WHO supports Cross River State in administering polio vaccines to Cameroonian refugees - Mega Icon Magazine
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WHO supports Cross River State in administering polio vaccines to Cameroonian refugees

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Following the 2016 crisis in the South West and North West Anglophone regions of Cameroon, a large number of asylum seekers fled into neighboring villages in Cross River State Nigeria for safety. The asylum seekers mainly came from Akwaya, Otu, Eyumojock, Nsan, Dadi and Bodam villages. The World Health Organization (WHO) is supporting the state to reach more refugees against Polio. 

Migration and infectious diseases are highly connected. Immigrants are associated with the spread of infectious diseases, it is also important to recognize that some migrants—particularly refugees fleeing war, persecution, or natural disaster—come from regions with weak or disrupted health systems therefore face a unique set of challenges to health care, hence the need for immunization.

“For you people to travel all the way from Calabar during this rainy period to immunize our children, may you be blessed and rewarded” says Ketches Peter, Head of the 13 autonomous Communities in the Okende Refugees Settlement, Ogoja Local Government Area (LGA) of Cross River State. “We are so happy with your support.”

Mr Peter’s praises are a reflection of the dire need for health and humanitarian assistance in the refugee settlement areas. As at 31 July 2019, 74% of the Cameroonian refugees in Nigeria reside either in recognized settlement camps or within host communities across six LGAs of Cross River State. Unfavorable living and environmental conditions continue to be the main challenge among refugees.

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The WHO Nigeria Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) Unit resolved to leverage on National Immunization Days (NIDs) to vaccinate all eligible refugee children, not only in Okende and Adagom refugee Settlements of Ogoja LGA, but also across all other settlements in six LGAs of the State.

Prior to the implementation of the July 2019 NIDs, WHO team conducted an advocacy visit to community leaders of the communities in Adagom and Okende Refugee Settlements in Ogoja LGA seeking collaboration and commitment towards successful implementation of the exercise. With the support of biometric registration data from UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) micro-plans were developed with community leaders to ascertain the spread of refugees within and outside Ogoja LGA.

Vaccination team members were nominated from the refugees trained and carefully selected alongside State Government health workers with daily orientation before commencement of the daily vaccination activities.

“During the implementation exercise, there was supervision by the WHO led team on the ground and committed refugee community heads ensured that pockets of non-compliance were resolved and all eligible children immunized,” says WHO Cross River State Coordinator, Dr Rilwan Raji.

At the advocacy visit to the elected Chairman and Head of the 41 Communities in Adagom, Dr Raji and his team emphasized the need to go beyond the polio national immunization days soliciting the support of the community leaders to mobilize their wards for weekly routine immunization sessions at the health centers in Adagom and Okende, which they fully agreed.

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“WHO will continue to work with Government to ensure every child is immunized and not one single child left behind,” he stated.

The national immunization campaign was held with the supervision of the state government from 20 to 23 July 2019 using the household, fixed- post and special teams strategy throughout Cross River State benefitting the two refugee settlements in Ogoja, as well 26 refugee host communities across six (6) LGAs- Akamkpa, Bakassi, Boki, Etung, Ikom, Obanliku. A total of 5,863 eligible children from refugee camps were vaccinated with two drops of the oral polio vaccine (OPV) as against 2,042 and 1,809 vaccinated in April and July 2018 NIDs respectively when the influx into Cross River initially began.

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`Maishayi’ now adds tramadol, vieteling, marijuana, others in tea – NAFDAC reveals

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The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has revealed that tea vendors popularly known as `Maishayi’ now mix intoxicating drugs in the tea prepared for customers.

The agency mentioned intoxicating drugs such as tramadol, Vieteling, Marijuana and others, adding that people could lose their lives after taking tea mixed with such drugs.

It further warned Nigerians to be cautious when taking cup of tea from `Maishayi’ vendors.

NAFDAC Director-General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye  gave the warning in an interview  on Monday in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

She added that the warning became necessary following information the agency received.

“In the US, lots of people are dying because of these medicines. How can such medicines mix with palm wine in the name of getting high in Nigeria?

