Friday, October 21, 2011

Rwanda has no cancer specialists

The country has no oncologist, even as Rwanda joins the world to mark the breast cancer awareness month. This is was revealed by the Minister of Health, Minister of Health, Dr Agnes Binagwaho, who however hastened to add that the country would hire one before the year ends. An oncologist is a specialised doctor trained in the management of cancer. “Besides that, we are also working on a strategic plan to train more health professionals like we have done for the other infectious diseases,” the minister said.

An official from the Ministry of Health, who preferred anonymity, said that there is an urgent need for the country to have cancer specialists. “There is urgent need for radiotherapy treatment because right now, patients are being referred to Mulago in Uganda or India. There is a very big gap in terms of medical personnel to cater for cancers,” he added. According to the Ministry of Health, breast cancer is on the rise in the country. This is attributed to dietary habits, lifestyle such as smoking, drinking alcohol and physical inactivity. The official noted that the ministry had devised strategies to reduce breast cancer such as the implementation of the cancer control activities, in accordance with the National Cancer Plan that will run from 2012 to 2016.

“There has been primary prevention by screening and auto–palpitation of the breasts as organised by MoH in various communities. Palliative care has also been strengthened whereby oncology courses have been incorporated in the curricula of nurses, lab technicians and doctors,” he said.

The Director of Kanombe Military Hospital, Lt. Col. Dr Ben Karenzi, revealed that his hospital is also working on modalities to address this glaring gap. “Currently there are no medics who are specialised in treating cancer. However, we hope to start offering radiotherapy cancer treatment in the near future and also get cancer medical specialists,” Karenzi said. Genetic factors such as females with a history of cancer are also some of the other attributes.

Environmental factors like exposure to radiation and hormonal factors in girls who start their periods at an early age of 12 years or younger, are also other causes of this cancer. Breast cancer comprises of 22.9 percent of all cancers worldwide among women. In 2008, it caused 458,503 deaths worldwide (13.7 percent of cancer deaths in women). According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), cancer is one of the leading causes of death, but that 30 percent of cancer deaths can be prevented with proper medication. According to the Dr. Binagwaho, there are no current statistics on breast cancer. The minister said that her ministry would have to first conduct a survey to ascertain the number of cases. Breast cancer is predominantly prevalent among women, though at a small rate, estimated at one percent; it can be found in men. In order to prevent this form of cancer, it is advisable to encourage routine self and clinical breast examination, eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, and avoid smoking and drinking alcohol. Breastfeeding is also another preventive measure against breast cancer. The ministry official pointed out a few challenges such as little public awareness on cancer, generally, and breast cancer specifically being a big challenge. “Treatment is also limited, insufficient drugs and a reagent in the diagnosis .There is also no reliable data on cancer,” Karenzi added.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

President Kagame appears on Mindspeak show- Kigali, Rwanda

President Kagame appeared on Mindspeak show, hosted by Aly Khan Stachu, CEO of Rich Management. Aly Sanchu invited President Kagame to speak in his show via Twitter!!!!twitter bird 2 60+ Ways To Increase Your Twitter Followers

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Fatuma Noor -Telling Stories That Need To Be Told

Fatuma Noor is a 24 years old Kenyan journalist with Star newspaper and the 2011 CNN African Journalist of the Year. Noor won the award for her investigative three-part series on the Al-Shabaab. It was chosen from the 1407 entries from 42 nations across Africa. The series tells the story of the young men who give up their freedom abroad to return and fight for the Al-Shabaab in one of the world’s most dangerous places on earth – Somalia. Read the first part of Fatuma's award winning feature.

Fatuma Noor is also the recipient of the David Astor Journalism Awards, a UK-registered charity working to promote independent journalism in Africa. As winner of the award, Noor served as a David Astor Journalism Fellow in England and had the opportunity to hone her journalist skills at both the renowned Independent and Guardian newspapers.

Monday, October 10, 2011

USA Had Slums in 1949 ... Lessons for Africa

A new study by Vanderbilt economist William J. Collins and Ph.D. candidate Katharine L. Shester looks at the long-term economic impact of the ambitious (and highly controversial) Housing Act of 1949, which used federal subsidies and the powers of eminent domain to “revitalize” American cities, i.e., to clear out the slums. By the time the program ended in 1974, 2,100 distinct urban renewal projects had been completed using grants that totaled about $53 billion (in 2009 dollars). In one of the rare papers to collect and analyze data related to the program, Collins and Shester come up with a positive picture of its effects – at least in some ways. The authors are clear that the ugliness involved with pushing people out of low-income housing was the reason the program was shut down, and that their results do not “imply that the dislocation costs for displaced residents and businesses were unimportant.”

A tin shed structure surrounds a locked pit latrine in Kibera, Nairobi’s largest slum. Communal pit latrines are the most common sanitation facility available to the residents of the low income settlement. Often shared by hundreds of people the pay-per-visit system of toilets in Kibera is a lucrative business for structure owners Flickr Photo

Cities that did the most slum-clearing or “urban renewal” had a higher increase in property values, income and population compared to non-participating cities. The results also show that these cities maintained roughly the same demographics, and did not push low-income residents out of cities, but rather redistributed the population.

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Thursday, October 6, 2011

THE World University Rankings 2011-2012

LinkThe publication of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings has become one of the key annual events in the international higher education calendar. They are used by undergraduate and postgraduate students to help select degree courses, by academics to inform career decisions, by research teams to identify new collaborative partners, and by university managers to benchmark their performance and set strategic priorities. As nations across the globe focus on the establishment of world-class universities as essential elements of a dynamic economy, our rankings are increasingly employed as a tool for governments to set national policy.

Top African Universities 2011-2012

World RankOrdered by this column, descending Institution Country / Region
103 University of Cape Town South Africa
251-275 Stellenbosch University South Africa
251-275 University of Witwatersrand South Africa
301-350 Alexandria University Egypt

THE World University Rankings 2011-2012

World RankOrdered by this column, descending Institution Country / Region
1 California Institute of Technology United States
2 Harvard University United States
2 Stanford University United States
4 University of Oxford United Kingdom
5 Princeton University United States
6 University of Cambridge United Kingdom
7 Massachusetts Institute of Technology United States
8 Imperial College London United Kingdom
9 University of Chicago United States
10 University of California, Berkeley United States

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Sunday, October 2, 2011

TV Commercials from the West on Africa

I recently came across a TV commercial for Bing search engine that had me raising my eyebrows.
Bing search engine advert on Krochet Kids International begins with this fellow saying after traveling to war torn Uganda they decided to engage and help folks through a crochet project. A noble cause indeed, though I cant help but wonder is Uganda a war torn country? I agree there is conflict in the northern parts of Uganda but would that mean the country is torn apart by war?

Bing: Krochet Kids from Nick Pezzillo on Vimeo.

Compare this commercial to this one by Google.

Food for thought!

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