CLIMATE LEARDERSHIP FELLOWSHIP 2022 COHORT 2 (Motto: Galvanising Youth For Climate Action), this initiative is supported by Access Bank Plc, Glow Initiative For Economic Empowerment (GLEE) and Climate Smart Nigeria (CSN) and it has over 30 Climate Fellows selected in the Nigeria, that were involved in a 10-week Fellowship Programme, that started 30th May, 2022. In Rivers State, Smith Nwokocha (A Climate Leadership Fellow), after a virtual Expert training that lasted for weeks, and the Fellows are to teach secondary schools with an equipped toolkit; Smith championed the project (Adopt A School Project) for four weeks from 16th June to 14th July, 2022 across two schools (Government Comprehensive Secondary School and Woodville School, Port Harcourt).
In the first week, he started with a discussion on understanding what Climate Change is all about, the terminologies involved and the impact of Climate Change in Rivers State. In the following week, he discussed the need for Renewable Energy, the sources of Renewable Energy and the benefits of Solar Energy, then again, he talked about the Greenhouse Gases, Greenhouse Effect, the impact and importance, all in Week two. In week three, he focused on the 3R’s (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) and the benefits of reducing, reusing and recycling. At the final week, which is week four, he initiated the Green Club by adopting students as Green Ambassadors following the stated criteria in the curriculum by the Organizers and he coordinated a demonstration of Climate Campaign/rally within the school premises with a Climate Parachute.
It was a beautiful experience to behold. Engaging students, stimulating their interest and getting the schools becoming environmentally conscious. The Green Ambassadors have promised to plant trees, keep the school environment clean and initiate climate change related projects going forward under the supervision of Mr. Smith Nwokocha alongside the Head Teachers attached to the Green Ambassadors to ensure “The Adopt A School Project” becomes a reality and the schools to be part of it fully and make a continuous activity. Our reporter gathers that, at least over 50 students were part this project. However, it is worthy to note that, the Green Ambassadors will work together to find solutions for the emanating surge (the Black Soot) in Rivers State among other Climate Change issues.
Finally, similar and even more innovative approaches are been adopted by other fellows in Nigeria and beyond. The Climate Leadership Fellows and students alike are now better equipped in Climate matters. In appreciation, the Founder of this initiative, who is also the founder of Climate Smart Nigeria (CSN), Glory Oguegbu and her indefatigable team (Victoria Edeha-Anthony, Wilfred Okeke, Tola Oni, Emmanuel and others not mentioned), including GLEE and Access Bank, for working very hard to promote Climate Change Education in Nigeria through Climate Literacy Programme like this and in essence, provide capacity building on Renewable Energy Technologies.
THE INSIDE MAN Presents: “The Superior Man” 02 -05 – 2022 @ The Arena Event Center, 37 Tombia Street, New G.R.A, Phase 2, Port Harcourt. Introduction: Inside Man was birthed from the place of Mr. Patrick Uduma’s desire to celebrate his birthday with Men and identify the common struggles of Men to form a platform that helps Men to share their individual experiences in order to encourage and inspire and create a doable action that we all can benefit from. Vision: To re-awaken and foster the co-creation of a quality Man. Objectives: Re-parent, identify, own and express the Man in you. Benefits: Clarity, Wealth, Health, Network. Belief: I am the Superior Man. My Life’s lens is grounded in goodness that conditions my thought life superintending my believe life, ensuring a distinctive attitude in joy which produces excellent character required to manifest my intended life. TOPICS AND PANELISTS: Purpose Discovery– (Patrick Uduma) Entrepreneurs/Business- (Uche Onochie) Relationship– (Kenny Ajibade) Health- (Okoro Stephen) Leadership and Governance- (Osinachi Nwandem) Finance- (Kingsley Chukwujindu) The conference was moderated by Chinedu The Oracle and Jude Omabebe. of Nigeria Info Radio Port Harcourt.
