Couple appeals for support to raise quadruplets

A civil servant, Mr Ugochukwu Nwogute and his wife, Vivian have appealed to the First Lady, Sen. Oluremi Tinubu and well-meaning Nigerians for support in raising their quadruplets. The couple, who gave birth to the four babies in a private hospital in Kubwa, Abuja on May 21, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja. Speaking with NAN in the hospital, Mrs Nwogute, said she got married in 2015 and had her first daughter on Nov. 5, 2016. 'After years of waiting, I became pregnant in Sept. 2023 and was delivered of three boys and one girl through caesarean section at Vinca hospital, Arab Road, Kubwa, Abuja, on May 21. 'When I was told I was going to have multiple babies, it was a mixed feeling for me. 'Mixed feelings, because I was not expecting it, but was happy because we have waited for years after our first daughter. So, we were hoping on God and praying and God did more than we expected,'' she said. She added that the hospital billed them about N1.7 milli on in the first instance, which they were still running around to pay. 'The babies eat two hourly, they consume almost half of their Pre NAN formula which we were asked to feed them with, and a tin costs N10, 000. 'We also have follow ups because the paediatrician said after we have been discharged, we are expected to be bringing the babies to the hospital weekly for check up,' she said On the babies' health, Mrs Nwogute said that they were responding to treatment, adding that her recovery was gradual. 'I am getting stronger because I have relapses. For example, last night I was cold all through and I have treated malaria and because of that, I cannot breastfeed my babies the way I am expected to,'' she said. The husband appealed to the government to come to their aid, financially and in the area of accommodation for a bigger apartment that can be convenient for the family. 'The journey has not been easy, taking care of a heavily pregnant woman and the only daughter we had eight years back. 'When the b abies came, I was not expecting such a number, but I give glory to God for the marvelous thing He has done for us. 'My appeal to the government and well meaning Nigerians is for them to come to our aid. 'We need financial support to take care of the babies as well as, in the area of accommodation, because the apartment we are currently occupying cannot contain us anymore,' he said. Nwogute, specifically appealed to the First Lady, Sen. Oluremi Tinubu, to see the quadruplets as anniversary gifts to the administration of President Bola Tinubu. He, urged Mrs Tinubu, the FCT Minister of State, Dr Mariya Mahmud as well as the wife of the FCT Minister, Mrs Eberechi Wike, to render assistance to his family On his part, Dr Chiemezie Odera, an Obstetrician/Gynaecologist at the hospital said it would not be easy, taking care of the children as they would need more hands for their care because the mother would not be able to do it all alone. Odera, therefore, urged the general public to support the couple so as to take good care of the babies. 'Most importantly is care and support after delivery. Any woman that has more than one baby, needs more hands to help out because she might go into depression if you allow her to stay without care. 'So, we encourage that they have support, people should be around them to help in taking care of the children,'' he reiterated. The obstetrician said that it would not always be easy for the woman as her breast milk would not be enough for the babies. According to him, Vinca hospital has been doing well in the area of maternal care, and the facility have had series of multiple birth. Talking about the weight of the babies, he said, for the fact that they might not have weight like single birth, but they were still strong like any other single birth. 'In the uterus, they shared what was available, so, you don't expect them to have much weight. 'But interestingly, those weights, no matter how small they appear compared to single birth, they are still as strong as those single birt hs without any complication. 'Though they need to be observed after delivery, but they are doing well. Even if they weigh 1.5kg, they are still as strong as 3kg and above,'' he explained. The Doctor added that there would be need for the babies to be reviewed over time by the paediatrician to see how they were faring. Odera, while urging the nursing mother to eat well and rest, he advised her not to hesitate in coming back to the facility where the babies were delivered, in case of any issue. Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Expert calls for implementation of policies on tobacco consumption

