Mahikeng: Access to primary healthcare still highly restricted or non-existent in Ngaka Modiri Molema District (South Africa)

Doctors Without Border (MSF), a member of the Stop Stock Outs Project (SSP), has a medical team on the ground in the North West Province assessing the status and needs of clinic and hospital services. Yesterday the team visited the Mahikeng district hospital and nearby clinics, and met with North West MEC for health, Dr Magome Albanos Masike.

With regard to clinics in the Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality, the team was able to confirm with Dr Masike that in Mafikeng only 7 out of 30 clinics were open. In Tswaaing all 10 clinics were closed. In Ramotshiri Moilwa 15 out of 23 clinics were closed. In Rataueng 1 out of 12 clinics was closed. In Dotsobotla all 16 clinics were open. The normally very busy Lobatshe road clinic near the Botswana border was also closed.

With regard to hospitals, the team confirmed that the 105 bed Lehurutshe Hospital has been closed since 25 April. The 84-bed Zeerust Hospital has been closed since 20 April. Mafikeng Provincial Hospital, which has 392 beds, is open, and yesterday 91 nurses were on duty. Gelukspan Hospital and Thusong Hospital are both open.

The implications of this evidence are that access to primary care is highly restricted, or non-existent, for communities in Ngaka Modiri Molema District. Those that can access facilities are finding that there is no medicine. Hospital closures mean that the sick, as well as pregnant women, have to travel long distances to obtain care.

Depot Visit

The large provincial medicines depot based in Mahikeng is currently being run by the South African National Defence Force, and the depot manager estimates that a quarter of the depot’s stock has already been extracted, and that there is enough stock to meet all patient needs currently, although the depot computer system is not functioning, and manually recording stock in and stock out has caused a backlog of work.

The depot is safe but there are delays in the onward transport of medicine and medical items to clinics and hospitals. Mafikeng Provincial Hospital appears to lack pharmacist capacity. Teams from the districts have begun to arrive and pack items into trucks for transport back to their districts and then onward transport to clinics. A team from Bojanala District arrived at the depot on 26 April and stated that they were able to pack enough stock to meet most of the needs of the district, however, the earliest that medicines can be delivered to Bojanala clinics will be 30 April.

MSF is sending personnel to support the pharmacy in Mafikeng Provincial Hospital. In Bojanala District, where MSF has been supporting the North West department of health in three clinics since 2016, MSF is sending personnel to support the pharmacies in Brits Hospital and JST Hospital. MSF teams are also on hand to support with the distribution of medicines to clinics in Bojanala as soon as it is feasible to do that.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Médecins sans frontières (MSF).

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Source:: Mahikeng: Access to primary healthcare still highly restricted or non-existent in Ngaka Modiri Molema District (South Africa)

      

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Girls in ICT Day celebrated in Somalia with the launch of an ICT initiative

International Girls in ICT Day has been celebrated in Mogadishu with the launch on an initiative to create gender parity in Somalia’s ICT industry.

Organized by Fursad .so in partnership with Somalia’s Research and Education Network (SomaliREN) and Ministry of Post, Telecom and Technology, the event was aimed at drawing the attention of policy makers, academia and the business sector on the challenges faced by girls in ICT.

Abdulkadir Mohamed, Fursad .so manager, presented a survey they conducted on the share of women in total number of graduates in ICT. He said out of the 1,233 ICT graduates in 2017 from 23 universities across Puntland, GalMudug, SouthWest, Benadir, Jubbaland and HirShabelle only 9% were female. He added the few who managed to graduate despite challenges face stereotypes and discrimination in accessing the scarce job opportunities.

Safiya Abshir who completed her computer science degree three years ago said the challenges women graduates face in the ICT sector are more than other sectors in Somalia. She said lack of ICT labs and internships; and disconnection between the courses offered at universities and the skills needed in the local market, make their education irrelevant.

The Minister of Post, Telecom and Technology, H. E. Abdi Ashur Hassan, who was the chief guest of the event, said he is touched by the figures of women graduates in ICT and the challenges they face in employment. He said he could see these facts at the Ministry as women with ICT background form less than 1% of the total Ministry staff and cannot help because of the freeze.