OPENING REMARKS BY MR.PATRICK UDUMA: In his words, “I am so excited to be here, for the fact that is my birthday and I am celebrating it with Men!”. This Birthday is dedicated to Men..To be a Man in Nigeria, is a battered experience. Gone through tough times, as a Man, trek miles to go to school. Nobody will believe you to share your truth. Raised in the mud, but no longer in the mud, now in the midst of Marbles. Good-evening Superior Men, it is my pleasure to welcome all Men into the “INSIDE MAN”. The essence, is to proffer solutions across Men’s struggles. The INSIDE MAN CONFERENCE was awakened to foster and cheer a quality Man. Over four (4) years, building quality Men. We are here to re-define Success, because Success is not about Money. Men will be awakened and get back their strength. We are going to change certain belief system that are not delivery, we will evaluate such systems. Intentionally, avoid the following Four (4) things:
Fault Finding: Each time, we see something to complain, it destroys our intent.
Blaming: We blame our Parents and our Leaders for everything that goes wrong.
Complaining and Judging: If you are a Man here, you need an instructor. “Your progress is rooted on Instruction”. Are you doing Life, or Life is doing you? When you argue so much, Life is doing well and the reverse is also true.
“Your personal power has nothing to do with your person”: One of the signs of Great Men and Superior Men are Compassion and Empathy.
Things that can change you for good:
How a Man See: Your thought life is how you interact and connect.
Dwell in Goodness: That’s Mr. Patrick’s Belief System and that has changed how he does life. You can adopt yours…
We are Men with Community/Commitment.
Honesty; Value the time of others.
UCHE ONOCHIE (BUSINESS/ENTREPRENEURSHIP): Men are struggling: It’s an honour to Celebrate Men. “When you don’t succeed, you are irresponsible”. -Men are not used to crying- I have come as a voice of encouragement to tell you to go again. What is Business? What is Entrepreneurship? Who is an Entrepreneur? It takes a lot to do business and get it right. 90% of Start-Ups fail in the first 5 years, because of ignorance among others. A Business is a “going-concern” for profit or non-profit. Business is an entity. Entrepreneurship is the creation/extraction of value. The process of setting up a Business. You must have respect for your Business as a Personality of its own, otherwise, it will disrespect you. An Entrepreneur is an individual who creates a new business; He bears the risks and enjoy the rewards that comes afterward. Entrepreneurship is the oldest profession. The greatest tool an Entrepreneur needs is the gift of “Observation”. Understanding that there is a need or a problem to solve. Entrepreneurs are problem solvers. You invent, because there is a problem. If you don’t have an idea that is solving societal problem, don’t jump into business. Three Things Needed to Serve: a) Service Delivery: The risk comes from translating that idea into reality. Business is the vehicle that you need to bring those ideas to reality. Most of the Fortune 500 Companies started during recession…Microsoft etc. In Nigeria, we are in recession, this is the best time for Start-Ups to employ disruptive ideas to gain the Market-place. “When you see a Man that is Successful, you see a Man that has risked it all”. “Until you are ready to lose it all, you will not be able to gain it all”. Start a Business, young people, this is your time to explore. “Business is not an Assumption”. “Build your Business as if you want to sell it”. b) Start building Locally, but focus Globally. c) Build Systems that works: Get the right people in your Business. Don’t go and engage your brothers. Nobody kills Businesses like brothers. Begin to build systems and earn in Dollars ($). Earn in Dollars, no matter how small. There is a Blessing on the go. BARR. OSINACHI NWANDEM (LEADERSHIP/GOVERNANCE): Leadership and Governance, each time its discussed, we look at corruption. The solutions to Leadership and Governance starts with us, not