Sunday, December 30, 2012

Africa 'unprepared to manage disasters'

Residents of the flood-hit village of Kagarar Rima in Nigeria's Sokoto state flee their flooded village on September 27, 2010. Africa remains unprepared to deal with natural disasters, analysts say.  
While Kenya prepares to vote in its largest number of representatives in a March 2013 general election, Senegal has been working to scrap its 100-seat Senate, mainly to free up money for emergencies.
The West African nation has in recent years been regularly affected by heavy flooding, threatening its development. Environmentalists and humanitarians said abolishing the Senate would free up $15 million annually to counter the effects of such disasters and improve the country's infrastructure.
Political undertones aside, the move has been cited as a step in the right direction in disaster risk reduction and management in Senegal and a lesson other African countries could pick up, with data from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) showing that more than 1.5 million people in West and Central Africa were affected by heavy rains in July and August.
Some 90 per cent of those affected were citizens of Niger, Chad, Senegal and Nigeria.
Nigeria’s national emergency management agency is grappling with the worst flooding that the country has experienced in over 40 years, having affected 30 states, killed 431 people and displaced 1.3 million others.

With other climate-related disasters such as drought and even famine continuing to ravage the continent-- the World Bank estimates that almost 20 million people are affected by hunger in the Sahel--the spotlight is turning to the continent's ability to mitigate against disasters.
Still fail
Disaster risk reduction for Africa has been tackled at both regional and sub-regional levels but many countries have still fail to craft strong policies and response systems at their national level.
In an interview with Africa Review, the head of the UNISDR regional office, Pedro Basabe, said that many countries had failed to set up budgetary allocations towards building their own resilience.
"There is hardly any allocation for disaster risk reduction or mitigation and at best slim budgetary provisions are given by some governments,” he said.
The recently released 2012 world risk report notes that 13 out of the 15 most vulnerable countries globally are African, solely because of their low coping and adaptive ability in the event of disasters.
Though early warning systems in the continent are lacking and need improvement, there is also a need to fill the void between the dissemination of this information and the ability to act on it.
Only 25 African countries have established national policies and strategies for risk reduction and worse, only 13 have set aside funds from their national budget towards this cause.
Countries like South Africa and Gambia have set up their own national policies and committed funds from their budgets to strengthening vulnerable sectors like agriculture, while nations like Kenya still lag behind.
"We ail from the lack of political goodwill to improve on the early warning systems and translate the policy frameworks to reach local communities in order to build their resilience,” Mr Basabe said.
According to available data, 80 per cent of internally displaced persons globally due to disasters are women and children. This vulnerability, the regional head says, is something that countries need to focus on when setting up both response and recovery systems.
Public awareness
"In the cultural setting, these groups have little entitlement to property and more needs to be done to protect them against the effects of a devastating drought or flash floods," said Mr Basabe.
Africa’s action plan calls for the integration of risk reduction measures into emergency response management plans and for an increase in public awareness of these systems.
The IGAD regional bloc for example recognises that most of the region’s disasters are climate related thus the setup of the IGAD climate and application centre (ICPAC) that acts as an early warning system .
"Many countries fail to act on the information provided, the indications of the drought in the horn of Africa were received as early as September 2010 but no early action was taken until images of hungry women and children were splashed all over the media,” said Mr Basabe.
Most governments often respond to disasters with emergency measures picking into their financial reserves, and in severe cases borrowing from other nations.
African countries individually need to focus on establishing comprehensive disaster risk reduction management plans complete with mitigation, response and recovery systems that are well funded.

A paradigm shift from the current firefighting system would better shield African economies from the losses of replacing infrastructure damaged by natural hazards such as floods and earthquakes.
SADC’s risk reduction plan for 2012 to 2014, for instance, seeks to strengthen the sub region’s disaster preparedness for effective responses at all levels with a community-based approach.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Guest Blog by Katya Andresen

5 ways to nail your next pitch

Katya Andresen
One of my end-of year traditions is to use any downtime to catch up on reading. I wanted to share some advice from the latest book I read, The Art of the Pitch. This quick and motivating read from the legendary ad guy Peter Coughter, who now teaches at the VCU Brandcenter, reminds us how just how critical it is to master persuasion and presentation skills. Whatever your line of work, you will be more successful when you know how to nail your pitch.
So here are 5 ways to do just that, from The Art of the Pitch

1. Make your pitch about your audience, not about you. Approach a pitch as a conversationalist, not a speaker, and connect to the world view, experience and emotion of your audience.

