Sep 092014
 

JUBA, South Sudan, September 9, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — For the past two weeks, UNMISS has been conducting preliminary investigations into the circumstances surrounding the crash of a United Nations Mi-8 helicopter Bentiu, the capital of South Sudan’s Unity State, on 26 August, which killed three Russian crewmen and injured a fourth. In addition to the Mission’s own probe, which began! in the immediate aftermath of the crash, a technical investigation has also commenced with the participation of United Nations, South Sudanese and Russian experts.

At this stage, the following facts have been established from these preliminary investigations:

• Experts who concluded the first stage of the investigation yesterday have uncovered evidence indicating that the aircraft was shot down;

• &nb! sp; UNMISS has confirmed that, during a phone call with a Mission’s staff member in Bentiu on 17 August, Peter Gadet, the commander of opposition forces in Unity State, alleged that UNMISS aircraft were being used to transport Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) troops and threatened to shoot down the Mission’s aircraft;

• The UNMISS staff member refuted the accusations and, to ensure the safety of its aircraft, UNMISS immediately started sharing information on all its flights into Bentiu with the opposition forces as well as the SPLA.

As the above facts are based on the findings of a pr eliminary probe, it is premature at this stage to conclusively apporti! on blame for the shooting down of the helicopter. A more in-depth technical investigation which is being conducted in compliance with international air safety standards, and an independent Board of Inquiry being established by the United Nations to look into the incident, should provide additional information which will make it possible to conclusively determine the source of the ground fire which brought down the helicopter.

UNMISS condemns this unprovoked and deadly attack on its personnel and aircraft in the strongest possible terms. As the Security Council emphasized, those responsible for the attack must be held accountable and all necessary measures to avoid such attacks in the future must be taken.

Sep 092014
 

MOGADISHU, Somalia, September 9, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia (SRSG), Nicholas Kay, condemned terrorist attacks in several locations in Somalia yesterday that resulted in the death and injury of many innocent civilians.

“I am appalled to learn of the murder of many innocent civilians killed in terrorist attacks yesterday. Yet again the proponents of violence show that they have nothing to offer but continued suffering for the Somali people. I call on all to co-operate fully with the authorities as they investigate these heinous crimes to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice swiftly,” SRSG Kay said.

“We remain resolute in our support for the Somali people as they work to realise their hope for a peaceful and stable future. This should be a time for reconciliation in the interests of all Somali people and I echo the Federal Government’s recent call for those prepared to renounce violence and join the political process,” he added.

SRSG Kay extends his sincere condolences to the families and friends of all those who have suffered as a result of the attacks.

Sep 092014
 

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, September 9, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, welcomes the release of two Algerian diplomats who had been kidnapped by the terrorist group “Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO)”, in April 2012.

The Chairperson of the Commission reiterates the strong condemnation by the AU of the abduction of the Algerian diplomats. She expresses the AU’s profound sympathy and conveys its sincere condolences to the families of the other two Algerian hostages who lost their lives during the period they were kidnapped by MUJAO, as well as to the Government and people of Algeria.

The Chairperson of the Commission once again expresses the strong condemnation by the AU of all acts of terrorism. She reaffirms the AU’s continued support to Algeria and to the other countries of the region in their individual and collective efforts to combat the threat that terrorism and transnational organized crime pose to peace and security in the sahelo-saharan region.

The Chairperson of the Commission recalls that, at its meeting held in Nairobi, on 2 September 2014, the Peace and Security Council adopted a number of practical measures to strengthen African collective action against the scourge of terrorism and transnational organized crime. She urges all AU Member States to work towards the timely implementation and effective of these measures.

Sep 092014
 

NAIROBI, Kenya, September 9, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ —

Merck is bringing international diabetes experts to eight African universities in seven Sub-Saharan countries

Merck (http://www.merckgroup.com), the world’s oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company has started its second year of its five year project to provide European Accredited Clinical Diabetes Management course for medical and pharmacy students in African Universities by introducing E-Learning.

The German pharmaceutical and chemical giant is implementing a well structured and coherent Corporate Social Responsibility strategy that features a medical education Africa tour to improve diabetes healthcare in Africa.

Logo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/merck_logo.jpg

Photo 1: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1349 (Dr Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp planting a tree under his name at University of Nairobi)

Photo 2: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1350 (Dr Stefan Oschmann and Prof Sidat Mohsin dean of mediacl school at Eduardo Mondelane University Mozambique)

At the beginning of September 2014, Merck Capacity Advancement Program (CAP) will kick off its second year of the Clinical Diabetes Management Program to medical and pharmacy students in University of Nairobi.

Merck will provide the same course to medical students of Makerere University, Uganda and University of Namibia.

At the end of September 2014, Merck CAP will provide the same course addressing chronic diseases management focusing on Diabetes and hypertension. The course will be offered in Portuguese by International and local professors to medical students at University Eduardo Mondlane, Mozambique and Katyavala Bwila University, Angola.

In November 2014, Merck will head to Tanzania where they will provide the clinical diabetes management course to medical students of Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Science before extending the same to University of Ghana and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana.

