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In December 2019, a cluster of acute respiratory illness cases was reported in Wuhan, China all with a link to Wuhan’s Huanan Seafood Wholesale market. The affected citizens were presenting with fever, dry cough, and other respiratory signs. By January 1st, 2020, China announced that the affected citizens tested positive for the coronavirus and immediately shut down the market. It spread fear and panic throughout China. People began to avoid human contact, stay indoors and sanitize their environments. By January 23, 2020, Wuhan City was locked down with restricted internal movement and all travel in and out prohibited.

Regardless, figures of cases and deaths escalated and the virus spread to other countries. As of 20 February 2020, a cumulative total of 75,465 COVID- 19 cases were reported in China. According to journals, bats appear to be the reservoir of the virus and it is spread via droplets and fomites. In weeks, several European countries (Including Italy, Spain, and France) had reported cases of COVID 19 (name as announced by WHO in February).

In weeks, China had rolled out what WHO has described as “the most ambitious, agile and aggressive disease containment effort in history” with the immediate aim of controlling the source of infection, blocking transmission and preventing further spread. COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the Director-General of WHO on March 11, 2020.

In Nigeria, life as we know it is taking a different turn. The President called for a lockdown in Lagos, Abuja, and Ogun states respectively after addressing the nation on the pandemic. The Osun state government has imposed a 6am to 7pm curfew on the state. Times are changing and we are struggling to adapt, but that will by no means deter us.


Prevention Works Best

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID- 19. The recommended preventive method is to avoid being exposed to the virus.

  • Wash your hands regularly: Luckily for us, coronaviruses are easily killed by disinfectants. Soap and water are most effective for handwashing but an alcohol-based hand sanitizer works in the absence of Soap.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid crowded places.
  • Stay home if you feel unwell: Protect others by avoiding possibilities of spreading the virus. Wear a facemask if you happen to be around other people
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables: Complications of COVID-19 are more serious in immunocompromised individuals. Take Vitamin/Mineral supplements, eat balanced meals, get adequate sleep daily and boost your immune system.

Young People Are Not Invincible

Although older adults and people of all ages with underlying medical conditions that compromise their immune systems are at higher risk for grave complications from the virus, young people have been reported to need hospitalization after infection.

Speaking at the COVID-19 media briefing, the Director-General said: “Although older people are the hardest hit, younger people are not spared. Data from many countries clearly shows that people under 50 make up a significant proportion of patients requiring hospitalization”.


Watching the news and monitoring the rate of occurrence of cases and the number of deaths can get one paranoid. Your mind will play lots of tricks on you during these times. You might suddenly find it frightening to even sneeze. It’s important to be able to identify the typical COVID-19 symptoms and report for treatment immediately.

The symptoms of COVID-19 are nonspecific and the presentation ranges from no symptoms to respiratory conditions and death. Based on reported cases so far, the symptoms include: Fever, dry cough, fatigue, sputum production, shortness of breath, sore throat, headache, chills, nausea, diarrhea, in descending order of occurrence in the cases.


These are uncertain times and a lot of individuals are currently slipping into depression. Canceled plans, social isolation are sending people spiraling with fear, anxiety, and loneliness. Maintaining a positive state of mind coupled with an attempt to stay productive in these times could be helpful. Also, adopting healthy routines that build the immune system like:

Eating balanced meals.

Taking vitamin supplements.

Staying physically active; Do exercises.

Limiting alcohol and sugary drinks

Avoiding smoking.

Getting adequate sleep.

The Nigerian Center for Disease Control (NCDC) is working daily to keep us updated and safe. They can be reached on Whatsapp at 07087110839.

Stay AHEAD of COVID-19! This too shall pass.

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Press Briefing Development Meeting – Project AAYRHAN

Academy for Health Development and Lagos State Ministry of Health with the support of The Partnership for Advocacy in Child Family Health at Scale present Project AAYRHAN – Advancing Adolescent and Youth Reproductive Health Advocacy in Nigeria

Video excerpt from the Project AAYRHAN Press Briefing Development Meeting

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AHEAD Nigeria: Diabetes Awareness

The theme for World Diabetes Day 2019 is Family and Diabetes.

AHEAD Nigeria is raising awareness of the impact that diabetes has on the family and support network of those affected, and promoting the role of the family in the management, care, prevention and education of diabetes.

