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FRSC to appeal court ruling restricting it to Federal Highways

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The Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Dauda Biu says the Corps will file an appeal against a court ruling which restricted its operations to Federal Highways.

Biu said this in a statement by the Corps Public Education Officer, Assistant Corps Marshal Bisi Kareem, on Wednesday in Abuja.

The Court of Appeal sitting in Asaba, Delta, made the ruling in Appeal No. CA/AS/276/2019 filed against the FRSC by a lawyer, Darlington Ugo-Ehikim.

The appellate court on Monday affirmed the judgment of the Federal High Court, which held that the FRSC can only operate on Federal roads.

It dismissed the appeal filed by FRSC challenging the judgment of Justice E. Nwite of the Federal High Court, Warri.

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The High Court on Jan. 25, 2019 entered judgement in favour of the Plaintiff, who is a member of the Nigeria Bar Association, Warri branch.

The court also granted all the reliefs sought by Ugo-Ehikim, which include a declaration that the FRSC has no right to operate and/or carry any activity on State and Local Government roads.

The trial court also issued restraining orders against the Commission from operating on roads other than federal highways and also awarded N10m cost against the FRSC

Biu said, “we are aware of the judgement of the Court of Appeal Asaba Judicial Division from the briefing received from our Legal Representatives.

“However, as at the moment, we are yet to obtain a Certified True Copy of the judgement.

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“As soon as we obtain same, we would take time to look at the judgement and make an informed decision on it. Until then, we urge the public to remain calm.”

The Corps Marshal said that the implication of the judgement as reported in the media, was that FRSC personnel would not be able to attend to or rescue crash victims on roads other than federal roads.

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Diphtheria: Children at risk as 7,202 cases are confirmed in Nigeria

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A staggering 7,202 cases of diphtheria, a highly contagious bacterial infection that can be fatal without treatment, were confirmed in Nigeria last week.

The outbreak has been particularly severe among children under 14, with three-quarters of cases (73.6%) in this age group.

Most cases have been recorded in Kano state, Nigeria’s second most populous state. In the past three months, there have been 453 deaths from diphtheria in Nigeria.

Diphtheria is a vaccine-preventable disease, but low vaccination rates in Nigeria have made the outbreak possible. Only 42% of children under 15 in Nigeria are fully protected from diphtheria.

Diphtheria symptoms begin with a sore throat and fever. In severe cases, the bacteria produce a toxin that can block the airway, causing difficulty breathing and swallowing. The toxin can also spread to other body parts, causing heart kidney problems and nerve damage.

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Save the Children is launching a wide-scale health response in the three most impacted states of Kano, Yobe, and Katsina. The organization is deploying expert health and supply chain staff to help overstretched clinics detect and treat diphtheria cases and to support mass vaccination campaigns.

However, Save the Children warns that a mass vaccination campaign will only be successful if the vaccine shortage is urgently addressed.

Severe shortages in Nigeria of the required vaccine and the antitoxin needed to treat the disease mean that the situation could continue to escalate, placing many children at risk of severe illness and death.

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WHO releases $16m to tackle cholera, says Director-General

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) has released 16 million dollars from the WHO Contingency Fund for Emergencies to tackle cholera.

Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General said this during an online news conference.

Ghebreyesus said that the organisation was providing essential supplies, coordinating the on the ground response with partners, supporting countries to detect, prevent and treat cholera, and informing people how to protect themselves.

“To support this work, we have appealed for 160 million dollars, and we have released more than 16 million dollars from the WHO Contingency Fund for Emergencies.

“But the real solution to cholera lies in ensuring everyone has access to safe water and sanitation, which is an internationally recognized human right,” he said.

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According to him, in the previous week, WHO published new data showing that cases reported in 2022 were more than double those in 2021.

He said that the preliminary data for 2023 suggested was likely to be even worse.

“So far, 28 countries have reported cases in 2023 compared with 16 during the same period in 2022.

“The countries with the most concerning outbreaks right now are Ethiopia, Haiti, Iraq and Sudan.

“Significant progress has been made in countries in Southern Africa, including Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, but these countries remain at risk as the rainy season approaches,” Ghebreyesus said.

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According to him, the worst affected countries and communities are poor, without access to safe drinking water or toilets.

He said that they also face shortages of oral cholera vaccine and other supplies, as well as overstretched health workers, who are dealing with multiple disease outbreaks and other health emergencies.

On COVID-19, Ghebreyesus said that as the northern hemisphere winter approaches, the organisation continued to see concerning trends.

He said that among the relatively few countries that report them, both hospitalisations and ICU admissions have increased in the past 28 days, particularly in the Americas and Europe.

WHO boss said that meanwhile, vaccination levels among the most at-risk groups remained worryingly low.

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“Two-thirds of the world’s population has received a complete primary series, but only one-third has received an additional, or “booster” dose.

“COVID-19 may no longer be the acute crisis it was two years ago, but that does not mean we can ignore it,” he said.

According to him, countries invested so much in building their systems to respond to COVID-19.

He urged countries to sustain those systems, to ensure people can be protected, tested and treated for COVID-19 and other infectious threats.

“That means sustaining systems for collaborative surveillance, community protection, safe and scalable care, access to countermeasures and coordination,” he said.

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