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Zimbabwe: SAFAIDS Ignites Debate on Universal Health Care
November 15, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Nevson Mpofu

Diana Mailosi
Diana Mailosi

Harare Zimbabwe-SAFAIDS [Southern Africa AIDS Information Dissemination Services] and a Humanitarian consortium of a number of Civil Society Organisations have joined hands to spark interesting discussions on Universal Health Coverage.

Kicking on in Harare, the dialogue attended by a bunch of several organisations at heart with the HIV and AIDS scourge, the symposium dealt on an objective meant to drive the Health System of Zimbabwe. Diana Mailosi the Moderator coming from the Advocacy Core Team pointed out on main objectives rallying on the need to salvage country populations affected by several diseases that need attention of the medical experts, the Government and Civil Society. This she directs a point to reality needs the existence of the importance of the UHC.

Diana points out quickly on another point that life saving strategies and mechanisms must centre on the lives of all People regardless race, colour or creed. She lastly reiterates on the need for Governments to fetch funding abroad and domestically for Health. She elucidates, health funding mechanisms are a vital action towards eradicating poverty related to Health service delivery. Diana touches as well on best practices in terms of fiscal transparency, driving off corrupt activities in Health and avoiding activities like capital flight that could be a detrimental challenge in pushing forward the Health Sector.

 ‘’UHC, this is time to take it seriously so as to save lives of millions in the country who have no access to medicines, health food and ARV’s. It is pathetic in the Health Sector. Doctors neglect duties. Some have left the country. The situation tightens .Saving lives of those affected by scourge of a number of diseases is a concern of our heart. That is why UHC matters most. Population Health is on the edges as a number of people face Health challenges related to what we focus on most that is HIV and AIDS, Cancers and some other ailments affecting communities at high prevalence rates. Primary Health Care must surface to make Community Health work. This is all linked to UHC.’’

‘’The Health Sector is in doldrums. This is everyone‘s responsibility, role of Civil Society to roll on programs and end the mess of Doctors, drugs shortage and improve on Infrastructure. This comes at a time we have a number of thorny challenges in Health. We are not talking about UHC because we have the problem, it has always been our desire to make it heard by all.’’

‘’Our collective push is towards making the political will work in making Health a central concern during these times of hardships. Governments must stick to UHC principles. Secondly the need to stick to International standards and guidelines in sharpening Health Sector must be accompanied by delivery of drugs , information , access to services at all angles and provision of better Infrastructure and medical and health professionals .

‘’Funding, yes is a challenge but once we have a budget we have to track on monitoring and evaluation. This becomes vital since we will be in a position to stamp out corrupt activities in the whole set-up. Corruption might not be the issue but it creates wave of transparency and accountability. UHC will bring us to the standards and principles and as well helps in the provision of adequate Health services of best practice’’.

Lloyd Dumbure of SAFAIDS adds that Community engagement brings the whole system to accountability and transparency. Community engagement, he says makes communities get sensitised and brings awareness and advocacy on issues related to the importance of Health to them.

‘’SAFAIDS is ready to make Communities get geared towards participation and engagement in a proper way of total community inclusivity. The need for organisations to come together for this cause creates room for tolerance towards proper management of Health systems’’.

 Donald Tobaiwa of Jointed Hands puts a straight point that Political will in every country makes the idea of UHC work without any challenge from the grass-roots. Many Governments lack commitments to political will in line with Health because of the bigger budgets it needs. This Donald attributes to failure of the Health delivery in any country.

‘’Political will is critical as we dwell on Governance and Politics to manage the whole side of the story. Health hinges more on funding sources from outside. Less is from our country in terms of Health taxes extracted from the sale of some commodities. It is all about how we manage our finance, direct it accountably towards Health. This is done by the Government, .Thus why we say political will. Policies as well come in through the Government effort.

‘’Secondly, Democratic Political Accountability makes UHC see reality by the end of the day. Once there are correct measures in the system we win on Goals of Health. There are vital and core additional at the top after preventive and curative medicine, proper infrastructure, health professionals and the lining up and implementation of Health policies.

‘’Thirdly, It is our link to efficiency and efficacy and the access to medicines to serve the country. The whole system is driven by political will that must link UHT. This should be a priority as enunciated in the Abuja Declaration’’.

