Oct 222014
 

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, October 22, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — In advance of the Oct. 24 observance of World Polio Day 2014, Rotary (http://www.rotary.org) announces US$2 million in grants to combat polio in Ethiopia. The funds – part of Rotary’s broader contribution of $44.7 million to end the paralyzing disease worldwide – will be used by UNICEF to support high quality polio immunization campaigns.

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For the second year in a row, Rotary will mark World Polio Day with a livestream event featuring a global status update on the fight to end polio as well as an array of guest speakers and performers. The event, which will stream live from Chicago, Ill., can be viewed at endpolio.org.

In Ethiopia, Rotary’s PolioPlus program will celebrate World Polio Day by hosting a commemoration ceremony in conjunction with the World Health Organization, UNICEF and the Ethiopian Ministry of Health. The PolioPlus program will also host a World Polio Day march to mark the occasion and raise awareness of the disease.

Polio is set to become the second human disease ever to be eliminated from the world (smallpox is the first). To date, Rotary has helped 193 countries stop the transmission of polio through the mass immunization of children. Rotary’s new funding commitment targets countries where children remain at risk of contracting this incurable, but totally vaccine-preventable disease.

There are only three countries in the world where the wild poliovirus has never been stopped: Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan. However, the virus from these countries can travel and lead to outbreaks in other parts of the world. In fact, last year the majority of the world’s polio cases stemmed from outbreaks in countries that had previously been polio-free. In particular, an outbreak in the Horn of Africa resulted in 217 cases in 2013, including nine in Ethiopia.

“We are pleased it appears we have halted the polio outbreak in Ethiopia,” said Tadesse Alemu, Rotary’s National PolioPlus Chair for Ethiopia, referencing the country’s only case this year, recorded more than nine months ago on 14 January. “However, given the mobility of our global society, until polio is gone from Africa – and the world – Ethiopian children will remain at risk for this disease.”

Rotary provides grant funding to polio eradication initiative partners UNICEF and the World Health Organization, which work with the governments and Rotary club members of polio-affected countries to plan and carry out immunization activities. Mass immunizations of children via the oral polio vaccine must continue until global eradication is achieved.

Approximately $18.5 million will go to the three remaining polio-endemic countries: Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan. An endemic country is one where the wild poliovirus has never been stopped. Another $9.5 million is marked for previously polio-free countries currently reporting cases “imported” from the endemic countries: Cameroon, Ethiopia, and Somalia. And $10.4 million will go to polio-free countries that remain at risk of reinfection: Democratic Republic of Congo, India, Niger, South Sudan, and Sudan.

The remaining $6.3 million will go toward polio eradication research.

Funds for these countries will be used to fight existing polio outbreaks, or to conduct campaigns to protect against the high risk for reinfection. Countries experiencing conflict, like Ethiopia’s neighbor Somalia, are at particular risk for polio outbreaks.

To date, Rotary has contributed more than $1.3 billion to fight polio. Through 2018, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will match two-to-one every dollar Rotary commits to polio eradication (up to $35 million a year). As of 2013, there were only 416 confirmed polio cases in the world, down from about 350,000 a year when the initiative launched in 1988.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Rotary International.

Contact:

Stephanie Tobler Mucznik

+41 (0)44 387 7116

Stephanie.ToblerMucznik@rotary.org

About Rotary

Rotary (http://www.rotary.org) brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary connects 1.2 million members of more than 34,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas. Their work improves lives at both the local and international levels, from helping families in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. In 1988, Rotary was joined by the WHO, UNICEF and the CDC to launch the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. Visit http://www.rotary.org and http://www.endpolio.org for more about Rotary and its efforts to eradicate polio. Video and still images will be available on the Rotary Media Center (http://goo.gl/DS86iD).

Oct 222014
 

EVANSTON, Ill., October 22, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — With the world “This Close”—99%—to eliminating polio from the planet, the effort is receiving an additional US$ 44.7 million boost from Rotary (http://www.rotary.org) to support immunization activities, surveillance, and research spearheaded by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (http://www.polioeradication.org), which aims to end the disabling viral disease worldwide by 2018.

Logo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/rotary.png

Polio is set to become the second human disease ever to be eliminated from the world (smallpox is the first). To date, Rotary has helped 193 countries stop the transmission of polio through the mass immunization of children. Rotary’s new funding commitment, announced in advance of the Oct. 24 observance of World Polio Day 2014, targets countries where children remain at risk of contracting this incurable, but totally vaccine-preventable, disease.

