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Archive for February 7th, 2014

Médecins Sans Frontières Launches Campaign in Guinea to Vaccinate 400,000 Children Against Measles

Posted by African Press International on February 7, 2014

GENEVA, Switzerland, February 7, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/– The humanitarian medical organization Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Saturday launched a vaccination campaign against measles in an attempt to control the epidemic that was declared by the government of that country on January 14. 1105 suspected cases, with 68 confirmed, have already been recorded, causing the fear of a rapid explosion in the number of infections.

“Measles is one of the most highly contagious diseases and it can spread like wildfire. It affects primarily children, and can involve severe medical complications so it is critical that action be taken in order to avoid the catastrophe that occurred in 2009, when ten children lost their lives,” explained Corinne Benazech, MSF’s Head of Mission in Conakry.

Working in co-operation with the Ministry of Health, MSF has deployed 32 teams throughout the Matam, Matoto and Ratoma neighbourhoods of Conakry. Placed strategically close to the people who need it, in areas such as community centres, private homes and public spaces, the MSF teams expect to vaccinate 394,000 children, ages six months to ten years. 400 personnel from MSF and the Ministry of Health will be working for three weeks to orchestrate this emergency operation requiring powerful logistics. There is no charge to those who receive the vaccine.

MSF estimates that during this epidemic some fifty children infected with measles will be at risk of developing serious, and potentially fatal, complications, so it will be supporting targeted health structures, primarily by providing medical treatment to children infected with measles.

“Measles and its complications can be fatal, so it is critical that we vaccinate all children in order to protect them, now and for several decades to come,” explained Gemma Dominguez, MSF Medical Coordinator in Conakry.

Measles can be avoided with a safe and effective vaccine which, when it is part of a routine vaccination program, is given to all children, starting from the age of 9 months. But overall, just 37% of the country’s children have received both the vaccine doses that are needed to provide them with full protection. Even in Conakry, the vaccination coverage remains insufficient, because just 80% of the population has been vaccinated.

As part of its campaign, MSF will be able to provide no-charge diagnosis of those children that are sick, so that they can be treated. “Children showing symptoms that begin with a high fever need to be seen by a physician. This can save their lives,” explained Dr Daloka Delamou, Medical Coordinator with MSF. Follow-up in cases involving complications will also be provided at no charge.

The Guinean government announced that the vaccine stock used for routine vaccinations will be exhausted by February 15, and so it has asked for MSF support in organizing the emergency vaccination campaign in the three communities where an epidemic has been declared.

MSF has been working in Guinea for the past 25 years. In addition to its regular projects involving the provision of treatment to AIDS patients, it provides regular support to the government of Guinea in response to emergencies and epidemics.

 

SOURCE

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)

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AfricaLiveSports 1000GMT- 7/2/2014

Posted by African Press International on February 7, 2014

Here is the sports bulletin as aired at 1000GMT

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BizAfrica30 7/2/2014

Posted by African Press International on February 7, 2014

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Adoption of a New Constitution in the Republic of Tunisia

Posted by African Press International on February 7, 2014

TOKYO, Japan, February 5, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ – 1. The Government of Japan welcomes the adoption of a new constitution in the Republic of Tunisia’s National Constituent Assembly on January 26 (same day local time) as steady progress in the democratic transition process in Tunisia.

2. The Government of Japan expects that the new Jomaa Cabinet will exercise leadership toward the presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled to be held under the new constitution. The Government of Japan will continue to support the reform efforts of the people of Tunisia.

 

SOURCE

Japan – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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IMF Concludes 2014 Article IV Consultation Mission to Mauritius

Posted by African Press International on February 7, 2014

PORT-LOUIS, Mauritius, February 5, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ – An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission led by Martin Petri visited Port Louis during January 22–February 5, 2014 to conduct the discussions for the 2014 Article IV consultation with Mauritius. The mission met with The Honorable Prime Minister Dr. Navin Ramgoolam, Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economic Development Xavier-Luc Duval, Governor of the Bank of Mauritius Rundheersing Bheenick, other senior government officials, as well as representatives of the National Assembly, the private sector, and civil society.

