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Sierra Leone Doctors Threaten To Expand Strike Amid Covid-19 Crisis

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Nigeria's Resident Doctors Begin Nationwide Strike

Striking doctors in Sierra Leone, who are refusing to treat covid-19 patients for what they call a lack of protective equipment (P.P.E) and other demands have threatened on Tuesday to suspend care for other patients too if the dispute is not resolved by the end of this week.

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The doctors stopped handling coronavirus cases last Thursday after more than a month-long stand-off with the government over what they say is a misuse of funds for coronavirus response.

The doctors are demanding for bonus payments and more protective equipment, like gloves, masks and coveralls to prevent infections spreading from patients to hospital staff. They say if a solution cannot be met by Sunday, then they will expand the strike to include treatment for general patients.

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An official had previously said the government was carrying out an audit to determine which health workers were entitled to hazard pay.

Sierra Leone has confirmed more than 1,500 covid-19 cases. At least 160 health workers have also been infected. 63 persons – including three doctors – have died from complications related to the virus.

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Uganda: Sickle Cell Awareness Fundraising Campaign Launched

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Uganda: Sickle Cell Awareness Fundraising Campaign Launched

A sickle cell awareness fundraising campaign has been launched by Uganda’s ministry of health to create awareness about sickle cell disease and to provide free screening services to stakeholders.

The exercise is expected to help give specialized health care, to promote awareness and testing, and to provide tele-medicine services.

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The campaign is a joint effort with CTI Africa Uganda sickle cell rescue foundation.

A study has shown a prevalence of sickle cell trait at a very high rate of more than thirteen percent.  As a result, health authorities have called for premarital and newborn screening.

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The ministry’s director-general for health services, Dr. Henry Nwebesa, says the ministry will strengthen partnerships and ensure every sickle cell child is able to live a quality life.

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Sickle cell is a chronic illness that effects people from childhood and restricts them for participating in many activities that could affect their conditions.

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Ivory Coast President Says New West African Currency Launch May Take Five Years

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Ivory Coast President Says New West African Currency Launch May Take Five Years

The plan to launch a new currency to replace the CFA franc-being used by several French speaking west African countries has been postponed. Ivory coast president Alessane Ouattara, said the coronavirus pandemic has derailed the project to introduce the eco currency this year.

Last December, the eight countries of west Africa’s monetary union decided to sever the financial colonial link with France by switching to a new currency called the Eco, which the union says would be pegged to the European Union’s euro. Other countries that do not use the CFA franc, like Nigeria and Ghana, are also interested in adopting the new regional currency.

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The plan has been affected by the economic fallout of the global COVID-19 pandemic. The Eco launch may not happen for at least five years. The international monetary fund predicts sub-Saharan Africa’s economy will contract by more than 3% this year.

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Nations in the bloc, former French colonies, like Benin, Mali, Niger and Senegal have agreed to work towards reducing their budget deficits to below 3% of GDP, a measure of the value of their economies.

READ:  Covid-19: DR Congo Eases Lockdown In Capital

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Anti-Nigerian Hashtag Trends In South Africa

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Anti-Nigerian Hashtag Trends In South Africa

South Africa`s internet is buzzing with top trending hashtag on twitter #NigeriansMustGo in a latest sign of growing xenophobia in the country.  Last week, a protest was held outside the Nigerian high commission where locals were asking that South Africans be put first.

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Demonstrators held a small protest at the Nigerian diplomatic building in Pretoria, under the hashtag #PutSouthAfricansFirst.

During last week’s protest, Nigeria’s high commissioner Bala Kabiru said “we don’t accept the profiling of Nigerians in South Africa.”

Some South Africans accuse immigrants of taking the jobs of locals, and of being involved in crime. Others say most immigrants are law-abiding, and should not be blamed for South Africa’s economic and social problems.

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Digital forensic research lab – which is made up of forensic researchers who track conflicts – said last week, it had identified a dismissed lance corporal in the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) running a fake Twitter account used to fuel xenophobia.

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