Every healthcare provider in those countries and the rest of Africa will have free access to all the lectures on a dedicated website www.managediabetesonline.org and will be able to undergo an assessment to obtain CME hours on line.

Dr Stefan Oschmann, Merck Pharma CEO emphasized “ Merck is supporting E- Health which can definitely contribute to bringing healthcare to unserved or underserved populations; increasing the effectiveness and reducing the costs of healthcare delivery; improving the effectiveness of public health programmes and research; preventing illness and managing and treating chronic diseases.”

“Merck is confident that supporting this E- learning platform for the diabetes educational program will definitely improve the access to innovative and high quality healthcare solution and disease awareness which will contribute significantly to the economical and social development in Africa”. He added.

Rasha Kelej, the head of Global Market Development and Business Responsibility of Merck Serono said, “Using the power of mobile and internet technologies to share information via SMS or dedicated website to healthcare providers and the general public across Africa especially in rural areas, will help to increase access to training, education and raise awareness on the issues of diabetes so that they learn to better prevent, diagnose and manage the disease, such as the websites for Africa Continues Medical Education ( CME) tour for physicians in rural areas- http://www.managediabetesonline.org “.

In 2014, Merck aims to reach 2,000 students and rural healthcare providers so that ultimately they become Diabetes ambassadors across Africa.

In 2015, the programme will be extended to more universities across Africa such as Nigeria and Ethiopia and in Asia such as Indonesia and India.

Merck Capacity Advancement Program – CAP aims to reach at least 9,000 students by 2018, with information on how to better diagnose, manage and prevent the deadly silent disease.

Diabetes is one of the rising killer diseases globally, claiming one life every eight seconds and a limb lost at every 30 seconds, according to reports from World Health Organization and the International Diabetes Federation (IDF).

The challenges faced by African countries in tackling diabetes are well known: services for the care of chronic diseases are poorly organized; public awareness about the diabetes is limited, and well-structured education programmes for patients and health professionals are not available

In addressing these challenges, Merck has shown consistent approach to their corporate social responsibility agenda in Africa since 2013.

In March 2013 – Merck Germany announced the launch of its Capacity Advancement Program (CAP) in Namibia. This was after conducting a stakeholders committee with the Principals, deans and faculty members of African universities on board to discuss the learning gaps of medical students and healthcare professional in their countries with special focus on diabetes. Dr Stefan Oschmann, Merck Pharma Chief Executive Officer chaired this committee at Namibia University.

Professor Isaac O. Kibwage, Principal of the College of Health Sciences University of Nairobi commented: “University of Nairobi is ready to support initiatives such as Merck’s Capacity Advancement Program and associate with other institutions whose overall objectives and goals are directed towards alleviating challenges in the provision of healthcare especially emerging diseases such as Diabetes”.

In October 2013, Merck set up an office in Nairobi, Kenya, with an aim of increasing its presence in the East African pharmaceutical market, reinforcing its interest in the Africa.

The Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Health, Mr James Macharia welcomed the strategic partnership with Merck and he applauded Merck for its Capacity Advancement Program – CAP that was launched earlier in the same year.

In late November 2013, Merck announced the launch of the first year of a European accredited clinical diabetes management programme as a part of the Merck Capacity Advancement Program (CAP) at the University of Nairobi (Kenya), Makerere University (Uganda) and the University of Namibia (Namibia). The program has reached more than 1000 students then.

Highlighting Merck’s ongoing commitment to raise the awareness s of diabetes in The Sub- Saharan Africa, in December 2013, Merck launched their first Diabetes awareness Campaign in Uganda and Kenya. The campaign dubbed , “Get Active Get Informed Get Healthier” has reached around 3,000 community members with free screening and education about how to prevent and manage diabetes by eating healthy & balanced diet, exercising regularly and taking their prescribed medication.

During the Diabetes Campaign, Eva Muchemi, Executive Director of the Diabetes Management and Information Centre (DMI) said “Merck has been dedicated to fight against diabetes via their Capacity Advancement Program and Diabetes awareness campaign. This is a great initiative that Diabetes Management and Information Centre (DMI) welcome,” she added.

In February 2014, Merck announced a strategic partnership with Mozambique Ministry of Health and launched their Diabetes Medical Education Program at Universidade Eduardo Mondlane as part of its Capacity Advancement Program in Mozambique.

Mozambique Minister of Health, Dr. Alexander Manguele applauded Merck for their entry to Mozambique market and for their CAP.

The Dean of medical school, Prof. Mohsin Sidat emphasized that Universidade Eduardo Mondlane is happy to partner with Merck to implement their Capacity Advancement Program (CAP) and to support chronic disease health care will help tackle the ever rising diabetes prevalence rate in Mozambique.

Late March 2014, the company launched an SMS diabetes awareness campaign in Uganda in partnership with Uganda Ministry of Health, the Makerere University and the Uganda Diabetes Association.

The SMS campaign will target patients and the general public, healthcare providers and medical students across Uganda, with a special focus on rural areas, and will work to provide information to better prevent, diagnose and manage the disease.

Uganda Minster of State of Health, Sarah Opendi informed the gathering that sharing information via SMS to healthcare providers and the general public across Uganda especially in rural areas will help raise awareness on the issues of diabetes so that they learn to better prevent, diagnose and manage the disease.

