Tuesday 22 August 2017
(APA 07/07/17)
About 60 community health administrators on Thursday began a three-day training on data collection in the northern town of Makeni, as part of a government initiative to digitalize data collection in health facilities and enhance the provision of healthcare services. Officials say the current mode of data collection involves a lot of paper work, which consumes time with a high risk of error. This training was made possible by a UK funded initiative designed to strengthen Sierra Leone's health sector, which is reeling from the effect of the devastating Ebola epidemic. The UK's international development arm, DFID, is funding the initiative, which is implemented through a consortium of local and international NGOs called 'CHANGES'. Its main goal is to arrest...
(APA 07/07/17)
Sierra Leone's Information Minister Mohamed Bangura on Thursday made a scathing attack on one opposition presidential aspirant, accusing him of impersonation. Bangura said the opposition politician, Kandeh Yumkella, was in the habit of going around the world telling world leaders that he had the endorsement of President Ernest Bai Koroma in his bid for the presidency. "This is my first and final warning to Dr. Yumkella to stop impersonating as President Koroma's successor. We have received several complaints from World Leaders and he should stop it," Bangura said at the weekly government press briefing in Freetown. Yumkella, a former UN official, is one of more than 24 persons, who have declared their intentions to contest next year's presidential election under...
(APA 07/07/17)
Sierra Leone will receive a $30 million International Development Association (IDA) credit from the World Bank Group to support the financing of government’s development programmes articulated in the agenda for prosperity and the President’s recovery priorities, the Bank announced on Thursday. It said the Sierra Leone First Productivity and Transparency Support Credit (PTSC-I), approved by the Bank Group Board on June 30, 2017, was aimed at supporting the government’s efforts to achieve sustainable and inclusive economic development through increasing productivity in selected economic sectors and improving transparency and accountability in selected government decision-making processes. It adds that the reform programmes of the government being supported under the programme relate to, among others, supporting seed production and distribution by the private...
(APA 07/07/17)
Sierra Leone's Njala University has announced it is delaying its first semester exams for one week to allow for students to pay their tuition fees. The university, which made the announcement on Thursday, said that the decision was reached at an emergency meeting by the administration of the multi campus tertiary educational institution with headquarters in the southern Bo District. The exams, which had been scheduled for July 10, are now going to be conducted on July 17, it said in a statement. "This postponement is to allow all students to pay their fees and register," it said, adding: "All students are advised to register before taking the said exams." According to the university, continuing students must pay sixty percent...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
The African Union's new chair Moussa Faki Mahamat on Wednesday questioned US commitment to fighting terrorism on the continent after it blocked efforts to get UN funding for an anti-jihadist force in the Sahel. "This is a specific case of a certain number of African states taking the initiative to create a dedicated force to fight terrorism. So, we don't understand how the United States could hold back or not engage in the fight against terrorism," Faki said in an interview with AFP. Faki's January election as chairperson of the AU commission came days after the inauguration of US President Donald Trump, who has proposed slashing US funding for aid projects and multilateral institutions like the UN. The former Chadian...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
The costs of diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa could double to almost $60 billion annually just 13 years from now, as obesity fuels an explosion of the disease, a report said Thursday. In 2015, the overall diabetes cost in the region was nearly $20 billion (18 billion euros), or 1.2 percent of total economic production, according to research published by The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. This included medication and hospital stays, and loss of labour productivity due to illness or death. About half of all treatment costs were paid for by patients themselves.
(APA 07/05/17)
Sierra Leone on Tuesday kick started a week-long family planning campaign with the goal of increasing intake of contraceptives in the highly conservative country. The ministry of Health and its partners say the campaign will take the form of mass sensitisation and distribution of contraceptives. Sierra Leone has one of the lowest intakes of family planning services, according to statistics issued by the UNFPA, a major partner in the campaign. Only 16 percent of women in the country take some form of contraceptive, and among women of ages between 15 and 19 only 7.8 percent consume contraceptives, a situation related to the high rate of teenage pregnancy in the country. Religious and cultural factors have been blamed for the low...
