Photos: Vicky Minassh releases smashing photos to mark birthday


Fast-rising Ghanaian actress cum model, Victoria Lebene Mekpah also known as Vicky Minassh is one actress to look out for in 2015 and beyond.

The 2015 Next Movie Star Ghana Rep who is extremely hardworking takes her job seriously and possesses an impeccable gift to interpret whatever role she will be given easily and is extremely unpredictable in her deliveries.

Vicky has starred in many movies and tv series including; Jackie Goes To School , Broken Mirror , Deadlly Deal , The Storm , The Miser and lots more.

The actress is celebrating her birthday today, July 30, and to mark it she has released new stunning photos .

The pretty actress showed off her sexy body in a number of poses in the studio looking stunningly beautiful and incredibly sexy.

See her new pictures below!





Rising from rock bottom: How Ebola survivors are getting back on their feet

Road to freedom_edited1

“After losing my husband and four children, surviving alone with my youngest child has been so difficult for me that it makes me wish that we had died together. The trauma of EVD (Ebola virus disease) will forever live within me,” says Jeanet Wee, an Ebola survivor.

According to WHO the case fatality rate of the 2014 outbreak of Ebola in West Africa is about 50 per cent. As of June 2015, the number of reported cases in Liberia is 10,666 with death toll reaching 4806. Fear, grief and tension reign supreme in the areas affected. While it takes physical and mental toll on those carrying the disease, it is equally traumatic for the families of the affected and deceased.

It is difficult to predict how people will react to the challenging situation. Some experience depression while fighting the disease while others may go through a phase of self-loathe, blaming themselves for their fate. Wee recalls the horror she faced after she got back home from a successful treatment. “The worst part of it all is coming back to the community where no one wants to come near you, not even your close friends. Even my own mother did not come near me or speak to me,” says Wee.

Over time the country will overcome Ebola but the need for a continued psychosocial support is of paramount importance. In 2009, WHO’s mental health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP) Guideline Development Group evaluated the evidence for the need for psychological first aid. It has been widely asserted that survivors do not completely overcome the repercussions of the life-threatening disease because they were not provided with psychosocial assistance.

One of the projects that BRAC undertook during the Ebola outbreak is the EVD psychosocial and survivor support using BRAC’s community-based network in Liberia in association with USAID.

To deal with this sensitive issue BRAC first sought to recognise the various causes which might lead to EVD-related psychosocial trauma. Some prominent reasons include death of family members and lack of any physical contact with community members. Another reason involved the stigma associated with being an Ebola positive survivor or a family member. The stigma extended to health workers, dead body management staff and burial teams.

After studying these causes and devising ways to deal with them, BRAC started providing psychosocial training to the survivors. Wee says that she received psychological first-aid training which prioritises relation-building among Ebola survivors, their family members and the community. The training also focused on institutional resources in the community and group counselling. Psychosocial support is essential not only for those affected but also healthcare providers experiencing distress, members of quarantined families as well as community members dealing with isolation and economic stress. Delivering survival hygiene kits has also been an integral part in curbing the disease.

To help survivors get back on their feet, BRAC also provides a monthly incentive of USD 50. Wee proudly narrates how she has used the money to start up a small business through which she buys dry food and sells them in her village. From being shunned by society as an untouchable to rising on her own feet and helping those in need, hers is a remarkable story of survival.

As of 2014, 99,000 plus people have been provided with information concerning EVD by our community health promoters. It is through the wide network of community health promoters in Liberia that Wee and other survivors of Ebola are made aware of the need for psychosocial help. Currently, this project operates in Montserrado, Lofa, Nimba, Margibi, Bong and Grand Bassa counties.


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BET Award Winner, Stonebwoy, loses mum

The 2015 Black Entertainment Television (BET) Awards winner, Livingstone Etse Satekla, popularly known as Stonebwoy, has lost his mother.

Madam Catherine A. Satekla, who had been unwell for some time now, died Wednesday night at the 37 Military Hospital in Accra.