2. Improve eye contact. Sure, you want to lock eyes with the decision maker in the room, but you also want to connect with everyone else. Spend time gazing for several seconds at each person. Make it a meaningful but not uncomfortable amount of time.

3. Be human. It's better to be a little self-deprecatory or to flub a line than to come across as too slick. People want to know they're with an authentic, personable peer.
4. Know your stuff. I can't believe how many people have come to me to interview for a job, sell services or pitch an idea without doing any homework about me or my organization - and without even being able to articulate their own merits concisely. Prepare and rehearse before you pitch.

5. Make one big point. Everything you say leads to that conclusion. Everything else gets edited out. This is far harder than it sounds. In fact, if you had to quickly scribble on a notecard the one, clear overarching point of your last pitch, could you do it in seconds? If not, you probably didn't have the overarching story pinpointed. Stick to that sole truth and sell it with great passion. It's how we connect - and how we get remembered.

Katya Andresen  is the COO and CSO at Network for Good

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The growing militia threat to Africa's journalists

When the various media watchdogs sit down to collate their annual lists of the travails that African journalists on the continent continue to confront, there will be a feeling that this year has been a particularly tough one.
The reports usually make for grim reading, and will likely show that attacks against journalists by militias, rebels and other 'non-state actors' have barely let up, so much so that the UN last month felt constrained to raise an alarm.
The United Nations Human Rights Council late September adopted a resolution on the safety of journalists during its 21st session in Geneva.
The 47-member body recognized that an increasing number of threats were being made by militia rebels and other non-government agents.
The council urged member states to promote a safe and conducive environment for journalists to perform their work independently and without undue interference.
"The Council expresses its concern that there is a growing threat to the safety of journalists posed by non-state actors and calls on all parties to armed conflict to respect their obligations under international human rights law and international humanitarian law,” the resolution read in part.
"States [should] ensure accountability by conducting impartial, speedy and effective investigations into such acts falling within their jurisdiction and to bring to justice those responsible and to ensure that victims have access to appropriate remedies," the resolution further urged.
Taking root
Last year's Arab Spring revolutions and their spawn offs in other countries were cited for non-state attacks on journalists, but in the last three or so months it has looked a trend further taking root.
In late September, a headless body found in in Mogadishu, Somalia was later identified to be Abdirahman Mohamed Ali, a journalist who worked for online sports site
On the same day, Ahmed Abdullahi Farah, a reporter and cameraman for Yemen News Agency (SABA), was killed in a minibus by armed men at a checkpoint in Dharkenley district in southern Mogadishu.
The killings of Ali and Farah, though gruesome, contributed to the five deaths in Somalia journalist ranks that month alone in a country that is arguably the most dangerous for a journalist to work in.
On September 20 three Somali journalists, including the head of the state-run Somali National Television and the head of news for Radio Mogadishu, were killed in a suicide bomb attack at a Mogadishu cafe. At least four other journalists were wounded.

Journalists protest against censorship in Khartoum. Photo |AFRICAREVIEW.COM
Since the year began a total of 15 journalists have been killed in Somalia, mainly in attacks attributed to the Islamic militant group Al-Shabaab.
Others have got off more lightly. In August, Malian radio reporter Malik Maiga Aliou was kidnapped during a live broadcast and beaten and left for dead at a cemetery in the rebel-head northern city of Gao.
The armed Islamic militants who rule the north were apparently sending a distinct message by storming the station and "disciplining" the journalist for telling "lies".
In July two Libyan journalists covering the country's first election in decades were kidnapped by armed men before being released nine days later.
Foreign journalists have also had harrowing tales to tell. Twenty-one-year-old British journalist Natasha Smith and CBS reporter Lara Logan were sexually assaulted by Egyptian mobs that regularly took to the streets in the aftermath of the revolution that ousted Hosni Mubarak last year.
State involvement
State harassment is however still alive. A report this week by a special committee set up to probe the shocking death of Tanzanian journalist Daudi Mwangosi in early September has admitted there was excessive use of force.
Mwangosi was killed while covering an opposition rally in a country generally not known for its animosity to journalists. The probe report recommended an improvement in relations between police and the media.
And in Cote d'Ivoire, security officers last month attacked Anderson DiƩdri as he interviewed the family of a Cabinet minister that was being evicted from their home. The minister, Albert Toikeusse Mabri had sought the eviction after filing for divorce earlier in June.
Arbitrary arrests and harassment have continued to be the lot of many African journalists.
Egyptian television presenter Tawfiq Okasha is currently on trial for among other charges incitement to kill the President.
The proprietor of Al-Faraeen channel had his station suspended after airing a show that was against the Muslim Brotherhood, now in power.