“Merck’s initiative to utilize mobile technology in order to promote public awareness and early detection of the disease will strengthen health systems by improving their capacity to effectively prevent and control NCDs,” she added.

“Because of the lack of awareness on disease symptoms many diabetes patients are diagnosed late when they have already developed complications such as blindness, foot ulcers, gangrene, heart diseases etc. Merck is dedicated to fight diabetes via its Capacity Advancement Program and Diabetes awareness campaigns. This is a great initiative that we welcome,” said Dr. William Lumuh, the President of the Uganda Diabetes Association.

Merck has also signed a (memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Makerere University in order to establish a scientific collaboration in the Research and Development field. “This is part of our commitment to advancing healthcare capacity and providing sustainable access to high-quality health solutions and safe medicines in Africa,” explained Dr Kai Beckmann, Member of the Executive Board and Chief Administration Officer of Merck.

In April 2014, Merck launched its Capacity Advancement Program in Ghana. The German Company has successfully formed a strategic partnership with University Of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah University, Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana, Ghana Medical Association and Ghana National Association of Diabetes in order to contribute to the country’s social and economic development.

During his visit to University of Ghana, Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp, Chairman of the Executive Board and Family Board of E. Merck KG and member of the Merck family, said: “Merck is pleased to launch the Merck Capacity Advancement Program in Ghana as part of our commitment to building healthcare capacity in Africa”.

The President of Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana Pharm-PSGH, James Ohemeng Kyei emphasized that the PSGH is proud to participate actively in the 5-year Merck Capacity Advancement Program (CAP) which will improve the accessibility and capacity of diabetes healthcare in Ghana. He said: “The partnership with Merck to implement the Capacity Advancement Program in Ghana and to support chronic disease healthcare will help us to tackle the ever rising diabetes prevalence rate.”

The President of Ghana National Association for Diabetes, Elizabeth Esi Denyoh, explained: “There is unknown number of people who died from lack of proper management, coupled with ignorance of the disease in Ghana. Therefore it is an evident that with such support diabetes will be better managed and even preventable as information on the disease spreads across the nation.”

Dean of Medical School of university of Ghana, Prof. Jennifer Welbeck, stated that we are looking forward to the clinical diabetes management course that will provide Diabetes awareness to our undergraduates and healthcare providers across in Ghana.

The course will run in November 2014 in both Accra and Kumasi targeting more than 1000 students and Healthcare providers.

Elcin Ergun, the Head of Global Commercial Operation of Merck Serono, explained: “We are fully committed to partner with Governments, Universities, Healthcare institutions and Patients Associations in Ghana and the rest of Africa to develop and deliver solutions to expand healthcare capacities and improve access to health as part of the Merck Capacity Advancement Program”.

Merck is now the key partner of Communities, Academia and local authorities, several Public Private Partnerships with national and local stakeholders have been built to ensure the successful implementation and outcomes delivery of the program.

Rasha kelej , emphasized “It is very disturbing to know that such silent deadly disease has found its way to Africa and had a such huge economic and social burden on the continent. Africa has its share of communicable and NTDs therefore its healthcare system is built to only tackle them”

She added “Merck plays a great role to build healthcare capacity in Africa with special focus on diabetes and chronic diseases. It is clear that if not addressed as a matter of urgency, diabetes, will soon threaten the economic viability of Africa. And sadly, many people who survive HIV and AIDS may die of diabetes”.

The lack of financial means is not the only challenge in Africa, but a scarcity of trained health care personnel capable to tackle the prevention, diagnosis and management of diabetes at all levels of the health care systems.

Dr Stefan Oschmann, Merck Pharma CEO stated; “Merck has longstanding experience in managing this disease. Therefore, we are willing to share our knowledge with healthcare practitioners and medical and pharmacy students in Africa. On this we are partnering with Ministries of health, Health science universities, local research institutions, patient associations, community and media in supporting the development of the educational program to cover all the learning gaps of the disease management.”

According to IDF, The number of people with diabetes in Africa would double by 2035. The proportion of deaths due to diabetes in people under 60ys old in Africa is 76% and 46% of people living with diabetes are still undiagnosed.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Merck KGaA.

Media contact:

Rasha Kelej,

Vice President, Head of Global Business Responsibility, Market Development and Customer Centricity.

Merck Serono

Merck – Living Innovation

P.O.Box 22730, Dubai

United Arab Emirates

Tel : +97144330831

Mbl : +971 55 1049659

Email : rasha.kelej@merckgroup.com

For More Information:

Merck (http://www.merckgroup.com) is a leading company for innovative and top-quality high-tech products in the pharmaceutical and chemical sectors. With its four divisions Merck Serono, Consumer Health, Performance Materials and Merck Millipore, Merck generated total revenues of € 11.1 billion in 2013. Around 38,000 Merck employees work in 66 countries to improve the quality of life for patients, to further the success of customers and to help meet global challenges. Merck is the world’s oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company – since 1668, the company has stood for innovation, business success and responsible entrepreneurship. Holding an approximately 70 percent interest, the founding family remains the majority owner of the company to this day. Merck, Darmstadt, Germany is holding the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are Canada and the United States, where the company is

Visit Merck Website: http://www.merckgroup.com

Sep 092014
 

NAIROBI, Kenya, September 9, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ —

Merck is bringing international diabetes experts to eight African universities in seven Sub-Saharan countries

Merck (http://www.merckgroup.com), the world’s oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company has started its second year of its five year project to provide European Accredited Clinical Diabetes Management course for medical and pharmacy students in African Universities by introducing E-Learning.

