With a new surge in cases looming in Africa after the holiday season at the end of the year, countries must urgently accelerate the launch of vaccines for healthcare workers.BRAZZAVILLE, Congo (Republic of), November 25, 2021 / APO Group / -
Only 27% of health workers in Africa have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, leaving most of the workforce on the front lines against the pandemic unprotected, a preliminary analysis by the World Health Organization shows ( WHO).
Analysis of reported data from 25 countries reveals that as of March 2021, 1.3 million healthcare workers were fully vaccinated, with only six countries reaching more than 90%, while nine countries have fully vaccinated less than 40%. In stark contrast, a recent WHO global study of 22 mostly high-income countries reported that more than 80% of their healthcare and healthcare workers are fully vaccinated.
“Most of Africa's healthcare workers are still missing their vaccines and remain dangerously exposed to a serious COVID-19 infection. Unless our doctors, nurses, and other front-line workers get full protection, we risk a setback in efforts to curb this disease. We must ensure that our health facilities are safe working environments, ”said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.
It is important to have high vaccine coverage among healthcare workers not only for their own protection but also for their patients and to ensure that healthcare systems continue to function during a time of dire need.
Africa's health workforce shortage is acute and deep, and only one country in the region has the necessary health workforce (10.9 per 1,000 population) to provide essential health services. Sixteen countries in the region have less than one health worker per 1,000 inhabitants. Any loss of these essential workers to COVID-19 due to illness or death therefore has a major impact on the ability to deliver the service.
According to data reported to WHO by countries in the African Region, since March 2020, there have been more than 150,400 COVID-19 infections in healthcare workers, representing 2.5% of all cases. confirmed and 2.6% of the total health workforce in the region. Five countries account for around 70% of all reported COVID-19 infections in healthcare workers: Algeria, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.
After nearly four months of a sustained decline, COVID-19 cases in the general population of Africa have stagnated. For the first time since the peak of the third wave in August, cases in southern Africa have increased, increasing by 48% in the week ending November 21 compared to the previous week.
The risk of infection for healthcare workers increases when cases arise. This is a pattern that has been observed during the previous three waves of the pandemic. With a fourth wave likely to hit after the year-end travel season, healthcare workers will once again face risks amid low vaccination coverage.
To date, more than 227 million doses of vaccines have been administered in Africa. In 39 countries that provided data, 3.9 million doses have been administered to healthcare workers.
"With a further increase in cases looming in Africa after the holiday season at the end of the year, countries must urgently accelerate the launch of vaccines for healthcare workers," said Dr. Moeti.
Vaccine shipments have increased over the past three months. Africa has received 330 million doses from COVAX Facility, the African Vaccine Procurement Task Force and bilateral agreements since February 2021. Of these, 83% have been delivered since August alone. As vaccine supply increases, addressing acceptance bottlenecks and speeding up implementation becomes more critical.
All African countries have prioritized health workers in their vaccination plans. The low coverage is likely due to the availability of vaccination services, especially in rural areas, as well as doubts about vaccines. Recent studies found that only about 40% of healthcare workers intended to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in Ghana and less than 50% in Ethiopia. Concerns about vaccine safety and adverse side effects of vaccines have been identified as the main reasons for their hesitancy. Health workers are key sources of information for the general population and their attitudes can influence vaccine adoption.
“The COVID-19 vaccine is among the extraordinary scientific feats of humanity. In Africa, we are gradually overcoming supply constraints. Now is not the time to run into mistrust of vaccines, ”said Dr. Moeti.
Supporting national efforts to boost vaccination of healthcare workers, WHO is coordinating trainings and dialogues on vaccine safety and efficacy to help address questions or misconceptions about the COVID-19 vaccine, as well as to promote open and honest communication about the benefits and side effects of vaccination.
Dr. Moeti spoke during a virtual press conference today facilitated by APO Group. She was joined by Dr. Apetsianyi Yawa, Coordinator of the Technical Working Group for the Implementation of COVID-19 Vaccines, Togo, and Mr. Michael Ekuma Nnachi, National President, National Association of Nurses / Midwives of Nigeria, Nigeria.
Also available to answer questions were Dr. Richard Mihigo, Coordinator of the Immunization and Vaccine Development Program, WHO Regional Office for Africa, and Dr. Thierno Balde, Regional Assistant Manager for COVID-19 Incidents, Regional Office for WHO for Africa.