In July, an Ethiopian high court handed renowned blogger Eskinder Nega an 18-year jail term for engaging in terrorist activities. The journalist was known for his articles that were often critical of the country’s regime. During the trial, five other journalists currently in exile abroad were sentenced in absentia.
According to statistics by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) 463 journalists were forced into exile globally between June 2007 and May 2012. The main reasons for their flight have been the threat of violence and of imprisonment.
Freedom statistics
The highest numbers of exiled journalists were in Africa, the Middle East and North Africa.
CPJ records show that 942 journalists have been killed globally since 1992. Of these 657 were murdered, 171 killed in crossfire and 111 killed on dangerous assignment.
This year alone 47 journalists worldwide have been killed; 25 were murdered, 17 died in cross fire and five died on the job while pursuing dangerous assignments.
According to the Freedom of the Press 2012 report released by international watchdog Freedom House, only five countries in sub-Saharan Africa have attained complete press freedom.
The five countries are Mali, Cape Verde, Ghana, Mauritius and Sao Tome while Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and South Africa have been listed among the 23 partly free countries.
Countries like Angola, Rwanda and Zimbabwe according to the report do not have any press freedom.
Equatorial Guinea and Eritrea were listed among the world’s eight worst performers while Ethiopia was singled out as the only country in sub-Saharan Africa to have a nationwide internet filtering system which was in 2011 upgraded to a more sophisticated version.
While addressing a pan African conference in Ethiopia on the safety of journalists recently, the president of the Federation of African Journalists Omar Faruk Osman warned that African journalists still faced high levels of violence.
He noted that a culture of impunity had spread as many of the cases of violence remained unresolved leading to self-censorship by the media due to fear.
"The impunity for violence against journalists deserves the equal attention to crime targeting government officials and international civil servants in their official functions," he said.

But the media has also been challenged to maintain their independence. 

Corruption hurdle
In August, the Sudan Tribune reported that a number of reporters in South Sudan had witnessed their colleagues taking payments in return for writing favourable articles.
The article noted that despite being the world’s youngest nation, corruption had eaten deeply in to the media fraternity with some journalists demanding cash for transport or spiking stories when they do not receive payment.
The Uganda Media Development Foundation reported in 2011 that the brown envelope phenomenon was particularly common among some journalists who found it hard to make ends meet.
In Bill Ristow’s 2010 report on bribery of journalists around the world he notes that in Ghana, a reporter goes to a media briefing and inside their press packet, there’s a brown envelope containing the equivalent of a $20 bill, which they willingly accept.
According to the same report, a South African journalist admitted in an affidavit that he and several others had set up a media relations firm that received cash payments for helping an African National Congress official in his struggle with party rivals.
Several corporates and politicians have had their functions ignored because of their inability to provide adequate “transport” or “lunch”.
In cases where the two are provided, the outcome is stories moulded in a friendlier and favourable ways. Twange Kasoma documented this in his study of brown-envelope journalism in Zambia of one such incident where after receiving about $125 from a political party, one journalist admitted, “It naturally made me want to write a story slanting on supporting the source.”
Despite these elements that continue to give journalism a bad name, the media continues to play a vital role in development of state economies globally.
The fourth estate has been termed as the watchdog highlighting social injustices. Kenyan media played a vital role in lobbying against the $25 million dollar bonus deal awarded by members of parliament in secret. President Mwai Kibaki rejected the hugely unpopular deal.

