Ebony confirmed dead in a car crash

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Twenty-year-old Dancehall star, Ebony Reigns, has been confirmed dead in a car crash at Mankranso in the Ashanti Region.
Ebony, real name Priscilla Opoku-Kwarteng, was returning from Sunyani in the Brong Ahafo Region when the Jeep she was travelling in crashed into a VIP bus on Thursday evening, according to police.
Ebony was travelling with three other people, and two of them have also been confirmed dead. The two include a young lady, Ebony’s assistant, and a man in military uniform believed to be a soldier.
The driver of the Jeep survived the crash, but is currently unconscious and receiving treatment, according to police.
The Divisional Commander of Mankranso, DSP John Adusei, confirmed the accident to Citi News narrating that Ebony was on her way from Sunyani where, “at the intersection of the road between the Nsuta and Bechem junction, [her car] collided with a VIP bus which was also coming from Kumasi towards the Sunyani direction.”
“…so three of them passed on. Now the bodies are at Mankranso. We have a morgue here so we have deposited the bodies over here,” DSP John Adusei added.
No causalities have been recorded from the VIP bus.

Ebony’s passing comes on the back of a stellar 2017 where she rose to superstardom in Ghanaian popular culture.
The singer was discovered by renowned music entrepreneur Bullet of Ruff n Smooth fame in 2015, when she sent in a demo. She was signed to Bullet’s Rufftown record label a day after.
Known for her risqué onstage acts and vivacious performances, Ebony captivated Ghanaians with her hit singles which included Maame Hwԑ, Kupe, Poison and Sponsor.
She was widely tipped to be the Artiste of the Year at the Ghana Music Awards in April 2018.

Source: Citifm

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Fidel Castro’s son ‘takes own life’

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The 68-year-old son of Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro, Fidel Ángel Castro Díaz-Balart, has died in Havana after taking his own life, according to state media.

He was found on Thursday morning and is said to have suffered from depression.

Popularly known as “Fidelito”, he was first born son of the former president, who died in November 2016.

Castro Díaz-Balart worked as a nuclear physicist and an adviser to the Council of the State of Cuba.

He trained in science in the former Soviet Union, and served as vice president of the Academy of Sciences and Scientific Adviser of the State Council.

“Fidel Castro Diaz-Balart, who had been treated by a group of doctors for several months due to deep depression, took his life this morning,” Cuba’s official newspaper Granma reported.

Source: http://bbc.com/

Gitmo 2 leaving Ghana

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It is turning out that the two suspected Al-Qaeda terrorists from Yemen, who were deported to Ghana from the United States Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay on the orders of former President Barack Obama, have agreed to leave the country.

They reportedly reached an agreement with the government of Ghana to send them to a third unnamed country.

Charles Owiredu, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, who made the disclosure on Joy FM, said the two supposed Al-Qaeda terrorists – Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby – had informed the Akufo-Addo administration to send them to a different country, and added that the negotiations regarding their preferred country had been ongoing.

“So of course, we sought their consent before these negotiations were done,” the deputy minister said.

“Per the laws, the 1951 Convention and 1957 Protocol on Refugees, you would need their consent.

“And so now, you have their consent and they say when you find a country we are ready to leave….. Not as easy as you put. They are aware that government is in negotiation with a third country for them to exit.”

Minority attacks

Last week, the agreement between the erstwhile Mahama’s National Democratic Congress (NDC) government and the Obama administration to repatriate the terror suspects to Ghana resurfaced when the two-year deal expired.

The opposition NDC, which caused the mess whilst in government, had turned around to put pressure on the NPP administration to decide the fate of the two detainees.

In the ensuing heat, it emerged that the Mahama administration attempted to change the names of the suspected terrorists and ended up issuing them with Ghanaian passports, which DAILY GUIDE sources say will expire in August 2018.

They were also given wives, allowing them to integrate into the Ghanaian society.