(APA 07/05/17)
The first ever toll road under construction in Sierra Leone will be the cheapest in terms of charges in the whole world, a government official has said. Mohamed Sahid Koroma, head of the Toll Road Sensitisation process in the Ministry of Youth Affairs, in an exclusive interview with APA defended the pricing list released by the government and the Chinese firm constructing the road. Advertisment End of break ads in 29s You can close Ad in 4 s There has been a huge public outcry since the China Railway Seventh Group (CRSG) announced last month it intended to commence levying charges for the use of the road earlier than expected. So far only about 10 km of the 62km has...
(APA 07/04/17)
A project designed to rebrand Sierra Leone’s image, and geared toward development of the tourism sector, has been launched in the country. Called the ‘Post Ebola Bloodless Diamond in Sierra Leone’ project, it was launched at the premises of the parliament building on Monday, and aims to rebrand the image of a country tainted by war and the Ebola epidemic disease. The initiative is a private project being championed by an artist, Sorie Obai Kamara, and specifically focuses on the tourism and cultural sectors, with the goal of wooing investors to explore the country’s...
(Voice of America 07/04/17)
GENEVA — The U.N. children’s fund warns tens of thousands of malnourished children are at great risk in Yemen, Somalia and South Sudan, which are on the brink of famine. UNICEF reports an estimated 4.7 million children in the cholera-stricken countries are malnourished. Of these, UNICEF spokesman Christofe Boulierac tells VOA, more than one million are suffering from severe acute malnutrition. “Let me remind you that a child who is suffering from severe acute malnutrition are nine times more likely to die of disease than a well-nourished child," he said. "So, having cholera and diarrhea in countries where so many children are so fragile because of malnutrition among other things because of such a bad access to safe water is...
(APA 07/04/17)
The United States government has praised the achievements of a healthcare partnership project in Sierra Leone designed for children and women. The US embassy in Freetown said Monday the five-year project dubbed: ‘Al Pikin fo Liv’ (Krio for Every ‘Child Must Live’), demonstrated an increase in health coverage of life-saving interventions targeting children under five and women of reproductive age in the country. The project, which was implemented from 2011 to 2017, fell under USAID’s Child Survival and Health Grants Programme. USAID is the international development arm of the US government, and was implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and the international NGO, Concern Worldwide. A joint statement issued by the Public Affairs Office of the...
(RFI(EN) 07/04/17)
New tax rules in Israel could leave hundreds of African migrants worse off than they are. In May, the government introduced a new deposit law, enabling the governemnt to take 20 percent of migrants' salaries each month and place it out of reach. The money can only be accessed once they leave the country. Rights groups say the policy is designed to force them out of the country. "We're not pressuring you to leave but will make your life miserable so you decide to leave," Anwar Suliman, a Darfuri refugee living in Israel since 2008, told RFI . "Every time the state makes a different law, different pressure, but we said we can't go back right now." Suliman fled Darfur...
(AFP (eng) 06/28/17)
The generic version of the most advanced drug against HIV has been introduced in Kenya, a first in Africa where more than 25 million have the disease, the NGO Unitaid said Wednesday. The drug, Dolutegravir (DTG) is the anti-retroviral drug of choice for those living with HIV in developed countries, but its high price has put it out of reach for most struggling with the disease in Africa. "The generic DTG has two advantages: on the one hand, it is very good from a pharmaceutical point of view. On the other hand, it is much cheaper," said Robert Matiru of Unitaid, which works to reduce the costs of medicines treating AIDS, tuberculosis or malaria. He described the drug as "the...