The German pharmaceutical and chemical giant is implementing a well structured and coherent Corporate Social Responsibility strategy that features a medical education Africa tour to improve diabetes healthcare in Africa.

Logo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/merck_logo.jpg

Photo 1: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1349 (Dr Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp planting a tree under his name at University of Nairobi)

Photo 2: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1350 (Dr Stefan Oschmann and Prof Sidat Mohsin dean of mediacl school at Eduardo Mondelane University Mozambique)

At the beginning of September 2014, Merck Capacity Advancement Program (CAP) will kick off its second year of the Clinical Diabetes Management Program to medical and pharmacy students in University of Nairobi.

Merck will provide the same course to medical students of Makerere University, Uganda and University of Namibia.

At the end of September 2014, Merck CAP will provide the same course addressing chronic diseases management focusing on Diabetes and hypertension. The course will be offered in Portuguese by International and local professors to medical students at University Eduardo Mondlane, Mozambique and Katyavala Bwila University, Angola.

In November 2014, Merck will head to Tanzania where they will provide the clinical diabetes management course to medical students of Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Science before extending the same to University of Ghana and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana.

Every healthcare provider in those countries and the rest of Africa will have free access to all the lectures on a dedicated website www.managediabetesonline.org and will be able to undergo an assessment to obtain CME hours on line.

Dr Stefan Oschmann, Merck Pharma CEO emphasized “ Merck is supporting E- Health which can definitely contribute to bringing healthcare to unserved or underserved populations; increasing the effectiveness and reducing the costs of healthcare delivery; improving the effectiveness of public health programmes and research; preventing illness and managing and treating chronic diseases.”

“Merck is confident that supporting this E- learning platform for the diabetes educational program will definitely improve the access to innovative and high quality healthcare solution and disease awareness which will contribute significantly to the economical and social development in Africa”. He added.

Rasha Kelej, the head of Global Market Development and Business Responsibility of Merck Serono said, “Using the power of mobile and internet technologies to share information via SMS or dedicated website to healthcare providers and the general public across Africa especially in rural areas, will help to increase access to training, education and raise awareness on the issues of diabetes so that they learn to better prevent, diagnose and manage the disease, such as the websites for Africa Continues Medical Education ( CME) tour for physicians in rural areas- http://www.managediabetesonline.org “.

In 2014, Merck aims to reach 2,000 students and rural healthcare providers so that ultimately they become Diabetes ambassadors across Africa.

In 2015, the programme will be extended to more universities across Africa such as Nigeria and Ethiopia and in Asia such as Indonesia and India.

Merck Capacity Advancement Program – CAP aims to reach at least 9,000 students by 2018, with information on how to better diagnose, manage and prevent the deadly silent disease.

Diabetes is one of the rising killer diseases globally, claiming one life every eight seconds and a limb lost at every 30 seconds, according to reports from World Health Organization and the International Diabetes Federation (IDF).

The challenges faced by African countries in tackling diabetes are well known: services for the care of chronic diseases are poorly organized; public awareness about the diabetes is limited, and well-structured education programmes for patients and health professionals are not available

In addressing these challenges, Merck has shown consistent approach to their corporate social responsibility agenda in Africa since 2013.

In March 2013 – Merck Germany announced the launch of its Capacity Advancement Program (CAP) in Namibia. This was after conducting a stakeholders committee with the Principals, deans and faculty members of African universities on board to discuss the learning gaps of medical students and healthcare professional in their countries with special focus on diabetes. Dr Stefan Oschmann, Merck Pharma Chief Executive Officer chaired this committee at Namibia University.

Professor Isaac O. Kibwage, Principal of the College of Health Sciences University of Nairobi commented: “University of Nairobi is ready to support initiatives such as Merck’s Capacity Advancement Program and associate with other institutions whose overall objectives and goals are directed towards alleviating challenges in the provision of healthcare especially emerging diseases such as Diabetes”.

In October 2013, Merck set up an office in Nairobi, Kenya, with an aim of increasing its presence in the East African pharmaceutical market, reinforcing its interest in the Africa.

The Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Health, Mr James Macharia welcomed the strategic partnership with Merck and he applauded Merck for its Capacity Advancement Program – CAP that was launched earlier in the same year.

In late November 2013, Merck announced the launch of the first year of a European accredited clinical diabetes management programme as a part of the Merck Capacity Advancement Program (CAP) at the University of Nairobi (Kenya), Makerere University (Uganda) and the University of Namibia (Namibia). The program has reached more than 1000 students then.

