The Rivers State Ministry of Information and Communication welcome the team of Rivers Media For Health on the Courtesy/Advocacy Visit to the Honourable Commissioner of Information and Communication Rivers State (Pastor, Paulinus Nsirim), who recently celebrated his birthday. Ably represented by the Permanent Secretary (Mrs. Ibiwari Clapton Ogolo) with the presence of the Directors, DGs, GMs and Executives of the Ministry.
The Chairperson, Rivers Media For Health ( Mrs. Jenewari Utomi-Harry), in her remark, emphasized that as Professionals inaugurated by two Development Partners (The Challenge Initiative and DevCom); our aim as a Network is to amplify and enhance the visibility of the activities in the health sector as well as support and work with the State Government to achieve more. Some of the achievement of the Network was highlighted; more awareness, conversations, messages and features on Family Planning have increased in the State and over 300 Rivers Citizens have been vaccinated through the effort of the nework in collaboration with Rivers State Primary Health Care Management Board, including Roundtables with stakeholders, and the Secretary of the network (Tonye Dappa) added that Rivers Media For Health will appreciate Support from the Ministry including financial support to help the network embark on more projects in Partnership with the State Government. After, which proper introduction of the Executives.
Representing the Honourable Commissioner of Information and Commissioner (Mrs. Ibiwari Clapton Ogolo), commended the group for the Courtesy Visit and for there efforts in championing health advocacy in the State. One thing is clear, before now, the soot situation is getting worse, but the Governor is doing so much to bring it to haul and with the level of advocacy from this group it’s achievable. On behalf of the Commissioner, keep up the good work, the Ministry is fully in support.
THE SERMON: During the sermon at the January Central Healing Service with Pastor Isaac V. Olori (International Director of the ministry), at the Greater Evangelism World Crusade (GEWC) Headquarters in Port Harcourt. The Man of God called to remembrance the ministry’s year theme: “A Glorious Church”. Speaking on the topic “Strength in the Inner Man”, God’s servant emphasized that, for anyone to be part of the Glorious Church, you must possess inner strength, He took his text from Ephesians 3:16-20 (KJV). As a Man, you have two parts (Outer Man and Inner Man); Some of the strength of the Outer Man is based on the Strength of the Inner Man. Drawing example from the Bible character Samson who had no strength in the Inner Man. ‘’ For By strength shall no man prevail”. 1 Samuel 2:9. The Glorious Church is a function of the strength of you Inner Man, which works more with Faith. PURITY and POWER that’s what the Glorious Church represents. The Devil doesn’t respect any man or your activities and that’s why in all you do get the strength of the Inner Man. We must seek for the strength of Inner Man, because it’s what dislodges the Devil. Joseph was strong in the Inner Man and that’s the reason he prevailed in everything that challenged him. To be strengthened is to amplify your Inner Man to command a mighty power. Your strength is determined by what you carry inside, not the outside. As we are just counting the years, you will not have bankruptcy in the Inner Man. Ezekiel 43; To be flooded with the Supernatural Power of God. Those who have Inner strength do not have the strength to quarrel or fight. When Strength flows inside, it affects the outside. Victory is Sure for those with inner strength.
God exceeds our expectations and that’s our prayer this year. God’s capacity is far bigger than any problem(s) of man. We are the type that celebrates Victory over Problems…This year! The example of David and Goliath; Goliath had all the physical embodiment, but David came to him in the name of God of Israel and he got victory. When you carry strength inside, everything you decree becomes Law. You need prayer for the strength inside. Some of the indices of Inner Weaknesses are Lying, Cheating, Malice etc. One of the ways to re-kindle your inner strength is to study the word of God. As we celebrate our 50th Anniversary we will be embarking on “SOUL-WINNING”. Efforts and resources will be channelled to Soul-winning; Soul-Winning in Local, Zonal and District level. This Year we will be busy, but busy with winning souls. THIS ANNIVERSARY YEAR, IS A YEAR OF RELEASE, GRACE AND FULFILMENT!