At the conclusion of the visit, Mr. Petri issued the following statement today in Port Louis:

“The authorities maintained a stable macroeconomic environment in 2013, despite difficult external developments. The fiscal deficit rose in part because of spending in response to the March flash floods and larger than expected capital spending. Inflation fell to low levels. The challenges in 2014 are to (i) start reducing public debt through a smooth medium-term fiscal consolidation path; (ii) improve the monetary policy transmission mechanism by removing excess reserves; (iii) pursue public sector reforms while protecting the poor; and (iv) address productivity and competitiveness challenges needed to raise medium-term economic growth prospects.

“Staff projects that real economic growth will increase to 3.7 percent in 2014, fueled by strong activity in seafood, information & communications technology, and financial services; and supported by improving external demand. There is some upside to the growth projections if public investment is executed faster than projected or private investment accelerates.

“At less than 4 percent, inflation remains subdued, and inflationary expectations appear well-anchored. The mission projects headline consumer price index inflation to rise marginally to 3.8 percent on average in 2014. The current monetary policy stance is broadly appropriate, but needs to be made more effective by removing excess reserves from the banking system. This will likely cause losses for the Bank of Mauritius (BOM), but these would be entirely justified. Overall, the banking sector appears robust, but BOM should continue to monitor sectoral developments as it has in the past. The financial system has proven resilient to external shocks.

“The 2014 budget aims to support growth and employment, and expands social protection. Staff projects the fiscal policy stance to be neutral compared to 2013. Given the need for medium-term debt reduction, staff would recommend a moderately restrictive fiscal stance in 2014 to initiate the required fiscal adjustment. The authorities’ medium-term fiscal consolidation plans are welcome to reduce external imbalances, mitigate debt vulnerabilities and rebuild fiscal buffers, but these efforts might need to be strengthened to safely reach the 2018 debt law target.

“The structural deficit of the external current account remains a concern, especially in an environment marked by more moderate growth, low national savings, and declining market shares in some export sectors. Raising growth potential would require removing infrastructure bottlenecks, in particular by providing a strong regulatory framework that encourages private sector involvement, improving the planning and implementation of the public investment program, reforming the state-owned enterprises sector, reducing the cost of doing business, closing the skills-mismatch and further strengthening educational outcomes, as well as identifying and promoting new high value-added niche markets, where Mauritius could have competitive advantages. Pension reforms could promote national savings while better achieving social protection for the poor and the overall workforce. These challenges appear manageable in light of Mauritius’ track record as a reformer with strong institutions and a vibrant private sector. However, they require renewed effort to reach the goal of becoming a high-income economy within a decade.

“The IMF stands ready to assist the authorities in the implementation of their economic program, including through the provision of technical assistance, and looks forward to continued fruitful policy dialogue in the period ahead.”

 

SOURCE

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

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Message — Continuation of the National Emergency with respect to Côte d’Ivoire

Posted by African Press International on February 7, 2014


WASHINGTON, February 5, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ – TO THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES:

Section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)) provides for the automatic termination of a national emergency, unless, within 90 days prior to the anniversary date of its declaration, the President publishes in the Federal Register and transmits to the Congress a notice stating that the emergency is to continue in effect beyond the anniversary date. In accordance with this provision, I have sent to the Federal Register for publication the enclosed notice stating that the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13396 of February 7, 2006, with respect to the situation in or in relation to Côte d’Ivoire is to continue in effect beyond February 7, 2014.

The situation in or in relation to Côte d’Ivoire, which has been addressed by the United Nations Security Council in Resolution 1572 of November 15, 2004, and subsequent resolutions, has resulted in the massacre of large numbers of civilians, widespread human rights abuses, significant political violence and unrest, and fatal attacks against international peacekeeping forces.

Since the inauguration of President Alassane Ouattara in May 2011, the Government of Côte d’Ivoire has made progress in advancing democratic freedoms and economic development. While the Government of Côte d’Ivoire and its people continue to make progress towards peace and prosperity, the situation in or in relation to Côte d’Ivoire continues to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States. For these reasons, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency and related measures blocking the property of certain persons contributing to the conflict in Côte d’Ivoire.

 

BARACK OBAMA

 

SOURCE

The White House

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