COVID-19: 700 families benefit from MCRP palliative in Maiha
By The Periscope reporter
Multi-Sectoral Crisis Recovery Project MCRP, for northeastern Nigeria, Monday distributed food commodities as palliative measure, targeting 700 most vulnerable families affected by the COVID-19 lockdown in Maiha Local Government Area, Northern Senatorial District of Adamawa state, Northeast Nigeria.
MCRP is a World Bank assisted programme aimed designed to support the government of Nigeria towards rehabilitating and improving critical service delivery infrastructure, improve the livelihood opportunities of conflict and displacement-affected communities, and strengthen social cohesion in the North East Participating States of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa; and in the event of an eligible crisis or emergency, to provide immediate and effective response to said eligible crisis or emergency.
MCRP has four components; the first being strengthening peace building, stability and social cohesion. The focus is on: transitional support toward stabilization and self-reliance by increasing and improving the access to basic necessity kits, and restoring immediate access to productive assets by providing agricultural inputs and livestock for farming families and trading commodities for non-farmers.
The second is the infrastructure rehabilitation and service delivery restoration and improvement. This component will include the rehabilitation of critical physical infrastructure and the sustainable restoration of service delivery.
The third is the technical assistance and program management support. This component will include TA for strengthening the institutional capacity for the coordination of the programmatic recovery program, in line with the Buhari Plan and the RPBA and strengthening the MCRP implementation capacity. Support for overall programmatic and policy coordination at the federal, interstate, and intrastate levels will include the provision of TA for the development of implementation and performance management frameworks for programmatic recovery.
The fourth component is the contingent emergency response.
The entire local government areas of Borno and Yobe states are participating in the programme, while the activities of MCRP in Adamawa state covers only seven local government areas ravaged by Boko Haram insurgency. These are Madagali, Maiha, Michika, Mubi North, Mubi South, Gombi and Hong local governments.
The scheme has previously empowered vulnerable beneficiaries with agricultural inputs, house utensils, skills acquisition training and empowerment and food items.
Empowering beneficiaries with livestock would have been carried out. Service provider was already contracted. It was however suspended till further notice owing to the Coronavirus pandemic.
However, the current distribution of food items as palliative measure to cushion down the effect of lockdown occasioned by covid-19 pandemic, is so far, the most transparent, where beneficiaries are invited in the open, though not been unmindful of the physical distancing, the Periscope investigation can reveal.
Mr. Haruna H. Furo the project manager CI, is the leader of the MCRP delegation. He was in company of other MCRP members, representatives of ADSEMA and security agencies to facilitate the distribution of the food items to 700 identified beneficiaries across Maiha LGA.
In a letter addressed to the LGA Chairman, with the heading: INTRODUCING MCRP FOOD ITEMS SUPPORT TO 1000 MOST VULNERABLE FAMILIES IN MAIHA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, dated May 7, 2020, signed by Mr Furo on behalf of the project coordinator, MCRP has notified that it would carry out its activities in Maiha.
“I wish to inform you that MCRP will, as part of its corporate social responsibilities, embark on the distribution of palliative (food items) to a targeted 700 most vulnerable families affected by the COVID-19 lockdown in your LGA on Tuesday 12th May, 2020, starting from 7:00am to 5:00pm.
“You are with the forgoing, requested to accord the team all the necessary support that may be required, including providing adequate security cover to both the team and the beneficiaries as the distribution pattern will be on non-contact basis.
“We look forward for your kind support and understanding, please,” the letter read.
Even though the exercise was slated for Tuesday 12th May, it was however carried out on Monday 11th May, 2020.
The food items distributed to each of the 700 most vulnerable families include;
Groundnut Oil, 1ltr
Spice, 1 packet
In his remarks, the Hon. Chairman Maiha local government, Dr. Idi Amin Pakka, having commended the MCRP initiative, expressed his heart-felt appreciation for the food security intervention in the face of COVID-19.
Idi said that following the lockdown order, people of his community found it extremely difficult to get what to eat, especially in this crucial time. Therefore, the palliative, would go a long way in assuaging the plight of his people.
Speaking with the Periscope reporter, Idi said he has provided adequate security for a hitch free exercise in addition to ensuring an effective, efficient and even distribution of the food items to the targeted families across the LGA, transparently too.
The exercise, Idi said, has also taken consideration of the use of face masks. Social distancing was also observed.
To be able to address the stress and financial constraints, in addition to the avoiding crowd, the beneficiaries of the palliative in Konkol, Belel and Sorau, districts, Maiha local authority has decided to take the palliative to individual districts for distribution.
Idi ardently assured that more support, more palliative would be pursued with vigour with a view to getting the vulnerable families out of hunger.
The beneficiaries thanked the MCRP Project Manager and the entire team for the Palliatives, which they said, would go a long way in cushioning down the effect of the stay-at-home and other orders.
