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Archive for July 8th, 2012

CNN’s Anderson Cooper declares he is Gay! More CNN presenters to come out of the closet?

Posted by African Press International on July 8, 2012 CNN presenter Anderson Cooper says he is Gay CNN presenter Anderson Cooper says he is Gay

Famous CNN presenter is a shocker! CNN viewers have just been treated to a shock by Anderson Cooper (photo). Hiding in the closet for so long, waiting until viewers like him and consider him a role model, then come out of the closet declaring – I am Gay is being selfish!

Viewers who admire presenters will have different reactions to this. The man is a good presenter, but why has he waited all this long to come out of the closet? Why wait until people start admiring your personality and then come out to shock them? Well, these are endless questions some people will be asking themselves.

Being Gay is not a crime. However, it lingers in human minds as to why God choose to tell this world that he made man and woman and joined them to become one. Now some people want man and man to be joined together like Anderson is saying he is Gay.

Well, we know there are many gay people out there hiding in the closet.

After Anderson’s revelation, It is possible that there are many other CNN presenters and also other working for other channels that are Gay. If that is so, they should come out now, following Anderson’s example so that viewers are not treated to shock later – better now once and for all.


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Girl Killing father and brother for love she has for a lower caste

Posted by African Press International on July 8, 2012

An Indian girl is reported to have killed her father and brother – the mother escaped death, – by feeding them with poisoned food. Her mother was unwell that day and did not eat the food she was served by her daughter.

Her sickness that became her guardian angel.

The girl, who is under police custody now, has admitted the act saying she had to do so because here family refused her to marry a man she loves who is from a lower caste – the untouchables of India. This is a class of people who are the poorest of the poor and are unwanted by the higher and the middle class.

India should recognise these people as worthy and must be given their rightful place in the society. By treating them as untouchables, the country is violating their human rights, and here is where the government should step in and streamline the laws.

The international community – the activists, human rights organizations should force the Indian Government to pass laws that safeguard the interests of these people.


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South Sudan marks its first annivesary amid despair

Posted by African Press International on July 8, 2012

  •  By Thomas Ochieng, API – Kenya 

The United Nations mission in South Sudan (UNMSS) has released a report that paints a grim outlook reflecting the past one year since the new Republic of South Sudan was proclaimed in 9th July 2011.Entitled ‘Incidents of Inter-communal Violence in Jonglei state’ it documents human rights violations and other in humane crimes that took place during the inter communal clashes between armed tribal militias of the Murle and Lou Nuer.

The report is among the many findings by the partners of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) which was the foundation of peaceful settlement
between the Sudan liberation army/movement SPLA/M and the National congress party  NCP.The recent spate of attacks by both the Sudan and South Sudan states have heightened unnecessary tension and brought suffering mainly in the young nation of South Sudan.

The demarcation of boundaries was one of the contentious clauses in the CPA which to date hasn’t been properly addressed, matters have been made worse by the hardliners from both nations whom have placed roadblocks to the effort of the partners in the CPA agreement who include the United Nations,
the Africa Union, European Union and  United States. The demands by South Sudan to include Heglig region as one of the disputed eras in addition to the Abyei of which  both  are oil rich, is disappointing to say the least.
On the same breadth the acts of aerial bombardment of civilian eras by the Sudan armed forces is very retrogressive and uncalled for. These actions from both sides have resulted in South Sudan closing its oil production and the Sudan cutting off its pipeline with the South.

Its right to say that the eventual casualties of these acts of provocation and brinkmanship is the common populace from the both states. Both states have now resorted to unnecessary austerity measures targeting the people.
The streets of Khartoum are packed with armed security personnel ready to pounce on its people whom can’t bear any more these selfish acts by the ruling élites. South Sudan will be marking one year since it became independent, looking down memory lane on the John Garang Mausoleum in Juba on the sunny afternoon, the radiant faces staring up as the flag of the Peoples Republic of South Sudan go up and the Sudanese flag come down, many wept, it was a sea of hope and a sense of a better tomorrow for the people of South Sudan whom have seen so much suffering, pain and tribulations for too long a time. Yet one year down the line the priority of the leadership of South Sudan state has taken a wrong turn.

