Seychelles Hosts Inaugural IFBB Event.

Seychelles will host the 2023 IFBB International Grand Prix for the first time with the participation of over 20 athletes vying for the top prize. 

The competition, which is being done in collaboration between the International Fitness and Bodybuilding Federation (IFBB) and local body Seychelles Elite Pro Amateur Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation, will take place on Saturday, at the Berjaya Beau Vallon Beach Resort.

The chairperson of the Seychelles Elite Pro Amateur Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation, Chantal Pinchon, told SNA that “it was during the IFBB congress last year, that we met with the president, and there the idea of Seychelles hosting an IFBB event came around and was agreed upon.”  

The event will start at 6 p.m. and eight participants from Seychelles, six men, and two women have already confirmed their participation. Savio Larue, Elicks Rapide, Jean-Luc Belle, Andy Anthony, and Derrick Mensah will compete among the ladies, while Shereen Azemia and Lindsay Payet will compete.

Pinchon explained that while this tournament is reserved for amateur bodybuilders, Ziad Meckdachi, who retired as a professional, will not be able to compete.

“There will be seven IFBB pro cards up for grabs, to the winners of each category. Getting an IFBB Pro Card means the bodybuilder becomes part of the elite. At this point you’ve made it, and have the opportunity to follow a genuine career as a professional bodybuilder, earning a decent income by competing and winning,” she said.

There will be six categories for men – bodybuilding, physique, classic physique, classic bodybuilding, junior classic bodybuilding, and junior men’s physique.

The ladies will compete in the bikini fitness, and bikini physique, as well as in the fit model categories.

Pinchon said that one of the advantages of Seychelles hosting the competition is that the participants will not have to deal with the expenses of going abroad.

She said she was hoping to get more local participants.

“I want the athletes to be more serious with the sport, where they have to ensure that they are ready in time for such competitions,” said Pinchon, who revealed that Seychelles will in fact hold a second international competition on June 22, 2024.

Tickets for the competition cost SCR300 ($22) while those wishing to attend the competition and the buffet dinner must pay SCR1200 ($90).


Mental Health: Kite Flying Event at Heideveld Sports Field.

On Tuesday, Cape Mental Health organized a kite flying at the Heideveld Sports Field in Manenberg to raise awareness about mental health ahead of the 29th Cape Town Kite Festival, scheduled for Sunday 29 October on Melkbosstrand Beach.

At the event, themed The Sky Is Your Canvas, young children from various early childhood development centers and schools ran around, yelling excitedly, flying bat kites and bird kites. Rainbow-coloured kites were distributed free of charge. Children were also delighted to see a green kite mascot.

Cape Mental Health deputy executive officer Carol Bosch said, “It’s world mental health day today, but October is also mental health awareness month. So, this event is about creating awareness about mental health and the importance of taking care of yourself.”

“It’s a fun activity, having the community fly kites and just creating lightness. Mental health is not an easy subject to talk about for a lot of people.”

Bosch said many of the children present had mental impediments and were in special education and care centers.

“Some of them obtain their milestones much later, others not at all, so what we try to do at our special education and care centers is to try and stimulate development. Just because you have an intellectual disability does not mean you are not able to grow,” said Bosch.

Founded in 1913, Cape Mental Health provides essential mental health services in the Western Cape. According to the organization, they serve about 50,000 people and their families a year. There are 22 intervention programmes with 133 staff.

Vernecia Creighton, of Manenberg, was flying a rainbow kite with her two-year-old twins and their two-year-old cousin. She came across the event by accident.

“There is so much going on in our communities, like drugs and crime, which can contribute to people struggling with mental health,” said Creighton.

Bosch said, “There are so many social issues in the communities we work in – high unemployment, high crime rates. A lot of our children are growing up traumatized by witnessing killings.”

“We all need good mental health – it is the way we look at life, the way we approach life, it is how resilient we are.”


Gambia, EU Seacop Partnership Making Waves in Disrupting Maritime Drug Trafficking.

Gambia is a key transit point for South American cocaine being smuggled to Europe. In February, over 800 kg of cocaine that had been transferred from a larger ship in the open sea was confiscated from a Gambian fishing boat in Senegalese waters. In 2021, Gambian authorities seized almost three tonnes of the drug, hidden in a shipment of industrial salt from Ecuador.

Gambia’s government has admitted to the allegations that the country is being used as “transit/storage for cocaine, heroin, and cannabis originating from source countries and the sub-region entering the country through the sea, land, and air borders”. 

A police officer with the Drug Law Enforcement Agency (Dleag), who requested anonymity, said the rise in maritime cocaine smuggling in the country could be traced back to the early 2000s. At that time, the opening of global markets saw traffickers start using West Africa as a transit point for cocaine shipments from South America to Europe.

The country’s 200 km coastline and limited resources to effectively police its maritime domain make it an attractive location and practical transit point for cocaine trafficking. Transnational organized criminal groups have also capitalized on the limited law enforcement capacity at the country’s ports.

Under Yahya Jammeh’s rule, the government faced substantial challenges in investigating and prosecuting drug crimes, according to Michael Davies, Executive Director of Public-Private Integrity, an anti-corruption civil society organization. He told the Enact organized crime project that this primarily stemmed from “inadequate case management, a shortage of staff in the judicial sector and court overload — and the criminals knew that”. The country’s former leaders and institutions have also been implicated in drug trafficking.

In recent years, however, Gambia has been fighting back. Ismaila Sow, a police officer with Dleag, said the current administration was working with regional and international partners to share intelligence, run joint operations, train law enforcement, and improve capacity to detect and intercept drug trafficking boats. The country’s 2021 agreement signed with Nigeria indicated its willingness to fight the maritime drug trade, said Sow.

Gambia has also improved its legal framework. The amended National Drug Control Council Act (2005) established the independent National Drug Enforcement Agency to enforce, regulate, and coordinate all matters related to illicit drug trafficking and abuse. The act has since been amended four times to enhance its enforcement capabilities. In 2014, the drug enforcement agency was reconstituted as the Dleag to ensure compliance with international standards.

These advances, along with increased investment in law enforcement agencies, have resulted in more drug seizures, drug-related arrests, and prosecutions QTV reports that from January 2021 to April 2023, the Dleag recorded 1,629 cases involving 1,665 accused. In the same news story on World Drug Day 2023, Minister of Interior Seyaka Sonko expressed the government’s determination to “dismantle any organized crime network in our jurisdiction”.

In January, Gambia signed an agreement with Seacop, the European Union-funded Seaport Cooperation Project that works with countries to disrupt and prevent maritime trafficking. The project’s main implementing partner, Expertise France, aims to build capacity and strengthen cooperation in countries on the trans-Atlantic cocaine route. 

To achieve results, however, Gambia must prioritize improved information sharing, intelligence gathering, and joint operations between police, customs, and port authorities, as called for by the agreement. A specialized maritime task force dedicated to combatting drug trafficking must be established, comprising members of various security agencies, including the police, navy, and customs. The unit will need resources and training to investigate and apprehend traffickers.

Akala said the Seacop project would provide Gambia’s drug enforcement agencies with equipment and training in October. Seacop emphasizes intelligence-driven approaches and technology to identify high-risk containers and detect illicit goods. It will provide authorities with advanced container scanning equipment and data analysis tools that should significantly improve Gambia’s ability to identify and intercept contraband.

Combatting maritime drug trafficking also requires a close working relationship with neighboring countries and regional partners. Gambia shares a long border with Senegal — a major transit point for drug traffickers. Gambia’s maritime security is linked to activities in the Gulf of Guinea, a significant hotspot for piracy and other crimes. Any efforts to combat drug trafficking and other marine crimes must include joint operations and patrols, and the harmonizing of legislative frameworks.

Gambia must also get involved in the development and implementation of a regional maritime security strategy, as called for by the Yaoundé Code of Conduct — the backbone of maritime security for West and Central Africa.  

Ugandan Start up Turns Banana Stems Into Useful Fiber.

Africans have always cultivated the habit of utilizing every single thing, they try not to waste anything or see the usefulness in a lot of things and one such thing is banana stems.

According to a Ugandan startup, that’s buying banana stems in a business that turns fibers into biodegradable handicrafts, it is a fresh idea in this East African country that’s a banana republic. Uganda has the highest banana consumption rate in the world and is Africa’s top producer.

According to figures from the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, bananas can contribute up to 25 percent of the daily calorie intake in rural areas.

In Uganda, the consumption of bananas is embedded in local customs and traditions. For many, a meal is complete with a serving of matooke.

To harvest the crop, the stem must be decapitated, they’re often left to rot in open fields.

But local startup TEXFAD, which describes itself as a waste management group, is now taking advantage of this abundance of rotting stems to extract banana fiber that’s then turned into items such as hair extensions.

John Baptist Okello, TEXFAD’s business manager, says it makes sense in a country where farmers “are struggling a lot” and have tonnes of banana-related waste.

The company, which collaborates with seven different farmers’ groups in western Uganda, pays $2.7 (USD) per kilogram of dried fiber.

TEXFAD also takes material from a third party, Tupande Holdings Ltd., whose trucks deliver banana stems from central Uganda farmers.

Tupande’s workers sort through stems, looking for desirable ones. Machines then turn the fiber into tiny threads.

“Our contribution in the value chain is that we put extra income in the hands of the farmer, we turn this waste into something valuable that we sell to our partners who also make things that they can sell,” explains Tupande team leader Aggrey Muganga.

“We are doing this to create extra income, to create employment for ourselves, and to contribute to the industrialization of Uganda and betterment of the lives of Ugandans.”

Tupande Holdings Ltd. deals with more than 60 farmers that supply the raw material.

That number is only a small fraction of what’s available in a country where more than a million hectares are planted with bananas.

Banana production has been rising steadily over the years, growing from 6.5 metric tonnes in 2018 to 8.3 metric tonnes in 2019, according to figures from the Uganda Bureau of Statistics.

At a plant in a village just outside the Ugandan capital Kampala, TEXFAD employs more than 30 people who use their hands to make items from banana fibers.

The company exports its rug and lampshade products to Europe.

Such items are possible because “banana fiber can be softened to the level of cotton,” explains Okello.

Working with researchers, TEXFAD is also experimenting with possible fabrics from banana fibers.

The company is also designing hair extension products it believes could help rid the market of synthetic products.

All products by TEXFAD are biodegradable, says Faith Kabahuma from the company’s banana hair development program.

She says the company’s hair extensions will soon be on the market.

“The problem with synthetic fibers, is they do so much clogging, like everywhere you go, even if you go to dig in the gardens right now, you would find synthetic fibers around, so it’s not environmentally friendly,” says Kabahuma.

Tanzania: Mara Records 1,000 Children with Malnutrition Receives Treatment.

Mara Regional Medical Officer (RMO), Dr. Zabrone Masatu announced that at least 1,090 children under the age of five with malnutrition have been treated in the past year, out of whom 608 had their health completely improved. Some parents believed that the minors were bewitched and 20 out of 1,090 children were taken from the hospital to traditional healers. 

However, Dr. Masatu affirmed that Community Health Workers (CHWs) were looking out for children to bring them back to hospitals while also identifying more malnutrition cases in society. He noted that “Wrong beliefs are somehow hindering the efforts. We keep on educating traditional healers not to handle such minors.”

He appreciated the ‘USAID Afya Yangu-RMNCAH project, which is implemented by the Tanzanian government to provide technical support in the aspect of capacity building to staff, on how best to solve nutrition complications. The initiative is in collaboration with various stakeholders in Tanzania mainland and Zanzibar, and malnutrition is one of the many diseases it treats.

The ‘Afya Yangu-RMNCAH’ project is being funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) which costs 66.8 million USD. The RMO informed the community that ongoing efforts will be made to combat malnutrition, given that the area has a range of nutritional meals.

Also, service providers and CHWs are required to encourage expecting mothers to attend clinic sessions and give birth in hospitals in order to ensure close supervision of both mothers and newborns. They also do regular meet-ups with the healers for public education, on especially malnutrition symptoms and the negatives.

Ms. Lucy Mwalwayo, Bunda Town Council Nutrition Officer also reiterated that the search is in progress to bring the children back to hospitals from traditional healers. She revealed, “Traditional healers are now on our side as they immediately communicate use after receiving children with such symptoms, adding that some children do come back to hospitals in severe condition, of which the recovery is not guaranteed.”

Mr. Malegesi Masije, a traditional healer in Bunda’s Manyamanyama neighborhood, acknowledged that he was unintentionally killing the youngsters with the incorrect dosages he administers.

“We give only traditional medicines for oral and bathing uses. However, the children whose parents violate our traditions, such as killing a python do experience the same malnutrition symptoms, a reason why we accommodate the victims,” he said. Additionally, in maternity wards and clinic visits, mothers receive training on how to make nourishing meals for the kids at home.


Dr Asamoa-Baah Public Health Champion

The World Health Organisation Regional Office for Africa (WHO AFRO), recently named Dr Anarfi Asamoa-Baah  Public Health Champion. This is in recognition of his outstanding contribution to global public health.

Dr. Asamoa-Baah received the award alongside a former President of Botswana, Festus Mogae, and former Regional Directors of WHO in the Africa Region.

“This award is in recognition of your outstanding service to public health and promotion of the wellbeing of the people of Africa,” the citation presented to Dr. Asamoa-Baah by the WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, at the organization’s 75th-anniversary awards in Gaborone, Botswana, read.

The event was part of activities at the 73rd WHO Regional Committee for Africa Meeting held in that country.

In response, Dr. Asamoa-Baah described WHO as a force for good and expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to serve the organization for many years.

“I am grateful to the WHO Regional Office for Africa for this recognition and appreciation. I am happy that WHO is recognizing the role of member states and staff as we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the organization,” he said.

Dr. Asamoa-Baah, a Ghanaian public health professional, joined WHO in 1998, serving the global public health for 19 years and rising to become the Deputy Director-General of WHO in 2007, until his retirement in 2017.

Dr Asamoa-Baah was instrumental in the establishment of the 2005 International Health Regulations and the raising of Global Visibility for Neglected Tropical Diseases.

His other notable achievements included the revitalization of primary health care; the establishment of a pre-qualification program as part of the WHO essential medicines program, and the development of the first global strategy for traditional medicine.  

“Dr. Asamoa-Baah is a distinguished global public health expert who deserves this recognition.

“Even in retirement, he continues to offer valuable service and contribution to both national and international efforts to promote the health and wellbeing of people,” the WHO Representative to Ghana, Prof. Francis Kasolo, said.

In 2020, President Akufo-Addo appointed Dr. Asamoa-Baah-Baah as Presidential Coordinator for the government’s COVID-19 Response Programme, where he coordinated the country’s response programs.  

Dr Asamoa-Baah was also recently appointed Chair of the National Vaccine Institute and interim Head of the Ghana Health Security Centre.

#BeFree Youth Campus Set to be Established in Namibia.

A new center, the #BeFree Youth Campus, is being established to create a safe space for young people to flourish and reach their full potential. It will serve as a platform to inspire Namibian youth, help them exhibit their talent in a safe environment, and provide access to critical services.

Creating a supportive and empowering community for young people is crucial for them to thrive mentally, emotionally, physically, and economically. This is especially the case since the COVID-19 pandemic, given the immense impact it has had on people’s mental and sexual health, education and employment opportunities.

At 16, Maria Hailonga experienced a significant trauma that affected her mental health – the death of her mother. She needed help to deal with her loss but she had nowhere to turn. “The youth have no place to go to or talk about their problems,” she said.

Globally, suicide is the fourth leading cause of death among 15 to 19-year-olds.