AN INTERVIEW SESSION WITH THE INTERNATIONAL DIRECTOR OF GREATER EVANGELISM WORLD CRUSADE (Pastor. Isaac V. Olori): Question: This year 2022, we know you have a theme to start the year, as the Church of Jesus Christ, what should be our focus, what should be our disposition for the year 2022? Answer: As a Church, we are part of the body of Jesus Christ, our focus, which we are using as our theme is “The Glorious Church” and that’s specifically what the body of Christ should be, when Jesus said am coming for the Church, a Church that has no spot, knows no blemish is the mind of Christ and that is our focus this year, we want to build a Glorious Church, if you look at the Society, there are Churches all over the place, but the character of Christ is becoming more and more difficult to find, so we want raise people who will be like Christ, like the early church did, that’s our passion and vision for the Ministry and I think that should be the desire of any good church. Question: If we look around, with the advent of Corona Virus and different viruses, we are certain that many more viruses will come as the years progresses, what should be the disposition of Christians in this time? Answer: For us, the Bible says; that all things work together for good to them that love God, Corona virus physically may look like an evil thing, but even in scriptures you can see that God can use anything and for Christians, the disposition is to change, not to look at the viruses that are coming, it will keep coming and changing, but we should focus on, how to utilize the moment, in fact the virus has opened a world stage for any believer(s) today, you can see virtual meetings, virtual evangelism and ministration has become the in-thing, the people and captain of industries in the economy are utilizing them, they are cutting down on movement and utilizing the best of it, taking advantage of the virus. For the believer is not to stay and cry, because God’s protection for, you is sure. For us, it has opened a new page and we are focusing on reaching the world, that’s why our services are connected online and can be seen anywhere in the world, these are the positives and we should focus on the positives of the pandemic, instead of dwelling and crying on new viruses that will come. Question: The Greater Evangelism World Crusade will be 50 this year, and the Ministry in some way is re-launching, what are we looking forward to as we celebrate this year of Jubilee, will there be a twist or change, what should we expect? Answer: First, we will like to appreciate God for keeping us as a Ministry for 50 years, is not an easy feat, so many Ministries start and, in few years, they fizzle out, but for us, with all the challenges we’ve been through, with the attacks from the enemy, we survived and we are here for 50 years. There is slogan we say: “The Vision Lives On”. The re-launch as it were, some of the founding members have gone and to keep their memories and most of the people in the ministry now, do not know how it started, and it is important for them to know the foundation and understand and maintain the vision of the ministry. The more we are ageing the more the coming of Christ is drawing closer and people of today focus more on material things instead of the things that matters more to God. So, part of the re-launching is to carry the new generation to key into the spirit of the vision. We have done some re-structuring, but We will be doing quite a number of activities to celebrate the Anniversary like Crusades, outreaches, seminars, conferences, concerts to see how to reach out and revive the spirit of the vision. Question: What distinguishes this 50th Anniversary Celebration from every other events you have done in the past? Answer: Fifty in the scripture, is very significant, has spiritual significant, because 50 for a people, we talk about Golden Jubilee, because it marks a jubilee for a people, it marks a release and there are specific instructions the scripture gave, even in the Bible, during the time of Jubilee, if someone is owing, the person should be set free; so Jesus is our Jubilee today and we are reminding ourselves that we are into Jubilee and the significant is that, it is a year of release!
The Roundtable discussion between Rivers Media for Health and Religious Stakeholders held on 19 January, 2022 at the Rivers State Primary Healthcare Management Board, Waterlines, Port Harcourt.
The Roundtable discussion centred on the role of religious leaders in increasing COVID-19 vaccinations to achieve the goal of 50 percent coverage of the estimated population of eligible adults for the vaccination in Rivers State before the end of January 2022.
Present were Christian and Muslim leaders as well as the Permanent Secretary RSPHCMB, Dr. Agba Harry, other officers of RSPHCMB, TCi representative and members of Rivers Media for Health.
OBSERVATIONS: Participants present made the following observations:
1.That there is need for continuous awareness creation to educate and enlighten people about the reality of the Covid-19 pandemic in which Nigeria is in the 4th wave.
