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Showing posts with label Africa. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Africa. Show all posts
20:54

Monkeypox: Avoid repeat of Covid "inequities" in Africa, WHO regional director urges





Africa wants to be adequately prepared for a monkeypox outbreak as cases have been confirmed in eight countries across the continent. In an online press conference Thursday, Dr Matshidiso Moeti the WHO Regional Director for Africa reiterated, her desire for the continent to avoid experiencing the inequalities noted in the Covid-19 response.



"As WHO in Africa, we are already ramping up support to countries to urgently increase testing capacity for monkeypox, and we are in the process of procuring thousands of tests for the continent, Matshidiso Moeti  explained. As far as the vaccine is concerned, one of the newer and safer smallpox vaccines has been approved for the prevention of monkeypox. Although we are certainly not recommanding mass vaccination at this stage, we must ensure that we are ready, should the need arise."



A World health organization committee will assess next Thursday, the 23rd of June, whether monkeypox outbreak represents a public emergency of "international concern."

Since May, 1,900 cases have been confirmed worldwide. Reported cases thus far have no established travel links to an endemic area.



What is monkeypox?


Monkeypox is  virus transmitted to humans from animals with symptoms very similar to those seen in the past in smallpox patients, although it is clinically less severe. The disease is caused by the monkeypox virus which belongs to the Poxviridae family. There are two clades of monkeypox virus: the West African clade and the Congo Basin (Central African) clade. 



Monkeypox virus is transmitted from one person to another by close contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets and contaminated materials such as bedding. The incubation period of monkeypox is usually from 6 to 13 days but can range from 5 to 21 days.



WHO/Africannews 

19:27

15 rights parents should teach children in Africa

 


With an estimated population of over 200 million according to a United Nations data, Nigeria is said to have the highest number of children in Africa. According to data by the UN, about 82 million of the population are said to be under the age of 15 while nearly 31 million people are under the age of five. Each year, at least 7 million babies are born.


In Nigeria, the Child Rights Act 2003, which is an adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, defines a child as any person under the age of 18.


According to the National Human Rights Commission, the law, among other things, guarantees the rights of all children in Nigeria in terms of education, protection from harm, and provision of the basic amenities of life. So far, 24 of 36 states in the country have passed the law, even as experts decry that implementation remains poor.



Sad to say, the rights of many children in the country are being violated every day – by the government, individuals, families and other institutions.



In many parts of the country, children are being raped, kidnapped, murdered, exploited, deprived of food and other social amenities, and forced out of school.



These are against the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the Child Rights Act 2003, which stipulate that every child, regardless of age, race, gender, wealth, or birthplace, deserves not just to live, but to thrive.


Yet millions of children’s basic rights are denied and their childhoods are stolen from them by abuse, exploitation, or slavery.

Many violations children face are a consequence of exploitative practices and education gaps in both developed and developing communities.



But with enlightened support from governments, civil society, and religious groups, vulnerable children can flourish and reach their highest potential.

The following are, therefore, some child rights parents should know and teach their children. The rights have been summarised from the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the Child Rights Act 2003.



(1) Protection from abuse :


Every child deserves freedom from abuse. Children should be free from harmful work, drugs, sexual abuse, human trafficking, corporal punishment, emotional and psychological abuse, harmful detention, war, and any other forms of exploitation.

Children have the right to seek legal and medical help if they get hurt or abused. They should be free to make complaints about abuse to a third party, and abusers of children should be made to bear the full weight of the law.


(2) Protection from kidnapping:


Kidnapping is one horrible fate that has affected many children in Nigeria. Terrorists and bandits have held sway, forcefully taking children from their homes and schools, particularly in northern Nigeria. The children’s parents are forced to look for money to pay ransom while unlucky children whose ransoms cannot be raised are murdered by the criminals. From the 2014 Chibok schoolgirls’ abduction, Dapchi schoolgirls’ incident in 2018 to the Kankara schoolboys’ abduction in 2020, and others, insurgents have always dared the government and security agents to cause parents’ untold pain.