Refugee status

Majority leader in parliament and Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Osei Kyei-Mensah Bonsu, said on radio last week that the Mahama administration surreptitiously granted the two – who according to US authorities, were Osama Bin Laden’s foot soldiers – refugee status before the expiry of the two-year agreement.

He said one of them is married to a Moroccan but had vowed never to go to the Maghreb country for reasons best know to him.

$300,000

The majority leader further said that per the agreement, the over $300,000 released by the Obama administration to Ghana under the deal covered the terrorists up to the end of the two-year deal signed.

Mr. Kyei-Mensah Bonsu added that with the expiration of the agreement, the people of Ghana are the ones footing the bills for the two guys, who the US security intelligence said are dangerous.

He said then Foreign Minister Hannah Tetteh had created the impression in parliament that the so-called deal was subject to renewal after two years – which elapsed about two weeks ago – although the same Mahama administration had secretly undermined the two-year agreement and granted them refugee status.

Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said the NDC government, before altering the agreement, did not even have the courtesy to include it in the handing over notes to the NPP government during the transition in early 2017.

Supreme Court ruling

Last year, the Supreme Court declared as unconstitutional the admission of the two suspected terrorists into the country by the Mahama administration.

A seven-member panel, presided over by Chief Justice Sophia A.B. Akuffo, by a 6 -1 majority decision, said the two were illegally staying in the country since the then government allowed them into the country without prior approval by parliament; and the consequential order of the court was that the NPP government should within three months submit the agreement for parliamentary consideration and approval or in default, repatriate the two ex-detainees.

Source: http://dailyguideafrica.com/

George Weah sworn in as Liberia President

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Liberia is ready for kickoff, take off if you like. The West African nation today, January 22, swears in one history maker as the other bows out.

George Manneh Weah will become its president – the first African footballer to achieve that feat while Ellen Johnson Sirleaf – Africa’s first democratically female president will leave office after over a decade in charge.

Weah won presidential elections last year to emerge the successor to Sirleaf beating then vice president Joseph Boakai twice in a space of three months.

In the first round of voting in October 2017, Weah came top but failed to garner the necessary votes. He went into a runoff with Boakai in December and emerged winner with over 60% of votes cast. This will be Liberia’s first democratic handover of executive power in decades.

 

18 killed, 239 injured in South Africa passenger train crash

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A passenger train slammed into a truck in South Africa’s Free State province on Thursday, killing 18 people and injuring 239 others.
The Emergency Services confirmed that the Shosholoza Meyl Train 37012 was traveling from Port Elizabeth to Johannesburg, when it hit a truck at Jeneva level crossing between Henneman and Kroonstad in Free State province.
Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi said the derailment left 18 people burned to death and 239 injured.
Firefighters and medical personnel have rushed to the scene to help the victims.
Footages sent by passengers from the scene shows a number of carriages laid on the ground and engulfed in flames.

Source: Xinhua

SuperSport launched new app

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Content discovery made easier for SuperSport fans through the newly launched app, designed to provide users with a fresh, modern experience. Navigation has been refined with all the standards like, live scoring, fixtures, results, tables, news and short-form video highlights.

The main difference is that SuperSport’s live channel streaming is now hosted at the DStv Now app, to ensure the breadth of DStv’s channel offerings is contained on a single platform. This will deliver the best viewing experience as DStv Now has been optimally set up to provide the best support and stability for live streaming.
Users of the SuperSport app will be automatically redirected to the DStv Now app if they are seeking live sports streaming. Log-in requirements remain the same as before with users needing to use their DStv log-in details, which require their smart-card number.
Navigation is simple in DStv Now, with users simply having to click on the drop-down menu to “live TV” and then locate their preferred channel. Content is free on the apps, but data charges apply.

