OSLO, Norway -- Norway is to lead the effort to ensure that the global activities to fight the Covid-19 pandemic are as effective as possible. Together with South Africa, Norway has been chosen to co-chair the Facilitation Council for the Access to Covid-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, which has been set up to promote equitable access to Covid-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines.‘If we are to succeed in beating this pandemic, we must make sure that this work is as effective as possible. I can’t think of anything more important right now than ensuring equitable access to vaccines, tests and treatments,’ said Minister of International Development Dag-Inge Ulstein. A core group of countries and international actors was set up in response to the G20 leaders’ statement calling for actions to promo...
GENEVA, Switzerland, September 7, 2020/ -- The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the greatest disruption of education systems in history, affecting 1.6 billion learners. Refugee children and youth were already at a grave disadvantage before the pandemic: they are twice as likely to be out of school as their non-refugee peers and their educational options dramatically reduced after primary school. The latest UNHCR Education Report warns that COVID-19 threatens to reverse hard-won gains in refugee education and destroy the ambitions of tens of thousands of refugees.
Coordinated action of all stakeholders, including the private sector, is crucial to minimize the risk of refugee children and youth being left behind. Many struggle to adapt to at-home learning as they lack appropriate h...
NEW YORK, United States of America -- Zahra Abdirisak, 24, qualified as a midwife in 2017 from Mogadishu Midwifery School which receives technical and financial support from UNFPA. She has since been playing her role as a midwife; being the primary caregiver for women and their newborns during pregnancy, labour, childbirth and in the post-delivery period.
"My role mainly focuses on contributing to saving the lives of mothers, and they're newborn. I also work on providing comprehensive sexual and reproductive health information and services, including antenatal care, safe delivery care, and postpartum and post-natal care," Zahra explained.
Zahra works at De Martino Hospital, a central public health facility located in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia. It is managed by the Ministry o...
The Embassy of the Republic of Uganda in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia has successfully repatriated a total of 322 Ugandan Nationals and legal residents who have been stranded in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
This is the fifth repatriation exercise the Embassy has undertaken with the first four having taken place on 22nd, 28th July, 12th August and 3rd September 2020 respectively which ensured that over 1000 Ugandans and legal residents in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Oman returned home safely.
The Embassy undertook the registration process of Ugandan Nationals who were stranded in the Jeddah a province in Saudi Arabia and coordinated their return aboard Saudi Airlines.
The flight no. SV 7842 departed King Adulaziz International Airport at 2:00pm and arrived at Ent...
Ministry of Health has admitted to mismanagement of COVID-19 test results being released by laboratories. The ministry says about 679 people were given wrong COVID-19 results. Some people were both positive and negative.
“Some people claim to have received two different result slips, one indicating positive and the other negative. Others claim to have taken two different samples on the same day and these give different results,” said Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, the Health Minister.
Aceng revealed that to clean the mess, only 12 health facilities have been accredited and their staff trained to carry out proper COVID-19 testing.
Nine of the facilities are owned by the government and these include; UVRI, Central Public Health Laboratories, Makerere University College of Health Sciences Labo...
KAMPALA – Former Radio Maria Coordinator Sr Irene Lucy Onyai has succumbed to Coronavirus.
According to a post on Radio Maria’s official facebook page, Sr Onyai died on Friday, September 4, 2020 at Mulago hospital.
Former Radio Maria Coordinator Sr Irene Lucy Onyai who succumbed to Coronavirus.
“Sr Irene had been admitted a few days ago at Rubaga Hospital with breathing problems,” reads the post in part.
According to Radio Maria, she was tested for Covid-19 and found negative, but two days ago she was found positive and transferred to Mulago Hospital for better management.
She was a member of the Social Communications Commission and Radio Sapientia Board representing Gulu Ecclesiastical Province.
Uganda’s coronavirus death toll is at 35 as two fatalities were confirmed o...
GENEVA, Switzerland -- While all education experts agree that it is urgent and essential that children across the African continent return to school quickly and safely, education policy makers face the dual challenge of getting children back into school and planning for the long-term consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In West & Central Africa, there was an education crisis even before the coronavirus pandemic. The region has the lowest school enrolment rates in the world. Now, according to Save the Children latest report, Save Our Education, almost 10 million children worldwide may never return to school following Covid-19 lockdown - up to a third of them could be in West & Central Africa.
