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COVID-19: ‘We Want To Return Home’, Nigerians Stranded Abroad Cry Out

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Nigerian Nationals who went abroad before the country lockdown its airports to international flights, over the Covid-19 have appealed to the Federal Government of Nigeria to allow them return home.

In a press statement, a former Civil Commissioner in Edo State, Hon.Mrs Omorede Osifo-Marshal, who is one of those involved, said the airports closure has affected many Nigerians who travelled for short business or holiday trips, abroad.

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“Many of us who don’t like to stay outside our country Nigeria for long, are tired of being abroad and would like to be allowed to come back home. Some Nigerians are also getting stranded abroad especially with the trend, the Covid-19 is taking in Europe and the America”.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: London Returnee Apprehended, Forced To Go On Self-isolation In Delta

She said, just like many Western countries who are already evacuating their citizens from Nigeria and other African countries, Nigeria should follow suit.

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“The Federal Government should reopen the airports, allow us to return home and since it has already put in place facilities to test persons entering the country, we should be subjected to relevant tests and quarantined where necessary “, she added.

The Federal Government had last week announced the closure of all the country’s airports to international flights till April 23, 2020.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Death Toll Rises To 28,000 As Cases Hit 600,000 Globally (See Breakdown)

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For Hon. Mrs Osifo-Marshal, “That is a long way off. We want to come back home. We know the situation at home. The kind of attention we will get wherever we are abroad, relative to the virus, is not going to be the same as when we are home. We want to come home. The government should help us”.

There are indications that an Air France flight on Thursday moved 260 Europeans from Nigeria to France to prevent them from being infected with the virus.

Reports say this came after the Nigerian Government granted a one-week permission to Air France and KLM to evacuate Europeans from the country following the continued spread of the pandemic.

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READ ALSO: COVID-19: Edo Govt Frowns At Partial Compliance To Lockdown Directive

Also on Thursday, British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ms. Catriona Laing CB, said the mission was exploring available options to send staff and their families back to the United Kingdom.

This was occasioned by projections by experts and top diplomats that the Coronavirus pandemic could explode in Nigeria and other African countries in the coming days.

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But according to the World Health Organisation, Nigeria and other African countries battling the virus must conduct more tests to portray the true picture of things and avert a major crisis.

(PHOTO: File)

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WHO Declares Fresh Ebola Outbreak In African Country

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The latest outbreak of the Ebola disease in Congo has officially been declared over, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Monday.

The organisation said that the outbreak affected the north-western Équateur province, with the first case recorded there on April 23.

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It said that in total, there were four confirmed cases and one suspected case; all patients died of the disease.

In a previous outbreak in the province between June and November 2020, a total of 130 cases were detected and 55 people died.

READ ALSO: Monkeypox: NCDC Blames Nigerians For Outbreak

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However, the latest outbreak was the 14th recorded in the country of 90 million since 1976.

Between 2014 and 2016, the largest-ever outbreak of the disease took place in West Africa with more than 11,000 deaths.

Ebola infection often leads to high fever and internal bleeding, and is life-threatening.

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Lagos Releases Guidelines On Safe, Lawful Abortion

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The Lagos State Government has developed and launched guidelines for the development of safe and lawful abortion services within the ambit of the state’s criminal law.

The Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr. Olusegun Ogboye, presented a 40-page policy document tagged “Lagos State Guidelines on Safe Termination of Pregnancy for Legal Indications” at a stakeholders’ engagement on Tuesday.

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Dr. Ogboye said the need was borne out of the desire for evidence-based data and information for health workers in public and private sectors.

Ogboye explained that while therapeutic termination of pregnancy is permissible under the law in Lagos State, the post-procedure absence of clear guidelines has stalled the effective implementation at appropriate levels of care resulting in preventable deaths.

READ ALSO: Abortion: US Baces For More Protests After Supreme Court Verdict

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His words: “In 2011, the Lagos State House of Assembly updated the criminal code, providing for abortion to save the life and protect the physical health of the woman.

“While physical health is covered under the Lagos legal framework, services conforming to the law have not been available in the procedure of the State health sector.

“This document provides information on relevant laws applicable in Lagos State while providing standards and best practices with regards to legal indications, pre, and post-procedure care, methods, the and monitoring.

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“I must state here that this document has undergone wide consultation with relevant technical stakeholders within the legal and health service context in the State.”

Ogboye said the follow-up development of the guidelines commenced in 2018 with the Safe Engage project led by the Lagos Ministry of Health and hosted by the Society for Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Nigeria (SOGON), with support from the Population Reference Bureau (PRB).

He noted that stakeholders in the state’s health sector worked with key opinion leaders in Lagos and the southwest region to develop a tailored advocacy tool for terminations within the legal context.

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He also pointed out that the advocacy messages on the Safe Engage project focused on ensuring that safe abortion services were available within legal indications in Lagos, and domesticating the Violence Against Persons Prohibition, VAPP, Act supporting women to terminate a pregnancy caused by rape or incest.

