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Government of Germany contributes Euros 50 million towards strengthening resilience in southern Somalia

The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has committed euro;50 million for a joint United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and UNICEF programme to tackle women and children’s nutrition in nine districts in Banadir an…

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Amref Health Africa and GE Healthcare Partner to Strengthen Healthcare Systems in Africa

Amref Health Africa and GE to develop joint programs aimed at improving primary and referral care with initial focus on reducing preventable maternal and infant mortality;

First joint program in Ethiopia will equip and develop a sustainable delivery model in 24 healthcare facilities and aims to increase number of healthy mothers and healthy births, expand access to family planning and sustain lower rates of under-five mortality;

Early GE pilot study in Ethiopia shows a 24% reduction in neo-natal mortality in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU);

GE plans 20 programs, from 13 currently, to reach 3.5 million expectant women, mothers and new-borns and train over 3,000 primary healthcare workers by 2020, together with partners including Amref.

GE Healthcare (www.GEHealthcare.com) and Amref Health Africa (www.Amref.org) today announced a framework agreement that aims to develop a range of in-country health care service collaborations across reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health, non-communicable diseases, water, sanitation and hygiene and safe surgery.

Initially, Amref Health Africa and GE will work together with Intrahealth and Project HOPE on a new program in Ethiopia, where GE will provide medical equipment at 20 health centers and 4 primary hospitals to widen access to antenatal screenings, essential newborn care and to upskill health workers. The technology will include portable ultrasound for antenatal screening, baby warmers, anesthesia and resuscitation equipment used during childbirth and phototherapy devices which help mitigate jaundice in babies.

Through a focus on task-shifting, health workers such as midwives who operate in remote communities where access to medically trained personnel is often limited or non-existent, will be taught essential skills to perform additional tasks such as antenatal scans, ensuring that critical, potentially life-saving services are available to the most at-risk patients.

Amref Health Africa is the largest non-governmental organization founded and based in Africa and has more than 60 years#39; experience in health development. GE Healthcare is a leading global provider of healthcare technology and services and brings more than 100 years’ experience in the continent. The collaboration allows the partners to develop new in-country programs that will combine their respective technical expertise, capacity building know-how and ability to convene large-scale funding into programs.

The new GE program with Amref Health Africa will build on results from a 6-month GE pilot during which 22 NICU nurses and paediatricians were trained on the provision of essential newborn care. It showed a 24% reduction in facility-based neo-natal mortality, from 82 in every 1000 admissions to 62 in every 1000 admissions. [1] The study was conducted by the Ethiopian Paediatric Association in consultation with the Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Health for Ethiopia, at four sites across Ethiopia, and involved more than 2,400 neonates. It also showed a 50% reduction in patient referrals and a 1-day reduction in overall hospital length of stay after an NICU intervention to 7 days.

Amref Health Africa stands at the forefront of creating stronger community-based health systems that ensure access to quality health services for all. Training health workers on essential skills for mother and child health is a key component of addressing the high rates of maternal, newborn and child mortality that still exists in far too many communities,rdquo; said Dr. Githinji Gitahi Group CEO, Amref Health Africa.

Strengthening primary care and the broader referral system is an essential building block towards the attainment of universal health coverage in Africa,rdquo; said Farid Fezoua, President and CEO, GE Healthcare Africa. To that end, Amref Health Africa – as a proven and trusted partner in African healthcare, has been at the forefront of primary care development. Leveraging their unique insights and local know-how is an important step in GE’s plan to contribute meaningfully to the reduction of preventable maternal and child mortality.rdquo;

He added: Our approach combines relevant technologies, skills development and localized service delivery into one scalable deployment model. Early pilots have shown promising results and together with Amref Health Africa and our other implementation partners, we have a dedicated and local team monitoring and evaluating these programs to share learnings across the continent.rdquo;

Today there are more than a dozen GE Healthcare programs in Nigeria, Tanzania, Kenya, Ghana, South Africa and Sierra Leone aimed at reducing preventable maternal and infant mortality underway together with a range of implementation partners. With a plan to deliver more than 20 such initiatives with several partners including Amref Health Africa, GE aims to reach 3.5 million expectant women, mothers and new-borns and train over 3,000 primary healthcare workers by 2020.

According to WHO, approximately 830 women die every day from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth [2], with maternal mortality higher in women living in rural areas and among poorer communities [3]. Almost all maternal deaths (99%) occur in developing countries. More than half of these deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa [4]. The situation remains challenging for infants and newborns. While the total number of under-five deaths dropped to 5.6 million in 2016 from 12.6 million in 1990, 7,000 newborns still die every day, according to UNICEF [5]. In sub-Saharan Africa, approximately 1 child in 13 dies before his or her fifth birthday, while in the world’s high-income countries the ratio is 1 in 189.[6]

One target under Sustainable Development Goal 3 is to reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100 000 births, with no country having a maternal mortality rate of more than twice the global average. To that end, skilled care before, during and after childbirth can save the lives of women and newborn babies according to WHO.

Amref Health Africa has a strong regional presence, working with over 100 poor and marginalized rural and urban slum communities as well as district health authorities and Ministries of Health and Education in Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda; pioneering experience in community based healthcare � emphasizing community ownership of projects and programs to encourage sustainability; and extensive experience in health development training targeted at a diverse range of health professionals from primary healthcare workers to field surgeons.