The musician arrived in Ghana from the United States Wednesday night, where he was scheduled to perform at various shows.

His mother had died 15 minutes before his arrival.
Madam Satekla, was rushed to the hospital on Sunday where she was receiving treatment for an undisclosed ailment.

The award winning artiste, who earlier this year made a song for his mum on Mother’s Day took to social media (Instagram) to express how he felt about the loss.

He wrote, “MAMA!!! Only Jah knows”.

Source: Hitz FM | Anita Ampomah

Feature/Opinion Article: The Nursing Canker In Ghana

In recent times, nursing has become the order of the day in Ghana. Arguably about 80% of Young girls who complete senior high schools will opt for nursing against any other profession in Ghana. Not degree nursing but diploma and a government nursing school preferably. As good as it may sound as an indication to the quest for higher education by Ghanaian girls as against the past when most of them settled for vocational apprenticeship, it equally raises eyebrow.

Those who find it difficult to gain admissions into the public nursing schools because they didn’t pass their WASSCE also seek educational asylum in some unaccredited private mushroom nursing schools which have been springing up at a faster rate as fuel filling stations in Ghana. Such students have developed an idea that their only hope to survive in life is nursing. Inasmuch as nursing is a noble profession, the reasons why these students choose diploma nursing over degree nursing leaves much to be desired. In this article I wish to add my voice to this career bandwagon of young girls, the nursing training syndrome.

Most senior high schools leavers especially girls rush into the nursing training institutions such as the Korlebu teaching hospital, Komfo Anokye teaching hospital etc. to purchase the nursing training forms to be trained as professional nurses and midwives mainly because nursing has become the haven for job security and the educational bursary they enjoy but not job satisfaction. It’s no wonder that the professional ethics of nurses have been questioned by patients in Present times. Many attribute the disrespectful attitude of some nurses to frustration on the job.

Corruption has eluded admissions into nursing training schools because of the mad rush for placements in these schools but limited vacancies created by the quota system impose by government on public nursing schools. Also some of these young girls do not pass their final examinations and therefore their parents turn to pay huge amount of money in the form of bribes to compensate some heads of the nursing training institutions in other to secure admissions for their wards. It is interesting to know that fees of public diploma nursing schools have escalated above that of public degree nursing awarding universities.

Interestingly, general arts students are admitted in the public nursing schools whilst their science counterparts are left at bay for reasons only the registrars in these schools can tell.

The trepidation of majority of girls with nursing ambitions has escalated because of the gloomy picture the recent planned demonstration by 2000 unemployed nurses and midwives paints about the future of nursing and its job security. It is no doubt the manner in which trainee nurses fail their licensure exams can be an orchestrated attempt to downsize their numbers so government can absorb them. Moreover there is a debate on the cancellation of their bursaries.

It is about time senior high schools embark on career guidance to educate these young girls on other career opportunities so that most Ghanaian girls will take up equally and even more challenging careers in science, mathematics and engineering. Example, we can’t wait to have as many female pilots and the likes in Ghana.

To this end, I think if the government lay down the necessary policies that will create more job opportunities in the country, it will drastically reduce the rate at which these young girls rush into the nursing training institutions.

Addy Anita-Anapaula

Countries Urged To Take Steps To Curb Hepatitis


The World Health Organisations (WHO) is to use the 2015 World Hepatitis Day, slated for July 28 to highlight the urgent need for countries to enhance action aimed at preventing viral hepatitis infection.

A statement issued by Christian Lindmeier, WHO Communications Officer and copied to the Ghana News Agency on Monday, urged nations “to ensure that people who have been infected are diagnosed and offered treatment”.

It said the Organization is currently focusing on hepatitis B and C, which together cause approximately 80 per cent of all liver cancer deaths and kill close to 1.4 million people every year.

The statement said WHO is alerting people to the risks of contracting hepatitis from unsafe blood, unsafe injections, and sharing drug-injection equipment.

It said some 11 million people, who inject drugs had hepatitis B or C infection, adding that, children born to mothers with hepatitis B or C and sex partners of people with hepatitis were also at risk of becoming infected.