Highlighting Merck’s ongoing commitment to raise the awareness s of diabetes in The Sub- Saharan Africa, in December 2013, Merck launched their first Diabetes awareness Campaign in Uganda and Kenya. The campaign dubbed , “Get Active Get Informed Get Healthier” has reached around 3,000 community members with free screening and education about how to prevent and manage diabetes by eating healthy & balanced diet, exercising regularly and taking their prescribed medication.

During the Diabetes Campaign, Eva Muchemi, Executive Director of the Diabetes Management and Information Centre (DMI) said “Merck has been dedicated to fight against diabetes via their Capacity Advancement Program and Diabetes awareness campaign. This is a great initiative that Diabetes Management and Information Centre (DMI) welcome,” she added.

In February 2014, Merck announced a strategic partnership with Mozambique Ministry of Health and launched their Diabetes Medical Education Program at Universidade Eduardo Mondlane as part of its Capacity Advancement Program in Mozambique.

Mozambique Minister of Health, Dr. Alexander Manguele applauded Merck for their entry to Mozambique market and for their CAP.

The Dean of medical school, Prof. Mohsin Sidat emphasized that Universidade Eduardo Mondlane is happy to partner with Merck to implement their Capacity Advancement Program (CAP) and to support chronic disease health care will help tackle the ever rising diabetes prevalence rate in Mozambique.

Late March 2014, the company launched an SMS diabetes awareness campaign in Uganda in partnership with Uganda Ministry of Health, the Makerere University and the Uganda Diabetes Association.

The SMS campaign will target patients and the general public, healthcare providers and medical students across Uganda, with a special focus on rural areas, and will work to provide information to better prevent, diagnose and manage the disease.

Uganda Minster of State of Health, Sarah Opendi informed the gathering that sharing information via SMS to healthcare providers and the general public across Uganda especially in rural areas will help raise awareness on the issues of diabetes so that they learn to better prevent, diagnose and manage the disease.

“Merck’s initiative to utilize mobile technology in order to promote public awareness and early detection of the disease will strengthen health systems by improving their capacity to effectively prevent and control NCDs,” she added.

“Because of the lack of awareness on disease symptoms many diabetes patients are diagnosed late when they have already developed complications such as blindness, foot ulcers, gangrene, heart diseases etc. Merck is dedicated to fight diabetes via its Capacity Advancement Program and Diabetes awareness campaigns. This is a great initiative that we welcome,” said Dr. William Lumuh, the President of the Uganda Diabetes Association.

Merck has also signed a (memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Makerere University in order to establish a scientific collaboration in the Research and Development field. “This is part of our commitment to advancing healthcare capacity and providing sustainable access to high-quality health solutions and safe medicines in Africa,” explained Dr Kai Beckmann, Member of the Executive Board and Chief Administration Officer of Merck.

In April 2014, Merck launched its Capacity Advancement Program in Ghana. The German Company has successfully formed a strategic partnership with University Of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah University, Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana, Ghana Medical Association and Ghana National Association of Diabetes in order to contribute to the country’s social and economic development.

During his visit to University of Ghana, Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp, Chairman of the Executive Board and Family Board of E. Merck KG and member of the Merck family, said: “Merck is pleased to launch the Merck Capacity Advancement Program in Ghana as part of our commitment to building healthcare capacity in Africa”.

The President of Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana Pharm-PSGH, James Ohemeng Kyei emphasized that the PSGH is proud to participate actively in the 5-year Merck Capacity Advancement Program (CAP) which will improve the accessibility and capacity of diabetes healthcare in Ghana. He said: “The partnership with Merck to implement the Capacity Advancement Program in Ghana and to support chronic disease healthcare will help us to tackle the ever rising diabetes prevalence rate.”

The President of Ghana National Association for Diabetes, Elizabeth Esi Denyoh, explained: “There is unknown number of people who died from lack of proper management, coupled with ignorance of the disease in Ghana. Therefore it is an evident that with such support diabetes will be better managed and even preventable as information on the disease spreads across the nation.”

Dean of Medical School of university of Ghana, Prof. Jennifer Welbeck, stated that we are looking forward to the clinical diabetes management course that will provide Diabetes awareness to our undergraduates and healthcare providers across in Ghana.

The course will run in November 2014 in both Accra and Kumasi targeting more than 1000 students and Healthcare providers.

Elcin Ergun, the Head of Global Commercial Operation of Merck Serono, explained: “We are fully committed to partner with Governments, Universities, Healthcare institutions and Patients Associations in Ghana and the rest of Africa to develop and deliver solutions to expand healthcare capacities and improve access to health as part of the Merck Capacity Advancement Program”.

Merck is now the key partner of Communities, Academia and local authorities, several Public Private Partnerships with national and local stakeholders have been built to ensure the successful implementation and outcomes delivery of the program.

Rasha kelej , emphasized “It is very disturbing to know that such silent deadly disease has found its way to Africa and had a such huge economic and social burden on the continent. Africa has its share of communicable and NTDs therefore its healthcare system is built to only tackle them”

She added “Merck plays a great role to build healthcare capacity in Africa with special focus on diabetes and chronic diseases. It is clear that if not addressed as a matter of urgency, diabetes, will soon threaten the economic viability of Africa. And sadly, many people who survive HIV and AIDS may die of diabetes”.