Meanwhile, as children can also be kidnapped by familiar people and not necessarily insurgents, it is important for parents to teach their children to be cautious around strangers. They should also be taught the basics on how to avoid and escape potentially dangerous situations. This should be done without subjecting kids to fear or anxiety.



(3) Every child has the right to family: 



Every child has the right to live with their family. The family can be of any structure, but the family should instill a sense of belonging, and provide a loving and nurturing 

environment. Children and youth deserve to feel an attachment to their caregivers. Children should not be separated from their parents unless one or both parents are abusive or neglectful, or their home environment is unsafe. Children whose parents do not live together should remain in contact with both parents unless contact harms the child. If a child lives in a different country from their parents, the child and parents must be allowed to travel so they can be together.



(4) Rights to health:


Every child has the right to be alive. Young people deserve the best possible health care, nutritious food, clothing, clean water, electricity, and safe housing. Children should learn good health and hygiene habits in their schools and homes.


Children should have their mental, psychological, emotional, and physical health checked regularly, especially if they are away from home. Governments also have a responsibility to help families who cannot afford health expenses.



(5) No child should be discriminated against :


Every child deserves equal treatment–regardless of their gender identity, sex, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion, physical appearance, ability, socioeconomic status, nationality, creed, ideology, or other personal identities. Children with disabilities have the right to receive the accommodations they need to thrive. Refugees should also receive help and have the same rights as children born in the country they now live in. Children from minority, disenfranchised, and indigenous communities have the right to practise their religion, language, culture, and customs.



(6) All children must be educated :



Every child has the right to an education. Primary education should be free. Secondary education should be accessible to every child–every child should receive the highest level of education available to them.


Education should prepare children to participate as active citizens, teaching them about responsibility and a sense of community. They should also develop their personalities, talents, skills, rights, and abilities while learning to respect others’ autonomy, rights, cultures and differences.


(7) Freedom of thought : 


Children have the right to speak, express and share what they learn, think and feel. They may use any means of creative expression available to them unless their expression somehow harms others.


Children can determine their thoughts, means of expression, opinions, sociopolitical ideologies, religious and spiritual beliefs, provided that their thoughts do not infringe upon the rights of others. Parents should teach children to express themselves and respect the opinions of others.


Children have the right to join or create groups and organisations. They have the right to meet with others and advocate for change, as long as they do not harm others. Children have the right to give their opinions on issues that affect them. Adults should take the concerns and opinions of children seriously.



(8) Access to information :


Children have the right to transmit and receive information through the internet, radio, phone, television, books and other resources. Adults should ensure that the information children are transmitting and receiving is not harmful. However, they should encourage and teach ways to access and critically process information. Governments should make access to information as free as possible. They should share information from multiple sources and in multiple languages.



(9) Right to privacy:


Every child deserves privacy. The law must protect children’s privacy in all areas, including online. Personal documentation of children should not be published. A child’s family, home, personal communications and reputation should be protected. Victims of abuse should not have their names, faces or information published.


(10) Right to engage in cultural activities:


Every child has the right to engage in cultural and creative activities. Children from minority populations have the right to participate in activities that the majority populations of their country do not participate in.


Cultural activities and creative works should represent children of all backgrounds. Children should be free from art designed to traumatise, provoke or disturb them. However, they should receive access to and be allowed to create art that is controversial or unpopular, without fear of censorship.


(11) Right to reparation:


If a child is victimised, traumatised, displaced, separated from their parents, or otherwise subject to harm, they should receive reparation and rehabilitation. Children have the right to receive help after enduring any type of pain, trauma or neglect, so they can regain their health, dignity and identity. Every child has the right to receive legal help and fair treatment. Governments should provide money and resources to assist children from poor and disenfranchised communities.



(12) Protection from harmful work:


Children have the right to be protected from doing work that is dangerous or bad for their education, health, or development. If children work, they have the right to be safe and paid fairly. Also, governments must protect children from taking, making, carrying or selling harmful drugs.