“To guide the implementation, one of the follow-up outcomes recommendations of the project was the adaptation of the National Standards and Guidelines for Safe Termination of Pregnancy within Legal Indications within the Lagos State context.

READ ALSO: US Ending Abortion Right Huge Blow To Human Rights – UN Chief

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“The Federal Ministry of Health had developed and disseminated the national guidelines on safe termination of pregnancy which highlights the compendium of conditions and circumstances under which termination of pregnancy could be instituted.

“The guideline was intended to build the capacity of health professionals to identify pregnancies for which legal termination could be instituted.

“Marie Stopes International in Nigeria in collaboration with the Population Reference Bureau proposed to support the State government to adapt the document.”

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Further, Ogboye said that the process for National guidelines adaptation included technical meetings to discuss sections of the law supporting safe abortion and conditions permitted within the legal framework to save the lives and the physical health of mothers; and validation meetings with the broader stakeholders to review the document.

All that hard work has culminated in today’s dissemination of the guidelines. We hope this dissemination today will help guide health providers to provide this service within the ambit of the law”, Ogboye stated.

The Country Director, Marie Stopes International Organisation Nigeria, MSION, Mr. Emmanuel Ajah, stated that the development and dissemination of the policy document have once again proven that Lagos is leading the way for State-level intervention to stem the tide of unsafe abortion and give women and girls improved health outcomes.

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Noting that abortion in Nigeria is not illegal but restrictive, Ajah said significant numbers of health providers are unaware of the legal indications for safe termination of pregnancy.

He stressed the importance of healthcare providers with the responsibility to determine when the life of the woman is in danger as prescribed in Nigeria’s laws need to have the right understanding and make those critical decisions based on sound medical judgment and not on religion, culture, or other biases.

“The domestication of this policy provides that needed guidance to healthcare providers on medical conditions in pregnancy that pose a high risk to the woman’s life and health if the pregnancy progresses to term, and on the standard management of abortion within the extent of the law in Lagos state.

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“This policy is a demonstration of the commitment of the Lagos state government to improving maternal health, especially mitigating the impact of unsafe abortion practices in the State,” Ajah stated.

The Vice-Chancellor, University of Medical Sciences, Otukpo, Prof. Innocent Ujah, who was one of the Consultants who developed the document, said the enunciation, deployment, providing, and use of the guidelines will preserve the lives of pregnant women and women whose physical or mental health would be compromised with the continuation of their pregnancies.

READ ALSO: Abortion: It’s Tragic Error, Biden Slams Supreme Court Ruling

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On her part, a Professor of Law at the University of Lagos, Prof. Ayodele Atsenuwa explained that the Lagos State Criminal law of 2011 only prohibits unlawful abortion.

Atsenua observed that the document clarifies and explains what lawful termination of pregnancy means in the context of the law adding that education of law enforcement officers is important with regards to providing and understanding the context of the law.

VANGUARD

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Edo 4, Delta, Rivers 5 As NCDC Confirms 62 Monkeypox Cases In 19 States

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has said that 62 cases of monkeypox have been confirmed in the country.

The NCDC disclosed this in its latest monkeypox situation report released on Tuesday.

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The World Health Organisation says monkeypox is a viral zoonosis (a virus transmitted to humans from animals) with symptoms very similar to those seen in the past in smallpox patients, although it is clinically less severe.

The agency said from January to June 26, 2022, the disease was confirmed in 18 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

The report also showed that there were at least 204 suspected cases of the disease in the country.

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“There were 42 new suspected cases reported in Epi week 25, 2022 (June 20 to 26, 2022) from 18 states – Lagos (five), Bayelsa (four), Nasarawa (four), Plateau (four), Gombe (three), FCT (three), Adamawa (two), Cross River (two), Delta (two), Ondo(two), Oyo (two), Rivers (two), Taraba (two), Abia (one), Benue (one), Edo (one), Katsina (one) and Kwara (one).

READ ALSO: Monkeypox: NCDC Blames Nigerians For Outbreak

“Out of 42 suspected cases, there were 21 new positive cases in Epi week 25, 2022 from 13 states – Cross River (2), Delta (2), FCT (2), Lagos (2), Nasarawa (2), Plateau (2), Rivers (2), Taraba (2), Abia (1), Adawama (1), Bayelsa (1), Edo (1) and Katsina (1).

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“Overall, from January 1 to June 26, 2022, there have been 204 suspected cases and 62 confirmed cases (44 male, 18 female) from 19 states – Lagos (10), Adamawa (6), Bayelsa (5), Delta (5), Rivers (5), Cross River (4), Edo (4), FCT (4), Plateau (4), Nasarawa (3), Kano (2), Imo (2), Taraba (2), Abia (1), Katsina (1), Niger (1), Oyo (1), Ondo (1) and Ogun (1). One death was recorded – a 40-year-old man with co-morbidity that was receiving immunosuppressive treatment,” the reported noted.

The NCDC says the exact reservoir of monkeypox is still unknown although African rodents are suspected to play a part in transmission.

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