Next year, the foundation will have the necessary equipment to produce rose-based products such as rose water, rose oil and rose soap.ANKARA, Turkey, November 23, 2021 / APO Group / -
The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) built the “Martyrs' Rose Garden of July 15” with 1000 roses in the city of El Goléa (MENIA), located in the Sahara desert in Algeria.
The Rosaleda de los Mártires on July 15 was built on a 2-hectare site owned by the FOREM-EL GOLEA foundation, which serves women and orphans in El Goléa. Next year, the foundation will have the equipment to produce rose-based products such as rose water, rose oil and rose soap using the roses that will be grown in the garden.
Professor Mostefa Khiati, President of FOREM, thanked TİKA and the Republic of Turkey for TİKA's support and stated that he believes the project will be a great example for those living in the Sahara desert and that the success of the project will lead to initiatives similar to be launched in the region.
Dr. Alparslan Çevik, TİKA Coordinator, noted that El Goléa, where roses can be harvested twice a year, was an important center of rose production in the early 20th century, but that it lost this position over time. He stated that TİKA aimed to help El Goléa regain this position and contribute to the economic development of the region by enabling the production of rose-based products. Çevik added that they wanted to keep the memory of our martyrs alive by naming the garden after them, and thanked FOREM-EL GOLEA managers for approving this name.
African youth are our greatest asset, girls and boys love sport and our responsibility is to offer them opportunities for play and personal development through rugby.CAPE TOWN, South Africa, November 22, 2021 / APO Group / -
The first in a series of four qualifying tournaments, Regional Sevens West will feature 8 countries meeting in Kumasi in hopes of securing a spot in the final qualifying round in April 2022.
The novelty of this year is the inclusion in this first qualifying phase of a female category. Rugby Africa represents full equality between men's and women's rugby and wants to offer equal opportunities to all African athletes regardless of gender.
Herbert Mensah, President of the Ghana Rugby Union, welcomes this opportunity. "With the support of our government, His Royal Highness Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, our sponsors and Rugby Africa, whom I sincerely thank, the Ghana Rugby Union will host a world-class event that will allow teams to express themselves on the pitch in the best possible conditions. It is an honor for us to also welcome the women's qualification category for the first time at this level. Obviously, our ambition is to qualify our two men's and women's teams for the next round and just like our West African brothers and sisters, we are actively preparing for the occasion.After the period of closure that we all experienced after Covid-19, we are particularly excited to host this continental event, it is a true celebration of African rugby that is brewing. Everything is in place to ensure the safety and health of all in strict compliance with the protocol of health of our authorities and the Rugby Africa medical commission ”.
The teams participating in the Regional Sevens West tournament in Ghana are as follows:
Male category: Ghana, Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Sierra Leone, Togo
Female category: Ghana, Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Togo
The two winners of the Western Men's Regional Tournament will qualify for the Africa Men's Sevens, the last continental showdown to qualify for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, UK or the Rugby World Cup 7 taking place for the first time in Africa. ground in September 2022 in Cape Town, South Africa. However, federations must be full members of World Rugby in order to compete in Africa Men's Sevens. This latest qualifying tournament will see the top 6 African teams already pre-qualified (Kenya, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Namibia, Zambia) joined by 8 teams from regional tournaments.
Following the same criteria, the women's category of the Western Regional Sevens will allow a team to qualify for the Africa Women's Sevens 2022. This tournament will take place in Tunisia in April and will bring together the 9 best African teams. 5 are already confirmed (South Africa, Kenya, Tunisia, Madagascar, Uganda) and the 4 winners of the regional tournaments will be added.
The men's teams from South Africa and Kenya have already qualified for the Commonwealth Games based on their results in the HSBC World Series. The South African men's and women's teams have already qualified for the Rugby World Cup 7 as the host country, however the women's team will continue to participate in the Africa Women's 7s 2022 in hopes of qualifying for the Commonwealth Games.
Therefore, the Regional 7s West of Ghana tournament will open the ball for 4 regional tournaments for men and women.
The second for the northern region will take place in Alexandria, Egypt, from December 17 to 18, with the participation of Egypt, Algeria, Senegal, Tunisia (men only) and Libya.
It will be followed by the Regional Sevens South in Mauritius on January 15-16, 2022, which will host the teams of Mauritius, Botswana, Zimbabwe (women only), Namibia (women only), Eswatini, Lesotho and Malawi.
