Connect with us


COVID-19: Those Who Paid For Others To Stay Alive



COVID-19-Those Who Paid For Others To Stay Alive

Embed YouTube Video as lead image:

Olushola Okunlade Writes

Africa is generally believed to have a poor health system that any deadly epidemic would easily defeat. It was almost given, when in late 2019 that COVID-19 broke out, that the world had seen a holocaust in Africa.

Though there was great concern that COVID-19 would overwhelm the global health facilities, the prediction for Africa was grim. The forecast did not come to pass; however, Africa is still having the least impact on COVID-19, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), despite not having the required resources and the vaccines.

Like they rose against the Ebola outbreak, medical and other health personnel in the Nigerian health sector have been the heroes who did everything possible for others to stay alive, including paying the supreme price to ensure that the pandemic did not consume everyone. Many Nigerians still remember Stella Ameyo, the doctor who prevented what would have been a catastrophe for Africa’s most populous country.

Adadevoh’s life came to a sudden end−she died on August 19, 2014− making the ultimate sacrifice for the whole country.

After putting Patrick Sawyer, the Liberian Diplomat who entered Nigeria with the deadly Ebola virus, in quarantine, she prevented a large-scale spread of the virus in Nigeria.

Healthcare workers are often at risk of exposure to infections, including COVID-19, as they are the first responders to patients. Although health workers were advised to use full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) before attending to patients, many still do not have access to this equipment. As a result, over 1000 health workers have tested positive for COVID-19 in Nigeria.

Osagie Ehanire, the Nigerian health minister, said as of June 2, 2020, at least 812 health workers have tested positive for COVID-19. As of July of the same year, over 10 000 health workers in 40 African countries have been infected with the COVID-19 virus, the World Health Organisation (WHO) disclosed.

In Nigeria alone, over 20 Nigerian doctors have died from complications arising from coronavirus in just one week.

The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), FCT, chapter Enema Amodu said the deceased health workers include consultants, professors, and some resident doctors. He said the figures keep increasing daily.

“For those of us in the health sector, we have lost quite a number of colleagues. Across the country, we have lost not less than 20 doctors in the last one week,” he said.

The deaths of these health care workers were a great loss to their families and, indeed, a loss to the health systems too.

Africa is still struggling with the lowest ratio of healthcare workers per population. It is estimated that the global shortage of healthcare workers will be most significant in Africa, with a shortage of around 6 million healthcare workers by 2030.

The pandemic also cost us progress on other public health priorities, including HIV/Aids, tuberculosis (TB), and malaria. Experts warn that the pandemic has effectively derailed years of public health progress.

But hope is not lost as the vaccination campaign continues. The goal is to get every eligible adult vaccinated, particularly health workers. The Nigerian Government is targeting 1 million health workers for vaccination in the first phase of its nationwide rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations that began in March 2021.

According to the World Health Organisation, only 27% of health workers in Africa have been fully vaccinated, leaving the majority exposed to severe Covid-19 infection. As a result, since March 2020, there have been more than 150 400 Covid-19 infections among healthcare workers alone.

The best way to fight the pandemic is by vaccines. Nigeria is not in short supply of it. To aid the vaccination drive in Africa, in November 2021, Mastercard Foundation, in partnership with Africa CDC, delivered over 3.3 million doses of Johnson and Johnson vaccines to Nigeria through its Saving Lives and Livelihoods initiative.

UNICEF Nigeria received the vaccines and has been responsible for the logistics and delivery to the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) for cold storage and distribution to vaccination centres.

Launched in June 2021, Saving Lives and Livelihoods is a $1.5 billion partnership that aims to enable vaccination for millions of people, develop a workforce for vaccine manufacturing, and strengthen the Africa CDC’s capacity to oversee a historic vaccination campaign and effectively respond to future outbreaks. The initiative aims to purchase and deliver at least 65 million vaccines to Africa.

According to the President and CEO of Mastercard Foundation, Reeta Roy, timely delivery of these vaccines underscores the effectiveness of the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust. Working with the Africa CDC and other organizations, the Foundation will support the rollout of vaccinations to millions across the Continent.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Sustainable Lifestyle; Panacea For Looming Food, Energy Crises



Sustainable Lifestyle; Panacea For Looming Food, Energy Crises

…as Rev Martins warns of environmental pollution consequences

Olushola Okunlade Writes

A case has been made for a sustainable lifestyle to stem the looming food and energy crises that may arise from the current climate change occasioned by environmental pollution and general mismanagement.