“It is fitting that this round of Rotary grants coincides with World Polio Day, which we use to raise awareness of — and support for – the global campaign to end this terrible disease once and for all,” said Rotary International General Secretary John Hewko, the organization’s top executive. “Rotary is committed to relegating polio to the history books, and we welcome everyone’s support as we move ever closer to our goal of a polio-free world.”

He noted that the end-game strategy against polio includes the introduction of inactivated, injectable polio vaccine to supplement the progress achieved through the immunization of 2.5 billion children with the oral polio vaccine. Leading that effort is Sanofi Pasteur, the largest manufacturer of polio vaccine and co-sponsor with Rotary of a special program in Chicago on World Polio Day.

“As more than 120 countries in the world are introducing the Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV), we are beginning the last chapter on polio eradication,” said Olivier Charmeil, Sanofi Pasteur chief executive officer. “At Sanofi Pasteur, we have had a long-term vision of IPV as the ultimate public health tool able to finish the job started with Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV). Today we are honored to stand alongside Rotary, the historical partner in the battle against polio.”

About $18.5 million will go to the three remaining polio-endemic countries: Afghanistan ($7.4 million) Nigeria ($8.4 million), and Pakistan ($2.7 million). An endemic country is one where the wild poliovirus has never been stopped.

Another $9.5 million is marked for previously polio-free countries currently reporting cases “imported” from the endemic countries: Cameroon ($3.5 million), Ethiopia ($2 million), and Somalia ($4 million).

And $10.4 million will go to polio-free countries that remain at risk of reinfection: Democratic Republic of Congo ($1.5 million), India ($4.9 million), Niger ($1 million), South Sudan ($2 million), and Sudan ($1 million).

The remaining $6.3 million will go toward polio eradication research.

Rotary provides grant funding to polio eradication initiative partners UNICEF and the World Health Organization, which work with the governments and Rotary club members of polio-affected countries to plan and carry out immunization activities. Mass immunizations of children via the oral polio vaccine must continue until global eradication is achieved.

To date, Rotary has contributed more than $1.3 billion to fight polio. Through 2018, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will match two-to-one every dollar Rotary commits to polio eradication (up to $35 million a year). As of 2013, there were only 416 confirmed polio cases in the world, down from about 350,000 a year when the initiative launched in 1988.

‘End Polio Now: Make History Today’ Livestream Event

24 October 2014 – World Polio Day, (6:30 pm CT) at: http://ow.ly/A7OKy

For the second year in a row, Rotary will mark World Polio Day with a livestream event featuring a global status update on the fight to end polio as well as an array of guest speakers and performers. Streaming from Chicago, and hosted by TIME magazine science and technology editor Jeffrey Kluger, highlights of the event include:

• Tessanne Chin, 2013 winner of the TV show “The Voice,” will perform a song during the program, followed by a benefit concert after the event

• Reggae star Ziggy Marley will welcome participants to the event and perform via video

• Minda Dentler, polio survivor and Ironman competitor, will share her personal story.

• Remarks via video by Olivier Charmeil (http://goo.gl/MyAVYz), chief executive officer of Sanofi Pasteur and Bernadette Hendrickx, Senior Medical and Scientific advisor to the CEO of Sanofi Pasteur will deliver remarks live.

• Addresses by Rotary International General Secretary John Hewko, Rotary Foundation Vice-Chair Michael McGovern, and Dr. James Alexander, senior medical epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Rotary International.

Contact:

Vivian Fiore

+1 847 866-3234

vivian.fiore@rotary.org

About Rotary

Rotary brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary connects 1.2 million members of more than 34,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas. Their work improves lives at both the local and international levels, from helping families in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. In 1988, Rotary was joined by the WHO, UNICEF and the CDC to launch the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. Visit http://www.rotary.org and http://www.endpolio.org for more about Rotary and its efforts to eradicate polio. Video and still images will be available on the Rotary Media Center (http://goo.gl/DS86iD).

Oct 222014
 

KHARTOUM, Sudan, October 22, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) will inaugurate a photo exhibition highlighting the activities of the peacekeeping mission in Darfur on Thursday, 23 October 2014, at 9:00 a.m. until noon at the African Union’s offices at Riyadh district in Khartoum. The event will be attended by the Acting Joint Special Representative and Joint Chief Mediator a.i., Abiodun Bashua.

