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Consider us for palliatives, PWDs in Ekiti appeal to Gov. Oyebanji



Some persons living with disabilities (PwDs) in Ikole-Ekiti on Tuesday appealed to the Ekiti State Governor, Mr Biodun Oyebanji, to make provisions for palliatives for them, to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal.

A cross section of the physically challenged individuals who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Oye-Ekiti said they were currently experiencing hardship and did not have money to buy foodstuffs.

One of the PWDS, Mr Sodiq Haruna lamented that the cost of living for him had become unbearable as he could no longer eat twice daily.

He said many residents who always gave him money to feed were no longer giving him because they hardly had enough for themselves.

Haruna appealed to the state governor, Mr Biodun Oyebanji, to assist the PWDs with palliatives especially with food items to enable them feed to be alive.
“ Honestly, this is the worst period of my life, I eat once in a day and hardly have N500 to buy food.


“Some of my friends are equally experiencing even worse hardship because they are blind and find it difficult to move around freely to find food to eat.

“ I just want to beg our governor to give us palliatives so that hunger will not kill disabled persons in Ekiti,” he appealed.

A visually impaired person, Mr Moses Godwin, said that he could not engage in any job because of his inability to see.

He appealed to both the local government councils and state government to consider the PWDs in the community for palliatives.

Another physically challenged/orthopedically disabled man, Mr Sola Ogunniyi, said the cost of food, drugs and transportation were no longer affordable for him.


He noted that the decision of the Federal Government to remove fuel subsidy was good but relief packages should have been, first of all, provided for the less privileged ones.

“As I speak to you, the cost of food has become too expensive for me to buy because as a shoemaker, I am currently experiencing low patronage as a result of lack of money.

” The decision by the Federal Government to remove fuel subsidy is a good development but some of us who are disabled need government financial support to fend for ourselves,” he said.

Ogunniyi appealed to Gov. Oyebanji to give priority to the welfare of persons with disabilities in Ekiti.

Similarly, Mr Godswill Ekemefuna, another physically challenged man, appealed to the state governor to approve palliatives for PWDs in the state.


He noted that they were the most vulnerable to the current challenges in the country and needed support from both the federal and states governments.


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



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.


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



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.


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.


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.


“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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