Namibia has one of the highest instances of suicide in Africa, with an estimated rate of 9.7 in a 100,000 population, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Triggers for suicide attempts include the ending of romantic relationships and marriages, family problems, physical or verbal abuse by a spouse or partner, the death of a loved one, and financial crises.

“A lot of us want to pursue our dreams, but some people do not live with their parents or do not have their support, so it becomes difficult because we do not have the resources,” Maria said.

In anticipation of the center’s opening, the Japanese Government and UNFPA, the United Nations Sexual and Reproductive Health Agency, together with the #BeFree Movement, recently held a tree planting ceremony on site.

“We are not only planting a simple tree, we are creating a form of protection, a form of mentorship, and a place of congregation,” said Sadam Biwa, #BeFree Movement Project Manager. “We as the youth have the ideas but we need the space, infrastructure, guidance, mentorship, and support from each other to create peer-to-peer relationships, so we can create these communities.”

If mental health issues are not addressed among young people, these issues can extend well into adulthood, where they can limit opportunities for leading fulfilling lives as adults.

To this end, the campus will provide prevention, mental and psychosocial support, and clinical services, according to #BreakFree National Coordinator Frieda Stephanus. This will involve awareness campaigns to empower young people to make informed decisions on their sexual and reproductive health; male-centered engagements on sexual and physical development to increase male involvement in sexual and reproductive health, gender-based violence, and related health issues; life skills and information-sharing for adolescents; and parental classes for teenage mothers to prevent infanticide and occurrence of unsafe abortions.

“This is a safe haven for the youth, for people with different abilities and minorities. I discovered many things that I did not know I was good at until I ventured into #BeFree. They are exposing people to what they are destined to be,” said Lesley Shetukana, a first-year university student.

“Look at how incredible things are when we engage young people to understand what their needs are and help them be a part of building solutions. That says a lot about the work that we are supporting in terms of putting young people at the center stage to build a country we want,” said Esther Nantana, Leaving No One Behind Project Coordinator, UNFPA.

Mental health and psycho-social support is a component of the Leaving No One Behind Project in Namibia, which is funded by the Japanese Government. The project’s primary goals are to restore dignity, reshape the future, and address gender-based violence and negative sexual and reproductive health outcomes for women, girls, men, and boys in Namibia.

The #BeFree Initiative is a youth-led campaign that provides a safe and non-judgmental platform for adolescents and young adults to discuss their challenges. It gives them access to relevant information and appropriate services. The initiative is integrating key learnings from #BeFree into Project #BeFree, a comprehensive youth center of excellence. The youth campus will offer a wide range of holistic services, including life skills programs, psychosocial support, comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services (including comprehensive sexuality education), skills development, leadership training, entertaining and educational content for young people, as well as accommodation facilities tailored to meet the needs of adolescents and youth. The #BeFree initiative is a fundamental component of the One Economy Foundation, conceived by Namibia’s First Lady, Monica Geingos. UNFPA has supported the One Economy Foundation since 2016.


Namibia: Government to Launch Drought Relief Program Next Month

The Prime Minister, Hon Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, asserted that to solve the problem of drought and food insecurity, the government, through the Office of the Prime Minister, will launch a drought relief program effective from 01 October 2023 to June 2024.

The announcement was made by the Prime Minister on Tuesday when she briefed the Parliament on the outcomes of the Annual Livelihood Vulnerability Assessments and Analysis (VAA) that her office conducted in all 14 regions from May to July this year, as required by Section 13 of the Disaster Risk Management Act, 2012 (Act No. 10 of 2012).

The assessments gathered and analyzed data on livelihood and food security for the 2023/24 period to inform policy and assist in understanding the threats of natural and socioeconomic disasters to food and nutrition security.

Moreover, staff from government offices, ministries, and agencies (OMAs), regional councils, local authorities, civic society organizations (Namibia Red Cross Society), the University of Namibia, and United Nations agencies (FAO, WFP, UNDP, WHO, and UNICEF) participated in the assessment.

The food relief program, set to roll out next month, will provide both food and water assistance to drought-affected households countrywide.

Furthermore, the Prime Minister stated that the Livestock Support Programme, which incorporates livestock marketing incentives and subsidies for fodder purchased, grazing leases, and transportation to grazing areas, will be implemented from the beginning of next month through March 2024.

Meanwhile, Kuugongelwa-Amadhila stated that existing social safety net programs like the San Development Programme, which provides food assistance to marginalized communities, and the Conditional Food Bank in urban areas would continue to serve areas where the drought program was unable to reach.

She also highlighted that regarding the prevailing malnutrition cases in the country, the Ministry of Health and Social Services would continue with the nutrition program intended for assessing acute malnourished persons and refer diagnosed cases to existing feeding programs.

She said that the program would cost the government N$892.4 million.

“The VAA’s key findings are as follows: Between October 2023 and March 2024, approximately 695,000 people (equal to about 172,000 households) are likely to endure severe acute food insecurity and require urgent humanitarian assistance. When rainfall conditions improve between March and June 2024, a 7% reduction to 491,000 people is expected,” she said.

According to the Namibia Meteorological Services 2022/2023 seasonal report, Namibia experienced below-normal and sporadic rainfalls which culminated in a combination of flash floods and dry spells in some parts of the country.

“With the anticipated El Niño, which is likely to affect us during the 2023/24 agricultural season, the situation in the country will be negatively affected due to more dry and limited rainfall, which could put food security in the country at risk.”

“This has subjected communities to prospects of lower crop yields, impacts on livestock, and ultimately reduced household food stocks, compromising food security at household levels,” according to her.

She further noted that poor grazing conditions in most regions affect livestock body conditions. 2022/23 crop prospects show 153,000 MT harvest, 9% less than 168,200 MT from the previous season, indicating poor livestock conditions, she said.

The assessment indicated that 85% of the population obtains water from private and public taps, while 7% comes from boreholes. Additionally, 76.4% of the population walks less than 2.5 km to water points, with 5.6% walking more than 5 km, particularly in Kavango West, Oshikoto, Ohangwena, and Zambezi regions.

“On the reported cases of hunger among the marginalized Ovatjimba communities in Otjikojo, a village located 25km west of Okangwati in the Kunene region, the Office of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Gender Equality, Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare has provided the food assistance required. This intervention was necessary, and the government would act promptly to address such vulnerabilities,” she said.

Three Million Children to Receive Polio Vaccine in Tanzania.

According to the Ministry of Health in Tanzania, more than three million children will be vaccinated against polio as authorities attempt to curb the spread of the crippling infectious disease following its resurgence after seven years.

The ministry’s statement on Friday disclosed that the vaccination campaign will take place from the 21st to the 24th of September in the regions of Rukwa, Katavi, Mbeya, Kagera, Songwe, and Kigoma.

In the course of the four-day campaign, 5,291 health service providers will be deployed in the regions, with each team consisting of three service providers. Vaccination services will be provided at healthcare facilities, through door-to-door visits, in schools, and in a variety of public gathering places, including houses of worship.

According to the WHO, polio is a highly contagious disease, mostly affecting young children, that attacks the nervous system and can result in spinal and respiratory paralysis.

Tanzania’s health minister, Ummy Mwalimu, informed reporters that the government decided to start the vaccine campaign after receiving troubling information on May 26, 2023. The unexpected paralysis of a youngster who was one year and eleven months old necessitated rapid action.

Laboratory findings revealed that the child from the Sumbawanga Municipality had polio. In response, the government declared the beginning of a special campaign for all kids under the age of eight to receive the nOPV2 droplet vaccine against polio.

According to the statement, this initiative aims to shield more than 3.2 kids born after 2016 from the Type 2 poliovirus, which can result in permanent disability.

Mwalimu emphasized the need for guardians and parents to work with medical professionals to ensure that their children obtain immunization, highlighting the saying “prevention is better than cure.”

Cases in nearby nations including Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Zambia have been connected to the reappearance of polio in Tanzania. This condition increases the risk of contracting the polio virus, especially in areas that are immediately next to these countries.

However, in November 2015, the World Health Organization proclaimed Tanzania polio-free but the current comeback, highlights the persistent difficulties in eradicating this debilitating illness, calling for a quick and thorough immunization effort.

Namibia, Lesotho Surpass Target for HIV Epidemic Control.

Namibia and Lesotho were among the six African countries that were recently announced as having achieved HIV epidemic control.

The announcement was made by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) global health supply chain program.

According to the findings, the two countries had high levels of viral suppression and retention in care, indicating effective treatment programs.

Data from the Population-based HIV Impact Assessment surveys suggests that Lesotho and Namibia have made remarkable progress towards HIV epidemic control.

“There is high access to HIV care in Namibia, with more than 190,000 clients actively on ART treatment, indicating significant progress towards reaching or exceeding the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV-AIDS’s 90-90-90 targets. The project in Namibia implements various supply chain and technical assistance activities to ensure uninterrupted supplies of antiretroviral (ARV) medicines in the country,” the agency says.

According to the program, technical assistance is provided to the Central Medical Stores (CMS) in forecasting and quantifying the need for ARVs in the country.

It says this forecasting ensures that adequate supplies of medicine are available.

In 2019, USAID Global Health Supply Chain Program-Procurement and Supply Management (GHSC-PSM) assisted Namibia in developing a needs-based budget method that used various parameters to ensure the national budget was distributed equitably to all 14 regions.

Every year since then, the CMS and the Ministry of Health and Social Services have depended on the project to assist in allocating budgets to healthcare facilities,” USAID says.

According to the agency, the GHSC-PSM assisted the health ministry in changing antiretroviral treatment (ART) guidelines in 2019.

“The project was instrumental in bringing in the new treatment . . . in 90-count and 180-count bottles to make it easier for pharmacy staff to implement multi-month dispensing in three- and six-month multiples.

“Some of the products were directly procured, and forecasting technical assistance was provided to the ministry for government procurement,” the agency reports.

Health Ministry executive director Ben Nangombe yesterday said Namibia is honored by the international recognition.

“It is a demonstration of the fact that the programs we are implementing here are achieving the desired results . . .

“This is not only the success of the ministry, but also of the communities, individuals and organizations and associations of people who are living with HIV who are continuing to adhere to treatment,” he said.

Nangombe said although challenges remain, Namibia will still aim to achieve the 97-97-97 goals by 2028.

“Meaning that by that time we would want to have a situation where 97% of people who are HIV positive know their status, 97% of those who know their status are on treatment, and 97% of those who know their status are virally suppressed,” he said.

The agency said when the COVID-19 pandemic emerged in 2020, GHSC-PSM played a critical role in predicting supply chain shocks.

“The project advocated for multimonth dispensing through the ART Supply Chain Technical Working Group. For this implementation, facilities needed to have enough stock to start the process,” it stated.

This intervention was successfully implemented and the project assisted the health ministry by monitoring progress.

“The GHSC-PSM project in Lesotho supported the government of Lesotho and the priorities of the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (Pepfar) for global commodity procurement and logistics between 2016 and 2021.

The project has provided technical assistance to improve the long-term availability of health commodities and strengthen national supply chain institutions,” USAID said.

Furthermore, the project ensured the continued availability of HIV commodities, tuberculosis preventive treatment, pre-exposure prophylaxis, and family planning commodities at the central and facility levels.

The availability of commodities supported partners to attain Pepfar testing, treatment targets, and objectives.

All of these approaches have been essential to guiding the country towards HIV epidemic control, the agency said.

The executive director of the Namibia Networks of AIDS Service Organisations, Sandie Tjaronda, commended the achievement and went on to say that the gains are fragile, especially when funding for civil society is continuously decreasing.

“There isn’t much money coming to community interventions, and these are the interventions that require funding to sustain these gains,” she said.

Uganda: Mega-city Clean up Begins Ahead of Museveni’s Seventy-ninth.

A mega-city clean-up campaign was started in Constitutional Square spearheaded by the Minister for Kampala Capital City and Metropolitan Affairs, Hajjat Minsa Kabanda, together with Dorothy Kisaka, the KCCA Executive Director, and the chief Muzukulu Hajjat Hadija Namyalo from ONC

The KCCA frontline employees began the drive launch on Thursday, September 2, 2023, by cleaning various areas of the city in the early morning. The initiative aims to educate residents about effective waste management, lowering urban trash, and living wisely, all of which contribute to the agenda for smart cities.

The Minister, who was the launch’s chief guest, began by expressing gratitude to the KCCA ED, municipal mayors, and all other political figures for their cooperation in creating a smart city. She praised the frontline staff for their persistent efforts in maintaining Kampala’s cleanliness.

“Keeping our homes, workplaces, and city clean requires cooperation from all of us; cleanliness begins at home. Our city will continue to be clean if we clean our houses and places of employment and properly dispose of rubbish, according to Kabanda.

Kampala’s garbage management has improved as a result of effective mobilization, which the KCCA ED congratulated the frontline employees for. To create a smart city, she urged all the teams to collaborate as Team KCCA.

Making Kampala a really smart city is a top priority for us, according to Kisaka. “Good solid waste management, sanitation, and proper drainage in the city are high on our list,” he said.

At a time when the city is preparing for the Katonga Spirits event, which will take place on September 8, 2023, at Kololo Independence Grounds, the advertising has been helpful.

Along with the group, the Office of the National Chairman (ONC), represented by their head of mobilization, participated in the cleanup and campaign launch.

The KCCA ED promised that to ensure flawless preparations for the Head of State, who will be celebrating his 79th birthday on the same day as the event, the KCCA frontline workers would ensure that Kololo Independence Grounds were cleaned both before and after the event.

Every day, Kampala City produces roughly 2500 metric tons of waste, which is made up of 14% different waste categories like glass, paper, and textiles, 80% organics, and 6% plastics.

The KCCA collects this solid trash from homes, businesses, public spaces, and roadways and transports it to the Kiteezi dump.

Dr. Kisaka stated that this program to involve all Kampala residents is being launched as part of the KCCA’s endeavor to actualize the Smart City Agenda.

“Our frontline staff is not enough to ensure that every corner of our city is clean, which is why we have to support them by ensuring that our homesteads are kept clean and all waste is sorted and put in designated places where our waste collection teams can pick it up,” Kisaka added.

As always, the KCCA is responsible for collecting this material from all of those locations, but Kisaka emphasized that it is also the individuals’ responsibility to dispose of their waste properly.

With the addition of 10 new garbage compactor trucks in March, the KCCA’s fleet of trucks increased from 12 to 22 and improved its already-existing capabilities for the collection, transportation, and safe disposal of solid waste and fecal sludge as well as drainage maintenance. Now, each division should have a minimum of four compactor vehicles, one skip loader truck, and one tipping truck.

Private sector consignees for garbage collection in the various divisions, including Nabugabo Updeal Joint Venture, Bin It, and Home Clean for the Central Division, complement the authority’s waste management efforts. The collection rate for solid garbage increased from 35% in 2016 to 59% in 2023 because of the joint efforts of the KCCA and the private sector.

The mega clean-up drive’s call to action for city residents is to stop littering, make sure that every business, residence, and household has a trash can, store your waste until KCCA or a representative picks it up for safe disposal, promote the 3 Rs (reduce, reuse, and recycle), encourage good hygiene and handwashing habits, and guarantee that everyone has access to a bathroom.


Eswatini Launches HPV Vaccination Campaign, Protects Tens of Thousands of Schoolgirls.

In June, Eswatini launched its first-ever Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination campaign by Her Royal Highness Inkhosikati IaMatsebula, and a total of 46,674 schoolgirls were reached by 84 teams of nurses that visited schools across the country.

The incidence of HPV in Eswatini is fuelled by high HIV rates, driving up cervical cancer case numbers and deaths. The HPV vaccine can prevent most cases of cervical cancer if it is administered before girls or women are exposed to the virus.