A musical concert under the theme “Darfur, talk peace now” will take place on Saturday, 25 October 2014, at 5:00 p.m. until late at the Sudan National Theatre in the Friendship Hall, Khartoum. The concert will feature the musicians Mohammed El Ameen, Omar Ihsas, Shumoos, Hawa Ramadan and Ahmad Bass.

These events are taking place on the margins of the United Nations Day celebrations.

All media are invited to attend both events.

Oct 222014
 

STRASBOURG, France, October 22, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Human rights

Denis Mukwege is the laureate of the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought 2014, following today’s decision by EP President Martin Schulz and the political group leaders. Mukwege will be invited to Strasbourg on 26 November to receive the award during the plenary session.

Announcing Mukwege as the 2014 laureate, President Schulz said: “The Conference of Presidents decided unanimously to award Dr Denis Mukwege from Democratic Republic of Congo the Sakharov Prize for his fight for protection especially of women.” Mr Schulz said it wasn’t a decision against Euromaidan and paid tribute to the other finalists, saying the representatives of Euromaidan will be invited to join the award ceremony in November and that the Parliament will immediately send a delegation with representatives from all political groups to Azerbaijan to meet and to support Leyla Yunus in her fight for democracy and freedom in her country.

The gynaecologist standing up for women´s rights

In many armed conflicts around the world, rape is used as a weapon of war, but Mukwege decided to help victims in his country. The 59-year-old gynaecologist founded the Panzi Hospital in Bukavu in 1998, when a war took place in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where today he still treats victims of sexual violence who have sustained serious injuries.

The war in DRC might be officially over, but the armed conflict still continues in the eastern part of the country and so do attacks against civilians, including gang rapes. Despite travelling regularly abroad to advocate women’s rights and managing Panzi Hospital, Mukwege continues to see patients and perform surgery two days a week. He was nominated by the S&D and ALDE groups and MEP Barbara Lochbihler.

Sakharov Prize

The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought is awarded each year by the European Parliament. It was set up in 1988 to honour individuals and organisations defending human rights and fundamental freedoms. Last year the prize was awarded to Malala Yousafzaï, the Pakistani campaigner for girls’ education.

Supporting human rights

The European Parliament takes all human rights violations seriously, no matter where they take place. MEPs regularly highlight abuses, help monitor elections around the world, ensure that human rights are protected in the EU’s external economic and trade agreements, and award the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought every year.

Oct 212014
 

GENEVA, Switzerland, October 21, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Following two deadly attacks that took place in the cities of Béni and Eringeti, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has transferred 14 casualties by air to Goma’s Ndosho Hospital.

“We are extremely worried by the nature and extent of the recent violence, which is afflicting people already hard hit by years of armed conflict,” said Alessandra Menegon, head of the ICRC delegation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. “These attacks against civilians are a serious infringement of the most basic principles of humanity. They must stop.”

The northern part of North Kivu province has been the scene of a number of such attacks, the most violent of which have taken place in the past few days. Since 11 October, according to the authorities, the attacks have claimed the lives of 80 people, including women and children, and resulted in a further 19 people suffering serious injury.

“The Red Cross Society of the Democratic Republic of the Congo acted swiftly to recover mortal remains,” said Arnaud Meffre, head of the ICRC office in Béni. An ICRC surgical team working at the hospital in Goma has treated 16 war-wounded patients. In an effort to provide support for other health-care facilities in the area, the ICRC has given the general hospital in Béni enough surgical and other medical supplies to treat up to 50 war-injured people, and it has given Oïcha’s general hospital bandages and oral medications needed to stabilize war casualties. To help Congolese Red Cross volunteers carry out the difficult task of handling mortal remains, the ICRC has provided them with 40 body bags, 200 pairs of disposable gloves, 10 reusable masks, 10 kilograms of chlorine and financial support to defray the cost of fuel.

In North and South Kivu since the beginning of the year, the ICRC has taken over 290 people wounded in fighting to treatment facilities and has itself provided treatment for more than 550; in addition, it has provided medications and medical supplies for nine health-care centres and four referral general hospitals to enable local health-care personnel to cope with medical emergencies.

