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Africa

Ebola detection elicits NEW Concerns; WHO gives risk rating  

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

May 12, 2022 – It’s the news no one wanted to hear, a new Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The World Health Organization broke the news internationally on April 28th.

“A case was confirmed from Mbandaka, Equateur province. The onset of symptoms was on April 5. The case subsequently died on 21 April, and a safe and dignified burial was performed. The second case, a family member, was confirmed on 25 April. As of 27 April, 267 contacts have been identified; other measures, including contact tracing, further investigations, decontamination of households and health facilities, are ongoing.” The WHO said.

The Ebola Virus is present in animals in the DRC and testing confirmed that this outbreak was a spillover from the animal kingdom

The WHO says while there is cause for concern because the first case was not isolated early enough and there was a risk of spread,

“The risk at regional and global level is assessed to be moderate and low respectively.”

Still the WHO says it will continue to monitor the outbreak.  There have been no updates on new cases since April 23.

Africa

Nearly 400 tested as Uganda faces deadly Ebola resurgence

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By Deandrea Hamilton & Dana Malcolm

Editorial Staff

 

#Uganda, September 27, 2022 – Uganda has declared an Ebola outbreak after 23 confirmed deaths from the virus and at the case fatality rate revealed at 64 per cent.  There are at least 34 others infected with the disease.

The Health Ministry in Uganda has intensified messages and information on the signs and symptoms of the disease; a help hotline has also been established, said the commissioner of surveillance.

The World Health Organization shared news of the outbreak last week, citing cases of the Sudan ebolavirus was confirmed in Uganda’s Mubende district.

The interventions in the district have brought new fears to the country as quarantines are government managed and can last up to 21 days; already 13 people have escaped prompting continued concern of a mushrooming of case numbers.

Uganda has been largely free of the deadly disease for over a decade, the last outbreak was declared in 2012.

The Sudan Ebolavirus has a very high death rate and in previous outbreaks it has varied between 40 to 100 per cent.

The 2014-2016 outbreak affected Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia most, causing thousands of casualties.

Named after the Ebola River in The Democratic Republic of Congo where it was first found the virus spreads between human to human and human to animal contact. Earlier this year the DRC has a small outbreak caused by animal to human contact.

Media reports now indicate medical professionals have gone on strike at a hospital where several cases were detected; the nurses, pharmacists and trainee doctors have accused the government of not providing sufficient safety against possible infection.

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Africa

Child harvesting case ends with 35 rescued in Nigeria

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#Nigeria, June 25, 2022 – Thirty-five teenagers have been rescued from what Nigerian police are describing as a “baby factory”.

Police in Anambra say acting on intelligence they raided a hotel and discovered that the teens between 14 and 17 were being held by adults in a child abuse and baby trafficking ring.  Four of the girls were pregnant.  The Police arrested three persons and confiscated three pump action guns and 877 thousand Naira, which is equal to $2,117 USD.

One of the young women, with her face turned away from the camera, explained how she had ended up in the hotel.

“She [the hotel owner] lied to me that she is going to carry me to a house.  So when I came there I saw some people wearing short-short clothes.  She said that is the job that I’m going to do.  When I started crying the woman beat me”

The teen said the woman told her she would have to stay for 3 months to repay a debt.  Every Monday they would get some change to buy food but that was it.

Child harvesting is becoming a more and more serious problem in Nigeria, another ‘baby factory’ usually businesses posing as private medical clinics, orphanages, or even social welfare homes, was discovered just last July.  The ‘factories’ feed into the human trafficking industry and baby breeding is one of the most common crimes in Nigeria according to Human Rights Pulse a human rights volunteer agency that dissects various human rights issues around the world.

In a video released after the incident press officer, Ikenga Tochukwu pleaded with parents, “Always create a deliberate relationship with children or your wards, if these kids are properly guided, I do not believe they will fall prey to what we are seeing today.”

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Africa

Rwanda Sisters ask Prince Charles for Help; puts President Kagame in negative spotlight

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#Rwanda, June 25, 2022 – As the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting heads to Rwanda on June 20th two young women have an appeal for Prince Charles and the other heads of state. “Don’t shake hands with the tyrant who kidnapped our father.”

In an article of the same name published by CNN, Carina and Anaïse Kanimba urge the heads of state to hold Rwandan President Paul Kagame accountable for what they say is his record of human rights abuses and the kidnapping of their father, Paul Rusesabagina.  Rusesabagina is the real man behind the movie ‘Hotel Rwanda’ and is recognized as a hero of the Rwandan genocide of 1994 he saved more than 1200 lives by keeping them safe in his hotel.

He has been a longtime critic of Paul Kagame who has been accused of altering election results.  Then in August 2020, he disappeared. The girls explained how their father was, “Lured from our home in San Antonio, Texas, through Dubai, where he was tricked into boarding a flight to Kigali.  An agent of the Rwandan Government, posing as a Bishop, asked our father to come to Burundi and speak to church groups about reconciliation. Having boarded a plane in Dubai expecting to fly to Burundi, he was drugged, waking only to realize he had landed in Kigali, Rwanda — a place to which he would never voluntarily return.”

The girls say he was tortured forced to make a false confession and sentenced to 25 years in prison.  His daughters reject the accusations and they are backed by the United Nations, The United States, and several other high-profile human rights agencies and countries.  They describe the recent deal between the UK and Rwanda as heartbreaking.

Rusesabagina, a cancer survivor, has allegedly suffered untreated strokes while in detention and his daughters say they are desperate.

“The Prince of Wales and other CHOGM leaders can choose to focus on their shared values and principles and push those members who do not uphold those values in practice to do so. This includes Kagame & #39;s Rwanda. Although Prince Charles is not a political figure, he can seek dialogue behind closed doors, or even ask to visit our father…we urge the Prince of Wales and all of the other leaders assembled not to stay silent and to ask Kagame to provide our father with a compassionate release now, before it is too late.”

That Rusesabagina was kidnapped by Rwandans is not far-fetched. Human Rights Watch, a UN agency, says between 2010 and 2017, they found evidence that Rwanda’s military “frequently arbitrarily detained and tortured people, beating them, asphyxiating them, using electric shocks, and staging mock executions in military camps”. They also maintained that most of the detainees were “forcibly disappeared” and held without communication with their families for months on end in “deplorable conditions.”

Rwanda has hundreds of documented cases of human rights abuses and just last year 99 UN Member Countries during a review of its human rights records found so many irregularities that they made 284 recommendations to improve the state of human rights in the country.

The United Kingdom was one of the 99 countries that admitted Rwanda had serious gaps in its upholding of human rights, which makes the decision to ship refugees there nothing short of baffling.

In fact not only did the UK recommend fixes to shortcomings in how Rwanda handles human trafficking victims they also recommended the country.

“Conduct transparent, credible, and independent investigations into allegations of extrajudicial killings, deaths in custody, enforced disappearances and torture, and bring perpetrators to justice.”

Rwanda did not accept these recommendations, merely marking them as ‘noted.’  So far Prince Charles has not responded to the girl’s letter and the world will have to wait until

June 20th to see the outcome of the visit.

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