more for the COVID-19 mobilisation.

“We have also trained people in all of these segments of the community, we have given them messages to tell people in their community, motivate them, and create demand for them.

“We have told them to encourage their people to go to the health facilities in their areas to access health services including COVID-19 vaccination, we will do more on this, ” she added(NAN)

Health

400 Benefit from Free TB Screening in Bauchi

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No fewer than 400 residents of Bauchi have benefitted from free Tuberclosis screening exercise initiated by a group, Langa Women Development Association.

The Programme Manager of the group, Mr Ogala Ogala, said this at the inauguration of the two-day exercise on Saturday in Bauchi.

He said the exercise was designed to promote public health and curb spread of Tuberculosis.

He said exercise was being implemented in collaboration between the organisation, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Bauchi State Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Leprosy and Malaria ( BACATMA).

“We targeted the ECWA Women Conference for the Bauchi South, to conduct free screening exercise.

“The aim is to promote public health and awareness creation among the people to encourage healthy living.

“This is not just for women alone but whoever is at the designated venue can also access the free screening,” he said.

Also, Dr Simon Mafwalal, its Senior Project Manager, said the group with the support of the U.S. agency was providing TB screening services in the state.

“We can have all the equipment used for screening TB, whoever is diagnosed with the disease or has symptoms will be given the required treatment and counseling.” he said.

Mafwalal said that the medical van has the capacity to screen 250 clients daily, adding that a reasonable number of people would be screened before the end of the exercise. (NAN)

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Meningitis Outbreak Kills 20 Students Of FGGC Potiskum, Other Schools In Yobe

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Twenty students have died in three boarding girls’ secondary schools and the Federal Government Girls’ College in Potiskum and Fika local government areas of Yobe State from a suspected outbreak of meningitis. 

The Yobe State Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education Mohammed Sani-Idris told journalists that “20 students have been confirmed dead in the last few weeks from the suspected meningitis outbreak across some boarding secondary schools in Potiskum and Fika local government areas.

Many have been hospitalized but now discharged”.

He explained that after the outbreak at the secondary schools, “I as Commissioner, my Permanent secretary and the Executive Secretary of the State’s Science Technical Board as well as the Chairman of the Teaching Service Board have relocated to Potiskum temporarily to ensure the disease does not escalate”.

Meanwhile, Governor Mai Mala Buni represented by his Deputy Idi Barde-Gubana visited the affected schools of Fika Government Secondary School, Government Science Technical College, and Federal Government Girls’ Technical College all in Potiskum and well as Government Girls’ Science Technical College Gadaka in Fika Local Government Area of the state.

Governor Buni said: “As part of the effort geared towards containing and effectively tackling the outbreak, the government has already provided the emergency treatment drugs as well as deployment of a rapid response team to all the affected areas”.

While briefing the representative of the Governor at Specialist Hospital Potiskum, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health Isa Bukar said a total number of 214 cases were recorded and three are still in the intensive care unit of the hospital responding to treatment.

A similar outbreak had killed many residents of Degubi community in Fika Local Government Area of the state in April 2023.

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Cross River Warns Residents about Suspected Outbreak of Haemorrhagic Fever

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Cross River warned about a possible outbreak of viral haemorrhagic fever in old Ndebeji, in Akamkpa Local Government Area of the state on Saturday.

Viral haemorrhagic fever is any group of infectious diseases that interfere with the blood’s ability to clot.

They are spread by contact with infected animals, people or insects.

Examples include Ebola and yellow fever.

Commissioner for Health, Dr Henry Ayuk, said in Calabar that a suspected index case was currently being investigated in complete isolation at the Ndebeji healthcare centre.

He said he had directed the state’s epidemiologist and her team to work with the local government team to collect samples from suspected cases for diagnosis

“They will provide palliative case management and institutionalise adequate infection prevention and control in the facility.

“They will also work with community leaders to identify and restrict movements of known contacts till the sample results of the suspected index client are out and entrench risk communication in the community.

“I must note that cases are most likely to present early with fever, rash, body weakness, bleeding from body openings or may even be asymptomatic,’’ he said.

Dr Ayuk appealed to residents to avoid rodents and insect bites, adding that they should put on personal protective wears if they must come close to livestock, other animals and zoos. (NAN)

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