Oct 212014
 

JUBA, South Sudan, October 21, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — UNDP has formally launched its pilot projects within the Integrated Crisis Prevention and Recovery Programme “Strengthening national capacities for Early Recovery, Peace Building and Reconciliation” at the UN-House Protection of Civilian (PoC) site.

UNDP developed the Program in response to the December 2013 crisis. It seeks to enhance national capacities for early recovery, peace building and reconciliation in South Sudan. Speaking at the official launch of the programme, Mr. Balázs Horváth, UNDP Country Director, emphasized the importance of the Programme, saying “This is a pilot Programme. Our intention is to replicate what we do well and equally, learn from challenges we encountered.”

UNDP is working with a number of development partners and NGOs to implement the pilot activities. Under the programme’s Peacebuilding &Conflict Prevention pillar, UNDP is working closely with the International Rescue Committee to support mechanisms that allow coordination and information sharing across the camp leadership structures. In the Justice and Rule of Law pillar UNDP partnered with UNPOL in training and equipping 46 members of the community watch groups, including16 females, to undertake policing and deal with cases of Sexual and Gender Based Violence. Finally, the Livelihoods and Employment pillar, UNDP is working with Nile Hope to strengthen competencies of 120 people, 95 of whom are women and 25 men, in catering, hairdressing and tailoring. Some trainees are already using their new-found hairdressing skills to earn money from fellow IDPs at the PoC.

During the launch, participants in the pilot projectsexhibited their products based on the training they received. As part of the launch, UNPOL also exhibited training activities implemented in partnership with women living within the PoC site. In comments, the women’s leader at the PoC, Ms. Nyatel Wuor stated, “we now feel that we are not in an Island. We can work and earn money.”

Other speakers in support of the programme during the launch included UNDP’s implementing partners from the International Rescue Committee and Nile Hope, a local NGO. A representative from ACTED – the organization that manages the PoC site said she was “particular excited by the emphasis that the Integrated Crisis Prevention and Recovery Programme places on dialogue and reconciliation.”

Mr. Balázs Horváth also stated, “We are also working outside this community as part of this Programme. We support the National Platform for Peace & Reconciliation to create space for South Sudanese men and women to participate actively in the search for peace, healing, and reconciliation. This initiative has reached Lakes, Jonglei, Warrap and Western Bahr El Ghazal states. We plan to roll it out to other states – including opposition-held areas.”

In similar efforts, UNDP supported the establishment of the first Emergency Call Centre in Juba, and assisted the independent Judiciary to build its capacity and expand its reach so that disputes are resolved in accordance with fair trial principles and credible justice processes. In Mingkaman, Lakes state, UNDP is supporting the construction of a market place to create sustainable livelihoods while providing emergency employment for the local population.

Mr. Balázs Horváth ended his remarks by applauding “the great partnership” that UNDP has had with UNMISS Reintegration Rehabilitation and Peacebuilding, UN Police, ACTED, Nile Hope, IRC, Non-Violent Peace Force, and the community leaders who welcomed and worked with UNDP. “…Let us keep up this spirit of cooperation – because together, we can do a lot for South Sudan.”

Other dignitaries who attended included diplomats and representatives from Switzerland, Turkey, Eritrea, the World Bank, and the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID).

The event concluded with the UNDP Country Director officially launching the pilot projects at the UN House PoC site.

Oct 212014
 

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania, October 21, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Economist Events (http://www.economistevents.com) will be hosting their Health Care in Africa Summit (http://www.africahealth.economist.com) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania at the Hyatt Regency, The Kilimanjaro on November 18th and 19th 2014.

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Drawing together the key stakeholders representing the continents entire health care spectrum, attendees will discuss the key issues, challenges and opportunities facing health care in Africa.

The latest addition to the high-powered speaker line-up is Dr Joanne Liu, international president of Médecins Sans Frontières. Dr Liu will speak about the current Ebola outbreak gripping the continent and will focus on her organisation’s efforts at the front line.

Senior stakeholders from leading African and international political and commercial organisations, will showcase the most comprehensive views on the sector to help form opinions that will shape the health care agenda for this rapidly developing continent.

Vivek Muthu, Health Care Director, The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), who will be chairing the event comments: “This year’s Health Care in Africa theme is “Fast-tracking to the future.” Africa’s health care systems are at a critical turning point. The reforms that governments undertake over the next decade will be crucial to cutting mortality rates and improving health outcomes in the continent. Together, we will look at current challenges and promising reforms, share knowledge and spark action”.