The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike was commended for showing good leadership as he was the first to take concrete steps to fight the spread of Covid-19 at the beginning of the pandemic by closing the borders of the State even before the Federal Government and other States took any action. They prayed him to continue with that zeal in the fight against the pandemic.
Although the State has the target of vaccinating 50% of the eligible adults in the estimated population of people in the State, less than 500,000 persons have been vaccinated with either the first, second and/or booster doses of both the Astrazeneca and Moderna vaccine since the vaccination exercise started in March 2021.
Myths, poor behavioural change by key stakeholders, campaign fatigue and ownership by religious leaders were identified as some major challenges of vaccination uptake.
Demonstration of Covid-19 vaccine acceptance by religious leaders was observed to be a major catalyst in making members of their various congregations accept taking the vaccine, with a significantly higher vaccine acceptance observed among the Muslim faithfuls in the State.
Continuous awareness creation with testimonials from people who have survived Covid-19 would be effective in dispelling doubts that Covid-19 is a scam and build trust in government’s efforts in checking the pandemic.
RESOLUTIONS: Based on various submissions during the discuss at the meeting, the following resolutions were made:
Religious leaders would continue to sensitise members of their congregations on the reality of the Covid-19 pandemic and encourage them to take the vaccines.
Religious leaders can invite and/or inform the RSPHCMB to send Covid-19 vaccination teams to their churches/mosques to vaccinate members who have not taken the vaccines.
Religious leaders should continue to maintain the non- pharmaceutical protocols in preventing the spread of Covid-19 by encouraging wearing of facemasks, physical distancing and handwashing among their congregations.
More critical stakeholders like traditional rulers, engaging Town criers in the education and sensitization efforts in the rural areas were also suggested
Efforts targeting the family unit with the right information about Covid-19 was suggested to help dispel the myths and misconceptions they hold about Covid-19 and the vaccination, as that is the fundamental place where decisions are taken to either accept or reject vaccination.
Karina Igonikon Smith Nwokocha Members of the Communique Drafting Committee
Pro – Environmental Pressure Group, *ActionAgainstSootInTheNigerDelta* has taken her Advocacy to the Rivers State House Of Assembly.
Led by Mrs. Stephanie Ekpebulu Esq. and Mr. Benibo Daboye, they met with the State Assembly Committee Chairman on Environment, *Hon. Barr. Dumle Maol,* at his office in the Assembly Complex, Port Harcourt.
They stated the position of the *ActionAgainstSootInTheNigerDelta.* Speaking, Stephanie stressed that the Environment and Health risks now and the threat of the future can not be overstated, pointing out that the SOOT is a harm to all.
She noted that with the current awareness and crack on illegal refinery of stolen crude oil by the State government, all hands must be on deck to bring a total end to the cause of the SOOT. She added that *ActionAgainstSootInTheNigerDelta* is of the conviction that a strong policy and multifaceted approach will go a long way to save us from the SOOT.
In the meantime, *Hon. Barr. Dumle Maol* has stated that what is needed to bring an end to the SOOT is a United front and concerted efforts not blame game. The lawmaker representing Gokhana Constituency said “Actually it is not about blame game, it’s about a United front and concerted effort. If it is about blame game, I am going to accuse the *Federal government and the International Oil and Gas Companies (IOCs).* We are also aware that security personnel aid in these things, the oil companies some of them have their pipes as old as the 50s.”
He regretted that people have allowed themselves to be used in hurting themselves and the environment “The sad thing is the young man on ground doing the kpofire may not be aware of the risks or dangers therein.” They must hear, they are human beings but they Must stop for all of us. it Must be stopped!”
He further explained that Members of the State Assembly are all affected by the SOOT and have made moves to the effect. “The Rivers State House of Assemble made the first resolution in 2016, The leadership of house and members confronted the Police and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) few days ago in their office and they gave us their word, a working committee is on ground as we speak and we will be visiting the Local Government Areas (LGAs).
Expressing the need for Health Safety the *ActionAgainstSootInTheNigerDelta* presented a Facemask branded *”SAVE US FROM SOOT”* to the Member of Parliament.