the Politicians. Business issues like; Corruption, Lack of Accountability, Integrity Issues. Why do we discuss Leadership and Governance in an all-Men Conference? Governance are structures that enables Leadership. Governance is the Motto that drives Leadership. Leadership and Governance are geared by “Influence”. A Leader with “Influence” is able to change people’s thoughts, belief’s etc. Influence can be positive or negative, it is determined by the results. Traits of Positive Influence: Accountability, Transparency, Goodwill; where you exude positive influence, you gain “value”. “A Leaders influence is dependent on his persona”. Six (6) Posers for Success in Life/Business/Career: a) Your “Mission”? b) Do you have a “Vision”? c) What are your “Values”? d) Do you have the “Right People”? e) How is your “Environment”? f) How is your “Culture”? PANEL SESSION: Some inputs: “No system survives without an ideology”…. Uche Onochie “Your environment is in you, until you want to say No”…. Uche Onochie John Maxwell said: “Leadership is Influence”, what then is Influence? Influence is Service.. Mr. Patrick Uduma. “You don’t earn reputation by force, because reputation is outside of you”.. Mr. Patrick Uduma. “Influence means nurturing relationship”… Barr. Osinachi Nwandem. THE STORY OF OKON-CALABAR by Mr. Patrick Uduma: Okon-Calabar, is from the East, he knew exactly what he wanted, but have no resources to accomplish his dreams. When he got matured, and his Master was about to die, Okon-Calabar told him, he has part of the family all his life and can manage his Master’s resources and eventually became the Manager. Lesson from the Story: “If you have an idea, you can produce it through somebody and nurture it through”. Mr. Patrick Uduma. Uche Onochie’s thought on idea development: “Your idea has to go through a process. The process of writing. Anything you don’t write, dies out naturally. Write your ideas properly, it will help you know if it’s investment friendly and ready. Successful/Busy people do not have much time for spare”. Teach yourself how to write a Business Plan for an Investor…. Uche Onochie. “You need to build network…Wealth are built from that network”… Uche Onochie “You have to intentionally build loyalty, even among your peers”…. Mr. Patrick Uduma. Sharing risks means Partnership. TALENT DISPLAY: Saxophonist and then the mind blowing Combophonist. DR. STEPHEN OKORO (HEALTH): “I want you to treat yourself, the way you treat your car”. The reason is this, because the average life-span of a Nigerian is shortened daily and it’s about 50years. “The Man spends his youth pursuing Wealth and when hie is old, he spends his Wealth on his Health”. Health is not the mere absent of disease, but a state of physical, mental and social mental well-being. Every human-being is made up of body, soul and spirit. Wellness: it refers to the optimal physical ability to achieve your plans. Well-being: Has a more holistic aspect. It comprises so many aspects of the being. There are so many departments of the body, that helps it to function very well. Career health, financial health etc, all needs your attention. Self-Care: The ability to take care of yourself and this is the key to curb untimely death. Preventive Health: Take yourself to hospital when you are still strong, not otherwise.
PST. KINGSLEY CHUKWUJINDU (FINANCE): “Whoever says, Money cannot buy Happiness, do not know where to go shopping”. “We don’t have Wealthy Men in Nigeria; we have Rich Men”. Therefore, there are no Role Models in Nigeria. There are Fundamental differences between Wealth and Riches? “Wealth add value to Society”. “Riches destroys”. Few Thoughts:
Money is ignorant. Money is neutral.
Life is not just about Money. Life is about Purpose. Life is about Fulfilment.
Money is a Tool: and should be used in the service of Life. Money is just a Means. Relationship is Capital.
At the Core of the Quest for Money, is the Concept of Power.
You will either use Money or Money will use you.
Few Thoughts on Finance:
Earn and Spend (It’s what most people know about Money).
