Plant diseases rob global economy of $220bn annually – UN study
The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), an agency of the United Nations says plant diseases rob the global economy of more than 220 billion dollars annually.
A study supported by FAO and published on Wednesday, indicated that 40 per cent of global crop production is currently lost to pests.
The UN agency added that invasive pests cost countries at least 70 billion dollars annually.
The study further said that the invasive pests were one of the main drivers of biodiversity loss.
“Species such as fall armyworm, which feeds on crops that include maize, sorghum, and millet, have already spread due to warmer climate.
“Others, such as desert locusts, which are the world’s most destructive migratory pests, are expected to change their migratory routes and geographical distribution.
“Movements like these threaten food security as a whole, and small holder farmers, as well as people in countries where food security is an issue, are among those especially at risk,” the study said.
Speaking at the launch of the report, FAO, Director-General, Qu Dongyu said preserving plant health was fundamental to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
“Sustaining plant health is an integral part of our work towards more efficient, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable agri-food systems,’’ Dongyu said.
The authors of the study found out that climate change was making pests which ravage important agricultural crops even more destructive, heightening threats to global food security and the environment.
The authors outlined several recommendations to mitigate the impact of climate change, starting with stepping up international cooperation, as effective management of plant pests in one country affects success in others.
As half of all emerging plant diseases are spread through travel and trade, improved measures to limit transmission, while adjustments to plant protection policies are also critical.
They also stressed the need for more research, and more investments in strengthening national systems and structures related to plant health.
The scientific review looks at 15 plant pests that have spread or may spread due to climate change.
Risks are increasing, the authors warn, with a single, unusually warm winter capable of providing conditions suitable for insect infestations.
“The review clearly shows that the impact of climate change is one of the greatest challenges the plant health community is facing.”
The study was prepared by Prof. Maria Lodovica at the University of Turin in Italy, along with 10 co-authors from across the globe, under the auspices of the Secretariat of the International Plant Protection Convention, which FAO hosts.
The report is among the key initiatives of the International Year of Plant Health, which ends in June.
NCDC announces 210 additional COVID-19 cases, two deaths in 24 hours
By Gistflash News
Sept 26, 2021
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), says the country recorded two more COVID-19-related deaths with 210 additional cases in the last 24 hours.
The NCDC, in its latest update on Sunday morning, said the cases were reported in 12 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
It indicated that the country’s total infection from the pandemic currently stands at 204,201 while the fatality toll increased to 2,673.
It also noted that six states – Benue, Kano, Nasarawa, Plateau, Sokoto and Zamfara – recorded no new cases.
The breakdown shows that Lagos remains the nation’s epicentre of the virus with 79 cases, followed by Edo with 20 new infections and Anambra third with 19 cases.
Other states are Rivers (18), Ondo (15), Gombe (14), Oyo (13), Kaduna (11), Ekiti (8), Delta (6), FCT (5), Bayelsa (1) and Kano (1).
The NCDC stated with the new figure, a total of 192,421 patients have so far recovered from COVID-19 in the country.
It added that over 2. 9 million samples of the virus from the nation’s roughly 200 million population have been tested.
The NCDC noted that a multi-sectoral national emergency operations centre (EOC), activated at Level 2, continued to coordinate the national response activities.
The agency stated that the number of active COVID-19 cases in the country stands at 9,098.
NHIS, NYSC sign MoU for corps members’ health insurance cover
By Gistflash News
Sept 7, 2021
The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to give corps members health insurance cover during service.
The MoU was signed by the Executive Secretary of NHIS, Prof. Mohammed Sambo and the Director-General of NYSC, Brig.-Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim, in Abuja on Tuesday.
Sambo said that it would ensure that corps members were integrated into the scheme to enable them to properly access healthcare during their service year.
“We are working on the presidential mandate on leaving no one behind in the health insurance scheme.
“So, today, it is big step to ensure that corps members are integrated into the scheme, this will expand coverage ratio of the scheme and also access to health facilities for corps members,’’ Sambo said.
According to him, for the purpose of continuity the corps members after their service year will enroll on what is called kinship programme.
He said that the corps members would migrate from the NYSC insurance to kinship where a token is paid and when they are employed they would join the formal sector programme.
Also speaking, the D-G of NYSC said that the MoU was in line with presidential directive that corps members should be enrolled in the scheme.
Ibrahim said that such directive showed that the government was concerned about the health of corps members in the country.
According to him, such gesture will encourage the corps members to carry out their service properly.
Ibrahim said that MoU would address the financial burden of the members in terms of health.
COVID-19: Nigeria’s total infection toll now stands at 195,052, with 2,522 fatalities
By Gistflash News
Sept 5, 2021
The Nigeria Centre For Disease Control (NCDC) says the country’s total infection toll now stands at 195,052, with a fatality toll of 2,522.
The NCDC made this known via its verified website on Sunday morning, adding that Nigeria recorded 27 more Coronavirus (COVID-19) related deaths and 964 new infections from 19 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that the 964 fresh cases reported on Saturday indicated an increase from the 444 cases posted on Friday.
The public health agency noted that Lagos State, the country’s epicenter of COVID-19, reported 456; Ondo followed with 180, while Edo recorded the third highest infection with 66 cases.
Amongst others are: Rivers (62), Niger (26), Akwa Ibom (25), Ekiti (22), Kwara (22), Oyo (22), Kaduna (17), Delta (14), Benue (12), Gombe (9), Plateau (9), FCT (8), Jigawa (5), Ogun (4), Bayelsa and Nasarawa (2) each, and Bauchi (1).
The agency also noted that the country’s active coronavirus cases in Nigeria were 10,026, with a total of 182,463 cases successfully treated and discharged after recovery as of Sept. 4.
The NCDC said that over 2.7million samples of the virus out of the nation’s roughly 200 million population were tested.
The agency said that a multi-sectoral national Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) activated at Level two continues to coordinate the national response activities.
Meanwhile, the NCDC noted that with the recent surge of COVID-19 cases in the country, Nigerians must all do their part to help minimise instances of exposure.
The agency stressed that every COVID-19 related death was a reminder of the damage COVID-19 could cause when it gets into the community.
While urging Nigerians to get vaccinated, it stressed that the COVID-19 was causing severe illness in people of all ages.
The centre therefore advised Nigerians to get vaccinated now to protect themselves, their friends and community from the virus.
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