World Health Organization (WHO) supported the first-ever HPV vaccination campaign by developing the vaccine introduction plan, micro-planning, health worker guidelines, and monitoring tools, including a readiness assessment for HPV vaccine introduction, and supportive supervision.

Her Royal Highness IaMatsebula says “Vaccinating our girls, in line with the WHO recommendation, will help us to prevent HPV infection, and thus reduce the incidence of cancer among our people”. 

Every year, the country records about 360 new cervical cancer cases, with almost one in every three patients dying as a result. Now more than 200 women are living with cervical cancer in the country, with more than 700 cancer-related death recorded in the past five years.

Vaccinator, Sandizsile Mamba says I am so grateful as a health worker to be able to give these children protection against cervical cancer because our country is seeing a growing number of women with the disease”.

Human Papillomavirus vaccines are both safe and highly effective in preventing HPV types 16 and 18 which are together responsible for about 70% of all cervical cancer cases globally. The vaccines are also highly efficacious in preventing precancerous cervical lesions caused by these virus types.

 The campaign was well-received by parents and teachers as well, through the commitment of Risk Communication and Community mobilization teams comprising staff from WHO, the health promotion unit, and other partners. Sensitization activities were conducted across various media, including radio, print, and social media with parents eager to learn more.

Nurses briefed the students about the vaccine and its benefits, teaching them that the vaccine prevents HPV, and so reduces the likelihood of contracting cervical cancer later in the future.

Teacher Juliana Takaruva says: “This is a real benefit for our learners, and we hope that the health education they received will also advance a broader understanding of the dangers of not vaccinating. We will continue preaching the message that prevention is better than cure.”

Vaccinator Sandzisile Mamba says WHO and the Eswatini Ministry of Health provided comprehensive training for over 400 health workers ahead of the campaign. Although she knew about HPV, she says that she was not well versed in the preventative vaccine.

“I am so grateful, as a health worker, to be able to give children protection against cervical cancer because our country is seeing a growing number of women with the disease. It’s so important to protect these children against HPV,” she says.

Somalia Inaugurates National Blood Bank.

The first blood bank has been launched in Mogadishu, the capital city of Somalia, the first in 30 years that donors said could help the country’s emergency responses. The inauguration on Saturday was presided over by the Somali Prime Minister, Hamza Abdi Barre. 

Alongside the Prime Minister, dignitaries, health officials, and representatives from the United Nations and the World Health Organization (WHO) were present at the launch.

The new development is an effort to revive the country’s collapsed blood ban that had initially been established in 1976 but collapsed in 1991 alongside other state institutions during the civil war. Officials said the new facility was formed with support from the United Nations reproductive health agency (UNFPA) and the Swedish government.

Mr Barre described the new blood bank facility as a positive step, especially for a country that often requires blood supplies on a daily basis; the impact of attacks by extremist groups such as Al Shabaab.

“We have been struggling with violent incidents and different calamities that often required blood supplies,” said the Premier addressing a galaxy of officials that included Somalia’s Health Minister Dr Ali Haji Aden, and the Country Representative for UNFPA in Somalia Niyi Ojuolape.

Mr. Aden said to the media that the country is now in a better position to effectively handle emergency situations by concentrating on life-saving deeds because of the restored blood bank.

The blood bank serves as a lifeline in a number of medical situations, including operations, trauma cases, problems during childbirth, and the treatment of patients with chronic illnesses, according to a statement released by UNFPA.

The blood bank is located at Banadir Hospital in Mogadishu and has the capacity to store 6,500 units of donated blood at any given time. It is equipped with state-of-the-art technology for screening, preparation, and secure storage of blood and blood products.

The statement read; “the National Blood Bank has a 50-unit-per-day production capacity and a storage capacity of 6,500 units at any given time”.

The facility is well-considered in that it can balance the demand against supply, ensuring that health professionals have immediate access to safe blood products, thus reducing the risk of preventable deaths. 

According to the Somali government officials, UNFPA, and the Swedish government, the facility will endure the availability of life-saving blood products and scale up the country’s overall healthcare infrastructure. The agency’s statement indicated “it is critical to addressing healthcare challenges, such as maternal mortality rates, access to quality healthcare, and emergency medical services.”

Dr Yasin Ahmed Nur, a former deputy director of Somalia’s defunct blood bank, who also, attended the launch ceremony of the new blood bank on Saturday said the move reflects a turnaround for the country’s medical response.

On Sunday, Dr. Nur said, the former bank used to produce 10,000 units per year. He recalls that the bank was looted and destroyed by rag-tag militias, forcing him to flee from the residential section of the former bank.

“We used to send trucks with a cooling system to seek donations from military barracks, ministries and government offices and educational centers, and their likes,” remarked Dr. Nur, urging the new bank management to mobilize donors.

“Unlike in the 1970s and 1980s, Somalia has advanced transportation and communication systems, every town having its own airport or airstrip, facilitating blood transportation to needy people,” he added.

The State Minister of Health Dr Maryama Mohamed Hussein said that the ministry and the blood bank’s management will take advantage of the 14 June is World Blood Donor Day to raise awareness.

“We will urge our people to discard the taboo against blood donations. We will take advantage of the opportunity to teach that every year countries around the world celebrate World Blood Donor Day,” remarked Dr Hussein.

Juba Tackles Waste Exposure with Waste Incineration Plant.

The first-ever medical waste incineration plant was commissioned yesterday at the Juba Teaching Hospital in Juba. The facility is an edifice of the Canadian government and it is aimed at reducing the environmental and public health risks that can expose the population to infectious diseases. 

Director General of Juba Teaching Hospital, Anthony Lupai said during the facility’s inauguration that the waste management facility would provide support not only to the hospital but also to other health stakeholders in Juba. 

According to him, they need two or three men and women to be trained to that they can handle the insulator when it develops some problems as building the capacity of the local staff would help reduce the cost of management.

Emphasizing the importance of sustaining the facility to guarantee its long service, the World Health Organization’s Director for South Sudan, Dr. Fabina Ndenzako said “We have trained a team of 15 people and they have done several exercises to make sure they know how to run this facility. The WHO has a team of experts who will be working with trained people to make sure that the initial operation expected of this facility is really working in the right way”.

Janet Micheal, the Director-General for Nurses and Midwives in the Ministry of Health also noted that improper management of healthcare waste is a major source of diseases such as Hepatitis B due to the country’s inability to control the environment. She said that waste management facilities are essential in society, adding that it is the responsibility of citizens to protect the environment.

She said, “It is for us to preserve our environment, at many times hospital waste has been placed anywhere and it is very sad when you see children coming with used gloves, blowing those balloons, and then you find them using syringes to try to inject themselves”. 

Janet urged the health officials to make sure that the waste is properly sorted before being taken to the C100 medical waste incinerator. “We need to have the segregation early to avoid mixing of the waste, and for that, we will have 10 years for the facility to continue.”


Angola Records Progress in Fight Against Tuberclosis.

On Tuesday, Health Minister  Sílvia Lutucuta said that Angola has recorded 69,261 cases of tuberculosis in the last two years, 10,739 fewer compared to the period between 2017 and 2019.

The minister who was speaking at the end of the 1st Ordinary Session of the National Commission for Fight against HIV/AIDS and Major Endemic Diseases (CNLS-GE) said that, between 2017 and 2019, the country had a record 80,000 patients with tuberculosis.

She highlighted that “in 2019, the health sector began to register a downward curve compared to the measures taken to fight endemic diseases, reinforced in 2020 with the prevention actions against the Covid-19 pandemic.”

The results of the National Tuberculosis Control Program (PNCT) indicate, between 2018 and 2022, the expansion of the service network from 13 to 36 hospitals, which represents a total of 6.3% to 17.3% at national, provincial, and municipal level units.

Sílvia Lutucuta added that the number of provinces with the capacity to diagnose cases of drug-resistant tuberculosis went up from 14 to 18, as well as municipalities with care services from 111 to 155, corresponding to a coverage of 95% throughout the country.

Regarding trypanosomiasis, Sílvia Lutucuta reported that there was a reduction, between 2012 and 2022, from 179 to 44 cases, with the goal of eradicating or decreasing by 2030.

Trypanosomiasis, the scientific name for sleeping sickness, is a disease prevailing in certain rural areas with dense forests.

In the case of HIV/AIDS, Sílvia Lutucuta said that 310,000 patients were under the control of the health authorities, of which 190,000 were female, with a prevalence rate of two percent.

To cope with the numbers, according to the minister, the health units increased their testing capacity to 116 percent, in 2022, compared to 2017, and the services of the Program for the Prevention of Transmission of HIV from Mother to Child, from 650, in 2017 to 881 in 2022, as well as expanding access to viral load and early childhood diagnosis to 18 provinces.

The minister highlighted as challenges the inclusion of pregnant women and women living with HIV in social empowerment projects implemented by the Executive (Kwenda, PREI, PRODESI) and the increase in access to diagnostic, treatment, and care services for all children exposed before two months old.

Regarding the National Program to Combat Malaria, the minister highlighted the decrease, from 2017 to 2019, of deaths by more than 50% and the increase from 35% to 40% in the distribution of insecticide-treated mosquito nets to households, an expected target by the PDN 2018-2022.


WHO: New Malaria Vaccine Cuts Child Mortality Rate

A baby receives a dose of the RTS,S vaccine for malaria in Cape Coast, Ghana in 2019. Credit: Cristina Aldehuela/AFP/Getty/Nature
A baby receives a dose of the RTS,S vaccine for malaria in Cape Coast, Ghana in 2019. Credit: Cristina Aldehuela/AFP/Getty/Nature

The World Health Organization, WHO, has announced that their new malaria vaccine, RTS,S, has proven to be safe and effective, reducing the number of severe cases and deaths in children residing in Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi. 


After administering the vaccine to more than 1.6 million children, WHO Director-General, Tedros Ghebreyesus spoke recently in New York of the positive outcome. Adding that the new vaccine also contributed to a fall in child deaths.


“As the first vaccine against malaria, the RTS,S vaccine has now been delivered to more than 1.6 million children in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi. It has been shown to be safe and effective, resulting in a substantial reduction in severe malaria and a fall in child deaths” Tedros announced.


Despite this being an important step forward in the battle against malaria, WHO Director of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals, Katherine O’Brien, warned that the rate of child deaths due to this disease was still persistently high. 


O’Brien emphasized the need to remember that every minute a child dies of malaria and the introduction of this new vaccine is just one tool in the toolbox of fighting against this severe health issue.


“I think it’s really important to remember nearly every minute a child dies of malaria, and the introduction of malaria vaccine as another tool, an additional tool in the toolbox to fight against the severe disease, the deaths that occur, is a really essential step forward” she said.


Sadly, UN studies have indicated that climate change is contributing to a higher number of mosquitoes carrying malaria-like diseases, further emphasizing the need for more effective strategies to combat the spread of malaria.

“Angolan government invests, annually, about USD 25 million in the purchase of vaccines…” – João Lourenço

The Angolan President, João Lourenço, said on Wednesday in Madrid City, Spain, that the Angolan government invests, annually, about USD 25 million in the purchase of vaccines, in the framework of the routine vaccination program.

Speaking at the Conference on the Global Impact of Vaccination, he informed that the Angolan State has assumed, since 2017, the responsibility of maintaining the routine vaccination program independently.

According to the statesman, despite the various challenges faced by the limited healthcare infrastructure and the vast geographic extent of the country, Angola has made remarkable progress in the administration of Covid-19 vaccines.

João Lourenço said that as part of the Covid-19 vaccination campaign, Angola has managed to mobilize millions of doses of safe vaccines, with 25 million doses purchased by the Angolan Government for an eligible population of about 18 million people from the age of twelve and up.

“Angolan reality shows the results achieved, the challenges faced, and the ongoing efforts in the immunization field, proving the government’s commitment to the well-being and health of all Angolans”, he reinforced.

He said that in the scope of the flexibility of vaccination against Covid-19, the Angolan Government took advantage of the experience and integrated the vaccine into the routine vaccination posts, in a process assured not only by the health units but also by the mobile teams.

To João Lourenço, the fact of reaching 84% coverage with at least one dose of the vaccine among the eligible population, demonstrating the commitment to safeguard the health and well-being of citizens, is most deserving.

The Angolan President informed that his government is committed to ensuring the sustainability of the vaccination program, especially concerning routine vaccination, and will maintain the same dedication in the implementation of the vaccination policy it has been consistently implementing, in the cases of routine vaccination and the last three years, concerning Covid-19.

In the task of vaccinating populations, especially children, Angola will continue to rely on the support of its partners, particularly GAVI, the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), and others who have provided crucial support.

“These organizations provide essential support in the procurement process of medicines, vaccines, and cold chain equipment, ensuring the continuity and success of public health programs”, he reinforced.

João Lourenço praised the hard work and determination of the health professionals, the Defence and Security Forces, as well as the country’s partners, who faced various difficulties and logistical challenges to vaccinate as many people as possible.

Nationwide, for the covid-19 vaccination, 1700 people worked on the vaccination process, using vaccines from AstraZeneca, Sinopharm, Sputnik, and Johnson & Johnson.

The Angolan government’s achievements to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic are reflected in the creation of field hospitals in the provinces of Luanda, Lunda Norte, Cabinda, and Cunene, with emphasis on the construction of the Specialized Center for the Treatment of Endemics and Pandemics (CETEP) only located in the capital, among other infrastructures.

Lesotho Introduces Integrated Service Delivery to Fight TB Spread.

The Ministry of Health in Lesotho has taken a pivotal step in the combat against Tuberculosis (TB) by launching an integrated service delivery initiative in Berea. The launch was during an event held in Teyateyaneny on Monday. 

Observing the high prevalence of TB in the district, the ministry collaborated with hospitals, clinics, and primary healthcare workers to combat the spread of the infectious disease. The Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Mrs. Maneo Moliehi Ntene stated while speaking at the launch.

She acknowledged the resource challenges faced by health centers, however, buttressed the government’s commitment to availing necessary resources in the current financial year. This aims to alleviate the burden on healthcare workers and enhance their ability to deliver effective TB prevention and treatment services.

Director General of Health Services, Dr. Nyane Letsie pointed out the government’s promises to upgrade primary health services, establish cancer treatment hospitals, develop a medical school, and maintain Queen Mamohato Memorial as a leading referral hospital.

These initiatives show the government’s all-encompassing strategy for enhancing healthcare services and facilities in Berea and the surrounding area.

Dr. Letsie stressed the government’s commitment to offering inclusive health services to everyone and to ensure that everyone has access to high-quality healthcare, the Ministry of Health is working nonstop to achieve this goal.

Mrs. Nomsa Plaki, TB Coordinator in Berea addressed the high rates of TB and enhanced overall healthcare provisions as the government seeks to improve the health and well-being of all residents in Berea. She, therefore, expressed gratitude to the Ministry of Health for its unstaggering support.

She commended the ministry for its efforts to train healthcare professionals and for its dedication to halting the spread of TB. The rising TB rates in Berea, which have led to a substantial death toll, were underlined by Mrs. Plaki.

Concerns concerning the viability of HIV programs, which are currently supported by non-governmental organizations (NGOs), were expressed by the HIV Clinical Mentor in Berea. Testing and other HIV-related services may encounter difficulties as contracts with these organizations expire. The mentor begged the Ministry of Health to establish posts inside the ministry devoted solely to assisting HIV programs. This would guarantee the continuation and success of these crucial programs in the war against HIV/AIDS. 

The Ministry of Health has visited seven districts with a similar goal, and Berea’s introduction of integrated service delivery is the latest. This program demonstrates the government’s dedication to tackling national public health issues, focusing on regions with high illness prevalence and enhancing primary care services.