Finally, this qualification process for Africa Men's & Women's Sevens will end on January 22 and 23, 2022 in Kigali, Rwanda, for the Center region where teams from Rwanda, Burundi, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Congo, Zambia (only women ) and Central African Republic expected.
Rugby Africa's vision, as explained by its Vice President Andrew Owor, is to give as many people an opportunity as possible: “For Rugby Africa, one of the main key indicators of success is the principle of inclusion. African youth are our greatest asset, girls and boys love sport and our responsibility is to offer them opportunities for play and personal development through rugby. We are committed to allowing as many countries as possible to play in both the men's and women's categories, and the federations have embraced this strategy. The emphasis is on the well-being and safety of the players, we send qualified medical personnel to provide medical care at all of our tournaments, but also to train and grow the workforce that ensures the safety of the players. "
Washington on Wednesday removed Nigeria from its list of countries with religious freedom issues, just a day before Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in the country on a tour of Africa.
Blinken is expected to arrive in Abuja on Thursday, where he is expected to meet officials, including President Muhammadu Buhari, and deliver a speech on US policy in Africa.
The US Secretary of State will travel to Nigeria from Kenya where he has launched his Africa tour which will also see him visit Senegal.
The omission drew a sharp rebuke from a U.S. government commission that recommended that the Biden administration maintain Nigeria as a so-called country of particular concern for committing or tolerating violations of religious freedom.
Mr Blinken made an annual announcement on Wednesday of the countries on the list, citing Myanmar, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan as a country of particular concern.
He also placed Algeria, Comoros, Cuba and Nicaragua on a watchlist for religious freedom, and named armed groups, including the Islamic State and several of its affiliates, as entities of concern.
But Nigeria, which was first added to the list in 2020, has not been re-designated.
The State Department did not respond to a request for comment and it was not clear whether the designation was related to the secretary's trip.
The US Commission on International Religious Freedom, USCIRF, recommended in April that Nigeria remain on the list, citing "violence by Islamist militants and other armed non-state actors, as well as discrimination, arbitrary detentions and convictions. to death for blasphemy by state authorities ”. in the countryside.
The commission, which had also recommended that India, Syria and Vietnam be designated as countries of concern, said in a statement it was "appalled" by Nigeria's withdrawal.
"We urge the State Department to reconsider its designations based on the facts presented in its own report," President Nadine Maenza said, referring to the department's report on international religious freedom in May, which cited concerns of religious freedom in Nigeria.
Reuters / NAN
Three people died Thursday when a residential block collapsed in a landslide in Algiers, emergency services said, bringing to six the death toll this week in heavy rains in the Algerian capital.
A 17-year-old boy and two men were killed before dawn in the collapse of the “precarious” building in the Rais Hamidou district of northern Algiers, the fire and rescue service said.
“Rescuers are still searching for other possible victims,” it said in a statement.
Two men and a woman died when their building collapsed in another landslide in the nearby Bologhine neighbourhood on Tuesday, also following heavy rain.
In March, flooding due to torrential rains in the northwest of the country resulted in six deaths, five of them children.
In May, seven people were killed in various provinces across Algeria during flooding after heavy downpours.
Source Credit: TheGuardian
VIDEO Canon Announces Intensification of its “Women Who Empower” Program with the Addition of Share Copy Embed Webinars
The outstanding response received for our Women Who Empower initiative shows the number of talented women we have in our regionDUBAI, United Arab Emirates, November 9, 2021 / APO Group / -
Canon Middle East, Central and North Africa (Canon-CNA.com) today announced the intensification of its “Women Who Empower” program with the addition of webinars, mentoring perspectives, panel discussions, educational opportunities and expert advice with the aim of propelling the wave of women's empowerment in the Middle East and Africa. Due to the exceptional success and remarkable response received for the Women Who Empower initiative, the company has launched its Transform and Elevate webinar workshops in association with Transform8 to help women entrepreneurs grow their businesses and develop their businesses. reach their maximum potential.
The webinar series which began in September and is scheduled to run through March 2022, will delve into various aspects associated with the humanitarian aspect of leadership, each month bringing a new theme of learning and discussion aimed at providing engaging information. , educational, informative. and impactful takeaways to support the entrepreneurial journey of the participants. In addition, two lucky winners will be selected each month to receive two leadership coaching sessions from a Transform8 coach. These sessions will provide the laureates with an excellent opportunity to delve into the topics of their choice, the problems or the skills they wish to deepen, thus creating a valuable and stimulating experience.