This is the submission at a one-day conference in Lagos on the Preservation of the Environment, themed “Journeying and Listening Together: Energy Crisis and Sustainable Lifestyle for Church and State” which was organized by the Ecology Work Group of the Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos.

Speakers one after another decried the abuse of the environment by man and the inherent danger to the man’s well-being and the society at large.

Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev. Alfred Adewole Martins kicked off the discussion when he lamented that many activities of man have given rise to climate change the consequences of which are now staring the society in the face.

Sustainable Lifestyle; Panacea For Looming Food, Energy Crises
Left-Right: Rev. Anthony Obanla, Chancellor Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos; Dr. Alfred Adewale Martins, Archbishop of Lagos; Prof. Akin Abayomi, Commissioner for Health, Lagos state; Dame Marie Fatayi-Williams, Coordinator, Ecology Group and Rev Fr, Julius Olaitan, Dean, Lagos Island Deanery at the Ecology Workgroup of Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos’ Conference on Energy Crisis and Sustainable Lifestyle.

He stated that the climate change has manifested itself in varied and unprecedented ways such as heat waves that have led to the uncontrolled forest fires devastating huge swathes of land; progressing desertification; rising sea levels leading to the destructive floods and landslides; chemical and technological pollution leading to depletion of biodiversity and destruction of the ecosystem.

“We are faced with the results of our collective and individual lifestyles and habits that lead to depletion of species of animals and plants and the pollution of the earth, turning it into what the Pope calls a pile of filth”, the clergy noted.

Sustainable Lifestyle; Panacea For Looming Food, Energy Crises
Left-Right: Dr. Alfred Adewale Martins, Archbishop of Lagos; Prof. Akin Abayomi, Commissioner for Health, Lagos state and Dame Marie Fatayi-Williams, Coordinator, Ecology Work Group, Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos.

According to him, the conference was the church’s response to the call by Pope Francis some seven years ago when he released his encyclical LAUDATO SI translated to Care for our home. “the document centered on the care for the earth, our common home, environmental pollution challenges and the persistent poverty facing the world.”

Regrettably, Rev. Martins said as the Covid-19 pandemic begins to alleviate, the world is faced with other crises which have local and global dimensions, i.e the energy crisis and the looming food crisis, the impact of which would be huge and unimaginable if necessary steps are not taken and quickly too.

“Should we as a church not be concerned? Should we as a people not worry? We should all be and that is why I hope this conference will provide the platform for strategizing together on what must be done in order to heed the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor”, he stressed.

In his paper titled “Global Energy and Environmental Crisis”, Prof. Akin Abayomi, the Lagos State Commissioner of Health, who is the Guest Speaker said the energy crisis around the world has led to a concern that the world’s demands on the limited natural resources that are used to power industrial society are diminishing as the demand rises.

The environmental and economic effects of the situation, he highlighted are the increase in the energy and electricity costs with gas prices rising by about 47%; an increase in the cost of doing business; unemployment; global warming, etc.

Prof Abayomi then listed as mitigating equity and global stability, factors such as Overpopulation; War and attacks; wastage; aging energy infrastructure; inequitable over consumption, and unexplored renewable energy.

While calling for joint action in Africa, he disclosed that Africa contributes 4% of the global carbon dioxide yet is most affected by climate change as half of every 10 countries affected by extreme weather in 2019 are from Africa.

He said the rising cost of energy is driving the use of alternative energy and that Africa is in a terrible situation as 90 per cent of the WestAfrica forest cover has been lost in the last 100 years and Nigeria alone loses 350,000 hectares to destruction yearly.

Buttressing the need for urgent lifestyle changes in the environment is a concern, Prof Abayomi said Lagos is one of the six world cities that are heavily polluted through air pollution, Water pollution, and exposure to lead. He mentioned other cities like Los Angeles, New Delhi, Beijing, London, and Santiago.

To address the environmental challenges, he disclosed that Lagos is committed to improving air quality and that should Lagos achieve the target set by the World Health Organisation (WHO), it could prevent 2,800 deaths and 155,000 hospitalizations, reduce 2,300 asthma incidences and save up to $2.3billion annually.

