ISMP and EU-ACT: Combating malnutrition through financial empowerment for women.

The International Society of Media in Public Health, (ISMPH) has attributed the growing malnutrition among under-five children in Nigeria to poverty, resulting from low earning capacities of the parents of these children, especially mothers.

Programme Director at ISMPH, Solomon Dogo made this known while interacting with newsmen in Abuja at the 3-day training on production of Charcoal Briquettes and Organic Fertilizer, where he also explained that the discovery has informed the decision to checkmate the role of poverty in driving malnutrition.

In a bid to tackle the problem of malnutrition by solving the poverty puzzle, ISMPH through support from the European Union Agent for Citizen-driven Transformation, (EU-ACT) embarked on skill acquisition training for women in Barangoni, a community in Bwari Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory, (FCT).

Every morning of each day of the training, the women of Barangoni gather enthusiastically to learn how to convert materials they considered as waste into useful products that can be used in their homes, as well as sold to generate income for their households.

Read: How ISMPH is supporting mothers in FCT to tackle malnutrition

Among the materials used were groundnut peels, rice chaffs, the sticks from corn cubs, sugarcane peels, sawdust, starch or gum Arabic as binders and the binding machine which is the only tool that is not sourced from daily living.

The end products are Charcoal Briquettes and Organic Fertilizer. Charcoal briquette is smokeless charcoal with same cooking time cooking gas – aside home use, it can be sold to generate income; similarly, the Organic Fertilizer can be used to improve crop yield for the women since Barangoni is an agrarian community.

Narrating how this knowledge can be helpful to the women, the Manager, Expedient Global Vision, Hassan Mustapha who is the lead trainer explained that process is less stressful and easy to understand.

Mustapha also revealed that one woman can make up to 3500 naira from every 30 kilogrammes of Charcoal briquettes she produces.

“We are here to train people, especially the females on how to gain from skill acquisition. We are training on two different ways on how to utilize their waste products to be wealth briquettes and Organic Fertilizer.

“Charcoal Briquette is formed from all things that we normally take as waste in our society like groundnut peels, rice chaffs, the sticks from corn cubs, sugarcane peels, and sawdust. These are some of the things that we merge together to make charcoal.

You carbonize them by removing the unused smoke from the original source, then you use the remaining part which is not allowed to burn into ashes. After you merge everything, you grind it so that it now becomes powder then you mix it with the binder, after which you now use the binder machine either automated or manual. The product is left to dry before packaging.

“The charcoal briquette helps to check deforestation because people won’t cut down trees again to make charcoal and can help generate foreign exchange for the country if it is invested in. It is simple to produce and use and it is smokeless, also fast in cooking like gas.

“So women can use it at home and also produce to sell making plenty of profit because the materials are sourced from around the community. If a woman produces a 30kg of charcoal briquette she can sell it for N3500.”

Read: Did you know that Nigeria has highest stunting figures in sub-Saharan Africa and 2nd in the world?

The first phase of the programme involves training of thirty women and there are plans to scale-up subsequently, says Programme Director at ISMPH, Solomon Dogo.

Off-takers have already been engaged to buy off these products, as soon as the women are done with production, as availability of market will drive production.

“The programme aims to see how we can curb malnutrition in the FCT by training and empowering women on how to produce organic fertiliser and other products so that they can have a means of survival because we have noticed that one of the problems causing malnutrition is poverty.

“Most of them do not have the means to take care of their nutritional needs so we decided that look, we’re going to train women – poorest of the poorest – and women who their children are malnourished.

“We also have off-takers who will be buying the products immediately they produce and we will also avail them the opportunity to market these products on radio stations and television stations.”

For the Chief of Barangoni Community, Danlami Nana, the initiative is noble and needs to be sustained.

“This training that they are doing for my people – I’m happy because when I saw this lady and she came to my place, introduced herself and told me that she will invite my people to come and get this training, I’m happy. Whereby that I am happy with my people is that they came out to come and receive this training on liquid fertiliser and also the other things.

