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GAVI Champion for Africa, Dr. Awele Elumelu, Joins Global Health Leaders to Champion Increased Vaccine Coverage in Under-Immunised Nations‎



Dr. Awele Elumelu, GAVI Champion for Africa and Founder, Avon Medical Practice, joined other global health leaders at a Photo Exhibition organised by GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, for increased vaccine coverage in under-immunised nations. The event tagged “Vaccine Heroes” was held on September 10, 2018, in Geneva, Switzerland.‎

Following the announcement made earlier in January 2018 on the sidelines of the global World Economic Forum in Davos, of Dr. Elumelu as GAVI Champion for Immunisation in Africa, the GAVI Photo Exhibition ‎convened GAVI representatives who reiterated their commitment to saving the lives of children around the world.

Speaking at the Gavi event, Dr. Awele Elumelu commended the great efforts and achievements by the Vaccine Heroes, Health Workers and the GAVI team in spreading the message and adoption of immunisation globally. In her words: “Immunisation is one sure way to prevent diseases, save our children and advance our economy. It is an honour to champion the importance of immunisation that saves the lives of children around Africa and the world. I am particularly pleased to be doing so with innovative organisations like the ones that make up the Gavi Alliance,” she said.

Dr. Elumelu further advocated the urgent and important need for the health of children and committed to working with the global Vaccine Alliance to expand the coverage of immunisation across Africa and in her native country, Nigeria. ‎

“In our own capacity, at Avon Medical and Avon HMO, we are working to provide quality, effective and accessible healthcare and insurance to most citizens in Africa’s most populous country, Nigeria. This is our Group’s way of contributing to the work of GAVI. I look forward to doing more work and bringing about more private and public partnerships to promote immunisation and better coverage for children in and out of Africa”.

In attendance was Director General, World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus who spoke about the importance of vaccines as the backbone of health systems. According to him: “There is no health for all without vaccines for all”.

Organised by GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, the event gathered leaders in the global health sector, including Anuradha Gupta, Deputy CEO, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance; Clemens Adams, Director, United Nations; and Seth Berkley, CEO, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.


Hymnodia: Participants Hurry to Meet January 21 Entry Deadline




Nigerians gifted in hymns rendition have been rushing to file in their entries to meet the Monday, January 21, 2019 deadline for Hymnodia, an entertainment reality TV show aimed at redefining the perception on hymns and its culture.

Talented Nigerians are required to visit the Hymnodia website,, and complete the Hymntestantsor Chorister application forms before uploading their self-videos on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram with the hashtag #hymnodiahq.

Kufre Ekanem, Managing Director of Philosoville Limited, the initiators of Hymnodia, said “after the closure of entries, shortlisted applicants will be invited to a physical audition in Lagos.” According to him, the audience across the country would be thrilled with flow of creativity of hymn performances during the 13-week TV show, while the winner would be announced at the grand finale of the contest on April 21, 2019. The winner of Hymnodia will win the ASAPH, N5million and a brand-new car.

Commending Philosoville for the laudable initiative, ace actor and former Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Richard Mofe-Damijo, said Hymnodia is worthwhile and timely, as hymn culture should be reinforced and the skill nurtured in young Nigerians.

Popularly known as RMD, Mofe-Damijo revealed his favourite hymn as “Lord Dismiss Us with Thy Blessings” which he has cherished since his early days in secondary school and “Nearer, My God, to Thee” as a close second. He affirmed: “Because of their significance, hymns are of immense importance to me because they are dedicated to the Supreme Being who we all owe life to. I don’t think there is anybody in this world who does not like “Nearer my God to thee”.

Hymnodia, which would be an annual initiative, seeks to revive the hymn culture and worship as a critical element of what cohesive societies require. It revolves around members of a world class choir who contest to showcase their skills as singers, writers and hymnodists, while collaborating to render soul-lifting renditions together.

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Heritage Bank promotes sport in partnership with Para-Powerlifting Federation



Heritage Bank Plc has reiterated its commitment to promoting sports in Nigeria, in partnership with Para-Powerlifting Federation to host the Lagos 2019 International Para-Powerlifting Competition.

The competition which about 10 countries have indicated interest to attend is billed for 24th-31st January 2019.

The MD/CEO of Heritage Bank, Ifie Sekibo commended the Para – Powerlifting Federation of Nigeria for bringing the competition to Nigeria as well as the Lagos State Government for playing a leading role in the development of sports in the country.

Sekibo who was represented by Ozena Utulu, Head of Brand Management of Heritage Bank also recalled the support it received from the Lagos State government when it organised the Skoolimpics, its signature sporting event with more than 6,000 students from over 600 public and private secondary schools from the six educational districts of Lagos Sate in attendance at the three-day sporting fiesta held in 2017.