Prescribing solutions to the environmental challenges, he urged the church to be actively involved and use the pulpit to drive advocacy on the need for a sustainable lifestyle. The church he advised should go practical and preach a sustainable lifestyle; going green, reforestation, and preservation of life.

Contributing to the discussion, Dean, Lagos Island Deanery, Rev Father Julius Olaitan, pointed out that there was the need for a dialogue with nature and dialogue with man to resolve the crisis in the environment.

He said there is the need to bring the entire human family together for enlightenment and to see a sustainable lifestyle. Drawing from his experience as parish priest, Rev Olaitan enumerated steps they had taken as a church to reconcile with the environment. Such steps he listed as “Conserving the energy; Use of energy-saving equipment; good maintenance culture; control of scavengers who litter the environment; Reduce reuse and Recycle because concern for the environment is also a concern for life.

In her remark of welcome earlier, Dame Marie Fatayi-Williams, the Coordinator of the Ecology Work Group, gave the rationale behind the conference as part of the efforts of the group to encourage and promote an environmental-friendly lifestyle.

She said the Conference would also help aggregate steps to and mode of execution of activities that will promote healthy living with the environment which apart from human needs is also an instruction from God who is the creator of the earth and the man that lives on the earth.  

Continue Reading


Nestlé Trains Over 1,000 Children On Sustainability



Nestlé Trains Over 1,000 Children On Sustainability

Nestlé Nigeria is committed to driving more sustainability awareness to help protect the planet for future generations

Olushola Okunlade Writes

Nestlé Nigeria is helping over 1,000 children, beneficiaries of the Nestlé for Healthier Kids (N4HK) program in six primary schools in Ogun State and the FCT to imbibe a sustainability mindset at an early age.

In collaboration with the International Climate Change Development Initiative (ICCDI), Nestlé Nigeria is training the primary five learners on a more sustainable approach to managing and recycling the waste in a bid to enable them to become better stewards of the planet.

This is one of the initiatives to support the company’s ambition of ensuring that none of its packaging, including plastics, ends up in landfills as litter, or in waterways, rivers, or oceans.

Nestlé Trains Over 1,000 Children On Sustainability
Left-Right: An ongoing session at the kick-off of the Sustainability training at Methodist Primary School 2, Ago-Oko, Abeokuta, Ogun State.
Nestlé Trains Over 1,000 Children On Sustainability
Left-Right: Mr. Akinsolu Martins, Director, Quality Assurance and Teacher Development, Ogun State Ministry of Education, Science and Technology Mrs. Ronke Soyombo, Special Adviser to the Ogun State Governor on Primary and Secondary Education Mrs. Edidiong Peters, Public Affairs Specialist, Nestlé Nigeria PLC Mr. Olalekan Kuye, Executive Secretary, Ogun State Universal Basic Education Board Mr. David Solarin, Director, Water Regulatory Enforcement and Advocacy, Ogun State Ministry of Environment With some learners at the kick-off of the Sustainability training at Methodist Primary School 2, Ago-Oko, Abeokuta, Ogun State.

In a statement announcing the kick-off of the training at Methodist Primary School 2, Ago-Oko, Abeokuta, Ogun State, the Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Manager of Nestlé Nigeria PLC, Victoria Uwadoka said, “Nestlé Nigeria is committed to driving more sustainability awareness to help protect the planet for future generations as embedded within our purpose at Nestlé. Therefore, we are delighted with the collaboration of all stakeholders, including the Ogun State Ministry of Environment, Ogun State Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Ogun State Universal Basic Education Board, and the Special Adviser to Governor on Education on this shared objective.”

“As multiple research has proven, habits imbibed early in life are more likely to remain with us into the future. Therefore, training children on the importance of protecting our the environment is a strong contribution towards ensuring more responsible management of post-consumption waste as they grow, taking us closer to achieving a waste-free future.”

Elaborating on the objectives of the training, Mr. Olumide Idowu, founder of the International Climate Change Development Initiative said, “The sustainability training is designed to equip the children with the requisite knowledge and support, enabling them to take responsibility in school and at home. Everyone, including children, needs to be involved in this huge task of protecting the environment.”

