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Youth solicit world leaders support to tackle climate change



Youth solicit world leaders support to tackle climate change

The United Nations award-winning Nigerian, Noel Alumona, has urged world leaders to empower youths to address the issue of climate change ravaging the world.

Alumona, who is the founder of Boys Champions (BC), made the call while addressing United Nations Leaders and Youths on the topic “Climate Change and Youths Inclusion” to mark 2023 International Youth Day (IYD).

The address. posted on UN Web TV and Website, was obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Enugu.

The IYD is an annual event celebrated every Aug. 12, to raise awareness and drive actions on issues affecting youths globally, with 2023 theme being “Green Skills for Youth: Towards a Sustainable World”.

According to Alumona, the world faces interconnected crises emanating from climate changes, adding that the challenges could be turned into an opportunity if leaders empowered young people with green skills and gave them the opportunities to address the challenges.


He said young people understood the problems better because their future was at stake as they were poised, with the sustainability, eco-skills and technology to solve these problems.

“As we approach the halfway point to 2030, the urgency to uphold the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has never been greater and recommitting to the SDGs is our best roadmap out of them.

“Failing to act decisively will lead to irreparable damage to our planet and in Nigeria where I come from.

“We are constantly seeing the devastating effects of climate change, from increasing floods and droughts to coastal erosion.

“These changes are having a profound impact on the lives of people, especially women and children, and young persons with disabilities. This is almost the same globally but there is hope,”Alumona said.


He explained that voices and actions of the youths were crucial in pushing for global efforts to mitigate against and adapt to the challenges posed by climate change.

“As a youth myself, I represent the voices of all the hundreds of young people in this room, and the 1.2 billion young people globally.

“And I would like to say that climate change is a crucial battle for us as young people because its impacts will shape our future.

“As we hone these green skills, we require all the support from our leaders.We cannot do this on our own because we have the skills but we do not have the systems.

“We do not also have the finances. And I am glad that our leaders are listening to us here today.


“And I would like to tell them to prioritise young people, their skills and potential,” he advised.

Alumona noted that to navigate these complex global challenges, it was essential to recognise the unique perspectives, ideas, and energy that young people brought to the table.

According to him, youths are tired of sitting down to talk but demand actions by actively engaging in shaping the policies and initiatives that affect their future.

“You can tap into our creativity, innovation, and passion, ultimately fostering inclusive societies and sustainable world.

“Our programs at Boys Champions are focused on young people and as a result, we always employ several innovative methods to make their learning experiential.


“To achieve this, leaders can organise eco-friendly innovation competitions or challenges that encourage youths to come up with creative solutions to environmental problems.

“Changing the world alone is difficult and draining, but together we can make it happen.

Over 1,000 young people from 103 countries and leaders of the United Nations attended the event.

Through BC, Alumona continues to champion the cause to end Gender-Based Violence and other abuses against women in Nigeria.



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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