South Sudan Observes World Blood Donor Day as Awel Lauds Blood Donors.

Every 14 June of each year, World Blood Donor Day is always observed. It is a day to raise awareness about the importance of donating blood and appreciate blood donors across the world. It aims to promote voluntary, safe, and regular blood donations to ensure a sufficient blood supply to those in need. 

On Wednesday, South Sudan joined the rest of the world to mark World Blood Donor Day under the theme “Give blood, give plasma, share life, share often”. The day highlights the critical role of blood donors in saving lives and encourages more people to become regular blood donors.

The commemoration of the event took place at the Public Health Blood Bank in Juba and was followed by the donation of blood and sharing of testimonies from regular blood donors and recipients.

Minister of Health, Yolanda Awel Deng paid tribute to people who regularly donate blood while speaking at the event. “We are not doing enough awareness campaigns about donating blood, she said. There are a lot of people in this country who could donate blood but the word is not reaching out properly, that challenge I accept.”

“That challenge is to all of us in the health sector, partners, donors, and everybody in the health. We accept the challenge to make sure that we reach more audiences,” she added. She further appealed to musicians to compose songs that encourage people to donate blood.

She bemoaned the horrendous working conditions of the blood bank employees, who put in long hours for meager remuneration noting that “empowering the blood transfusion facilities across South Sudan is very crucial and empowering the staff who works in these facilities is important.”

 The minister added that sometimes they work for long hours, sometimes they are called beyond their working time because of emergencies and they turn to beggars for people to donate blood.” she called on the citizens to take ownership of blood donation because no one needs to be forced as it is an act of patriotism.

On her part, Dr. Mutale Senkwe, a representative of the World Health Organization said the demand for blood and blood products continues to grow due to several factors including increased maternal complications, child malnutrition, trauma due to violence, and medical procedures.

She acknowledged the vital role played by unpaid, voluntary blood donors who help save many lives and asserted that giving blood is a gesture of solidarity that helps reduce the strain on the healthcare system.

Dr. Senkwe said “ According to the WHO, 1 percent of the population needs to donate blood to meet the annual requirement. Under this principle, in South Sudan, we should be collecting an estimated 120,000 units for the population that we are saving,”  adding that “What we are currently seeing is a donation of 15 units per day which translate to 5,475 and this is a minimal amount compared to the 120,000 units required.”

Nigerian Healthcare Group Launches Technology for Patients’ Easy Access to Doctors.

A technology that provides easy access to healthcare experts anywhere in the world at any time, at one’s convenience, and at the comfort of one’s home has been launched in Abuja. The technology which is called ‘Ezzycare’ is focused on connecting care seekers to healthcare providers in their area and enabling them to access quality medical care from the comfort of their homes or offices

Addressing Journalists in Abuja on Tuesday, the Chief Executive Officer of Ezzycare, Dr. Torngee Malu, explained that with the technology, patients “no longer need to queue at the hospital to access healthcare. They can get video consultations or home visits from doctors, book lab tests, and order medicine from the comfort of their homes or offices.”

He added that “It allows care seekers to control the choice of healthcare providers, where they want to get the care, and how much they will pay and further noting that “They can decide who to get care from after looking at the prices and experience of the care providers. Care seekers can also review and rate the care they receive, ensuring that they receive quality care.”

The Chief Executive Officer insisted that the technology has immense benefits to both the care seekers and providers. According to him: “The technology provides healthcare providers with control over their time and earnings, they decide how much to charge when they are available and the type of service they want to offer.”

“Healthcare providers can make as much money as they want by working on Ezzycare. It also allows healthcare providers control over their time and earnings, ensuring that they can achieve better work-life balance and improve their quality of life,” he stated.

Dr. Torngee Malu noted that Nigeria and Nigerians stand to benefit immensely from the technology as far as there is network connectivity even in remote communities that are hard to reach. “In a country like Nigeria where access to healthcare is a challenge for most people in rural areas and people in remote places like the military in Sambisa Forest and other war zones, Ezzycare will make it easy for them to consult a Doctor as long as they have a phone and internet connection.

“They can get any Doctor for a video consultation. Also, people can book care seekers for their loved ones, whether they are in Nigeria or abroad,” he further explained. While noting that technology is the future of healthcare globally, he however, noted that: “Ezzycare is available for download from the Google Play store or Apple Appstore (

Also speaking during the launch, the Medical Director of EZZYCARE, Dr. Deborah Ojiako, explained that those who have used the technology have made encouraging comments about it. She noted that the technology was made in a way that even the uneducated can use it as it is simple and easy.

On her part, the Head of Administration of Ezzycare, Prisca Popoola, explained the three available consultations that are accessible by Ezzycare which according to her,  include home care, clinical visit, and video call consultation. She revealed that currently, the technology has over 1500 doctors who are always available to attend to patients.

“Patients now have the choice. You can get the doctor to your home, or go over to the clinic for your consultation and finally, the video consultation where a doctor will attend to a patient within 30 seconds of booking,” she further explained.

Kigali, Rwanda Signs Agreement to Host African Medicines Agency

On Saturday, 10 June, Rwanda and the African Union Commission (AUC) finalized agreements for the establishment of the first-ever African Medicines Agency in Kigali.


This marked a major step forward in the operation of the newly founded agency, following the country’s official approval in hosting the headquarters on its territory. 


The African countries adopted the treaty to establish the Agency in 2019, which came into effect in 2021. 


One of the aims of the institution is to reduce the continent’s reliance on pharmaceutical products imported from foreign countries,as Africa imports 97% of the pharmaceutical products it requires. 


It is also expected to regulate and harmonize the market of pharmaceuticals, boost production in African countries, and thwart the circulation of counterfeit medicines. 


Minata Samaté Cessouma, AU Commissioner for Health, stated that the agency should provide “African solutions” to prepare for pandemics, such as Covid-19. 


Meanwhile, Rwandan Minister of Health Sabin Nsanzimana declared this as the first move towards the full operation of the African Union agency. 


The second extraordinary session of the 23 States that have ratified the treaty establishing the agency will be held in Kigali a few days from now and will include a discussion of staff recruitment.

Ghana Joins World to Mark World Schizophrenia Day.

On Wednesday in Accra, Ghana joined the rest of the world in observing World Schizophrenia Day under the banner “Celebrating the Power of Community Kindness.”

According to Madam Estelle Appiah, Chairperson of the Mental Health Authority (MHA) Board, this year’s event’s primary objective was to raise awareness of schizophrenia and eliminate widespread myths and misconceptions about the condition.


Madam Appiah stressed the importance of providing the required treatment and assistance to everyone who is afflicted by the condition and stated that efforts to minimize the stigma and discrimination experienced by those who are affected would continue to be a top priority.

She recommended collaboration between the general public, development partners, caregivers, community organizations, and all other interested parties in to reduce barriers and increase support for those with schizophrenia.


Dr. Nana Yaa Adobea Brown, the MHA’s Technical Director, claimed that the MHA was enlisting everyone’s support as the most effective way to eradicate the stigmas connected to mental health. In order to increase awareness, increase access to mental health services, and ensure that those impacted receive the treatment and support they require, she urged for a supportive environment for those with schizophrenia.


The Acting Chief Executive of MHA, Professor Pinaman Appau said, “These people with schizophrenia, possibly the most vulnerable of all face serious difficulties every day, including stigma, prejudice, and social exclusion.”

She felt that by creating a culture of acceptance, understanding, and support, the barriers preventing people with schizophrenia from fully participating in society might be removed.


Prof. Appau claimed that the government could create a compassionate society that offered equal access to mental healthcare, economic opportunities, and social support networks through community projects, educational campaigns, and cooperative collaborations.

The mental illness schizophrenia is characterized by recurrent psychotic symptoms such as auditory or visual hallucinations, delusional thinking, disconnection from reality, and disordered thought and behavior. 


According to the World Health Organization, schizophrenia is a severe mental illness affecting more than 21 million people globally. A common myth surrounding schizophrenia is that people suffering from it have a split personality, meanwhile, this is untrue.


Schizophrenia patients have one personality, just like everyone else. It is a condition where certain chemicals in specific areas of the brain are out of balance, and as a result, there is a lack of coordination between thoughts, actions, and emotions. The illness usually occurs in early adulthood or late adolescence, typically between the ages of 15 to 28.


Men also have a higher risk of suffering from the illness than women; they have an earlier onset age than women. They are also prone to suffer from a more serious form of the disease with more negative symptoms, less chance of a full recovery, and a worse outcome.

Every May 24, World Schizophrenia Awareness Day is observed. The purpose of this day is to spread awareness about the illness and eradicate the myths and superstitions around mental illnesses.

South Africa Launches Into Luxury Olive Oil Industry

The African continent is in the midst of an olive oil revolution, with South Africa joining the party. 


The country is becoming an increasingly important player in the international olive oil market, thanks to access to fertile soils, ample sunshine, and high-quality olives. South African olive oil is of excellent quality, owing primarily to its premium raw materials. 


Olives used for oil are mostly harvested by hand, which leads to an increased level of flavor and aroma. South Africa’s olives are also high in antioxidants and polyphenols, which render them exceptionally healthy. 


The country’s unique climate also plays an important role in its successful olive oil production. With an abundance of sun and rainfall balanced throughout the year, South Africa offers ideal conditions for ripening and developing olives. This, combined with the favorable soil quality, contributes to the superior flavor and aroma of the resulting olive oils. 


The new boom in South African olive oil has been driven by enterprising local farmers and entrepreneurs, many of whom have expertise in other branches of the agricultural industry and have now shifted their focus to olive oil production. This has meant that olive oil production is now taking place on a significantly larger scale, leading to more quantity and variety in products. 

South Africa’s olive oil market is on the rise, with demand booming as consumers look for healthier alternatives to cooking oils.


According to latest industry data, the market for olive oil in South Africa saw a 4.6% growth rate in the first quarter of 2018, compared to the same period last year. This increase in demand is backed by a growing appreciation for the health benefits of olive oil. 


“Olive oil can contribute to reducing the risk of serious health conditions such as stroke, coronary heart disease, and some types of cancer,” Dr Maryke Labuschagne, a registered dietitian from Unilever South Africa states.


As a result, people are switching up their kitchen cupboards for healthier options. The rise of the ‘clean-eating’ trend is spurring on the uptake of olive oil. 


Packaged goods manufacturer, Unilever, has been particularly keen to capitalize on this, rolling out new products endorsing the benefits of olive oil, such as its Olive Oil Beauty range. 


South African olive oil manufacturers have also moved to cash in on the growing demand. Many now invest heavily in marketing, from television campaigns to online advertising, in an effort to tap into the ever-expanding consumer market. 


This rising demand means older olive oil producers are now facing more competition from new entrants into the market. Some, like Gerrie Nel of Nel Olive Oil have seen their market share drop from over 50% to around 25%. Others, such as Laborie Olives, have had to diversify into new products such as flavored oils to appeal to modern tastes. 


Industry experts believe the market for olive oil in South Africa is still in its growth phase. Despite increased competition, olive oil producers remain optimistic about the future, with experts predicting further growth in the months and years to come.

Gambia’s Health Sector Plans to Harness Service of Drones.

 On May 16, 2023, a stakeholder engagement was held at the Kairaba Beach Hotel by the ARDA International Cooperation in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, Medical Research Council, and The Gambia Red Cross Society to discuss the potential introduction of medical drone delivery services in the nation.


In order to assess the applicability of this service in The Gambia with less cost-effectiveness and sustainability, other stakeholders were also involved in the conversation, including the Ministry of Interior, Defense, the Gambia Armed Forces, and State Intelligence Service (SIS).

The drones will ensure that medical supplies get to the closest hospitals on time. After a five-week trial, this service will be offered to determine whether the system can function or be maintained successfully in The Gambia.


It aims to give The Gambia access to the benefits of drones for medical delivery as the most approachable, scalable, and secure drone logistics system. The discussion addresses the goal and purpose of the program, which aims to improve the public health supply chain in The Gambia and will have a significant impact.


The Gambia Red Cross Society’s secretary general, Alasan Senghore, praised ARDA for the effort and said it “puts The Gambia at the forefront of technology.”

“We are often left behind because we think that it is very complicated and not possible; but with collaboration, it is possible with bringing comparative advantages of institutions together.”


The Gambia received a medical drone for the first time in 2021, according to Shubh Malde, founder and CEO of ARDA. He continued by saying that they planned to develop a program that would fully utilize medical drones in public health.

“Drones are new technology and we intend to train Gambians to operate the drone and want them to be accessible,” he said.


According to Sulayman Mboge of Radville Farm, Shubh and Jan were motivated to introduce the drones to The Gambia by their passion for the country and their desire to provide medical services there.

He commended the Interior and Health Ministries for the chance and collaboration.


Uganda Plans to Establish Breast Milk Banks to Tackle Malnutrition.

According to senior nutritionist Sarah Ngalombi at the Ministry of Health in Uganda, the ministry is benchmarking the notion to deal with the problem of newborn mortality and malnutrition. To that effect, the government has mooted a proposal to establish breast milk banks within the country. Breast milk banks donate pasteurized human milk for infants whose moms cannot adequately breastfeed.


In 2021, St. Francis Hospital Nsambya opened Uganda’s first and only milk bank. Ngalombi stated during a press conference with media on Friday at a nutrition workshop organized by the Right 2 Grow consortium that the proposal is being considered due to the huge number of low birth weight babies who need breast milk but can’t obtain it from their moms 

“So, one of the options is the breast milk bank, and we have started benchmarking with other countries to see how it will be socially acceptable in our country and also to make sure that within the policies, it is incorporated there if it can work,” Ngalombi said.


She claimed that the ministry held extensive deliberations and determined that the concept may be successful in Uganda. Ngalombi stated that the procedure should be finished in one to two years and that they have already begun steps such as determining whether there will be enough milk donors.


According to the currently available information, 54% of people in Uganda experienced malnutrition as children. If Uganda wants to have a productive labor force, according to Right 2 Grow consortium national lead Richard Kato, the trends on malnutrition must be changed.

“So, we are saying; Can we change the trends of our children, and reduce the number of children who are getting stunted when they are young because we want to have a productive workforce in the future,” Kato said.


Kato emphasized journalists’ impact on reforms in other industries and urged them to have a similar impact on the direction of nutrition-related developments.

“We want to hear from you, but also to mention that we are very interested in the programme but also as partners to walk with you in this journey because we know and recognize the unique role and position that you have in influencing how government works, how donors invest resources, how civil society organizations function, how people eat food..”


The Right 2 Grow project, funded by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and lasting through 2025, is an alliance of partners led by Project Hunger Uganda with nutrition as its primary focus.

The partnership, which is currently active in areas where malnutrition rates are high, intends to bring together decision-makers and significant stakeholders to cooperatively and successfully address undernutrition in Uganda in a multisectoral, gender-sensitive, and inclusive manner.


Nigeria Launches 3-Hub Project Construction for Vaccine.

  • The Minister said each of the hubs will be centralized to serve geopolitical zones

To massively expand vaccine storage capacity at the national level, the Nigerian government has commenced the construction of standard vaccine hub projects in Abuja, Lagos, and Kano states. The Health Minister, Osagie Ehanire said this during the ground-breaking ceremony in Abuja on Thursday. 

The minister noted that each hub was centralized to serve two geopolitical locations and decentralized to respond to increasing vaccine demands. He explained that Nigeria is a large country with a continuously increasing population coupled with the introduction of new and essential vaccines. He said to this end, the country requires sufficient storage space for vaccines and injection materials for efficient implementation of its immunization programme.