(13) Right of children in detention:


Children who are accused of breaking the law should not be killed, tortured, treated cruelly, put in prison forever, or put in prison with adults. Prison should always be the last choice and only for the shortest possible time. Children in prison should have legal help and be able to stay in contact with their families.



(14) Government’s responsibility for children: 


Governments must do everything possible to ensure that children enjoy all their inalienable rights and develop in a safe and free society. Governments should prioritise child rights when considering any major policy.



For instance, children have the right to food, clothing, and a safe place to live so they can develop in the best possible way. So governments should help families and children who cannot afford these things.



If the laws of a country protect child rights better than the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, those laws take higher priority. Governments should make active efforts to inform children about their rights.

Governments should also actively tell children and adults about these rights so that everyone knows about children’s rights.


(15) Do what’s best for children:


When adults make decisions, they should think about how their decisions will affect children. All adults should do what is best for children. Governments should make sure children are protected and looked after by their parents or by other people when this is needed. Also, governments should make sure that people and places responsible for looking after children are doing a good job. (Punchng)

01:33

Africa: How we stopped rain for Sango festival celebration -Alaafin’s wife



The rain, which would have disrupted the celebration of the 2021 World Sango Festival in Oyo Town on Saturday, was stopped midway through the intervention of the deities.


Ayaba Ramat Adeyemi, the Iya Ile-koto and one of the wives of the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, made this known on Saturday.


She spoke while leading other Ayaba (king’s wives) to perform their traditional roles of Igbatiti at the grand finale of the festival, held at the palace of the first-class traditional ruler in Yorubaland.


According to her, Igbatiti means the beating of calabash by the Ayaba in the palace to get the attention of Alaafin whenever they need to collect something, especially money, from him “because we women love money.”


“Any time we are beating this calabash in the palace, it is mandatory for Kabiyesi to come out and meet us.


“As we are beating the calabash, we are eulogising him and singing his praises through his oriki, which we know very well.


“So, when it was raining before the commencement of the celebration at about 1.00 p.m., we the Ayaba were worried, because it would not allow us to perform our traditional roles.


“Whereas, as women and ayaba in the palace, we needed money from the Kabiyesi, I had to consult the Yemoja and Sango priests to appease the goddess to stop the rain,” she said.


Ayaba Adeyemi stated that five minutes after consulting the priests, the rain stopped, adding: “if not, we would not be able to perform the igbatiti.


“Ten minutes after, Alaafin entered the venue to commence the celebration of Sango festival.”


The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the programme started immediately Oba Adeyemi stepped down from his car at about 2.18 p.m., with Iwure Agba (prayer by elders) led by Sango priests.


(NAN)

20:32

Africa: Tension as police, secret agents cordon off Dunamis church



There is palpable tension at the Dunamis church dome at Lugbe, Abuja as dozens of policemen and other plain-clothed state operatives have cordoned off the area in fear of possible invasion by members of the #Revolutionnow movement who are protesting the arrest of its members by the Department of State Services.


When The Guardian visited the church this morning, dozens of policemen were sighted in the area, while patrol vehicles numbering about four were also parked in strategic locations.


Human rights activist and pro-democracy campaigner, Omoyele Sowore, had threatened another mass protest if the five people arrested for wearing ‘Buhari Must Go’ T-shirts to the church last Sunday are not released within seven days.


Those arrested and detained by the Department of State Services (DSS) are Emmanuel Larry, Henry Nwodo, Samuel Gabriel, Ben Manasseh and Anene Udoka.

Sowore, at a press conference organised in Abuja, weekend, by a group called ‘Take It Back Movement’, also alleged that the General Overseer and Senior Pastor of the church, Pastor Paul Enenche, collaborated with the DSS to effect the arrest of the persons. Theguardianng 

21:04

Africa: Army denies viral video of soldiers assaulting suspect


The Nigerian Army has urged Nigerians to disregard a viral video of soldiers assaulting a suspect.


