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Health and Safety

LASWA team rescues 17 passengers onboard capsized boat



LASWA team rescues 17 passengers onboard capsized boat

… As LASG trains 100 pupils on waterway safety***

LASWA team rescues 17 passengers onboard capsized boat

From third left (back row), Permanent Board Member, Lagos State Universal Basic Educational Board, Mr Dayo Israel; General Manager, LASWA, Mr Oluwadamilola Emmanuel; Founder and Lead Instructor, Dolphin Swim School and Dolphin Aquatic Center Ltd. and Mrs Aderoju Ope-Ajayi; at a weeklong water safety training for pupils in Lagos on Friday.

The Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) on Saturday evening rescued 17 passengers onboard a capsized boat, GT Water Line 4 in Lagos.

The General Manager of LASWA, Oluwadamilola Emmanuel highlighted this in a statement, noting that the boat which took off from Ebute-Ero at about 5.15 pm had 17 passengers on board; 14 male and 3 female.

LASWA Patrol team and some other Boat Operators were swift to respond to the distress call from the boat, thereby able to rescue all 17 passengers on board alive.

Full text of the release stated, “A ferry passenger boat named GT Water Line 4 has capsized in Lagos 20minutes after taking off from Ebute-Ero enroute Ikorodu terminal.

“In a statement released by LASWA, the boat was said to have left the Ebute-Ero at about 5.15 pm with 17 passengers on board 14 male and 3 female.

”LASWA Patrol team and some other Boat Operators were swift to respond to the distress call from the boat, thereby able to rescue all 17 passengers on board alive which included  2 minors.

“Apparently all passengers were putting on their life jackets which were greatly responsible for the safe rescue of all onboard.

“The boat and it’s captain have been taken to custody for further investigation to unravel the cause of the accident and necessary actions.

“To forestall recurrence of such incident, LASWA has once again warned all boat operators to always adhere strictly to safety measures while advising all waterways users to ensure the use of life jackets at all time when boarding a boat,” Emmanuel said.


Participants at the training

In another development, the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) on Friday concluded a one-week training on waterway safety for 100 pupils in riverine communities.

LASWA partnered with Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) and Dolphin Swim School in the training.


The General Manager of LASWA, Mr Oluwadamilola Emmanuel, said that end of the programme that the students were from four public schools in riverine communities in the Ojo axis of Lagos State.

According to him, the schools are Salvation Army Primary School, Ikare; Unity Grammar School, Ikare; Local Authority Primary School, Ibasa; and Local Council  Primary School, Ibeshe.

Emmanuel said that the training was aimed at instilling water confidence in public school pupils by giving them theoretical and practical knowledge on waterway safety, swimming skills and basic survival techniques in an emergency.

“As you know, there is generally water phobia, even though we are surrounded by water, among the people of Lagos and Nigerians as a whole;  this government is proactive.

“As a government, we want to ensure that we are utilising our resources, one of which is waterway;  we have to ensure that people are confident on waterways.

“One of the ways we can be confident is by learning to swim, and there is no other way to start than with youths within our society.

“You can’t train all of them at once; so, for us, it is a step-by-step process; this is how we have chosen to continue the process we started,” he said.

The general manager said that more pupils would be trained.

“We want as many pupils as possible,” he said.

Emmanuel said that the training would be extended to adults later.

A Permanent Board Member, Lagos State Universal Basic Educational Board (LASUBEB), Mr Dayo Israel, said the training was phenomenal, adding that the pupils’  capacities were built for swimming and their water safety skills developed.

The LASUBEB official said that the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration was determined to take the education sector to a greater height.

“We are changing the content with digitalising our classrooms, but that will not be enough to improve the cognitive without also working on the psychomotor.

“Therefore, what we are doing here today in Ibeshe is to empower children and develop their capacities to become Olympic gold medalists someday.

“We have a whole department called the Curriculum Department that continues to improve the skills of our young people and organise activities and programmes.

“For example, we are doing taekwondo, we are doing judo, we are doing a lot of other things; so, we are working closely with the state’s Sports Commission,” he said.

Israel said there was a lot of inter-agency collaboration aimed at building a total child.

