Monthly Archives: April 2017

Enemy drone circles over South for 10 hours

NNA – An Israeli enemy reconnaissance aircraft violated the Lebanese airspace at 6:40 a.m. on Sunday above the Southern town of Alma el-Shaeb, circled over various areas of the South and then left at 16:35 hours, flying over the town of al-Naqoura, an Army communiqué indicated.

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Angola: UN agency airlifts aid to newly-arrived refugees from DR Congo

30 April 2017 &#150 A plane carrying relief items has arrived in Luanda, Angola, to assist over 11,000 people who fled a recent surge violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the United Nations refugee agency said today.

The aircraft landed Sunday morning from Dubai, carrying 3,500 plastic sheets as well as 100 plastic rolls to provide shelter during the rainy season, 17,000 sleeping mats, 16,902 thermal fleece blankets, 8,000 mosquito nets, 3,640 kitchen sets, 8,000 jerry cans and 4,000 plastic buckets. The Office of the UN High Commissioners for Refugees (UNHCR) will be airlifting more relief items to Angola in coming days.

“Arrivals are in urgent need of life-saving assistance including food, water, shelter and medical services,” said Sharon Cooper, UNHCR Regional Representative for Southern Africa in a press release. “UNHCR is also procuring food locally to support the most vulnerable persons including children, pregnant women and elderly.”

The brutal conflict in DRC’s previously peaceful Kasai region has already displaced more than one million civilians within the country since it began in mid-2016.

The border is managed by the Angolan army. UNHCR has requested the Government to allow refugees to continue crossing the border, provide unhindered access to assist new arrivals, as well as not to return people fleeing the violence to the DRC.

Angola is currently hosting some 56,700 refugees and asylum-seekers, of whom close to 25,000 are from the DRC.

UNHCR Angola had an initial annual budget of $2.5 million to protect and assist some 46,000 people of concern. In response to the current emergency, UNHCR is appealing for a total of $5.5 million to provide immediate lifesaving assistance.

Israeli drone breaches Lebanon's airspace

NNA – NNA correspondent in the south reported on Sunday that an Israeli m-k drone is currently flying over the Lebanese villages of Arqoub, Hassbaya and the Jabal el Sheikh heights, in a fresh Israeli breach of Lebanon’s airspace.

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Senegal to Introduce HPV Vaccine to Battle Cervical Cancer

DAKAR, SENEGAL � Cervical cancer is preventable, yet it remains the most common type of cancer in Africa, the World Health Organization says.

WHO data show that Senegal currently has one of the world’s highest rates of the disease, with over 1,400 new cases diagnosed each year.

The country’s health officials have stepped up efforts against the disease with a nationwide campaign to vaccinate girls against the virus that causes cancer.

On a recent day at the Philippe Maguilen Senghor health center on the outskirts of Dakar, women lined up for free breast and cervical cancer screenings. The event was run by young Senegalese volunteers from Junior Chamber International (JCI), a nonprofit organization.

Sassy Ndiaye waited patiently for her turn. At age 60, this was only the second time she had been tested for the disease.

“Before we didn’t know about this,” she said. “I went through eight pregnancies and never did a cervical cancer screening with my gynecologist. I did it after my menopause.”

For comparison, in the United States, it is common for women of all ages to be screened for abnormal cervical cells every three years.

In Dakar, gynecologist Mouhamoudou Moustapha Yade said that by the time patients come to see him, their cervical cancer can be advanced.

“At a later stage, recovery is painful and difficult. And more importantly, the prognosis is not good,” he said. “This is why screening is so important. When you catch the cancer early, treatment is easier and much less expensive.”

But most women in Senegal cannot afford the cost of cervical cancer screening. Doctors and women interviewed at the Philippe Maguilen Senghor clinic said the cost was 40,000 francs ($66).

“Every time we organize free screening days, I am impressed by the number of women that turn up,” said Thiamel Ndiade, a JCI volunteer. “This shows you they are actually informed, but that money is the main issue.”

Ndiade added that most clinics lack the machinery needed to detect the illness, meaning women have to travel long distances just to get checked.

“Not all health centers have a video colposcope, for example,” Ndiade said. “We had to bring our own here today, which shows you just how inaccessible this technology is.”

HPV link

The arrival of a vaccine could help Senegal address these challenges.

Cervical cancer is caused by certain strains of the human papillomavirus; those who are infected with HPV often do not initially display any visible symptoms. A vaccine against HPV has been in use in the United States and other parts of the developed world since 2006, but it has only recently arrived in Africa.

In 2013, Senegal was among 10 African countries chosen by Gavi � a global alliance that strives to create access to vaccines in the world’s neediest countries � for pilot vaccination programs.

The nationwide rollout in Senegal followed a successful pilot program last year in two parts of the country. Ethiopia and Zimbabwe are also set to introduce the vaccine soon.

“Senegal is one of the first three countries in Africa [after Rwanda and Uganda] to introduce the HPV vaccine on a national scale,” said professor Mamadou Diop, head of oncology at the Aristide Le Dantec hospital. “It will be integrated within the country’s national vaccination program and reach the whole targeted population of girls.”

The aim is to roll out the vaccine in two phases, starting with a mass vaccination campaign reaching 889,445 girls aged between 9 and 15 by May 2018. After this, the vaccine will be administered to all girls at age 9 as part of routine immunization programs.

“The vaccine has been jointly subsidized by Gavi and the Senegalese state,” added professor Ousseynou Badiane, head of the Immunization Division for the Ministry of Health in Senegal. “This means it will be free and accessible to all.”

New vaccines can be met with suspicion, so health practitioners are urging the government to also launch a public education campaign. If the rollout is successful, Gavi estimates the HPV vaccine could help prevent up to 90 percent of cervical cancer cases.

Senegal unveiled its action plan as countries across the continent celebrate the 7th African Vaccination Week, an annual event to strengthen immunization programs in Africa by raising awareness about every person’s need and right to be protected against disease.

Source: Voice of America

SOUTH AFRICA:PRESIDENT ZUMA SIGNS ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING BILL INTO LAW

JOHANNESBURG, President Jacob Zuma has signed the Financial Intelligence Centre Amendment (FICA) bill into law.

The Financial Intelligence Centre Amendment Act, assented by the President, amends the Financial Intelligence Centre Act, 2001. The 2001 Act and other related Acts aim to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

The President is now satisfied that the Act addresses the constitutional concerns he had raised about warrantless searches.

These amendments to the Financial Intelligence Amendment Act further strengthen the transparency and integrity of the South African financial system in its objectives to combat financial crimes, which include tax evasion, money laundering and the financing of terrorism and illicit financial flows. The amendments also make it harder for persons who are involved in illegitimate activities or tax evasion to hide behind legal entities like shell companies and trusts.

Measures to strengthen anti-money laundering and the combating of terrorist financing regulatory framework in the Amendment Act include-requiring the identification of beneficial owners to prevent natural persons from misusing legal entities for nefarious purposes like evading tax;enhancing the customer due diligence requirements that will ensure that entities fully understand the nature and potential risk posed by their customers;providing for the adoption of a risk based approach in the identification and assessment of money laundering and terrorist financing risks, and assist in making customer compliance easier.

The Amendment Act sends a strong message about South Africa’s commitment to combating financial crime, protecting the integrity of our financial system and our tax base, and remaining part of the global financial system. They further demonstrate South Africa’s membership commitments to the Financial Action Task Force and United Nations.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK