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An audit by Nigeria's government has discovered more than 20,000 nonexistent workers on federal payroll. Periodic checks are to be continued to avert further abuse.

 

The audit used biometric data and a bank verification number (BVN) to discover where the salaries were being paid. The names of some civil servants receiving a salary did not correspond to the names on the bank accounts. Some individuals were receiving salaries from multiple sources.

"The federal government has removed 23,846 nonexistent workers from its payroll," Festus Akanbi, a special adviser to Finance Ministe, Kemi Adeosun, announced on Sunday. "Consequently the salary bill for February 2016 has reduced by 2.293 billion naira (10.5 million euros/$11.5 million) when compared to December 2015 when the BVN audit process commenced," Akanbi added.

The ministry announced that it would undertake "periodic checks and utilize computer-assisted audit techniques." New and tougher monitoring of entrants to the civil service is to be introduced to prevent further abuse.

 

Akanbi said the ministry was working with the financial crimes agency and the National Pension Commission to identify irregularities. The aim was to recover salaries and pension contributions related to the 'ghost' workers.

Ongoing exercise

"The ongoing exercise, which is part of the cost-saving and anti-corruption agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari's administration, is key to funding the deficit in the 2016 budget," said Akanbi.

Buhari's government came to power last year, pledging in its campaign to tackle corruption and cut the costs of government.

Akanbi said Nigeria's state coffers were depleted as a result of the collapse in global oil prices. Reducing the costs of state personnel was "key to funding the deficit in the 2016 budget, as savings made will ultimately reduce the amount to be borrowed," he said.

Corruption and mismanagement have held back the development of Africa's largest economy for many years.

(DW)

No cases of infections from the Zika virus has been reported in Cameroon, the representative of the World Health Organisation, Dr. Jean Baptiste Roungou announced during a meeting with Health professional to raise awareness on the disease. The Yaounde meeting presided over by the Minister of Public Health Andre Mama Fouda was an occasion to present Cameroon’s riposte strategy and emmergency measures in the situation where a case is suspected. Public Health Minister Andre Mama Fouda noted that although the virus is not yet in the country preventive and response mechanisms have already been put in place. He said all major ports of entry into the country were under surveillance. The National Emergency response Center has been upgraded to measure the scale of the disease and has been equipped to handle any suspected cases while the Center Pasteur Medical Laboratory has been set to carry out diagnosis on any suspected cases. 

Health experts explained that unlike the female anophelex mosquito that spreads malaria, the Aedes Aeygpti mosquito that is a vector of the Zika virus is very dangerous as it attacks during the day and at night. The Aedes mosquito species also spreads chikungunia, yellow fever and dengue fever and is widespread in Africa, Asia and parts of Central and South Africa where several cases have been reported. Professonals however the say the virus does not generally kill and treatment is symptomatic. The professionals from the Ministry of Public Health and the World Health Organisation, WHO, recommended preventive measures especially to pregnant women who are the most vulnerable group.

Dr. Omer Pasi, Country Director for the Centre for Disease Control hinted that it was not yet clear if the virus was responsible for the a rise in microcephaly which is the deformation of the featus leading to babies with enlarged heads. However, wearing long clothing that covers the enitire body, placing nets around windows and doors to reduce the mosquito population and sleeping under treated mosquito nets are essential preventive tips. In this regard, WHO officails saluted Cameroon's initiative to distribute long lasting insecticide treated mosquito bed nets.

No human casualties were reported in the fire accident that ravaged the Pasteur Pavillion of the Yaounde Central Hospital on Monday 8th February 2016. The origin of the fire that broke out Monday afternoon has not yet been established but like what the CPDM crime syndicate often say, an electrical fault was believed to have sparked the wild flame that consumed all the documentation and other accessories in the office of the main doctor of the ward who at the time was performing a surgical operation. The material damage was enomous as the entire ward was completely destroyed. 

