140 000 people to get cholera vaccine in South Sudan

GENEVA, Switzerland, February 22, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — WHO is working with the South Sudan Government and partners to provide vaccines to protect nearly 140 000 people living in temporary camps in South Sudan against cholera.

The vaccines come from an emergency stockpile managed by WHO, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and UNICEF. It is the first time the stockpile, created in 2013 by WHO, is being activated.

Although currently there is not a cholera outbreak, people displaced by the recent conflict and living in the camps are at risk due to poor sanitary conditions and overcrowding.

Starting today, 94 000 people will be vaccinated in the Minkaman camp, Awerial County, targeting displaced people and host communities, followed by vaccination campaigns in camps based in Juba, covering an additional 43 000 people.

Two doses of vaccine are required for an individual to be protected. The campaign begins with an initial round of vaccinations followed by – after a required 14 day interval – a second round of doses, which will complete the vaccination. For such a campaign to be effective, it is vital that a second dose is administered and this factor has led to the decision to begin with Minkaman, Awerial County, and Juba camps.

“Minkaman camp in Awerial County and Juba camp have been selected because of the relative stability of the situation and easier access in those places,” says Dr Abdinasir Abubakar, from WHO’s Disease Surveillance and Response team, in South Sudan. “We are also looking at other camps, and once the accessibility and security improves, we will expand the cholera vaccination campaigns into these areas. We will be reviewing the situation day by day.”

Why vaccinate against cholera?

Cholera is an acute diarrhoeal infection caused by ingestion of contaminated food or water and affects children and adults. It can kill in a matter of hours due to rapid dehydration.

Children are at a higher risk of infection. Once infected, in addition to dehydration, children develop severe hypoglycaemia that can lead to coma and death. Similarly, ‘at risk’ groups (for example malnourished people, the elderly, pregnant women, people with severe chronic disease, AIDS patients) are more likely to develop severe forms of the disease.

Access to clean water and adequate sanitation remain the mainstays of preventing both endemic cholera and cholera outbreaks, together with health education to promote the adoption of appropriate hygiene practices. Cholera vaccination is a safe and effective additional tool that can be used under the right conditions to supplement existing priority cholera control measures.

WHO will coordinate the campaign in collaboration with MSF and Medair as an implementing partner in Awerial and Juba respectively.

Source: APO

Categories: African Press Organization

AMISOM condemns attack on Villa Somalia

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, February 22, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) Ambassador Mahamat Saleh Annadif has condemned the cowardly attack on Villa Somalia today.

As people gathered for Friday prayers, a Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Devices (VBIED) went off at the entrance of the Presidential palace and was followed by ground al shabaab fighters. The Somali National Army soldiers supported by AMISOM troops bravely fought off the attackers.

“I commend the actions of the brave security forces who fought off the attackers, hell-bent on shedding the blood of innocent Somalis. The attack was against, the Somali people, their institutions and their religion.

Ambassador Annadif added, it is unconceivable to believe that people who say they are Muslims can choose a Friday which is a Holy Day in Islam to carry out this senseless attack.

He appealed to the Somali people to help the Somali armed forces and AMISOM in their efforts to defeat al shabaab and its supporters.

Source: APO

Categories: African Press Organization

Canada Condemns Attack Against Somali President

OTTAWA, Canada, February 22, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today released the following statement:

“Canada condemns in the strongest possible terms the attack today against the presidential palace in Mogadishu, which was claimed by Al Shabaab. This attack killed a number of people, including worshippers who were attending Friday prayers.

“On behalf of all Canadians, I express my deepest condolences to the families and friends of those killed in this senseless attack and wish a prompt recovery to the injured.

“Amongst those killed was a Canadian citizen, Mohamoud Abdulle, who had returned to his native Somalia and was working with the Somali prime minister. His death reminds us all of the great risks and sacrifices Canadians take around the world in support of greater peace and security.

“Canada stands with the Somali people in their efforts to build a peaceful and prosperous Somalia.”