“The Organization emphasizes the need for all health services to reduce risks by using only sterile equipment for injections and other medical procedures, to test all donated blood and blood components for hepatitis B and C (as well as HIV and syphilis) and to promote the use of the hepatitis B vaccine,” it said.

“Safer sex practices, including minimizing the number of partners and using barrier protective measures (condoms), also protect against transmission,” the statement added.

It said approximately, two million people a year contract hepatitis from unsafe injections.

The statement said these infections could be averted through the use of sterile syringes that were specifically designed to prevent reuse.

It said eliminating unnecessary injections was also an effective strategy to protect people against the hepatitis transmission; adding that, there were 16 billion injections administered every year.

It said around five per cent of these injections were for immunization, a further five per cent for procedures like blood transfusions and injectable contraceptives, and the remaining 90 per cent to administer medicines.

The statement said for many diseases, injections are not the first recommended course of treatment and oral medications could be used.

It said WHO recommends vaccinating all children against hepatitis B infection, from which approximately 780 000 people die each year.

The statement said a safe and effective vaccine could protect from hepatitis B infection for life.

“Ideally, the vaccine should be given as soon as possible after birth, preferably within 24 hours. The birth dose should be followed by two or three doses to complete the vaccine series,” it said.

It said the WHO also recommends vaccinating adults who are at increased risk of acquiring hepatitis B.

It explained that these include people who frequently require blood or blood products (for example dialysis patients), health-care workers, people who inject drugs, household and sexual contacts of people with chronic hepatitis B, and people with multiple sexual partners.

It said since 1982, over one billion doses of hepatitis B vaccine had been used worldwide and millions of future deaths from liver cancer and cirrhosis have been prevented.

It said in a number of countries where around one in 10 children used to become chronically infected with the hepatitis B virus, vaccination had reduced the rate of chronic infection to less than one in 100 among immunized children.

The statement said to date, there is no available vaccine against hepatitis C but medicines were now available that could cure most people with hepatitis C and control hepatitis B infection.

It said people who receive these medicines were much less likely to die from liver cancer and cirrhosis and much less likely to transmit the virus to others.

It said the WHO, therefore, urges people who think they might have been exposed to hepatitis to get tested so they can find out whether they need treatment to improve their own health and reduce the risk of transmission.

It recounted that earlier this year, WHO issued new guidelines for treatment of hepatitis B infection, stating that, these recommend using simple non-invasive tests to assess the stage of liver disease to help identify who needs treatment.

“WHO also calls for prioritizing treatment for those with cirrhosis – the most advanced stage of liver disease and for the use of two safe and highly effective medicines, tenofovir or entecavir.

It said the WHO recommends providing testing for people considered at high risk of infection and ensuring treatment for those who had the virus with several effective medicines, including new regimens that use only oral medicines.

It said the WHO would update recommendations on drug treatments periodically as new antiviral medicines become available, adding that, this year, WHO’s flagship event takes place in Egypt, a country with one of the world’s highest hepatitis burdens.

The statement said it is estimated that 10 per cent of the ‎population between 15 and ‎‎59 years is chronically ‎infected with hepatitis C; adding that, between 2007 and 2014, more than 350 000 people with hepatitis C had been treated.

It said since the introduction of newer, more effective medicines in 2014, the number of people being treated continues to increase.

“Today, 32 dedicated treatment centres are providing treatment at the Government’s expense. Egypt is also highlighting hepatitis prevention,” it said.

The statement said the WHO is helping the country to develop national ‎blood safety standards and had selected ‎Egypt as one of three pilot ‎countries for its new Global ‎Injection Safety Initiative.‎

It said the WHO would provide support over the next three years to ‎reduce unnecessary ‎injections and help transition to ‎the exclusive use of syringes ‎that could only be used once.

It said in September this year, countries would have the opportunity to share best practice at the first-ever World Hepatitis Summit to be held in Glasgow, Scotland.

