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Primary Health: Dr Nusirat Elelu Bags National Award

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In recognition of her undying commitment to improving the health and quality of life of Kwarans, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency has conferred an outstanding National Award on the Executive Secretary of the Kwara State Primary Health Care Development Agency (KWSPHCDA), Dr Nusirat Elelu.

Receiving the award of the Outstanding Secretary of the Federation for her uncommon leadership during OBR2 response in January, 2023. The KWSPHCDA Scribe appreciated the national body of the Agency for the award and pledged that the recognition would spur her to do more for the people in the state.

She also reiterated the Agency’s commitment to improving the health and quality of life of Kwarans, stressing that “Access to healthcare is a fundamental human right and over the years we have made considerable efforts at improving this access through the pursuit of our mandates. Our utmost aim remains to ensure that every Kwarans is healthy.”

“I dedicate this prestigious award to the Executive Governor of Kwara State, Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRasaq, for his steadfastness and commitment to the primary health care system in the state. And also to the management and staff of KWSPHCDA, saying they are the front liners when it comes to health service delivery to Kwarans,” she said.

Presenting the Award of Excellence to Dr. Nusirat Elelu at a well-attended gathering, the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Faisal Shuaib and the WHO Country Director, Dr Walter Molumbo said the award was a step in the right direction.

Dr. Walter Mulombo, World Health Organization (WHO) Country Representative, commended the role of the states and pledged WHO’s continuous support to Nigeria’s health system.

Dr. Faisal said the aim of the Awards was to recognize the efforts of institutions and individuals and encourage them to do more.

In a similar development, the State Immunization Officer in Kwara State, Hajia Sarat Yunus was also recognized as the Best SIO in the federation, for her outstanding performance in the January 2023 round of the Immunization Outbreak Response (OBR).

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Senate approves $500M World Bank Loan for National Electricity Meter Rollout

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The Senate granted approval on Wednesday for a $500 million World Bank loan, requested by President Bola Tinubu, to procure prepaid electricity meters nationwide.

The loan, earmarked for the Bureau of Public Enterprises, was sanctioned after reviewing the report from the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts.

Notably, this loan is part of a larger $7.94 billion World Bank borrowing plan Tinubu presented to the Senate on November 1, 2023, under the 2022-2024 external borrowing plan.

While seeking approval for €100 million previously, the President ultimately secured the Senate’s approval for borrowing $7.4 billion during a special plenary on December 30, 2023.

Despite initial postponement due to the absence of the BPE for defense, the Senate unanimously greenlit the loan after the agency’s presentation.

The loan aims to enhance the financial and technical performance of electricity distribution companies, as outlined in the Senate report.

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Kwara targets Over 1.5 million children for 2nd round of Polio vaccination

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The Kwara government says it is targeting to vaccinate over 1.5million children aged 0-5 years during the second round of Polio vaccination in the state.

Dr. Nusirat Elelu, the executive Secretary of Kwara State Primary Healthcare development agency (KWSPHCDA), made this known during a press conference held in ilorin, the state capital.

According to her, the second round of the vaccination exercise is scheduled for tomorrow, Saturday 20th April 2024.

She revealed that all children aged 0-5 are expected to be vaccinated irrespective of their previous vaccination status.

The head of KWSPHCDA also disclosed that the state government has produced immunization certificates (purple cards), which will be provided free of charge to all children who have finished their routine immunizations.

She reiterated that the vaccine is safe, efficacious and doesn’t have overdose.

Dr. Elelu expressed gratitude to the state government, WHO, UNICEF, AFENET, World Bank, and health workers for their tremendous support.

She urged all parents and caregivers to ensure their children are present for vaccination as the team visits households, markets, religious institutions, and schools.

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Nigeria becomes first country to Introduce New 5-in-1 Meningitis Vaccine 

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In a historic move, Nigeria has become the first country in the world to roll out a new vaccine (called Men5CV) recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), which protects people against five strains of the meningococcus bacteria.

The vaccine and emergency vaccination activities are funded by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which funds the global meningitis vaccine stockpile and supports lower-income countries with routine vaccination against meningitis.

Nigeria is one of the 26 meningitis hyper-endemic countries of Africa, situated in the area known as the African Meningitis Belt. Last year, there was a 50% jump in annual meningitis cases reported across Africa.

It was reported that in Nigeria, an outbreak of Neisseria meningitidis (meningococcus) serogroup C outbreak led to 1742 suspected meningitis cases, including 101 confirmed cases and 153 deaths in seven of 36 Nigerian states (Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Jigawa, Katsina, Yobe, Zamfara) between 1 October 2023 and 11 March 2024. To quell the deadly outbreak, a vaccination campaign has been undertaken on 25–28 March 2024 to initially reach more than one million people aged 1-29 years.

Meningitis is a serious infection that leads to the inflammation of the membranes (meninges) that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord.

There are multiple causes of meningitis, including viral, bacterial, fungal, and parasitic pathogens. Symptoms often include headache, fever, and stiff neck. Bacterial meningitis is the most serious, can also result in septicemia (blood poisoning), and can seriously disable or kill within 24 hours those that contract it.