The Founder and Lead Instructor, Dolphin Swim School and Dolphin Aquatic Center Ltd., Mrs Aderoju Ope-Ajayi, said the pupils learned how to use life jacket properly and how to swim with it.

Ope-Ajayi added that the pupils were taught the importance of water safety and they were able to grasp the concept; they are water safer now.

“Currently, we run a learn-to-swim programme for children and adults.

“A child learning how to be water safe means drowning prevention; that means the rate of death by drowning will significantly reduce,” she said.

One of the beneficiaries from Local  Authority School, Ibese, Miss Dorothy Davo, said she was able to learn diving, swimming and basic survival strategies.

On behalf of all the beneficiaries, Davo thanked the state government and LASUBEB management for the training.


Health and Safety

Maternal Mortality: 82,000 Nigerian Women Die yearly from Pregnancy-related Complications – UNICEF



Maternal Mortality: 82,000 Nigerian Women Die yearly from Pregnancy-related Complications – UNICEF

…. As MMR declines by 34%, or deaths from 342 to 223 deaths per 100,000 live births***

 The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), has said that about 82,000 Nigerian women die yearly from complications from pregnancy or childbirth in the country.

It broke it down to 225 women dying every day from maternal mortality, which requires urgent action from the Federal Government and all stakeholders to halt the menace in the country.

The UNICEF Chief of Health in Nigeria, Dr. Eduardo Celades, disclosed these in Lagos on Wednesday, at a three-day Media Dialogue on COVID-19 and Routine Immunization, organised by UNICEF, in collaboration with the Ministry of Information and Culture.

Maternal mortality refers to deaths due to complications from pregnancy or childbirth.

 From 2000 to 2020, the global maternal mortality ratio (MMR) declined by 34 percent – from 342 deaths to 223 deaths per 100,000 live births, according to UN inter-agency estimates.

On the other hand, the global humanitarian intervention agency revealed that the country was now witnessing eight million childbirths yearly, expressing worry that the situation was not commensurate with healthcare indices in the country.

NAN recalled that the new death rate arising from pregnancy-related complications doubled the figure released by the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), just in March 2022, when it said that at least 40,000 women in the country lose their lives to pregnancy-related issues annually.

It also said that over one million children, under the age of five, also die as a result of losing their mothers to pregnancy delivery complications.

But speaking at the media dialogue, Celades said that Nigeria has a very high rate of maternal mortality at the moment, stating that the global maternal mortality report from 2000 to 2020, was recently launched as the source.

According to him, the new figures which he said were received, will help UNICEF in its response to health challenges in the country.

He said: “In the last few months and weeks, we got new data. The report is telling us that the number of women dying from pregnancy-related causes is very high. About 82,000 are estimated to die every year from maternal mortality.

“What we are doing is to strengthen primary health care in the country.

“We hope that the data would help us in our response and the response with the government in Nigeria.

“The other one is the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS), an analysis where there is the main issue and how we can face them.

“The other new data is the global maternal mortality trends, 2000 to 2020. This is a new report that was launched a couple of weeks ago and we wanted to share that with you because we think this could influence how we work and define how we work with the government so that we can all align and we can have a common narrative.

“We think that this is the new way of working. We are learning and we are trying to innovate. Nigeria is one of the most complex countries in the world in terms of public health issues facing it.

“It is the second country in the world with more zero-dose children–the ones that have not had any single vaccine. It is the country in the world with high maternal mortality.

“Last year was the biggest outbreak in the world and Nigeria has an extremely weak health system. So, we are trying to think from different angles because we at UNICEF and the UN cannot move alone. To do that, we need the government to work with journalists and social media influencers to make the change that is needed.”

He said that UNICEF is planning to launch antigenes virus vaccines in the country soon, noting that the vaccine would immunise children against some childhood diseases.

He said that the country is moving towards the attainment of SDG three, but, its current pace is insufficient to meet the targets.

“Maternal mortality is not going down. Maternal mortality is the same. We have seen that it has reduced by about 12 percent in the last 20 years but it is not enough if we want to achieve the target.