A lack of knowledge about diabetes means that spotting the warning signs is not just a problem for parents, but is an issue impacting a cross-section of society. This is a major concern, due to the signs being milder in type 2 diabetes, the most prevalent form of the condition, responsible for around 90% of all diabetes. One in two people currently living with diabetes are undiagnosed. The vast majority of these have type 2 diabetes.

What is diabetes mellitus?

Diabetes mellitus is a disease that prevents your body from properly using the energy from the food you eat. Diabetes occurs in one of the following situations:

  • The pancreas (an organ behind your stomach) produces little insulin or no insulin at all. Insulin is a naturally occurring hormone, produced by the beta cells of the pancreas, which helps the body use sugar for energy. OR
  • The pancreas makes insulin, but the insulin made does not work as it should. This condition is called insulin resistance.

To better understand diabetes, it helps to know more about how the body uses food for energy (a process called metabolism).

Your body is made up of millions of cells. To make energy, the cells need food in a very simple form. When you eat or drink, much of your food is broken down into a simple sugar called glucose. Glucose provides the energy your body needs for daily activities.

The blood vessels and blood are the highways that transport sugar from where it is either taken in (the stomach) or manufactured (in the liver) to the cells where it is used (muscles) or where it is stored (fat). Sugar cannot go into the cells by itself. The pancreas releases insulin into the blood, which serves as the helper, or the “key,” that lets sugar into the cells for use as energy.

When sugar leaves the bloodstream and enters the cells, the blood sugar level is lowered. Without insulin, or the “key,” sugar cannot get into the body’s cells for use as energy. This causes sugar to rise. Too much sugar in the blood is called “hyperglycemia” (high blood sugar).

What are the types of diabetes?

There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2:

  • Type 1 diabetes occurs because the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas (beta cells) are damaged. In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas makes little or no insulin, so sugar cannot get into the body’s cells for use as energy. People with type 1 diabetes must use insulin injections to control their blood glucose. Type 1 is the most common form of diabetes in people who are under age 30, but it can occur at any age. Ten percent of people with diabetes are diagnosed with type 1.
  • In type 2 diabetes (adult onset diabetes), the pancreas makes insulin, but it either doesn’t produce enough, or the insulin does not work properly. Nine out of 10 people with diabetes have type 2. This type occurs most often in people who are over 40 years old but can occur even in childhood if there are risk factors present. Type 2 diabetes may sometimes be controlled with a combination of diet, weight management and exercise. However, treatment also may include oral glucose-lowering medications (taken by mouth) or insulin injections (shots).

Other types of diabetes might result from pregnancy (gestational diabetes), surgery, use of certain medicines, various illnesses and other specific causes.

What is gestational diabetes?

Gestational diabetes occurs when there is a high blood glucose level during pregnancy. As pregnancy progresses, the developing baby has a greater need for glucose. Hormone changes during pregnancy also affect the action of insulin, which brings about high blood glucose levels.

Pregnant women who have a greater risk of developing gestational diabetes include those who:

  • Are over 35 years old
  • Are overweight
  • Have a family history of diabetes
  • Have a history of polycystic ovarian syndrome

Blood glucose levels usually return to normal after childbirth. However, women who have had gestational diabetes have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.

What causes diabetes?

The causes of diabetes are not known. The following risk factors may increase your chance of getting diabetes:

  • Family history of diabetes
  • African-American, Hispanic, Native American, or Asian-American race, Pacific Islander or ethnic background
  • Being overweight
  • Physical stress (such as surgery or illness)
  • Use of certain medications, including steroids
  • Injury to the pancreas (such as infection, tumor, surgery or accident)
  • Autoimmune disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Abnormal blood cholesterol or triglyceride levels
  • Age (risk increases with age)
  • Smoking
  • History of gestational diabetes

It is important to note that sugar itself does not cause diabetes. Eating a lot of sugar can lead to tooth decay, but it does not cause diabetes.

What are the symptoms of diabetes?

The symptoms of diabetes include:

  • Increased thirst
  • Increased hunger (especially after eating)
  • Dry mouth
  • Frequent urination
  • Unexplained weight loss (even though you are eating and feel hungry)
  • Weak, tired feeling
  • Blurred vision
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
  • Slow-healing sores or cuts
  • Dry and itchy skin
  • Frequent yeast infections or urinary tract infections

What are the symptoms of low blood sugar?

Most people have symptoms of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) when their blood sugar is less than 70 mg/dl. (Your healthcare provider will tell you how to test your blood sugar level.)

When your blood sugar is low, your body gives out signs that you need food. Different people have different symptoms. You will learn to know your symptoms.