The Rivers State Primary Health Care Board in Partnership with Rivers Media For Health and Family Planning, embarked on a Covid-19 Vaccination exercise at the popular Mile 3 Park in Port Harcourt to get citizens vaccinated and stay protected against the virus.
It was a massive turn up from citizens, Market men and women in the Park responded and were vaccinated in their numbers.
Some of the remarks and feedbacks from those vaccinated was something that encouraged their fellow business persons, Including passers-by to join in for vaccination.
One Philip Nnamdi, a businessman at Mile 3 Park, after taken the second dose of Covid-19 Vaccine, he said, all the myths he heard about Covid-19 Vaccine is not true, at least he has taken it and he is very much alive and strong. Therefore, he encourages members of the public to go in for it and be protected against Covid. Other testimonials from others that were vacinnated, were positive.
Total number of Citizens mobilized are 122. Total number of Citizens immunized are 72. Total number of Males are 44, while total number of Females are 28.
The Chairperson, of Rivers Media For Health and Family Planning, Mrs Jenewari Utomi-Harry was impressed with the outcome of the Mobilization exercise and commended the efforts of the Media team as well the Vaccination aids.
*WAR AGAINST SOOT (CARBON BLACK)* *Together we can WIN the Soot battle.*
*ActionAgainstSootInTheNigerDelta* commends the *Governor of Rivers State, His Excellency, Chief Barr. Nyesom Ezenwo Wike,* for walking the talk.
Recall that on New Year’s Day (January 1, 2022) the Governor declared war against Soot in the State, what many thought would be mere rhetoric. A week later, precisely Sunday January 9, 2022 the action of his words were evident to the great people of Rivers State.
The government’s effort and achievements in a relatively short period of time deserves standing ovation from everyone in Rivers State for the following reasons:
1. It is for our collective interest as against the selfish interest of few.
2. Like the coronavirus pandemic, soot has threatened our very existence for the past six years and counting.
3. Soot is *obviously apolitical*
4. Data at our disposal clearly shows that soot is *life-threatening,* and more than 80% of people living in Rivers State have experienced it.
Our decisions as a society are *often times* based on evidence; as such, having gleaned useful data to aid our fight against soot, we offer to *work collaboratively* with the government and other relevant stakeholders in finding lasting solution to this menace by providing insights, relevant data and strategies to enable us transit from illegal refineries to legal – modular refineries.
Finally, *we accord* full credit to the E.N Wike led government in recognition of this feat; and as a pressure group, we hereby call on all *well-meaning* citizens to lend their voice and support to the government to enable us WIN the battle against Soot not only in Rivers State but the entire Niger Delta region.
We believe that one is good, two is better and a threefold cord cannot be easily broken. Action they say changes things. Let’s act now and save lives!
God bless Rivers State. God bless the Niger Delta. God bless Nigeria.
The ActionAgainstSootInTheNigerDelta applauds His Excellency, Chief Barr. Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, Executive Governor of Rivers State on his administration’s resolve to stamp out Soot (Carbon Black) ravaging the State as contained in his New Year’s Speech.
To us as a pressure group with professionals and people from all walks of life, we consider it a welcome development, particularly because the soot situation in the State has gone beyond mere rhetorics to taking action. Soot is not party-friendly; it is a slow killer, affecting both male and female, old and young. Everyone suffers from its damaging consequences – from heart and lung failure to bronchitis, persistent sneezing and coughing that comes out with blood particles and more. It should be on record that Soot (Carbon Black) is threatening our existence as a people.
However, as we reflect on the speech, we are enthused by this stride as the Executive Governor has expressed his concern and went further to empower all Local Government Area (LGA) Chairmen to ensure the discontinuation of illegal refining stations and activities in their respective domains.
In addition, we wish to passionately appeal to the government to distribute nose masks and the enforcement of wearing same in schools as an interim measure; not just for prevention of the spread of COVID but also against inhaling a large chunk of the soot particles by our children and teachers as they resume academic activities pending the outcome of His Excellency’s order to end illegal refining activities throughout the State.
