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COVID-19 kills 17,000 senior citizens in Africa, says WHO

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PHOTO: AFP


Bagudu to use N1b COVID-19 fund for schools

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has killed 17,000 senior citizens in Africa, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). The Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday to mark the International Day of Older Persons, in Maiduguri, Borno State.

The International Day of Senior Citizens is an annual celebration of old people globally when stock of opportunities and challenges relating to the ageing population is taken.

On the import of senior citizens, Moeti said: “Our elders provide us with love and care, and are a source of wisdom and talent.” She noted that the old also influence the young as they age gracefully.

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“We have a duty to support older people in realising their human rights and living with dignity,” she added.

In addressing the disproportionate burden of the pandemic on older people, she said the elders should be shielded, including the adoption of preventive measures like wearing masks.

To reduce frequenting health care facilities, African countries should continue to provide multi-month prescriptions for people with chronic diseases, she said, citing countries such as Mauritius where health workers reportedly reach out to older people in their homes to deliver seasonal flu shots.

She also noted challenges in Africa, including lack of comprehensive long-term care systems, low coverage of social protection schemes, and inadequate data to shape policy interventions.

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GOVERNOR Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi State has said that while re-opening schools on October 4, his administration will use the N1 billion released to the state by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 to provide schools with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Bagudu made this known while fielding questions from journalists during the 60th independence anniversary in Birnin Kebbi.He added that the state government was also ready to provide the schools with additional funds for ensuring that all COVID-19 guidelines were adequately taken care of.

On whether the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) presently taking shelter in some of the schools would not be an obstruction to the re-opening, the governor said only about 10 per cent of the schools were taken over by the IDPs and that majority of the schools were free for commencement.

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