Common early symptoms of low blood sugar include the following:

  • Feeling weak
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Feeling hungry
  • Trembling and feeling shaky
  • Sweating
  • Pounding heart
  • Pale skin
  • Feeling frightened or anxious

Late symptoms of low blood sugar include:

  • Feeling confused
  • Headache
  • Feeling cranky
  • Poor coordination
  • Bad dreams or nightmares
  • Being unable keep your mind on one subject
  • Numbness in your mouth and tongue
  • Passing out

How is diabetes diagnosed?

Diabetes is diagnosed with fasting sugar blood tests or with A1c blood tests, also known as glycated hemoglobin tests. A fasting blood sugar test is performed after you have had nothing to eat or drink for at least eight hours. Normal fasting blood sugar is less than 100 mg/dl (5.6 mmol/l). You do not have to be fasting for an A1c blood test. Diabetes is diagnosed by one of the following (see chart):

  • Your blood sugar level is equal to or greater than 126 mg/dl (7 mmol/l).
  • You have two random blood sugar tests over 200 mg/dl (11.1 mmol/l) with symptoms.
  • You have an oral glucose tolerance test with results over 200 mg/dl (11.1 mmol/l).
  • Your A1c test is greater than 6.5 percent on two separate days.

An A1c test should be performed in a laboratory using a method that is certified by the National Glycohemoglobin Standardization Program (NGSP) and standardized to the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) assay.

  • Fasting Glucose Test
    • Normal: Less than 100
    • Pre-diabetes: 100-125
    • Diabetes: 126 or higher
  • Random (anytime) Glucose Test
    • Normal: Less than 140
    • Pre-diabetes: 140-199
    • Diabetes: 200 or higher
  • A1c Test
    • Normal: Less than 5.7%
    • Pre-diabetes: 5.7 – 6.4%
    • Diabetes: 6.5% or higher

How is diabetes managed?

There is no cure for diabetes, but it can be treated and controlled. The goals of managing diabetes are to:

  • Keep your blood glucose levels as near to normal as possible by balancing food intake with medication and activity.
  • Maintain your blood cholesterol and triglyceride (lipid) levels as near the normal ranges as possible.
  • Control your blood pressure. Your blood pressure should not go over 140/90.
  • Decrease or possibly prevent the development of diabetes-related health problems.

You hold the keys to managing your diabetes by:

  • Planning what you eat and following a balanced meal plan
  • Exercising regularly
  • Taking medication, if prescribed, and closely following the guidelines on how and when to take it
  • Monitoring your blood glucose and blood pressure levels at home
  • Keeping your appointments with your healthcare providers and having laboratory tests completed as ordered by your doctor.

What you do at home every day affects your blood glucose more than what your doctor can do every few months during your check-up.

What are insulin pumps?

Insulin pumps are small, computerized devices, about the size of a small cell phone that you wear on your belt, in your pocket, or under your clothes. They deliver rapid-acting insulin 24 hours a day through a small flexible tube called a cannula. The cannula is inserted under the skin using a needle. The needle is then removed leaving only the flexible tube under the skin. The pump user replaces the cannula every 2-3 days.

It is important for pump users to frequently monitor their glucose levels either with a continuous glucose monitor or a fingerstick monitor. The pump delivers a continuous flow of insulin that can be adjusted if needed for things like exercise and stress. A pump user regularly enters information about their food intake and blood sugar levels into the pump so it can help them calculate insulin doses for food intake and high blood sugar levels.

Benefits of an insulin pump include fewer insulin injections, a more flexible lifestyle, and a more consistent and adjustable delivery of insulin.

Can I take both pills and insulin to control my blood sugar?

Yes. The combination of insulin and an oral medication, when taken as directed by your healthcare provider, is very safe and effective in controlling blood sugar. A typical combination therapy consists of taking an oral medication during the day and insulin at night.

Once you begin taking insulin, you will need to monitor your blood sugar more often to reduce the risk of low blood sugar reactions. Combination therapies are often helpful for people who have type 2 diabetes. If you have been taking an oral medication, your doctor may change your treatment plan to include insulin injections. This change is often made to help people with type 2 diabetes gain better control of their blood sugar.

Can type 2 diabetes be prevented?

Although diabetes risk factors like family history cannot be changed, there are other risk factors that you do have some control over. Implementing some of the healthy lifestyle habits below can improve these modifiable risk factors and help to decrease your chances of getting type 2 diabetes:

What are some of the long-term complications of high blood sugar levels?