Mr. Ehanire stated that the supply chain challenges highlighted by the COVID-19 vaccination effort also underline the need for the massive expansion of storage space which “will confer a measure of resilience in the system”.

He said, “In recognition of the need for resilience in the system, the country, following detailed analysis, decided on a system redesign which includes the construction of three mega stores at the national level, deployment of optimized cold chain equipment at the health facilities, an efficient distribution system and the deployment of an electronic logistics management information system to provide visibility across the supply chain.”

He also explained that the ground-breaking ceremony is a key milestone of the system redesign journey. “I consider it a privilege that I have the duty to break ground for the construction of this vital piece of infrastructure for the country’s immunization programme.” The 3-Hub project led by the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) will accommodate needed vaccines through 2035.

Enhancing Immunization

During the groundbreaking, Faisal Shuaib, the Executive Director of NPHCDA disclosed that the hub would improve the immunization logistics network and vaccine storage capacity in the country, adding that the construction of the hubs in Abuja, Lagos, and Kano (the 3-Hub project) was strategically designed to address the challenges in the immunization supply chain.

Mr. Shuaib revealed there was a delay in the construction of the hubs due to the lack of adequate resources. “Fully cognisant of the necessity for the implementation of these planned activities, we made funding provision for the Lagos Hub within a World Bank IDA Credit facility for polio eradication support”. He said the Abuja and Kano Hub is being funded by the Gavi Alliance within the country’s Health System strengthening (HSS) support.

He bemoaned that the road to get here had been long and difficult, with delays brought on by the need to keep updating the design in response to changing circumstances, with the necessary funding approvals from the Gavi Alliance, and with the procedures necessary for the effective selection of the construction company to handle the project.

“Here I must acknowledge the technical support of the UNICEF Supply Division in reviewing the designs of the Hubs as well as in the provision of procurement services support,” he said.

Malawi Introduces Nationwide Typhoid Vaccination Campaign.

Blantyre, Malawi — Malawi has launched a nationwide rollout of the newest typhoid vaccine for children under 15.

A two-year study of the vaccine, the first in Africa, found it safe to use and effective in more than 80% of recipients. Health authorities say the vaccine is expected to reduce the threat from a disease that kills close to 20,000 people in sub-Saharan Africa each year.

Typhoid fever is a contagious bacterial infection caused by consuming contaminated foods or drinks. Its symptoms include nausea, fever, and abdominal pain, and if left untreated it can be fatal.

Malawi health authorities said the typhoid conjugate vaccine (TCV) rollout would be part of a nationwide program expected to start Monday when children will be vaccinated against three other diseases: measles, rubella, and polio.

However, some fear the campaign will encounter hesitancy and resistance from people, as was the case with COVID-19 vaccines, which led to the burning of about 20,000 expired doses in Malawi in 2021.

George Jobe, the chairperson of the Universal Health Coverage Coalition in Malawi, told VOA that efforts were made to educate people on the importance of the campaign.

“There was training for community health care workers as well as teachers so that they take messages to community leaders, who would also take messages to their subjects,” Jobe said.

Terrible toll

Typhoid has long been a health threat in Malawi and across sub-Saharan Africa, with an estimated 1.2 million cases and 19,000 deaths each year.

In 2018, Malawi became the first country to use TCV to fight typhoid infections in children under clinical trials.

Over 20,000 children from 9 months to 12 years of age took part in a clinical trial in Malawi led by Professor Melita Gordon of the University of Liverpool. The trial found the vaccine was safe and was more than 80% effective.

Priyanka Patel, an understudy doctor at the Malawi Liverpool Wellcome program, told VOA that this vaccine can offer protection for at least four years, making it a highly effective and efficient tool for preventing the spread of typhoid.

“Secondly,” Patel said, “the typhoid conjugate vaccine can be given to children as young as 6 months old, making it easier to reach vulnerable populations. This is in contrast to older vaccines, which were not approved for use in young children.”

In Malawi, TCV was expected to be rolled out in 2021, but the effort was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gianfranco Rotigliano, the country representative for the U.N. children’s agency in Malawi, urged the government to prioritize its immunization campaign in hard-to-reach areas where most of the children are unvaccinated.

“Vaccination is a right, health is a right,” he said. “So we should look for children who are not vaccinated, because in urban areas most of the children are vaccinated, but there are those who never got even one dose of vaccine.”

Government authorities hope the campaign will be a success, following the efforts they have put in place to educate people on the importance of vaccinating children.

In 2018, Malawi became the first country to use TCV to fight typhoid infections in children under clinical trials.

Over 20,000 children from 9 months to 12 years of age took part in a clinical trial in Malawi led by Professor Melita Gordon of the University of Liverpool. The trial found the vaccine was safe and was more than 80% effective.

Priyanka Patel, an understudy doctor at the Malawi Liverpool Wellcome program, told VOA that this vaccine can offer protection for at least four years, making it a highly effective and efficient tool for preventing the spread of typhoid.

“Secondly,” Patel said, “the typhoid conjugate vaccine can be given to children as young as 6 months old, making it easier to reach vulnerable populations. This is in contrast to older vaccines, which were not approved for use in young children.”

In Malawi, TCV was expected to be rolled out in 2021, but the effort was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gianfranco Rotigliano, the country representative for the U.N. children’s agency in Malawi, urged the government to prioritize its immunization campaign in hard-to-reach areas where most of the children are unvaccinated.

“Vaccination is a right, health is a right,” he said. “So we should look for children who are not vaccinated, because in urban areas most of the children are vaccinated, but there are those who never got even one dose of vaccine.”

Government authorities hope the campaign will be a success, following the efforts they have put in place to educate people on the importance of vaccinating children.


ICRC Inaugurates New Medical Facility in Juba.

  • The OT will be used to perform surgeries, particularly for weapon-wounded patients.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has inaugurated a new Operating Theatre (OT) in Juba Military (JMH) to facilitate medical surgeries, particularly for weapon-injured patients.

The Operating Theatre took 13 months to complete and is the first that the ICRC has built from the ground up in South Sudan. The facility will allow the surgical teams to practice surgical procedures and contribute to raising the standard of care given to patients in South Sudan; this will include infection control and the transfer of patients who have weapon injuries.

 Due to the ongoing armed war in Sudan, the new facility may also aid in addressing the needs of wounded patients entering the country from Sudan. Since gaining its independence in 2011, South Sudan has been embroiled in a lengthy war and armed violence. South Sudan’s population and medical facilities are under increasing strain due to tensions, inter-communal violence, and wars.

There are two surgical units in South Sudan supported by the ICRC; one is located at the Juba Military Hospital in Central Equatoria State and another at the Akobo County Hospital in Jonglei State. In these facilities, women and children make up 25% of the patients receiving treatment for gunshot wounds.


According to the ICRC delegation head in Juba, Pierre Dorbes, “South Sudanese and ICRC surgeons often work in difficult conditions and still accomplish great results, performing difficult surgeries under pressure”. However, he hopes that this facility and knowledge exchange will assist the challenging task of the South Sudanese medical team.

The launch of the OT also occurred at the same time as a worldwide commemoration of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, which includes the various humanitarian services that its employees and volunteers do in various areas across the world.

 Deputy Head ICRC delegation in South Sudan, Andrea Heath said “As we mark International Red Cross and Red Crescent Day, it is an opportunity to remember that the Red Cross emblem is not only used by the Red Cross Movement but also meant to protect the military medical services regardless of their affiliations. The new OT is a symbol of Henri Dunant’s commitment to assist the weapon wounded during the battle of Solferino and his vision to assist people affected by armed conflict and violence which culminated in the development of the Geneva Conventions”.

12 years a musician: Nigerian singer Davido, fans celebrate timelessness after ‘Back When’.

  • Award-winning African Afrobeats singer, Davido, has remained in the news for different reasons lately.
  • African News, especially the entertainment beat, is still agog with news about Davido’s Timeless Album.
  • While that buzz is still on, the Nigerian Musician went online to celebrate his 12th year since he started music professionally.

On the 7th of May 2023, fans, friends, and family of Nigerian Award-winning Afrobeats singer, David Adeleke, popular as Davido, celebrated his first 12 years of making music professionally. The commemoration took the world back to when his debut song, ‘Back When, which features the rave of that era – Naeto C, was released as the prime single heralding his first album. ‘Back When’, a song from his 2012 debut album ‘Omo Baba Olowo’, was produced in London by Davido himself while popular African music video director, Clarence Peters, shot and directed the video that was first uploaded online on the 9th of May 2011. The song rose to become one of the biggest hit songs from Africa at that time, marking his full induction into the entertainment industry.

Davido and a vixen; shot from his music video. Credit: Youtube.

Through a post shared on his Twitter handle, Davido expressed his appreciation to God for the 12-year ride, he described himself as God’s child. “12 years ago, today I dropped my first single. God’s child”, he wrote, stating how happy he is that people still accepted the album Timeless, which has been breaking records since its release, even after 12 years of putting out music.


While on tour recently, to sell his new Album, a brief chat he had with someone showed up online where the singer showed how happy he is to see people the world over accepting his new work of art, according to him, when compared to the previous Albums, Timeless got a good reception. He also mentioned that he has always felt people’s indifference to his earlier albums but Timeless rose to a different level. He said: “I’m happy that people accepted Timeless and I feel they always doubted my album. It’s a different feel for me because people have never accepted my album, so this is a fresh one for me…I haven’t felt this before”. The singer, and father, who had stayed away from social media for a while, just after the loss of his son, expressed satisfaction and optimism about his music and social media comeback.

London, United Kingdom. January 27, 2019. Davido performs live on stage at The O2 Arena. Credit: Michael Tubi / Alamy Live News

He mentioned that the responses and positive reactions he has been receiving since TIMELESS dropped have been quite encouraging. Davido disclosed that he is just getting started, even though he admits that the journey has, so far, been heavy with breath-taking adventures. “This journey has been crazy, but we’re just getting started”: he says. He rose to prominence and popularity after he released ‘Dami Duro’, the second single from his debut studio album. With global prominence, an avalanche of awards, honorary mentions across different quarters, and worldwide recognition of his art, the singer has earned respect and recognition as one of the iconic names in the African music landscape.


Davido has remained a key source of entertainment news globally. He won the popular ‘next rated’ award category at The Headies In 2012. The 30-year-old father, in the last decade, has released hundreds of chart-topping songs like ‘Skelewu’, ‘Gobe’, ‘Aye’, ‘One of a Kind’, ‘Owo Ni Koko’, ‘Fall’, ‘If’, ‘Fia’Assurance’ and several other African hits. In 2019 he dropped A Good Time’, an Album that preceded ‘A Better Time’ which he released in 2020. ‘Timeless’, his 17-track fourth album was released on the 31st of March 2023, and it has continued to garner millions of streams across music platforms.

LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 24: Davido accepts The Best International Act Award onstage at the 2018 BET Awards at Microsoft Theater on June 24, 2018, in Los Angeles, California. Credit: Leon Bennett/Getty Images/AFP

The album also set a new record for the first-day streaming for an African album on Apple Music in the same month of March. Davido stands out as one of the most-followed African artists on social media. His frequent global tours are almost always sold-out events. A lot of fans believe that these first 12 years are only the beginning, just like the artist has emphasized. Considering his antecedents, do you feel Davido can comfortably remain on top of the African Music space for the next 12 years? Kindly share your thoughts in the comment section.



C-Care IHK’s Fibroid Embolization Sees Possibility in Uganda.

  • The hospital is the first to perform the Fibroid embolization procedure in Uganda.

  • The new unique procedure has helped over 25 women diagnosed with fibroid.

In a camp run by C-Care International Hospital Kampala (IHK), it was recorded that over 25 women successfully underwent a Fibroid Embolization surgery, marking a medical first for the country. Prior to this in January 2022, IHK had the first successful procedures of Uterine Fibroid Embolization led by Dr. Josiais Padi from Merit International South Africa and Dr. Hassan Kabiito from IHK.

Women of African heritage are more likely than other women to have fibroids, and many Ugandan women who are of reproductive age do. Uterine Fibroids are non-cancerous growths that can occur in women during the childbearing years; Fibroid Embolization is a non-surgical procedure for women of all ages in need of fibroid treatment.

Between March 3rd to 5th, 2023, the camp took place, and over 450 consultations were carried out at the hospital throughout the camp. Dr. Hassan Kabiito, the in-house interventional radiologist at C-Care IHK, worked with medical professionals from the Aga Khan University Hospital in Nairobi to complete the Fibroid Embolization Camp.

According to Dr. Kabiito, IHK, “Many patients hold the myth the surgery is the only treatment option to resolving fibroids but in Uganda”. He explained that the new procedure is an alternative to the commonly known myomectomy surgery to remove fibroids, with further explanation on Embolization which involves the targeted cutting of blood supply to a particular part of the body. He noted that the procedure is a viable option for those who have symptomatic fibroids and is minimally invasive with a faster recovery time available.

Uterine fibroids can cause pain or heaviness in the pelvis or lower abdomen, protracted menstrual cycles, uncomfortable sex, and fertility problems. Symptoms are often significantly relieved following fibroids embolization. Normal menstrual cycles may persist, and heavy periods may become commonplace.

Although fibroid embolization has a success rate of about 98%, there is a tiny proportion of women who cannot receive UFE treatment because their fibroids receive blood from the ovarian arteries in addition to the uterine artery. Surgery may not be required in many people, though, as this approach often suffices.

Also, fibroid embolization treats all sizes and numbers of fibroids because it is a targeted therapy that aims at the fibroids that can selectively be reached irrespective of the size and number. 

C-Care International Hospital Kampala was established in 2000 and ever since has pioneered several national medical procedures including the first open heart surgery, laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery, laser surgery, and ERCP. As a  tertiary, multispecialty hospital, C-Care IHK stresses patient health and provides cutting-edge care to meet the evolving requirements of the expanding population.

It is renowned for its high-quality healthcare and medical advancements, which are easily accessible to people from all across the East African region. It is the first in Uganda to carry out Fibroid embolization.


The power of community cannot be overemphasized, when a community pulls its weight to achieve something, there is little to nothing that can stop that thing from coming to fruition. This can be seen in the effort of the Beitbridge West constituency villagers in Whunga, Ward 11. They have started pooling resources together to construct a clinic in the area to address challenges encountered in accessing primary healthcare facilities.

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, the constituency’s MP, Cde Ruth Maboyi, has joined the community in mobilizing material and manpower. She pointed out the acute shortage of clinics and secondary schools in her constituency, which she is trying to solve by engaging communities that decided to work together to fund key infrastructure development projects at the grassroots level. “The Government is doing its part in enhancing and accelerating infrastructure development countrywide, but as community members, we felt there was a need to be proactive in addressing our challenges with the few resources we can put together,” she said. “So, what we have done is to organize resources to build a clinic in Whunga to minimize the distance villagers are traveling from Dendele, Mazibeli, and Whunga areas to access primary health care facilities at Zezani Growth point”. 


Reporting on the progress, she said that so far, the community which is molding bricks had contributed cement, door frames, and window frames to start the project. She said major civil works were expected to start as soon as they have the requisite quantity of bricks and related materials as advised by building experts. 


They will also use this same model to construct a secondary school in the Muthangamutshena area in Ward 12. “We are going to have such projects in all the wards, where we organize ourselves and make contributions to fund the construction of crucial infrastructure. However, we will continue to seek assistance from Government and its development partners to ensure that we address all the key infrastructure deficiencies in our constituency,” said the Deputy Minister. She pointed out how important it was for Zimbabweans in the diaspora and those within the country to put heads together and complement Government’s efforts to evenly spread economic and infrastructure development nationwide.

