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Childhood killer diseases: New Incentive sets to immunize 1.5 million infants in 2023

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Nasiru Yusuf

 

 

 

An International Non-governmental Organization, New Incentive – All Babies Are Equal, NI-ABAE has set a target to immunize about 1.5 million infants against childhood killer diseases in Nigeria in 2023.

KANO FOCUS The Group’s Stakeholders Relation Director, Nura Muhammad made this known while addressing newsmen shortly after it bi-annual joint stakeholders meeting with stakeholders from North East held in Kano.

Muhammad said it intend to expand and reach the infants within the 11 Northern states where it is implementing the program.

According to him, “NI-ABAE started in 2017 in Katsina, Zamfara and Jigawa States. In 2020, they expanded to Sokoto and Bauchi. Till date, the program has enrolled over 952,138 infants and disbursed over 2.36 billion in Conditional Cash Transfer to caregivers. An independent randomized control trial of NI-ABAE (2017 – 2020) found that the program increases the likelihood that children would be fully immunized by 27 per cent and increases rates of individual vaccinations by 14 to 21 per cent.

“Additionally, the research found that the program contributed to improved timeliness of vaccines as well as improved knowledge of and attitudes towards vaccines among caregivers.

“NI-ABAE encourages each round of vaccines included in nigeria’s routine Immunization schedule. Small cash incentives are distributed to beneficiaries during each of the six routine Immunization visits, conditional on infants receiving, BCG (Newborn), PENTA and PCV (6, 10 and 14 weeks) and MCV vaccines (9 and 15 months). Though these vaccines are the ones minimally required to receive the incentive, all vaccinations in the routine Immunization schedule are encouraged. The caregiver receives N500 for all visits except for the 9-month visit where the incentive is N2,000 upon receiving MCV 1.

“These vaccinations are provided at no cost to the caregivers through govt-supported clinics. The cash incentives help compensate for transportation cost, lost income, and waiting times while creating behavioural change through awareness creation on the benefits of Immunization.

“We create demand for routine immunization as well enlighten the caregivers on the importance of routine immunization in such a way that even when the conditional cash transfer is not there they will bring their infants to get vaccinated.

“So we are equally pushing for the states to ensure that they provide these vaccines so that when caregivers come they get their infants vaccinated.

“Currently, we are implementing in six states namely Katsina, Jigawa, Zamfara, Sokoto, Bauchi and Gombe. And we are planning to extend to Kano State between now and December. By the first quarter of next year, we will also extend the program to four more states of Kaduna, Adamawa Taraba and Kebbi. We want to be in 11 states which cut across North East and North West by mid next year. And to also enrol 1.5 million infants throughout the year,” the NI-ABAE Stakeholders Relation Director, Nura Muhammad however stated.

In attendance at the stakeholders meeting include Commissioner of Health, Permanent Secretaries of Ministry of Health, Executive Directors of State Primary Healthcare Centre Development Agency, among others.

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Centre lauds NCC Boss over reforms in communications sector

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

 

The Centre for International and Strategic Studies (CISS) has applauded the Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Dr Bosun Tijani and Aminu Maida, the CEO/EVC of the Nigeriansector Communications Commission (NCC) for reforming the sector.

KANO FOCUS reports that the Centre made this known in its assessment report of the communications sector under President Bola Tinubu.

In the report signed by Dr Thomas Uzah, the Centre hailed Dr Tijani and Maida for keying into President Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda with laudable initiatives and reforms.

The report commended the minister for convincing President Tinubu to sign four Executive Orders including the suspension of the five percent Exercise Tax on telecommunication services.

It also acknowledged the importance of the National Broadband Alliance for Nigeria (NBAN) in fostering collaboration for broadband development and adoption to position the country at the forefront of the global digital landscape.

“The administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is consolidating on these gains as part of his promised renewed hope,” the report said in part.

“His appointment of an experienced young Nigerian in the person of Bosun Tijani as Minister of Communication and Digital Economy has yielded fruits with the reforms introduced by the ministry since his assumption of duty.

“He got the President to sign an executive order to suspend multiple taxation that has stifled business in the sector. The administration has rolled out many initiatives that, if implemented diligently will turn things around in the communication sector.

“Efforts are in place in human capacity development with the training of young men and women in ICT while also improving internet accessibility for Nigerians. The reforms introduced under the auspices of Dr Dr Bosun Tijani if sustained will solve many of the problems witnessed in the sector. ”

The Centre, however, recommended that the NCC should revamp stakeholder engagement across the country.

It also urged the Federal Government to address the cost of doing business and invest massively in infrastructure, especially the power sector.