The September webinar session focused on time management skills while the October session is geared towards managing self-criticism during an entrepreneurial journey. The final sessions of this year will be essential for developing mind management skills such as increased focus and focus as well as reduced stress and anxiety. Afterwards, the first webinar for 2022 will begin on the note of advancing social entrepreneurship skills by teaching attendees the importance of building a business that cares about society and the planet. Following on from this, the February and March 2022 webinars will look at the evolution of creative skills through a session dedicated to rewiring the brain and another on building mental resilience. The final session scheduled for the program will be grounded in the science of manifestation in business, disclosing key points related to goal setting and achievement.
A series of webinars will be hosted by Al Sahm Women of Algeria, which are women's-only platforms that address issues affecting women. Encouraging discussion and engagement, the topic of “strategies to get things done in your business” will be discussed. Canon has also partnered with AWIEF to organize a series of three educational masterclasses to be held in October, November and December 2021, which will focus on topics related to the digital sector. The AWIEF community is a digital platform and community focused on empowering women to be successful in their business and have economic power through the provision of masterclasses, e-learning, mentoring opportunities , networking events and more. The AWIEF-Canon masterclasses will be duly supported by the APO group and will take advantage of the already existing AWIEF community and network, in order to maximize the learning outcomes for the participants.
Speaking about the new additions to the program, Mai Youssef, Director of Corporate Communications and Marketing Services at Canon Middle East, North and Central Africa and Turkey said: “The outstanding response received for our Women Who Empower initiative shows the number of talented women we have in our area. We wanted to further expand the program to support more women entrepreneurs by providing them with mentoring, guidance and skills building opportunities. We are excited to partner with Transform8 and AWIEF to provide women with learning platforms that can be helpful in their entrepreneurial journey.
WFP is deeply grateful to the peoples and governments of the European Union for their continued support of our food and nutrition programs.ALGIERS, Algeria, November 8, 2021 / APO Group / -
The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) welcomes a grant of 5.4 million euros (6.4 million US dollars) from the European Union (EU) to cover the basic food needs of Sahrawi refugees in the Tindouf refugee camps in southwest Algeria.
WFP will use these funds to provide vulnerable refugees living in this arid part of the country with a balanced and nutritious diet through direct food distributions. Food rations include grains, legumes, vegetable oil and sugar. WFP will also provide pregnant and breastfeeding women and children under five with compound foods and specialized supplements to treat and prevent malnutrition.
“WFP is deeply grateful to the peoples and governments of the European Union for their continued support to our food and nutrition programs,” said WFP Representative and Country Director in Algeria, Imed Khanfir. "This contribution is a testament to the EU's commitment to the most vulnerable, especially as their continued support comes amid a global pandemic and economic uncertainty."
The EU is the largest donor to the WFP operation in favor of Sahrawi refugees in Algeria. The EU has donated nearly $ 100 million in humanitarian aid since 2003. This year, EU aid accounts for almost 30 percent of WFP's funding needs in Algeria.
“The EU renews its commitment to the WFP food and nutrition assistance operation in the Sahrawi refugee camps. The limited opportunities for self-reliance in the harsh desert conditions of Tindouf mean that refugees continue to depend on international aid for their survival, ”said Samuel Marie-Fanon, EU humanitarian aid manager in Algiers. . "Providing reliable and sustained support to Sahrawi refugees is essential and a direct expression of the EU's solidarity with those in need."
WFP has been supporting Sahrawi refugees in Algeria since 1986. WFP operations in the country are carried out and monitored in collaboration with national and international organizations to ensure that food aid reaches the people for whom it is intended.
Algeria’s President Abdelmadjid Tebboune said Saturday he would not make the “first move” towards easing tensions with former colonial power France after critical comments from Paris about his country.
The diplomatic spat has been fuelled by a visa row and media reports that President Emmanuel Macron told descendants of fighters in Algeria’s 1954-1962 war of independence that the North African country was ruled by a “political-military system” that had “totally re-written” its history.
“Macron completely pointlessly revived an old conflict,” Tebboune told German magazine Der Spiegel.
“I won’t be the one to make the first move” to ease tensions, he added.
“No Algerian will accept it if I get in touch with those who insulted us.”
