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NBF Sec-Gen. commends Tinubu on stand-alone ministry of sports



The Secretary General of Nigeria Boxing Federation (NBF), Dapo Akinyele, on Friday commended President Bola Tinubu for splitting the ministry of Youths and Sports Development.

Akinyele, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said this would enable John Enoh, newly appointed sports minister, focus on the growth of sports in the country.

“First, we thank the president for appointing a separate minister for Sports, this is a cheering news because it will allow for development we all crave for in sports.

“We also congratulate the new Minister of Sports, John Enoh, for the deserving position of serving the sports ministry.

“I believe that things will begin to run smoothly as the minister gets his hands full on the many tasks of handling the sports ministry.


“Now that we are going for the Olympics in Paris in less than a year, the sports minister will have his hands full of activities,” he said.

Akinyele pointed out that the sports budget before the ministry was split into two had been meagre because the funds had to be shared by two ministries.

“Before now, various sports have been starved of funds because we have to share funds with the Youths Affairs, which mostly take the lion share of the ministry’s budget.

“Sports under this new arrangement as an independent ministry will have the opportunity to present its own budget and defend it. We will now know what comes in to sports development and what goes out

“The minister of sports can now concentrate on sports development alone because there are may things to be done,” he said.


Akinyele cited the example of the NBF, which he noted needed more funds for it’s various grassroots developmental programmes.

“Boxing is one of the highlights in Nigerian sports circle in the past years, as we have once dominated the scene in boxing both locally and internationally.

“Nigeria has produced boxers of repute in the good old days, but we have seen our fortunes nosediv because of many factors, which include inadequate funding.

“The Boxing Federation has been receiving meagre funding, while the situation has greatly hampered our grassroots developmental programmes.

“Nigeria is not lacking when it comes to talents because we can find as many boxers as possible around, but we lack sports infrastructure to develop them,” he said.


Akinyele also called on private organisations to return to sponsorship of sports which was the order of the day before the lull.

“The private organisations should also come to the aid of the boxing federation because this has not been the situation in the past.

“Many years ago, boxing had received immense support and sponsorships from corporate organisations such as National Oil, Mobil Oil, Shell Oil Development and also some of the serving and retired generals.

“So, if we want boxing to return to its former glory, then, all hands must be on deck, we need more sports infrastructure to train our boxers

“We need equipment such as boxing ring, gloves, punching bags, a good gymn and others. We also want the state association to encourage more sports infrastructural development in their state as well,” he said.



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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