The National Fire Fighting Brigade however contained the ravenging flames from spreading to other parts of the hospital. Shortly after the flames were contained, the Minister of Public Health, Andre Mama Fouda accompanied by the Secretary of State for Health Alim Hayatou and the Secretary of State in the Ministry of Defence in charge of the National Gendarmerie, Jean Baptiste Bokam visited the scene to measure the extent of the damage. Minister Fouda gave standing instructions that the ward should be isolated and electricity supply suspended from the affected building. CPDM corrupt contractors are already queing as the Minister announced emmergency repair measures.

Sunday, 07 February 2016 00:00

Cameroon says its fighting Cancer with anger

Cameroonians and the international community have on the 4th February 2016, observed the World Cancer Day under the theme “We can. I can”. Commemorative activities included free cancer screening and tests at the Yaounde Teaching Hospital. The medical examinations were scheduled to run till Saturday 6th February, 2016. 

This year's World Cancer Day theme explores how collectively or as individuals, everyone can join to reduce the global burden of cancer. The day aims at saving millions by raising awareness and education about cancer. Statistics from www.worldcancerday.org indicates that 8.2 million people die from cancer worldwide every year, out of which, 4 million die prematurely (aged 30 to 69 years).

Lassa fever killed 101 people in Nigeria over a time span of six months, the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) said Saturday. Cases of the hemorrhagic disease, both confirmed and suspected, stood at 175 with a total of 101 deaths. The NCDC said as of today, "19 (including Abuja) states are currently following up contacts, or have suspected cases with laboratory results pending or laboratory confirmed cases." Health authorities say the virus is under control, but there are fears that the actual scale of the outbreak is under-reported. Large quantities of drugs, including Ribavirin tablets, and bottles of hand sanitizers have been distributed across the country to stop the spread of the deadly virus. The epidemic was first reported in January, but the first case of the disease occurred in August 2015. Last year, 12 people died in Nigeria out of 375 infected, while in 2012 there were 1,723 cases and 112 deaths, according to the NCDC. 

In neighboring Benin, at least nine people have died of Lassa, with a total of 20 suspected cases, health authorities said February 2. The number of Lassa fever infections across West Africa every year is between 100,000 to 300,000, with about 5,000 deaths, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The disease belongs to the same family as Marburg and Ebola, two deadly viruses that lead to infections with fever, vomiting and, in worse case scenarios, hemorrhagic bleeding. Its name is from the town of Lassa in northern Nigeria, where it was first identified in 1969. The virus is spread by rats or after coming in direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person.

Cameroonian youth particularly young girls will have a place where they can seek medical advice on health issues related to their stage in life as well as learn how to handle other health-society problems, thanks to the Yaounde Gynaeco-Obstetric and Pediatric Hospital. In line with activities to mark the 50th anniversary of the National Youth Day, authorities of the Yaounde Gynaeco-Obstetric and Paediatric Hospital have opened an adolescent clinic for all young people in the country. The Deputy Director General of the Yaounde Gynaeco-Obstetric and Paediatric Hospital, Dr Charles Nsom Mba said the hospital preferred to launch the teenage health platform dubbed “Adolescents Clinic” because they want to emphasise on the care the hospital is giving to youth health problems. It is a special occasion which gives adolescents especially those aged between 10 and 19 years to come to the hospital and discuss problems related to their health. 

Dr Charles Nsom said given that youths at times find it difficult to talk about their health problems, the Adolescents Clinic platform is a unique moment that takes place every Wednesday from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and which gives youngsters the opportunity to have frank talks with health workers. The platform which started last year was officially opened to all youths during their week as a way to encourage them not to stay behind but come out with those problems that are a burden to them. Throughout the year, hospital personnel will interact with youths on several topics such as HIV/AIDs, family planning, vaccination, how to avoid and handle early pregnancy, how to take care of a baby and also rape matters. Through sketches, youths will be handed knowledge on how to properly wash their hands, clean their mouth and other hygiene related aspects concerning their body. The Divisional Officer for Yaounde V, Mamadi Mahamat, said it is an important thing to support youths in activities that concern their health so that while in good health, they will continue to behave like the exemplary youths the Head of State wants for Cameroon.

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Cameroon Concord  is an online publication covering and reporting on  local and world news, sports, entertainment, politics, business, and religious news. Serving Cameroonians .

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