Cde Maboyi pointed out the need to build more clinics and schools, both primary and secondary in all the rural wards to improve people’s way of life. She said, “Our idea is to focus on one project at a time, before moving on to other initiatives”. She talked about the bad state of roads which has seen most public transporters pulling off major routes, leaving villagers at the mercy of few private motorists. “Imagine a situation where we have an emergency and one has to be urgently transported to the nearest health facility in a donkey-pulled cart. This is bad business. I have since approached the national leadership at the District Development Fund (DDF) to fix our roads as a matter of urgency,” said the Deputy Minister.

This development comes days after the residents of Beitbridge town undertook to raise R200 000 to fix eight grounded vehicles at the local district hospital in the next three months. Among the vehicles to be fixed by the Friends of Beitbridge Trust, are five ambulances and three service vehicles. So far one of them which is a Mazda B2200 ambulance repaired at a cost of R13 000 has been handed over to the health institution.

Ghana, France Sign Agreement to Improve Health Sector.

  • Ghana signs an agreement with France to help strengthen the health sector in the country.
  • As a result of this agreement, Ghana will be offered additional support for scientific research.

One of the benchmarks of developed countries is their investment in the healthcare sector; the attention they pay to their healthcare system.

Ghana as a country is intentionally looking into its healthcare system and one of the actions taken as regards this is the agreement that has been signed with France to help strengthen the health sector in the country. 

This agreement implies that additional support will be offered to the country for scientific research into the most appropriate way to implement secondary prevention of cervical cancer among women living with HIV.

€2.8 million was granted to the Ghana Health Service and the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research and this grant was made possible through Expertise France. The grant will also support the country’s response against malaria, tuberculosis, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

The agreement between the two countries was signed by both countries at the Residence of the France Ambassador to Ghana in Accra last Thursday. 

The Director-General of the GHS, Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, initialed on behalf of the beneficiaries, while the Head of Cooperation at the French Embassy in Ghana, Julien -Lecas, signed for his country. Mr. Lecas, representing his ambassador, confirmed that Ghana had received support from the Global Fund for over 20 years, with significant investment in HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria pandemics.

“And as you may know, France is a major donor to the Global Fund. This week, the team of L’Initiative from Expertise France is here in Accra, together with the Global Fund country team. We hope that this visit will trigger further development of L’Initiative’s portfolio in Ghana. We at the French Embassy in Ghana are very pleased to be able to officially launch the two programs funded by L’Initiative to strengthen and evaluate the quality of health services by the GHS on one hand. And on the other hand, it is also aimed at supporting the secondary prevention of cervical cancer among women living with HIV through the NMIMR,” he said.

The Technical Director at Expertise France Groupe, Eric Fleutelot, said his outfit was pleased to support Ghana improve on its health care.

“And I know that we are already making progress”, however, more efforts were needed to reduce vertical transmission of HIV, he added.

Dr. Kuma-Aboagye mentioned that the grant was offered through a community scorecard initiative by the GHS. He said the initiative, introduced in 2018, was aimed at strengthening community participation in health care and improving accountability in service delivery. According to him, the grant would help extend the scorecard implemented to include HIV and tuberculosis.

An Associate Professor in charge of Medicine, Molecular, Microbiology, and Virology at NMIMR, Prof. George Kyei, said there was a need for a national policy to integrate cervical cancer screening into routine HIV care.

Morocco’s King Inaugurates Cutting-Edge Medical Facility.

  • The new University Hospital Center in Tangier was inaugurated by King Mohammed VI of Morocco.

Recently, Morocco’s King Mohammed VI instituted the Mohammed VI University Hospital Center (CHU), a medical center providing advanced training to nurses, doctors, and pharmacists while providing the residents of the Northern region with comprehensive healthcare services. 

Located in the urban area of Gueznaya in the Tangier-Assilah prefecture, the facility is built on a 23-hectare site near the regional oncology center and has a 797-bed capacity. Its architecture, the caliber of care it offers, the incorporation of new, cutting-edge technologies, and its adherence to the principles of sustainability and energy efficiency—in particular, the installation of photovoltaic panels and the building of a laboratory wastewater treatment plant and a solid medical waste treatment plant—all define it as modern.

This hospital will provide care, training, research, knowledge, innovation, and public health services as a public facility offering tertiary care and services. 

With over $238 million invested by Morocco and Qatari Fund for Development in the new advanced healthcare facility with technologies in pneumology, hematology, endocrinology, cardiology, neurology, nephrology, ophthalmology, and nuclear medicine, intensive care, plastic surgery, and burns treatment service. The facility also includes units for the treatment of sleep disorders, marrow transplants, obesity treatment, and cardiovascular rehabilitation.

The medical complex also consists of units specialized in mother-child health, emergency medical service (SAMU), a trauma center, a medical imaging service, laboratories of bacteriology/microbiology, hematology, pathological anatomy and cytology, molecular genetics, and 3D printing of medical devices (LABFAB).

It also contains a modern pharmacy with robotic & digital medicine dispensing solutions, educational & training areas, a sizable conference room, a heliport, and other administrative and technical facilities. Additionally, it has 31 operating rooms that are outfitted with cutting-edge equipment.

The CHU also has a museum, a repository of memory housing an extensive collection of images, publications, and scientific artifacts that educate visitors on the development of medical technology and hospital infrastructures in the Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima region over time.

The growth of hospital infrastructures, the bolstering and enhancement of health services, and their accessibility to citizens are only a few ways this medical center demonstrates the King’s unique interest in the healthcare industry.

Additionally, he is concerned with the development of human resources in this crucial field and his desire to see that they receive quality training that is in line with international standards and tailored to scientific and technological advancements in the fields of treatment, prevention, management, and health governance.

The “Mohammed VI” University Hospital Center of Tangier is one of the many development projects launched by Mohammed VI for the Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima region in order to increase its international influence and allure. This is in line with the goals of the “Tangier-Metropolis” program, which supports the development of healthcare.

Tanzania: Government to Renovate Thirty-one Years Old Hospital.

  • The government has plans to set aside $27.9 billion to renovate old hospitals nationwide in the 2023/2024 fiscal year.
  • All projects covered by the TACTIC project agreement will be completed or almost completed in 2025.
  • The TACTIC project will come in three phases.

The government has plans to set aside $27.9 billion to renovate old hospitals nationwide in the 2023/2024 fiscal year.

According to the Deputy Minister of State in the President’s Office (Regional Administration and Local Government), Dr. Festo Dugange, the government has plans to set aside $27.9 billion to renovate old hospitals nationwide in the 2023/2024 fiscal year.

He mentioned this to the August House on Monday 24th of April. He further stated that among the hospitals to be renovated is the one at Meru Council which will receive 900 million for that purpose. He mentioned this when he was asked a question by Arumeru East MP Danielson Pallangyo who wanted to know the government’s plan to repair the infrastructure of Arumeru District Hospital. The Deputy Minister also talked about the continuance of the government in allocating funds for the renovation of the country’s oldest hospitals.

“In the fiscal year 2022/23, the government has allocated 17.1bn/- for the renovation of 19 hospitals.” Furthermore, a total of 12.95bn/- has been allocated for the renovation and expansion of the infrastructure of the 14 oldest hospitals as of February 2023,” he said.

All projects covered by the TACTIC project agreement will be completed or almost completed in 2025.

When asked another question directed to the same ministry on projects under Tanzania Cities Transforming Infrastructure and Competitiveness project (TACTIC), he reassured MPs that the government has pledged that by the year 2025, all projects covered by the agreement will be finished or nearly finished.

The TACTIC project will come in three phases.

He went ahead to explain that the TACTIC project has three phases where the first phase has already started looking for contractors and the second phase is at the final design stage. This explanation came as a response to a supplementary question by Singida Urban MP Mussa Sima who wanted to know when the government will implement the project to build a modern market in the Ipembe area under the TACTIC project.

Dr Dugange further said Ikungi District Council in collaboration with UN Women completed the construction of a butchery and vegetable storage building worth 82mil/- in the area. In addition, he said the government will continue to allocate the budget for the construction of the modern Ikungi market.

Ghana Becomes First to Approve “World Changer” Vaccine.

Ghana has become the first country to approve a new malaria vaccine developed by scientists who described it as a “world-changer”. According to BBC, the R21 vaccinations appear significantly more effective than earlier attempts in the same field. The report has it that the final trial results on the vaccines’ safety and efficacy, which are not yet available, have been reviewed and approved for use by Ghana’s drug authorities. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) is also considering approving the vaccine. 

Each year, malaria claims the lives of roughly 620,000 people, the majority of whom are young children. BBC said creating a vaccine against the malaria parasite required a significant, century-long scientific effort. In Burkina Faso, the R21 vaccine was up to 80% effective in clinical trials when administered in three initial doses and a booster one year later. Although the success of a larger experiment involving close to 5,000 children will determine how widely the vaccine is used.

These are anticipated to be scheduled for the end of 2022 but have not been formally released. Nonetheless, they have been shared with several government bodies in Africa and scientists. Ghana’s Food and Drugs Authority, based on data has endorsed the vaccine’s use for children between five months to three years old. 

The new malaria vaccine was developed at the Jenner Institute at the University of Oxford, and according to its Director, Prof. Adrian Hill, African countries declare: “we will decide”, after being left behind in the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines during the pandemic. “We expect R21 to make a major impact on malaria mortality in children in the coming years, and in the longer term, contribute to the overall final goal of malaria eradication and elimination”.

Additionally, with a vaccine factory being built in Accra, Ghana, the Serum Institute of India is preparing to manufacture between 100-200 million doses per year, as each dose of R21 is envisaged to cost a couple of dollars. “Developing a vaccine to impact this huge disease burden greatly has been extraordinarily difficult”, CEO of the Serum Institute, Adar Poonawalla said. He said that Ghana as the first country to approve the vaccine depicts a “significant milestone in our efforts to combat malaria around the world”.

StreetNet International Congress gathers African informal traders, street vendors in Kigali.

  • Roadside traders and other informal economy workers around the world are to converge in Kigali, Rwanda, to address peculiar issues.
  • The congress advocates for recognition and inclusion of street businesses in Africa especially.
  • AfriSQuare’s African News focuses briefly on the varied expectations from the Conference.

StreetNet International, a global coalition of street vendors and informal traders, holds its 7th International Congress in May 2023. This event features over 150 workers from the informal economy, activists, street vendors, and invited visitors from several other trade unions drawn from more than 50 countries, from about four continents, who will all converge in Kigali, Rwanda, from the first day of May to the sixth, to deliberate on tactics on how to defend these workers’ right to decent work, recognition, and social protection as well as pertinent matters such as climate change.  It also delivers to the participants an opportunity to be a part of the May 1st International Workers’ Day celebrations.


African roadside vendors. Source:


Oksana Abboud, International Coordinator, says “StreetNet International Congress is the biggest event for StreetNet family, as it is exactly the most crucial space to get together for all StreetNet members from around the globe, listen to them, collect their views and suggestions, share experience and knowledge, analyze and criticize as well as to adopt new policies and strategies on continuous institutional growth in building collective actions towards empowerment and strengthening StreetNet at different levels, especially to amplify the voice and influence of informal street and market vendors in their own countries and cities while advocating for their rights and all types of protection.”


For more than twenty years, StreetNet has built solidarity among workers in the informal economy around the world, creating a bond and uniting them behind a joint front recognized by multilateral establishments such as the United Nations’ Agency, International Labour Organization. StreetNet has been promoting basic labour rights of street vendors in Africa; it is also pushing for an expansion in its scope and coverage such that it can also cater for members across different nations of the world. Most informal traders, and several other informal economy workers, typically do not have enough access to social protection and are ignored or neglected during social dialogues and collective negotiations even though informal economy workers are vital contributors to all countries’ economies.


Street vendors in Zimbabwe, the country with the 2nd largest vendor population in the world. Source:


The President of StreetNet, Lorraine Sibanda, says “recognition for the workers in the informal economy is critical for the growth of any country. This will also facilitate the access to decent work for informal economy workers, a condition that is not met in many countries. There needs to be access to social dialogue, so that workers in the informal economy are at the table of negotiations, being in the position to articulate their own issues, as well as guide the national strategies on formalization processes and the extension of social protection. Workers in the informal economy are as legitimate as their counterparts in the formal economy”.


A vegetable vendor and his customer, in Kigali. Source


The 7th Congress is expected to set the agenda for, and pace of, continued development of global alliances in the next four years. The Congress is bent on continuing the fight for acknowledgement and demand for necessary rights. The Universal Congress will also have the stakeholders elect a new four-year term leadership, even as they debate, propose, and adopt fresh policies and resolves.  The Congress is built to be the utmost governing body of StreetNet, saddled with the principal responsibility of making key decisions.


Can this development be sustained? How wide and far can it spread? Kindly share your thoughts in the comment section below. Also, do share with your friends.

Healthcare in South Africa progresses as Diabetes management enjoys technological boost.

  • While Diabetes keeps raging in most parts of the world, the Department of Health in South Africa as well as private health establishments are working assiduously to better the lives of people living with the ailment in the country.
  • Technology has proven invaluable in Diabetes management in the country.
  • While the ailment may be chronic, with sustained technological efforts it can be handled effectively.

Diabetes has long been classified as a chronic disease; it is a known source of challenges for patients and, if poorly managed, a known cause of blindness, renal failure, heart attack, and even death. According to the International Diabetes Federation, IDF, cited in, 24 million adults in Africa are currently living and dealing with diabetes, and by 2045, the number is likely to swell up to 55 million. In South Africa, healthcare is administered by the Department of Health. However, South Africa does not have a system of universal healthcare; a private healthcare system runs together with a public healthcare system and the systems have faced Diabetes headlong.


Source                  Source

Source                                               Source

The International Diabetes Federation also recently revealed in a report that roughly 4.5 million people live with diabetes in South Africa. The good news is that the 2020 Global Healthcare Index, puts South Africa’s healthcare system at number 49 out of 89 countries; also, the treatment range for managing the ailment has advanced speedily in recent times, with new and expanded technological inventions adding up to the development of new methods of dealing with diabetes, including the development of pills and other medications that lower glucose, as well as a broad list of insulin provisions that manage both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes more efficiently.


With this expansive list of effective glucose-lowering agents, remarkable progress has been made in diabetes technology. Diabetes technologies help people with diabetes manage blood glucose levels, avoid complications, improve patients’ quality of life, as well as lighten the load of living with diabetes. People living with diabetes used injectable animal-based insulin for years, but advancement in treatment have been made recently. Diabetes technology has come a long way. Devices are easier, from blood glucose meters and continuous glucose monitoring, CGM, to state-of-the-art insulin pumps.


Wearable technology has been introduced to ease the tracking of blood glucose levels over time and they are considered the most effective options for diabetes management. The CGM system is made up of a sensor, which is a small wire catheter inserted under the skin on the patient’s arm or abdomen, and a handheld receiver or smartphone that displays your glucose data in real-time.  Real-time CGM has become reliable and has demonstrated effectiveness in diabetes management, and daily monitoring of glucose levels.

                  Source  Source


The improvement in CGM system technology is evident in the Dexcom G7, recently launched in South Africa for diabetic two-year olds. This product’s launch signifies another milestone in the revolutionary diabetes management technology in South Africa. The Dexcom G7 is Dexcom’s most accurate CGM system ever developed. It has the fastest CGM in the market, a 30-minute sensor warm-up, and an improved alert settings for enhanced discretion, among several other features. The availability of Healthtech innovations like the Dexcom G7 will allow people with diabetes to live better lives despite their health conditions.