Source: nextvafrica.com/supersport-launched-new-app

 

Zimbabwe Vice Presidents Sworn In

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Retired army boss Constantino Chiwenga and veteran politician Kembo Mohadi were on Thursday sworn in as Zimbabwe’s co-vice presidents.
The two were sworn in by Chief Justice Luke Malaba at a ceremony at State House following their appointment by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
President Mnangagwa took over from former president Robert Mugabe last month and has vowed to resuscitate the economy, fight corruption and create jobs for the people.
Chiwenga led the military intervention that led to the resignation of Mugabe last month, and is among military leaders that have been appointed into government positions by Mnangagwa.
Others are former air force chief Perrence Shiri who is now lands and agriculture minister and retired major general Sibusiso Moyo, now foreign affairs minister.

Source: Xinhua

Zambian gov’t pledges commitment to growth of film industry

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The Zambian government on Wednesday reassured stakeholders of its commitment to the growth of the film industry.
Chief Government Spokesperson Kampamba Mulenga said the government will ensure that it works with all stakeholders in the implementation of a recently approved film policy, adding that the industry has in the past been neglected due to lack of a policy to guide its operations.
The filming sector, she said, could not continue to be silent in the economic affairs of the country because of its huge potential to effectively contribute to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The spokesperson, who is also information and broadcasting minister, was speaking when she met a delegation from Ster-Kinekor, one of the local firms promoting the film industry, according to a statement released by her office.
She further pledged that the government will continue to create an enabling environment that will facilitate the growth of the film industry and appealed to stakeholders to support the successful implementation of the film policy.
Wanda Matandela, the managing director of Ster-Kinekor, said the firm was ready to work with the government and other stakeholders in successfully implementing the film policy which he said was key in the development process of the industry.
He said there is need for Zambian film makers to work hard and produce content that will appeal to the international market in order for the industry to grow.

Source: Xinhua

Libya keen to resume normal ties with African countries: PM

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Libya’s UN-backed Prime Minister Fayez Serraj said Wednesday that improved conditions in Libya will contribute to the return of normal relations between Libya and African countries.
Serraj made his remarks here during a meeting with Nigerian Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama.
According to the media office of the prime minister, the meeting discussed bilateral relations and cooperation between the two countries against illegal immigration, where the two officials agreed for coordination directly and through the African Union.
“The two officials stressed the importance of the decisions of the Euro-African summit in Abidjan, and the joint action to dismantle smuggling and human trafficking networks,” the office said in a statement.
Onyeama and Serraj agreed to repatriate illegal Nigerian immigrants from Libya, the statement confirmed.
“The two officials also discussed economic cooperation. The prime minister welcomed the proposal of organizing an economic forum for businessmen and economic experts in both countries,” the statement revealed.
Due to the insecurity and chaos following the 2011 uprising that toppled former leader Gaddafi’s regime, Libya became a departure point for illegal immigrants, mostly Africans, wanting to cross the Mediterranean towards European shores.
An official of the International Organization for Migration on Tuesday told Xinhua that more than 19,000 illegal immigrants have been voluntarily departed from Libya in 2017.

Source:Xinhua

The Secret Behind Rwanda’s Successful Vaccination Scores: When Poverty Can’t Stop You

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THE best medical treatment option in the world can’t save a single patient unless it is delivered at the proper time, with the proper plans and processes in place.
Thats why implementation science for health matters. It can best be described as a collection of principles that, if applied, will ensure the best possible health care is delivered to a specific community. It involves using evidence-based research to identify the obstacles to delivering health services, and the best ways to overcome them. The research must take into account things like geographical limitations, the social and economic make up of a community as well as cultural practices. Once established for one community, the methodology can be reused in others.
Through my own experience as an academic and as former health minister of Rwanda I am convinced that unless we adopt this approach we won’t be able to achieve universal health coverage and other United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This is particularly true for Africa where health services are stretched because of a lack of resources.
If we incorporate efficient, evidence-based practices into our service delivery models in Africa well save millions of lives, as well as millions of dollars.
A vaccination programme rolled out in Rwanda illustrates what I mean.