The statement said the summit, which is co-sponsored by WHO, the Scottish Government and the World Hepatitis Alliance, aims to raise the global profile of viral hepatitis, to create a platform for exchange of country experiences and to focus on working with countries to develop national action plans.

It said in addition to hepatitis B and C, hepatitis A and E viruses also cause viral hepatitis.

It said these two viruses are primarily transmitted through contact with contaminated food and water and are responsible for less than one per cent of all hepatitis-related deaths.


Chung Mong-joon will effect change as FIFA president

Chung Mong-joon

Chung is a former vice-president of world football’s governing body and the major shareholder of the industrial giant Hyundai.

He told the BBC’s World Football programme rival Michel Platini was not the right man for Fifa.

“If I get elected, my job is not to enjoy the luxury of the office. My job is to change it,” he added.

The 63-year-old, who is worth $1.2bn (£769m) according to Forbes, continued: “It will be very difficult for Mr Platini to have any meaningful reforms. Mr Platini enjoys institutional support from the current structure of Fifa. Mr Platini is very much a product of the current system.”

Platini declared his intention to run for the 26 February election on Wednesday, though candidates have until 26 October to be nominated.

Blatter, who has run Fifa since 1998, is standing down following a series of damaging corruption allegations against the organisation.

United States and Swiss authorities have launched separate criminal investigations into corruption at Fifa, with seven top officials indicted on bribery and racketeering charges in the US.

The Football Association has confirmed it will back Uefa president Platini’s bid for election.

However Chung, who believes he has a “good chance” of winning the election, said: “It is time that Fifa had a non-European leadership.

“Fifa became a closed organisation for President Blatter, his associates and his cronies and I want to change that.”

Chung lost his Fifa vice-presidency in 2010, to Prince Ali Bin al-Hussein of Jordan – who unsuccessfully stood against Blatter in May’s presidential election.

Meanwhile, Argentina football great Diego Maradona has said he wants to fight the “mafia” behind the corruption in Fifa, but stopped short of saying he would run for president.

The 54-year-old former World Cup winner told local television channel America: “I have to fight the mafia that still remains inside Fifa. I have to fight those who have for a long time stolen from inside Fifa.”

When asked if he would run for the presidency, he said: “I really want to be in Fifa.”

Source: BBC

Did You Know: Kenyan babies were named “AirforceOne” to honor Obama’s visit


Obama’s trip to Kenya had some residents so thrilled they named their new babies after the president. And at least two babies were named after the president’s airplane.

Born Friday, little AirForceOne Barack Obama was one of eight babies born in the city of Kisumu during the president’s recent visit.

‘I have decided to call my baby AirForceOne Barack Obama so that we can all remember Obama’s visit to Kenya because it is a huge blessing,’ Lucy Akinyi Okoth, one of the mothers, told AFP.

Another mother went short and sweet, naming her boy AirForce One.
‘I have been told that it is the best aeroplane because it carries a very powerful leader of America who is also a Kenyan,’ Lucy Atieno explained.

In addition to the takes on the president’s (and his plane’s) name, three girls also got Obama-related names.
One was named Michelle , another was called Malia and a third was named Malia Sasha after both Obama girls.

‘I could not call my daughter any other name,’ said Wilkister Anyango, new mother to Malia Sasha.

Fulfilling the hopes of millions of Kenyans, Barack Obama returned to his father’s homeland Friday for the first time as U.S. president, a long sought visit by a country that considers him a local son.

Source: Daily Mail

Poultry Business in Ghana Thrives Despite Bird Flu


Following a recent ban on the importation and hawking of poultry in the country by government, Business Day checks have shown mixed reactions from traders who deal in poultry.

While some traders say the bird flu outbreak and subsequent ban on poultry has greatly affected the patronage of poultry products, others say there is still great demand for chicken.

Despite the ban on the movement of live poultry into and within Ghana, a visit to the Achimota Market showed that there is still a market for chicken regardless of the outbreak of bird flu.