Having commended the chairman of Maiha local government for his support, without which the exercise could not be effective, a beneficiary pleaded with the chairman to do more to be able to restore electricity in Maiha.
Medical Association Urges Full Implementation of Medical Residency Training Act to Address Challenges in the Health Sector in Borno
Medical Association urges full implementation of Medical Residency Training Act to address challenges in the health sector in Borno
By Madu Mohammed, Maiduguri
The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Borno state chapter has urged for the full implementation of Medical Residency Training Act in addressing numerous challenges in the health sector in the state.
The President of the NMA in the Borno state chapter, Dr. Ali Mohammad-Ramat who disclosed this at the 2020 Annual Physician’s Week on Tuesday in Maiduguri said that the call was imperative to address the challenges bedevilling the health sector especially in getting skilled human resources.
Dr Ramat said that the physician week was an annual long week events of the Nigerian Medical Association(NMA), to celebrate medical personnels contribution to effective healthcare services delivery and research in Nigeria.
Mohammad-Ramat explained that it also provided an opportunity for medical personnels to review events of the health sector during the past twelve months and identify areas of possible improvement.
He said that the NMA in this year’s Physicians week celebration was deeply concerned with the increasing trend of suicide among Nigerians and the mortality ravaged by the COVID-19 pandamic.
“It is for this reason that the 2020 physician week celebration themed Strategies for Health System Recovery During COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria, while the Sub-theme is Dental caries,”, Dr Ramat added.
He lamented that the COVID-19 pandamic has been spreading rapidly globally, with a considerable impact on the global morbidity, mortality and healthcare utilisation as well as social and economic dislocation of families, communities, state and country’, stressing that the implementation of the medical residency training in the state teaching hospital would go along way in mitigating the impact pose by the challenges.
Mohammad-Ramat also explained that another neglected public health diseases in Nigeria was the burden of dental services, despite advances in the practices, adding that the number of workforce of health personnel’s in the state was a clear indications that they are inadequate to achieve the Universal Health Coverage in the state.
The NMA therefore, urged the federal government to redeemed it pledge of allocation 15 percent of it budget allocations to the health in order to address challenges in the sectors.
Also speaking, Dr. Joseph Jatau, a former Chief Medical Director, said that the residency training when fully implemented in the state would produce a great number of Specialist in various fields which would go along way to alleviate the problems militating against the provision of modern and sound healthcare services to the people.
He explained that the residency training would also save the state government alots of funds used to sponsor doctors for specialised in various fields abroad which had brought huge financial burden to the state, stressing that the huge resources saved in the trainings could be use to further improve the health institutions or re-channeled to other people’s oriented projects thereby making healthcare available to all.
“The residency training will also open room for research activities, especially in collaboration with the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, where postgraduate students will be trooping into the institution for knowledge oriented programmes.”, he added.
He lamented that mal-distribituon, poor skills-mix, and limited capacity were other challenges faced across the different health workers categories and cardres in addition to gross urban and rural disparities existing in the distribution of available human resources between LGAs, adding that the worsened security challenges and lack of requisite manpower, particularly doctors, worst of which was the unavailability of the required specialist and consultants.
“Borno has a projected population of 5,860, 200, million, according to the 2006 National Population Commission’s census. More than half of this population are women (50.8 percent), 20 percent are under 5, 22 percent are women of child bearing age (15-49) and five percent are pregnant women.. The state has also total fertility rate of 6.1 percent while frequent unplanned pregnancies pose high risk of maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality due to a weak health system and protracted crises situation in the state”, he further pointed out.
He said “People of the state over the past decade have surffered serious security challenges culminating in Humanitarian crises ranging from displacement, economic hardship unemployment which has imposed public health issues on the population.. These problems have led to increased demand on health needs of the people and this requires concerted efforts toward rebuilding and sustaining the health resources of the stage.”
“Luckily, sound healthcare service to the citizenry is on the very top priority of the Borno Government to ensure that no citizen is left out of the sound health care services, through the establishment of the Contributory Healthcare Scheme,”he said.
Jatau said that Borno state has been among the leading states in terms of meeting the existing health facilities but it’s efforts were compromised by inadequate staffing, adding that Based on the RAMS 2018 report, the state has about 810 facilities, comprising of about 85 Primary Health Care Hospitals, 317 health clinics, 294 health posts, 57 IDPs clinics, 3 Tertiary Hospitals and 53 Secondary Health Facilities but lamented that only 424 of the Health facilities were fully functional, nothing that 64 percent hospitals were damaged by the insurgents.
While listing four dimension of achieving a sustainable health care workforce which included availability of competence, responsiveness and productivity, he said “Looking at the health indices in Borno state, there is a need for delibrate policy for achieving both number and quality of Specialist for qualitative and affordable healthcare to the growing population of the stage.
