Category archives for: Health

Tanzania: Blocked Kenya Bound Doctors Ordered to Report Within 14 Days

Photo: The Citizen

Doctors during operation (file photo).

By John Namkwahe

Few days after President John Magufuli ordered employment, locally, of 258 doctors who initially registered to work in Kenya, the government on Friday published the names of doctors and areas where they have been posted.

Notice issued by the government asked the doctors to report to their respective duty stations within 14 days from the date of the announcement.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children Dr Mpoki Ulisubsya indicated in a statement that some of doctors will work under President’s Office Regional Administration and Local Government and others will be under the ministry.

According to the statement, the doctors have been directed to report with their original birth certificates, original secondary education certificates, their professional certificates, certificates issued by Medical Council of Tanzania and two passport size photos.

According to the government plans, doctors aged below 45 years will be offered permanent contracts they will be directly enrolled in the pension fund while those aged above 45 will be offered a two year contract employment which can be renewed.

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Zimbabwe: HIV, Aids Chokes Informal Sector

columnBy Alois Vinga

A NATIONAL Aids Council (NAC) report has revealed that HIV and Aids is wreaking havoc in the country’s informal sector, a development likely to affect Zimbabwe’s economic recovery due to the fact that the sector is now a predominant factor in the economy.

In a document titled: The HIV and Aids strategy for the Informal Sector; Situational Analysis Report; March 2017′, NAC said the dynamics of knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions on the impact of HIV and Aids in the small to medium enterprises sector (SMEs) in Zimbabwe indicate that risky behaviour is rampant in the informal sector.

The report said the informal sector has not been targeted within the range of national efforts to fight HIV and Aids, tuberculosis (TB) and cancers.

“This has been a critical omission given that the Zimbabwean economy is accepted as being largely informal both in terms of numbers employed within the sector and its contribution to the gross domestic product and gross national product.

“There has been a wrong perception about the informal sector localities — they are places of work for the sector and as such should be treated no differently from the formal sector places of work. They should instead be targeted differently due to such factors as that they are hard to reach, may be in inhospitable settings and may lack basic infrastructure and amenities,” said the report.

Some 62 percent of survey respondents acknowledged that HIV and Aids is a major challenge in the sector where 15 percent of the risky behaviour is characterised as multiple sexual partners, while 46 percent of the dicey deeds are linked to inconsistent or non-use of condoms.

The gender perspective to multiple sexual partners indicated relatively high risk behaviour on the part of male respondents than females, with only nine percent of women having two or more sexual partners compared to 19 percent of men.

Although condom use is a critical preventive measure in reducing the spread of HIV and Aids, there was inconsistent use of the condoms even with casual partners.

Reasons given for this behaviour included the notion that condoms reduced sexual pleasure or they are for prostitutes or for use outside marriage.

The report also notes that 67 percent of SMEs had no HIV and Aids workplace programmes because the enterprises lack the initiative to provide information on HIV and Aids as well as discuss HIV and Aids issues at the workplace.

Electronic and print media were cited as the major sources of information about HIV and Aids for SME workers.

The report divided the informal sector into eight groups: Group One — small scale miners; Group Two — cross-border traders; Group Three — public transport workers and manufacturing; Group Four –sex workers; Group Five — small scale farmers and farm workers; Group Six — vendors (including food vendors), and hair and beauty; Group Seven — construction; and Group Eight — manufacturing.

The report observed that informal cross-border traders pass through and often spend extended periods of time in high HIV transmission areas where there is limited affordable accommodation, food, transport and recreational facilities.

This environment was contributing to the existence of an intricate web of sexual relationships among informal cross border traders, uniformed personnel (customs officials, immigration officials and customs clearing agents), sex workers, truck drivers, money-changers (and touts), local border-town residents and deportees, which potentially increases the risk of one contracting the HIV virus.

The report noted that as of December 31 last year, there were 908 508 adults and 64 620 children on anti-retroviral therapy, whose uptake increased in the country from 879 271 in 2015 to 974 128 in 2016.

The voluntary male medical circumcision (VMMC) uptake is still low in the informal sector.

Men had misconceptions on VMMC that once you are circumcised you cannot contract HIV.

For female-dominated small enterprises, if business does not go well, they easily engage in sex work to supplement income.

HIV and Aids stigmatisation was manifested at two levels: Self-induced stigmatisation and discrimination, and stigma from others which undermines peer to peer support.

So deeply entrenched are some stigmatisation issues that workers opted not to access services from health facilities due to the attitudes of service providers.

Workers indicated that it was for this reason that they would opt for traditional herbs or purchase condoms on the streets, notwithstanding the fact that there was no guarantee of their efficacy.

Among the groups that are highly mobile are small-scale miners, cross border traders, public transport workers and manufacturing whose mobility has undermined adherence and the continued exposure to messages that help behaviour change.