THE RWANDAN EXAMPLE
In 2011 Rwanda began a vaccination programme for human papillomavirus (HPV) the most common sexually transmitted disease in the world. 33 countries had rolled out vaccination programmes, but few of them were in developing countries and none were in Africa.
In 2010, when we were preparing our first campaign, Rwanda seemed an improbable candidate for achieving near-universal HPV vaccination coverage. After all, we were ranked the 15th poorest nation in the world. International skeptics argued that developing countries couldn’t manage because of their weak scientific base, poor infrastructure, economic difficulties and overemphasis on curative, rather than preventative, medicine.
At the time even the developed world had achieved only moderate coverage of HPV vaccinations. The US had less than 35% of its adolescent female population fully vaccinated, and France also had a low coverage. If countries like this couldn’t realize HPV universal vaccination roll-outs, how could low and medium income countries manage?
But we weren’t deterred. We convinced HPV vaccine producers to ignore the global disapproval by presenting our evidence-based strategy of how we would roll-out a programme across the country. They listened, and then signed a public private partnership agreement, which funded the programme.
Despite the seemingly impossible odds, Rwanda achieved 93% HPV vaccination coverage within a year of initiating the campaign. The coverage level has been maintained ever since.
What is the secret to Rwandas success? The answer is simple. We put our trust in implementation science.
IMPLEMENTATION SCIENCE IN ACTION
For the rollout we collected evidence, adapted distribution methods to our setting and set clear targets and outcomes.
Every step of HPV distribution was evidence-based. To analyse the cultural implications of our programme, the Ministry of Health conducted a series of interviews and discussions with community members. We set up a task force which included all stakeholders – religious, educational, political, parliamentary, and community leaders – and designed a strategy of nationwide community education to spread awareness of cervical cancer, the benefits of the vaccine, and the proper time to receive it. Since almost all types of cervical cancer are caused by the human papillomavirus, it was important first to explain the link with cancer.
Using the same focus groups, we developed a method of defining and reaching the target population. Since HPV is a sexually transmitted disease, we wanted to vaccinate girls before they became sexually active. The task force researched the proper age bracket for this. Its conclusion was that a school-based vaccination scheme of 12-year-old girls would be most effective. Over 97% of female Rwandan pre-teens are enrolled in primary school and few have sexual intercourse at that age.
Another research component was on the cold chain management. We needed to know how much vaccine to procure, how much storage space and money this would require, how many transport vehicles we would have to mobilise and where to send them. We also drew from our experience in rolling out other vaccination programs to create a rotating decentralized storage system.
Once all the evidence had been evaluated, we put a detailed delivery plan in place. We organised a distribution system to transport the vaccine from the cargo plane, to Kanombe International Airport, to the national warehouse, to the 30 district hospitals, to the 436 health centres at that time, to the primary schools.
We also collaborated with Rwanda’s 45,000 community health workers and all the teachers concerned. They identified girls who were absent from school on the day of vaccination to make sure they were covered too. And teachers were taught how to monitor students in the days after the vaccination so that they could report any adverse side-effects and be a key pillar of the HPV vaccine pharmacovigilance system.
The principles of implementation sciences applied for the success of the HPV vaccination roll-out have been used in other vaccination campaigns. Today in Rwanda we have more than 90% of all children fully vaccinated for 11 vaccines, with an additional HPV vaccine for all girls.

NEED FOR RESEARCH AND EDUCATION

As Vice Chancellor of the University of Global Health Equity in Rwanda we are introducing researchers to implementation science.
Like any science, it requires research. At the moment, the global focus (and therefore global funding) is on clinical research and fundamental sciences. Last year less than 2% of all research grants offered by the National Institute of Health, the largest funder of health research in the world, have been dedicated to implementation science.
But to improve health care we must also invest in implementation research to improve service delivery. Sure, we need basic science to create cheaper, more effective technology. But we also need implementation science to provide cost-effective ways of delivering and promoting universal health coverage.

-This article was originally published on The Conversation.