Other presenters touched on other areas of concern to make UHC a reality. These are areas of Gays HIV and AIDS, Intravenous Drug Users, young people and drug abuse. The status of healthcare delivery in Zimbabwe remains important as the World looks at International Human Rights. One such International protocol is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights .Secondly, addressing Criminalisation of Key-Populations, focus on key populations and commercial sex workers sparked a row debate until to the end.

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Jordan Princess Mired lauds Kigali on leading City Cancer Challenge
November 12, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Jean d’Amour Mugabo

Her Royal Highness Princess of Jordan and UICC President Dina Mired hands a cancer control document to Kigali City Mayor Pudence Rubingisa, yesterday. Photo courtesy.
Her Royal Highness Princess of Jordan and UICC President Dina Mired hands a cancer control document to Kigali City Mayor Pudence Rubingisa, yesterday. Photo courtesy.

Royal Princess of Jordan and the President of Union International for Cancer Control (UICC), Dina Mired, has commended Rwanda’s efforts in fighting cancer and called for more concerted efforts to tackle to global threat.

Princess Mired was talking in Kigali on Monday during the discussions she and her delegation from the City Cancer Challenge Foundation held with the City of Kigali Executive Committee and stakeholders from public and private institutions involved in the cancer care.

Princess Mired said that cancer is a comprehensive threat that must be dealt with comprehensively. She thanked Rwanda, and Kigali City in particular, for the comprehensive approaches that have been initiated towards providing cancer care solutions.

“Rwanda is an example of how the political will, realistic planning, prioritization and appropriate resources can work together towards the implementation of concrete measures to reduce the national cancer burden,” said the Princess.

Kigali signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the foundation in March 2019, making Kigali the first to join the City Cancer Challenge in Africa while Ghana’s City of Kumasi joined City Cancer (C/Can) initiative as the Key Learning City in November, 2017.

Pudence Rubingisa, the City of Kigali Mayor, said the city completed in August the needs assessment which indicated 52 actions required for the cancer control in Kigali but the city has selected five priorities to be implemented first.

“In order to address the key needs, the City of Kigali has committed to creating a platform for communication and information sharing between different institutions involved in cancer care; improving access to quality and affordable cancer medicines; standardizing clinical management of prioritized cancers in all institutions providing cancer care; providing comprehensive support to cancer patients and training to improve human resources in all disciplines related to cancer care,” he said.

Mayor Rubingisa said the target is to shift from the narrative of 10,700 people diagnosed with cancer in Rwanda in 2018 to a good number of cancer patients being successfully treated in the next few years.

Developing countries like Rwanda face a growing cancer burden. WHO and IARC forecast that Rwanda will have 10,112 cancer incidence and mortality by 2025 including 4,479 and 5,633 deaths among men and women respectively.

Statistics indicate that 18.1 million new cancer cases and 9.5 million cancer deaths were recorded worldwide in 2018, making cancer the leading cause of death. Considering 14.1 million new cases and 8.2 million deaths recorded in 2012, it is obvious that cancer burden is on the increase.

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Ecobank fighting against Non-Communicable Diseases in Togo as it marks the 7th Edition of Ecobank Day
November 9, 2019 | 0 Comments
Ecobank is committed to various causes to better address the challenges facing the continent, with the aim of bringing real change to Africa
LOME, Togo, November 8, 2019/ — Ecobank (www.Ecobank.com) in collaboration with the World Health Organization in Togo, and the Ministry of Health and Public Hygiene through its National Program for the Control of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), will carry out prevention activities against NCDs this Saturday, November 9th on the 7th Edition of the Ecobank Day.

Ecobank Day is a day annually in which the Ecobank Group and its employees give back to the communities in the 33 countries where it operates. Ecobank is committed to various causes to better address the challenges facing the continent, with the aim of bringing real change to Africa. Over the next three years, Ecobank has decided to support the awareness and prevention of NCDs, the leading cause of death in the world and in Africa. Some examples of these life threatening NCDs   are cardiovascular diseases (e.g. heart attacks or strokes), all cancers, respiratory diseases (e.g. asthma), diabetes, and mental and neurological health conditions (including depression and dementia).

Customers, members of civil society, communities are invited to join Ecobank employees by participating under the theme: “Together for Better Health“. This year, Ecobank is putting special focus on breast and cervical cancer, a public health priority in Togo, which if not avoided, can destroy the bedrock of families.