  • Retinopathy (eye disease): All patients with diabetes should see an ophthalmologist (eye specialist) every year for a dilated eye examination. Patients with known eye disease or symptoms of blurred vision in one eye or who have blind spots may need to see their ophthalmologist more often.
  • Nephropathy (kidney disease): Urine testing should be performed every year. Regular blood pressure checks are also important because management of high blood pressure is essential in slowing kidney disease. Have your blood pressure checked at every visit with your healthcare provider. The American Diabetes Association recommends keeping blood pressure below 140/90 for most adults. Persistent swelling in the leg or feet also may be a symptom of kidney disease and should be reported to your doctor.
  • Neuropathy (nerve disease): Numbness or tingling in your feet should be reported to your doctor at your regular visits. Check your feet every day for redness, calluses, cracks or breakdown in the skin tissue. If you notice these symptoms before your scheduled visits, notify your doctor immediately.

Other long-term complications may include:

  • Other eye problems, including glaucoma and cataracts
  • Dental problems
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart attacks and strokes
  • Sexual health problems

In Nigeria…

Diabetes epidemic is an evolving phenomenon in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa. Most African Governments need to reverse the current trend where Diabetes occupies very low priority in the national health care agenda. Diabetes must compete for political attention and financial involvement. Information on the humongous costs of diabetes care (direct, indirect and total costs) in Nigeria and other developing nations needs to be evaluated and documented, such that policy makers and policy drivers will appreciate the need to focus on introducing early, cost effective interventions for both primary and secondary prevention. Diabetes programmes must be integrated and evidence based, highlighting the scale of the problem and areas for effective intervention. This will help trigger shifts in current public health priorities and augment comprehensive efforts from multiple stakeholders – countries, international organizations, academic institutions, civil society and the private sector – in combating the still evolving diabetes epidemic.


  • The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. What is Diabetes?Accessed 11/5/2018.
  • American Diabetes Association. A1C and eAG.Accessed 11/5/2018.
  • Oguejiofor O, Odenigbo C, Onwukwe C (2014) Diabetes in Nigeria: Impact, Challenges, Future Directions. Endocrinol Metab Synd 3: 130. doi:10.4172/2161-1017.1000130

Further reading:

Prevalence and Risk Factors for Diabetes Mellitus in Nigeria: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5984944/

Diabetes on the rise in Nigeria https://www.dw.com/en/diabetes-on-the-rise-in-nigeria/a-36372041

Diabetes in Nigeria: Impact, Challenges, Future Directions https://www.longdom.org/open-access/diabetes-in-nigeria-impact-challenges-future-directions-2161-1017.1000130.pdf

This information provided is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider for advice about your specific medical condition.

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StaRS Project: AHEAD Organises Curriculum Training for Teachers

On the 22nd and 23rd of October 2019, teachers from Oranmiyan College, Anglican Central and St Stephen’s Middle School came together for the training on the chosen curricula of Water and Sanitation Hygiene, Bullying and Violence and Gender. This training was a crucial step in the continuation of the implementation phase of the Starting Right at Schools (StaRS) project. The aim of the training was to teach the teachers with the curricula that they would use in training the students on the selected issues. It was also an opportunity for them to get familiar with the material, understand how to contextualize it to their schools and to work out whatever ambiguity they may face in the course of implementation.


The presentation of the Water and Sanitation Hygiene (WASH) curriculum was delivered by Ms. Sola Olanrewaju, the Head, Program Development and Implementation at the Academy for Health Development. The modules of the WASH curriculum include washing hands, personal hygiene, hygiene and sanitation, puberty and menstrual hygiene management and how basic toilets and good hygiene practices are essential for the survival and development of children.

The WASH manual will serve as a practical guide to be used by teachers and school health assistants who are involved in the promotion of water, sanitation and hygiene practices (WASH). It is designed to provide the necessary background to WASH topics for teachers and school health assistants. The objectives of the manual include

  • To raise knowledge and awareness of good WASH practices.
  • To inculcate good water, sanitation and hygiene practices in our children.
  • For girls and boys to understand puberty and associated body changes.

The presentation was filled with stories and activities like washing hands to a song, role playing and storytelling.


Ms. Seun Davies, the Senior Program Associate, Program and Capacity Development at AHEAD presented the curriculum on Bullying and Violence. The curriculum covered the different forms of violence and bullying, how to recognize and address them, how to self-assess oneself to determine if one bullies, how to advocate against bullying and the roles of the teachers in bullying situations.