In a statement on Monday by the Director of Army Public Relations, Onyema Nwachukwu, the Army said investigation revealed that the military fatigue worn by the “criminals” is a far variation from the uniforms adorned by troops in the various theatres of operation.


The statement titled,’ Re: Video of soldiers mutilating a suspect.’

It read, “The Nigerian Army has been notified of an online video footage making the rounds in the social media, showing some persons in military fatigue torturing and mutilating an individual.


“The video footage is not only capable of deceiving unsuspecting members of the public into believing that the men in the footage are members of the Army. engaged in the ongoing counter-insurgency operations in the North East, but a deliberate effort to promote a culture of violence in the society by creating an erroneous impression that it is a legitimate action by troops.


“It is, therefore, crucial to refute and properly inform the public on the said footage.

“Preliminary investigations reveal that the said footage has been on the social media for quite a long time and is not originated by troops of the Nigerian Army.


“Very importantly, the uniform of NA troops deployed in the North East is the Nigerian Desert Camouflage, while that of other operations around the country is the Nigerian Woodland Camouflage. Evidently, the military fatigue worn by the criminals is a far variation from the uniforms adorned by our own troops in the various theatres of operation.


“The Nigerian Army, therefore, wishes to clearly inform the general public that the video being circulated does not have any connection with its operations. Those in the footage are not troops of the NA and do not represent any operation of the NA. The video is circulated by mischievous elements aiming to tarnish the good image and reputation of the NA, in order to create mistrust in the minds of the public.

“It must be reiterated that as a responsible organisation, the NA conducts its operational activities in line with extant rules of engagement and respect for fundamental human rights.


“The NA, therefore, wishes to distance itself from the outrageous video and reassures the public that the NA under the leadership of the Chief of Army Staff, Major General Faruk Yahaya, will continue to discharge its roles of securing the territorial integrity of the nation and aid to civil authority professionally and in consonance with extant laws and international best practice.” (Punch)

04:52

WHO: Africa faces ‘rising threat’ of a COVID third wave




Healthcare systems across Africa are “far from ready” to cope with a fresh surge of coronavirus infections, with vaccine deliveries at a near standstill and cases surging in many countries, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned.

“Many African hospitals and clinics are still far from ready to cope with a huge rise in critically ill patients,” WHO regional director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, said on Thursday.

“The threat of a third wave in Africa is real and rising,” she added in a virtual briefing.
Africa has officially registered more than 4.8 million cases and 130,000 deaths, according to the WHO, representing 2.9 percent of global cases and 3.7 percent of deaths.

According to a survey conducted by the WHO in May, the essential health facilities and personnel required to manage critically ill COVID-19 patients are grossly inadequate in many African countries.

Of 23 countries surveyed, most had less than one intensive care unit bed per 100,000 population and only one-third had mechanical ventilators. In comparison, countries like Germany and the United States have more than 25 beds per 100,000 people.

“Treatment is the last line of defence against this virus and we cannot let it be breached,” Moeti stressed, calling for better equipment for hospitals and medical staff.

Rising cases

In recent weeks, the continent has seen a rise in infections. South Africa, officially the most affected African country, has tightened health restrictions and now has more than 1.6 million cases and 56,439 deaths.

In the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Kinshasa, the WHO detected an “exponential rise” last month in cases that mirrored a “clear deterioration” in the wider province.

The DRC Health Minister Jean-Jacques Mbungani said that the country was experiencing a new wave of infections.

“I officially announce the onset of the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in our country, with Kinshasa as its epicentre,” Mbungani told reporters.

A low vaccination rate and haphazard observance of recommended hygiene practices were among the reasons for the rising infection rate, he said.

Meanwhile in Uganda, the number of cases has jumped 131 percent in one week with outbreaks in schools and an increase in cases among health workers. Angola and Namibia are also seeing a resurgence.

Simultaneously, the continent is facing a shortage of vaccines and deliveries are almost at a standstill in Africa, according to WHO, which hopes for new deliveries in the coming months through the international COVAX scheme, including a pledge of 80 million doses from the United States.

