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Jack Ma and Alibaba Foundations donate COVID-19 Medical Equipment to African Union Member States

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Africa’s response to the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) outbreak received a boost today as the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) and the Government of Ethiopia received a consignment of medical equipment from the Jack Ma and Alibaba Foundations.

The shipment included over 1.5 million laboratory diagnostic test kits and over 100 tons of infection prevention and control commodities.

This relief initiative was launched by the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Dr Abiy Ahmed, the Jack Ma Foundation, and Alibaba Foundation as part of actions towards implementation of the Africa joint continental strategy for COVID-19 led by the African Union through Africa CDC.

“On behalf of the Chairperson of the African Union, His Excellency, Cyril Ramaphosa, we thank the Jack Ma and Alibaba Foundations for this generous hospitality and contribution to the continent. We thank His Excellency the Prime Minister, and the Government of Ethiopia, for facilitating the donation,” said H.E. Mr Edward Xolisa Makaya, South Africa’s Permanent Representative to Ethiopia and the African Union.

“This is a great honour and initiative and a great sign of solidarity that the world needs at this critical time. The test kits and other materials will support African countries in their fight against this outbreak. We are facing a humanitarian situation, an economic situation and a security situation in the continent and Africa CDC clearly applauds the initiative of the prime minister and the Jack Ma and Alibaba Foundations,” said Dr John Nkengasong, Director of Africa CDC.

The COVID-19 outbreak continues to spread rapidly across the continents of the world claiming thousands of lives and huge resources. In just about three months it has caused over 12,000 deaths worldwide and impacted socioeconomic activities, particularly tourism and transport.

Ethiopian Airlines will help distribute the equipment, consisting 20,000 laboratory diagnostic test kits, 100,000 medical masks, and 1000 protective suits and face shields, to each of the Member States as part of their contribution to the fight against COVID-19 in Africa.

“We appeal to our ministries of health to ensure that these materials are distributed and used where they are mostly needed,” said H.E. Ambassador Mohamed Idriss Farah, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Djibouti, Dean of African Diplomatic Corps, and Chair of the African Union Peace and Security Council.

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COVID-19: Nigeria Records 1Million Test

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REMARKS BY THE CHAIRMAN OF THE PRESIDENTIAL TASK FORCE ON COVID-19 FOR THURSDAY, 7th JANUARY, 2021
I welcome you all to the National Briefing by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 for today, Thursday, 7th January, 2021.
2. The PTF is very concerned about the increasing daily numbers that we are recording. Yesterday 6th January, 2021, we recorded 1,664 infections. This is yet another all-time high in Nigeria and we must all take full responsibility through compliance and vigilance.
It is better to wear a face mask than being on a ventilator.
3. In our previous briefings, we have consistently appealed to all Nigerians to stay safe and act in most defensive and protective ways by complying with the NPIs already prescribed. We urge you all, at this point, to raise and be our brother’s keeper by taking the expected responsibility. Remind your neighbor to do the right thing in view of the imminent danger facing us as a country and the world in general.
4. Our records show that our test per million (TPM) is at 4,695 while our test positivity rate (TPR) is at 9.6% and our Case Fatality Rate has increased to 3% haven recorded 1,324 deaths, these data are not encouraging. Nigeria just crossed the 1million mark for testing across the federation. Testing remains a key strategy of our National Response
5.
The PTF urges the Sub-Nationals to revamp testing and contact tracing in the bid to curb the menace of this dreaded virus. It is only through testing that we can know our status and treat early if infected. This will provide among other things, evidence for effective feedback, course correction, experience learning and sharing, as well as optimize documentation systems for future reference.
6. Efforts are being made to increase the supply of oxygens to our health facilities across the country. Mr. President has approved the establishment of at least one new Oxygen plants in each state of the Federation, while the existing ones will be made fully functional.
We continue to thanks the Private Sector initiative as well as the Nigerian Air Force for their continued support.
7. As the Government is working round the clock to secure a safe and right vaccines for the Country, we call on the Media, Traditional and Religious as well as our community leaders to pass the right message to their followers so that together, we can win this war against this virus.
8. To overcome some of these challenges, the PTF will intensify the risk communication and community engagement to create awareness. The share level of doubts about the virus is alarming and I call on every one to become advocates in support of the National Response.
9. The PTF is working to develop new Health Protection Regulations to support existing COVID-19 protocols and to strengthen compliance with non-pharmaceutical interventions across the country.
10. It has become embarrassing to note that some Nigerians continue to present fake results when travelling outside the shores of this country. This remains a major source of concern to the Federal Government. The PTF has directed private laboratories to immediately put in place measures to validate results and ensure that all passengers are registered on the travel portal before samples are processed to stop this activity. The National Coordinator will elaborate on this during this briefing.
11. The PTF is aware that the world is at a critical phase of infections. We are constantly reviewing our strategy to emerging situations especially in risk communication, vaccine hesitancy, fake news/disinformation.
12. We call on the general public to remain focused on the drive to reduce the level of infection and make our Country safe again. We urge the Sub-Nationals to enforce relevant measures that will help to curb the effect of this virus on our lives and livelihood. …………………..
PRESS BRIEFING BY THE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE HON. MINISTER OF STATE FOR HEALTH, DR. (SENATOR) OLORUNNIMBE MAMORA AT THE PRESIDENTIAL TASK ON COVID -19 PRESS BRIEFING ON THURSDAY 7TH JANUARY, 2021. PROTOCOL As of yesterday 6th January, 2021 New cases recorded were 1,354 with 1 death recorded unfortunately. Total number of cases tested is 1,004,915. Number of confirmed cases is 94,369. Active cases stand at 15,764. Discharged cases till date are 77,299. Number of deaths till date is 1,324 with case fatality rate of 1.4% 2. The Federal Government is determined to ensure morbidity due to covid -19 is reduced to the barest minimum while improving on the fatality rate. Appropriate measures are being taken to achieve these objectives. 3. A second phase assessment of our isolation/treatment centres country-wide to verify challenges is to be carried out immediately. This is to enable us provide appropriate intervention measures required to strengthen these centres. 4. We are not unmindful of our obligations to our health workers particularly those in the frontline. We appreciate them and urge Nigerians to encourage them in this challenging pandemic situation so that they can continue to give their best. 5. We are working very hard to get vaccines for our people. It may not come soon enough, therefore we need to be alive to get the vaccines when they come. I have brought this up to under score the importance of compliance with non-pharmaceutical measures as advised to reduce transmissibility of the virus. 6. We continue to appeal to States to increase testing and contact tracing. The cooperation of the States with the Federal authorities is critical to our collective objective of defeating COVID-19.