Source Source

Law student and a diabetes activist Thapi Semenya, has lived with the disease for more than 17 years, she is one of the benefitiaries of this technology in diabetes management. Her journey battling diabetes has been quite bumpy, like it has been for many. She has endured severe pains from needles. She sporadically experiences very high and low glucose levels without knowing. But now, with the availability of CGM, Thapi is living her life normally because she can monitor her glucose levels better. Indeed, an improvement in CGM, is still an integral part of diabetes management, in a world where the number of people with diabetes is rising.

There is little worry that South Africa may not surmount the possible health crises posed by diabetes. The country has seen substantive health sector reforms, and, yes South Africa boasts of the highest standard of healthcare in Africa with more than 200 private hospitals across the country. It is also a hugely famous destination for tourists and expats too, hence, South Africa’s healthcare system is regularly tested.






  • The Africa CDC launched the Africa Pathogen Genomics and Bioinformatics Fellowship Program.
  • The fellowship program aims to support technical experts and future leaders in public health pathogen genomics and bioinformatics in Africa.
  • The call for the application for the fellowship program ended on 03 April 2023 for the first cohort of 25 fellows.

On the 23rd of March, 2023, the Africa CDC launched the Africa Pathogen Genomics and Bioinformatics Fellowship Program, a continental workforce development program targeting public health laboratories in the African Union Member States to improve the use of pathogen genomic data for outbreak detection and disease surveillance.

In recent times, Africa CDC through the Africa Pathogen Genomics Initiative (Africa PGI) has led the implementation of capacity-building initiatives for pathogen genomics sequencing including an aggressive training agenda through short courses on SARS-COV-2 sequencing and data analytics. 

As a result of this effort, most Member States have now in-country sequencing capacity, and with continued support, they are ready to apply genome sequencing for the surveillance of priority diseases in Africa. The COVID-19 pandemic not only fast-tracked the adoption of pathogen genomics to inform public health decision-making in Africa but has also highlighted the need for a well-trained workforce to realize the power of next-generation sequencing for other public health functions. They have subsequently built on existing efforts to further expand genomics capacity beyond COVID-19. In partnership with the African Society for Laboratory Medicine and regional centers of excellence, the Africa CDC has developed and launched the Africa PGI Pathogen Genomics and Bioinformatics Fellowship Program.

Dr. Ahmed Ogwell, Acting Director General of the Africa CDC said, “Africa continues to face a growing risk of infectious disease outbreaks. The recent Ebola, Cholera, Marburg, and other outbreaks highlight the urgent need for effective implementation and utilization of pathogen genomics across Africa. It is imperative to strengthen African public health institutions through capacity building and workforce development as the major pillars of the New Public Health Order. This fellowship program is a step forward in our effort to leapfrog outbreak detection and disease surveillance in Africa.”

Nqobile Ndlovu, Chief Executive Officer of ASLM, backed this up by saying, “The public health benefits of next-generation sequencing can only be realized through a well-trained workforce. We are very excited to partner with the Africa CDC in capacity and capability building for pathogen genomics and bioinformatics in Africa.”

This program has three tracks; a wet-lab track (Next-Generation Sequencing of Pathogens), a dry-lab track (Public health bioinformatics data analytics, interpretation, and reporting), and a track on genomic epidemiology to be included at a later stage. Overall, the fellowship program aims to support technical experts and future leaders in public health pathogen genomics and bioinformatics in Africa.

Throughout the fellowship, participants will be trained on core competencies with a focus on genomics and data analytics for outbreak detection, viral and bacterial disease surveillance, antimicrobial resistance, and malaria surveillance. The fellowship will also provide opportunities for alumni and institutional networks to foster future collaborations across Africa.

The call for the application for the fellowship program ended on 03 April 2023 for the first cohort of 25 fellows. Africa CDC welcomed applications from all qualified persons from all AU Member States. The fellowship program will prioritize women, youth, and those Member States with limited genomics and bioinformatics capacity.

Native African trees replenish natural habitats for Rwandese.


  • A wildlife conservation body has delved headlong into the restoration of natural habitats in Rwanda.
  • Trees are important natural elements, and this organization has chosen to massively plant Rwandese indigenous tree species.
  • Natives are working closely with this organization on this rigorous tree-planting program.


Since 2017, the Rwanda Wildlife Conservation Association (RWCA) has been vigorously executing strategic tree-planting episodes across numerous sites in the east African country of Rwanda, and fundamentally, emphasis has been placed on planting native trees to preserve the region’s biodiversity.


The non-governmental body, on this vital mission to restore the country’s native trees, in addition to its reforestation efforts, is also championing a conservation initiative targeted at the protection of the Grey Crowned Crane and other vanishing wildlife spaces in Rwanda. The organization, through this program, is working towards protecting and restoring natural territories.




The organization, on the 29th of March, marked five years of re-establishing habitats for wildlife and people alike. The event took place at Umusambi Village, Masaka, and involved a visit to RWCA’s indigenous tree nursery and seed storage facility at the place and a restoration site situated in Rwamagana District, adjacent to Lake Muhazi. The site is 8 hectares of land and was restored in 2018 in partnership with International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).


According to the Habitat Restoration Manager at RWCA, Cecile Kayitanirwa, the site had been used as farmlands previously, though, the land’s occupants were interested in working with RWCA to plant assorted native trees to avert their extinction. Kayitanirwa mentioned that the neighboring community cooperated with RWCA in planting and taking care of the trees. This collaborative effort has profited the community by providing employment for different individuals and also enhancing the growth of trees, indigenous trees especially.




At RWCA, the attention concentrates on growing trees rather than just planting them. The body identifies the importance of cultivating, nourishing and nursing the trees as they progress, while also promoting community ownership. Expanding on the program’s essence Kayitanirwa said “we prioritize planting indigenous trees because they are unique to Rwanda and are currently facing threats of extinction. Therefore, our goal is to restore these trees so that future generations can witness their natural beauty and potential uses. Moreover, indigenous trees play a vital role in providing a habitat for animal species and serving as a source of food and medicinal benefits for the community. These trees are also crucial in preventing soil degradation by holding the soil in place.”


So far, RWCA has successfully restored about 60 hectares of land, including 35 hectares of forest and 25 hectares of wetland. The organization has employed over 500 casual workers and about 14 guards at their sites. They have planted about 75,000 trees from over 40 different species.



  • Airtel Uganda, Prudential Assurance Uganda Limited, and Turaco Insurance Brokers Ltd have partnered to provide health insurance.
  • The aim is to ease financial burdens that have to do with hospital admissions and bereavement.
  • The policy is eligible for customers aged between 18 and 65 years and with active Airtel mobile money numbers.

Telecommunications provider, Airtel Uganda has partnered with Prudential Assurance Uganda Limited and insure-tech, Turaco Insurance Brokers Ltd to provide a health insurance product dubbed ‘Hospital Sente.’

Rolled under Airtel Mobile Commerce Uganda Limited (AMCUL) through Airtel Money, ‘Hospital Sente’ is a low-cost hospital cash insurance cover product with funeral benefits aimed at increasing access to insurance for underserved communities and low-income individuals and families. 

The aim of this cover is to ease Airtel customers’ financial burden that has to do with hospital admissions and bereavement. The insurance offers beneficiaries a cash payout if they get hospitalized.

Turaco is a startup that provides fast, simple, and inclusive insurance solutions for emerging markets and is a distributor, broker, and key customer interface between the underwriter and the consumer. Turaco achieves this by forming partnerships with leading tech-enabled companies with a large pool of emerging market consumers.

Hamza Mutebi, the general manager of Turaco Ltd as regards the insurance said, “We are excited to launch this partnership to offer this innovative and affordable insurance product to our customers. We believe that this partnership will help increase access to insurance for low-income households and help protect families against unexpected events. Most Ugandans today remain unreached by mainstream insurance, all while being the most vulnerable to financial shocks caused by illness, accidents, and death. Strategic partnerships like these remain critical to enabling underserved Ugandans access to affordable insurance that provides a safety net in their times of need and ultimately peace of mind.”

Bernard Obel, the director of supervision from the Insurance Regulation Authority (IRA) welcomed the policy, saying that innovations such as this are important and drive the agenda of increasing the uptake of insurance in the market and additionally deepening financial inclusion for sustainable social economic growth. “As a regulator, we continue to encourage insurance providers to embrace innovations in order to increase uptake and access to insurance services by Ugandans. This product has been reviewed and approved by IRA to be offered in the country,” he said.  

The policy is eligible to customers aged between 18 and 65 years and with active Airtel mobile money numbers and can be accessed via mobile phones and claims received through mobile money.


  • Nigerian-American doctor transforms his village into a town.
  • He is a doctor, philanthropist, and businessman.


Dr. Godwin Maduka is a Nigerian-American doctor, businessman, and philanthropist. He was born in Nkerechi, Orumba South LGA Anambra State, Nigeria. He started his education at Nawfia Comprehensive Secondary School and All Saints Grammar school, Umunze, before getting admission to study Medicine at the University of Port Harcourt, but couldn’t join his peers due to the lack of financial capacity.



He was later opportuned to study at Rust College on a scholarship that covered half of his tuition through his cousin Prof. Dr. Richard Igwike ( who taught at Russ College at the time). He then also got financial support from his younger brother and uncle and then moved to the United States in 1982. In 1984, he graduated summa cum laude in chemistry from Rust College and got another scholarship to study pharmacy at Mercer University, graduating in 1988. After graduation, he worked as a pharmacy technician, before getting a full scholarship to study medicine at the University of Tennessee, where he completed an internship and graduated in 1993. He furthered to Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center for his post-graduate training and residency in anesthesiology, critical care, and pain management, graduating in 1997.



After his education, Maduka moved to Las Vegas and got a job where he got paid $8,000 as an advance payment. He was working as an anesthesiologist at Desert Spring United Methodist Church, Nevada, and other hospitals, before starting his own practice at Red Rock Medical Group, Nevada. In 1999, he founded Las Vegas Pain Institute and Medical Center, before expanding to other six locations in Southern Nevada. At the moment, He is a clinical faculty supervisor and adjunct professor of pain management and anesthesiology at Touro University Nevada. He is also a clinical assistant professor of surgery at the UNLV School of Medicine.



This Nigerian doctor, having understood what it means to lack financial capabilities, has paid forward his goodwill to the less privileged. Dr. Godwin Maduka has transformed his village into a town; he has built over 100 houses for widows. He has also built schools, courthouses, a police station, a hospital, quarters for judges, police, and teachers, a pharma company, and churches, and also played a major role in renaming his hometown from Nkerechi to Umuchukwu.Continue reading

Water Project in Burundi, Aids Access to Clean Drinking Water


  • It is a new project to install chlorine dispensers in the rural regions of Burundi.

  • Currently, more than 30 chlorine dispensers have been set up near water sources and schools.

Water is very significant to the world’s economy. It plays a crucial role in every country, as it is widely used in industrial processes, cooking, drinking, and washing. Because of the essence of safe and clean drinking water for humans, there is an ongoing project to install chlorine dispensers in parts of Burundi to help increase access to safe drinking water.


A non-governmental organization called Water for Development started the project, generating chlorine on-site at a lab in the Cibitoke province of western Burundi to help purify the water. According to Olivier Ndayihimbaze, the founder of Water for Development, a chlorine dispenser is placed adjacent to a water point to assist locals in obtaining the chlorine before drawing water.


“When someone comes to fetch water, they first dispense a few drops of measured chlorine into the jerrycans and then draw the water. Within 30 minutes, the water is treated and protected against any further external recontamination,” Ndayihimbaze said in a video recording shared by the organization Sunday.


According to him, it has been difficult for locals to get access to clean drinking water. More than 30 chlorine dispensers have currently been set up close to water sources and schools, he said, delivering clean water to more than 50,000 people. The manufacturing of chlorine takes around two hours before it is transferred to the various water stations according to Prosper Cishahayo the Head of Chlorine Production and a chemist.


Saltwater is electrolyzed and undergoes a chemical transformation as part of the production process. Before adding salt and water to the machine that makes chlorine, they are mixed to create a homogeneous solution. Mother of four Nadine Umutoni told Anadolu that the project’s approach has prevented their children from contracting waterborne illnesses.


In 2019, UNICEF reported that access to clean, safe drinking water is a significant issue, particularly for households in rural regions, in countries like Burundi, where over half of the population lives.


Children under the age of five are particularly vulnerable to malnutrition and waterborne infections. The lack of access to clean drinking water is one of the main causes of health issues in this age group.

Tanzania Deploys Control Measures to Curb MVD

  • Tanzania has reported its first outbreak of the Marburg virus disease.
  • The Tanzanian government has deployed an emergency response team to the area affected.
  • The WHO is working with the government to scale up control measures to stop the virus’s spread and end it.

A month after Equatorial Guinea confirmed its first case, Tanzania has also announced its first outbreak of the deadly Marburg virus disease (MVD). five fatalities and three further cases have been reported at a hospital in the Kagera region, north-west of Tanzania.

According to figures from the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 161 people have been identified as being at risk of infection through contact tracing. However, the Tanzanian government has put measures in place to curb the virus from further spreading by deploying an emergency response team to the area and neighboring countries have stepped up surveillance, although no case has been reported outside Kagera. 

The WHO’s regional director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti said that “the efforts by Tanzania’s health authorities to establish the cause of the disease is a clear indication of the determination to effectively respond to the outbreak”. Moeti said that they are teaming up with the government to swiftly scale up control measures to curb the spread of the virus and end the outbreak as soon as possible.

The Marburg Virus Disease is of the same virus family as Ebola. It was first discovered in Marburg and Frankfurt in Germany and in Belgrade, Serbia in 1967. The virus causes severe hemorrhagic fever, and fatality rates have varied from 24% to 88%. Since its discovery, there have been numerous outbreaks, the worst outbreak was in Angola between 2004-2005, with 252 cases and 227 deaths. It can be transmitted from fruits bats to humans and then passed from person to person through bodily fluids or contaminated things. Also, most healthcare providers and members of the family are susceptible to infection.

The illness signs and symptoms can range from fever, nausea, and rash at the beginning, to jaundice and extreme weight loss as the condition worsens. It can take up to 21 days for incubation to occur. The Tanzanian Health Minister, Ummy Mwalimu said in the announcement that patients who displayed symptoms of the disease were first identified last week in two villages in Kagera.

The virus has no known vaccines or remedies, although rehydrating the patient or controlling their blood and oxygen levels can lessen their symptoms and increase their chance of survival, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) is providing further aid in efforts to contain the outbreak.

Tanzania’s health ministry has urged residents to exercise general caution and abide by health regulations until the situation is under control.

Zimbabwean women make money making more room for mushrooms.


  • “Nature alone is antique, and the oldest art a mushroom”, says Thomas Carlyle.
  • These arty yet nourishing fungi are found in generous quantities in Zimbabwe.
  • Separating the edible ones from the poisonous ones is a vital skill.


In Zimbabwe, a group of women defy the odds in their search for mushrooms. A rich source of antioxidants, protein, and fiber, wild mushrooms have become a cherished delicacy as well as an income source in Zimbabwe, and these native women who are armed with the skill to tell edible and poisonous mushrooms apart, in wee hours, dutifully collect just enough mushrooms to push out for sale. These women, when they have gathered the mushrooms in marketable numbers, run to meet trucks on the Harare-Bulawayo highway hoping to persuade drivers to buy beautiful wild mushrooms from their harvest.




The native women painstakingly scan through the land, identifying what type is good enough for their target market. But they must do so before sunrise because landowners may not be so welcoming. Diana Chiwara, a native mushroom picker said “this is the bush where we pick mushrooms, we wake up early morning around past 3 am and walk deep into this bush. We can’t come late in the day because it’s restricted to be in this place. The owners of this place don’t always allow people to come and pick mushrooms here. So, we come early and will be hiding from them, so that by the time it’s lunch time we are already leaving.”