The Concepts of Finance: Creation of Wealth, Savings. No matter what you are paid, you can’t make your way to finance. For you to walk into your Financial Paradise, your one stream income will have turn to four/multiple streams of income. Finance is creation, savings and investment and you need some discipline to make it happen. The Fundamental difference between Wealth and Riches is “Knowledge”. The Power of Wealth: Ideation, Hard work, Wisdom, and Network to get Wealth. “There is no Prayer-Point for Money, Money is an Action-Point”. God does not add, He multiplies (In Money-Factor). “Pray like you don’t work and work like you don’t Pray”. Norman Vincent Pearl said: “Empty Pocket never held anyone back, empty head does”. “Don’t Pay for Experience, it’s too Expensive, instead Lease Experience”. “There is value in Failure…When you fail, you are guided, but when you become Successful, you become a Coach”. Few Thoughts: “Wealthy people invest, Poor people consume”. Every Money that comes to you should be a seed. “Investment starts with Knowledge”. “The Greatest Investment you can make is SERVICE”. PST. KENNY AJIBADE (RELATIONSHIP): We live in a century, where we don’t talk about Financial Capital again, but Relationship Capital. One of the most important skills, we need is “People’s Skill”. Do people think of you as an Asset or Liability? Life boils down to relationship. Know how to build and relate to people. “When you relate to people, be your BEST”. “It’s not Gift that makes People, is Relationships”. “Where you rise from, determines where you rise with”. 64% of the quality of Life is attached to your Home. “If she doesn’t Celebrate you, look for someone who does”. MARRY YOUR FRIEND! “Be very intentional about LOVE”. “One of the Greatest Wealth is RELATIONSHIP”. “ANGER is not wrong, but it is the mis-management of anger that is wrong”. “Be very intentional about your Relationship, Blind Love is killing people”. PANEL SESSION: “Without Vision, Purpose is Useless”. Pst. Kingsley Chukwujindu Save 20% of what you earn. Pst. Kingsley Chukwujindu In every Successful relationship, there is mutuality. Pst. Kenny Ajibade Marriage is not about satisfying me; it is about meeting each other’s needs. Pst. Kenny Ajibade. Love is Value. Without Mutuality, there is no Love. Self-Control is a rare virtue. Pst. Kenny Ajibade. Social well-being: Your ability to maintain healthy relationship. Live a Socially balance Life. Dr. Stephen Okoro. “Treat your In-Laws according to how you will treat your Parents”. Have a Budget Circle for your In-Laws. CLOSING REMARKS Mr. Patrick Uduma (The Convener), thanked everyone for being part of THE INSIDE MAN CONFERENCE and Awards where given to the Speakers.
VALIDATION OF ADOLESCENT YOUTH AND YOUNG PEOPLE HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENT (AYPHD) IMPLEMENTATION PLAN! DATE: 3RD FEBRUARY, 2022. VENUE: LANDMARK HOTEL, PORT HARCOURT TIME: 9:00AM PROGRESS REPORT: Opening prayer was taken by Smith Nwokocha and then, a general introduction of participating members, including all technical working group members. The first quarter of the meeting was moderated by Mrs. Edna Alete, while the meeting objective was read by Mrs. Uloma (Adolescent Desk Officer, RSPHCMB); which includes the following: Objectives of the Agenda:
To provide progress update on the AYPHD implementation plan.
To validate the State implementation Plan for AYPHD
To adopt the validated draft of the AYPHD Implementation Plan. and Progress update by Mrs. Wokoma Mbreba (Adolescent Desk Officer, RSMOH); National Policy on The Health and Development of Adolescents and Young people in Nigeria (2021 – 2022), was revised again and officially. Rivers State Policy Domestication Process: The Rivers State Ministry of Health (RMOH) in collaboration with various MDA’s and partners, commenced the process and adaptation in September 2021. Advocacy and Stakeholder’s Engagements. Advocacy Courtesy Visit. Situational Analysis of Adolescent Health and Development. The Review Process: A four (4) day UNICEF funded meeting was conducted on the 19th – 22nd October, 2021. Development of the Draft Rivers State Implementation Plan (Informal Reviews via Skype). Where We Are? Presentation by Dr. Adebayo Emmanuel Situation Analysis of Adolescents and Young people’s Health and Development in Rivers State. Overall, one thing that was very prominent, was “lack of dissemination of information”, because of indiscriminate documentation. For the first time in Nigeria, we are beginning to include Adolescent indicators. Adolescents are properly captured, going forward. We should know that, 50% of the population are Adolescents ranging from the age of 10 – 24 years. Increase in non-communicable diseases, because children are involved in lesser physical activities. Sexual activity, contraception, unintended pregnancy and abortion among young people. Early marriage and child-bearing, co-habiting is on the increase. AYP HIV Cascade (Number of people living with HIV). FLHE is the most effective approach in Nigeria at the moment, but implementation has been slow. FLHE have trained teachers/students alike. Substance Use is very high in Rivers State. It has led to high increase of admission in clinics (psychological clinics). Accidents and Hymocide; high rate of mortality for young boys in particular. Communicable diseases account for 41% – 43% causes of death in Rivers State. School Healthcare System Response; if a school health system works very well (youth friendly facilities/services); young people will become healthy and healthier. Rivers State has a document that strictly addresses the Adolescents (Rivers State Strategic Health Development Plan). There is more to Adolescents than Sexual Reproductive Issues.