Friday, December 21, 2012

EU House tells Ethiopia to release jailed blogger

The European Parliament has joined the list of people demanding the release of Ethiopian journalist and blogger Eskinder Nega.
In an open letter to the Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, Members of the European Parliament (MEP) called for Nega’s immediate release from prison.
Officials from the European Union and the legislators said they had been keenly following the matter, which was not in line with their human rights doctrine.
"The use of vague anti-terror legislation to silence legitimate expression threatens to seriously undermine the credibility of efforts to address real security threats to the region," MEP wrote.
Though MEP were divided on how to relate with the new Desalegn-led government, they agreed that the country’s repressive laws should be reviewed to avoid political unrest.
The blogger was in July this year sentenced to 18 years in prison for violating the country’s anti-terrorism laws and associating with ‘terrorist group’ Ginbot 7.
He was also accused of advocating the idea of a revolution to the public, similar to those that had taken place in neighbouring Arab countries.
EU representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton, after the sentencing, spoke of the severity of the sentence and expressed concern that the legislation would greatly affect the freedom of expression in Ethiopia.
When an appeal against the 18-year-jail term came up for hearing Wednesday, an Ethiopian court further delayed it.
Handle criticism
The blogger told the court that he was not a member of Ginbot 7, adding that none of the evidence produced by the prosecution during the trial could link him to it.
The judge said that more time was needed to review the bulky case file and set the hearing date for January 18.
Nega was convicted in June along with Ethiopian opposition leader Andualem Arage and 24 other people.
Five independent journalists, currently exiled and convicted in absentia, were also given jail terms.
Several lobby groups, including the Human rights watch and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), wrote severally to the deceased Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi asking for the release of
Nega and other journalists who have been prosecuted under the same legislation.
The activists accused the Zenawi-led government of failing to handle criticism as Nega was arrested in September 2011 immediately after publishing an online article that was critical of the arrests that had so far been made under the 2009 antiterrorism legislation.
The CPJ has on several occasions said that Ethiopia had used the law to silence critical and independent reporting as inquisitive journalists were either imprisoned or pushed into exile.
The way Hailemariam and his government handle the matter was likely to determine how the EU will relate with it in future.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


Three Pieces of Career Advice That Changed My Life

Jeff Weiner
Looking back over my career to date, I can identify at least three clear influences that forever altered my career path. In retrospect, it's interesting to see how different the context was for each: parental advice, a passage in a book, and a persistent boss. Despite the contrasts, all three share one thing in common -- reinforcing the importance of knowing what it is you ultimately want to accomplish, and being open to allowing outside forces to help clarify, reinforce and facilitate the path to making it happen. 
Here are the three pieces of advice that helped shape my career:
1. You can do anything you set your mind to 

As a child, I can't recall a day that went by without my dad telling me I could do anything I set my mind to. He said it so often, I stopped hearing it. Along with lines like "eat your vegetables," I just assumed it was one of those bromides that parents repeated endlessly to their kids. It wasn't until decades later that I fully appreciated the importance of those words and the impact they had on me.
Today, the question I'm asked most often by students and interns is how best to achieve their career goals. As simple as it sounds, the short version of my response is that you have to know what it is you ultimately want to accomplish (optimizing for both passion and skill, and not one at the exclusion of the other). As soon as you do, you'll begin manifesting it in both explicit and implicit ways.
Without question, this first principle has been the most consistent driver of my own career path over the last 20 years. (For a more comprehensive summary of this advice, you can check out the final Q&A exchange included in this "Corner Office" interview.)

2. Everything that can be converted from an atom to a bit, will be 

In August, 1994, I signed up for an Aol account. I'll never forget my first "a-ha!" moment online which occurred soon thereafter. It came through witnessing the power of collective intelligence on a Motley Fool message board. There, a community of engineers, logistics experts, and individual investors from all over the country had joined together to reverse engineer the cost basis to manufacture what would eventually emerge as a hit computer peripheral product. I remember thinking to myself, "This is going to change everything."

About a month later, I was reading "Being Digital" by Nicolas Negroponte after seeing a rave review in Wired Magazine (for historical context, it was the print version). In the opening chapter of his book, Negroponte posited that by virtue of the ensuing digital revolution, everything that could be converted from an atom to a bit would be. Having just started as an analyst in the Corporate Development group at Warner Bros, it didn't take much to realize this coming transition would have material implications on the studio and the entertainment industry in general.
In light of those experiences, when the opportunity arose to write the first online business plan for Warner Bros, I quickly volunteered; this despite the fact that at the time, most if not all of the investment focus was on CD-ROM. The first draft of that online plan was completed in December, 1994. It would ultimately be approved several months later and thus began my nearly two-decades-long career in digital media.

