MOH to support the National Blood Service address challenges

The Ministry of Health (MOH) has pledged to support the National Blood Service (NBS) to address the challenges affecting its operations.

Dr Ignatius Awinibuno, Director of Allied Health, MOH, said being aware of the critical problems affecting the service, the Ministry was prepared to mobilise national and global efforts in strengthening and sustaining blood supply programmes in the country.

Dr. Awinibuno made the pledge at a ceremony to commemorate World Blood Donor Day in Accra on the theme: ‘Give blood, give plasma, share life, share often.’

The event is to recognise and celebrate the effort of blood donors in saving lives in the country, particularly, voluntary donors.

The Director of Allied Health said blood was an essential aspect in the management and treatment of diseases, adding that the demand for blood continued to grow faster than supply, hence, the need for all to donate to save a life.

He said: ‘there is no way we can achieve targets for the sustainable development goals and universal health coverage without having timely accessible blood.’

Dr Francis Kasolo, Country Representative to Ghana, World Health Organisation (WHO), expressed worry as Ghana’s donation rate stood at 5.8, falling short of the country’s target of 10 donations per 1000 people.

He said despite the significant progress made, many countries, including Ghana still faced the challenge of making sufficient blood available, while ensuring its quality and safety.

He urged the Government and its stakeholders to build a sustainable and resilient national blood systems infrastructure to increase the collection of blood from voluntary donors.

Dr. Hannah Ayettey, Senior Specialist, Radiation and Clinical Oncologist at Korle- Bu Teaching Hospital, told the GNA that the significant shortage in the country was worrying.

She said: ‘ I lost a child years ago as a House Officer, because that particular type of blood needed was not available in the hospital, so we had to go round the major hospitals in Accra but unfortunately none of them had that type, so it is a major problem.’

She said the theme for the event would go a long way to encourage people to donate blood to save lives. She noted that with the 5.8 collection rate of blood in the country, ‘we are nowhere near and need to actively do more with the support from stakeholders to create awareness.’

Dr Shirley Owusu-Ofori, Chief Executive Officer, National Blood Service, said the Service and the Ministry needed the concerted efforts of the media, Civil Society Organisations and Faith-Based Organisations to support the drive.

‘ I am glad to state that we have made significant progress with our engagement so far with our stakeholders though a lot more work is needed to make desirable impact,’ she added.

Madam Noeline Kumor, a 45th time blood donor, told the GNA that she was happy to be part of a lifesaving mission in the country, indicating that she was always motivated to donate blood due to its health benefits.

The NBS in conjunction with the Global Blood Fund (a United Kingdom Charity) as part of this year’s blood donor day celebration launched a story contest dubbed: ‘ how blood has touched my life’.

The contest is to enable individuals share captivating stories accompanied by pictures and videos about how blood has touched their lives.

The contest which ends on the August 31, 2023, would attract prizes for first three winners.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Seychelles works to align marine spatial plan with biodiversity action plans

Implementing the Marine Spatial Plan (MPS), undertaking species restoration projects, and controlling and eradicating invasive species are among the priorities of Seychelles to align its National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) to the Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF).

This was shared with SNA by the senior project coordinator and focal point for Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Indira Gamatis, after an inception workshop on Wednesday. The aim of the workshop was to introduce stakeholders to the objectives of the Global Biodiversity Framework – Early Action Support project.

Participants were representatives of different environment not-for-profit organisations, officers from the ministries of environment, tourism and education, and trade and investment partners.

Gamatis said that having signed the biodiversity convention, Seychelles has an obligation to update its NBSAPs.

Participants at the inception workshop on Wednesday. (Ministry of Agriculture, Climate Change and Environment) Photo License: CC-BY

“In COP15, held December last year, we adopted the new framework for biodiversity and all countries that have signed the convention need to implement it nationally. The implementation will be carried out through our National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan. We are looking at how we can align the NBSAP with the global framework and that will mean outlining our national priority projects for biodiversity, and how we will put them in line with the new GBF,” said Gamatis.

