Nigeria has been ranked in the bottom ten for performance on child flourishing, according to a recent report released today by a Commission convened by the World Health Organization (WHO), The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) and The Lancet.
The report titled – ‘A Future for the World’s Children?’, based its rankings on factors including measures of child survival and well-being such as health, education, nutrition, equity and income gaps.
It also includes a new global index of 180 countries, comparing performance on child flourishing. Nigeria ranks 174 out of 180 countries, below Afghanistan, Sierra Leone and South Sudan.
The report also finds that the health and future of every child and adolescent worldwide is under immediate threat from ecological degradation, climate change and exploitative marketing practices that push heavily processed fast food, sugary drinks, alcohol and tobacco at children. It adds that no single country is adequately protecting children’s health, their environment and their futures.
According to the UNICEF Nigeria Representative, said Claes Johansson, “This demonstrates how far we still need to go in Nigeria to ensure children can live healthy lives in an environment where they can thrive. We know that investing in the future of our children, giving them an education and making sure they are healthy and receive the right nutrition, works to provide a better future for everyone. We all have a responsibility to do everything we can to protect the health and future of every Nigerian child.
The report further added that while the poorest countries need to do more to support their children’s ability to live healthy lives, excessive carbon emissions – disproportionately from wealthier countries – threaten the future of all children. If global warming exceeds 4°C by the year 2100 in line with current projections, this would lead to devastating health consequences for children, due to rising ocean levels, heat waves, proliferation of diseases like malaria and dengue, and malnutrition.
The index shows that children in Norway, the Republic of Korea, and the Netherlands have the best chance at survival and well-being, while children in Central African Republic, Chad, Somalia, Niger and Mali face the worst odds.
“More than 2 billion people live in countries where development is hampered by humanitarian crises, conflicts, and natural disasters, problems increasingly linked with climate change,” said Minister Awa Coll-Seck from Senegal, Co-Chair of the Commission. “While some of the poorest countries have among the lowest CO2 emissions, many are exposed to the harshest impacts of a rapidly changing climate. Promoting better conditions today for children to survive and thrive nationally does not have to come at the cost of eroding children’s futures globally,” Johansson said.
In its call to action to protect children, the independent Commission’s authors recommends that there is an urgent need to stop CO2 emissions to ensure children have a future on this planet. It also recommends that – there is need to place children and adolescents at the centre of efforts to achieve sustainable development; create new policies and investment in all sectors to work towards child health and rights; incorporate children’s voices into policy decisions; and tighten national regulation of harmful commercial marketing, supported by a new Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The Editor-in-Chief of The Lancet family of journals, Dr. Richard Horton, said: “The opportunity is great. The evidence is available. The tools are at hand. From heads-of-state to local government, from UN leaders to children themselves, this Commission calls for the birth of a new era for child and adolescent health. It will take courage and commitment to deliver. It is the supreme test of our generation.
“From the climate crisis to obesity and harmful commercial marketing, children around the world have to contend with threats that were unimaginable just a few generations ago,” said Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director. “It is time for a rethink on child health, one which places children at the top of every government’s development agenda and puts their well-being above all considerations.
“This report shows that the world’s decision makers are, too often, failing today’s children and youth: failing to protect their health, failing to protect their rights, and failing to protect their planet”.
The Director-General of the World Health Organization, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said: “This must be a wakeup call for countries to invest in child health and development, ensure their voices are heard, protect their rights, and build a future that is fit for children.”
How A Nigerian Man Has Been Spreading COVID-19 In Lagos After He Was Sent Away From LUTH
The Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) has reportedly rejected a man named Emmanuel Benson after he tested positive for the deadly coronavirus in the public medical facility. According to SaharaReporters, Benson had visited LUTH on March 21, 2020, after had close contact with two persons that recently arrived Lagos from the United Kingdom.
Benson was hoping to be quarantined and treated at LUTH after he tested positive to the deadly virus, but a medical personnel at the hospital asked him to go back home over lack of bed space to admit him at the facility.
It was gathered that since the refusal of LUTH to admit Benson, he had returned home and continued his normal life.
“He moved to and from LUTH through public transportation. He has been mingling freely with people,” a friend to the young man told SaharaReporters on Thursday.
When contacted on Thursday night through his mobile number, Benson indeed confirmed that he tested positive for the virus and was not admitted to LUTH for treatment by medical personnel.