3. Do you want to push paper around or do you want to build products that change people's lives? 

I started at Yahoo in May, 2001, as co-head of the Corporate Development team. By virtue of the breadth of the role and the company's operations, and Yahoo's influential position within the digital ecosystem, the job provided me a front row seat to a period of extraordinary transformation within the consumer web industry.

Roughly a year after I started, Dan Rosensweig joined as Yahoo's new COO. In addition to being an experienced web operator, Dan is one of the most effective sales people I know. I learned this firsthand after he tried recruiting me to an operating role on his team literally every time I saw him over the first year of his tenure. Though I'd politely decline each time -- telling him I was happy having the opportunity to work directly with the CEO, founder, and other executives in a strategic capacity -- he never stopped persisting.

Then, almost a year to the day he started, Dan said, "Jeff, you've always told me that your lifelong ambition is ultimately to reform the education system in the U.S. Let me ask you something: Do you think you are going to be better prepared to make that a reality by pushing paper around, working on strategy, and doing deals; or by moving in to operations and building teams, inspiring people, and developing great products that change people's lives?"

Suffice it to say, I accepted on the spot and haven't looked back since.

Borrowed from:

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Africa told to invest in youth empowerment

The African Union Commission (AUC) member states have been urged to work in unison in order to empower the continent’s youth.
AUC chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said joint efforts would ensure that the region invested fully in sustainable development.
“Young people in Africa need to be an integral part of the continent’s social and economic development,“ she said in a press statement.
Her message reinforces this year’s theme for the 7th African Youth Day.
“Africa must deliver as one to empower African youth for sustainable development."
At a recent assembly of African heads of state and government, it was decided that member states would work to reduce the youth unemployment rate by 2 per cent.
The African Economic Outlook 2012 report released last month, predicts an economic growth of 4.5 per cent by the end of the year and a further 4.8 per cent growth in 2013.
The report, jointly produced by the Africa Development Bank, the UN Economic Commission for Africa and UNDP, notes that 60 per cent of the continent’s unemployed are aged between 15 and 24 years, with the number of youth expected to double by 2045.
The World Bank projects that by 2015, the youth population in sub-Saharan Africa would be well over 75 per cent.
Dr Dlamini-Zuma explained that the population dynamic must be used as strength for the continent, adding that countries needed to make the right investments in youth.
“To deliver as one on youth development and empowerment, member states, that yet need to do so, must expedite their efforts to sign, ratify, domesticate and implement the African Youth Charter,” she said.
The commission’s chairperson also called on the youth to participate in decision making by working with their leaders at national, regional and continental levels.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Wedding at the gravesite

Ordinarily one would not think of conducting a wedding at a grave site.
It would perhaps be considered as a bad omen to the new life that the two had chosen to start.
For Marco Bigi and his wife Lara Crippa, a renewal of vows at the grave site of Giriama warrior Mekatilili wa Menza in Bungale, Magarini district is the ultimate expression of gratitude for the new culture that they have been assimilated into.
The Italian couple were first married at a small wedding ceremony that involved close friends and family members in Milan, Italy twenty years ago.
“At that time we were young and did not have the funds to have a very big wedding and I had been toying with the idea of remarriage since 2006,” said Bigi
When they first came to Malindi for winter holiday in 2010 Bigi and his wife were intrigued by the warmth culture and reception of the local Giriama people.
 They took time to learn more about the Mijikenda culture once they returned to Italy from friends and acquaintances that lived in Malindi.
“He wanted to surprise me with another wedding but last winter I asked him if we could get married again and we agreed to do so in the Giriama culture that we had grown to love over the years and that was so different from the distant European culture,” Lara said.
Before the two could go on with their plans to tie the knot which they started in June this year, they had to be assimilated into the Giriama culture.