The informal mining sector is usually found in remote and hard to reach areas making the provision of services and commodities extremely difficult.

This remoteness results in exposure to HIV and Aids, while at the same time making it difficult to have comprehensive integrated HIV and Aids services.

Interviewed persons acknowledged that the majority of the informal sector is not organised and is therefore difficult to mobilise.

In many of the informal workplace settings, the lack of infrastructure contributes to the difficulty to this lack of organisation.

Since SMEs generally appear too busy to access treatment, there is disconnect between diagnosis and treatment because the workers have to be by their places of work in order to earn an income.

Health services and programmes, which are provided during normal operating hours, are thus out of their reach, further increasing their vulnerability to HIV and Aids.

For example, small scale miners are not available during day time because they would be busy underground mining.

The report also noted that the absence of meaningful social protection measures hampers the efforts of the informal sector significantly and renders it prone to the HIV and Aids pandemic.

Poverty, one of the key drivers of HIV and Aids, is heavily present within the informal sector which means that addressing HIV and Aids issues has to go beyond simple biomedical approaches to encompass socio-economic matters.

Culture is also still exerting a strong stranglehold within the sector as evidenced by issues of condom uptake, multiple concurrent sexual partnerships, and gender-based violence.

Tanzania: Doctors Blocked From Kenya, Told to Report in 2 Weeks

Photo: The Citizen

Doctors during operation (file photo).

By John Namkwahe

Few days after President John Magufuli ordered employment, locally, of 258 doctors who initially registered to work in Kenya, the government on Friday published the names of doctors and areas where they have been posted.

Notice issued by the government asked the doctors to report to their respective duty stations within 14 days from the date of the announcement.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children Dr Mpoki Ulisubsya indicated in a statement that some of doctors will work under President’s Office Regional Administration and Local Government and others will be under the ministry.

According to the statement, the doctors have been directed to report with their original birth certificates, original secondary education certificates, their professional certificates, certificates issued by Medical Council of Tanzania and two passport size photos.

According to the government plans, doctors aged below 45 years will be offered permanent contracts they will be directly enrolled in the pension fund while those aged above 45 will be offered a two year contract employment which can be renewed.

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South Africa: Traditional Affairs Commits to Ending Initiation Deaths

Pretoria — Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Minister Des Van Rooyen has committed to work with his department’s stakeholders to bring an end to initiation deaths.

He said his ministry will work with role players including parents, traditional leaders, the Health Department, South African Police Service (SAPS) and National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) during this winter initiation season.

Initiation season began on 24 April 2017, with many young men beginning this sacred cultural journey. With the winter school holidays about to begin, many potential initiates are expected to join the journey across the country.

Already, two initiates from KwaMhlanga and Gemsbokspruit in Mpumalanga province have passed on. Minister Van Rooyen expressed sadness that the two fatalities occurred right at the beginning of the 2017 winter initiation season, which he had hoped would be incident free.

He said leaders traditional leaders, working with other stakeholders, will leave no stone unturned to determine the cause of this fatalities.

Minister van Rooyen said understanding the cause of these two fatalities might assist to save the lives of many young men, who will be embarking on this sacred process countrywide.

Deputy Minister Obed Bapela called on communities to adopt a zero tolerance approach to initiation deaths.

“We therefore urge all communities and those leading the initiation schools to ensure that all initiates entering this sacred path are complying with all the stipulated requirements, have parental consent, underwent medical screening and ensure that initiation schools and traditional surgeons are registered”, said Deputy Minister Bapela.

The department has called on communities to report any wrong on 0800 111 166 or #InitiationDTA.

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Nigeria: LASG Assisted 5 Pregnant Schoolchildren

By Yahaya Ibrahim

Lagos — Five pregnant school children were assisted to access antenatal and delivery services in the last one year, Lagos State Commissioner for Youths and Social Development Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf has said.

She was speaking yesterday as part of the ongoing ministerial briefing to mark the two years in office of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.

The commissioner also disclosed that 237 children, comprising 106 males and 131 females, abandoned in different parts of the state were rescued.

“This figure is higher than the corresponding figure of 149 children that were rescued in 2015 while between January 2017 till date, 53 children have been rescued,” Akinbile-Yussuf said.

The commissioner also said that 150 reported cases of sexual and physical abuse were handled by the ministry in the year under review.

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Sudan: Haemorrhagic Fever Outbreak Feared in Sudan’s Red Sea State

Tokar / El Gedaref / White Nile — Tokar hospital in Sudan’s Red Sea state has received dozens of people complaining of symptoms which some suspect might be haemorrhagic fever, a diagnosis denied by authorities.

A medical source told Radio Dabanga that the hospital received more than 60 patients on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Mekki Abdullah Mohammed, the locality’s Commissioner, has acknowledged the emergence of fevers in the area over the past week, but strongly denies it being haemorrhagic fever.