Ade Ayeyemi, Group GCEO, ETI commented “As our home country, which has in the last 34 years warmly welcomed us, we are committed to making sure that we also continue to give back to the community here. We have recognised the importance of raising awareness on NCDs and the need for this to be long-term and continuous. We will therefore continue to work with the Ministry of Health, international organizations and civil society organizations in our awareness campaign.”

Professor Moustafa Mijiyawa, Minister of Health and Public Hygiene added “NCDs represent the second cause of deaths in Togo. 19% of people in Togo aged 15 years and above suffer from hypertension and 2,6% of this same population live with diabetes. We are pleased to partner with Ecobank to raise awareness on NCDS and support the implementation of the National Development Plan, especially the third strategic axis that focuses on consolidating social development and strengthening mechanisms for inclusion”.

Ecobank is organising a 5 km Walk to support awareness on NCDs.  The Ecobank Day Walk will kick-off at the Omnisport Stadium in Lomé and end at same place. Simultaneous free screening  against non-communicable diseases will also take place in 3 CMS in Lomé (Nyekonakpoe, Tokoin Doumassesse, Adakpamé) and in 7 polyclinics  in Aneho, Kpalimé, Atakpamé, Sokode, Kara, Mango and Dapaong . The bank will also give out free mammogram and pap smear vouchers to more than 550 women and  take care of 200 pre-cancer diagnosed patients.

About Ecobank Day:
Ecobank Day was first held in 2013 and has involved Ecobank employees giving up their free time to volunteer and/or fundraise. Each year Ecobank Day has supported worthy causes across each of the Ecobank Group’s 33 countries of operation, and these have included support for orphanages (2018), safer water (2017), ICT education and improving maternal health (2016), children’s education (2015), malaria prevention and control (2014) and community engagement projects (2013).

About Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (‘ETI’ or ‘The Group’):
Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (‘ETI’) (www.Ecobank.com) is the parent company of the Ecobank Group, the leading independent pan-African banking group. The Ecobank Group employs over 15,000 people and serves about 20 million customers in the consumer, commercial and corporate banking sectors across 33 African countries. The Group has a banking licence in France and representative offices in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Johannesburg, South Africa; Beijing, China; London, the UK and Dubaï, the United Arab Emirates. The Group offers a full suite of banking products, services and solutions including bank and deposit accounts, loans, cash management, advisory, trade, securities, wealth and asset management. ETI is listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchanges in Lagos, the Ghana Stock Exchange in Accra, and the Bourse Régionale des Valeurs Mobilières in Abidjan.

For further information please visit www.Ecobank.com

SOURCE
Ecobank

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Cameroon: Foretia Foundation trains Researchers on Health Research Methods
October 31, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Researchers & trainers pose at the end of training

Winners of the Health Research Grant alongside other Young researchers in Cameroon have been empowered on how to influence policy change by carrying out sound scientific research. This was in a 2-days training program organized by the Nkafu Policy Institute of the Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation was under the theme, “Health Research Methods”

The Nkafu Policy Institute early this year, launched the Public health research grant to promote health research and research-driven health policies in Cameroon. Following this, 10 young and motivated researchers were retained for the grant and were invited alongside other researchers to participate in a two day training that started on Monday October 28.

On Day one, researchers were drilled on various methodological processes involved in carrying out a research piece. Eric Youm, Bio-Statistician at the Elizabeth Glaser Paediatric Aids Foundation edified the participants on the quantitative research design. He equally educated the participants on the basic statistics involved in research.

Speaking on the ethics in research, Dr Ronald Gobina, Coordinator of the Health Research Project stressed on the fact that every research needs to pass through an administrative and ethical clearance. He also gave examples of some ethical clearance boards in Cameroon.

Dr Katte Jean Claude edified participants on how to write a scientific paper, setting the brief for structured scientific writing.

On day two of this training, Dr Katte Jean Claude and Dr Gobina Ronald while tackling project management, educated the researchers on building and understanding research team dynamics, the role of a research/project coordinator, translating research for maximum scientific and societal impact amongst others.

Victorine, a researcher presents her thesis

Trainees were made up of the ten (10) winners selected for the pilot Health research grant program and and 10 other researchers from across Cameroon. To the foundation, these individuals have demonstrated the commitment and know-how to grow as a health researchers in Cameroon.

“It is very refreshing to see the dedication and drive in these young researchers and we hope that this pilot research program will grow in the coming years to provide greater opportunities for research in the country” noted Dr. Denis Foretia, Co-Chair of the Denis & Lenora Foretia Foundation.