The colourful initiation ceremony took place at the Mekatilili wa Menza cultural resource center in Malindi on Friday where Kaya elders and members of the Malindi district cultural association welcomed the two into the Giriama fold.
First they selected the names of their clans and sub clans before choosing their surnames and finally their own names before they were blessed by the Kaya elders.
Marco Bigi who now hails from the Giriama clan of Mumbi lulu was given the name Yongo Bembera and his wife Lara Crippa who is of the waprwa clan named Karembo fondo.
Dressed in Giriama traditional regalia, Bigi was taken into a separate hut from his wife as the wedding celebrations began to signify the different clans and families the two had come from before they were joined in matrimony.
There was song and dance as the groom was brought out of the hut by his family members and escorted to the home of his bride where he brought gifts for the in laws.
After a brief ceremony where the couple was blessed by the elders the two were ushered into the new home with jubilation.
In an interview the spokesman of the Giriama elders in Malindi Joseph Mwarandu said that the elders had assimilated several European couples into their culture and also conducted inter-racial wedding ceremonies.
“We have had people who have accused us of selling of our heritage to foreigners and that we are commercializing our culture but when people come to learn of our culture and go back to their homes they are able to identify with these roots and diminish ideologies that African culture is uncivilised,” he said
The couple who has an eighteen year old son back in Italy say there is need for cultural heritage to be passed onto to younger generations so that it is not forgotten and to give them their identity.
“It feels good to be a Giriama and humbling when people open their doors and assimilate you into their culture without any reservations,” said the teary Lara who was overcome by emotion
Mr Bigi who is a musician and produce said that the couple would be looking to stay for several months in Kenya from December and probably finally settle here.
“We have no immediate plans for a honeymoon maybe we take time in September and go to Italy to visit our son maybe we can even have him come and be assimilated into our new culture and be called Kazungu Yongo,” he said

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Needle exchange program


Religious leaders and members of the public have been urged to embrace the needle and syringe program that the government is set to introduce to drug addicts  next  month.
Coast provincial director of public health and sanitation Dr. Anisa Omar said that the injecting drug users(IDU) were the most at risk populations with regards to the spread of HIV and the program would go along way in preventing spread among addicts.
Speaking during an  IDU roundtable at the Pride Inn hotel in Mombasa Dr Omar  noted that country could only move to a state of zero infection for HIV if new infections were prevented.
"Many of the addicts we have at the coast are injecting drug users, as much as these are ailing people we need to prevent them from getting other  blood bone diseases,"she  said
Dr Omar explained that the government cannot embark on a project that is not beneficial to Kenyans and that had not been tried and proven in other countries.
countries like USA,  Mauritius,Tanzania, Canada, Ukraine and Vietnam have successfully implemented the program.
The provincial Director explained that apart from HIV the IDUs were at a greater risk of contracting diseases like Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C which could result in liver failure and liver cancer.
According to a report on HIV prevalence by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime released this year,one in every five injecting drug  users in Nairobi and co0ast provinces are living with HIV.
Over a third of the drug users sampled in the study admitted to  have reused  needles in the  past six months.
The needle and syringe program is expected to target the 22,500 injecting drug users in Nairobi and  26,667 in Coast province.
Eight million needles and syringes are expected to be rolled out in the next one year of the program which is partly funded by USAID.
Dr Fred Owiti explained that the successful execution of the program could help bring out the drug users  and help rehabilitate them.
"Though the whole idea sounds awful the exchange program will help organizations working with drug addicts build a trust with them and help those willing to be has been tried and proven that it can help prevent some of the vices like thuggery that are associated with drug abuse," he  said
Dr Owiti added that apart from HIV counseling the program would provide an opportunity for drug addicts to be given referral to rehabilitation centers and to access other medical services.
NACADA Sheikh Juma Ngao urged religious leaders not to dismiss the program without first getting to understand what it was all about.
"I have seen for myself what the program can do so why not use it here and save the youth  of this country who are already afflicted by drugs from perishing," he said.
He noted that the government was yet to secure the country's borders and drugs like heroin and cocaine still found their way into cities of Mombasa and Nairobi.
opposing the view Famau Ali Mohammed the chairman if community policing in Malindi noted that by enrolling the program the government would be agreeing to the sale of drugs in the country and urged the government to engage all stakeholders in pursuing other avenues before rolling it out.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Ajuza wa miaka 80, abakwa


Ajuza wa miaka themanini katika kijiji cha Madzeyani kata ya Magarini katika Kaunti ya Kilifi anauguza majeraha baada  ya kubakwa hapo jana na mwanaume wa miaka ishirini na moja.