Some Components of the Implementation Plan:
Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights
Mental Health, Substance Use and Addiction
Violence and Injury
Nutrition and Physical Activity
Non-Communicable Diseases and Disability
Oral Health How the Implementation Plan is developed? Vision of the policy, Mission of the policy, Key Implementation Strategies, Advocacy is key in everything. Implementation Programmatic/Thematic Areas and Key intervention Activities:
Policy and legal framework for adolescent health in Rivers State
Service delivery for AYP in Rivers State
Basic infrastructure for the health of AYP in Rivers State
Human resources for the health of AYP in Rivers State
Family and community systems
Sexual and reproductive health and rights of adolescents and young people
Mental Health and Substance abuse
Nutrition and Physical activity
Violence and injury
Mortality and morbidity among adolescents and young people
Non-communicable diseases and disability
Communicable diseases. Note: Have a State Level Data, it helps. Most of the HIV/AIDS Programmes, focuses more to normal Adolescents, excluding the Adolescents with Special needs. Breakout Sessions (In Groups): The groups analysed the thematic areas of the interventions and made inputs where necessary. Dr. Adebayo Emmanuel added, “just because something is a good idea, does not mean, it’s sustainable”. Come new Government, comes new policies. Government can’t do everything, hence, the need for partners. In closing and to do a formal adoption of the validated document; Dr. (Mrs) Smith, thanked everyone present, partners and CHAI for helping us fill this gap. Since, 2021 we came together to carve out a roadmap and niche for our Adolescents. There were facilities, vision and structure for that phase. We are on a cause of defining the personalities of our Adolescents. On behalf, of the Permanent Secretary, Rivers State Ministry of Health and other Ministries, we adopt the validation of this document. Congratulations!!! Closing prayer by Mrs. Mary Obisike.
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
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.
Held at the Rivers State Ministry of Justice Hall.
Thursday 2nd December, 2021. Exactly, at 9:00am.
The focus of the meeting was to share update(s) of the final copy of the harmonized action plan, to plan for the 2022 International Adolescent Health Week and to disseminate FLHE finding from SOME implementation.
The meeting was moderated by Mrs. Mbreba Wokoma; Opening prayer was taken by Mrs. Edith Chinago Francis of C.S.S Okom and then, introduction of participants.
Opening remarks by Chairperson (Prof. Akani): appreciates the Technical Working Group for their efforts dealing with the Federal Ministry of Health and its now time to focus back to work and teachers present in today’s meeting are welcome. Teachers are very important, for them to deal with the Adolescents, therefore, we are looking at Teachers as Role Models and helpers that changes the personality of Adolescents for good. The Chairperson urged all Teachers to be part of the discussion and encouraged the Technical Working Group to see other dimension of Adolescent issues. It is not the division, but synergy between the Ministries (Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education). We see that every child belongs to everybody.
The reading of the Minute; was done by Mrs. Mbreba Wokoma. Hence, the minute was moved as a working document for the Adolescent working group by Mrs. Joy Nwamaka Joseph and seconded by Captain Dabota.
Sometimes in October, the FMOH (Federal Ministry of Health) visited the State to strengthen the issues the Adolescents face and to achieve this (during the meeting with FMOH, some issues were identified that Adolescents faces, one of such issue is; 1) Teenage Pregnancy and Abortion. So, how do we mitigate and solve this issue, apart from identifying the challenges. There are implementing partners to ensure these objectives are achieved through the stipulated strategies. There three major concerns for the Adolescents, which are: 1) Teenage Pregnancy and Abortion. 2)Rise in Cultism 3) Prevalent Drug Abuse among Adolescent.
Mrs. Njideka of the Federal Ministry of Education suggested, that Ministry of Education should be actively involved in the Technical Working Group and some Schools have Health Facilities, such facilities should be made Adolescent friendly centres.
Chairperson added that, we are trying to see what we can focus on to reduce the challenges Adolescents face, also participating persons/reps, should ensure that information at the Technical Working Group is taking or reported back to their organizations. We are not working in isolation; we are working with anybody and everybody.