The Minister said he believes that young girls are incredible innovators who can come up with solutions to many of the problems we have if they are provided the right tools and environment. He said, “as charity begins at home, we will start from our Ministry, but we will also partner with other institutions, such as the academia and the private sector, including telecoms, to address these challenges at a national level.”

He acknowledged the successes made in the Communications Act and dotSO management and the increasing penetration of fiber internet in major cities, ICT will be one of the fastest growing fields in the years to come, offering some of the highest paid and most exciting careers. We’re working to open the door to a career in technology to as many young women as possible

“We can teach girls and women to love technology and use it for their life, such ash health, education, finance, etc and encourage them to pursue ICT as a suitable career. Together we can empower the next generation of women to thrive in ICT,” he concluded.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Ministry of Posts, Telecom and Technology of Somalia.

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The President of the Republic of the Sudan Awards the First-Class Order of the Two Niles to the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan

The President of the Republic of the Sudan, Omar Al Bashir, awarded today the First-Class Order of the Two Niles to the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan (UNRC/HC) Marta Ruedas in appreciation for her service to Sudan during the period between August 2015 to April 2018.

“It is a great honour to be granted this award from H.E. the President of Sudan; and it has been an equal honour to working in and for Sudan over the past almost three years” said the UN RC/HC after receiving the award.

Ms Ruedas was granted the First Class Order of the Two Niles during a farewell audience with The President of the Republic of the Sudan, Omar Al Bashir, who received the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator at his office at the Presidential Palace.

Ms Ruedas has been recently appointed as the Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General to Iraq. Ms. Ruedas has more than 25 years of experience with the UN both at headquarters and field level, spanning four continents.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations (UN).

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International Atomic Energy Agency Reviews Niger’s Nuclear Power Infrastructure Development

An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team of experts has concluded an eight-day mission to Niger to review its infrastructure development for a nuclear power programme. The Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) was carried out at the invitation of the Government of the Republic of Niger.

Niger, whose economic development is hampered by a lack of consistent electricity supply, is considering a potential role for nuclear power in its energy mix. A country of about 21 million people in Western Africa, Niger is currently ranked as the world’s fourth largest producer of uranium ore.

The INIR team observed a strong Government commitment to developing the infrastructure for a nuclear power programme. The Government has established a Strategic Orientation Committee for the Nuclear Power Programme chaired by the Prime Minister, and a National Technical Committee for the Nuclear Power Programme chaired by the President of the Nigerien High Authority for Atomic Energy (HANEA). Those two committees form the Nuclear Energy Programme Implementing Organization (NEPIO). Niger has already completed or initiated several studies related to nuclear infrastructure development, and prepared a comprehensive report summarizing the results.

“The INIR mission was conducted in a cooperative and open atmosphere,” said team leader Anthony Stott of the IAEA’s Nuclear Infrastructure Development Section. “We had good discussions during the mission which provided further information to the team for each of the 19 infrastructure issues that are addressed during an INIR mission.”

The team comprised international experts from France, Morocco, Spain, and the United Kingdom as well as IAEA staff. It reviewed the status of 19 nuclear power programme infrastructure issues using the IAEA Nuclear Energy Series Evaluation of the Status of National Infrastructure Development. Prior to the INIR mission, which was supported by the Division for Africa in the IAEA’s Technical Cooperation Department, Niger prepared a Self-Evaluation Report covering all infrastructure issues and submitted the report and supporting documents to the IAEA.

The team made recommendations and suggestions, highlighting areas where further action would benefit Niger, including: developing an integrated view of the overall nuclear power plant project costs, continuing to assess and develop the legal and regulatory framework and ensuring that all necessary elements of a national policy and strategy for safety are taken into account, and strengthening the management and documentation of the activities being undertaken for developing the nuclear power programme.

The team also identified good practices that would benefit other countries considering the introduction of nuclear power, including the strong connection between the two committees that form the NEPIO, and the engagement with neighbouring countries to inform them of Niger’s plans.

Dr Zeinabou Mindaoudou Souley, President of HANEA, welcomed the outcome of the INIR mission. “Niger is committed to the careful step-by-step development of its nuclear power programme. This INIR mission was a really enriching experience that will help us to move forward,” Mindaoudou Souley said. “The recommendations and suggestions from the INIR mission will be thoroughly reviewed and addressed to strengthen the rationale for Niger moving forward with the development of nuclear power.”

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

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