Friday 23 June 2017
(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...
(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...
(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...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/23/17)
DAR ES SALAAM (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Sadick Thenest remembers how his 8-year-old daughter had a narrow brush with death two years ago, when she contracted cholera after drinking contaminated water. “She was so gaunt, weak and had terrible diarrhea,” said the refugee from Burundi. “A slight delay in rushing her to hospital would have meant something else - but with God’s grace she survived.” The father of four, aged 35, is among thousands of refugees grappling with frequent outbreaks...
(APA 06/21/17)
The Sierra Leonean army has raised alarm over rapid encroachment by civilians into its firing range, citing the danger to the people due to unexploded ordinances. Col. AS Bah, Commander of the Engineering Regiment of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF), also warned those dealing in metal to beware of these unexploded ordinances, which he said, were scattered across the country as legacies of the country’s 11 years [1991-2002] of civil and even the World War II. He...
(Voice of America 06/21/17)
WASHINGTON DC — On June 5, Saudi Arabia and its allies, including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of funding extremist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic State. In response, Qatar said it was the victim of a policy of “domination and control” by its larger neighbor and that Saudi Arabia was, in fact, the one responsible for backing extremism. So what is the truth? Fundamentalist strains of Islam, including...
(BBC News Africa 06/16/17)
Scottish nurse Pauline Cafferkey has returned to Sierra Leone for the first time since contracting Ebola there in 2014. She went back to fundraise for children orphaned by the epidemic and to close a chapter of her life. The last time Mbalu met Pauline, the teenager was sick with Ebola and fighting for her life. Pauline cared for her while smothered in a personal protection equipment suit (PPE), when working amidst the crisis gripping the country. The nursing staff had...
(Apa 06/15/17)
The Supreme Court in Sierra Leone has thrown out a case seeking to prevent the government from going ahead with the controversial boundary delimitation in the run-up to next year’s general election. The case brought up by three Sierra Leonean lawyers also wants the court to halt all activities relating to the ongoing civil registration exercise. The defendants are the country’s Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara, the head of the National Electoral Commission, Nfa Allie Conteh,...
(AFP (eng) 06/14/17)
Extortion, corruption and fear; violence, hunger and sometimes even death: for west African migrants dreaming of reaching Europe, the road to get there can be an absolute minefield. - Departure - Whether it's The Gambia, Ivory Coast, Senegal or Nigeria, everything starts with the "hustlers" -- slang for the middlemen or fixers who organise the trip. Their honesty and prices vary, with the would-be migrant usually deceived about the welcome expected in Europe. Many possess no official documents from their home country, and do not understand illegal status in Europe. Most are ignorant about the extreme difficulties they will encounter en route. "We didn't know we were risking our lives," said Kante Sekou...
(AFP (eng) 06/14/17)
Maria gave smugglers all her family savings and crossed three countries and the searing Libyan desert, but when she finally boarded a boat for Europe her dream was swiftly shattered. She was 24 and pregnant with her second child when she left Liberia with her husband and their three-year-old son. The family passed through Guinea and Mali before crossing southern Algeria to reach the Libyan desert. "The smugglers took all our money" -- more than $2,150 (2,000 euros), she said...
(APA 06/14/17)
Division has emerged over a proposed media code seeking to tame unruly journalists in Sierra Leone. The new code announced by the Independent Media Commission (IMC) this week contains a revised list of offences which notably toughens fines for breach of the code. Under it, media houses can be fined up to Le20million ($3, 000) for what the Commission says is the most rampant offences – character assassination. The document, which also covers issues like privacy and credibility, is a...
(AFP (eng) 06/13/17)
Uche's real journey had yet to begin but he had already spent four days in the northern Nigerian city of Kano after travelling on public buses and potholed roads from Imo state in the southeast. He planned to go to Agadez, a transit town on the southern edge of the Sahara desert in central Niger, take a truck to Sebha, in southwestern Libya, and from there to the capital Tripoli, and then to Italy or Spain. But his contact, who...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/08/17)
More girls are completing secondary school across sub-Saharan Africa as attitudes change and state spending rises, but some of the most marginalized girls — like those married young or forced to work — are still missing out, education experts say. The percentage of girls completing secondary school has risen in all regions of Africa since 2005, said a recent report by the African Development Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the U.N. Development Program. Almost twice as...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/07/17)
Building a network of African women leaders in fields ranging from business to politics could galvanize female leadership across the continent and boost peacebuilding efforts and good governance, the head of U.N. Women said on Tuesday. The African Women Leaders Network, which was launched last week in New York by the United Nations and the African Union Commission, hopes to drive more women into leadership roles, through mentoring, peer learning and harnessing contacts. By supporting women's leadership in Africa, the...
(Xinhuanet 06/02/17)
Fifty-four African Union member states will convene the 5th Continental Conference of Solidarity with Cuba in the Namibian capital from June 5-7, said an Naminian official on Thursday. The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of International relations and Cooperation, Selma Ashipala-Musavyi, said the aim of hosting the conference in Namibia is to intensify solidarity and to strengthen bounds of friendship between the people of Cuba and the progressive peoples throughout the African Continent. Namibia's President Hage Geingob will open and...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/01/17)
Millions of insecticide-treated bed nets are being delivered to protect people from malaria in the West African nations of Guinea-Bissau and Sierra Leone, where the mosquito-borne disease is one of the biggest killers, aid agencies said on Thursday. The countries' health ministries are working with United Nations agencies and local partners in a drive to ensure every household receives at least one bed net in the coming weeks. "This is not just a distribution drive but also a mass information campaign," said John James, representative for the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
(AFP (eng) 06/01/17)
One in five children born with a twin sibling in sub-Saharan Africa dies before the age of five -- three times the rate among singletons, said a study Thursday. Almost two-thirds die in the first month of life -- often succumbing to the after-effects of a difficult birth or entering the world too early or underweight, according to research published in The Lancet medical journal. And while rates of under-five deaths in the sub-Saharan African region have declined over two...
(Washington Post 05/31/17)
The old man’s house had become a camp for the displaced. In the back yard, groups of women boiled water for rice. Small children skittered across the dirt, running into the bedroom, where they careened around the long, skinny legs of Elijah Karama. “Because of the conditions, they are mine to take care of,” said Karama, 57, more tired than proud. By conditions, he meant Boko Haram’s destruction of vast areas of northeastern Nigeria, and the hunger crisis that has...
(The Guardian Nigeria 05/30/17)
The Federal Government has pledged to assist the Government of Sierra Leone in the review and smooth implementation of its National Youth Service (NYS).Director-General of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC); Sule Kazaure who disclosed this when the presidential adviser on youth, Dr. Sheikhu Kamara and board chairman of Sierra Leone NYS, Prof. David Komora led a seven-man delegation to his office said the scheme had become a symbol of national unity and solidarity, and because of this unique role...

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