Mr. Dennis, added, if we want to talk about “Cultism”, we should know that school’s cultism is different from cultism outside school premises. We have to strategically position advocacy to the leaders of these cult groups.
The Chairperson responded: we need to have “Parental Engagement”, talk to our parents, so that they can talk to the consciences of their children. And then, work-out strategies to talk to those involved in Cultism (the cultists themselves), so that they don’t attack back. First, we need God and then, we need Parents to be bold.
One of our colleagues added that, we have identified Parents and Cult Leaders, next, we need to use the Media (Radio) through regular jingles to sensitize the public. Also, Church/Religious Leaders, we need to talk to them as well. In approaching Cult Leaders, we should address them as “Social Organization Leaders or Youth Leader”, let’s be subtle in our approach. Most Cult Leaders are violent and arrogant in nature.
A Contribution from a Teacher; the teacher is bordered about the steady increase in cult activities. We need to give these youths/Adolescents information that will help them, including students and we need to start from grass-roots (primary schools-class rooms).
Chairperson’s response: Teachers are going to be our “foot-solders”, to ensure the goal of eliminating cultism in Rivers State is achieved. “What Teachers give the Society, is what the Society will build on”. And, as it stands, we cannot afford to do without the Education sector which includes the Teachers.
Mrs. Njideka (FMOE), she emphasized that, we should look at the pressure groups, they have a lot of influences on the Adolescents. Another participant suggested we look at “Social Media”, because a lot of Adolescents spend their time on the phone, browsing and engaging on Social Media.
Smith Nwokocha (P.R.O 2), suggested that; Traditional Rulers should be engaged in achieving the fight against Cultism. Dr. Chidi, was of the opinion that, we form three groups and breakout and discuss these issues.
Furthermore, Dr. Mrs. Smith, added that, in summary, the out-listed plan is the actual plan and we are here to identify any intervention plan to add up to the existing plan.
Jennifer Amadi (Vice Chairperson), our discussion should be based on the final plan. National Orientation Agency (NOA) Rep; said they are doing a lot and are involved in Community Engagement, Mobilization and Advocacy.
Next on the Agenda is “2022 International Adolescent Health Week”; Mrs. Wendy Wokoma, said, this will happen on the 3rd week of March, 20th – 26th, 2022. Youth Ambassadors will be recruited and the theme is “Transition: Laying Foundation for Adolescent Development”. Plan for screening (HIV/AIDS screening/Mental Health Check) for Adolescents in schools and out of school. Carry out activities to create awareness.
Edidiong and Dr. Mrs. Nwamaka Joseph presented on FLHE Programme (CHAI supported Federal Ministry of Education on the expanded FLHE curriculum in Nigeria).
There are three stages of implementation: Experience in implementing the FLHEs in Schools, The Awareness on HIV/AIDS, to see how the curriculum is accepted in schools and then, the Background, The Expanded CSE Overview.
A pilot study of the Effectiveness of an Expanded Family Life Health Education on Adolescents 10-19years in Rivers State as the case maybe. The highlights were focused on the following; The Expanded CSE Overview, problem statement, background on FLHE Curriculum in Nigeria, study rationale. Then, Study Methodology; Results and Findings, Study Assumptions and Limitations, Success and Challenges, Key Lessons Learned, Next Steps and Recommendations.
Teacher sharing Experience Moments:
Teacher from C.S.S. Oroworokwu: FLHE Experience; The Principal appreciates the programme and it has been a big-time impact for the students. The students are excited and even when they have personal issues, they meet the Teachers for counseling. Challenges faced; Covid-19 was the core part of the challenges in implementing the FLHE. Generally, the programme has been good. Counseling has improved. The success of FLHE cannot be over-emphasized.
C.S.S. kom-Kom Teacher Experience: FLHE is a right to every child, looking at what it is giving out. The issue of Cultism, etc, the challenges fall back on FLHE. Success story; students have learnt to develop actual and positive views, especially in the social space (social media). FLHE has helped students to correct these areas, students make healthy decisions, correct information and it has inculcated in them self-esteem and the students now know when to say NO! It has equally helped students to know when to play and when not to play. Possibly, these teachings/FLHE should be extended to other classes of the junior sections apart from the examination classes and the boys should be given attention as well.