Source: APO

Categories: African Press Organization

MEETING OF SHERPAS OF THE HIGH LEVEL COMMITTEE ON THE POST 2015 DEVELOPMENT AGENDA

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, February 22, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — INVITATION TO MEDIA REPRESENTATIVES

WHEN: 24-27 February 2014

WHERE: Ndjamena, Republic of Chad

WHO: Organised by the African Union Department of Economic Affairs in collaboration with the Government of Chad and the office of the Chair of the High Level Committee on the Post 2015 Development Agenda.

WHY: The 22nd Assembly of Heads of State and Government holding in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 30-31 January 2014 adopted the Common African Position (CAP) on the post 2015 development agenda to serve as an African input to the Global post 2015 development Agenda.

OBJECTIVE: The objective of the meeting is to launch the CAP and formulate a strategy for advocacy, negotiation and forging alliances

PARTICPIANTS: Sherpas of the High Level Committee on the Post 2015 Development Agenda.

EXPECTED OUTCOME: Document on Negotiation strategy and advocacy

BACKGROUND: A High Level Committee (HLC) was established at the 21st Ordinary Session of the African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government held in May 2013, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to finalize the draft African Common Position and build regional and intercontinental alliances around the post 2015 Development Agenda.

The High Level Committee includes two Heads of State and Government from each of the five regions of the continent and is chaired by Her Excellency Mrs. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the President of the Republic of Liberia.

During the Assembly, Her Excellency Mrs. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the President of the Republic of Liberia and Chair of the High Level Committee (HLC) on the Post 2015 Development Agenda presented the Draft Common African Position which is an outcome of a series of consultations with a wide spectrum of African stakeholders since 2011. The document is structured around five pillars and enablers.

• Pillar 1: Structural Economic Transformation and inclusive

• Pillar 2: Science, technology and innovation

• Pillar 3: People-centered development

• Pillar4: Environmental sustainability, natural resources management and disaster risk management

• Pillar 5: Finance and Partnerships

The document also identified Peace and Security; Good governance, transparency and fighting corruption; Enabling governance architecture; Human rights for all; Macroeconomic Policy; Private sector development; A credible participatory process; Monitoring and evaluation; Traditional Knowledge; Capacity development as key enablers for implementation.

The Assembly expressed a need for a Post-2015 Development Agenda that remains focused on completing the unfinished business of the MDGs, whilst also incorporating new and emerging challenges. It also expressed its aspirations for a Global Agenda that creates an enabling environment for Africa to transform its economies, pursue sustainable development, strengthen resilience and promote an agenda that encourages open and accountable governance supported by strong, mutually beneficial and diversified global partnerships. The Assembly further requested to bring peace and security upfront as a pillar and emphasized the need for a standing Committee to follow up, monitor and report the implementation of the Post 2015 Development Agenda.

Finally the Assembly called for, a fully open, transparent and inclusive negotiation process in which nations are equal and have an equal voice and commit to speak with one voice and to ensure that Africa’s voice is heard and fully integrated into the global development agenda and called for the formulation of goals, targets and indicators based on the priority areas that will fit into Africa Agenda 2063.

JOURNALISTS ARE INVITED TO COVER THE EVENT

Source: APO

Categories: African Press Organization

FCO Press Release: Foreign Secretary condemns attacks in Somalia

LONDON, United-Kingdom, February 21, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Foreign Secretary William Hague condemns today’s attacks in Mogadishu and praises Somali emergency response.

The Foreign Secretary said:

“I condemn today’s attack on Villa Somalia, in Mogadishu, in the strongest possible terms. My thoughts are with the families of the victims and those injured. I’d also like to pay tribute to the Somali security services, some of whom were killed in the attack, who deserve credit for repelling the attack. Attacks like these only strengthen our resolve to stand shoulder to shoulder with the Somali people in their efforts to build a more stable future.”

Source: APO

Categories: African Press Organization

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