Read: IHVN’s ANRiN programme improving nutrition in Kano state.

“This Barangoni we will benefit it, because I have already said that we are the farmers and when we farm something the thing will germinate – it will not grow quickly because it does not have fertiliser – but if community members are trained like this we will not have to go to any company to buy fertilizer again.”

It is hoped that the Initiative by EU-ACT and ISMPH will empower women financially so that they can give their children improved diets to help eliminate malnutrition.


FG Hands Over Livestock Health Center FCTA

The Federal Government has handed over the livestock health centre built and equipped for treatment of animals to the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA).

The centre which was constructed by the veterinary and pest control services of the department of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is expected to help rural dwellers improve on their livestock production.

The Director and Chief Veterinary Officer of the Ministry Dr. Maimuna Habib at the handover ceremony said the project was executed to provide quality animal healthcare services to livestock farmers and pastoralists.

Read: Monkey Pox: Nigeria Records 41 Confirmed Cases, one fatality – NCDC

She said the Federal Government was intervening in the area of veterinary infrastructure in the country to boost the capacity of the veterinary services in the society.

The Mandate Secretary for FCTA Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat, Abubakar Ibrahim in his remark said the secretariat would put in place more measures to prevent outbreak and spread of animal diseases.

He said that the secretariat would strengthen its surveillance system in high risk areas such as live bird and cattle markets, veterinary clinics, and abattoirs across the FCT to achieve more results in disease reporting and response.

According to him, the secretariat has last week mobilised about 90 veterinary health personnel to kick-start the mass treatment of livestock in the six area councils of the FCT.

He, therefore, called on the residents to patronise the centre as well as other government approved clinics in the territory.


NEMSAS Director, Dr. Dumbulwa avoids stating cost of NEMSAS programme

The Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, (NCDC) Dr Ifedayo Adetifa has attributed the Measles and Yellow fever outbreaks to disruptions on routine immunization and other essential healthcare services, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.

Dr. Adetifa made the attribution in Abuja while speaking at the bimonthly briefing of the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire which had in attendance several heads of departments of the Federal Ministry of Health.

He also said the NCDC in collaboration with representatives from the global tax force for the control of cholera at the International Federation of Red Cross and Crescent societies (IFRC), as at last week, reviewed Nigeria’s National Strategic Plan for Cholera Control.

“We continue to see the consequences of the COVID pandemic on the disruption it caused to essential services especially immunization because we still seeing measles outbreaks, we are still seeing yellow fever outbreak and we know that a lot of these are happening because all of the vaccination campaigns and indeed even the routine immunization were significantly disrupted in the past year or more.

“Last week we reviewed Nigeria’s National Strategic Plan for Cholera Control and these are part of our collaborative efforts to end cholera in Nigeria by keeping it on the public health agenda, including the target of achieving a 90% reduction in cholera deaths by 2030.”

Also speaking, the Director of Planning, Research and Statistics at the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, Dr. Garba Bulama stated that Nigeria’s full vaccination statistics stands at 19%, describing it as a far cry from the targeted 70% vaccination by September this year.

Dr. Bulama explained that Nigeria cannot join Western countries to lift COVID-19 protocols just yet, because it has not attained herd-immunity as they have; and urged citizens to continue to respect all protocols that have not yet been lifted.

Read: How Abuja Residents Can Tackle The Cholera Outbreak in The Midst of COVID-19

“As at the 19th June of 2022 the total target of 111 million Nigerians for COVID-19 vaccination throughout the vaccination cycle, a total of 21 million 236 thousand 404 people have so far been fully vaccinated with COVID-19 vaccines while 25 million 426 thousand 564 people have been partially vaccinated and a total of 1 million 565 have received their booster doses.

“These statistics have indicated that only 19% of the eligible population have so far been fully vaccinated and only 25.4% have been partially vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccines. And from this, we can see that we are very far away from the journey of achieving 70% of our eligible population by September.