Head, Rivers Media for Health and Family Planning; added that, let’s look for 21st century ways to groom our children including our boys. A lot is happening to the Adolescents.
C.S.S. Aluu Teacher Experience: FLHE Programme created awareness among staff and students alike. FLHE sharpens and broaden knowledge of teachers on sexual education.
Edidiong re-emphasized that, discussion should be on continuous learning of FLHE in Schools and also, discuss on improved coordination of Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education and other relevant MDAs on Adolescents health in the State.
Chairperson, appreciates all for their contributions. She reiterates that we look out for Sponsors for sustainability of FLHE. Also, let’s start with “Health Education Compulsory”. Therefore, we need to start by making it compulsory at Teachers Training College. Parents are not responsible for the gap of knowledge sadly enough. Religiously, that’s how parents are groomed. We need to start talking and engaging our religious Leaders, because that’s also where learning starts from.
Chairperson further stretched that teachers also need the skills to be able to teach and impact Adolescents. CHAI can make this representation and the Ministry of Education will maintain it. Also, Conflict resolution needs to be taught to the students. Part of the challenges of Adolescents face, could be traced to “Decision-Making Skills”, they need to be equipped effectively in this area. Skills in decision-making, should be as a matter of urgency, inculcated to our young ones, our society will be sane. However, we should try as much as possible, to get heads of schools to participate and champion this programme for sustainability.
Mrs. Nwamaka Joseph added that of four (4) states, Rivers state wished to stand alone on the push for FLHE. Most of the teachers, especially those passionate, are doing well, because they have been trained and of course, learnt the methodology in teaching FLHE. If FLHE is actually standing alone, students will be examined and know their stand. As such, FLHE should stand alone and not integrate.
Mrs Njideka further suggested, what we should be doing as a country is to build the capacity of teachers. If FLHE is integrated, it is easier to build capacity for teachers.
Jennifer Amadi’s contribution on the linkage of schools; we can also look at SGBV, though in Rivers State, a lot of NGOs are already doing work in this regard. Helping Schools respond to SGBV issues through Primary Health Centres facilities.
Mrs Uloma in her comment, said; we don’t have enough facilities at the Primary Health Centres, unfortunately. Most Adolescents need confidentiality, they need respect and privacy and with these, you can get any information from them. 23 LGA’s in the State, have two (2) to three (3) Focal Persons and they visit schools, but the linkage facilities are still an issue and it’s challenging. Some of the issues, includes; STIs, Post-Abortion issues etc. In the State, we have over 4000 (plus) Secondary Schools and how many Teachers are taught the FLHE Programme/training. The Primary Health Board is ensuring that facilities in the Health Centres are Adolescent friendly.
Mrs. Wendy Wokoma, in her comment; she emphasized that; “Let’s have a positive outlook about Adolescents’ ‘. Let’s see Adolescents as part of the solution. We need to also have data, to be able to evaluate Adolescent performance in relation to linkage.
Mrs Njideka, added that, Students/Adolescents cannot be referred to facilities without consent of their parents/guardian, because there are counselors in the schools, especially, the in-schools for Adolescents.
Edidiong remarks; Most of the feedback(s) are just remarkable.
Chairperson remarks; We still have a problem on how to coordinate the linkage, but we are making headways.
Closing Remarks by Dr. Mrs. Smith; Several issues have been raised. The FLHE Programme and the needs for Facilities. We will start small, but we will get there. We pray for everyone to get to their destination safely. Thank you.
MOTHER OF HOPE INTERNATIONAL INITIATIVE IN COLLABORATION WITH THE RIVERS STATE MINISTRY OF HEALTH.
PRESENTS: ONE DAY SENSITIZATION ON SEXUAL AND GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE AMONGST STUDENTS IN RIVERS STATE
@COMMUNITY SECONDARY SCHOOL (SENIOR), OKPORO ROAD, RIVERS STATE. 26TH NOVEMBER, 2021 8:00AM. The team arrived the school premise and kick-start the sensitization exercise. Over 500 students were sensitized on Gender-Based Violence, making the 16 Days Activism. Among the Facilitators, students were divided into groups, because of the large numbers to enable the students participate fully.
