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4.7 million children in vaccination campaign against measles in Nigeria.

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4.7 million children are being vaccinated in response to a measles outbreak in northeast Nigeria. The campaign is covering Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states, the most affected by the Boko Haram conflict where insecurity has limited vaccination efforts.

In 2016, there were approximately 25,000 cases of measles among children in Nigeria; 97 per cent of the cases were in children under the age of ten (10) and at least a hundred children died.

According to Mohamed Fall, UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, “security has improved in some areas so we have acted quickly to access places we could not previously reach and protect children from the spread of a very dangerous disease”.“We are still extremely concerned about children living in large areas of Borno state that are not yet accessible”, he stressed.

Measles infections tend to increase during the first half of the year because of higher temperatures. Measles vaccination coverage across Nigeria remains low, with a little over 50 per cent of children reached, but in areas affected by conflict, children are particularly vulnerable. The risks for malnourished children who have weakened immunity are further heightened. The conflict and resulting displacement have left more than 4.4 million children in Nigeria in need of humanitarian assistance, with an estimated 450,000 children likely to suffer from Severe Acute Malnutrition in 2017.

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Measles vaccination coverage across Nigeria remains low, with a little over 50 per cent of children reached, but in areas affected by conflict, children are particularly vulnerable

The vaccination campaign, was conducted in partnership with the Nigerian government, WHO, and several non-governmental organizations, also includes a vitamin A supplement for children under five to boost their immunity as well as de-worming tablets. Most of the funding for the campaign was provided by the Measles and Rubella Initiative.

The campaign is part of UNICEF’s wider emergency health response in the three northeast Nigerian states. In partnership with Nigerian authorities, UNICEF has provided primary health care services for both internally displaced persons and the vulnerable host communities within which they have sought shelter. Health clinics have been rehabilitated, damage from the fighting has been repaired and temporary clinics have been set up, equipped and stocked in camps for the displaced, reaching more than 4.2 million people with services that include routine vaccination, ante-natal care and midwifery support, and treatment for common illnesses such as malaria, diarrhoea and pneumonia, as well as measles.

Also, UNICEF has trained more than 1,000 health workers on emergency primary health care services; in areas that have become accessible more recently to humanitarian workers.

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It has as well recruited 60 nurse-midwives and deployed six doctors to strengthen health services.

The emergency in northeast Nigeria remains acute with more than 1.6 million people displaced because of the conflict. Although UNICEF has made significant progress in reaching children and their families with healthcare, treatment for malnutrition, safe water, sanitation and hygiene services, education and child protection, a persistent lack of funding continues to hamper the response effort. Of the US$115 million called for in 2016, only US$51 million was received; in 2017, UNICEF is seeking 150 million to respond to the urgent humanitarian needs in northeast Nigeria.

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Oyo govt. calls on DPR to sanction marketers hoarding petrol

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Oyo state government has asked the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to start monitoring filling stations in the state and sanction marketers found hoarding the product.

The State Commissioner for Works and Transport, Prof. Daud Sangodoyin made the call on Monday while featuring on a private radio station in Ibadan.

Sangodoyin said the scarcity of fuel that started on Sunday was artificial as there was no reason for most of the marketers not to sell to the people.

Most filling stations in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital were not selling fuel to motorists while those selling experienced long queues which also contributed to traffic gridlock in some parts of the metropolis.

“As government, we are doing all we can to make life easy for the people of Oyo State and this is reflected in the number of infrastructural projects around the State, for some people to be creating artificial scarcity of fuel for pecuniary reasons is wrong and inhuman.

“The Department of Petroleum Resources should as a matter of urgency swing into action and arrest the situation, they have the work of monitoring cut out for them and this is the moment to bring those marketers sabotaging government’s effort by hoarding products to book,” the Commissioner submitted.

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Imo: Gov. Uzodinma makes case for FCC, sponsors 4-day retreat

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Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma has canvassed for the strengthening of the laws establishing the Federal Character Commission  (FCC) to enable it perform its functions effectively.

Governor Uzodinma registered his position at a banquet the Imo state government hosted in honoured of the Executive Chairman and Commissioners of the Federal Character Commission (FCC) who were in the State for a retreat last week at the Government House, Owerri.

According to the Governor, the philosophy behind the establishment of the Federal Character Commission (FCC) was well thought out development, adding that to a great extent the Commission has assisted in efforts made at the unification of the country.

He noted that at this very trying moment of the country, the Commission needed to bring its functions to play to douse the tention giving assurance to the citizenry of a sense of belonging.

Senator Uzodinma stressed that it was in recognition of the great role of the Commission that the Imo State government opted to sponsor the retreat.

He admonished members to work together in harmony to enable the Commission deliver on its mandate.

In her remarks, the Executive Chairman, Federal Character Commission (FCC), Dr Muheeba Dankaka thanked the Governor and Imo State government for accepting to host the retreat. She said the out come of the  retreat will go a long way in assisting the Commission in its assignment.

The FCC boss, however called on state governors to also come to the aid of the Commission, particularly by assisting the State offices to function effectively.

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Oyo: Kidnapped UI student regains freedom

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Victim of Monday’s kidnap attack at a  poultry farm in Oke Odan, Apete area of Ibadan, Oyo capital, Emmanuel Odetunde has been released.

It will be recalled that Odetunde was abducted around 5 pm on Monday while working at his father’s poultry. The abductors also demanded a ransom of N100m for his release.

Mega Icon Magazine, however learnt that the victim , a student of the University of Ibadan (UI) was released at 7:15pm Thursday .

 

In a tweet obtained by our reporter, via his Twitter handle @dr_emmay thanked friends, family and well wishers  for their prayers.

He also did not disclosed whether any ransom was paid or not.

“I was released at 7:15pm today. I am currently with my family.

“Thanks for the prayers. I appreciate @, Odetunde tweeted.

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