Yes, demarcation of boundaries is and will remain a legitimate concern, but fighting hunger, building schools, hospitals,roads,fighting illiteracy,diseases and disarming armed militias who still cause inter ethnic clashes in the war ravished vast country.These are some of the deliverable s the government of South Sudan can deal with without much hustle from her neighbor,
The development of the young state of  South Sudan lies on the direction and priorities its leadership will take, her partners will only help and offer support.



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Malnourished child in Katsina, northern Nigeria.

Posted by African Press International on July 8, 2012

Malnourished child in Katsina, northern Nigeria.

ABUJA,  – Nigeria’s health services halved the maternal mortality rate between 1990 and 2010, but in parts of the predominantly Muslim north, which is less socio-economically advanced, women are 10 times more likely to die in childbirth than in the oil-rich, predominantly Christian south. Maternal health personnel are calling for more appropriate interventions to bridge the gap.
Reasons for the divide mirror those in many West African states: too few referral facilities and health practitioners – especially midwives – and inadequate antenatal equipment; too few clinics and poor roads that make accessing clinics difficult and expensive; poverty and cultural barriers to visiting hospitals.
The Partnership for Reviving Routine Immunization in Northern Nigeria; Maternal Newborn and Child Health Initiative (PRRINN-MNCH), is a landmark project to track the under-documented maternal population in the four northern Nigerian states of Yobe, Jigawa, Katsina, and Zamfara.
“Insufficient health services, issues surrounding northern culture, and the region’s social development challenges all merge into a perfect storm for maternal mortality,” is how Rodion Kraus, deputy programme manager for PRINN-MNCH, summed up the situation.
Nigeria’s 40,000 pregnancy-related deaths a year account for approximately 14 percent of the world’s total, according to a 2012 report by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), and despite good progress it is unlikely to meet the 2015 Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of reducing its maternal mortality by three-quarters.
Efforts are being stepped up: in 2007 the government launched a nine-year strategy to bring down maternal, neo-natal and infant mortality, including better immunizations for mothers and babies, nutritional supplements, bed nets, and efforts to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission. The strategy is now in phase II, which focuses on training health workers, and giving them better salaries and incentives to work in rural areas.
The country’s primary healthcare agency has been training midwives to work in rural areas for several years. In 2009 it set up the Midwife Service Scheme (MSS), to improve maternal care by sending recently graduated midwives to the north during their mandatory year of national service. By July 2010 more than 2,600 midwives had been sent to serve northern rural health facilities.
“The MSS [graduate scheme] was a very good intervention – it proved very effective,” said Hafsat Sugra Mahmood, a midwife and teacher in northern Nigeria, but a lack of regular payment and poor coordination between local, state and federal authorities, among other problems, led to low retention rates.

Maternal death rates
Sub-Saharan Africa’s maternal mortality rate of 500 per 100,000 births is more than twice the global average, but Nigeria’s is even higher – 630 deaths per 100,000 births.

Staying put
Midwives are highly skilled and trained to provide life-saving services during the birth process, and offer counselling and family planning. Even though Mahmood has spent 20 years teaching midwives, many of whom now work in northern communities, she knows these skills will be redundant in many communities.
“Midwives encourage women to come to the hospital to deliver but… in the north people prefer to deliver at home,” Kraus said. “Most Muslim women in northern Nigeria are not comfortable being treated by men – most health workers are men.”
Other powerful cultural issues that often prevent northern women from accessing professional health services before and during childbirth include early marriage, which can lead to complications such as fistulas when underdeveloped girls give birth. The quality of education, especially for women and girls, means many don’t recognize the danger signs in childbirth. Some communities even see dying in childbirth as immediate access to paradise, community health workers told IRIN.
The Nigerian Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) has set up schemes in four northern states to provide better emergency transportation to hospitals, but this does not necessarily persuade women to use them, said Kraus.
Go to them