The lack of financial means is not the only challenge in Africa, but a scarcity of trained health care personnel capable to tackle the prevention, diagnosis and management of diabetes at all levels of the health care systems.

Dr Stefan Oschmann, Merck Pharma CEO stated; “Merck has longstanding experience in managing this disease. Therefore, we are willing to share our knowledge with healthcare practitioners and medical and pharmacy students in Africa. On this we are partnering with Ministries of health, Health science universities, local research institutions, patient associations, community and media in supporting the development of the educational program to cover all the learning gaps of the disease management.”

According to IDF, The number of people with diabetes in Africa would double by 2035. The proportion of deaths due to diabetes in people under 60ys old in Africa is 76% and 46% of people living with diabetes are still undiagnosed.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Merck KGaA.

Media contact:

Rasha Kelej,

Vice President, Head of Global Business Responsibility, Market Development and Customer Centricity.

Merck Serono

Merck – Living Innovation

P.O.Box 22730, Dubai

United Arab Emirates

Tel : +97144330831

Mbl : +971 55 1049659

Email : rasha.kelej@merckgroup.com

For More Information:

Merck (http://www.merckgroup.com) is a leading company for innovative and top-quality high-tech products in the pharmaceutical and chemical sectors. With its four divisions Merck Serono, Consumer Health, Performance Materials and Merck Millipore, Merck generated total revenues of € 11.1 billion in 2013. Around 38,000 Merck employees work in 66 countries to improve the quality of life for patients, to further the success of customers and to help meet global challenges. Merck is the world’s oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company – since 1668, the company has stood for innovation, business success and responsible entrepreneurship. Holding an approximately 70 percent interest, the founding family remains the majority owner of the company to this day. Merck, Darmstadt, Germany is holding the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are Canada and the United States, where the company is

Visit Merck Website: http://www.merckgroup.com

Sep 092014
 

DAKAR, Senegal, September 9, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — APO (African Press Organization) (http://www.apo-opa.com), The press release newswire in Africa and the global leader in media relations relating to Africa, today announced the introduction of a social media analysis reporting for press releases in Africa.

Screenshot: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1348 (A useful tool to visualize geographical break down of Africa’s demographic conversations about a press release – all on a map of Africa to give a snapshot)

Logo : http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/apo-african-press-organization-small.png

Photo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=782 (Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard, Founder and CEO of APO (African Press Organization)

A full social media analysis reporting will now be included as a complimentary service to answer clients needs to measuring the social media response to their press releases throughout Africa.

The comprehensive report will offer figures on social media volume on the continent, geographic location, major influencers, sentiment and other data, giving clients factors to analyze specifically within social conversations, virality, and sharing volume.

“The social media analytics reports will enable our clients issuing press releases to measure their social media in Africa. With that information they can gather sentiment analysis, and identify major influencers and geographical hotspots. This added service enables clients to identify and engage with influencers in Africa and to interact with their followers,” said Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard Founder and CEO of APO (African Press Organization).

The conversation generated on social media in response to a press release gives a unique perspective, which is what APO’s social media analytic report monitors. It is composed of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google+, Delicious, Reddit, Vimeo, Flickr and more than three million RSS feeds. These valuable analytics, not just raw data, Measure the success of a press release which then reflects on volume, the matrixes posts made about the press release, When they happened and Who read /posted them.

The report includes the reach and spread of the potential primary and secondary audience of posts about the release as well as the degree to which the press release influenced the intended audience based on a Klout score (https://klout.com/corp/score). The report indicates the key words and phrases that appear most often in conjunction with the press release. It provides a useful tool to visualize geographical break down of Africa’s demographic conversations about the press release – all on a map of Africa to give a snapshot.

APO is the creator of Africa Wire®, the newswire service for press release distribution and monitoring in Africa. This reaches over 50,000 media outlets, bloggers and social networks, and redistributes content to more than 50 African websites, as well as to Bloomberg Terminal, Thomson Reuters, Lexis Nexis, Dow Jones Factiva, 250 million mobile subscribers in 30 countries, and more.

Used by some of the world’s top companies, PR agencies, institutions and organizations, APO Africa Wire® has a potential reach of 600 million and guarantees the most extensive outreach in Africa, where clients can directly target audiences in all corners of the continent and to the world.

More information about Africa Wire®, the service for newswire press release distribution in Africa, is available at http://www.apo-opa.com/services.php

Contact:

Aïssatou Diallo

bdm@apo-opa.org

+41 22 534 96 97

About APO

APO (African Press Organization) (http://www.apo-opa.com) is the sole press release newswire in Africa and is a global leader in media relations relating to Africa.

With offices in Senegal, Switzerland, Dubai, Hong Kong, India, and Seychelles, APO owns a media database of over 100,000 contacts and is the main online community for Africa-related news.

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Sep 092014
 

GENEVA, Switzerland, September 9, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The ongoing crisis in the Central African Republic (CAR) has brought the country’s economy to a near standstill. IOM is responding with support from the European Union (EU) by partnering with local communities to offer cash-for-work activities to help restart individual economic livelihoods in the capital of Bangui.