“We are aware that other many countries are opening and lifting some COVID-19 restrictions especially travellers but one thing we want to tell Nigerians is that all those countries that are lifting all those kinds of bans are because they have reached their herd immunity. In these countries you will see that over 80% of their population have been vaccinated with COVID-19 vaccines and that is why they don’t mind they open their borders.

“For us here we have just achieved 20% therefore it is very risky for us to say that because other countries are no longer worried about the COVID-19 restrictions then we will not take our vaccines. Please we should make sure that we immunize ourselves, we should make sure that our families are vaccinated, we should ensure that our neighbours are vaccinated and we should ensure that whoever listens to us is informed and mobilised to go and take vaccines.”

On his part, the Director, National Emergency Medical Services and Ambulance system, NEMSAS, Dr. Saidu Dumbulwa explained that all was set for the roll out of the programme in the Federal Capital Territory in a couple of weeks until the end of July as a pilot test for the National plan.

However, our correspondent asked to know the cost implication in naira and kobo of NEMSAS programme which is to be funded by a percentage of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund, (BHCPF) but Dr. Dumbulwa’s response was hazy and no mention was made of how much was budgeted for the programmes, how much has so far been spent or even a projection of what the cost implication will likely be.

NEMSAS Director, Dr. Saidu Dumbulwa

This was how he responded, “The question is about the cost implication of the NEMSAS programme so let me quickly highlight so that the house will understand that the NEMSAS that is part of the Basic Emergency Care Services will receive 1% of the Consolidated Revenue Fund and the Fund will disbursed centrally for the EMSAS which will be our own established system for both ambulance services and emergency treatment centres.”

“So for the cost implication we are having a fund raise for both ambulance services and also for the emergency response service. We have classified the ambulances into Basic Life-Support Ambulance and Advanced Life-Support Ambulances and one will be assigned one per kilometer along ring roads in the metropolitan. And if the business actually happen to increase, as it is increasing then the money will be based on the based on the kilometer actually covered by that ambulance.

“And also for the emergency treatment centre we classified the cost implication in terms of is it a minor treatment, intermediate of serious treatment. And we also have NHIS billing system which we are going to use all within the first 48 hours.

Read: NCDC takes stock after 2 years, says COVID caused highest investment in health

“So ladies and gentlemen this is about the cost implication, however, you may wish to know that accountability framework is very embedded in the programme and we also have independent verification that will verify the claims that are being submitted by the ambulance services or from the emergency medical treatment centre both from the public and also private sector. Thank you very much.”

We however, look forward to receiving information on how much money was taken from the Consolidated Revenue Fund for investment into the NEMSAS programme.


Covid-19: Nigeria could miss September Immunization Coverage Target.

The Director Planning, Research & statistics at the national primary health care development agency (NPHCDA) Doctor Abdullahi Garba says Nigeria may miss the September seventy percent COVID-19 immunization target, as the country is very far from the goal.

Doctor Abdullahi stated this at the bi-weekly Ministerial Press briefing on control COVID-19

According to him out of the estimated over one hundred and eleven eligible population, only 21.2 million of this targeted population have been fully vaccinated, while 28.4 million have received one jab.

The figures represent 19.05 percent of fully vaccinated individuals and 25.4 percent of partially vaccinated People

The director is advocating for the need to be more aggressive in ramping up vaccination against the virus.

Refugee NHIS

FG Commence Registration of Refugees into NHIS

The Federal Government says it has undertaken the registration of refugees into the National Health Insurance Scheme.

The Federal Commissioner of the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI), Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim made this known at an event in Abuja to commemorate the World Refugee Day.

The World Refugee Day is an international day designated annually by the United Nations (UN) to honour refugees around the globe and it is celebrated in June 20.


The day is set aside to celebrate the strength and courage of people who have been forced to flee their home country to escape conflict or persecution and this year is with the theme “the Right to Seek Safety.”

Sulaiman-Ibrahim in her remark said every person has the right to seek safety, whoever they are, wherever they come from and whenever they are forced to flee.