(APA 06/27/17)
Health officials and school authorities in Sierra Leone’s southern Bonthe District have raised concern over a rise in HIV/AID cases. According to reports, there has been a particular concern in the rise in cases among school pupils recently. Sam Ngayanga, HIV/AIDS councilor with the National AIDS Control Programme stationed in Imperi Chiefdom, one of the affected regions in Bonthe, said Monday records show that between 2009 and 2017 over 100 cases of the viral disease have been registered. Mr Ngayanga said the significance of the situation becomes clear when the smaller size of the population is considered. Imperi is within the mining concession of Sierra Rutile. “If you look at the [small] size of the population and consider the number,...
(AFP (eng) 06/23/17)
Red Cross volunteers prevented a significant number of Ebola cases during the 2013-2016 epidemic in west Africa by using safe burial techniques, according to a study released Thursday. The outbreak that killed more than 11,300 people and sickened nearly 29,000 -- mainly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone -- could have been much worse, according to the study published in the PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases medical journal. Using statistical modelling, the study indicated that the efforts of Red Cross volunteers to properly bury the highly contagious bodies potentially averted as many as 10,452 Ebola cases, decreasing the scale of the outbreak by more than a third. Due to the very high death toll at the beginning of the outbreak, there...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/23/17)
YAOUNDE (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Safe burial practices introduced by the Red Cross likely saved thousands of lives during the world’s worst outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus between 2013 and 2016, researchers said on Thursday. In the first scientific study of Ebola victim burials, researchers found each unsafe burial had the potential to generate more than 2.5 secondary cases of Ebola infection. The virus kills about 50 percent of those it infects on average, according to the World Health Organization. People who treat and bury the bodies of the dead are especially at risk, as corpses are even more contagious than living Ebola patients. The Red Cross safe burial program potentially averted between 1,411 and 10,452 secondary cases of...
(APA 06/23/17)
The National Union of Sierra Leone Students (NUSS) has expressed concern over the astronomical increment in admission fee by the University of Sierra Leone (USL). The union, in a statement on Thursday, called for a reconsideration of the move. The USL last week pegged the cost of admission form for the academic year 2017/2018 at Le500, 000 ($80). This is said to represent a 100 percent increase from last year's fee. The move provoked widespread public anger, especially among people and families of people seeking to enter the university. The students Union noted that the increment in the cost of admission forms is a major concern for potential candidates and their families, in view of the unfavourable economic condition of...
(APA 06/23/17)
The Sierra Leonean government has commissioned the Ebola-era free toll, 117, as a public health hotline. The Ministry of Health and Sanitation said the line would be used to enhance its public health surveillance system as part of the government's ongoing health system strengthening programme. The 117 was first established in 2012 as part of the introduction of the government's partial free healthcare programme targeting the three most vulnerable group of the population - pregnant women, locating mothers and under five children. But it became prominent during the 2014 Ebola outbreak, when it was used to report suspicious sicknesses and deaths. It is credited for the success in the eventual containment of the epidemic. The call center for the 117,...
(APA 06/23/17)
Sierra Leone's Vice President Victor Bockarie Foh has called on the private sector to take advantage of the opportunities created by the government. Inaugurating the Call To Business (ACTB) Savings and Loans Limited at the company's head office in the west end of Freetown on Thursday, Mr. Foh described it as a "success story." He attributed this success to the efforts of the government. "Being cognisance of this, since he assumed office in 2007, President Ernest Bai Koroma and his Government have made financial and economic growth a central theme in our nation's development agenda, the Agenda for Prosperity," Mr. Foh said. He cited the Financial Sector Development Plan and the recently launched National Financial Inclusion Strategy as only a...
(APA 06/23/17)
The parliament in Sierra Leone has ratified a revised power purchase deal reached with the Swiss energy producer Addax in 2011. Parliament in a statement on Wednesday said the amendment was warranted by changing circumstances. Addax Bio Energy is a Swiss owned company which engages in the production of palm oil and sugar cane, from which it produces bio energy. Its deal with the Sierra Leone government is aimed at providing alternative sources of energy to address the country’s huge power deficit. The company will produce an additional 10 megawatts to the national grid under the revised deal. Addax had been facing difficulties in its operation and there are reports that talks are already undeerway for a takeover by a...

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