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Minister Demands Investigation into Traumatic Treatment of Super Falcons

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 Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare has condemned the unpleasant treatment of the national women senior football team, the Super Falcons on their return to Nigeria from Cote’d Ivoire.

The Falcons were reportedly delayed for hours and subjected to traumatic experience at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja due to some unclear COVID-19 protocols early hours of Thursday.

The Nigerian girls were returning to Nigeria from Abidjan, few hours after picking a priceless ticket to the African Women Cup of Nations tournament to be hosted in Morocco in July.

In widely circulated videos trending on social media, the footballers and their officials were seen going through difficult times at the airport.

They were delayed for about three to four hours owing to COVID-19 protocols and later the locking up of all terminal exit doors for a totally different reason.

One of the players, Uchenna Kalu was seen lying on the floor, in pain and dire need of medical attention.

The minister in a statement on Thursday described the incident as unfortunate, noting that a complete account of what happened has been received by his office.

He said the Ministry will send its findings to the National Centre of Disease Control (NCDC) and the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to thoroughly investigate the matter and ensure that our sports men and women are treated fairly and respectfully.

Dare said the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) will also meet with the relevant authorities to review and ensure that this type of situation does not happen again.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Super Falcons on Wednesday defeated their host, the Lady Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire 1-0 at the Stade Robert Champroux, Abidjan to qualify for the 2022 Women Africa Cup of Nations Championship slated for Morocco in July.

The Falcons had earlier beaten their opponent 2-0 in the first leg played in Abuja.(NAN)

Health

World Health Day: FG Reiterates its Commitment to Strengthening PHC

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By Laide Akinboade, Abuja

Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof Muhammad Ali Pate, has reiterated the commitment of the Federal government, through the Basic Health Care Provision Fund, (BHCPF), I strengthening primary healthcare delivery system.As Nigeria joins the rest of the world to celebrate the 2024 World Health Day,Professor Pate, who stated this in a speech to commemorate the 2024 World Health Day, also noted that through the BHCPF and the Nigeria Health Sector Renewal and Investment Initiative and strategic partnerships, the government is also reaching remote and underserved communities, providing essential healthcare services and promoting health education.

He added that the FG is also committed to improving infrastructure to ensure the availability of essential drugs and commodities in health facilities across the country.In a statement signed by the Director of information in the ministry, Patricia Deworitshe, the minister maintained that the Primary healthcare remains the centre of the federal government focus, adding that the administration is determined more than ever before to ensure the delivery of quality, efficient and affordable health care through the Primary Health Care facilities.He stated that while the government continues to invest in improving healthcare infrastructure and services, the responsibility for health ultimately rests with each individual.Professor Pate said Nigerians must take proactive steps to safeguard our health and well-being by adopting healthy lifestyles, prioritizing preventive healthcare measures, and seeking timely medical attention when necessary, adding that it is only through collective action and mutual support that we can achieve the vision of a healthier Nigeria for all.He also reaffirms the ministry’s unwavering commitment to advancing the health and well-being of all Nigerians, noting that the right to health is not just a lofty ideal, but a fundamental human right enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.The minister, however, recognizes that there is still much work to be done, noting that challenges such as inadequate infrastructure, healthcare worker shortages, and persistent health disparities continue to impact the health and well-being of our citizens.He reiterated that the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare remains committed to strengthening our healthcare systems, improving health outcomes, and ensuring that no one is left behind.Pate noted that the theme for this year’s celebration, which is, “My Health, My Right,” underscores the fundamental principle that every individual has the right to attain the highest standard of physical and mental health without discrimination or barriers.

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Suicide: Psychiatrist Advocates Increased Mental Health Awareness

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Dr Veronica Nyamali, a psychiatrist with the Federal Neuro-psychiatric Hospital Yaba, Lagos,  has advocated increased awareness on mental health as antidote to rising cases of suicide in Nigeria.

Nyamali, the immediate past Vice-President, Association of Psychiatrists in Nigeria (APN), made the recommendation in an interview on Thursday in Lagos.

According to her, there is still high level of ignorance about mental health especially at the grassroots.

“Lack of adequate knowledge on when or where to seek quality mental healthcare is still an issue.”

Nyamali said that suicide is a tragedy that affects families, communities and the entire society with long lasting effects on the people left behind.

“Mental health condition is a major risk factor for suicide.

“The mental health status of a person is critical to living, as it is a major determinant of choices on how one relates with others.

“It also determines how people handle stress, depression and challenges in life,” she said.

She said that the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimated that more than 800,000 people die annually by suicide in the world, with Nigeria ranking among the top 10 countries in Africa.

She added that the Global Health Observatory Data Repository also estimated that 9.5 suicides per 100,000 occur in Nigeria.

The psychiatrist, who emphasised the need for more advocacy, awareness and education campaigns, said if the public are well informed, the rate of suicide will drop.

She called for increased public enlightenment on mental health, depression and how to recognise and deal with it to avoid suicide ideas and other negative choices.

Nyamali explained that campaigns for suicide prevention should emphasise help seeking, reduction in stigma, encourage positive behaviourial change, and availability of resources for treatments among others.

“Depression is a common and serious mental health challenge that affects the way one thinks, feels and acts.

“The more people are aware of their mental health issues, the more they will be able to utilise mental health skills and prevent suicide as well as handle depression,” she said.

She stressed the need for the public, particularly parents and schools, to monitor and recognise early signs when someone is struggling with mental health issues and support such a person faster.(NAN)

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WHO says 4.5b People not Fully Covered by Essential Health Services 

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) said that at least 4.5 billion people, more than half of the world’s population, are not fully covered by essential health services.

Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, the WHO Director-General, said this on Wednesday during an online media conference on global health issues.

Ghebreyesus said that two billion people face financial hardship due to out-of-pocket health spending.

“Outbreaks, disasters, conflict and climate change are all causing death and disability, hunger and psychological distress.

“Realising the right to health means passing and implementing laws to ensure that people can access the health services they need, where and when they need them, without financial hardship,” he said.

According to him, as of date, at least 140 countries recognise the right to health in their own constitutions. And yet, around the world, that right is often unrealised or under threat.

The WHO Chief said that there was the need to address the reasons people get sick and die.

“It means the people should get safe drinking water, clean air, good nutrition, quality housing and decent working and environmental conditions.

“And they also require freedom from discrimination,” he said.

Ghebreyesus said that 76 years since the founding of the organisation, WHO remained totally committed to the highest attainable standard of health, as a fundamental right for all people, everywhere.

According to him, April 7 marks World Health Day, the 76th anniversary of the constitution of the organisation coming into force.

He said that this year’s theme is ‘My health, my right’, reaffirming what WHO has affirmed since its birth on the 7th of April, 1948, that health was a right for all people, not a luxury.

“In fact, the WHO constitution was the first instrument of international law to affirm that the highest attainable standard of health is a fundamental right of all people, without distinction,” Ghebreyesus said.

He called on all citizens to demand for their health as a matter of their right.(NAN)

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