French daily Le Monde in early October quoted Macron as saying: “Was there an Algerian nation before French colonisation? That’s the question.”
The comments reflected “the old hatred of colonial masters, and I know that Macron is far from thinking like this,” Tebboune said.
Algeria has recalled its ambassador from Paris and banned French military planes from its airspace over the tensions.
Asked by Der Spiegel if the fallout was likely to be resolved any time soon, Tebboune was defiant.
“No, if the French want to go to Mali or Niger now, they will just have to fly for nine hours instead of four,” the Algerian president said, referring to two countries where France has sent troops to help fight jihadists.
He said he would however make an exception to “rescue wounded people”.
At the end of September, France said it would sharply reduce the number of visas it grants to citizens of Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, accusing the former French colonies of not doing enough to allow illegal immigrants to return.
Source Credit: TheGuardian
Google has announced the commencement of applications for its three-month virtual accelerator programme for startups in 17 African countries.
The countries include: Algeria, Botswana, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.
Mr Andy Volk, who leads Google’s developer and start up ecosystem efforts in Sub-Saharan Africa, stated this in a statement on Wednesday, in Lagos.
He said that the successful early-growth stage start up applicants (from seed to Series A) would gain access to equity-free support, alongside the best of Google’s networks, advanced technology.
Volk said that successful applicants would benefit from experts and mentors through Google for Start ups Accelerator Africa’s (GFSAA) week-long virtual boot camps every month from March to May 2022.
“We are honoured to have yet another opportunity to connect with African innovators and empower them through the seventh Class of the GFSAA.
“We know that, as with previous Classes, we are on the move to uncover some outstanding technology-led solutions to some of the continent’s most pressing challenges, developed by Africans themselves,” he said.
Volk said that one of such solutions came from Ndovu, a Class 6 alumnus dedicated to empowering Africans to develop wealth by promoting financial literacy and providing tools to aid with diversifying financial risks, strengthening security, and increasing financial resilience.
He said that Ndovu has a 53% female client base, also has a gender-balanced staff comprising a complement of 50% female staff and 50% female board members.
Launched in 2017, the Google for Startups Accelerator Africa programme was designed to help startups scale their solutions across the continent.
According to the statement, 82 startups from 17 African countries had participated and successfully raised more than US$117 million in funding and created more than 2,800 jobs on the continent.
The present Google initiative comes five months after Google renewed its commitment to growing Africa’s startup ecosystem with $6 million in grants and funding for the Black Founders Fund (BFF) Africa programme and to the Tony Elumelu Foundation.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that all interested startups could submit their applications at g.co/AcceleratorAfrica.
Source Credit: TheGuardian
Google has announced the start of applications for its three-month virtual accelerator program for start-ups in 17 African countries.
Countries include Algeria, Botswana, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa , Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
Andy Volk, who is leading Google's ecosystem development and startup efforts in sub-Saharan Africa, said in a statement Wednesday in Lagos.
He said successful startup candidates (from bootstrapping to Series A) would have access to unequaled support, alongside the best of Google's networks, cutting edge technology.
Volk said successful applicants will benefit from experts and mentors through Google for Start ups Accelerator Africa, GFSAA, week-long virtual training camps every March through May 2022.
“We are honored to have yet another opportunity to connect with African innovators and empower them to participate in the seventh class of GFSAA.
“We know that, as with previous courses, we are discovering exceptional technological solutions to some of the continent's most pressing challenges, developed by Africans themselves,” he said.
Volk said one of those solutions came from Ndovu, a class 6 alumnus dedicated to empowering Africans to develop wealth by promoting financial literacy and providing tools to help diversify financial risk, strengthen security and increase financial resilience.
He said that Ndovu has a 53% female clientele, also has a gender balanced staff comprising an additional 50% female staff and 50% female board members.
Launched in 2017, the Google for Start ups Accelerator Africa program was designed to help startups scale their solutions across the continent.
According to the statement, 82 start-ups from 17 African countries participated and successfully raised more than $ 117 million in funding and created more than 2,800 jobs on the continent.
Google's current initiative comes five months after Google renewed its commitment to growing the start-up ecosystem in Africa with $ 6 million in grants and funding for the Black Founders Fund (BFF) Africa program and the Tony Foundation. Elumelu.
Nigeria's news agency reports that all interested startups can submit their applications at g.co/AcceleratorAfrica.