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WHO, Africa CDC collaborate to advance universal health coverage

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10 million cases of TB recorded in 2017 – WHO

As part of its efforts to advance Universal Health Coverage in Africa, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has strengthened its ties with the African Union Commission (AUC) through its Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC).

The organisations are collaborating to tackle the numerous health challenges facing the continent.

In a statement released by WHO on Wednesday, it was disclosed that both organisations arrived at an agreement during a two-day meeting held in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo earlier this month.

The organisations agreed to build better synergies through a joint task force and action plan.

WHO and Africa CDC are at the forefront of strengthening Africa’s disease intelligence, outbreak response and prevention capacity.

The WHO regional director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti said, “Public health faces enormous challenges across Africa and by leveraging our strengths WHO and Africa CDC can support Member States in saving lives.”

According to the statement, the draft action plan identifies key areas for cooperation, with particular emphasis on emergency preparedness and response, and health security in the overall context of health systems strengthening.

The statement also revealed that a joint task force with five technical working groups will guide the efforts in the areas of partnerships and resource mobilization.

The groups will also monitor the progress in implementing international health regulations; addressing the African Union Agenda 2063; public health emergency preparedness and response; strengthening surveillance and laboratory capacities; and antimicrobial resistance.

The African Union commissioner for social affairs, Amira Elfadil, said the strengthening of health systems and movement towards health coverage for all remain top priorities for African nations.

“The African Union Commission is promoting health strategies and policies to reach these goals. But this requires solid partnerships and collaboration,” she said.

In his remarks, the Director of Africa CDC, John Nkengasong, said Africa is at a tipping point as it moves aggressively towards its integration agenda including free movement of people, open skies, and continental free trade agreements.

“As such, we need to re-imagine our public health approaches to ensure efficiencies and harness all our assets.

“By working as one – rather than duplicating our efforts – we can more effectively respond to Member States’ needs,” he said.

He noted that the ultimate objective of Africa CDC is to build the capacity of Member States.

The organisations stressed the importance of having core values to aspire to and good communications for working closely together.

They also agreed on regular meetings and teleconferences at multiple levels within the organisations.

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Cloudy, sunny weather, thundery showers to prevail on Saturday – NiMet

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What the weather will look like on Friday - NiMet

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has predicted cloudy and sunny weather conditions with chances of thundery showers over most parts of the country on Saturday.

NiMet’s Weather Outlook by its Central Forecast Office (CFO) on Friday, predicted partly cloudy to cloudy morning over the central states with day and night temperatures of 29 to 33 and 18 to 23 degrees Celsius respectively.

It added that scattered thundery showers over Abuja, Nasarawa, Bida, Southern Kaduna, Minna and thunderstorms over Mambilla plateau and parts of Jalingo during the afternoon and evening period.

The agency predicted that Northern States would experience partly cloudy to sunny conditions during the forecast period.

It also predicted chances of thundery shower over Yelwa during the afternoon and evening hours with day and night temperatures of 35 to 37 and 21 to 25 degrees Celsius respectively.

According to NiMet, Southern States will experience cloudy conditions with slim chances of rains over the South East coast during the morning hours.

“Later in the day, there are chances of scattered thunderstorms over the region with day and night temperatures of 30 to 31 and 21 to 22 degrees Celsius respectively.

“Cloudy to partly cloudy conditions with chances of scattered thunderstorms and rainfall activities are expected over some parts of the country in the next 24 hours,” NiMet predicted.

(NAN)

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900 Nigeria Airways retirees die

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Nigeria Airways pensioners lament tedious verification procedure

Shu’aibu Alfa, Member Ministerial Committee on the verification of payment of retired Nigeria Airways workers, on Friday revealed that 900 retirees have so far died nationwide from 2004 till date.

Alfa, a captain, who is the Supervisor, Kano Verification Centre, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kano.

There are three centres where the ongoing verification exercise for the Nigeria Airways retirees are being conducted.

He said during the 15 years, no fewer than 900 of the retirees died, while the medical cases of some of them became worse, homes were broken and some were in situations beyond human imagination.

“The verification exercise has been going on very well, we made sure retirees were former staff of Nigeria Airways and we have their records.

“We ask questions and when they are certified, we clear them to start the verification process.

“In the verification team, we have people from the Ministry of Aviation, Ministry of Finance, Accountant General’s Office, Head of Service, EFCC, ICPC, PITAD and we also have our representatives on each desk,” Alfa said.

Mr Alfa, who was the Secretary, Nigeria Airways Pilots Association, commended President Muhammadu Buhari, Minister of Aviation and the Minister of Transportation, for approving the payment of their long awaited entitlement.

He also commended the support of the traditional rulers, religious leaders, political leaders and many other well-meaning Nigerians.

He appealed to the retirees to exercise patience during the exercise, as the committee was doing everything to ensure they were promptly screened.

(NAN)

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Lebanese convicted for currency trafficking in Nigeria

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Lebanese convicted for currency trafficking in Nigeria

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Friday secured the conviction one Haytham Aldahrah , a Lebanese who was arrested at the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport while trying to board an Egypt Air flight to Cairo for refusing to declare the sum $105,000 and €65,000 respectively to the Nigeria Customs Service.

Upon his arrest, Mr Aldahrah declared the sum of $95,000 (Ninety Five Thousand Dollars) but a search conducted on him, revealed that he was carrying a further sum of $105,000 (One Hundred and Five Thousand Dollars) which he concealed from the authorities.

When the convict was arraigned on October 16, he pleaded not guilty to the two count charge but, two days later changed his plea to ‘guilty’.

In view of his latest plea, prosecution counsel Mohammed Gambo urged the court to convict him accordingly.

Justice Allagoa granted the prayer of the prosecution and convicted the defendant on the two counts charge. The judge sentenced the convict to forfeit 50% each of the undeclared sum he was found with, that is $52,550 and €32,250 to Treasury Single Account of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

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