“There are some medicines you cannot take if you have cardiovascular problem,’’ Adeyeye said.

The director-general said that the agency was working toward collaborating with the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) to check for quality medicine in orthodox and herbal.

According to her, the idea is necessary since NIPRD specialises on research, and the purpose is to safeguard health of the nation.

She however, called on the people to desist from harmful medicine in the name of power enhancement in whatever area they think of.

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Adeyeye added that the agency’s five laboratories had been accredited many times and has quality with high standard.

“We are going further, we want a central drug lab to be World Health Organisation (WHO) pre-qualify; we are raising our bar higher,’’ she said.

Adeyeye reassured that NAFDAC would continue to sensitise people against the drugs and believe that within the year, the agency would get the WHO pre-qualified central drug lab.

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Oyo govt seals filling station under construction in Ibadan 

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Hon. Ayoola

The Oyo State Government has sealed a filling station, under construction in Ibadan, based on negative impact the facility would have on a nearby Primary School and persons living within the premises.

The state Commissioner of Environment and Natural Resources, Hon. Kehinde Ayoola, revealed that Oyo State Government issued the directive, following petitions received from residents and business owners.

The filling station, which is under construction at Apata area within Ibadan metropolis is situated very close to St. Michael’s Primary school, Apata, Ibadan and other business facilities.

Ayoola, who visited the site along with Environmental Health Officers of the State said the visit was aimed at accessing the environmental impact of the construction site and take measures that would promote a friendly environment devoid of environmental threats, particularly the pupils of the School.

“As a responsive and responsible government, the safety and well-being of residents is paramount to us, which must not be compromised most importantly when a school is involved. Governor Seyi Makinde’s administration, having education as one of its cardinal agenda, would not allow anything to hinder the success of its education of our pupils” he said.

“We have to put a stop work order and seal up this facility considering the fact that it does not have environmental impact assessment report and some other necessary permit that regulates environmental activities of the State” he added

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Hon. Ayoola further said that though as a state that encourages myriad of business opportunities and entrepreneurship development, business activities should not be carried out at the detriment of the people. However, the government is saddled with the responsibility of protecting the people from any environmental hazards that may likely have negative impact on them

The Commissioner asserted that the action was to correct the unfriendly habits of degrading the environment which may be susceptible to people’s health.

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Oyo Commissioner charges health workers to be  alive to their responsibilities

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Oyo State Commissioner for Health , Dr. Bello

Oyo State Commissioner for Health , Dr. Basiru Bello has charged public health workers in the state to be passionate at improving the health status of patients and be alive to their responsibilities at all times.

Dr . Basiru gave the charge at the maiden edition of public lecture series organised by the Oyo State College of Health Science and Technology , Eleyele , Ibadan with the theme ” SDG 3 : Ensure Healthy Lives and Promote Well being for All, at All Ages : The role of Public Health Workers ” held at The School Auditorium.

The commissioner , who spoke through Director of Pharmaceutical Services in the ministry, Pharm. Lukman Akinwande , emphasised on the need for health work force to pay attention to preventive , curative and restoration stages of medical care to ensure citizen’s live a fulfilling life .

He admonished the citizens of the state to abide by simple preventive measures that would assist in preventing the emergence of diseases in the society, assuring that Governor Seyi Makinde led administration will continually improve on its health care delivery for the benefit of her citizens as Health is one of the pillars that his administration is rested on.

Earlier, the Provost , College of Health Science and Technology , Mr. Siji Ganiyu , said the lecture was organised to sensitize relevant stake holders on how to achieve healthy lives and promote well- being of the people .

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Mr. Ganiyu , expressed the readiness of the college to partner with willing organizations in its quest to achieve the mandate before the institution .

While presenting the paper at the event,the guest lecturer, Dr. Oyewole Oyediran ,sought for collective efforts among public health work force towards the attainment of Sustainable Development Goal Number three of ensuring healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all, at all ages by year 2030 .

Dr . Oyewole , called on health workers to fashion out different communication strategies that would enable citizens enrol for various health services at every point in time .

He urged public health workers to promote the spirit of team work among themselves and be pleasant in dealing with patients in order to achieve sustainable development goal number three .

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