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Merck Foundation to conduct their UNESCO-Merck Africa Research Summit–MARS 2019 in Accra, Ghana
October 23, 2019 | 0 Comments
UNESCO Together with Merck Foundation will continue to build research capacity in the African Research Community in the fields of science and sustainability
ACCRA, Ghana, October 23, 2019/ — Merck Foundation (www.Merck-Foundation.com), the philanthropic arm of Merck Germany plans to conduct the New Edition of their “UNESCO – Merck Africa Research Summit (MARS) 2019” in partnership with African Union in ACCRA, GHANA on 30th of October 2019 during their annual conference “Merck Africa Asia Luminary”

Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and Chairperson of UNESCO-MARS explained “The Summit aims to contribute to building research capacity in African research community and discuss challenges, opportunities & proposed strategies to support health decision making that address Health and Sustainability challenges in low-and middle-income countries. The end objective is to empower African young researchers & women researchers, advancing their research capacity and promote their contribution to STEM”.

The scientific committee of the UNESCO MARS 2019 include Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation & Chairperson of UNESCO-MARS; Mr. Diallo AbdourahamaneUNESCO Director to Ghana; Dr. Ahmed Fahmi, Chief of Section, Division of Science Policy and Capacity Building, UNESCO; Dr. Ahmed Hamdy, African Union – Scientific, Technical and Research Commission and Prof. Elijah Songkok, Assistant Professor, Department of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases College of Medicine, University of Manitoba, Kenya.

The UNESCO MARS 2019 will host high level participants that include many African Ministers of Health, Science and Technology, Education, information and Gender and African Researchers.

“This high-level roundtable meeting will also provide networking opportunities to strengthen the research community and their impact on African society and media communication” concluded Dr. Rasha Kelej.
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Central African countries optimistic about halving deaths from malaria, but major challenges remain
October 22, 2019 | 0 Comments

Malaria experts are very concerned that climate change could increase the threat of malaria in the region
ABUJA, Nigeria, October 22, 2019/ — Central African countries surveyed in new opinion study believe that halving malaria deaths is more achievable than elimination by 2030; Malaria experts are very concerned that climate change could increase the threat of malaria in the region: Surveillance and programme delivery need to improve to drive progress.

Central Africa is fighting to maintain momentum in its battle with malaria in the face of other health challenges, climate change and other threats, according to a new report issued at an RBM Partnership to End Malaria conference in Abuja today.

The report was the latest extension of the Malaria Futures for Africa (MalaFA) study, commissioned
by Novartis, which has already conducted similar research across 15 countries, including Nigeria, to survey African malaria stakeholders on progress and challenges towards global malaria targets. The new report involved interviews with 23 politicians, senior civil servants, malaria programme directors, researchers and NGOs in Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Republic of Congo, and Rwanda. All four are countries that have a significant malaria burden and differing policies in place to fight the disease.

In Rwanda, respondents were mainly positive about the country’s fight against the disease, citing high levels of political support and funding. In Cameroon, DRC and the Republic of the Congo respondents shared the view that halving deaths by 2030 was more achievable than elimination.

Respondents in Cameroon, DRC and the Republic of the Congo were concerned about access to health services, inadequately trained personnel, substandard or falsified antimalarials and self-treatment without diagnosis – which could potentially accelerate development of resistance to treatment. These concerns are shared in many other countries previously surveyed.

Unlike countries previously surveyed in West, East and Southern Africa in early 2018, Central African respondents saw climate change as more of a threat. One respondent in Rwanda worried that malaria was creeping up into highland regions which had previously been free of the disease, and others discussed how changing rainfall patterns could have an impact on mosquito breeding seasons.

More domestic and international funding was also cited as critical, with respondents from Cameroon, DRC, and Republic of Congo saying more support is needed. Earlier this month, at the recent Replenishment conference for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, world leaders increased funding for programmes addressing these diseases with pledges totaling $14 billion for the period 2020-2023, meeting the Global Fund’s funding target. Rwanda pledged $2.5 million, DRC, Congo and Cameroon also made domestic resource pledges of $6 million, $5.5 million and $5 million, respectively.

