UNICEF Distributes 257,500 Covid-19 Awareness Creation Materials to Jigawa, Kano, Katsina

By Our Correspondent, Kano

As part of efforts at ensuring Covid-19 pandemic is eliminated in Nigeria, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has procured and distributed 257,500 Social and Behavior Change Communication (SBCC) materials to Jigawa, Kano and Katsina States.

The materials according to Mr Maulid Warfa, UNICEF Chief in Kano Field Office, are met for awareness creation on the COVID-19.

He said that 225, 000 SBCC materials were distributed in Kano state, 32, 000 in Katsina state and 2,500 in Jigawa as part of the fund’s efforts in fight the pandemic in the country.

Warfa said that the materials would help in explaining to the public more about the pandemic, including the necessary measures to be taken to prevent its spread.

He said, “We trained facilitators in states and local government areas on how to create awareness on COVID-19 response. We also distributed mega phones (four per ward), in Kano.

“UNICEF is a member of the Kano State Task Force on COVID-19 and the Risk Communication Sub-committee, supporting and advising the state in the prevention and response to the dreaded disease.

“We are sponsoring a radio and television educational learning for children at home to last for initial three months,” he said.

Warfa said the sponsorship was being done in collaboration with the Kano State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), the state Ministry of Education, Radio Kano and ARTV.

He said the nutrition section of the field office had engaged in discussion with the states to consider an alternative delivery of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) treatment in anticipation of lockdown either within and/or statewide.

“Part of the strategy includes leveraging on community workers as a platform diagnosis and management of complicated SAM cases,” he added.

He said that UNICEF had facilitated a review of the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 in Kano state, with key emphasis on the present and potential economic and human development effect of the pandemic.

The chief said that the paper highlighted and suggested critical recommendations that the state could consider, based on best practices.

Police Found Zamfara Politicians’ Names in a Shrine

By Hauwa Negedu, Kaduna

The Police in Zamfara State found names of top politicians in the state on a paper at a shrine in Gusau, the state capital.

Mr Usman Nagogo, the state commissioner of police disclosed this on Tuesday.He said the discovery was made when his men invaded the hideout of some suspected cultists in Gusau.

He also said the police command had earlier received a reliable information that some people were planning attacks against some of the top leaders of the state using fetish means.

“The information had it that a house in Unguwar Dallatu, near the motor park, was being used for heinous activities.” He said

“The informants said residents noticed whenever the cultist entered the house, all sorts of living creatures such as lizard and ants would die.
A team of policemen invaded the house and on sighting the headlights of security vehicles the cultists begun to chant incantation and then fled.” He added

He said some of the items recovered in the house are; a calabash full of fresh blood, a pot with many needles, a polythene bag containing cloths of different colours and a design of human skeleton, a paper containing names of many top political leaders amongst other things.

Mr Usman said investigation into the matter is in progress and the general public would be updated of any progress recorded.

COVID-19 and High Rate of Conception, Unplanned Pregnancies


By Ajani Bless-me Oluwatobi

Nigerians should be concerned about high rate of conception and unplanned pregnancy at this time of lockdown against the Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in the country. Though, it might seem that Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) should be the least of our worries during this COVID 19 outbreak, however learning from the Ebola experience, outbreaks such as this increases the risk of the vulnerable population – internally displaced persons, women and girls – to teenage pregnancy, unplanned pregnancy, Sexually Transmitted Infections, Rape, gender-based violence and Domestic violence.
The coronavirus pandemic is affecting the global economy and basically disrupting the world order, and as the days go by and the weeks unfolds, we have continually seen how the unexpected situation affects every aspect of our lives, with many issues taken for granted becoming major dynamics of the life of individuals and communities.
I am sure the question is who thinks about sexual activities when people are getting sick and some are dying from COVID-19. Learning from the Ebola experience, outbreaks such as this increases the risk of the vulnerable population – internally displaced persons, women and girls – to teenage pregnancy, unplanned pregnancy, Sexually Transmitted Infections, Rape, gender-based violence and Domestic violence.”

The social distancing policy, which is the only reasonable thing to do at this time, involved closing down schools, markets etc., hence, makes a lot of people including young people very idle. Consequently, adolescent girls and vulnerable women end up in various compromising situations. For instance, the young girl that find school as a safe space is back in the house with that abusive uncle, neighbor or stepfather; that woman who intentionally spends most of her time selling in the market to avoid engaging in sexual activities with her husband especially for fear of pregnancy is now stuck with him at home, while young people in relationships are more likely to engage in consensual sexual activities this period.

We should be concerned about high rate of conception and in turn unplanned pregnancies at this period. What is our role in making sure everyone is informed of the right options to take up as regards their sexual and reproductive health? This is also a reminder to us that social distancing or the stay at home policy is not a license to perpetuate gender-based violence, rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment and domestic violence and bad habit of having sex without a proper plan to prevent unplanned pregnancies and Sexually Transmitted Infections.
Also, it is crucial that we all take responsibilities for our sexual needs during this time. Married/co-habiting couples who are not on a long-acting contraceptive/family planning method should remember to stock up on condoms. Young people should endeavor to abstain at this time and if you can’t, get handy condoms and emergency contraceptives. The reality is, this is not a good time to have unplanned pregnancies because the pressure of the pandemic on the health system will affect/disrupt routine Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) services such as family planning, ante-natal services, post-abortion care services, immunization services etc.
In addition, government agencies and parastatals should reiterate to the public the implications of perpetrating sexual, domestic and gender-based violence at this time. In addition, they should ensure availability of non-prescriptive SRH commodities such as condoms, emergency contraceptives pills(ECPs) and post-exposure prophylaxis at pharmacies across the country. So these services can easily be accessible to people in their neighborhood hence mitigating the possibilities of increased SRH issues after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Finally, as young people, we should endeavor to make good use of this period by engaging in productive self-development activities such as reading a book, trying out new hobbies, digital skills or even documenting your Social Distancing experience. You will be amazed how your writing skill would have improved by the end of this period. Also, remember to pick up SRH products at any closed Pharmacy or Primary Health Center close to you.

Ajani Bless-me Oluwatobi is a
Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) Youth Focal Point, Nigeria
For Development Communications (DevComs) Network and) Nigerian Urban
Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI II).