The United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF and partners has launched an SMS-based platform called U-Report. The innovation will allow Nigerians to participate and engage in policy-making, governance and access information on key social issues.
To become a U-reporter, the user will have to register and use the forum to talk about happenings in their communities and send alert messages to relevant stakeholders like the media or political office holders especially those representing their constituencies at the local and federal levels of government. The technology also provides decision makers a forum to listen to millions of voices through simple messaging.
UNICEF Nigeria reports that in the last one year, with support from telecommunication service providers like Airtel, MTN, GLO and Etisalat, the number of U-reporters has rapidly grown to about 200,000 with thousands joining every month from all parts of the country. They expect the number get up to a million by the end of 2015.
UNICEF added that initiative also attracted strategic partnerships with civil society organizations, UN agencies and Government Ministries, who contributed by selecting poll questions and promoting the platform to Nigerian citizens, as a tool for civic engagement and community empowerment
“Today more than ever before community journalism through communication technology can help engender good governance, accountability, social change and improve health standards.’ said Jean Gough, UNICEF Representative in Nigeria. ‘U-Report platform provides a thrilling opportunity to contribute to positive social change in the Nigeria,’ she noted.
UNICEF strongly believes that through U-reports, communities can constructively contribute to the improvement of their standard of living and significantly contribute to transparency and accountability in the management of public funds.
To become a U-reporter in Nigeria text the word ‘JOIN’ to 24453. It is free.
The theme of the three day summit is Financing Waste Management in Developing Economies. Papers presented include:Funding waste management infrastructure, national strategy for private sector participation in waste management and concept and principles of best practices in sustainable waste management.
in an interview with Keluo Chukwuogo a process systems engineer with BOSKEL he said waste right now are being burried by various governments in borrowed pits: ‘every waste that comes from municipalities are put together inside that pit and these waste include medical, industrial and normal household waste, and the problem is that they keep decaying and rainfall keeps leaching out pollutants from this waste into the ground water that we use, so we are therefore laying time bombs for generations unborn.’
The Lagos State Government has announced that it is investigating a suspected case of Ebola Virus Disease.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Health Dr. Yewande Adeshina while addressing newsmen on Thursday 24 July 2014 said the suspected patient is being hospitalised in a private facility in the state.
The suspect is a 40 year old Liberian who arrived in Lagos on Sunday July 20th 2014 on a flight from Monrovia through Lome
Dr. Adeshina advised residents of the state to reduce risk of infection by observing strict personal and environmental hygiene by washing their hands often with soap and water. She also cautioned against close contact with people who are sick and added that objects used by the sick are to be decontaminated and properly disposed
Meanwhile the Lagos State government has called on residents to remain calm as appropriate measures are being taken to prevent and control an outbreak
It should be recalled that more than 630 people have died of Ebola in the three West African states (Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea) since the outbreak began in Guinea in February.
According to the World Health Organisation, Ebola Virus Disease is the world’s deadliest outbreak to date and there is no known cure.
The public is to report any suspected cases to their local government areas or the ministry of Health or call any of the following numbers:
08023169485; 08033086660; 08033065303; 08055281442; 08055329229
The World Health Organisation says immunisation is one of the most successful and cost effective health interventions ever introduced.
Vaccines prevent about 3 million deaths every year.
The theme for this year’s World Immunisation Week is: Are Your Vaccinations Up-To-Date?
I have been wanting to work on this story for a long time. It is a common practice to see Nigerians buy cooked foods and drink in plastic bags. I have done several times in the past with my colleagues; but had often wondered if it is a healthy thing to do. In the cause of my research and speaking with Emmanuel Unuabonah I realised we are gradually poisoning and killing ourselves. It is probably why we have rising cases of kidney failures and cancer related cases.