The curriculum also included an anti-bullying pledge to be taken by the students and the institution of anti-bullying clubs and ambassadors who would work with the teachers to identify and mitigate acts of bullying and violence.

The presentation was made interesting with the use of tests, checklists and role-playing.


The Program Associate, Program Development and Implementation Mrs. Olamide Akanbi presented the Gender Curriculum. The curriculum includes modules like understanding gender and gender division of labour, Knowing your body and Gender-based violence

The curriculum highlighted the difference between gender and sex, how their perceptions influence attitudes, behaviours and expectations and addressed terms like gender equality and gender equity. The objectives of the curriculum were

  • To assist the school management in addressing gender issues at the school level
  • To impart gender responsiveness and sensitivity training to teachers at high schools in the intervention site.
  • To equip the students with the concepts, skills and attitude needed to facilitate equal participation of girls and boys in schools

The curriculum was rich in storytelling activities.


At the end of the training, the Middle Schools’ Director who was present to give support to her colleagues, thanked the Academy for Health Development and her sponsors for the empowerment of the teachers and she encouraged the teachers to be fine conduits of the information they had received. She emphasized the need for them to not only cater to the academic needs of their students, but to ensure the students also enjoyed emotional and psychological support from them.



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AHEAD Partners with Youth-Led Organisations to Promote Family Planning in Lagos State

The Academy for Health Development in conjunction with the Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health (PACFaH) at Scales partners with eight youth led organization, Gender Mobile Initiative, Improved Sexual Health and Right Advocacy Initiative, Safe Hands Initiative, Safer Hands Initiative, Society for Information and Human Advancement Initiative, sustainable Impact and Development Initiative, Sparkle Foundation, Paaneah Foundation and Youth Network on HIV-AIDS in Nigeria, to advance the course of family planning and promote its agenda in Lagos state.

A call for expression of interest was made to youth-led organisations based in Lagos, with over 10 members, who are engaged in young people programme implementation; youth sexual and reproductive health; HIV/AIDS, family planning and youth advocacy. The eight aforementioned organizations were found eligible with track record that meets the stated criteria. A team of 40 young people would be chosen from across organisations to build the Family Planning Youth Advocates for the project.

Comprehensive training on leadership skills, developing high impact action plans, Lagos State family planning policies and programmes, developing an issue brief and policy brief on family planning issues in Lagos, amongst others, would be held for the Family Planning Youth Advocates. Furthermore, the selected Youth Advocates would be engaged in programme implementation, conducting research, advocacy visits to policymakers and duty bearers on Family planning in Lagos State during the period of the project.

We believe that if the capacity of young people and organisations with potentials for impact in the Adolescent and Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health (AYSRH) field is built in identifying, tracking and advocating for youth focused family planning policies in Lagos, then there would be

  • more empowered young people with capacity to drive relevant changes and influence their peers,
  • awareness and monitoring of the implementation of youth related family planning policies in Lagos, and
  • effective implementation and accountability of youth related family planning policies in Lagos State.
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Capacity Development

Public Health research is not an end in itself; it is intended to generate knowledge that can be used to improve service delivery, policies and practices. AHEAD aids capacity building of health professionals through training and mentoring, bridging the gap that exists between researchers and policy makers which inevitably impacts on quality of research and intervention. The health care systems in Nigeria is continually challenged with inadequately resourced professionals in terms of leadership and management knowledge and skills, this immensely contributes to the perpetual under-performance of health professionals and systems in Nigeria. This is the underlying philosophy of the “Leading and Managing for Result” workshop developed and implemented by Academy for Health Development, and many other relevant workshops.

Workshop Title: Workshop on Programme Management Training for Health Professionals (Lagos State AIDS Control Agency (SACA) & State + SMOH) – 21st to 23rd, October, 2015

Client Organisation/Sponsoring Agency: AIDS Preventive Initiative of Nigeria (APIN)

Training Location: Ikeja, Lagos state, Nigeria


Workshop Title: Programme Management and Leadership Training for Health Professional (OYSACA+SMOH) – 28th to 30th October, 2015

Client Organisation/Sponsoring Agency: AIDS Preventive Initiative of Nigeria (APIN)

Training Location: Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria

Workshop Title: Workshop on Programme Management Training for Health Professionals (Plateau SACA) – 4th to 6th November, 2015

Client Organisation/Sponsoring Agency: AIDS Preventive Initiative of Nigeria (APIN)

