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Access Bank Reassures Commitment To Fight Malaria In Sub-Sahara

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Leading financial institution, Access Bank Plc, has reiterated the call to eradicate malaria in the sub-Saharan African region, a bold step the financial institution has taken in recent time.

In as much as malaria eradication isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when one imagines an established brand like Access Bank throwing its weight behind the eradication of the scourge, then much needs to be desired.

Then what comes to mind are the words of American philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson making the connection between health and wealth centuries ago, resonating with a financial institution in the mould of Access Bank appreciating the all-encompassing importance of a healthy growing population.

From the socio-economic to the political, every aspect of living is affected by good health – or the lack of it – and is for this reason that Access Bank under the leadership of Herbert Wigwe has risen to the challenge of eradicating Malaria, a disease that mostly threatens the health conditions of sub-Saharan Africa.

According to the World Health Organization, the African region carries an excessively high share of the global malaria burden. In 2018 alone, the region was home to 93 percent of malaria cases and 94percent of malaria deaths.

The report revealed that Nigeria is one of the most affected country on earth, contributing about 25 percent to the global malaria cases despite the fact that malaria, a disease caused by the plasmodium parasite is both preventable and curable. Children under five years of age are the most exposed age group. Other vulnerable categories of people include infants, pregnant women and people who are immune-compromised.

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Total funding for malaria control and elimination reached an estimated US$ 2.7 billion in 2018, with contributions from governments of endemic countries amounting to US$ 900 million. Access Bank without a doubt has made a dent in these figures through its landmark partnership with the Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria. This unique collaboration, called the Malaria-to-Zero Initiative is an innovative financing platform that aims to galvanize private sector resources and capabilities for sustained support towards averting at least 1 million malaria cases and deaths. This program has been an important first step towards complimenting government’s effort in achieving its malaria pre-elimination goals.

Since inception, an estimated 273,000 people have been reached, many for the first time in rural communities of Nigeria, not just with testing and treatment, but with potentially life-saving information that has been put in place to prevent the occurrence of malaria. 357 community groups have been empowered and engaged with the technical capacity to roll out useful community interventions.

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Over 1 million people have been reached across the length and breadth of Nigeria with information, education, and communication materials. Social media has been a useful strategy and as such, over 6 million impressions have been made across several platforms.

Low hanging fruits will always remain easy to pluck but the Malaria-to-Zero Initiative has been just as interested in harder-to-reach communities with about 15 of these communities finally receiving intervention programs for the first time.

Malaria in pregnancy has been one of the most important contributions to malaria morbidities and mortalities, so the Malaria-to-Zero Initiative has been tactical as well, following the evidence and the data to provide almost 5,000 women with long-lasting insecticide-treated nets (LLINs). A notable increase in demand for malaria commodities (40%) has been recorded since the intervention kicked off. The data generated from the program has been instructive. If anything, it points to the effectiveness of structured impact-oriented approaches that can be monitored and evaluated through repeated focus group discussions. For example, so far, 90 percent of the recipients of the long-lasting insecticide-treated nets report that they have put them to appropriate use.

In 2018, GBC Health’s Corporate Alliance on Malaria in Africa alongside a consortium of partners including the Private Sector Malaria Prevention Project, PSMP at John Hopkins Center for Communication, UK Aid and the National Malaria Control Programme of the Ghana Health Services, conferred the ‘Innovation Award’ on Access Bank for the institution’s active role in combating malaria on the continent. Reacting to the honor, the Bank’s Head of Sustainability, Omobolanle Victor-Laniyan highlighted the importance of cross-sector collaborations in eradication efforts and expressed intentions of Access Bank to intensify its effort.

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“The only way to end or at least reduce the prevalence of malaria is by organizing and strategically leveraging on the resources, capabilities and the proven expertise of private sector organizations. This is what Access Bank has been championing with the Malaria-to-Zero initiative,” she said.

According to the latest World Malaria Report released in December 2019, there were 228 million cases of malaria in 2018 compared to 231 million cases reported in 2017. This represents a decrease in about 3 million cases. The estimated number of malaria deaths stood at 405, 000 in 2018, compared with 416, 000 deaths in 2017.

It will be interesting to see what the numbers look like as Access Bank continues to champion intervention efforts. There is a template now and other institutions can plug into Access Bank’s lead.