Cash-for-work teams perform various types of work, including cleaning rain gutters, markets and canals, waste management, and street and bridge repairs in Bangui’s first, third, and fifth districts.

Cash-for-work teams are composed of 750 people representing diverse ethnic, religious, and professional backgrounds. Half of the participants are women. Each team works for 10 days and each participant earns USD 50 at the end of the working period.

Esther, a cash-for-work beneficiary, started a small business selling donuts with the money she earned from the project. She shares her work space with two other cash-for-work beneficiaries, who all come from different ethnic and religious groups.

Esther said: “We thought it would be best if we rented this small place together. Now all of our families and friends visit us and buy our food. It is best for our business this way. I think we are a good example for the community. It is not necessary to fight in order for people to receive food. Hopefully the situation will continue to stabilize and more people will come to buy our food.”

IOM works closely with local authorities, under the guidance of the Ministry of Planning, to identify participants for the cash-for-work programme. Community meetings are held in each district to endorse clean-up projects to be undertaken, the community members who will participate, and the procedure for recruiting them. By engaging directly with local authorities, IOM intends to strengthen the relationships between local authorities and their constituents.

Some 5,050 people have participated in IOM cash-for-work projects since March and to date, cash-for-work teams have worked on over 35 infrastructure projects in the three districts.

One cash-for-work beneficiary, a former fighter with the anti-Balaka militia said: “I am here to work to bring peace back to my country. We want reconciliation. I have laid down my weapons and want to help re-establish the country along with others who have given up fighting. We don’t want anything bad anymore.”

IOM’s cash-for-work programme is part of the EU-funded Community Stabilization project. It began in March 2014 and will run for 18 months. The project has three components: cash for work, infrastructure projects in mixed communities, and the promotion of social cohesion among communities who have suffered extreme violence.

Sep 092014
 

GENEVA, Switzerland, September 9, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The ongoing crisis in the Central African Republic (CAR) has brought the country’s economy to a near standstill. IOM is responding with support from the European Union (EU) by partnering with local communities to offer cash-for-work activities to help restart individual economic livelihoods in the capital of Bangui.

Cash-for-work teams perform various types of work, including cleaning rain gutters, markets and canals, waste management, and street and bridge repairs in Bangui’s first, third, and fifth districts.

Cash-for-work teams are composed of 750 people representing diverse ethnic, religious, and professional backgrounds. Half of the participants are women. Each team works for 10 days and each participant earns USD 50 at the end of the working period.

Esther, a cash-for-work beneficiary, started a small business selling donuts with the money she earned from the project. She shares her work space with two other cash-for-work beneficiaries, who all come from different ethnic and religious groups.

Esther said: “We thought it would be best if we rented this small place together. Now all of our families and friends visit us and buy our food. It is best for our business this way. I think we are a good example for the community. It is not necessary to fight in order for people to receive food. Hopefully the situation will continue to stabilize and more people will come to buy our food.”

IOM works closely with local authorities, under the guidance of the Ministry of Planning, to identify participants for the cash-for-work programme. Community meetings are held in each district to endorse clean-up projects to be undertaken, the community members who will participate, and the procedure for recruiting them. By engaging directly with local authorities, IOM intends to strengthen the relationships between local authorities and their constituents.

Some 5,050 people have participated in IOM cash-for-work projects since March and to date, cash-for-work teams have worked on over 35 infrastructure projects in the three districts.

One cash-for-work beneficiary, a former fighter with the anti-Balaka militia said: “I am here to work to bring peace back to my country. We want reconciliation. I have laid down my weapons and want to help re-establish the country along with others who have given up fighting. We don’t want anything bad anymore.”

IOM’s cash-for-work programme is part of the EU-funded Community Stabilization project. It began in March 2014 and will run for 18 months. The project has three components: cash for work, infrastructure projects in mixed communities, and the promotion of social cohesion among communities who have suffered extreme violence.

Sep 092014
 

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, September 9, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Commission of the African Union (AU) is concerned by the report entitled “The Power These Men Have Over Us: Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA) by African Union Forces in Somalia”, issued today by Human Rights Watch (HRW). The Commission takes note of the allegations contained therein. These allegations will be thoroughly investigated, and appropriate measures will be taken if they are found to be true, through the relevant mechanisms that have been developed by the AU to prevent and respond to issues of misconduct and abuse in peace support operations, in accordance with the AU’s zero-tolerance policy on this matter.

The Commission would also like to emphasize that these allegations do not define the character, organizational culture and management of the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), currently one of the largest peace support operations in the world. Accordingly, the portrayal of the Mission and the general conclusions drawn from the allegations against it, as reflected in the title of the HRW report, constitute a misrepresentation of the sacrifices, achievements and genuine commitment of AMISOM and the Troop and Police Contributing Countries (TCCs/PCCs), in support of the people and the Federal Government of Somalia in their quest for sustainable peace, security, stability and reconciliation. In 2014 alone, AMISOM recovered more than 14 new areas from the Al-Qaeda-linked terrorist group Al Shaabab, and opened up Main Supply Routes (MSRs) for the delivery of humanitarian assistance to areas that had been unreachable by humanitarian agencies for extended periods of time.