Dr Richard Nchabi Kamwi, Ambassador for the Elimination 8 countries and a co-chair of the study, said: “Maintaining momentum against malaria requires strong political leadership, resilient health systems and securing additional resources. The pledges made at the recent Global Fund replenishment are heartening signs that critical resources are forthcoming.” Dr Kamwi continued:
“It’s also important that Cameroon and DRC have been identified by the World Health Organization and RBM Partnership as “high burden to high impact” (HBHI) countries, ensuring these countries will benefit from increased attention and investment from the international community.” The other study co-chair is Professor Bob Snow, KEMRI-Wellcome-University of Oxford Collaborative Programme
in Kenya.

HBHI is an initiative supported by the RBM Partnership to End Malaria and the World Health Organization to build international support and country-led responses to reignite the pace of progress in the global malaria fight. Respondents associated with malaria control programmes in the two HBHI countries in the study were aware of the strategy and believed that with sufficient resources it would be highly beneficial.

Interviewees in the DRC saw the country as particularly hampered, having to fight a major Ebola outbreak while also bearing the second highest burden of malaria in the world. Inconsistent and variable funding from some donors and domestic sources was highlighted, as well as the need to translate national political will into increased domestic financing.

Several of those interviewed also mentioned the need for effective disease surveillance and better
use of surveillance data. Rwanda, for instance, implemented a three-year bednet study in 2017 to examine the physical durability and insecticide residual efficacy of insecticide-treated nets. The results from this study were used by the country to revise its bednet distribution strategy and make it more cost-effective. This showcases the importance of collecting data to help prioritise resource allocation, targeting, and monitoring of resistance to treatment and insecticides. Solid data will be critical to the success of HBHI and in the wider fight against malaria.

“Progress against malaria has stalled, and we need a renewed sense of urgency – and funding –
to accelerate the fight against this devastating disease,” said Kolawole Maxwell, West and Central Africa Programmes Director for Malaria Consortium. “In central Africa and beyond, we need to boost domestic funding, build stronger malaria surveillance systems, and enhance operational research and the development of new tools.”


Novartis commissioned the MalaFA studies as part of a two-year effort to understand the views of national and regional experts across Africa and Asia on progress and challenges toward malaria elimination.

Parfait Touré, Head, Access Programs West and Central Africa for Novartis Social Business, highlighted: “In Africa, there are still over 200 million cases of malaria every year, and over
400,000 deaths, mostly young children. This research shows there are many challenges still to
be overcome. But ensuring the voices of those at the front line are heard is essential.”
 The Elimination 8 (E8) initiative brings together eight Southern African countries which aim to eliminate malaria by 2030.
They are Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe. For more information: https://MalariaElimination8.org

The Malaria Futures for Africa (MalaFa) study was commissioned by Novartis (https://www.Novartis.com/) to help guide domestic and donor commitments toward malaria elimination in the face of increasing challenges. In this Central African arm of the study, 23 interviews were conducted in Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of Congo, and Rwanda. This follows 72 interviews for the previous MalaFA report conducted in Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. The original intention was for Rwanda to be part of the earlier research conducted across East Africa and published in 2018, but fieldwork in Rwanda completed too late for that report so the country has now been included in this Central African extension. The research was developed in consultation with the co-chairs, RBM Partnership to End Malaria, Malaria No More UK, Malaria No More US, the Malaria Consortium and the African Leaders Malaria Alliance. The co-chairs are Dr. Richard Nchabi Kamwi, Ambassador for the Elimination 8 (E8) countries, and Professor Bob Snow, of the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust programme, Kenya and the University of Oxford, United Kingdom. It is important to note that the contents of the report reflect only the views of the respondents, and are not the views of the co-chairs, sponsor or partner organisations.
*APO

 
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Children in peril of malnutrition in war-torn S. Sudan, UNICEF warns
October 18, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Deng Machol

Juba – the United Nations International Children Education Fund (UNICEF) has warned that there is alarming high number of children under five-year of ages suffering from physical of poor diets and food stuff.

South Sudan gained independence from the north in 2011 after decades of civil war, but returned into another civil war in late 2013, uprooted four million people both internally and externally from their homes, placed them under severely hunger and malnutrition.

The country’s five – year conflict has also ruined the economic and farming activities, leaved civilians on the arm of humanitarian agencies. To access the conflict-areas is measure problem due to insecurity and inaccessible roads in the country, surrendered children into malnutrition status.