Training Location: Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria

Workshop Title: Training Programme on Grant and Project Management for Civil Society Organisations in Partnership with the Anti-Corruption Academy of Nigeria – 15th to 19th December, 2015

Client Organisation/Sponsoring Agency: Anti-Corruption Academy of Nigeria (ACAN) / UNDP

Training Location: Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria

Workshop Title: Training Programme on Grant and Project Management for Civil Society Organisations in Anti-Corruption Sectors – 30th May to 3rd June, 2016

Client Organisation/Sponsoring Agency: Anti-Corruption Academy of Nigeria (ACAN) / UNDP

Training Location: Ikoyi, Lagos State, Nigeria

Workshop Title: Programme Management and Leadership Training for Health Care Professionals (APIN Middle-Level Managers) – 15th to 17th June, 2016

Client Organisation/Sponsoring Agency: AIDS Preventive Initiative of Nigeria (APIN)

Training Location: Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria

Workshop Title: Programme Management Training for Health Care Professionals (APIN Technical Associates) 28th to 30th June, 2016.

Client Organisation/Sponsoring Agency: AIDS Preventive Initiative of Nigeria (APIN)

Training Location: Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria

Workshop Title: Fundamentals of Manuscript Writing Workshop (APIN Research Team) – 11th to 15th July, 2016

Client Organisation/Sponsoring Agency: AIDS Preventive Initiative of Nigeria (APIN)

Training Location: Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria

Workshop Title: Training Programme on Grant and Project Management for Civil Society Organisations in Partnership with the Anti-Corruption Academy of Nigeria – 21st to 23rd July, and 4th to 6th October, 2016

Client Organisation/Sponsoring Agency: Anti-Corruption Academy of Nigeria (ACAN)/UNDP

Training Location: Abuja, Nigeria

Workshop Title: Corruption Risk Assessment Training of Trainers – 26th to 30th September, 2016

Client Organisation/Sponsoring Agency: Anti-Corruption Academy of Nigeria (ACAN)

Training Location: Keffi, Nasarawa State, Nigeria

Workshop Title: Training on Monitoring and Evaluation for ICPC CMED Staff – 6th to 8th June, 2017

Client Organisation/Sponsoring Agency: Anti-Corruption Academy of Nigeria (ACAN)

Training Location: Keffi, Nasarawa State, Nigeria

Workshop Title: Leading and Managing for Results (Management Team, HAI) – 11th to 13th July, 2017

Client Organisation/Sponsoring Agency: Heartland Alliance International (HAI), Nigeria Chapter

Training Location:Ikeja, Lagos State, Nigeria

Workshop Title: Introduction to Grant Writing and Essentials of Project Management – 28th August to 1st September

Client Organisation/Sponsoring Agency: Heartland Alliance International (HAI), Nigeria Chapter

Training Location: Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria

Workshop Title: Management & Leadership Workshop on ‘Site Sustainability and Close-Out Strategic Meeting’ (for CIHP Management Team) – 20th to 22nd, September, 2017

Client Organisation/Sponsoring Agency: Centre for Integrated Health Programs (CIHP)

Training Location: Ikeja, Lagos State, Nigeria

Workshop Title: Management & Leadership Workshop on ‘Site Sustainability and Close-Out Strategic Meeting’ (for CIHP State Team) – 26th to 29nd, September, 2017

Client Organisation/Sponsoring Agency: Centre for Integrated Health Programs (CIHP)

Training Location: Akwanga, Nasarawa State, Nigeria

Workshop Title: Workshop on Using Reference Managers & ATLAS.ti 8 Windows for Literature Review – 27th to 28th march, 2018

Client Organisation/Sponsoring Agency: Academy for Health Development

Training Location: Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria

Workshop Title: Thesis/Dissertation Writing Skill-Building Workshop – 28th to 30th November, 2018

Client Organisation/Sponsoring Agency: Academy for Health Development

Training Location: Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria

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Starting Right at School (StaRS): To This Point

The Starting Right at School (StaRS) Project is a study aimed at understanding the gender socialization norm among very young adolescents. It is funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and implemented in three different countries. In Nigeria, it is currently being carried out by the Academy for Health Development (AHEAD) in Osun state, Nigeria.

The project which is comprised of 3 stages; baseline, intervention and endline phases has just rounded up the baseline phase.