She said living in dignity, safety and peace does not discriminate against race, skin colour, tribe, social status, placement or class adding that it is a fundamental human right.

She assured that the government will continue to give them the assistance, support and protection they need.

She said the commission has also embarked on a massive training of their registration protection staff to do more for refugees and persons of concern.

National Hospital


The National Association of Residents Doctors, National Hospital Abuja, has been making some clarifications regarding the disagreement between one of its member and a nurse, resulting into war of words and an alleged physical attack.

President of the association, doctor henry Ntundu told journalists at a news conference on Thursday that the reports about a doctor in the hospital assaulting a nurse is false.

According to him, the whole thing started on Monday morning of June, third, as the doctors were on ward round at the female Medical ward.

A female nurse (name withheld) was asked to dress a septic wound, a request the nurse turned down.

The situation later degenerated to the use of abusive languages and the alleged assault

Doctor Henry who also alleged that the doctor, who was directly involved has been receiving threats from the Nurses association, says the hospital management and the leadership of the nurses and doctors unions are currently investigating the matter


Stakeholders Calls on Lawmakers to Give bite to blood Policies.

As the advocacy on the importance of blood donation continues, stakeholders in the health sector has harped on the need for the lawmakers to come up with laws that will give bites to blood policies.

They have also called on the government and the media to intensify its advocacy effort, thereby debunking the myth of blood donations which makes people believe that blood donated are used for ritual purposes.

This call was made at a sensitization meeting organised by the Haima Health Initiative as part of activities to commemorate the 2023 World Blood Donor Day.

The Haima Health Initiative had the theme;  Meeting Nigeria’s blood donation target, Challenges and Opportunities. 

The National Director Sickle Cell Foundation Nigeria, Dr. Annette Akinsete at her presentation at the meeting call for the establishment of blood banks in every Primary Health Care Centers.

She also ask the government to include blood donation in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) in other to save more lives.

Dr. Victor Oyoyo a board member of Haima Health Initiative on his part, said blood donors should be treated right when they offer donate blood noting that a negative treatment makes them never return.

He also said the employment of skilled medical professionals will make the work a lot easier.

He however noted some of the reasons why healthcare worker treat voluntary donors badly to include, lack of Job satisfaction, a lot of medical professionals being overwhelmed with work, lack of good work environment, amongst others.

Mr Azeez Opeloyeru who is a voluntary donor at the meeting ask stakeholders to make bleeding room conducive for blood donors and also ensure that donors are treated fantastically well.

The World Blood Donor Day is celebrated yearly on June 14 and this year is with the theme; Donating blood an act of solidarity, join the efforts and save lives. 

Cholera (1)

NCDC Express Concern Over Nigeria’s Position in Cholera Control

The Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) has expressed concerns over Nigeria remaining one of the cholera endemic countries in the African continent.

It said while many countries have since eliminated cholera, an infectious disease transmitted through poor environmental and personal hygiene, Nigeria remains one of the countries where it is endemic.

The NCDC Director-General, Dr. Ifedayo Adetifa, said this at the review of the National Strategic Plan of Action on Cholera Control (NSPACC), on Wednesday in Abuja.

He said with the advancement in health and technology, Nigeria still has a long way to go as we experience cholera outbreaks annually.

Read: Nigeria Gets Approval For Over 3 Million Doses of Cholera Vaccines

Dr. Adetifa said the ongoing cholera outbreaks show that resources, whether actual or perceived, are insufficient in keeping this disease at bay adding that while funding is crucial, it especially requires our political leaders’ commitment.

He said it takes states knowing their outbreak and ensuring a state-specific response to address issues like safe water infrastructure.

The World Health Organisation, Cholera and Incident Manager, Prof. Adebola Olayinka said the long-term solution for cholera control lies in economic development and universal access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation.