The UNICEF chief revealed that the prevalence of acute malnutrition among children in the war-torn country was quiet alarming, it has increased from 13 per cent in 2018 to 16 per cent in 2019, which has above the 15 per cent emergency threshold.

“Every child in need treatment for malnutrition is a failure, a failure in preventing the suffering,” said UNICEF Representative in South Sudan, Dr. Mohamed Ag Ayoya in the press release. Preventing malnutrition is an essential part of realizing every child’s right to health. Young children can suffer lifelong consequences and in worst case die if malnutrition is not addressed timely during the first crucial years in life.”

Speaking to press in Juba on Tuesday, Andrea Suley, UNICEF deputy Country’s Representative said that a malnutrition is complex and must be fought on all fronts simultaneously.

“Together with partners and donors, we have become exceptionally good at treating children for acute malnutrition; now we must make up our game and become even better at preventing it,” said Suley.

Speaking on the same event, Dr. Baba Samson, advisor to the Health’s Ministry, said the parents should invest in prevention measures rather than cure.

“We need to invest in prevention than cure. [because] We are fighting a losing battle, and not addressing the root causes of the problems,” said Samson.

Baba stated that poor sanitation and lack of clean drinking water was a big contributing factor to acute malnutrition in many localities in South Sudan.

“The problem of malnutrition today in our country is not only poor diet but it is the issue of lack of clean drinking water and poor sanitation that is affecting many children today,” said Samson

However, the UN Children Fund said a comprehensive nutrition campaign to fight malnutrition across the country has been launched.

Suley stressed that UNICEF and partners are working to promote age-appropriate feeding practices for children, including cooking demonstrations with locally available food.

UNICEF’s deputy unveiled that hygiene promotion, improving access to clean drinking water and sanitation and providing health services will also be contributing to prevention of malnutrition.

She further appealed to the government to produce multi-sector strategic plan for nutrition with joint targets, pool resources, multi-sectoral coordination, an accountability framework and joint monitoring and evaluation system.

Suley also urged donors and non-governmental agencies to support prevention strategy of addressing malnutrition by prioritizing prevention of malnutrition at community and facility levels, adding that the community must ensure that their children have a healthy diet.

“With good food and nutrition, we can set a child up for success, and yet we are losing ground in the fight for healthy diets,” said Executive Director of UNICEF, Henrietta Fore at the global launch of the state of the world’s children report in London. This is not a battle we can win on our own. We need governments, the private sector and civil society to prioritize child nutrition and work together to address the causes of unhealthy eating in all its forms.”

 “It is globally estimated that 1.3 million children under the age of five will suffer from acute malnutrition in 2020. This calls for a paradigm shift in addressing malnutrition by shifting focusing on treatment to prioritizing prevention by reducing the need for treatment,” said Suley.

The challenge is not only securing enough food but ensuring children are eating the right things and get the nutrients they need to develop to their full potential, said the UNICEF.

“Only 7 per cent of children under five in South Sudan has an adequate diet. Furthermore, common diseases such as malaria must be prevented and treated, as they are often the starting point for malnutrition,” said Ayoya in the press statement. Only 50 per cent of households have access to clean water and only 10 per cent access to improved sanitation. Ensuring clean water and addressing poor sanitation and hygiene practices are also essential to preventing diarrheal diseases causing malnutrition.”

Suley said there are 2000 centers in the country set for specific nutrition to treat malnutrition countrywide.

“We have a very large program in the country where we focus on prevention and treatment with 48 NGOs to provide prevention services on malnutrition,” she said.

However, the state of the world’s children 2019 report finds that in 2018, at least 1 in 3 children under five globally, were either stunted, wasted or overweight, reflecting poor growth and putting them at risk of increased infections, weak learning skills, low immunity and, in many cases, death. In addition, 1 in 2 children – or 340 million globally – suffered from deficiencies in vitamins and minerals such as iron and iodine, further undermining their growth.

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Kenya introduces free cervical cancer vaccine
October 18, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma |@journalist_27

Kenya is set to roll out free cervical cancer vaccine for school girls on Friday, October 18 after the programme was launched yesterday in a ceremony that was presided by Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki.

The vaccine known as the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) will aid in hindering lethal infection as well as reducing chances of contacting anogenital cancer and genital warts. It will also reduce oropharyngeal cancer and maternal transmission of HPV infection to infants.