Chiwara’s trip before dawn to the forest is just the first of several steps in the day-long process. She moves from the bush to a busy highway. She tidies up the mushroom, cleaning and scrapping where necessary, using a knife, then she joins the strong struggle involving other mushroom sellers; she is in competition, eager to entice passing motorists. Knowing what mushrooms to sell is a vital skill for this trade as several thousands of varieties exist.



Not all the varieties are safe for use. While some are quite good for food like shitake, portobello, and the more popular ones sold in supermarkets, several other wild mushrooms can be gravely poisonous, causing stomach upset or other allergic reactions that could cause harm to the body. Expert knowledge as well as some trainings are necessary to learn which ones are edible. People who do not have the training are not to try picking mushrooms for human consumption. So, mothers in this African nation, who have been drilled on the fields and have also received handed-down trainings, pass down the requisite expert knowledge and training needed to their daughters, and the chain goes on.



One of the natives, Polite Mugobo, on her way out to collect mushrooms with her husband and son, spoke about mushroom picking, she says ‘’sometimes we meet thugs, and they steal everything from us. Sometimes the farm owners chase us from their land. So, we try to do this while hiding, it’s tough. We also have to be careful so that we don’t get attacked by dangerous wild animals.”  This family rakes through the land, defying the early morning dew, a task bigger than faint hearts. They screen litters of dry leaves and look under trees for shoot-ups. They gather enough, clean them up, and arrange them for sale. We sell this mushroom for US$1 a bowl like this during the rainy season. Our customers regularly stop on highway to buy mushrooms. On a good day or during the weekend we go home with about US $20 – $15 each,” Mugobo said.




An associate professor of horticulture at the Marondera University of Agricultural Science and Technology, Wonder Ngezimana, while speaking about the mushroom trade said that women like Mugobo are foremost players in Zimbabwe’s mushroom trade, “Predominantly women have been gatherers and they normally go with their daughters. They transfer the indigenous knowledge from one generation to the other,” she says. According to a research by Ngezimana and some of her colleagues at the university in 2021, about one in four women who search for wild mushrooms usually go with their daughters, save for “just few cases”  where the boys came along. About 1.4% of the boys follow their mothers to pick mushrooms, “mothers were better knowledgeable of wild edible mushrooms compared to their counterparts – fathers,” the researchers theorized.



The researchers conducted an interview with about a hundred people and meticulously observed mushroom collection in the district of Binga, western Zimbabwe, where Zimbabwe’s staple food, maize, suffers from droughts and poor land quality making it quite unviable in the district. So mushroom season is vital for the native families. According to the research, averagely, each family makes just above $100 a month selling wild mushrooms, even as they rely on the fruitful fungi for their own domestic subsistence. Though mushrooms are fast becoming key to household use, authorities routinely advise the people on the dangers of eating wild mushrooms.


In order to encourage safe mushroom consumption and income generation all year round, the government is backing small-scale profitable production of select types healthy for consumption like the oyster mushrooms. But the popularity of the varieties of wild mushroom are not waning at all.


Dr. Olutoye Oluyinka, a Nigerian born in Lagos state has now become a wild sensation owing to his almost impossible achievement.

Dr. Olutoye received his medical degree from Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife, Nigeria, and earned his PhD in anatomy from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. He completed his residency in general surgery at the Medical College of Virginia Hospitals, Virginia Commonwealth University, and his fellowships in pediatric and fetal surgery at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in Philadelphia, PA.

He has a role as Surgeon-in-chief, leading one of the largest children’s hospital surgery departments in the world.

Through his leadership of 11 surgical departments, Dr. Olutoye works to advance Nationwide Children’s common mission, philosophy and approach to excellence in patient care, dedication to outstanding clinical outcomes, commitment to academic excellence and education of the next generation of leaders in children’s surgery.

Dr. Olutoye is a world-renowned fetal and neonatal surgeon bringing specialized clinical and research experience to the Fetal Center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. His expertise enables our team to provide exceptional care for babies who need surgery in-utero and improve outcomes for a range of conditions such as congenital diaphragmatic hernia, spina bifida and other.

Dr. Olutoye has previously served as co-director of the Fetal Center and the immediate past president of the medical staff at Texas Children’s Hospital. At Baylor College of Medicine, also in Houston, TX, he was a tenured Professor of Surgery, Obstetrics & Gynecology, and Pediatrics, and chair of the Faculty Senate. As a pediatric and fetal surgeon, he brings specialized clinical expertise in fetal and neonatal surgery. 

In addition to his clinical expertise, Dr. Olutoye also leads an established research program focused on the role of the inflammatory response in scarless fetal wound healing, in-utero correction of severe congenital malformations, and the early detection of necrotizing enterocolitis in preterm infants. 

Dr. Prof. Oluyinka Olutoye cut a woman’s womb at 23 weeks old to remove a large tumour from a baby, and placed the baby back in her womb.

The baby was delivered healthy at 36 weeks.

Kenya leads world tea production, exportation.

  • Because tea is in high demand globally, efforts are being made by primary growers of the product to double up on production.
  • Africa is at the fore front of tea production and export globally.
  • Kenya, though not necessarily a major consumer, has sustained its position as a leading grower of different types of tea in the world.
  • Other than water, tea follows as a highly consumed beverage; next to China and India, Kenya is big on the global tea production stage.


Next to water, tea is the world’s most consumed drink; this accounts for its high demand across the world, and Kenya has stood tall as the only African country to be listed in the top ten tea manufacturing countries worldwide, and the biggest global exporter of black tea particularly.


Tea has remained a major cash crop grown in Kenya and has been a leading source of foreign exchange earnings for the country. Regarding cultivation of the leaves, Kenya produced over 400 thousand tons of tea in 2022 thanks to the estimated 500,000 small-scale Kenyan farmers that grow tea across the country on approximately 236,000 hectares of land. The country’s regions that are famous for tea distribution include the Nyambene Hills, Kericho region, and Nandi. Many teas are produced in Asia and being the birthplace of the product, it is understandable that China sits on the very top of the ladder as the leader of the industry, in terms of production and even consumption. However, the input, innovation, and significant contribution of this younger participant in the industry, Kenya, has quickly earned it a spot as the largest exporter of black tea in the world.


Although Kenya is in Africa, its location close to the equator positions it for sufficient sunlight and ideal conditions to grow the plants. Other environmental factors, including high elevation in the mountains and an excessively rich volcanic soil, have made it favorable for the plants to thrive. This has subsequently enabled tea farmers in Kenya to grow an immense amount of the product and harvest some of the best teas the world has reckoned with. Kenya produces a lot of black tea and several other types of teas including green tea, yellow tea, and white tea grown on request by key tea producers, but one unique tea native to the country is the Kenyan Purple Tea. Purple leaf tea was developed in Kenya about 25 years ago. It is called the purple leaf tea because of its signature purple and healthy-looking leaves with high levels of antioxidants. It is believed to contain even more age-defying antioxidants than the green tea with potentials to curb cancer and other ailments.


This unique-tasting tea carries quite a smooth tang; rather than having a grassy taste, it has more of melon and honey flavors. Many also love and prefer the purple tea because it is low on caffeine, so it works well for a quick afternoon shot of antioxidant.  Tea lovers have found that adding some lemon juice to purple tea changes its color to peach or even gold. China produces about 2,400,000 tons of tea yearly, this puts the country on the number one spot among biggest producers, exporters, and, to some extent, consumers of tea in the world. It exports 40% of the total tea in world. India is popular for being the second highest tea producing country in the world accounting for about 1,250,000 tons annually.


Kenya got acquainted with tea in 1903, it became a profit-oriented venture in 1924 when Malcom Bell stepped in for the company Brooke Bond, and it has been a key stapple in the African country ever since. The annual tea production in Kenya exceeds 500,000 tons, this makes it the third biggest producers globally; and number one producer of black tea globally. In Mombasa, a coastal city in southeastern Kenya along the Indian Ocean, tea is sold through automated public auction for an international community. In October 2011, tea was averagely actioned at $3.22 per kilogram.


  • 33 million women have been screened as part of the presidential initiative to support women’s health.
  • The initiative provides health services to women at 3,500 facilities and 102 hospitals.

As part of the presidential program to support women’s health, 33 million women have been checked, according to Egypt’s health minister Khaled Abdel Ghaffar on Thursday. 

The minister stated that 32,000 persons have received training to join the statewide campaign to screen 28 million women over the age of 18 that was initiated in 2019 in a message honoring International Women’s Day.

According to him, the project provides health services to women at 3,500 facilities and 102 hospitals. A total of 60 million people have had their hepatitis C examined as part of the 100 Million Health project, which includes the initiative.

Reports state that the proportion of breast cancer patients in Stages 3 and 4 was 70% in 2019 but has now dropped to 29% as a result of the presidential initiative, according to Abdel Ghaffar breast cancer accounts for 33 percent of all cancer cases in women. 

The health minister reaffirmed that the political leadership places a high premium on assisting women’s problems. He also mentioned the State’s commitment to helping women on a social and health level. He reiterated that the State makes no effort to deny women the greatest medical care. In the meantime, the minister examined the efforts made by the Egyptian healthcare system under the 100 Million Health program. 

Additionally, he praised the role performed by NGOs and pertinent industries in advancing women’s causes in ensuring that women receive the most outstanding medical care.


  • Kilele Health initiative to reach four million women and girls by 2027.
  • The health NGO seeks to collaborate with partners to continue the HPV vaccination and screening campaign.

A Kenyan health NGO, Kilele Health Association has launched an initiative to reach four million women and girls by 2027 in an effort to eradicate cervical cancer in Kenya.


The Charity collaborates with cancer survivors and their caregivers to solve quality-of-life issues, as the government’s ambition to reach the 90-70-90 cervical cancer elimination targets is supported by this initiative.


This indicates that the HPV vaccine has been administered to at least 90% of girls in the nation between the ages of nine and fourteen, with 70% of women between the ages of 35 and 45 being screened, and 90% of those who have abnormalities are treated.


With this initiative, Kilele Health seeks to collaborate with partners to continue the HPV vaccination and screening campaign.


This will be accomplished through community involvement, HPV vaccination, screening outreach, resource mobimobilization advocacy, and monitoring and assessment of set goals achieved, according to Benda Kithaka, Executive Director of Kilele Health.


The proposed initiative is to be attained between January 2023 and December 2027.


Head of the Kenyan Ministry’s National Cancer Control Programme, Mary Nyangasi said that although there is a high level of awareness against cervical cancer, women do not seek screenings.


Groote Schuur is a large government funded teaching hospital that is located at the slopes of Devil’s peak in the City of Cape Town, South Africa. The hospital was founded in 1938. It provides tertiary care and instruction in all major branches of medicine.

The name of the hospital is in Dutch language and it translates to “great barn”. The name was laid out by Dutch settlers when the city, Cape Town was founded in the 17th century.

This hospital was the first institution to perform a human to human heart transplant. It is famous for the trauma unit, anesthesiology and internal medicine departments.

It was declared a Western Cape Provincial Heritage Site in 1996. The hospital also attracts many visiting medical students.

The Groot Schuur Hospital is the first African medical facility to perform an incompatible

kidney transplant. A brother donated his kidney to his sister and the kidney was not compatible.

This is a huge step in medical discovery and there’s no limits to what can be achieved if this is achieved.

This hospital was also the first public sector hospital to perform robotic surgery in 2021.


  • Youth Aware of Mental health.
  • YAM hosts an annual mental health program.
  • The chairman of Tanzania psychology services gives his address.

Youth Aware of Mental health is a school-based program for young people ages 13 to 17. In this program, they learn about and explore the topic of mental health. It is an evidence-based program taking place in classrooms around the world. They have conducted more than 85,000 teenagers in 16 countries, and more than 800 people have been trained as YAM Instructors worldwide. This program grows solidarity among young people and promotes positive mental health practices.


They host training annually and for the year 2023, they are hosting a 10-day training. The training started during the weekend at the Yatima Igoda hall in Mufindi.


The chairman of the Tanzania psychology services providers association, Dr. Heriel Mfangavo during his address at the opening of the training said that the training is a big opportunity for the youth’s transformation and abandoning the negative concept regarding their development. He said that the youths were still young, hence if they do not get the early psychological treatment they can cause disaster when they grow up, including murder.


He also highlighted that another group of people who need psychological assistance is people with disabilities, some of whom live with stress and depression due to their physical status. He also urged those who will work on the YAM project in the Mufindi district to identify challenges that cause depression among people with disabilities.


He also pointed out how this training will be of huge benefit to the people struggling with disability and also help them do away with dependency. The program will be a big savior to the community, especially in areas surrounding the project.


YAM Project manager Danford Mkumbo said the project will run for four years and is sponsored by Mufindi District Council in collaboration with the Foxes Community and Wildlife Conservation Trust (FCWCT) project and financed by Finland and is expected to benefit over 770 youths from poor families in 16 villages of Mufindi district.



GMOs are genetically modified organisms, this is the altering of the genomes of plants or animals to produce a desired result. It is mostly used in agriculture and the benefits of this engineering are increased crop yields, reduced costs for food or drug production, reduced need for pesticides, enhanced nutrient composition and food quality, resistance to pests and disease, greater food security, and medical benefits to the world’s growing population.

On Wednesday, some Kenyan scientists, science students, and farmers that grow genetically modified cotton took to the streets in Nairobi in a show of support for GMOs in Kenya.

The procession was a peaceful one, it started at Jevanjee Gardens on Moi Avenue across the Central Business District and ended at Memorial Park on Haille Selasie Road.

The aim of this procession was to draw attention to the important role of science and specifically GMOs in addressing the chronic food crisis in the country. They also emphasized their support for the Government’s decision to lift the decades-long ban on the importation, sale, and consumption of GMOs.

The procession was performed under the umbrella of RePlanet Africa, a communication and training outfit that seeks to improve public understanding of science.

During his address at the end of the procession, the RePlanet Africa Country representative, Timothy Machi said “As a country, we are at a place where feeding ourselves is increasingly becoming difficult.” He painted a gloomy picture of the food situation in Kenya and the region. He said statistics from the World Food Programme (WFP), Machi noted that in 2021, an estimated 2.1 million Kenyans faced the risk of starvation. Still, the number rose by 84 percent to 4.4 million between October and December of 2022.

He blamed the worsening food crisis in the region on climate change that resulted in three seasons of failed rains, rapid population growth, and underperforming food systems.

“At RePlanet Africa, we know the answer to these challenges lies with science. That is why today, we are happy to have brought together the different stakeholders among them scientists, academia, and farmers to ask Kenyans, leaders, and policymakers to listen to and give science a chance to feed Kenyans through GMOs,” he said. He also added, “GMOs are an important tool in the fight against hunger and poverty, and we are proud to be taking a stand in support of their use and to support the government in lifting a ban on the importation and consumption of GMOs in Kenya.”

The scientists affirmed that GMOs had been proven safe and effective in providing a sustainable and reliable food source for the world’s growing population.

Kennedy Oyugi, an agricultural scientist based at Africa Harvest, said GMOs as products of science, have the potential to revolutionize the way Kenya produces food, making it more efficient and sustainable to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change.

Speaking on behalf of science students from different universities in Kenya, Peter Gichuki, a Livestock Production student at the University of Nairobi said several tests by organizations including the National Bio-Safety Authority found GMOs safe for human consumption.

The group carried banners and placards that bore messages about GMOs being safe for human consumption.