[1]Improving Neonatal-health outcomes in Ethiopia through an innovative and sustainable healthcare modelrdquo; Bogale Worku, Ethiopia Journal of Pediatric Child Health, 2016 Vol XIII, No 2.

[2]https://goo.gl/avwKj7

[3]Ibid reference 2

[4]Ibid reference 2

[5]https://goo.gl/r7EB7W

[6]Ibid reference 5

Source: GE.Media Contact

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EnergyNet, organisers of the Africa Energy Forum, is partnering with African Business to publish this year’s Africa Energy Yearbook – the official publication of the annual Africa Energy Forum 2018

Celebrating 20 years of projects, deals amp; partnerships, the Africa Energy Forum (www.Africa-Energy-Forum.com) will celebrate its 20th anniversary in Mauritius from 19-22 June. As the official publication of the Forum, the 9th Africa Energy Yearbook …

Legal Matters

SOMALIA: ‘WE ARE NOT OUT OF THE WOODS YET’ ON DROUGHT RELIEF EFFORT – UN

The top United Nations humanitarian official in Somalia has commended the drought relief and recovery efforts of the authorities in the northern state of Puntland, while cautioning that the current humanitarian crisis is far from over.

We took stock, together with [Puntland’s] leadership, of the drought response as it has been so far, looking back to what has been a good year in terms of close cooperation and a very successful drought relief effort, the UN’s Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, Peter de Clercq, said in Puntland’s capital, Garowe, in the wake of a series of meeting with officials, including the Federal Member State’s President Abdiwali Mohamed Ali.

At the same time, we talked about the remaining challenges because we are not out of the woods yet by any stretch of the imagination, he added.

de Clercq � who also serves as the Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative for Somalia and the UN Resident Coordinator � was visiting Puntland to meet with security, planning and humanitarian officials from the local government, as well as representatives of civil society organizations, to discuss the current drought response and other challenges in the region.

Speaking on the collective response so far to the drought that has affected Puntland and the rest of Somalia for over five failed rain cycles, de Clercq said that, while 2017 was a good year in terms of close cooperation to avoid the worst impact of the drought, further effort would be needed.

He added that, in areas like Sool and Sanaag, there are still massive needs and a strong possibility that famine-type conditions would develop. The two areas, located on the north-eastern tip of the Horn of Africa, form part of a disputed region claimed by both Puntland and neighbouring ‘Somaliland.’

Mitigating the effects of the drought and helping the people who have been displaced by it was one of the main topics covered in the UN official’s meeting with President Mohamed Ali. Our discussion was frank and candid, very fruitful, the President noted afterwards.

At the end of the visit, which included discussions at the ministries of security and planning, together with Puntland’s disaster management agency, de Clercq said that it was important to get the right resources to the right place and work with the right partners, such as the Puntland authorities, and to consider longer-term factors.

We try to address the underlying causes of the crisis, like food insecurity and livestock depletion, and to think of alternatives for people to make a living and to rebuild their lives, he said.

In 2017, drought-related famine was averted through the efforts of Somalis and their international partners. However, the risk is not yet overcome as there are 5.4 million people in Somalia needing life-saving humanitarian assistance.

Work is being done in all regions, including Puntland, to build and sustain resilience in all communities, especially the populations affected the most by the recurring cycle of drought and famine risk, such as pastoralists, displaced persons and fishing communities.

There is a resilience and recovery framework in Somalia, to help it transition from humanitarian intervention to sustainable recovery and disaster preparedness. Led by the authorities and supported by the United Nations and the World Bank, it is tightly linked to its development plan.

It enables the national and regional governments to take the lead in medium- and long-term developments solutions, going to the root of communities’ vulnerability to droughts, and helping them withstand recurrent shocks.

Source: NAM News Network

Legal Matters

Venezuela, Libya Lose UN Vote for Third Time in 3 Years

Venezuela and Libya have been suspended from voting in the U.N. General Assembly for the third time in three years because of millions of dollars in unpaid dues to the world body.Secretary-General Antonio Guterres informed the General Assembly in late …

Legal Matters

UN: 1.5 Million South Sudanese on Brink of Famine

The United Nations warned Wednesday that 1.5 million South Sudanese are on the brink of famine and 20,000 are already in famine conditions.”The next lean season, which begins in March, is likely to see food security worsen, and could see famine conditi…

Legal Matters

Pence Visit Showcases Dilemma Facing Egypt, Jordan Leaders

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence’s upcoming visit to the Middle East comes at a time of intensely publicized friction between his administration and the Palestinian leadership, posing a dilemma for his Arab hosts – Egypt’s president and Jordan’s king – o…

Legal Matters

International Monetary Fund Executive Board Completes Seventh PSI Review for Tanzania

Macroeconomic performance under the program has been satisfactory. Most quantitative targets were met, though implementation of structural measures lagged. Authorities should step up budget implementation, particularly in development spending, and macr…

Legal Matters

MOZAMBIQUE: 13 SOMALIS FOUND DEAD IN A BUSH

Bodies of 13 Somalis believed to have suffocated in the back of a container truck were discovered on Tuesday in a village in central Mozambique.According to the authorities, the bodies were found dumped in a bush some 200 metres from a police station i…

Legal Matters

SOMALIA: CORRUPTION RIFE, UN SAYS IN YEAR-END ASSESSMENT

United Nations officials are offering a mixed but mainly negative year-end assessment of conditions in Somalia, while warning of a “grim” humanitarian outlook for 2018.Progress towards stability is being impeded by extreme drought and hunger, by Al-Sha…