The Chairman, Ogun State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) Dr. Femi Majekodunmi represented by the Board Secretary, Mr. Olalekan Kuye, commended Nestlé Nigeria for the laudable initiative aimed at enhancing sustainable environment-friendly practices within public primary schools in the state. He stated that training learners in waste management and recycling will ultimately contribute positively to a safe and hygienic environment.

In her comments, The Special Adviser to the Ogun State Governor on Primary and Secondary Education, Mrs. Ronke Soyombo appreciated Nestlé’s consistent contribution and investment in education within the state. She stated that the expected outcomes of the training are positive behavioral change to enhance environmental sustainability and in addition, the opportunity for learners to be upskilled in the conversion of waste to useful items.

About Nestlé Nigeria: Nestlé Nigeria is one of the largest food and beverage companies in Africa. For over 59 years, the company has been delighting consumers around Nigeria by consistently delivering high-quality nutritious food. With a staff strength of over 2,200 direct employees, 3 manufacturing sites, 7 branch offices, and a head office located in Lagos, the company produces and markets several iconic brands including NESTLÉ PURELIFE, GOLDEN MORN, MILO, MAGGI, and NESCAFÉ.

Nestlé’s purpose is to unlock the power of food to enhance the quality of life for everyone today and for generations to come.

Continue Reading


ABCHEALTH, UNAIDS Sign Partnership MOU For Improved Healthcare Industry In Africa



ABCHEALTH, UNAIDS Sign Partnership MOU For Improved Healthcare Industry In Africa

“Africa’s healthcare systems demand significant investments to meet the needs of their growing populations – Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede

Olushola Okunlade Writes

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the African Business Coalition for Health (ABCHealth) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to partner on joint initiatives that will improve access to quality healthcare across Africa.

The MoU was signed by Dr. Erasmus Morah, UNAIDS Country Director, and Dr. Mories Atoki, ABCHealth Chief Executive Officer on Thursday, May 5, 2022, in Lagos Nigeria. It covers the areas of cooperation that capture UNAIDS’ strategic priorities as articulated in its Global AIDS Strategy 2021-2026 as well as ABCHealth’s strategic priority of leveraging partnerships to drive sustainable development in Africa’s health space.

Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, Chairman of the African Business Coalition for Health and Founder and Chairman, Coronation Capital Limited, spoke about the partnership; “Africa’s healthcare systems demand significant investments to meet the needs of their growing populations, changing patterns of diseases, and the internationally agreed development goals. Governments alone cannot carry the burden; the continent’s private sector must play a role and for us to achieve significant impact, the actions must be cohesive. Our coalition of businesses will continue to foster strategic alliances like this to address the health challenges the continent currently faces.”

Speaking, Dr. Morah said; “I am delighted to sign this MoU between the UNAIDS Country Office for Nigeria and ABCHealth, to signify the growing partnership between our two organizations. We both share the common goal of playing a more enhanced role in Nigeria’s HIV and health sector response, accelerating equitable access to care, addressing institutional barriers to social justice, and mobilizing stakeholders in more fully resourcing for health. I eagerly look forward to using the opportunity of our new relationship to reduce inequalities that increase people’s vulnerability and put communities at the center of the response to HIV, including other health challenges such as COVID-19.” 

Zouera Youssoufou, Chief Executive Officer of Aliko Dangote Foundation and Board Director of ABCHealth spoke about the potential benefits of the partnership between ABCHealth and UNAIDS. She said, “Since inception, we have been building the coalition into a powerful force that can make a real impact by translating words into action. Africa’s health and healthcare industry need to be reformed and developed and Africa’s private sector must play its part; COVID-19 revealed this much. However, leaving this responsibility to governments alone is not realistic –ABCHealth provides a platform that responsible corporates, businesses, philanthropists, and development institutions can trust to support their commitment to transforming the continent’s health space.”

Dr. Mories Atoki, the Chief Executive Officer for ABCHealth concluded saying; “Africa’s health sector is about to experience a significant shift due to the increasing interest that critical stakeholders in both the private and public sectors are showing to enhance health outcomes and improve livelihoods. We, therefore, urge businesses who truly believe in the health and wealth of Africa to join our Coalition so that we can achieve the desired impact.”

Continue Reading