Only 2 percent of Africans to date have received at least one shot, compared with 11 percent of the world’s population, according to Our World in Data. Six countries have not kicked off inoculation, four of which are in Africa: Tanzania, Burundi, Chad and Eritrea.

Separately on Thursday, the head of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), John Nkengasong, slammed rich countries once again for failing to step up their effort in guaranteeing more equitable access to vaccines.
“I would like to make a moral case to the leaders of the G7 that our limited supply of vaccines on the continent has definitely a serious boding for us, a serious economic boding for us,” he said during a press briefing.

“Perhaps it is a greater moral boding for those who are sitting on excess doses of vaccines; because actually, they want to be on the right side of history.” Aljazeera
02:53

Africa: TASUED staff kidnapped in Ogun


A Deputy Director at the Information and Communication Technology Department of the Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijagun, Ogun State, Mrs I.B Abimbola, has been kidnapped.

Abimbola was reportedly kidnapped around 7pm on Thursday at Ijebu-Ode.

As at the time of filing this report, the abductors are yet to contact Abimbola’s family for ransom, it was learnt.


Ogun State Police spokesperson, Abimbola Oyeyemi, has confirmed the incident to newsmen.


Unknown land grabbers take over Christ Embassy camp ground [Video]


Oyeyemi the police have begun a search for Mrs Abimbola.


“We got information that a University staff was kidnapped on Thursday night in Ijebu-Ode. The Command operatives have been sent out to search and rescue the victim unhurt. We are on top of the situation,” Oyeyemi confirmed. Dailypost

01:34

Africa: Actor, undergraduate arrested for defrauding traders with fake bank alerts




The Oyo State Police Command has arrested a man, Olumide Olajide, for allegedly defrauding traders in Ibadan with fake bank alerts.

Olajide, who claims to be a Yoruba film actor, was among those paraded at the state police command headquarters, Eleyele, Ibadan, on Monday.

The actor, who was paraded alongside his partner, Wemimo Adeyanju, a Higher National Diploma student of Purchasing and Supply at a polytechnic in the South-West, told our correspondent in an interview that he was arrested in the Apete area of Ibadan.

Asked to explain how he used to generate the fake bank alerts, Olajide said he would ask for the account numbers and names of the sellers after buying goods from them.
After this, he would use the information to generate their details by dialling the USSD code of his bank.

After generating the recipient’s name, he said he would alter the old bank alert sent to him by his bank and change the date and the amount, and resend same to the recipient.

According to him, the fake alert sent will show on the recipient’s phone as a genuine alert from his bank.

He said, “I did it just three times before I was arrested. After seeing the alert, they would allow me to go away with the goods paid for with the fake bank alert.
“I went to another shop and a woman recognised me through the display photograph on my WhatsApp and raised the alarm.”

The undergraduate also told our correspondent that he went out with the prime suspect.

He admitted that Olajide used the fake bank alert to purchase some items on an occasion that he accompanied him.

“He did it once. He was the one who did it, but I followed him that day,” Adeyanju stated.

Police sources said Olajide had an app on his phone through which he was generating fake bank alerts to defraud traders. Punch
03:43

Africa: How Man Hatched Kidnap, Murder Of Neighbour’s Son Despite Collecting N1m




Operatives of the Kaduna State Police Command have arrested four suspects in connection with the abduction and subsequent killing of a six-year-old boy.


The suspects were alleged to have killed their victim after collecting one million naira as ransom from his father, Kabiru Magayaki.


They were paraded before reporters on Monday by the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mohammed Jalige, at the command headquarters in the state capital.


Jalige explained that the abduction of the victim was plotted by his father’s neighbour, Mohammad Nazifi, who took advantage of his close relationship with the family.


Unknown to Magayaki that his neighbour hatched the plot, he went into negotiation with the abductors and after much negotiations, they settled for one million naira which the family paid but could not secure the freedom of their son.