The Commission notes with deep concern the imbalance, inaccuracies and partial view contained in the HRW report. In this respect, the Commission would like to highlight the following points:

(i) Firstly, the HRW report uses a small number of cases to arrive at a generalized conclusion. The HRW report claims that it has documented 21 alleged cases of sexual exploitation and rape. It further states that a single soldier carried out most of these acts. The generalization contained in the report does not reflect the highest professional standards with which the overwhelming majority of AMISOM uniformed personnel have continued to discharge their responsibilities.

(ii) Secondly, it is contradictory that the HRW makes sweeping general assertions about AMISOM culpability yet admits that its research did not exhaustively interrogate the scale and prevalence of these allegations. Furthermore, it would have been extremely helpful for HRW to present, even if in confidence, important facts and evidence to the senior leadership of the AU Commission and indeed to AMISOM, who would then have been in a position to conduct an in-depth investigation into this matter. This request was made by AMISOM in a letter to HRW on 3 June 2014, and there was an opportunity to fulfill this request during a meeting between the AU Commission and HRW on 5 September 2014. HRW’s failure to engage constructively with AMISOM and the AU Commission regarding the disclosure of evidence of wrongdoing, despite the AU’s willingness to do so, undermines the spirit of cooperation that would ensure the prevention and response to such allegations, in an effective manner.

(iii) Thirdly, the HRW report lacks coherence in its account of AU’s efforts to prevent and respond to SEA allegations in the Mission area. On one hand, the report argues that AMISOM leadership overlooks allegations of sexual misconduct. On the other hand, it makes mention of ongoing efforts to tackle allegations by citing the case of the deployment of a Ugandan Divisional Court Martial within Somalia to deal with SEA allegations. The HRW report also alludes to the fact that a Ugandan soldier is facing a court martial in Uganda for a sexual offence committed while serving in Somalia.

The Commission also notes with regret the factual inaccuracies of some of the claims made in this report. For instance, the HRW report states that all AMISOM staff, including locally-recruited Somalis, are immune from prosecution for criminal acts committed in their official capacity and that, as such, no action is taken against alleged perpetrators of rape and SEA. In this regard, the AU would like to stress that immunity is conferred only with regard to civil matters involving AMISOM personnel, including AMISOM national staff. The Commission takes strong exception to the insinuation that persons allegedly involved in SEA and rape are afforded official protection for such crimes. The HRW report ignores tools and mechanisms such as the Status of Mission Agreement (SOMA) signed between the AU Commission and the Somali Government and the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the AU and TCCs/PCCs that contain provisions that address issues relating to transgressions.

The 2012 Report by an Independent Panel of Expert on the situation of human rights in Somalia, which was constituted by the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council in Geneva, departs from the assessment and conclusions of the HRW report regarding AMISOM compliance with the UN Human Rights Due Diligence Policy. Specifically, the Experts’ report notes that “Regular training of AMISOM forces on humanitarian and human rights laws had yielded positive results, including in regard to the prevention of conflict-related sexual violence” (A/ HRC/21/61, 13 August 2012, paragraph 20).

The Commission would like to use this opportunity to re-iterate that internal mechanisms have been established to prevent, mitigate and discipline personnel that may have committed sexual exploitation and abuse in AMISOM and in other AU’s peace operations. These preventive measures include pre-deployment training for all AMISOM uniformed personnel before their deployment into the Mission area. Robust training packages cover SEA, gender-based violence, obligations with regard to International Humanitarian Law, International Human Rights Law and International Refugee Law, amongst others. Such training also includes AMISOM Military Rules of Engagement and Police Guidelines on Use of Firearms as they relate to women, children and other vulnerable groups. This training is conducted in conjunction with the United Nations.

Other preventive measures include: release of Force Commander’s Directive on Conduct of Military Actions; in-Mission refresher training covering the same subjects and/or recent developments on the same; establishment of Gender Focal Points in the various contingents; development of a conduct and discipline capacity in the Peace Support Operations Division of the Peace and Security Department of the Commission; and the strengthening of AMISOM Human Rights, Protection and Gender Unit.

AMISOM has also established mitigating measures such as the institution of a Board of Inquiry (BoI), at both contingent and headquarters levels, and the establishment of a Disciplinary Board, especially where there are alleged cases of sexual harassment by AMISOM national and internationally recruited personnel.

These existing mechanisms are being enhanced further to ensure greater effectiveness and accountability. In this respect, the Commission welcomes some of the HRW recommendations that could be considered as part of AU’s efforts to strengthen existing mechanisms. The introduction of in-country divisional Court Martials in Somalia by all TCCs/PCCs, finalization of the SEA policy document and enhanced information sharing between the TCCs and the AU Commission on prosecutions will be given due consideration.

The Commission wishes to reiterate its appreciation to all the TCCs/PCCs, as well as to the AMISOM civilian personnel and leadership, for their huge sacrifices and unwavering commitment to support the FGS and other Somali stakeholders, in their efforts to bring about lasting peace, security, stability and reconciliation in Somalia.