Building on the success of previous events in the series, Health Care in Africa 2014 will focus on learning lessons from Africa’s successes to accelerate progress, looking at how to adopt and adapt elements of best practice and – crucially – what is needed in terms of political leadership, planning and partnerships to ensure these elements form part of a functioning and forward-looking healthcare system.

Notable key speakers expected to speak at the event include: Hon Dr Agnes Binagwaho, Minister of Health, Republic of Rwanda; HE Bahar Idris Abu Garda, Federal Minister of Health, Republic of Sudan; Hon Dr Seif Seleman Rashidi, Minister for Health and Social Welfare, United Republic of Tanzania; Ashwin Naik, Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder, Vaatsalya Healthcare, India; Frank Nyonator, Chief Executive Officer, Health Streams International, Ghana; Salim Abdullah, Director, Ifakara Health Institute, Tanzania; Liza Kimbo, Chief Executive Officer, Viva Afya, Kenya; Hiiti B. Sillo, Director General, Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of The Economist Events.

Visit www.africahealth.economist.com for more information.

PLEASE NOTE: If you would like to arrange an interview with any of the speakers on the programme or you would like to attend the event you must register with:

Suleiman Asilia Khamis

Account Manager

Frontline Porter Novelli

Tel: +255 6588 70111

Email: suleiman@frontline.co.tz

Press MUST bring both photographic and business card ID in order to be admitted into the event.

Follow the event on Twitter: @EconomistEvents #africahealth

For general queries or further information about the event please call 0207 576 5118 or e-mail emeaevents@economist.com

About The Economist Events

The Economist Events (http://www.economistevents.com) is the leading provider of international events for senior executives seeking new insights into strategic issues. These meetings include industry conferences, management events and government roundtables held around the world. As part of The Economist Group, The Economist Events is a highly respected brand with a 162-year history and an unrivalled reputation for excellence and independence.

Each meeting organised by The Economist Events delivers objective and informed analysis. Our meetings provide unusually high-level events where senior executives can gain insights, exchange views and compare strategies.

Join us on Twitter: @EconomistEvents

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Oct 212014
 

MOGADISHU, Somalia, October 21, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Hearing of the case of Shabelle and SkyFM journalists started at the regional Court on Tuesday morning around 10:00am and lasted for an hour.

Judge Hashi Elmi Nor opened the hearing as scheduled and read a letter from the office of the Attorney General charging Abdimaalik Yusuf Mohamoud, owner of Shabelle Media Network and Ahmed Abdi Hassan, Shabelle newscaster on Articles 320 – (Instigation to Delinquency – To publicly incite another to commit one or more offenses) and 321 (Instigation to disobey the laws – to publicly incite another to disobey the laws relating to public order or stir up hatred between the social classes) on the Somali penal code.

However, the both Abdi Maalik and Ahmed rejected the charges.

The Deputy Attorney General, Dr. Ahmed Hassan took the session and said since they rejected, we request the honourable court to provide its office additional time, in which they will be able to present evidence and witnesses before the court proofing that they had committed that crime, adding that the office of the Attorney General has the right to investigate the matter within 90 days citing article 47 of the Somali procedural code.

Later the Judge asked the lawyers defending Shabelle Media Network, if they had anything to request, since the Attorney General’s office is requesting additional time for the case.

The journalists were represented a group of Six lawyers, among them, Avv. Ali Halane who had requested from the court to grant a temporary freedom to the journalists.

The Attorney General, Ahmed Ali Dahir was also present at the hearing said that they have the right to request temporary freedom from the court, but it should be conditional and that the court imposes travel ban if it is to grant such freedoms.

Finally, the Regional Court Chief, Judge Hashi Elmi Nor granted the release on bail requested and the court hearing was adjourned.

Mohamed Bashir Hashi, Editor of Shabelle and Mohamud Mohamed Dahir were not brought in today’s hearing.

The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) welcomes the temporary freedom granted and calls for the other journalists to be given fair trail while the union reiterates its call that the radio stations be allowed to resume operations.

“We were encouraged by today’s hearing and welcome that some of our colleagues are released on bail.” Mohamed Ibrahim, NUSOJ Secretary General said, “We call on the Somali government to provide fair trail for those still held in custody and allow the radio station to resume operations.”