The tragedy for millions of children is ...
KAMPALA, Uganda -- When the World Health Organization (WHO), declared the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) outbreak a global pandemic, on 11th March 2020, many Ugandans didn’t take it seriously with many saying it was a disease for the affluent, the very high class or for developed countries.
As the disease ravaged the entire world, Ugandans were awakened when the first COVID-19 case in Uganda was confirmed on 24th March 2020. The country was locked down, fear and anxiety set in. Many people practised the prevention and control guidelines announced by the Ministry of Health and abided by the Presidential directives.
As the number of cases increased, many deaths were expected across the country. It didn’t happen and patients most without any known COVID-19 symptoms were discharge...
Health Minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng has revealed that the ministry is lately finding it hard to transport individuals confirmed to have COVID-19 in the Kampala business district.
Aceng said that right now a backlog of 350 people who have tested positive for COVID19 around Kampala are yet to be transported to hospitals for treatment.
Aceng explained that the heavy traffic and congestion in Kampala has made it very difficult for them to manoeuvre to the different parts of the city and pick the patients as quick as possible. She claimed that plans are being discussed with the Transport Ministry and Internal Affairs Ministry on how they can solve the issue.
Poor handling of result is other challenge the ministry is facing. Aceng said the concerned departments are failing to inde...
CAPE TOWN, South Africa, September 3, 2020/ -- President Cyril Ramaphosa has welcomed the launch of the Bluetooth-enabled mobile application, COVID Alert South Africa, which will strengthen South Africa’s contact tracing efforts.
Global experience has demonstrated the risk of a resurgence of infections, or a “second wave,” once restrictions on social and economic activity are lifted. While the trajectory of the epidemic in South Africa has stabilised, such a resurgence remains a real and present danger in our own country.
The most effective way to achieve suppression of the virus and prevent outbreaks from occurring again is to identify positive cases and trace and isolate their contacts as quickly as possible, in order to break the chain of transmission.
COVID Alert South Africa...
Rome, 3 September 2020 – Sweden, through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), has pledged funds to help avert a potential food crisis in some of the world’s most vulnerable rural communities in the wake of COVID-19, the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) announced today.
SEK 50 million (approximately US$5.7 million) will be committed to IFAD’s Rural Poor Stimulus Facility which was launched in April by IFAD’s Goodwill Ambassadors, Idris and Sabrina Elba. The Facility is supporting small-scale farmers and rural producers to continue to grow and sell food despite COVID-19 restrictions in movement and trade, by providing timely access to agricultural inputs, information, markets and liquidity.
“We would like ...
MAPUTO, Mozambique -- Attacks on towns and villages in Mozambique’s northern province of Cabo Delgado have intensified, forcing thousands of people to flee by foot, boat or road to the provincial capital, a COVID-19 hotspot where the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) helped build the country’s largest treatment centre that opened yesterday.Families have arrived in Pemba exhausted and traumatized after leaving their homes with few or no possessions, with more expected to possibly arrive in the coming weeks who fled recent attacks in Mocímboa da Praia and other parts of the province.“People fleeing armed conflict in Mozambique are trading this life-threatening danger for the risk of COVID. The new treatment centre will help the community respond to the health crisis, but these...
NEW YORK, United States of America -- The UN and its partners are supporting the Sudanese Government as it responds to recent severe flooding, which has killed 90 people and affected 380,000 others, the UN humanitarian affairs office, OCHA, said on Tuesday.
The flooding was triggered by heavy seasonal rains, mainly in neighbouring Ethiopia, which caused the Nile River to rise to nearly 17.5 metres (roughly 57 feet) this past weekend: the highest level in 100 years, according to the authorities.
OCHA spokesperson Jens Laerke said the government has declared a state of emergency in Khartoum state alone, where more than 21,000 people have been affected by flooding since the end of July.
Homes destroyed, water contaminated
Across Sudan, some 37,000 homes were destroyed in the...