The main targets are 800,000 girls 10-years old and above in public, private and faith based schools across the country. The two doses of the vaccine will be administered to the girls twice in a year. A total of $8 million has been set aside to support the roll-out.

“The vaccine will be offered nationally alongside other routine infant vaccines through an existing network of more than 9,000 public, private, faith-based and NGO health facilities free of charge to 800,000 girls, who are currently aged 10 and subsequently to all girls as they attain that age in the future,” said Ms. Kariuki.

The Ministry of Health is working in partnership with Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (Gavi}, World Health Organization and Unicef to support the project which aims at eliminating cervical cancer which is the third cause of deaths in Kenya.

The project will see Kenya join the list of African countries like Tanzania, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe and many others who have has already rolled out HPV.

Cervical cancer is the second dominant type of cancer after breast cancer in the East African country.

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President Bio opens new King Harman Maternal and Child Hospital in Freetown
October 18, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Uzman Unis Bah

Freetown, Sierra Leone, President Julius Maada Bio has formally opened the new King Harman Maternal and Child Hospital at Brookfields, which will chiefly cater for the west of the capital city, and save the pressure on the Cottage Hospital in the east.    

The Government of Sierra Leone in partnership funded the construction of the new hospital with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), with funds from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DfID), under the “Saving Lives Programme”. 

President Julius Maada Bio, in his keynote address, said, “I feel so gratified to commission the King Harman Maternal and Child Hospital as a Center of Excellence for the delivery of quality healthcare services.”

“This Government has made significant contributions to improving our health sector. We have tackled head-on the gross inadequate human resource in health by increasing the present number of health staff by 4,000. We have increased the national budget allocation to health from 8.9 to 11.6%,” the president said.

President Bio affirmed that his government had also commissioned the National Emergency Medical Services in all districts in the country with over 4,000 medical appointment to date. He said Government is increasing access to quality health services for all the population, largely mothers, children and the ageing.

Country Representative for the UNFPA, Dr. Kim Dickson, said, she was honored to witness the official commissioning of the recently constructed Maternal and Child Health Hospital, adding that President Bio’s presence for the ceremony was a proof of his commitment to transforming the health sector of the country. 

The British High Commissioner to Sierra Leone, Simon Mustard, said he was glad that the strong corporation between the Government of Sierra Leone and the UK was built on shared history and deep connections. He said he was happy that the partnership had led to the commissioning of that facility, adding that on a daily basis the hospital would save lives of mothers and their children. 

Minister of Health and Sanitation, Professor Alpha Tejan Wurie, said that the occasion was inline to getting a dependable health system that would be capable of providing excellence healthcare delivery to the people of Sierra Leone. He commended the President for the gains achieved so far in the health sector.

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Cameroon contributes FCFA 3 Billion for HIV, TB, Malaria global fund
October 12, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Amos Fofung

France’s President Emmanuel Macron shakes hands with Cameroon President Paul Biya, left, at the Lyon’s city hall, central France, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019, during the meeting of international lawmakers, health leaders and people affected by HIV, Tuberculosis and malaria. Lyon is hosting the two day Global Fund event aimed at raising money to help in the global fight against the epidemics.Photo Laurent Cipriani Gazettextra

Cameroon’s President Paul Biya has disclosed that the country has contributed 3Billion francs CFA to the Global Fund for the fight against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. He made the disclosure at the 6th Replenishment Conference of the Global Fund to fight HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria holding in France.

In an exchange with the media in Lyon, France after meeting with French counterpart Emmanuel Macron at day-two of conference Biya stated that “we have contributed to the tune of 3Billion frs CFA to the Global Fund since we also benefit from this fund in the fight against these epidemics.”

The discussions at the Lyon Replenishment Conference were aimed at raising 8,000 Billion Francs to fund the fight against HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria epidemics in the different countries involved, Cameroon being part of it.

At the invitation of French President Emmanuel Macron, President Paul Biya and wife Chantal Biya travelled to France Tuesday October 08, 2019 to take part in this Conference attended by four other African Head of States and other delegations.

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Cameroon :Government signs FCFA 650 million contract to reconstruct burnt Kumba hospital
October 4, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Allegra Baiocchi Resident Coordinator of the UN system and Humanitarian Coordinator in Cameroon visiting part of the burnt Kumba District Hospital in February

A contract worth FCFA 650 million have been signed by the Cameroon government to reconstruct parts of the Kumba district hospital that went up in flames several months ago.