Some traders who use poultry products told this paper that their revenue for the sale of poultry product has neither decreased nor increased following the ban.

A fast food vendor revealed that people still buy chicken at her joint with revenues she make from the sale of chicken remaining the same since the outbreak of the disease. According to her, the disease will not affect one if the meat is well cooked and preserved.

“The outbreak of the bird flu could go a long way to affect the activities of cold store operators, food vendors and consumers, if government does not put proper measures in place to curb it”, she opined.

A mini cold store operator also confirmed that business was still booming regardless of the outbreak of the disease. She explained that the disease was not rampant in Accra because the number of poultry farms in the capital were few as compared to those in other regions.

The general overseer of Las Palmas branch in Lapaz said the outbreak of the disease was not affecting their business in any way. She confirmed that consumers have been buying chicken since the outbreak of the disease.

“There hasn’t been a decrease in the purchase of chicken since I heard there is an outbreak of bird flu,” she said.

However, some food vendors and cold store operators at kwashieman say the outbreak of the disease has had adverse effects on their businesses.

At J GYIMA FARM, a staff lamented how the outbreak of the disease has resulted in the low patronage of chicken.

“Before, I sold about 50 pounds of chicken a day, but since the outbreak of the disease the highest I can sell is five pounds. My customers have ceased buying chicken. I might stop selling chicken until the disease is over. I have a few of it in the fridge but it might get spoilt if it is not purchased on time. I can’t reduce the prices because I will run at a loss so I am going to hold on to the selling of chicken till the disease is over” she said.

At Batanpa Fast Food joint, the owner, Madam Hectoria, said business is dwindling due to the outbreak of the bird flu.

“Many people have stopped asking for chicken when they buy the fried rice, they either ask for fish or take the rice without meat or fish. Others do not buy the food when I tell them I do not have fish. This flu is ‘killing’ my business“, she lamented adding that she would resort to selling fish if the government does not curb the menace immediately.

On a different turn, some individuals have added a spiritual touch to the issue. Jeffery, Humphrey, and Fredrick whom this reporter chanced upon consuming chicken at some restaurants said that they are aware of the bird flu disease in Ghana but have trusted their lives in the hands of the almighty God and know He will protect them.

It will be recalled that the Veterinary Service Directorate of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture on July 10th, placed a temporal ban on the sale and movement of live poultry when samples tested at the Nugochi Memorial for Research and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) proved the existence of avian influenza popularly known as bird flu in some birds in Ghana.

Source: News Ghana

AFRIMA holds Morocco Stakeholders’ Conference


It was a rousing reception for the All Africa Music Awards, AFRIMA, in partnership with the African Union Commission, AUC, as the awards project held its AFRIMA 2015 Stakeholders’ Conference for the northern region of Africa in Morocco on Thursday, July 23 at the Sofitel Hotel, Casablanca.

On Friday, July 24, The AFRIMA delegation also had extensive and successful deliberations with the government of Kingdom of Morocco in the capital city of Rabat as represented by Ministers of Foreign Affairs and cooperation, Mbarka Bouaida; Culture, Mohammed Amine Sbihi and Director, strategy and Cooperation, Ministry of Tourism, Tarik sadik.

With the theme: Integration of Africa through Music and Culture, the Stakeholders’ Conference was facilitated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kingdom of Morocco; 2014 AFRIMA winner for Best Male Artiste Northern Africa, Ahmed Soultan and the Sofitel Hotel Casablanca aimed at communicating the objectives and ideals of AFRIMA to the stakeholders in Northern Africa.

AFRIMA is a continental awards initiative that rewards the abundant talents in the African music industry, while celebrating and showcasing the rich musical and cultural heritage of Africa to a global audience for socio-economic competitiveness. Some of the objectives of AFRIMA include using music and culture to foster deeper interaction of Africans, enhance creative and skilled capacity in the African music industry to contribute to the GDP of states and reduce poverty on the continent.