He disclosed that he went for the test after coming in contact with the two UK returnees at a dinner party in Lagos last week.
When asked if money was demanded from him before the test was conducted, Benson refused to open up, instead saying that he does not want unnecessary attention.
While chatting with a reporter from SH on social networking platform, Whatsapp, Benson, who expressed fear of being stigmatised should his story be published, quickly deleted his display photo on his profile.
He was standing with an unidentified person in the photo where both men were wearing tags over their necks. He said:
“I am at home on self-isolation now. I had the test at LUTH even though the queue was too long. Some of the medical staff I spoke with later advised me to go home and self-isolate. They said I should get back to them after 14 days or that in seven days they might call to check my progress.
“I was infected at a dinner party organised for the two men who returned to Nigeria from the UK. I went for the test on March 21.”
When asked if he had attempted to contact the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to notify them of his situation and probably seek help, Benson said, “I have called the NCDC lines several times but they are not picking up the call.”
To further give credence to Benson’s situation, it was learnt that the testing kits for the virus are being used for politicians and their families while ordinary Nigerians with symptoms of the pandemic are being left to their fates.
Till date, less than 200 persons have been tested for the virus in Nigeria despite Lagos alone having a population of over 20 million persons.
An official of the Nigerian Medical Association told SaharaReporters that the number of confirmed cases declared by NCDC was far below the real figure because there were already hundreds of citizens infected with Coronavirus walking and freely mixing up with others thus increasing the risk of a further spread.
Panic In University Of Ibadan As 3 Professors Test Positive For Coronavirus
Nigeria’s premier university, University of Ibadan has been hit hard by global pandemic of COVID -19 as three top management staff who are Professors in the institution’s school of medicine and its teaching hospital, University College Hospital, UCH announced on Sunday morning that they had tested positive to the virus.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control had late Saturday announced the confirmation of four new cases of the virus in Oyo State, the host of the University.
It is believed that the three Professors may be among the new confirmed cases.
Professor Ezekiel Olapade-Olapa, the Provost of the School of Medicine confirmed that he and his deputy, Prof Obafunke Denloye, tested positive for Coronavirus in a message to his colleagues on a social media platform on Sunday morning, according to reports.
Olapade-Olaopa said, “Dear colleagues, I wish to inform you that the Deputy Provost and I tested positive for COVID-19 following the tests done on Friday.
“Although we are both asymptomatic, we have gone into self-isolation for 14 days while our contacts are being observed closely to determine if they should also be tested.”
While confirming that he had also tested positive to the virus, the Chief Medical Director of UCH, Prof Jesse A. Otegbayo, traced the development to a meeting held on 23 March.
“On Monday March 23, we commenced a 12-man quarterly board meeting which was meant to last five days in the hospital, we observed social distancing and other precautionary measures for Covid-19 as much as possible.
“However, on Wednesday morning, one of us presented with what appeared to be symptoms of Covid-19, his samples were immediately taken for test and the meeting called off.
“His result returned positive on Friday morning and every participant (including me) immediately went into self-isolation while our samples were also taken for test.
“Unfortunately, my result returned positive on Saturday afternoon and I remain in isolation as I am not symptomatic.
“All staff who have been in contact with me and other participants during this period have been advised to immediately proceed on self-isolation pending the time they get tested, ” Otegbayo said.
It was believed that the Provost and his deputy were also at the meeting.
This magazine however learnt that the situation has led to panic among other participants at the meeting, staff and relatives of the three Professors.
Garba Shehu Tests Negative For Coronavirus
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, has disclosed that he tested negative to the deadly Coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The Presidential aide, who made this known on his verified Twitter account in Abuja on Saturday, however, advised all citizens to stay at home as recommended by relevant authorities to guide against the spread of the virus.
He said: ”My test proved negative for the virus. Notwithstanding, I advise everyone that we continue the isolation and work from home.”
The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN), reports that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), through its verified Twitter account, revealed that as at 4. 00 p.m of March 28, Lagos had added seven new cases of the Coronavirus, while Benue recorded its first confirmed case.
According to it, this brings the total confirmed cases in the country to 89, with three treated and discharged, while one death was recorded.
It added that currently, Lagos has 59, Abuja, 14, Ogun, Three, Oyo, three, Edo, two, Bauchi two, while Benue, Ekiti, Osun and Rivers have one case each.
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