Restoration of degraded areas, helping threatened species, and mobilising resources and capacity building are also other areas of priority for Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean.

Gamatis shared that the project has four components – the alignment, financing, and how to mobilise resources, how to update Seychelles’ national plan to finance biodiversity projects, and look at policies and align them with the NBSAP and global framework.

The project, which is expected to end next year, is being financed by the Global Environment Facility (GEF)

The half-day workshop, organised by the Ministry of Agriculture, Climate Change and Environment in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), also sought to review initial project deliverables and baselines. It also sought to review implementation arrangements as well as refresh Seychelles’ progress on the NBSAPs

“This is the start of the process of setting our national targets and seeing how they align at the global level so that we can also implement our global targets and goals. It will enable us as a country to lay our role and implement them,” said Gamatis.

During the workshop, participants were introduced to project management, monitoring, and evaluation, key components, outputs, and outcomes.

Source: Seychelles News Agency

Parliament to pass draft law on statute of former Presidents

National Assembly (NA) will discuss and vote for Draft Law on the Statute of the Former Presidents of the Republic on June 22, the Parliament Bureau’s first secretary Manuel Lopes Dembo announced Friday in Luanda.

Manuel Dembo made the announcement at the end of the Conference of the leaders of the Parliamentary Groups, which aimed to set the agenda of the 7th Ordinary Plenary Meeting of the National Assembly.

The legislative initiative of the proposal under consideration aims to adjust the rights, duties and immunities of former Presidents and their singular auxiliary body in the exercise of Executive Power.

The 7th Plenary Meeting of the 1st Legislative Session of the 5th Legislature will also hold the final overall vote for the Draft Law on Labour Procedure Code and for the three diplomas that authorise the President of the Republic, as Head of the Government, to legislate on the amendment of the Fiscal Regime of the Concession of Blocks 30, 44 and 45.

The Parliament will also vote, in generality, for the Proposed Amendments to the Laws on the Statute of Journalists and on the Organic Law of the Media Regulatory Authority as well as for two draft resolutions on the requests for authorisation for the double adoption, international, of minors Kiary André and Eduardo Suculenta

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)

200 doctors, health personnel equipped with enrollment process of UHC

Universal Health Coverage, (UHC) is a concept set up by the government of Cameroon with the aim of offering its population quality care at a lower cost. Nearly 200 doctors and health medical personnel have therefore been drilled on the enrolment process of the Universal Health Coverage, (UHC).

They were trained from June 12-13, 2023 in Bafoussam by a team from the Ministry of Public Health. The session was coordinated by the Regional Delegate of Public Health in Bafoussam, Dr Chinmoun Daouda.

The team of trainers began by enlightening the health practitioners on the application to be used and then step by step on the process of online and offline enrollment which allows users to enroll even in areas where there is no internet connection.

After the theoretical training, the participants grouped themselves and went to different facilities in the city of Bafoussam to practice the lessons received.

According to the Regional Delegate, Dr. Chinmoun Daouda, you must be registered before you can benefit from the privileges offered.

Some inhabitants who enrolled stated that they were moved and encouraged by the numerous benefits awaiting them.

“It will help me a lot in taking care of my child, because in a situation where she is sick and I don’t have money at the moment, I can present the card and treat the child and pay when I am able to,”.

“I was moved to register because the lady explained to me that it can be very helpful, especially for pregnant women and children from 0-5 years. She said when you are sick or the child, you can immediately present the card and you are taken care of,” some inhabitants said

In this first phase of the UHC, the priority target is children from 0-5 years, pregnant women, and people living with HIV/AIDS.

Source: Cameroon News Agency

Nikola Jokic leads Denver Nuggets to first NBA Championship

Nikola Jokic poured in 28 points with 16 rebounds and four assists against the Miami Heat Tuesday morning, June 13, to hand the Denver Nuggets their first-ever NBA title.

