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Gov. Zulum extends lockdown for the next one week

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Governor Zulum extends lockdown for the next one week

By Madu Mohammed Maiduguri

Governor, Babagana Zulum of Borno state has extended the total lockdown imposed on the state for the next one week from 7th May, 2020 to 14th, May 2020.

Governor, Babagana Zulum while addressing a statewide broadcast yesterday at the Government House. Maiduguri said the last four weeks has been a period of great trial for us in the state. We lost some of our great elders statesmen and leaders, scholars and illustrious sons. We lost his eminence the Shehu of Bama, Shehu Kyari, His Excellency, the former Governor of Borno, Alhaji Mohammed Goni, Galadima Modu Sheriff, Hon. Wakil Bukar Lawan, Goni Modu Kolo, Goni Habib amongst few others. We received condolence visit and messages from far and near and express our appreciation to all for the concern and solidarity in this our trying period. May Allah in his infinite mercy forgive all their shortcomings and give the families the fortitude to bear the irreparable lost. ”

“As we all know, the total lockdown strategy is unrealistic and not feasible for us in the state but a measure of the strategy will be adopted as precautionary method to safeguard our lives in the face of ravaging corona virus pandemic. I have extended the lockdown measure by a week but directed tomorrow Thursday 7th and Friday 8th as well as Monday 11th May 2020 to open up for a period between 8am to 5pm to enable petty business and markets to flourish so that families access essential food items.”, Governor Zulum added.

The governor said “We will review the situation next week Wednesday, 13th May, 2020 and the COVID-19 Committee will announce the fundamental strategies to be observed and regulations to be followed in the fight against the pandemic, within the relaxation period. However, Government will not hesitate to renew lockdown orders if the people are not willing to adhere to guidelines.”

“Felow Compatriots, indeed, it has not been easy to find ourselves lockdown in our homes under strenuous weather conditions and for most of us observing the fast of Ramadan. Moreover, the bulk of our population are either peasant farmers, petty traders or menial workers that most go out on daily basis to enable them spend for themselves and families. Thus, life will be unbearable for most of our people under a total lockdown condition”, Zulum further said

He said “It would have been better for a complete relaxation of the lockdown measures, if we had an effective vaccine or if the infection rate is declining by the day. The available statistics shows an increase in corona virus cases on daily basis and cause mainly by community transmission. For now, social distancing and lockdown are the only veritable options to limit community transmission in the absence of any effective vaccine to fight the pandemic. The pandemic is real and we must face it.”

“However, to avert the danger of the spread through community transmission, we should strictly carry out all the hygienic practices such as washing of hands, use of face masks and hand sanitizers as well as social distancing. I have further directed the state COVID-19 committee to strictly enforce the ban on inter state travel and night journeys to stem the spread of the disease.”, the governor added.

Prof.Zulum said “Government is not unmindfull of the hardship resulting from the lockdown of businesses and workplaces. We are aware of the flight of our compatriots at the IDP camps, the widows, the vulnerables and the very poor in their places of abode. The situation is not easy even with the average and well-to-do in the society. It is a war situation requiring supreme sacrifice and endurance as well as solidarity to survive the onslaught of an invisible enemy. In Borno, we have shown the much expected resilience and perseverance just as we did at the height of the insurgency when we completely suspended all our socio-economic activity to remain safe at home.”

“We have put in place a machinery for the distribution of food items as part of the palliative measures to cushion the effect of the lockdown policy. The committee has started work in ernest and implore on them to not be non-partisan in the assignment given to them. In this task, Government has recieved support from the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Northeast Development Commission, and other well spirited organisations like Dangote Foundation. We will continue to work with all stakeholders in bringing succour to the lives of our people while we handle the threats of the infectious disease”, he added

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He further said ” Government is aware of some of the institutional challenges of the COVID-19 response team and the difficult circumstances under which they operate. We must salute all our medical and health workers for the sacrifices and bravery with which they discharge their duties in saving the lives of others. I specially commend the management of the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital and the State COVID-19 committee for their good work. All their shortcomings as alleged by the populace will be addressed.”

“Government will strengthen the isolation centre to meet up challenge. We will ensure adequate supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and procurement of mobile testing equipment and other logistics requirement for prompt response. We will establish a better synergy between the COVID-19 Response Team and the General public to avert negative consequences of wrong information or misinformation”, Cover Zulum said.

“Fellow compatriots, our society after the COVID-19 pandemic will be very different given the devastating impact on the economy and socio-cultural development. The need for the diversification of the economy to ensure heavy reliance on agriculture will be paramount for us. We must look inwards to strengthen our economic base and empower our people to be self-reliance in food production. We have discussed extensively at the Northern Governors’ Forum (NGF) for the need to revitalized the agriculture and transform the entire Northern society through the development of the human resources capacity. We will take a hard look at the Almajiri system for better human capacity building and development. The rich intellectual endowment of the young Almajiris must be developed and harnessed for overall wellbeing of the society”.

“As a first necessary step, i have directed the COVID-19 taskforce to profile all the Tsangaya schools in the state with a view to creating a database. I will encourage a dialogue amongst my colleague Governors to create educational opportunities that are sustainable and modern for the Almajiris in the north. We take all measures to protect their human rights and dignity while we take steps to reposition them we in society”, he further explained

“These actions and measures are essential if we were to take necessary precautions against the spread of the disease in our dear state. I call on all our religious and community leaders to join in the prayers so that we see an end to this pandemic. We should always remember to adhere to the hygienic advices given”, he added.

 

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Again Boko Haram Attacks Babbangida, Yobe State

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Again Boko Haram Attacks Babbangida, Yobe State

By Mohammed Usman Damaturu


Armed men suspected to be members of the dreaded Boko Haram, on Saturday attacked Babbangida community in Tarmuwa Local Government Area of Yobe.

The State Police Public Relation Officer, Dungus Abdulkareem, who spoke to newsmen in Damaturu, said the incident occurred around 4 pm and the insurgents came in four Hilux vans, disrupting the market with sporadic gunshots forcing the Divisional Police Officer and his men to make a strategic withdrawal from the area.

The PPRO also disclosed that he later lost contact with his DPO in the area, who he suspected ran for safety where there was no telephone network.

“The preliminary report I got from our DPO in Babbangida was that Boko Haram came into the town loaded with four Hilux vehicles and opened fire causing pandemonium in the village market.

“My DPO was later unreachable and I suspected he had to look for safety. I later got him and he told me that he saw the town in smoke from where he was and therefore could not give me the extent of damage in the area,” Mr Abdulkareem said.

Mr Abdulkareem also said that “I gathered that an air force jet came around 5.30 pm but the boys rather hibernated inside the town and refused to leave. I don’t have details of the exploits of the jet but I will furnish you with every necessary information as soon as I have it,” Mr Abdulkareem said.

Adamu, a driver who was transporting bread to Babbangida, also confirmed the incident saying that he abandoned his vehicle loaded with bread and ran for safety.

I heard the gunshots and later saw the insurgents approaching us as I was approaching Babangida from Damaturu. I immediately stopped and left my car full of bread and ran into the bush,” he narrated.

Babbangida is 50 km northeast from Damaturu, the state capital and has come under attack by the insurgents, many times.

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Medical Association Urges Full Implementation of Medical Residency Training Act to Address Challenges in the Health Sector in Borno

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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.

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Taimako, CDI, Engages 150 Youths On Peace Building

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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.

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