At ActionAgainstSootInTheNigerDelta, we are desirous to bringing to an end the Soot menace in the State; and we frankly do hope that the government will go beyond words to taking visible, actionable steps in stamping out soot by ensuring compliance and enforcement of its directives to the LGA Chairmen.
Finally, while we await action of governments at all levels to finding a permanent solution to the ravaging effect of Soot in the region, we want to reassure residents that we shall not rest in this Fight Against Soot; we shall continue to close ranks with relevant authorities until the battle against Soot is won and the Air Quality Index is brought back to normal, 0-50 which is considered good for inhaling as against the current 151 – 200 PM2.5 – which is unhealthy.
Thank you .
God bless Rivers State, God bless the Niger Delta and Her People. God bless Nigeria.
By Smith Nwokocha of Port Harcourt Wakawaka Blog in an interview with the Communication Liaison officer of IHVN on World AIDS Day!
Questions 1. What is your name, can we meet you?
Wakdet Lawrence, Senior Programme Officer and Communication Liaison Officer, Institute of Human Virology Nigeria, Rivers State.
Questions 2. What is the theme for this year World AIDS Day?
END INEQUALITIES, END AIDS through sustainable financing
Questions 3. Is there a relationship between Family Planning and HIV/AIDS?ot directly. HIV/AIDS is a disease while FP or child spacing services are a health option provided for men and women of reproductive age to curb pregnancy or spread of disease. Nothing stops a PLHIV from using FP provided the type of FP offered, especially hormonal ones, do not interact or interfere with their anti-retroviral treatment.
Not directly. HIV/AIDS is a disease while FP or child spacing services are a health option provided for men and women of reproductive age to curb pregnancy or spread of disease. Nothing stops a PLHIV from using FP provided the type of FP offered, especially hormonal ones, do not interact or interfere with their anti-retroviral treatment.
Questions 4. Are there existing healthy preventive measures against HIV/AIDS and how can young people plug in? Abstinence remains the best option or delayed sexual debut for young people. But for those already sexually active, it is recommended to use the ABC. A for Abstinence. B for Behaviour Change. C for consistent and correct use of condoms. The emphasis is on correct and consistent use which enables people hold the tip of the rubber (allows for seminal collection) while rolling on the rubber on an erect penis.
Questions 5. The Institute of Virology, The Challenge Initiative, CHAI, Ministry of Health, UNFPA, UNICEF among others, what Practical steps has these Institutions made in respect of preventing HIV/AIDS for the good of the society?
IHVN has been in the forefront of HIV prevention, care and treatment for over 15 years. We provide testing services, care and support for adults, paediatirc as well as adolescents and vulnerable children. We conduct a lot of sensitization on radio, community outreaches like during the World AIDS Day and enable mothers attending ante-natal care to access pre and postnatal services that prevents the transmission of the virus to a health unborn child. That is the goal for a HIV-free generation: to place infected pregnant mothers on treatment and the baby on prophylaxis for 6 weeks after delivery. That way, the baby doesn’t get vertical transmission for the virus from mother to child. Again, IHVN with the support of the Government of Nigeria, Rivers State Government and our foreign partners or donors, we place all infected clients on Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy, HAART to achieve viral suppression and hence, stop the transmission of the virus to sexual partners. This is called the U=U which stands for Undetectable equals Untransmissible.
Questions 6. Final question, how does the rural dwellers benefit from all of these, because they seems to be less informed, owing to a lot of factors to access opportunities?
You know HIV and poverty have a lot of association, even though the virus doesn’t respect age, class, tribe or religion. Currently, community outreaches are going on daily in all nooks and crannies of Rivers State and other States we are providing services. We collaborate with the State Ministry of Health and the Primary Health Care Management Board in providing facility-based testing and treatment. So, most General Hospitals and Primary Health Care Centres provide testing and treatment which we provide.
We have indigenous staff working in the host communities who are able to speak the local dialect and are able to provide advocacy to community gatekeepers such as youth leaders or traditional leaders. That is usually the case before we gain access to the host communities, whether inland or in riverine or water-locked areas where they reside. In fact, we have combed almost every where in Rivers, even Bonny Islands where our presence is felt. We seem to be getting to saturation point as even the positive numbers seem to be reducing. It’s not yet uhuru but it seems we are getting to the level of epidemic control of the virus.