The Minister of Public Health Dr. Manaouda Malachie made the announcement via his Twitter account on Thursday, October 3, 2019, stating the part that had been razed by fire will get a new facelift. I have just signed the public contract for the reconstruction of the Kumba district hospital, including the block that had been burnt by secessionists, for a total of 650 million CFA francs, Dr. Manaouda Malachie tweeted.

It should be recalled that fire broke out at the Kumba district hospital, located in Meme Division in the South West region on the night of February 10-11 killing at least four persons and injuring several others with the military and separatist fighters trading accusations at each other over the act. The dead who where patients are said to have been caught in the fire with their corpses later retrieved in the morning, as some patients remained stranded.

The fire ravaged sections of the hospital including the Male and Female surgical wards, the Nurses quarter as well as the Generator room. Valuable properties were equally destroyed including at least three vehicles on the scene of the incident.

Part of Kumba District Hospital in flames after it was attacked by unidentified gunmen

Ms Allegra Baiocchi, Resident Coordinator of the UN system and Humanitarian Coordinator in Cameroon, on visiting the burnt site regretted that their appeal for humanitarian support in North West and South West Regions remains very underfunded. Today, we have decided to try to find a place where we can find a better place to live, to understand how the situation is evolving — what are the big challenges, but some things that are already in place, Ms Baiocchi said, quoted by Camerooninfo.net.

“We have always agreed on the importance of information sharing. We are looking for the most efficient way to get to the people,” the Humanitarian Coordinator said as she re-echoed the humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality, and independence.

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GE Healthcare appoints Maria do Rosario Boavida as Country Leader for Angola
October 2, 2019 | 0 Comments
Maria Boavida
Maria joined GE Healthcare in June 2019 and brings 30 years of experience from the Pharmaceutical Industry working in Portugal as well as in Angola
LUANDA, Angola, October 1, 2019/ — GE Healthcare (https://www.GEHealthcare.com/) has announced the appointment of Maria do Rosario Boavida as the Country Leader for Angola. Maria is the first Country Manager for GE Healthcare in Angola. Based in Luanda, she will lead the market strategy and growth plans for GE Healthcare with public and private sector partners in Angola.

Commenting on the appointment, Eyong Ebai, General Manager at GE Healthcare for West, Central & French Speaking Sub Saharan Africa, reiterated the company’s   commitment to work together with the government and private sector in order to develop sustainable outcome-based healthcare solutions in an effort to support Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

“Empowering decision-making at a local level is at the core of our localization strategy for Angola. We believe that Maria’s appointment is a further step in making our vision for the country a reality. We are also glad to bring on board someone with the experience in the healthcare industry and passion for the Angolan market to continue to drive our growth and meet our customers’ healthcare needs in Angola,” he said.

Maria joined GE Healthcare in June 2019 and brings 30 years of experience from the Pharmaceutical Industry working in Portugal as well as in Angola. She has been living in Angola in the last 10 years holding top managerial positions in companies such as Bayer HC where she was responsible for implementing, delivering and developing the pharmaceutical business specifically in the areas of Family Planning and Cardio diseases. Maria later joined Sanofi as the Country Manager for Angola where she introduced and implemented the use of insulin in diabetic patients by managing a program for healthcare professionals in both public and private sectors in Angola.


“I am honoured and excited to take on this role to lead GE’s Healthcare business in Angola, as we deliver on our mission of improving lives in moments that matter,” said Maria do Rosario Boavida. “As a leader in healthcare, we will continue to align our solutions and initiatives with the country’s National Health Development plan to assure access to basic health care for all people of Angola.”

With over 120 years in Africa, GE is working with governments, NGOs and private sector partners to drive access to quality and affordable healthcare services through new delivery models in primary healthcare, providing capital solutions, advancing skills for healthcare professionals and providing technologies and innovations with clinically and economically relevant value propositions.

GE Healthcare (https://www.GEHealthcare.com/) is the $19,8 billion healthcare business of GE (NYSE: GE).  As a leading provider of medical imaging, monitoring, biomanufacturing, and cell and gene therapy technologies, GE Healthcare enables precision health in diagnostics, therapeutics and monitoring through intelligent devices, data analytics, applications and services.  With over 100 years of experience in the healthcare industry and more than 50,000 employees globally, the company helps improve outcomes more efficiently for patients, healthcare providers, researchers and life sciences companies around the world. 
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