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NCC orders telecom operators to block SIMs without NIN

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

 

The Nigerian Communications Commission has reiterated its directive to telecom operators to bar telephone subscribers not linked to their National Identification Numbers on or before February 28, 2024.

KANO FOCUS reports that the Executive Vice Chairman, National Communication Commission, Dr Aminu Maida, spoke at the NCC’s Special Day during the ongoing 45th Kaduna International Trade Fair on Wednesday.

Maida who was represented by Reuben Mouka, NCC’s Director of Public Affairs, insisted that as a matter of critical national security, telecom consumers must link their NIN to their SIM.

He reaffirmed that the February 28th deadline given to telecom operators to bar subscribers who failed to link their NIN to SIM, stands.

“To this end, the National Communication Commission has directed all telecommunication operators to bar phone lines of subscribers whose lines are not linked to their NINs on or before February 28, 2024,” he added.

This, the executive vice chairman said, was apt as the theme resonated with the principles and objectives of the commission in promoting local content development in the telecom industry.

Maida also said the NCC was committed to protecting consumers’ rights while ensuring their satisfaction and noting that the commission has created a universally acceptable environment to access “affordable and equitable service and supports the nation’s economic growth.”

“As a regulator of the telecommunications sector in the country, the Commission carries out its functions to ensure service availability, affordability, and sustainability for all categories of consumers, who are leveraging on ICT/Telecoms to drive personal and business activities,” he said.

For instance, he continued that the Telecom Consumer Assistance, Resolution and Enquiries (TELCARE) Desk at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Internatonal Airport Abuja The TELCARE desk was set up to further provide an additional platform to make enquiries on customer issues, receive and facilitate the resolution of telecom consumer complaints.

He explained that by “working together, we can create a more vibrant telecommunications industry that contributes significantly to the economic recovery and growth.”

According to him, as of 2023, the telecoms industry’s contribution to the nation’s GDP stood at 13.5% (Source – Nigerian Gross Domestic Product Report November 2023-A publication of the National Bureau of Statistics.

“Conversely, as we promote economic growth through the development of local content, we must also address the challenges faced by consumers and NCC is committed to protecting their rights while ensuring their satisfaction.

The NCC boss, therefore urged telecom firms to prioritize customer satisfaction and uphold the highest standards of service delivery, noting that the commission has implemented measures to safeguard the interests of consumers and businesses alike.

One such measure, he said, was the NCC’s directive on May 17, 2023, that all licensed Mobile Network Operators commence implementation of approved Harmonised Short Codes for providing services to Nigerian telecom consumers.

“The new initiative is enabling consumers using the over 224 million active mobile telephone lines in Nigeria to use the same codes to access services across all networks,” he added.

Meanwhile, the NCC boss disclosed that as of 2023, the telecoms industry’s contribution to the nation’s GDP stood at 13.5 per cent, according to the Nigerian Gross Domestic Product Report November 2023 – A publication of the National Bureau of Statistics.

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Kano Assembly passes Public Health Security bill

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Kano-Assembly

Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

 

Kano State House of Assembly on Tuesday passed Public Health Security bill.

KANO FOCUS reports that the the bill was passed after extensive deliberations during the plenary, presided over by Speaker, Alhaji Jibril Ismail Falgore (NNPP-Rogo) in Kano.

After the deliberations, the lawmakers approved the third reading of the bill by the Clerk.

The assembly also commended development partners for their support toward the successful passage of the bill.

Kano State has become a trailblazer among Nigerian states by spearheading the bill as this crucial legislation is designed to fortify the state’s capabilities in preventing, detecting, responding to, recovering from, and preparing for epidemic diseases.

Initiated during the 9th Assembly, the bill garnered support from key partners such as the Foreign Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO Lafiya), Legislative Initiative for Sustainable Development (LISDEL) among others.

These organizations played a pivotal role in advocacy and hosting workshops for stakeholders and legislators, offering in-depth insights into the bill.

The Bill was sponsored by Musa Ali Kachako member representing Takai state constituency.

Following the workshops, the bill successfully passed its 1st reading but faced a hiatus due to time constraints and the subsequent closure of the 9th Assembly. As per legislative protocols, an unfinished bill in one assembly necessitates restarting the process in a new assembly.

Upon the inauguration of the 10th Assembly, supportive partners launched advocacies and follow-ups based on previous efforts. The members of the assembly, acknowledging the significant investments in the bill, embraced it.

The bill has progressed through the 1st, 2nd and 3rd readings, with a comprehensive retreat organized to scrutinize its contents, sections, and technicalities.

The document underwent meticulous review by a standing committee on health, generating a detailed report presented to the floor of the house and subsequently accepted.

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