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UNICEF, WHO rally support for breastfeeding

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The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the  World Health Organisation (WHO) say that they are rallying supports for breastfeeding as the first pathway to preserving a  healthier planet.

The Nutritional Officer of  UNICEF in Ebonyi, Mr Cyprain Ogbonna,  gave the encouragement to people on Saturday in Abakaliki during an event to mark the starting of the  2020 celebration of World Breastfeeding week.

The theme of the World Breastfeeding Week 2020 is “Support breastfeeding for a healthier planet”.

The event is marked every year between Aug. 1 and  Aug. 7 to raise awareness on the importance of breastfeeding for mothers and infants.

Ogbonna said that adequate breastfeeding had, over the years , prevented several childhood diseases and brought  lifelong positive benefits associated with child spacing.

He said  that other benefits include: risk reduction for some breast and ovarian cancers as well as hypertension.

He described breast milk as a nature-given-first food that needed to be preserved for its undebatable benefits to a mother and her baby.

He added that the milk was a critical part of a sustainable food system.

He said that it would be best to start breastfeeding within one hour of birth and exclusively done for the  first six months of life, after which mothers should introduce  appropriate complementary foods to her baby for  two years and beyond.

He  stated that misuse of breast milk substitutes should be condemned.

He advised that breastfeeding should be maintained, but hygienically done during this COVID-19 pandemic.

Ogbonna said: “Mothers are recommended to breastfeed their child or children within 30 minutes of birth.

“While mothers doing exclusive breastfeeds go for the first six months of life.

“Also mother or caregiver timely introduces complementary feeding based on local food products at six months while continuing breastfeeding up to two years and beyond,” he said.

Also, the Nutrition Manager of UNICEF in Enugu, Hanifa Namusoke, said that she had championed the cause in Ebonyi to increase the valve and improve the well being of mother and child.

Namusoke said in line with the theme, WHO and UNICEF called on governments to protect and promote a critical component of breastfeeding support.

“Breast milk is complete for a healthier planet and that is why WHO and UNICEF recommend optimal infant and young child feeding practices with emphasis on early initiation of breastfeeding within one hour of birth,” Namusoke said.

NAN

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Covid-19: FCT Minister tasks health professionals on synergy

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The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, on Friday enjoined all health professionals to collaborate with each other to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bello gave the advice when a delegation from the FCT Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) paid a courtesy call on him in Abuja.

He noted that the successes recorded in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic was largely due to the synergy between the various health professionals in the FCT.

Bello, therefore, urged them to continue to function as a unified team in the fight against COVID-19.

The minister commended the good works of all the health workers in the FCT especially for their efforts at combating the Coronavirus disease.

He pledged that the FCT Administration would continue to partner with the PSN as a large number of its members are staff of the FCTA who are also involved in the fight against the COVID-19.

Bello urged the PSN to forge a robust relationship with the National Drug Law enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in order to reduce the menace of drug abuse among residents of the territory.

Earlier, Chairman of the FCT PSN, Mr Jelili Kilani, commended the FCTA for the support it has always rendered to the association.

Kilani emphasised the need for greater collaboration between the PSN and the FCTA.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the PSN used the visit to donates Personal Protective Equipments, First Aid materials and hand hygiene products to the FCTA.

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