“Meningitis is an old and deadly foe, but this new vaccine holds the potential to change the trajectory of the disease, preventing future outbreaks and saving many lives,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “Nigeria’s rollout brings us one step closer to our goal to eliminate meningitis by 2030.”

The revolutionary new vaccine offers a powerful shield against the five major strains of the meningococcal bacteria (A, C, W, Y, and X) in a single shot. All five strains cause meningitis and blood poisoning. This provides broader protection than the current vaccine used in much of Africa, which is only effective against the A strain.

The new vaccine has the potential to significantly reduce meningitis cases and advance progress in defeating meningitis. This is especially important for countries like Nigeria where multiple serogroups are prevalent. The new vaccine uses the same technology as the meningitis A conjugate vaccine (MenAfriVac®), which wiped out meningococcal A epidemics in Nigeria.

“Northern Nigeria, particularly the states of Jigawa, Bauchi, and Yobe were badly hit by the deadly outbreak of meningitis, and this vaccine provides health workers with a new tool to both stop this outbreak but also put the country on a path to elimination,” said Prof. Muhammad Ali Pate of the Nigerian Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.

“We’ve done a lot of work preparing health workers and the health system for the rollout of this new vaccine. We got invaluable support from our populations despite this fasting period and from our community leaders especially the Emir of Gumel in Jigawa state who personally launched the vaccination campaign in the state. We’ll be monitoring progress closely and hopefully expanding the immunization in the coming months and years to accelerate progress.”

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Oyo govt bans use of Styrofoam

The Oyo State Government has placed a ban on the use of styrofoam for food services, storage, and other related purposes.

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The Oyo State Government has placed a ban on the use of styrofoam for food services, storage, and other related purposes.

The state Commissioner for Health, Oluwaserimi Ajetunmobi, made this announcement on Monday during the Food Safety Stakeholders Forum and the inauguration of the Food Safety Compliance Enforcement Task Force.

THE NATION reports that, the Task Force is to oversee the enforcement of food safety rules and regulations in Oyo State.

Represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Akintunde Ayinde, Ajetunmobi said, “Prevention is better and cheaper than cure; hence the need for people to adhere strictly to food standards to save lives in the state.

“The menace of food poisoning, indiscriminate use of chemical products for food production, processing, packaging, and other sharp practices being carried out by food business operators have become great public health concerns in the state.

“The directorate of Food, Water, and Laboratory Services is saddled with the responsibility to regulate food business operations to ensure the presentation of wholesome edibles for public consumption in the state, planned to double her efforts to monitor/inspect food business premises in the state.

“Consequently, the use of Styrofoam for food services, storage, and other related usage in the state is also banned.”

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Again, NGO Distributes Sanitary pads to students in Kwara

The sanitary pads were distributed to students of bishop smith college, Ilorin, the capital of Kwara State.

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In continuation of its, #MenstrualEquality300 campaign, AOA Reach on Wednesday sensitized over 100 students on menstrual hygiene and distributed sanitary pads to the students.

The sanitary pads were distributed to students of bishop smith college, Ilorin, the capital of Kwara State.

The initiative aimed to alert and sensitize young girls on menstrual hygiene considering its importance to their health, and to know the stigma surrounding menstruation featured an educational segment where the importance of self-care during menstruation was emphasized.

Topics such as the significance of hydration, proper nutrition, and effective pain management were discussed, equipping the students with knowledge to handle their menstrual cycles with confidence and comfort.

A Major highlight of the outreach was the interactive quiz session, where students were encouraged to participate actively.

This segment was not only educational but also served as a platform for empowerment, with cash prizes awarded to students who excelled in answering questions.

The program concluded with a sense of achievement and optimism. The team’s efforts to combine practical support with educational outreach have contributed to a more informed and empowered student body.

Sho Pen Online gathered that the NGO had earlier distributed Sanitary Pads to 150 Students of Sheik Alimi Secondary School, Ilorin, Kwara State.

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Kwara Achieves 66% Increase in Immunization Rates, set to rollout HPV Vaccine 

Elelu stated this while speaking at a meeting of the State Task Force on Immunization and Primary Healthcare Agency held at the deputy governor’s office in Ilorin.

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The Executive Secretary, Kwara State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr. Nusirat Elelu  has said that Kwara State has recorded tremendous improvement in both routine immunization and supplementary immunization activities.  

Elelu stated this while speaking at a meeting of the State Task Force on Immunization and Primary Healthcare Agency held at the deputy governor’s office in Ilorin.

She revealed that for routine immunisation there has been over 66% improvement for children who receive vaccine in the PHC, saying that this data was 33% before 2019. 

Dr Elelu said Kwara State will be joining the next phase of the second Human Papilliomal Virus vaccine introduction alongside 20 other states. 

She affirmed that the vaccine prevents 95% of cervical cancer among girls, saying that it is the second most deadly form of cancer in the world. 

SHO PEN ONLINE reports that the meeting which was chaired by the Deputy Governor and Chairman of the Taskforce was attended by stakeholders in the Primary Healthcare in the state as well as partnering organisations.

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