Mkongwe huyo  alikuwa ameenda kwa shamba lake lililoko umbali wa kilomita moja unusu kutoka kwa nyumba yake mwendo wa saa tisa mchana ili kupalilia mahindi.

Kwa mujibu wa kaimu chifu wa eneo la Pumwani Bw Albert Kazungu mwanamke huyo hakuweza kupiga mayowe kwani kijana huyo aliyetambulika kama Huzuni Kahindi alimfunga mdomo na kutishia kumuua.

“Mama huyu hakuweza kupiga mayowe baada ya kutishiwa lakini aliweza kuripoti kisa hicho kwa majirani punde tu baada ya kuwasili nyumbani kwake,” alisema chifu huyo.

Bw Kazungu alisema kwamba kijana aliyemvamia mknogwe huyo alikuwa ni mchungaji kutoka kwa kijiji cha karibu cha Mpirani na alikuwa anaelekea na mifugo hao katika eneo la malishoni huko madzeyani alipokumbana na ajuza huyo na kumtendea uhalifu huo.

Ilichukuwa juhudi za wananchi na utawala wa mikoa kuweza kumkamata kijana huyo na kumpeleka katika kituo cha karibu cha polisi kilichoko Marekebuni.

“Tukishirikiana na wanakijiji tuliweza kulinda mlango wa kutokea Madzeyani na  kumkamata mshukiwa akiwaanarudi n mifugo yake na tukampeleka polisi baada ya ajuza huyo kumtambua,” alisema Bw Kazungu

Kwa sasa Kahindi anazuiliwa katika kituo cha polisi mjini Malindi huku akingojea kufunguliwa mashtaka pindi polisi wanapokamilisha uchunguzi wao.

“Kitendo hiki ni cha kwanza cha aina yake kuwahi kutokea katika eneo hili nan i matumaini yetu kwamba  afunguliwe mashtaka na kufikishwa mahakamani haraka,” chifu alieleza

Ajuza huyo alipokea matibabu kutoka kwa hosipitali kuu ya wilaya ya Malindi na kuruhusiwa kurudi nyumbani.


Friday, July 6, 2012

Know where you access your health care

By Sandra Chao
Members of the public have been asked to be cautious about seeking treatment and other medical services abroad.
Chairman of the Kenya orthopaedic association Dr Fred Otsyeno told Kenyans to conclusively look for treatment within the country before choosing to go abroad.
Dr Otsyeno explained that some of the surgeries that people go for in far of destinations can successfully be conducted by specially trained doctors within the country.
“Medical tourism has begun taking root in Kenya and the exploitation is now becoming a very worrying trend. So many people are going for treatments away from here because it is said that they are cheaper and better provided out there which might not be case. Who is to blame after you go out there and something goes wrong?” he queried.
The chairman noted that the country’s medical field had evolved through the years in the provision of quality of services illustrating that it was possible to have knee and hip replacements done within the country unlike before.
Speaking during the 6th Annual Scientific Conference at the Temple Point Resort in Watamu, Dr Otsyeno warned that there was no way to protect Kenyans from quacks if they pursued services of quacks in foreign countries.
At the same time, the orthopaedic doctors warned of fake doctors purporting to come into the country to provide specialized treatment cheaply.
The chairman elucidated that unqualified people were using these affordable services platforms as ways of getting into the country and setting up their own practises despite being incompetent.
“Some of these people who come from foreign countries to offer their services of a short while soon end up opening their own private practises when we cannot be sure that what they are doing here is what they have been practising in their home countries,” said Dr Otsyeno.
He urged the medical board which is tasked with issuing temporary licenses to such visiting doctors to look beyond the papers and investigate what they do at home adding that certificates in this day and age could easily be forged.
He also decried the small number of practising orthopaedic surgeons in the country, adding that the Government needed to capitalize in the training of those who wanted to pursue orthopaedic surgery.
“We acknowledge that training an orthopaedic surgeon is very expensive but the Government needs to invest in the infrastructure not only for the training but also facilities within public health facilities where they can practise and become better in the skill,” he said.
There are less than 100 orthopaedic surgeons when we could do with a ratio of one doctor to a population of 10,000,Dr Otsyeno added.