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Gov. Zulum Orders total lockdown from 10:30pm on Wednesday 22/4/2020 for 14 days.

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Gov. Zulum orders total lockdown from 10:30 pm on Wednesday 22/4/2020 for 14 days

By Madu Mohammed, Maiduguri

The Borno state Government has announced a total lockdown of the state for 14 days with effect from Wednesday 22nd April, 2020 as part of measure to stem the spread of covid -19 outbreak in the state

The Borno state Governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum in a state wide broadcast held at the Government House. Maiduguri on Monday said “In the exercise of the powers conferred on me, I have signed an executive order, declaring Covid-19 a dangerous disease. For this, I am hereby directing a lockdown that will require cessation of all movements in Borno State for an initial period of 14 days with effect from 10:30pm on Wednesday, 22nd of April, 2020. All citizens in Borno State are to stay in their homes. This means all public gatherings are restricted while offices and businesses in Borno State are to be fully closed during this period. Security and intelligence agencies have been briefed for enforcement.”

He said “We are taking far reaching measures to ensure the virus does not take any more or health concern in any part of Borno State. Government will use this period of restriction to accelerate the tracing and isolation of persons who have been in contact with the index case. However, the restriction will not apply to providers of essential services, which the high powered team for prevention and control of Covid-19 in Borno State will make public”.

“Last night, the National Centre for Disease Control confirmed an index case of Covid-19, otherwise known as corona virus, in our dear state which took the live of one of us. Until his unfortunate death, the late health worker dedicated himself to providing humanitarian healthcare services to fellow citizens that were critically affected by the boko haram insurgency. Borno state will forever be grateful for his services. We are also profoundly grateful to all healthcare service providers, whose dedication to saving lives, will now be needed more than we ever did. “,the governor added.

“Fellow citizens, our index case, as confirmed by the NCDC, has brought to us, a strong and dangerous warning. Covid-19 is real and it has reached us in Borno State,” Zulum further explained.

Governor Zulum said “I am setting up a panel to investigate the circumstances surrounding the outbreak and handling of the index case in Borno State.
.It is my considered view that government owes this duty to both those exposed to risk of infection and the deceased, whose values were against the spread of infection. May the Almighty Allah grant mercy to the deceased and all Nigerians who died in this pandemic. Of particular note, is Malam Abba Kyari, late chief of staff to the President, who died of Covid-19 in Lagos, on Friday.”.

“All over the world, healthcare workers are now adored more than before. And this is because, they are putting their lives on the line in trying to save others. We hold our health workers very dearly and for this reason, I am worried about the manner in which the index Covid-19 case in Borno State, was handled. In the handling of that case, we have been confronted with not only losing a healthcare service provider but also exposing at least 100 persons to risk of infection. I am certain that with the manner in which the deceased gave commitment to humanitarian services, it could never have been his will to expose citizens, he worked hard to protect”, he added.
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“With our 11-year burden of dealing with the Boko Haman insurgency and its mortal impacts, the coming of Covid-19 amounts to having fresh pepper on fresh injury. However, notwithstanding the dangers posed by Covid-19, it has three solutions and these solutions have the same word: Prevention!
Prevention! And again, Prevention!”, he said.

The governor further said “as part of measures, the state’s High powered team has traced 97 persons that believed to have made contacts with our index case. 35 of them were traced in Pulka town of Gwoza local government area and 64 in Maiduguri. A surveillance and case management team has also been deployed to Pulkawhile an organization, to which the index case had association, is to quarantine all persons who had contact with the index case. The state’s high powered team is ensuring this standard procedure is strictly complied with.”

“I will like to clarify that tracing 97 interest persons does not amount to having 97 cases of Corona virus. We however await results from samples collected from these contacts, hoping we get good results.
Fellow citizens, as we have seen from the wild-fire effects of Corona virus, one index case is enough reason for very serious concern.”, said he.

Prof Zulum said “the high powered team under His Excellency, the Deputy Governor, has been directed to as from tomorrow, Tuesday, commence a daily centralized media briefing at 4pm. Location for the daily briefing will be announced by the team for the access of journalists who will be among those to be given permission on essential services.The high powered team will on daily basis provide citizens with timely updates and information on access to essential needs such as food, medical services and automated banking services.”

Governor Zulum said government is very much aware of the peculiar challenges faced in Borno State.and assured that government intend to be very particular about Internally Displaced Persons.as such it will continue to support them, stressing that l as time passes,government will consider social interventions for vulnerable citizens.

We recognize that the decision to impose restriction will cause difficulties and alter the plans we make differently.
However, as Covid-19 has reminded us, health comes ahead of everything we seek. We have taken necessary measures with the determination and hope to secure the lives of citizens in Borno State”, Prof. Zulum lamented.

While praying for the end of the pendemuc, Governor Zulum said “We pray and hope that these measures, amongst other steps we are adopting, will contribute significantly in controlling the spread of Corona virus in Borno State. Please stay safe and may God bless Borno State and the federal Republic of Nigeria.

 

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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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