In January following a week-long training of research assistants, field work was carried out in 8 selected schools (5 served as control schools and 3 served as intervention schools). Using a questionnaire developed by the World Health Organization and adapted by AHEAD, the researchers sought to understand the young adolescents’ point of view on sexual and reproductive health, gender norms, bullying and violence and other matters regarding gender socialization. A total of 1032 adolescents were interviewed.

Following this, a few of the young adolescents were selected and taught the art of photovoice and how it can be used as a tool for advocacy.

The students then went into their schools and communities and identified and photographed issues surrounding sexual and reproductive health, gender socialization and gender norms.


The study analysis showed that of the 1032 students interviewed in the 8 schools studied, 3.49% of students had had sexual intercourse while about 9.3% claimed to have friends or know someone who had had sexual intercourse.

The boys who reported experiencing bullying were about 82.3% of those interviewed and 81.3% of girls interviewed reported the same. This is similar to global statistics.


In June, after analysis of the results had been done, AHEAD invited the students, parents, teachers and principals, school board, education commission and other stake holders to a community dialogue to present the findings from the study, the challenges and risks from the captured gendered norms and their proposed solutions to effectively tackling these issues.The Community dialogue was opened by the Permanent Secretary of State Universal Basic Education Board, represented by the Osun State Middle Schools Director, Mrs A. K. Oladimeji who thanked AHEAD for the initiative. She reminded teachers that a lot of students have more belief in them than in their parents and that even though gender roles are mostly determined by culture, parents and religions, the negative ones need to be rectified.

AHEAD gave a presentation on the objectives of the study and the different stages of the project. It was explained that the community dialogue signified the end of the first stage, the base-line stage and that it would be followed by the implementation and the end-line stages.

A presentation by the students followed immediately, explaining the photos they had taken using photovoice to depict issues surrounding gender socialization and gender norms that they identified in their schools and communities; the pictures were grouped in five thematic areas:

  • Water and Sanitation Hygiene (WASH) Matters, which included pictures of unsanitary toilets and environments,
  • Violence and Bullying which showed images of male and female students bullying their colleagues and students fighting.
  • Safe Environment, revealed pictures of unsafe play areas and potentially dangerous areas in the schools.
  • Gender Equality which depicted images of unfair and unequal treatment of female students such as, boys at play while girls were doing chores, and
  • Gender Sexuality showing images including those of segregation of male and female students in the class and at play.

Days 2 and 3 were aimed at developing interventions; Dr Obioma Uchendu of the Inspire Network gave an insightful presentation on violence in children and adolescents and shared the seven inspire strategies for addressing this problem.

A member of the AHEAD team gave a presentation on identifying and promoting the opportunities that exist for the fostering of gender equity in schools using the Gender Equity Movement in Schools (GEMS) as a reference.

Stakeholders were grouped according to the schools they represented and they discussed and outlined the gender socialization challenges faced by their schools in order of priority; they also shared their visions for the schools and designed a road map tailored after evidence-based strategies for gender-socialization for the realization for the visions shared.

We are moving to the second phase of the StaRS Project; the implementation phase.This will consist of the collaboration of the organization and the school stakeholders to judiciously and effectively channel the funds into selected appropriate and sustainable interventions. Implementation will run for about 6 months after which the endline phase of the project will commence and this will be a post-implementation analysis of the project, its impact and recommendations on sustainability and future projects.

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Analysis of Selected Key Indicators of TB Clients in Nigeria between 2012 and 2017, and the Emerging Policy Implications

As the global community moves towards a TB free world and the achievement of SDG 2030, Nigeria still has the highest burden of Tuberculosis in Africa despite numerous intervention programmes by national and international government agencies. These interventions have focused on programmatic framework, outcomes and few on the TB clients. Very few studies have reported changes in key indicators of TB clients. The TB clients in Nigeria give an insight into the various intervention programmes done and their effectiveness. This research summary compares selected key indicators of TB clients in Nigeria over 5 years (2012-2017) using data from the National Knowledge, Attitude and Practice survey 2012 and 2017.

Knowledge of HIV infection as a risk factor for TB

Figure1: Proportion of TB patients who knew HIV infection is a risk factor for TB

The proportion of TB patients in Nigeria that knew that HIV infection is a risk for TB decreased minimally from 26% to 25% between 2012 and 2017. This pattern was not constant however in all the states. This minimal decrease may reflect the level of health education available for the TB patients in Nigeria presently

HIV Test and results

Figure2: Proportion of TB clients who had HIV test done

Figure3: Proportion of TB patients who collected HIV test results

The proportion of TB patients that were tested for HIV and collected their results improved over the last five years. Nationally, there was a 10.7% increase between 2012 and 2017, while there was 6.6% increase in proportion of TB patients that collected their test results.