A Clinical Psychologist, Dr Adedotun Ajiboye, says the Federal Government needs to implement policies and programmes that reduce tobacco consumption and protect citizens from exposure to tobacco smoke. Ajiboye who works with the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ado Ekiti, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) on Sunday in Abuja. He was speaking against the backdrop of the World No Tobacco Day 2024 marked annually on May 31 with the theme 'Protecting Children from the Tobacco Industry Interference.' Ajiboye said tobacco was one of the top single greatest causes of preventable deaths globally. He said smoking could lead to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), cancer of the lungs, larynx, and mouth pancreatic cancer; and hypertension. Ajiboye said the Nicotine in cigarettes could lead to addiction or substance use disorder adding that tobacco was a significant cause of miscarriages among pregnant smokers. 'Tobacco can lead to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), t he fetal brain's ability may be reduced when exposed to cigarettes. ' Incidence of impotence is approximately 85 per cent higher in male smokers compared to male non - smokers. He said smoking was a key factor in causing erectile dysfunction, adding that tobacco smoking led most commonly to disease affecting the heart , liver, lungs, etc. 'Based on the health effects revealed above, the government has a huge role to play in reducing preventable deaths caused by tobacco by implementing policies and programmes that reduce tobacco consumption. 'Also implementing policies that protect citizens from exposure to tobacco smoke.' Ajiboye suggested some key roles of government to include tobacco taxation, by raising taxes on tobacco products to make them less affordable and reduce consumption. He said the government should enact laws that prohibit smoking in public places, workplaces, and public transportation, and implement standards for tobacco products, such as warning labels and ingredient disclosure. Ajibo ye said that there should also be awareness campaigns to educate the public about the dangers of tobacco use and providing resources and support for individuals trying to quit tobacco. 'There should be youth access restrictions by enacting laws to prevent the sale of tobacco products to minors. 'There should be monitoring and surveillance by the government through collection of data on tobacco use and related health effects to inform policy decisions. 'Regulation of tobacco advertising by restricting or banning tobacco advertising to prevent promotion to youth and others.' He said the government should also support tobacco research by funding research on tobacco use and its health effects to inform policy and treatment development. The clinical psychologist said the federal government should collaborate with other countries to share best practices and coordinate efforts to reduce global tobacco use. 'By taking these steps, the government can effectively reduce the health impacts of tobacco and protect c itizens' health.' Ajiboye said World No Tobacco Day 2024 is a vital global event aimed at highlighting the health risks associated with tobacco use and advocating for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption. He said this year's theme emphasised protecting children from the tobacco industry's practices, ensuring a healthier future for the next generation. Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Army School of Supply and Transport honours 7 Generals, others

The Nigerian Army School of Supply and Transport (NASST) has honoured seven Generals and 20 other officers after 35 years of meritorious service to the nation. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the generals honoured are Maj.-Gen. V.O Offiong, Maj.-Gen. B.N Salami, Brig. -Gen. MT Waboke, Brig.-Gen. M. Abiodun, Brig. -Gen. M.A Bolarinwa, Brig.-Gen. Idowu and Brig.-Gen. S. Umaru. Speaking at the parade ground on behalf of the retirees, Maj. -Gen. Victor Offiong, said retirement from active service remained a natural and inevitable end. According to Offiong, retirement begins to count from the day an officer passed out from the Nigerian Defence Academy. 'Our joy and that of our families, colleagues and friends gathered here knows no bounds as we take a final bow from this noble Corps of great logisticians. 'It is a day of grave emotional feelings, nostalgic memories, wholesome gratitude, unending joy and above all, a sense of unwavering fulfilment. 'Let me on behalf of my retired colleagues, mos t respectfully appreciate the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Taoreed Abiodun Lagbaja and the Corps Commander, Maj. Gen. Adekunle Adeyinka for organising this memorable pull out parade in our honour. 'Our collective gratitude goes to the other Senior Logistics, retired Generals and senior officers. 'As we finally bid farewell to the Corps of the proud logisticians, I want to encourage all our successors not to only sustain our modest strategic achievements but to surpass them by all means no matter the challenges,' he said. Offiong, however, urged the Supply and Transport Corps not to rest on its oars, adding that, the entire Nigerian Army dependent largely on the support of the Corps to achieve its core mandate and mission. Source: News Agency of Nigeria

FG secures N20bn FDI on local production of disability assistive devices

The Federal Government says it has secured Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to the tune N20 billion towards facilitating local production of assistive devices for Persons with Disabilities (PwDs). Dr James Lalu, the Executive Secretary, National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD) disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja. Lalu said, the need to source for investors in the manufacturing of locally made assistive devices for Persons with Disabilities (PwD) became necessary, following the high cost of the imported devices. 'Recently, we secured a foreign direct Investment to the tune of N20 billion and the organisation is committed to starting the local manufacturing of assistive devices as an MoU has already been signed. 'The National Commission for Persons with Disabilities is going forward to make sure that we provide this opportunity to Nigeria for the manufacturing of local assistive devices. 'This is due to the fact that 99 per cent of our ass istive devices are imported and the prices are higher and are now getting out of the reach of the poor. 'Even, the budgetary allocation provided may not be able to provide assistive devices to the disability community across all states of the federation,' he said. Lalu added that promoting local contents in the manufacturing of assistive devices will go a long way to increase patronage and boost the nation's economy. 'With the local manufacturing of assistive devices, it will encourage the state governments, local governments and other government agencies to procure and distribute them to the disability communities. 'The National Commission for Persons with Disabilities is working already in the area of local manufacturing of assistive devices for Persons with Disabilities. 'These include, wheelchairs, hearing aids and other devices for the blind and the deaf as well as persons with albinism,' he said The Executive Secretary disclosed that the commission was touting for talent in innovative and creative industry to improve in the production of assistive devices for PwDs. 'Just recently, we saw a video circulating on social media about one person in Kano, who was able to manufacture a digital eye-glass that can assist a blind person to walk around using sensors that will communicate to him through voice. 'When we saw this, we put an invitation to the innovator to come to our head office. 'We are expecting him at our head office on Tuesday and we are going to review his invention, to see what we can do, to partner with the Bank of Industry and NASENI to bring the innovation to reality in Nigeria,' he said. Lalu noted that Nigeria is a land of great opportunities, adding that the commission will scout for the opportunities in other to bring the disability community into technological era. Source: News Agency of Nigeria