“So, from UNICEF, our main approach is to try to accelerate interventions to make an impact. Now, we have seven more years to 2030 and we are halfway. If we continue like this, some donors will leave in the next few years, so we have a window of opportunities,” he explained.

He called for an increase in effective investments in primary healthcare, at the state level as well as the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF).

“The second one is that now, we have a very powerful tool to get Universal Health Coverage, (UHC). To reduce maternal mortality, we must focus on National Health Insurance. So I appeal for expansion of the National Health Insurance as much as we can.

“We must invest in the most vulnerable. We appeal to the state governments to allocate resources and with partners, we will allocate enough resources to that.

“Our third appeal is to target the most vulnerable, those women who don’t have access in the most hard-to-reach areas and in the more inaccessible places. We need to invest in getting into these areas,” he said.

He disclosed that UNICEF was working in collaboration with the Nigerian Governors Forum and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to launch what he described as Leadership Challenge.

“The challenge is called the Primary Healthcare Leadership Challenge and the idea is to recognize and reward state governments that are investing more in primary health care.

The launch, he said, would attract different categories of awards with US$200 million as the highest to states that would win from the six geopolitical zones of the country.

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Health and Safety

FG, IOM evacuate 128 more irregular Nigerian migrants from Libya



FG, IOM evacuate 128 more irregular Nigerian migrants from Libya

The Federal Government and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) on Wednesday evacuated 128 more Nigerian migrants living illegally in Libya to Nigeria under its voluntary evacuation exercise.

The stranded Nigerians, who were evacuated from the Libyan capital, Tripoli, are expected to arrive at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos on Wednesday evening.

Amb. Kabiru Musa, the Charge D’affiares en titre of the Nigerian Mission in Libya disclosed this in a statement made available to the press on Wednesday in Abuja.

The 128 evacuees were the second batch of stranded Nigerians repatriated by the Federal Government and IOM within 24 hours, following the resumption of the Nigerian government, IOM voluntary repatriation exercise.

“IOM Libya airlifted 128 stranded Nigerians from the capital, Tripoli to Lagos today, 29th march 2023 aboard chartered flight no. UZ189.

“They are expected to arrive at Murtala Mohammed International Airport Lagos at 17.40 hours the same day.

“Just yesterday (Tuesday), we airlifted 151 stranded Nigerians, who safely arrived the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos and have been reunited with their families,” he said.

According to him, the Federal Government remains committed to evacuating whoever is ready to leave that country under the IOM voluntary repatriation exercise.

“The Mission is also always open to facilitating the return of stranded Nigerians living here who are willing to return home.

“Last year, the Federal Government evacuated almost 4,000 stranded Nigerians here and we hope to evacuate more this year,” Musa said.

Musa said that the next evacuation would be from Misrata, Libya on April 18.

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Health and Safety

650 migrants reach Italy by boat, 190 rescued



650 migrants reach Italy by boat, 190 rescued

 About 650 migrants reached the Italian coast in a fishing boat, the latest in increasing attempts to reach the country.

The boat which was about 30 metres long and overloaded, arrived in the southern town of Roccella Ionica, the Italian news agency ANSA reported on Monday.

The report said the boat departed from Libya and its passengers had been travelling for five days.

The passengers were all men who came from Syria, Pakistan, Egypt and Bangladesh, ANSA said.

They reached the Calabrian town unaided, without the involvement of the coast guard or civilian sea rescuers.

Thousands of people arrived in Italy over the weekend. Dozens of others died in the attempt or went missing because their boats capsized.

Meanwhile, the aid organisation Doctors Without Borders brought 190 Mediterranean migrants ashore to the southern Italian city of Bari.

The group’s Geo Barents vessel reached the port on the Adriatic coast previously assigned by Italian authorities late on Sunday afternoon, it said.

The ship picked up people on Friday from an unseaworthy wooden boat, including several unaccompanied minors.

However, many people repeatedly try to reach Lampedusa, Malta, Sicily or the Italian mainland by boats from Tunisia and Libya, crossing the central Mediterranean Sea in a potentially deadly journey.

According to official figures, Italy has already registered more than 21,000 boat migrants since the beginning of January, or more than three times the number of migrants seen in each of the two previous years, when about 6,000 per year arrived.

– dpa

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