Rotary Club of Port Harcourt Eco on the 9-12-2021 organized a Conference in Partnership with NGOs and CSOs tagged “#StopTheSootConference in Rivers State @Horlikins Event Centre. Opening Remarks by the President, Rtrn Emem Bridget.
Different Stakeholders we’re involved in making this event happen. It is a process not just an event. Solutions will be discussed more . There must be a way we’re victims of Black Soots are brought together into the mix, so that no Stakeholders components will feel left out or threatened. This is not to adopt a security approach not a forced approach, but an Inclusive approach.
THE SOOT EPIDEMIC DYING BY INSTALLMENT by Engr. R. Tombari Sibe PhD, MNSE. We are talking about health situation here. We are dying slowly as a people in Rivers State .
A brief of an opening Peom: “Don’t soot me, I’m innocent, My Life matters more than Particulate Matter”.
So, what then is P.M? Particulate Matter is a complex mixture of liquid droplets, such as dust, soot, fumes, matter.
Some Potential Sources: Activities of Artisan Refineries. Activities of Heavy Industries.
Intervention Opportunities: Air Quality Monitoring Public Health Advisory Medical Outreach Environmental Clubs.
Recommendation: There should be 12 Air Quality Monitoring Centres. 6 Air Quality Monitoring Team. Regular public Health Advisory. There should be a Sustainable approach to Artisans Refineries.
What Can be done: Setup Air Quality Monitoring stations in strategic locations.
According to SDN , been involved in the issues of Soots.. “No area in Port Harcourt is as Safe as we thought, but the research shows that no area of Port Harcourt is safe. It was equally discovered that more Soots are found in Port Harcourt South (Borikiri) and Trans Amadi, because of the high bunkering and kpor fire activities, pollution is more, than any other area.
Government should make firm policies that should be enforceable. Generally, the Soots started from the fuse of Modular Refineries, but statistics and presentation so far, has it that, it is as a result of the accumulated burning Refineries that led to Soot outbreak.
The Federal Government is also involved in illegality, So the question is, “Can you use illegality to stop legality”.
Air treatment and Air Quality Monitoring Stations. While, we engage Government and other Stakeholders, we need to also engage the Communities.
THE BLACK SOOT PHENOMENON: CAUSES AND EFFECTS ON PUBLIC HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENT… By Dr. Ferdinand Giador… Black carbon and pollutants from incomplete combination. Consequences of delayed mitigation. Climate and Clean Air Coalition to reduce short-lived Climate pollutants. “Breathe Clean Air! Port Harcourt are you ready? Port Harcourt, we should aspire to breathe Clean Air.
HYPREP Rep: Emem… He said;. Engagement should move upward to policies Makers and Government. There should be enforcement of Law. More Advocacy. Continuos Monitoring (Air Quality Monitoring). Hydrocarbon substances should be disposed appropriately.
Dr. Dienye Briggs (Public Health Expert and an Activist). He has been part of #StopTheSoots campaign since 2017. The Kpor Fire Boys are providing solutions, but their activities are causing us a health situation. The position is that, we need to engage these boys and get them involved as Partners.
Gas Flaring and Artisan Refineries. Government sees gas flaring as a revenue generation.
The soot? It is a fine Particulate Matter from the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels (hydrocarbon).
Some Complications of Soots: Low birth weight Acute respiratory distress syndrome Congenital malformation.
PREVENTION: Provision of basic Social amenities such as constant power supply, well equipped hospitals etc. Government should empower Environmental Agencies. Stop Gas flaring and modify Artisan Refineries.
It was an amazing experience…
@Rotary Club of Port Harcourt Eco UN Environment Programme UNEP Major Group of Children & Youth UN Climate Change Climate Reality Đỗ An Thuyên Eco-network Sunrise Project 350.org 350.org 350 Africa World Health Organization (WHO) World Health Organization African Region Federal Ministry of Health Nigeria Rivers State Ministry of Health Rivers State Government.