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NDE trains 30 unemployed persons on environmental beautification in Imo



NDE trains 30 unemployed persons on environmental beautification in Imo

(Photo: Organisers and beneficiaries of a training on environmental beautification by the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) in Owerri, on Wednesday.)

The National Directorate of Employment (NDE) says it has begun the training of 30 unemployed persons on environmental beautification skills in Imo.

The Director-General of NDE, Mallam Abubakar Nuhu-Fikpo, disclosed this at the inauguration of the exercise in Owerri, on Wednesday.

Nuhu-Fikpo, represented by the Imo Coordinator of the NDE, Mrs Chisara Egwim-Chima, said the 30 trainees drawn from all 27 council areas of Imo, would undergo training for a period of three months.

He pointed out that the training, organised by the directorate’s Department of Special Public Works (SPW), was aimed at equipping unemployed persons with viable skills to enable them earn a living without necessarily waiting for white collar jobs.


He thanked President Bola Tinubu for continuing to use the NDE in the reduction of unemployment and urged beneficiaries to make the best use of the skills to be taught.

“ You are the fortunate few selected from among a pool of applicants and I congratulate you.

“My advice is that you show commitment to the training and listen to your trainers so that in turn, you will make excellent entrepreneurs and be able to further reduce the unemployment rate in Nigeria “, he said.

Speaking, Egwim-Chima, a lawyer, who was represented by Mrs Theresa Nwachukwu, an Assistant Director with the directorate, advised the trainees “to take the training serious, as a lot of money had been expended on the exercise”.

She also thanked the director of the SPW department, Mrs Roseline Olaomi, for her tireless efforts in promoting training programmes for Nigerians through the department.


Also, the directorate’s Head of Department, SPW in Imo, Mrs Kechikarere Anochiri, mentioned the skills to be taught to include soft and hard landscaping as well as Plaster of Paris (POP).

She added that the directorate would present the trainees with start-up packages at the end of the training period.

One of the trainees for hard landscaping, Mr Ebere Osuagwu, thanked the NDE for the opportunity and promised to make the best use of the skills learned.


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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