Clinics In rural areas are often overworked and under-staffed. There are usually one or two midwives per health centre and on average 10 women give birth every day. Midwives are supposed to attend home births in rural areas, but “that leads to burnout”, Mahmood remarked, so they often do not make it.
Instead, women turn to traditional birthing attendants (TBAs). There have been calls for TBAs to be given some level of training so they can detect complications early and encourage women to seek antenatal care, refer them to hospitals and give family planning advice.
The danger is that TBAs, if more formally trained, will not recognize their limits and will want to venture into interventions that are really highly technical, so they would need to be closely monitored, say health experts.
Informal studies show TBAs have not had much impact on reducing maternal mortality, but there are a few signs of quality work, Mahmood said, and some have monitored women with pregnancy complications and referred them to health authorities.
“Whether we like it or not,” TBAs are respected in rural northern communities and women are using them. “We really need to target TBAS with information and basic skills”, so they can help women properly, she said.
Well-trained care at home can be more effective than referral to a hospital – Nigeria’s health services are among the 10 worst in the world, said Kraus, noting that maternal mortality has dropped significantly in Bangladesh, where 75 percent of births take place at home. “It flies against current conventional wisdom, but the successful introduction of skilled home-based care is something we might learn from,” he commented.
Community responsibility
Dr Fatima Adamu, a lecturer at Usamanu Dan Fodyo University in Sokoto, northwestern Nigeria and community development adviser for maternal health services in the north, said the only approach that will work is to get the community more involved by training village-level health workers to teach women, within their own cultural milieu, to recognize danger signs during pregnancy
“It is important to convey that the responsibility of stopping the death is the community’s as a whole, that Islam has given the community that responsibility,” she told IRIN.
Adamu is “not optimistic” that Nigeria will be able to meet the MDG by 2015, “but if we continue to push from all angles, maybe we will be able to meet the goal by 2020.”
bg/aj/he source

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo called for investments in international

Posted by African Press International on July 8, 2012

  • Godwin Atser, Corporate Communications Officer (West & Central Africa)

 Former Nigerian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo today called on the
Nigerian government and African nations to invest in international
agricultural research by supporting the International Institute of Tropical
Agriculture (IITA) to tap into the opportunities offered by the vast arable
lands in the continent.

“This is an important institution for us in Nigeria and Africa and we need to support it,” says Obasanjo, who is also IITA’s Ambassador for Africa at an event marking the 45th anniversary of the biggest international agricultural research center in the continent.

Food insecurity and poverty remain on top of the agenda of African
governments but not many of them have been able to meet the Maputo declaration of allocating 10 percent of budgets to agriculture.

Obasanjo said that for Africa to maximize its full potential, the governments on the continent must support institutions such as IITA to acquire the technology and knowledge needed to create wealth.

He said that Africa needed to think about the next generation as the population is expected to hit 9 billion by 2050.

“The point is that the tools used 45 years ago are likely to be obsolete, unless we rejuvenate,” he said.

On the benefits of IITA to Nigeria in particular and Africa in general, Obasanjo said varieties from IITA helped save his farm and that of other farmers from the cassava mealybug pandemic in 1979.

“My farm was heavily infested until IITA brought cassava-resistant varieties,” he said.

According to him, at the moment more that 70 percent of improved maize varieties grown in Nigeria today have come from IITA-developed varieties.

“We are lucky to have the largest research institute in our backyard and we
should take advantage of it,” he said.

The president of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria, Senator Abdullahi
Adamu, called on Nigeria to meet its statutory financial obligation to IITA.

“As a Nigerian I will encourage the government to henceforth begin to meet
its financial obligation,” he said.

He pledged to initiate laws that would support research activities in Nigeria, stressing that ‘research is a component of the value chain that demands attention.’

The Director General of IITA, Dr. Nteranya Sanginga, said rejuvenating the
institution would be of benefit to Nigeria in particular and Africa in general.

He said the battle of tomorrow will be food and water, explaining that IITA
is well positioned to offer technologies that would improve agricultural productivity and create wealth.

Of the 60 percent arable land on the continent, only 33 percent has been cultivated.

Sanginga emphasized that investment in research for development was the only way forward for Africa.





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