He told Radio Dabanga that a medical team has arrived in the locality and confirmed that “these fevers are normal in the summer, including malaria”.

The Commissioner confirmed that 82 people were infected with these fevers: between seven and 10 infected people are hospitalised every day and discharged after 48 hours.

Cholera

In separate reports, two people died and 10 others were infected with cholera at Shuaib area of El Greisha locality in El Gedaref earlier this week.

A medical source told Radio Dabanga from El Gedaref that the medical isolation centre at Shuaib area has received 16 cases from Friday until Wednesday, two of them died including a woman and a man in front of the grand mosque of the area.

The source pointed out to the discharge of 10 cases who have recovered health from the isolation centre, while four other cases are remaining at Centre 2, which were received on Wednesday

In the White Nile state the death toll due to cholera has risen to five, one woman, one man and three children, this along with the infection of more than 400 people.

A medical source from the health centre of Andalus village said that on Wednesday morning the centre has received 10 new cases all from Jogo and Arafa villages. The source pointed out that eight patients have been hospitalised since Tuesday.

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Eritrea: Prevention of Non-Communicable Diseases

Massawa — Mr. Fsehaye Ghergish, head of non-communicable diseases prevention and control unit in the Northern Red Sea region, said that concerted efforts that have been made to prevent and control non-combinable disease have born fruitful outcome.

Mr. Fsehaye further noted that such remarkable progress has been registered through the expansion of healthcare facilities, deployment of healthcare professionals, introduction of modern medical equipment and distribution of sufficient medicine.

Due attention has been given to the prevention of diabetics, cardiac problem, asthma, cancer, blindness and other diseases that could cause dire consequences through the provision of efficient health service in Ghinda’e, Massawa, Afabet and Nakfa hospitals which are equipped with modern healthcare facilities and that of ophthalmic service in particular.

As part of preventing blindness around 1700 nationals have underwent ophthalmic surgery while 6,300 patients were provided with eye glasses.

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Eritrea: Provision of Free Medical Service

Asmara — The Eritrean Medical Association in partnership with its Italian counterpart provided free medical service to citizens working in places exposed to pollutant gases. The medical service was provided to citizens who are working in environmental sanitation and infrastructure activities as well as at Medeber in the Central region.

The medical service which daily provided for a week treating 140 people per day included checkup of respiratory system. According to Prof. Marco Bruno, leader of the Italian medical team, similar medical service is also being provided to Eritrean cyclists. The beneficiaries commending the medical service they were provided called for its sustainability.

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Zimbabwe: Foot and Mouth Outbreak Fears As Trade Fair Under Way

THE Bulawayo Agricultural Society (BAS) has come up with stringent measures to prevent the spread of the deadly Foot and Mouth Disease at this year’s Zimbabwe International Trade Fair.

The international trade showcase now in its 58th year kicked off on Tuesday and runs until April 29. Namibian President Hage Geingob will officially open the trade fair on Friday.

The government has been battling to contain the spread of Foot and Mouth Disease especially in the cattle-rich Matabeleland region.

This has affected cattle sales in the region with government moving to decentralize the marketing of cattle to avoid a depletion of the national herd.

In an interview, BAS Administrative Officer Natalie Adlam said they were accepting livestock only from quarantined areas to prevent the spread of the disease.

“Any animal that has cloven feet, that is your cattle, sheep and goats, all can catch and transmit the disease to each other,” he said.

“They are only allowing them from places that are vaccinated and are clean and have not had any Foot and Mouth Outbreak for the past 18 months.”

Adlam said there has been outbreaks of FMD in some places recently although the outbreak was contained.

She added that there will be an exhibition of 110 heads of cattle on show and also 29 pedigree cattle.

Cattle shows have been a major highlight throughout the years however, the outbreak of FMD has seen the numbers of cattle dwindling.

The premier trade showcase has attracted 326 exhibitors, a decline from 337 who exhibited in 2016. However, foreign exhibitors have marginally increased from 20 last year to 21 this year.

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Burundi: Malaria Still an Epidemic in Burundi

By Innocent Habonimana

The situation of malaria still calls for more control actions a month after the disease was declared an epidemic on 13 March by the Ministry of public Health.

Dionise Nizigiyimana, the Director of the National Integrated Programme for the Fight against Malaria (PNILP) says “though, nationally, its registered cases tend downwards, malaria is still an epidemic on the 15th week of 2017”.

He says that 2,745,417 cases of malaria have been registered by the 15th week of 2017.

Critical situation is mainly faced by northern, eastern and southern regions of Burundi that are still beyond the epidemic threshold.

In some of the provinces of the regions such as Kirundo, Cankuzo and Karuzi, the prevalence rate is beyond 100 per cent.

Nizigiyimana says, the cases of malaria have remarkably diminished in the province of Ngozi where piloting study of the efficiency of indoor residual spraying was carried out in two health districts.

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