Read: Stop Open Defecation to End Cholera in FCT – Rotary

He said the actions targeting environmental conditions included the implementation of adapted long-term sustainable WASH solutions to ensure the use of safe water, basic sanitation and good hygiene practices in cholera hotspots.

healthcare centers (1)

About 40 percent of Nigeria’s primary healthcare centers lack access to electricity

The United States Agency for International Development, (USAID) Power Africa Nigeria Power Sector Program, USAID Integrated Health Program, and the Government of Nigeria’s Rural Electrification Agency have launched a call-to-action to provide more primary healthcare centers (PHCs) with clean, reliable, and sustainable power in Nigeria.

This is according to a statement released by the United States Embassy in Abuja and made available to our correspondent.
Speaking on behalf of USAID, the Director of the Office of Health Population Nutrition Paul McDermott said, “We view this as an opportunity for partners and stakeholders in both the energy and health sectors to make commitments, and work collectively to ensure that fully functional primary healthcare centers can be accessed by all Nigerians.”

Read: Why The Nigerian Government Should Provide Primary HealthCare Services

The statement also explained that the USAID-funded Sustainable Energy For All 2022 Powering Healthcare Roadmap estimates that around 40 percent of Nigeria’s primary healthcare centers lack access to electricity.
“By providing access to a stable power supply, PHCs can provide essential services to patients, such as those receiving maternal and newborn care at time of delivery, cold storage for vaccinations, running medical equipment, and delivering services after dark.

“The call-to-action outlines activities that power and healthcare sector stakeholders can implement to accelerate PHC electrification, and challenges stakeholders to achieve clean electrification solutions for 1,000 PHCs by 2023 and a total of 10,000 PHCs by 2030,” the statement read in part.

The Head of the Nigeria Electrification Project Program Management Unit at the Rural Electrification Agency Anita Otubu said, “We are looking to bridge the energy access gaps in primary healthcare centers across the country and we call on everyone to take immediate action on the call-to-action.”
USAID’s Power Africa Nigeria Power Sector Program, in collaboration with the Rural Electrification Agency, is supporting programs in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, which aim to sustainably electrify over 700 Primary Health Centres by the end of 2023.

“USAID will continue to support power and healthcare sector stakeholders to expand electricity access to PHCs across Nigeria.”

blood donation

One Unit of Blood can save Three Patients Lives- WHO

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says donating just one unit of blood can save the lives of up to three patients.

The is a message from the WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti in commemoration of the 2022 World Blood Donor Day.

According to him the African Region sees a disproportionate number of conditions requiring donor blood, impacting as many as seven million patients every year compared to other Regions globally.

He said while the need for donor blood is universal, access for everyone who needs it is not.

In the African Region he said demand regularly outstrips supply, negatively impacting timely access for all patients who need safe and quality-assured blood to save their lives.

Dr. Moeti said countries across the African Region have worked hard to improve blood donation frequency, and the situation is showing signs of stabilizing.

He said blood transfusion services in many countries reached out to blood donors through public awareness campaigns, transporting donors from and to their homes, using digital platforms and establishing call centres.

Read: WHO-Africa Region joins global call for regular voluntary blood donors

He said the situation remains challenging, and it is exacerbated by issues such as staff shortages and limited funding from governments and partners organizations for effective blood donor education, recruitment, and retention.

He urge African governments and political leaders to prioritize the provision of adequate human and financial resources to secure the future of national blood transfusion services.

A blood service which gives patients access to safe blood and blood products, in sufficient quantities, he says is a key component of an effective health system.

Read: Stakeholders Calls on Lawmakers to Give bite to blood Policies.

He said donating blood is an act of solidarity noting that by becoming a blood donor, you will help ease the pressure on health systems still struggling under the burden of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The World Blood Donor Day is celebrated globally on the 14th of June and it focus on the gift of life from voluntary unpaid blood donors around the world.

The theme of the year is; donating blood an act of solidarity. Join the effort and save lives, highlights the critical role of voluntary blood donations in saving lives, and enhancing community solidarity and social cohesion.