The Morocco Stakeholders Conference was attended by members of the Moroccan media, music industry practitioners, corporate sector executives and addressed by the representatives of the International Committee of AFRIMA namely: AFRIMA President/Executive Producer, Mr. Mike Dada; Head of Culture Department, African Union Commission (AUC), Ms. Angela Martins; Chairman, AFRIMA International Media Committee, Mr. Steve Ayorinde; Member, AFRIMA Sponsorship & Brand Communications Committee, Mr. Jire Anifalaja and AFRIMA Project Director, Ms. Adenrele Niyi.

Sharing with the conference participants, 2014 AFRIMA winner Ahmed Soultan said his artistic vision to cross regional borders with his music was further strengthened after winning the AFRIMA trophy at the awards ceremony in Lagos. “I always believe that as an African, my music must touch base with people who love music either in Africa or abroad. That is why I support what AFRIMA is doing for African music, they are recognising true authentic music and supporting the dreams of many artistes for recognition for their work”.

Similar to the echo from the participants at the stakeholders’ conference, the Honourable Ministers of Culture and Foreign Affairs expressed the desire of the government of Kingdom of Morocco to support and host AFRIMA next editions after the expiration of hosting right of Nigeria in 2016 as AFRIMA objectives aligns with the cultural diplomacy policy of Morocco.

While delivering her speech through Mr. Abdellatif Jouibli, the conference interpreter, Angela Martins, reiterated the African Union’s commitment to the integration of Africans through culture. “The African Union has been collaborating with AFRIMA for a long time because we see it as a platform for the integration of Africans.

“The creative economy is one of the most rapidly growing sectors of the world economy and a powerful force for sustainable development in terms of income generation, job creation and export earnings”.
Applauding AFRIMA as a promoter of Africa’s cultural and creative industries. Ms. Martins added that the AU cherishes the collaboration with AFRIMA ‘since it assists us in the implementation of the AU arts and culture policies’.

In his address, AFRIMA President, Mike Dada, thanked the government and people of Morocco for the warm reception AFRIMA received since arrival in the city. “The infectious smiles and the hospitality have been outstanding. AFRIMA Is happy to be here to meet with the stakeholders in the music industry of Morocco and to experience the beauty of your charming country”. Mr. Dada revealed details of the awards programme of activities in 2015, and announced the new entry submission deadline of Friday, July 31 2015 as approved by the International Committee of AFRIMA.

“The entry submission was between May 18 and July 20; however, this has been extended after we received overwhelming requests from music professionals across Africa. The International Committee has set Friday, July 31 for the closing date of submission. We hope the artistes and journalists will take advantage of this extension to be a part of the awards this year”.

There was enthusiastic response from the participants during the interactive session. The predominant question asked by the Moroccan artistes and journalists present bordered on the process by which Morocco could bid to host the awards ceremony after Nigeria.

“The bidding process is open to all African countries. Three countries have shown interest already and if we get an official notification of interest from the government of Morocco, before the bidding deadline of January 26, 2016, it will be more competitive”.

The conference closed on a high note with guests networking and indulging in Moroccan cocktail provided by Sofitel Hotel.

Source : AFRIMA

Nigerian leader orders probe into Jos gas explosion

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has directed a thorough investigation into the chlorine gas explosion in central north city of Jos in Plateau State.

The Nigerian leader said in a message of commiseration to the families of the victims, government and people of the state, that an investigation into the incident was necessary to avoid recurrence.

The investigation should unravel the fact as to whether this was just an accident, he added.

“Whatever is the case, we need to get to the bottom of this unfortunate and tragic incident,” the president said.
The explosion had claimed not fewer than eight lives.

Meanwhile, Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has confirmed that 112 injured persons were still on admission in four hospitals following Saturday’s explosion of Chlorine Cylinder used for water treatment at Lamingo plant of the Plateau Water Board.

The NEMA North-Central Coordinator, Abdulsalami Mohammed, told reporters that three more persons had died, in addition to the initial five killed by the incident that also razed down many houses around the area.
He described the incident as very unfortunate, and said that the community around the water treatment plant would be relocated.