UWGN, Creative Colony, educate students on transforming trash to art

An NGO, United Way Greater Nigeria (UWGN), in collaboration with Creative Colony, has trained students in Lagos schools on transforming discarded plastics into art. Ms 'Deola Durodola, Executive Director, UWGN, at the completion of the three-day initiative on Friday in Lagos, said the project was aimed at promoting recycling and the creative use of waste plastics to create art. Durodola said that the initiative tagged 'Eco Art project' was conducted at Ilupeju Junior Secondary School and Mawumaduka School and Orphanage, Makoko. According to her, the project engaged students in an educational and artistic experience, transforming discarded plastics into vibrant works of art. Durodola said that the students learnt about the environmental impact of plastic waste and the significance of recycling. She noted that they were guided by skilled artists from the Creative Colony, who taught them various techniques to repurpose waste materials into beautiful, meaningful artworks. 'The project aimed to inspire the n ext generation to think creatively about environmental conservation and to see the potential in everyday waste. 'We are thrilled to see the enthusiasm and creativity of the students, and it is our hope that this experience will leave a lasting impression and encourage sustainable practices in their communities,' she said. She added that the initiative not only highlighted the importance of recycling but also showcased the students' creativity and artistic talents. According to her, participants created stunning portraits of notable figures such as Tobi Amusan, celebrated Nigerian sprinter and world champion; Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, and Tunde Onakoya, a chess player and coach. Also, Dr Ameera Euba, Founder, The Creative Colony, said the partnership with UWGN represents a powerful synergy of community engagement and artistic innovation. Euba noted that by merging efforts, the organisations had not only educated young minds on the importance of recycling but also provided them with a creativ e outlet to express their ideas and aspirations. 'Together, we are fostering a culture of sustainability and creativity that will resonate far beyond the classrooms and communities we serve,' she said. Source: News Agency of Nigeria

600 PwDs benefitted from health Insurance package – Lalu

The National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD) says no fewer than 600 PwDs have benefitted from the pilot programme of its health Insurance package. James Lalu, the Executive Secretary of the commission gave the figure on Sunday, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja. Lalu also told NAN that the commission was working with the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency in the training of over 3000 health workers that would specialise in handling disability related illness. According to him, the training would come in the second phase of the health insurance intervention programme. 'We have provided health insurance coverage for PwDs in the last two years. We started with 600 beneficiaries. 'We are currently working with the Federal Ministry of Health to improve access to healthcare facilities for PwDs across the federation and we have started the pilot programme with the Maitama district hospital in Abuja. 'We have signed an MoU for the hospital to become a re ferral centre for PwDs,' he said Lalu added ''Our intention is to have, at least, one tertiary hospital in each state of the federation as referral for PwDs, 'We are providing training for the healthcare workers in the hospital on how to handle disability issues and make sure they are disability friendly. 'The training is ongoing at the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency and over 3000 health workers have already passed through the training at the moment. 'We are creating awareness on access to healthcare facilities for PwDs'. On income security for PwDs Lalu said, no fewer than 150 Point of Sale (POS) machines and grants of N100,000 each were distributed to PwDs. 'We have also supported various Associations of PwDs on annual basis with grants to support their advocacy efforts 'We also provided assistive devices to three Nigerian Universities and the Sultanate Council in efforts to use the traditional institutions to create awareness on compliance with accessibility regulations for PwDs. 'T he programme is expected to reduce hardship and and improve the health, sanitary conditions of the disability environment,' he said. Lalu said the programmes were also some of the commitments of the commission to ensure access to public services for PwDs in Nigeria. Source: News Agency of Nigeria