Sunday 22 October 2017
(APA 07/17/17)
Sierra Leone's Health Ministry has declared eight districts as having contained the spread of Neglected Tropical Diseases prevalent to the country. An official said Monday focus is now being directed to five remaining districts known to be having active transmission of the illnesses. Soil-transmmitted helmintha, Onchocerciasis, Lymphatic Filariasis and Yaws are said to be the most common Neglected Tropical Diseases in the country. Repeated mass drug administration over the years, with the help of donor funding, led to the reduction of cases in the eight districts of Bo, Moyamba, Pujehun, Bonthe, Kono, Kambia, Tonkolili, and Port Loko, says Dr Yankuba Madina Bah, Manager, Neglected Tropical Diseases Control Programme in the Ministry of Health and Sanitation. "We have done a survey...
(APA 07/17/17)
The Sierra Leone Police intends to use an emergency alert system to facilitate rapid response to crime, a senior police officer disclosed on Monday. Al Sheikh Kamara, Director of Operation at the Sierra Leone Police, said the Inspector General of Police had just signed a contract for the provision of 112 as a free toll through which citizens can reach the police to report crime so that law enforcement officers can deploy in timely manner. Kamara, who has the title of Assistant Inspector General, said the move is part of the police's strategy to curb rising rate of crime in the country. He added that the emergency line will cut down on response time. Kamara said most of the time...
(Xinhuanet 07/17/17)
Africa is making progress towards the establishment of a trade zone by Oct. 30 that will cover approximately half of the continent's member states. The Common Market for the Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Director of Trade and Customs, Francis Mangeni, said in a commentary published in the Star Newspaper on Monday that so far 19 of the 26 countries involved have signed the agreement. "Three outstanding annexes had meant the tripartite agreement was not complete and this was advanced by some countries as the reason they could not sign or ratify the agreement. However their adoption represented a milestone in the negotiation, as it removed the last obstacle to signing and ratifying the agreement," Mangeni said. The tripartite free...
(Cnbc Africa 07/12/17)
"Africa is an awakening giant," according to the former South African President Frederik Willem de Klerk speaking at the World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul. The leader who oversaw the transition of his country's power to Nelson Mandela said Tuesday that the future looks bright for a continent previously blighted by war, famine and a lack of infrastructure. "I believe Africa is an awakening giant and, yes, it is not performing according to what we expected soon enough, but it will perform," he said. De Klerk believes that African countries are primed to take advantage of the world's growing size. "If we look at food shortages for the rest of the world with a growing population, Africa is the solution," he...
(BBC News Africa 07/11/17)
The football crisis in Sierra Leone has deepened after the annual congress of the country's football governing body -- scheduled for Friday to pave the way for elections next month -- was suspended by football’s world governing body, FIFA. The term of office of the current Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) led by Isha Johansen, comes to an end on August 3. FIFA says the Congress is postponed indefinitely until a task force can be sent to Freetown to sort out issues at the SLFA relating to integrity checks. FIFA took the decision based on recommendations by its member associations committee of which
(AFP (eng) 07/11/17)
As West Africa declares war on the market for expired and counterfeit medicines, start-ups are putting quality control in the hands of patients to stop them risking their lives trying to get well. Not only can such drugs fail to treat the diseases they are bought to combat, experts say, but they may encourage resistance to antibiotics and even cause death as diseases continue to course unchecked through the body. At an April meeting in Liberia, the 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) announced a region-wide investigation into the trafficking of expired and counterfeit drugs, and a public awareness campaign. Traffickers in bad medicine prey on some of the world's poorest and most in need, who also face...
(Voice of America 07/11/17)
In the past five years, terrorist attacks have killed nearly 20,000 people across Africa. Two groups, Boko Haram and al-Shabab, accounted for 71 percent of reported incidents and 91 percent of fatalities. But, while these and other militant groups remain active, fatal terrorist attacks across the continent are on pace to fall for a second straight year, and the total number of attacks is running far below 2012 highs. These findings are part of VOA’s original analysis of data from ACLED, the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project. ACLED tracks political violence, protests and terrorist events across Africa. Their reports include attacks since 1997 based on data collected from local news media, government statements, non-governmental organizations and published research...
(APA 07/10/17)
The world football governing body, FIFA, has ordered the suspension of the much anticipated Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) congress slated for this Friday, APA learnt on Monday. FIFA, according to the FA, cited unresolved issues relating to dispute between the current FA executive and its opponents. FIFA said in a letter to the FA that Congress must be delayed until a task force it has assigned embarks on a mission of integrity check. The SLFA Congress was to pave the way for its election as the term of office of the current FA President Aisha Johansen expires on August 3. Fifa said it took the decision based on recommendations by its member associations committee. Last year FIFA Secretary General,...
(Bloomberg 07/10/17)
Many cell phone companies are rethinking their headlong rush into the continent. Only Orange is staying the course. Back when African countries were auctioning off mobile licenses by the boatload to serve the region’s young, tech-savvy population, investing in the continent’s fast-growing economies seemed like a no-brainer. Some of the world’s biggest wireless carriers rushed in. Now they’re wondering if they made a mistake. Increasing government and regulatory scrutiny, as well as a lack of expansion opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa, are making it harder for operators such as Vodafone Group Plc, Orange SA and Bharti Airtel Ltd. to grow. Their choice: Pull back or double down. Two companies beating at least a partial retreat are Millicom International Cellular SA, which...
(AFP (eng) 07/08/17)
Women from Sierra Leone can now pass on their nationality to their children, following the passage of what women's rights groups said Friday was a landmark change in the law for gender equality. Until the new Citizenship Amendment Act was passed on Wednesday, Sierra Leonean women were denied the right to hand down citizenship to their children born abroad, causing problems for the diaspora community and exacerbating statelessness. "The new law shows that Sierra Leone is gradually getting to having gender parity like other countries around the world," said Fatou Taqi of the women's rights group 50/50. "Several Sierra Leonean women living in the diaspora married and unmarried with children had been disadvantaged over the years," she added. "We are...
(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...

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