It was a final with a rhythm dictated by the Nuggets, as they saw off Jimmy Butler and teammates in a 4-1 series.

Game five on Tuesday ended 94-89, sealing coach Malone and the Nugget’s entry into NBA franchise history as Champions.

Jokic was named the 2023 NBA Finals Most Valuable Player. He had lost the honour for the regular season to Joel Embiid.

The 28-year-old becomes the first Serbian to win the NBA Championship.

His accomplishment came hours after another Serbian, Novak Djokovic, won the 2023 French Open. The tennis player became the highest Grand Slam winner with 23 titles.

Source: Cameroon News Agency

Longtime opposition leader John Fru Ndi joins ancestors at 81

Cameroonian statesman and longtime opposition leader, Ni John Fru Ndi has died in Yaounde at the age of 81, just three weeks shy of his 82nd birthday.

According to a statement from the Social Democratic Front (SDF) party which Fru Ndi founded in 1990, the respected Anglophone leader died at 11: 30p.m. Cameroon local time.

The statement, signed by the SDF’s first national vice president, Joshua Osih did not give any further details but stated that “the funeral program shall be communicated as soon as it is established”.

Fru Ndi was born in Baba II near Bamenda in the then Southern Cameroons on the 7th of July 1941. He was given the title of Ni shortly after he was born.

Starting his career as a bookseller in Bamenda, he later entered politics in the late 1980s, running as a candidate for the ruling Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement (CPDM) after losing to another CPDM candidate, he would later create the SDF and being nominated as the party’s national chairman in 1992.

In the October 1992 presidential elections, he came close to winning the polls with a 36% count against 40% against incumbent Paul Biya, meanwhile, in the North West Province, he got 86.3% of the vote.

Fru Ndi’s Legacy

Fru Ndi will be remembered for his bravery in creating the nation’s first opposition party – 10 years after Biya’s rise to power. He was well-respected not just within the Anglophone community, but nationally. At the start of the current phase of the Anglophone Crisis in 2016, he tried to appease the Anglophone population and some even got angry with him for his decision that the SDF will not withdraw from Parliament according to popular demands, arguing instead that the party could make a stronger case for Anglophones by staying in Parliament.

He was kidnapped around Kumbo by some of the separatist fighter groups while on his way to the funeral of the late Hon. Dr. Joseph Banadzem on 28 June 2019 and was released a few hours later after some negotiations. A video later went viral, showing him in high spirits and drinking palm wine with some of the “Boys”. His bravery had once more made him to be respected even by the “Boys” whose philosophy he did not necessarily agree with.

Fru Ndi’s exit after that of Cardinal Tumi, leaves the Anglophone community with no other leader who had the same charisma and clout that those two had as most Anglophone leaders are either deceased or based in the diaspora.

His death comes barely six days after he announced that he was stepping down as leader of the party he founded over 30 years ago, a decision that was met with much respect from the Anglophone community and also nationally.

Fru Ndi was well-respected and could pull the Anglophone community together in times of national crises like few leaders could. During the National Dialogue in Yaounde in 2019, months after his kidnap in Kumbo, Fru Ndi stated that the best way to solve the problem in Cameroon was for the country to adopt a federal system of governance but he was told no by some in the audience but he then reminded them that they were sitting comfortably in Yaounde and had never been kidnapped by those boys and that he was in a better position to speak on those issues. He received applause from the same people who had tried to oppose him just seconds earlier.

During the 1992 inauguration of US President Bill Clinton, Fru Ndi was invited to the White House – a move interpreted by pundits to mean that the US government recognized him as the legitimate winner of the presidential elections that year in Cameroon. He and the Clintons were later photographed together at the White House.

Pa Fru Ndi will be deeply missed both by his family, Anglophones, and all Cameroonians at large. May his soul rest in perfect peace.

Source: Cameroon News Agency