Figure4: Proportion of TB patients who presented with cough > 3 weeks

The proportion of TB patients who presented with cough > 3 weeks to health care facility decreased by 8.9% from 2012 to 2017. This may be because the national guideline now specifies cough > 2 weeks for TB testing now. Also, patients might have had an intervention before presenting at the health facility.


Figure5: Proportion of TB patients who used self-medication

The proportion of patients who used self-medication on the suspicion of TB increased between 2012 and 2017 by 5.3%. This increase may be due to weakness in community sensitization, focus of the intervention programmes and the health seeking behaviour in Nigeria communities.


The period of diagnosis within three weeks of the onset of symptoms was assessed in 2012 and 2017. There was a 2.8% decrease nationally in proportion of TB patients that were diagnosed within three weeks of onset of their symptoms.

Policy Recommendations:

From the above research summary, the key indicators for TB clients have not improved between 2012 and 2017. Based on this, the following policy recommendations are made:

  • Strengthening of integration of TB programmes into existing health care system and not as “stand alone” programmes
  • Full engagement of the community in sensitization, implementation, monitoring of the TB programmes in individual community
  • Efforts should be made to ensure prompt diagnosis by the use of gene expert and other technologies. In addition, commencement of the medication should be immediately diagnosis is made


These are three words that are central to the control of HIV/ AIDS globally. As the world celebrates the world AID day, it is best to reflect on what it really means and how it aligns with global goals and the SDG of 2030. These words resound with some points to every individual:

  • Get tested for HIV and collect your results
  • Stay healthy and ensure people around you are healthy when you get your results

(If your test result is negative, continue living with precautions and activities that would ensure you remain negative, and if you test positive, go to the nearest health facility immediately to get anti-retroviral so you can stay healthy and ensure you do not spread the virus)

  • Encourage your partner and friends to get tested for HIV

By taking these few steps individually, we can all make the progress towards achievement of the 2030 goal of ending the burden of HIV thus making the SDG a reality.

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Towards a Tuberculosis free Nigeria: Comparative Analysis of Knowledge of Tuberculosis in Nigeria General Population over 5 Years and its Policy Implication

Tuberculosis (TB) continues to be a global Public Health challenge despite significant progress made in the global progress towards a TB free world, however this progress is not uniform in every country. In 2015, Nigeria was ranked as the 4th on the list of six countries contributing 60% of the new TB cases and as the African country with the highest TB burden within the African continent. Several initiatives have been implemented in Nigeria to address the challenge of achieving a TB-free country with focus on improving knowledge of TB among the general population, however very few literatures have reported changes in the proportion of the general population on the knowledge of Tuberculosis in Nigeria. This report compares knowledge of TB in Nigeria general population over 5 years (2012-2017) using selected key indicators from the National Knowledge, Attitude and Practice survey 2012 and 2017 data.

Awareness of TB and Knowledge of the Causative Germ


Awareness of TB among the general population is integral in the progress towards a TB free Nigeria. There was no appreciable difference between the percentage of the population aware of TB in 2017 when compared to the 2012 proportion. This was also true of the percentage distribution of the general population that knew the causative agent of TB. This minimal percentage change in awareness and knowledge of causative organism reveals that the several intervention efforts in Nigeria over these five years are not reaching all of the targeted audiences.

Knowledge on Risk Factors


Risk factors are conditions that can predispose an individual to being infected with TB but most of them are modifiable. The knowledge of risk factors to TB in the general population over the 5 years under review showed slight improvement in the knowledge of respondents about poor ventilation (2.3 percentage points) and overcrowding (2.5 percentage points), as risk factors for TB when compared to the 2012 findings. However, knowledge of poor nutrition, presence of HIV, poverty and infection at young age as risk factors had varying degrees of decline in the general population.

Knowledge of TB Symptoms

The knowledge of some TB symptoms in the general population over the 5 year period showed an improvement in the knowledge of participants about persistent cough as a symptom, but there was appreciable decline in percentage of general population who had knowledge of productive cough, weight loss and shortness of breath as a symptom of TB.

Knowledge on correct duration of treatment


The knowledge of the correct duration for the treatment of PTB in the general population was compared over the 5 years. There was a modest but significant increase (7 percentage points) in knowledge of the general population about the correct duration of treatment while there was varying degrees of reduction in incorrect knowledge.

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