Dr. Mrs. Egelege Aziemeola Pius, Fellow of West African Institute of Public Health Professionals and Fellow of Institute for Humanitarian Studies and Social Development (One of the Key-note Speaker); She asked the big question, why are we here today? Her response was; We are here today to anchor on the theme: “End Sexual Gender-Based Violence among Youths”. The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence which is an annual international campaign that kicks off on 25th November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and it runs through 10th December which is Human Rights Day. Statistically, one in four girls will experience sexual violence before she turns 18.
WHAT THEN IS GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE: The United Nations’ definition of GBV is, “any act of gender-based violence that result in, or is likely result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women…whether occurring in public or private life.” Gender-based violence is somewhat more inclusive term than violence against women. GBV could include violence against men, provided the violence stems from a man’s gender identity or presentation.
FORMS OF VIOLENCE:
Psychological Violence (also called Emotional or Mental Violence):
HOW DO WE END GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE?
Recognize the role of gender in violence
Educate yourself on the root causes of violence
Interrupt Sexist and Discriminatory language
Be critical and question
Get the message out
Report photos and messages that exploit women and girls
Stop Sexual harassment
Develop an action plan
Stop victim blaming
It’s not your fault
Stop Rape culture
Call Gender-based violence, what it is- violence, not “bullying”.
Create safe spaces to discuss gender-based violence
Confront and reflect on your ideas and beliefs
Stop stereotyping men’s and women’s roles
Remember that violence is a choice, and it is preventable
Be supportive and believe
Be aware of available resources for girls and women
Be a Mentor
Understand and practice consent!
HELP AFTER RAPE: The Rivers State Ministry of Health in conjunction with FIDA, Doctors Without Borders and other NGOs like Mothers of International Initiative (MOHII), Voice of The Vulnerables are out to support victims of Rape in Rivers State. Rape victims who receive POSITIVE support from family and friends are more likely to recover faster. Victims of Rape are given free and CONFIDENTIAL medical care and counselling to victims of Rape and sexual violence. If you or someone you know has been raped.
WHERE TO SEEK HELP: Rivers State Government has put in place some Health facilities to reach and get help. Do not forget that, Rape requires medical emergency, when it occurred, report immediately. The following are the facilities: Orogbum Health Centre in Ogbunabali near Garrison Bus-stop Eliozu Health Centre General Hospital-Ncha-Eleme General Hospital-Bori General Hospital-Degema General Hospital-Ahoada General Hospital-Isiokpo Oyigbo Primary Health Centre Ayama Primary Health Centre Abua
In conclusion, Gender-based violence affects people everywhere. Women and girls are especially vulnerable to violence as cultural norms and attitudes toward gender equality disadvantage women around the world. Gender-based violence is especially prevalent when women and girls are migrating. During the interactive session, Dr. Egelege advocate for the introduction of an SGBV CLUB in the school, as a safe haven for students to discuss sexual violence related matters and she emphasized that the most important is to “Speak out”.
Mrs. Mary Obisike (SGBV-TWG HEAD-RIVERS STATE MINISTRY OF HEALTH): She taught the students the gesture sign of SGBV. She ensures that the fliers (Rivers State Government on Management of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Rivers State) through her team are distributed equally to participating students. This initiative is fully supported by His Excellency, Barrister Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike CON, GSSRS; POS (Africa), Executive Governor, Rivers State, Including the Honourable Commissioner for Health, Rivers State (Prof. Princewill Chike). Response Hotlines: 09025764565, 070404101523, 09033555455, 07058890060 and 08033429155
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Thank you and Special Appreciation to the Lulu Briggs Foundation. Well done and keep adding value to humanity.
Fida Nigeria FIDA Rivers African Women Lawyers Association – AWLA Nigeria O. B. Lulu-Briggs Foundation International Conscience Day UNFPA UNFPA Nigeria UNICEF UNICEF Nigeria United Nations Human Rights United Nations