He commended Gov. Babagana Zulum for constituting a high powered Committee to develop a blue print for an establishment of a State University Teaching Hospital with a view toward providing effective, qualitative and affordable healthcare to the people of the state.
Taimako, CDI, Engages 150 Youths On Peace Building
Taimako,_CDI, Engages 150 Youths On Peace Building
By Baba Saleh, Damaturu
Taimako Community Development Initiative in conjunction with European Union, British Council Managing Conflict programme in the Northeast have engaged 150 youths in lesson sharing workshop on peace building.
Speaking at the workshop in Damaturu the Executive Director Taimako_CDI Gambo Garba Muhammad disclosed that the training was aimed at increasing the knowledge of the youths on conflict management and peace promotion.
He said the project was to support implementation of initiatives that will address local drivers of conflict such as drug abuse, sexual and gender based violence and other form of anti social behaviour.
Under same project, he said about 7 dialogue sessions were earlier held in the three targeted LGA’s of Bade, Damaturu and Geidam all aimed at shaping the minds of the youths to shun any form violence and avoid been recruited by the insurgents.
In their separate remarks at the occasion the Emir of Damaturu, Alhaji Shehu Hashimi II represented by the village head of Gwange, Alhaji Muhammad Ramat and The state commissioner of police Yahaya Sahabo Abubakar thanked Taimako_CDI for carrying the youths from both genders on peace building inititives.
The commissioner of women affairs represented by the Deputy Director Human resource, Zanna Bura Aji Baitu has charged the participants to keep to the lessons learnt and continue to strive for peaceful coexistance in all their dealings.
BOSG Reintroduces Common Entrance Examination Before Gaining Admission to JSS 1
BOSG reintroduces common entrance Examination before gaining admission to JSS1
.‘No common entrance, no JSS 1- Governor Zulum
By Madu Mohammed, Maiduguri
The Borno state government has directed for the immediate reintroduction be of Common Entrance Examination to primary six pupils, before proceeding to Junior Secondary schools across the state.
Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno state who disclosed this while having a meeting with the Principals of 84 secondary schools in the state which held at the Multi Purpose Hall of the Government House, Maiduguri said ‘no common entrance no JSS 1 “.
Governor Zulum also directed the enforcement of a qualifying policy that henceforth, only pupils who pass the examination by securing a cut-off mark, should be eligible for admission into the first year of junior secondary schools (JSS 1), as against giving admissions to all pupils regardless of common entrance criteria.
The governor also directed that school authorities must henceforth take all qualifying and promotional examinations seriously as Government will monitor all conducts
During the meeting with the 84 principals of all public secondary schools in the State, Governor Zulum conditioned them to be honest in telling him the realities of challenges in the system, rather than cover-up for fear of victimization.
The Governor,is, who is also a university professor himself, gave the condition in his opening remarks said “I have been to several schools, and each time I asked, some of you principals found it difficult to explain the problems in your schools. I was later made to understand that if you tell me truth, you would either be transferred somewhere you wouldn’t like, or somehow be victimized. Please I beg all of you to tell me the truth. Let us tell ourselves the truth so that we can improve Borno’s public education from where we are now.”
“I am pleading with you to please be upright, be honest. Education is the bedrock of any development. Without functional educational system, we shall continue to experience this Boko Haram insurgency in Borno. Look at the kind of students we are graduating from our public secondary schools, most of them do not qualify for admission into universities, even those who get admitted find it very difficult to cope. I assure you that telling me the truth will not lead to anything happening to any of you by God’s grace” Zulum told the principals.
The Governor who went down memory lane to remind the principals of glorious days, and the need for all stakeholders to regain quality in public school system said ““I can recall that twenty years ago, principals were not willing to even become permanent secretaries because of job satisfaction. Today, that satisfaction is longer there. There is general decline in the standard of education in public institutions all over the country.”.
“There is the lack of qualified teachers, inadequate teaching facilities, poor maintenance culture, general decay of infrastructure, Government’s inability to ensure monitoring and evaluation, centralized control by the Ministry, unnecessary bureaucracy, and irregular training and retraining of teachers and other essential staff. There is poor data management and indiscipline amongst the major problems affecting the public school system” Zulum enumerated.
The Governor assured that measures will continually be adopted to improve the training and welfare of teachers and administrators of public school system to motivate high performance while supervision will be drastically changed for the purpose of punishing those unready to change.
After the Governor’s remark, the principals took turns to voice out problems of the 84 secondary schools across Borno’s 27 local government areas.
Most of the principals complained about poor quality of primary school graduates who come into secondary schools without strong foundation. They urged the Governor to critically look into reintroduction of common entrance examination at primary six levels, which should be yardstick for admission into secondary schools.
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