Nazifi, on the other hand, was said to have gone further to get the boy killed over concerns that he could inform his parents that he (the suspect) orchestrated the abduction should the victim be released.


The boy was, thereafter, strangled until he died, and his remains were concealed in a drainage tunnel in the outskirts of Kano metropolis.


After paying the ransom and no sign of the return of his son, Magayaki reported the case to the police for assistance on Thursday last week.


According to the police, the suspects confessed to the crime and led security operatives to where the decomposing body of the victim was identified and evacuated.


Jalige said that the suspects would be charged to court for criminal conspiracy, kidnapping, and culpable homicide. ChannelsTv

03:31

Africa: How Baby Died After Mother Ran Away With N3 Million Donation Meant For Her Cancer Surgery




A baby girl simply identified as Ada, has died after her mother absconded with a N3 million donation meant for brain tumour surgery.

A philanthropist and founder of Global Initiative for Peace, Love and Care (GIPLC), Nuhu Fulani Kwajafa, disclosed this on a Facebook page on Tuesday.

Kwajafa wrote: “Last month we had a case of a 3 year old girl with a brain tumour who needed N3 million for surgery. A donor insisted on paying the money to the account of the mother, stating that he was not comfortable with NGOs.

“We initially wanted him to pay directly to the hospital, but that was not possible because 80% of medical materials needed for the surgery had to be bought outside the hospital.

“Eventually the donor credited the mother’s account, and the mother absconded with the N3 million. Sadly, the child died this morning. Rest In Peace Ada.”

Kwajafa said his NGO has continued to champion the cause of vulnerable women and children in Nigeria and Africa. Saharareporters
03:30

Africa: How 20 children died in Niger Republic school fire incident




A school in Niger Republic with a population of 800 has been thrown into mourning after a fire outbreak killed 20 children.

Twenty School children have died after their classrooms caught fire in Niger’s capital, Niamey.

The school located in the Pays Bas area has a population of 800 students. According to Reuters, the cause of the fire which started around the entrance of the school is yet to be established.

Twenty-one classrooms built with straw were gutted by the fire, effectively trapping some students who did not have an alternative escape route.

“Without an emergency exit, many were trapped and students were forced to scale the wall to escape. Those that died were mostly children in the preschool,” Reuters quoted a teachers’ union official, Mounkaila Halidou, as saying.

Prime Minister of Niger Republic, Ouhoumoudou Mahamadou has however embarked on a condolence visit to the school to offer his respect to the children’s parents. Vanguardngr
02:02

Africa: UN tribunal denies early release to Rwanda genocide mastermind




A UN tribunal in Tanzania has denied a request for early release by a man considered the mastermind of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda that left some 800,000 dead.

Theoneste Bagosora, 79, was in 2008 sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes by the former International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).

However his sentence was reduced to 35 years on appeal in 2011.

Bagosora, who is imprisoned in Mali, made the request for early release in March 2019, which several genocide convicts have been granted after serving two-thirds of their sentence.

Bagosora was first arrested in 1996, and his trial began in 2002.

Maltese judge Carmel Agius, president of the Arusha-based Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT), the body charged with completing the work of the ICTR after it wound up, rejected the request in a ruling dated April 1, provided to AFP Monday.

“I hereby deny the application,” wrote Agius, explaining that “the extremely high gravity of Bagosora’s crimes weighs very heavily against his early release.”
“I also consider his failure to sufficiently demonstrate rehabilitation as militating against granting the application.”

A church choirboy who rose to become a key officer in the Rwandan army, Bagosora was described during his initial trial as the “kingpin” behind the genocide.

The genocide saw extremist Hutu militia slaughter minority Tutsis and moderate Hutus over 100 days from April 7 to July 15.

The appeals chamber argued that Bagosora did not order the killings, rapes, and assassination of politicians, but as a top defence ministry official, he knew the crimes were going to be committed and did nothing to stop them despite having the powers to do so.

It also upheld a lower court ruling that Bagosora was Rwanda’s most senior military official between April 6 and 9, 1994.

AFP

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