KAMPALA, Uganda -- Sharif, Julius and Angel share their stories
As children wait for the government to open schools, they continue to engage in various activities at home including learning, helping with domestic chores, and above all, playing their favourite games. At a time when children are anxious about the future, and many are stuck at home for their safety, play is important. Children can play indoor or outdoor games using play materials they have in their surroundings. The play activities help them to focus on something other than the COVID-19 pandemic. Three children from Rujungu village in Kikuube District share games that keep them busy while their schools are shut.
Sharif Tumusiime, 11, was attending Primary 6 before the schools were closed. His days are busy with activit...
Health Minister Dr. Ruth Aceng has trashed speculations of the government imposing another lockdown given the fact that the number of infections and deaths increases day by day especially in the Central business district, Kampala.
While appearing at a local radio outlet yesterday, the health minister clarified that the government has not yet planned another lockdown despite the numerous infections.
Aceng cautioned Ugandans to continue following the guidelines and directives given by the medical personnel in order to curb the deadly Covid 19.
“It appears to me that some people fear lockdown more than the disease itself. Let everyone follow the guidelines and protect themselves from the disease and there will be no need for another lockdown” Dr Aceng said.
Thirty days ago, on July 27th 2020, I promised to appraise and, where necessary, to escalate or de-escalate the steps taken so far to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
I promised to do so because most of these steps were conditional. Whether they worked or not depended on how we responded to them individually and collectively as a nation and as a people.
Today, I am happy to note that majority of Kenyans have exercised a reasonable level of civic responsibility in observing COVID Protocols. They have embraced the fact that, it is not enough for government to upscale its efforts, if the citizens do not upscale their engagements as well. They understood that, indeed, a challenge like COVID-19 requires citizens to partner with their governments i...
At least ten (10) employees of the Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) have tested positive for COVID-19, the national broadcaster has confirmed.
In a statement from Senyanga Wilfred who is the Public Relations Officer at UBC, the three members of staff have since embarked on the recommended health care management process and tracing for their contacts has commenced.
“UBC has ten confirmed cases of Covid-19. The cases are from 332 samples that were taken on 21st August 2020 from staff at our Kampala office for which results of 160 samples have been received,” the statement reads in part.
UBC now joins the growing list of media houses who have has some of their staff test positive for Covid-19.
Pacis Radio in Arua, New Vision, NBS TV and NTV are some of the media houses t...
PRETORIA, South Africa -- South Africa’s overall GDP is expected to decline by at least 5.1 and up to 7.9 percent in 2020 and recover slowly through 2024. This will lead to major setbacks in addressing poverty, unemployment and inequality, according to a new UNDP study on the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 in South Africa.
The study focuses on how COVID-19 will drive temporary and long-term changes in poverty levels in South Africa. The number of households below the poverty line increases as households fall from the lower middle class. Fifty-four percent of households that have been pushed out of permanent jobs to informal or temporary contracts as a coping mechanism for businesses affected by COVID-19, are likely to fall into poverty after the 6-months stimulus package is over. Th...
BEITBRIDGE, Zimbabwe -- When WHO, National Microbiology Reference Laboratory (NMRL) and Medsure Healthcare teams reached Beitbridge, 640km from Harare, twelve laboratory personnel from Beitbridge Hospital had already tested more than 6000 samples for COVID-19. The tests were done using a GeneXpert machine with cartridges for COVID-19 testing and Real Time- Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, similar to the rapid testing kit used for HIV. GeneXpert machines are normally used to diagnose tuberculosis.
“The Abbott Platform tests 94 samples at a time. Together with our three GeneXpert machines which run four tests on each machine at once and the PCR, I am 100% confident we will be able to test more samples a day. We have already run 500 PCR tests before with our average daily testing at...
NEW YORK, United States of America, August 22, 2020/ -- Citing alarming new data, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP), stressed that “urgent and sustained action” is needed to address the worsening food and nutrition situation throughout the country.
Hunger trending upward
Since the situation in Burkina Faso was last assessed in March, acute food insecurity has increased more than 50 per cent, according to the latest analysis.
And in a country already reeling from conflict and climate change, the UN survey points out that COVID-19 has intensified people’s inability to earn money to cover their daily needs.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is further exacerbating a crisis that was already deteriorating at a worrying pace, pushing ...