Skoolimpics was an idea conceived to bring into being a national sports festival for young people in secondary schools aimed at helping the country discover young talents that will re-ignite the spirit of excellence in competitive and recreational sports.

The idea was intended to be a holistic development of young people in order to foster their physical, social and emotional wellbeing. It is a well-known fact that physical education and sports help in character and community building, delinquency reduction, community safety, economic and social development.

In her address of welcome, the President of Para-Powerlifting Federation of Nigeria, Mrs. Queen Uboh noted that the Nigerian Para Powerlifters had always made the nation proud by winning medals and most times topping the medals table at every competition they attended.

She said under her leadership within one year, the federation had won several medals and broken new world records at the Commonwealth Games and other major championships and got the hosting right for the first time for an International Para Powerlifting Competition in Nigeria.

Others are the federation being a proud owner of the only Spartan Wheelchair Accessible Van in Nigeria, courtesy of FrieslandCampina Wamco Nigeria Plc, makers of Peak Milk, purchased brand new training and competition equipment for the Para Powerlifters as well as secured more corporate sponsors and partners for it.

Also speaking, the Marketing Manager of FrieslandCampina Wamco Nigeria Plc, makers of Peak Milk, Maureen Ifada lauded the Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Mr. Solomon Dalong for approving the partnership between Peak Milk and the Nigerian Paralympics team since February 2017.

She said the company decision to partner with the team was in line with its brand’s promise to enable and empower its teeming consumers reach their peak, regardless of any limitations.

The marketing manager said the company was committed to a three-pronged partnership with the unstoppable team in food nutritional support, gym refurbishment and procurement of training equipment and the amplification of their success story to the entire nation.

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Aliko Dangote Foundation, UNECA and GBCHealth Advocate Public-Private Sector Partnership for Better Health in Africa




The Forum will unify Africa’s key decision makers in exploring opportunities for catalyzing growth in the continent’s economy, through business partnerships to invest in the health sector

Top African leaders including Heads of States, Ministers, CEOs as well as representatives from the African Union and United Nations will converge at the inaugural Africa Business: Health Forum (AB:HF) ( taking place in Ethiopia on 12th February 2019 on the margins of the 32nd African Union Summit.

The Forum will unify Africa’s key decision makers in exploring opportunities for catalyzing growth in the continent’s economy, through business partnerships to invest in the health sector.

The inter-relationship between the health of employees and economic growth is increasingly taking center stage in many African countries, and business is being pushed to exploring how to maximize shareholder value as a complex interplay between financial, human, social and environmental return.

African business entrepreneurs are waking up to the reality that good health is good business, and investing in health is both a business and social imperative, with studies showing that by 2030, business opportunities in the health and wellness sector will reach $1.8 trillion in current prices.

Investing in African health systems is an opportunity to accelerate economic development and growth, contribute to saving millions of lives, prevent life-long disabilities, and move countries closer to achieving SDGs and Africa’s Agenda 2063.

“From a business standpoint, we are beginning to see the opportunities that could be created by focusing on improving and investing in health,” says Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, a renowned financier and Co- Chair, GBCHealth. “There is a need to close the gap on the inequality of life in Africa from a healthcare standpoint and we must look to develop a universal plan that shifts the needle as far as healthcare in Africa is concerned. Health must cease being a source of pain, and become a source of prosperity instead.”

The AB:HF is the vision of GBCHealth, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), and the Aliko Dangote Foundation, with the objective of driving business leadership, strengthening partnerships, and facilitating investments to change the face of healthcare in Africa.

The Forum will culminate in the launch of the African Business Coalition for Health (ABCHealth), a coalition that will mobilize a core group of private sector champions through a coordinated platform to advance health outcomes and shape health systems across Africa.

ABCHealth will serve as the regional platform to unlock synergies that will contribute more directly to a healthy and prosperous Africa, enabled by collaboration and business partnerships.

Reiterating the need for business leaders to key into this vision, Aliko Dangote, Group President, Dangote Group and Chairman, Aliko Dangote Foundation, said: “The best way to move Africa forward is for businesses to step up in health care and take bold action. We must work together, across industries and with governments and communities, to foster innovation and drive more strategic investments that benefit us collectively. The time is now for a new era of cooperation in Africa that will position its people, communities and businesses for success, now and in the future.” Good health is not only an outcome of, but also a foundation for, development

Vera Songwe, Executive Secretary, UNECA said: “The Commission will play a role in the design and implementation of policy frameworks around the financing of healthcare through Public Private Partnerships and the private sector. Building on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), this will also encourage regional transboundary health investments especially in the pharmaceutical sector.”

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