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Lai Mohammed unhappy media is underreporting military success against bandits

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Lai Mohammed unhappy media is underreporting military success against bandits
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Lai Mohammed unhappy media is underreporting military success against bandits

Lai Mohammed says the military has already drastically reduced banditry.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has called on the media to give more attention to the military’s offensive against bandits in the northwest region.

Military operations against them have been stepped up in recent weeks, with the government shutting down telecommunications services in many parts of Zamfara, Katsina, and Sokoto to cut off the bandits’ information flow.

Mohammed said during a meeting with the Katsina State government on Tuesday, September 21, 2021 that the strategy is working, and has already drastically reduced banditry.

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Lai Mohammed unhappy media is underreporting military success against bandits

The minister however lamented that the government’s positive efforts have not received the kind of media attention given to the bandits.

“There is no doubt that the table is turning against the bandits, since Katsina and other affected states came up with a number of novel measures that got the bandits boxed in, and the military stepped up its kinetic approach,” he said.

The 69-year-old said the government’s success ‘should be trumpeted’ so as to encourage more states to adopt similar measures, and boost the morale of security agencies.

He said the government is very worried about the wave of violence in the northwest region, and expressed confidence the military will soon put an end to it.

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Reps to investigate exclusion of Rivers from World Bank loan benefits

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Reps to investigate exclusion of Rivers from World Bank loan benefits
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Reps to investigate exclusion of Rivers from World Bank loan benefits

House of Representatives on Wednesday called for investigation into the alleged exclusion of Rivers from projects to be financed by a fresh World Bank loan.

Solomon Bob (PDP-Rivers) had alleged in the house that Rivers is the only state that would not benefit from the loans.

He stated that the report, if true, rendered the Federal Government’s action as contrary to the spirit and letters of the 1999 Constitution.

He added that it would be discriminatory against the people of Rivers and capable of creating a sense of alienation, exclusion and discontent.

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Bob added that the house had a responsibility to ensure that the affairs of the federation were conducted in accordance with the Constitution and the law of equity and fairness.

This, he said, should be followed with an overriding responsibility to deploy its Constitutional powers to ensure compliance on the part of the Executive.

He added that Nigeria is a federation that professes equity, fairness and social justice and that there were several constitutional provisions prohibiting all forms of discrimination on the basis of partisan leaning, religion, place of origin or tribe.

Reps to investigate exclusion of Rivers from World Bank loan benefits

He said that some sections of the Constitution imposed a duty on the Federal Government to ensure equitable distribution of resources and projects across the federation.

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The consequently mandated its Committee on Aids, Loans and Debt Management to liaise with the office of the Adviser on National Assembly Matters to the President to ascertain the veracity of the allegation.

It also mandated the committee to revert in 14 days for further legislative action.

The house noted that if other states were listed, Rivers should be included to benefit from the projects to be executed with the fresh loan.

(NAN)

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Nemesis Is Coming On Those Attacking Me, Benue People – Gov Ortom

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Nemesis Is Coming On Those Attacking Me, Benue People - Gov Ortom
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Nemesis Is Coming On Those Attacking Me, Benue People – Gov Ortom

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has expressed optimism that those attacking him for voicing out the criminal activities of suspected Fulani herdsmen would one day face the nemesis of their actions.

In an interview with DAILY POST, the governor expressed hope that the Supreme God would vindicate him following the attacks he had suffered while defending his people, stressing that the day of reckoning is coming.

The Governor accused some political actors in the state of sabotaging the interest of the people just to remain as Minister or gain the position of a party’s national chairman.

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Nemesis Is Coming On Those Attacking Me, Benue People – Gov Ortom

He said, “I will say it’s well. God will help us. All these things they are doing; the day of reckoning is coming. I can assure you. All these injustices; all the things that I have suffered on behalf of my people; the day of reckoning will come for all these blackmailers who have come out now to cause confusion in Benue State.

“The same people had benefited immensely from our people who voted them, but they are now turning our state into IDPs camps.

“God will judge us. And because they want to be National Chairman, they want to remain as Ministers, they do press conferences, they insult the people and walk on their graves and across their dead bodies. The day of reckoning is coming. Watch my words! I serve the living God”.

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DAILY POST recalls that the governor had recently been in war of words with the presidency and the Minister of Special Duties and Inter-governmental Affairs, Senator George Akume over his calls on President Muhammadu Buhari to tackle the security situation in Benue and other parts of the country.

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