Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Creative messaging and sensitisation to kick Ebola out of Congo

By Esther Nakkazi

Officials in the Ministry of Health in the Democratic Republic of Congo have turned to sports to sensitize the public especially the youth about Ebola. This was after it was observed that young people were often the source of reluctance in the community and the first perpetrators of the destruction of sanitary materials.

The aim of the football tournament was to appease this youth, raise awareness about Ebola and invite them to take ownership of the Ebola response to end the epidemic, a statement from the Ministry of Health says.

To sensitize the public and particularly the youth, the coordination of the Ebola response organized a football tournament in Beni and Butembo in order to build trust with the youth of both cities. The last phases of the football tournament 'Ebola Pas Chez Moi' started on Monday, December 17, 2018, with the final and the small final of Butembo. 

After two weeks of strong emotions, it was the 'Racing Club of Kivu' (RCK) team that won the title of tournament champion in Butembo after having imposed on penalties against the team 'Jeunesse Sportive de Butembo '(JSB). The RCK will face Beni's championship team in the Grand Final of the tournament and attempt to win the Cup of Hope this Thursday, December 20, 2018.

Throughout the tournament, many awareness activities were organized including community animators who animated the games with messages and awareness songs. After being trained on the disease and the means of prevention, the young players themselves became involved in raising public awareness by recording prevention messages that were also broadcast by local radio stations. 

A special prize was awarded to the player of the tournament voted the best sensitizer of the competition. Handwashing and temperature sensing devices were installed at the entrance to all stadiums. 

In addition, on the sidelines of the Butembo final, experts from the different pillars of the Ebola response were set up in stands and answered all the public's questions about the epidemic.
Meanwhile, vaccination has continued wide-belt vaccination (or ring plus) in Otomaber (in Komanda Health Zone) and Aloya (in Mabalako Health Zone). Continued immunization of primary care providers in the Goma Health Zone.

The ministry records show that since vaccination began on 8 August 2018, 48,048 people have been vaccinated, including 19,017 in Beni, 8,619 in Katwa, 5,077 in Mabalako, 4,974 in Butembo, 2,208 in Kalunguta, 1,663 in Mandima, 824 in Komanda, 791 in Vuhovi, 750 to Masereka, 700 to Lubero, 670 to Oicha, 607 to Kyondo, 599 to Mutwanga, 434 to Bunia, 355 to Tchomia, 344 to Musienene, 257 to Goma, 70 to Biena, 63 to Alimbongo, 13 to Karisimbi and 13 to Kisangani.


Friday, December 14, 2018

Research says nine of ten Africans are unqualified for the Jobs they apply for

Research conducted by the ROAM or Ringier One Africa Media (www.ROAM.Africa) Group shows that many Africans who apply for a job are not qualified in the first place

Close to 90% of applicants that apply to a job position are objectively not a match to the role advertised. This is caused less by a shortage of jobs, but a fundamental misunderstanding of job requirements, both from employers and candidates.

This has been uncovered by research conducted by ROAM, who is encompassing the market-leading job portals in West Africa (Jobberman) and East Africa (Brightermonday), as well as Executive Recruitment and HR Solutions firm The African Talent Company. The company has analysed data sets from more than 12 million users, as well as from more than 100,000 employers, across Nigeria and Kenya active in the last two years.

Matthew Page, ROAM Head of Jobs, on the background of the research: “We have recently conducted a data review and were shocked by this huge gap. Our initial hypothesis was that this is due to a shortage of jobs, gaps in the labour markets, and desperation."

"However digging deeper into our database, our analysis found that many candidates were indeed qualified for other available jobs, but did not necessarily apply for these. African employers and our clients indeed face a challenge in hiring the right people,” he said.

The company’s research further brought to light that an average job listing receives about 140 - 160 applications. This showcases that there are huge hiring efforts involved in the application and recruitment process, even before the interview. 

This is both on the candidate side, to launch this large number of wrong applications, as well as from the employer, to identify the 10% of right candidates, amidst a large number of unqualified requests.

“Hiring the right competency upfront typically returns 3x productivity for the employer. It also minimises the onboarding time required to get an employee up to speed. That is why we have launched smart employer products in the last months. These facilitate a smooth hiring experience for employers, through tech-enabled shortlisting and matching products that identify the best candidate for the best position”, adds Matthew Page.

Clemens Weitz, CEO of ROAM elaborates on the potential for economic growth: “Our research clearly shows that the education of the African job market has a long way to go - both on the seeker and employer side. Solving this challenge will unlock tremendous latent economic potential."

"Imagine an efficient economy, where all employees sit in the job that is a perfect, natural fit for their individual nature. Productivity and satisfaction would skyrocket. AI and machine learning have tremendous potential, and we plan to fundamentally solve this challenge in 2019,” he said

Press Release APO

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Ebola Update

By Esther Nakkazi

According to the World Health Organisation concerns have been raised regarding the disproportionate number of women and children infected during this outbreak. 

To date, females accounted for 62% (280/450) of overall cases where sex was reported. Of all female cases, 83% (230/277) were aged ≥15 years. Of these women, at least 18 were pregnant, and an additional seven were breastfeeding or recently delivered at the time of infection. 

There have been 27 cases among infants less than one year of age, with 70% (19) of these being boys, and 21 fatalities (age-specific case fatality of 78%). There were also nine cases in infants aged less than one month. Children, less than 15 years of age accounted for 24% (106/447) of cases.

There are likely a multitude of factors contributing towards this disproportionate disease burden observed in women and children. These include exposure within formal and informal health facilities, involvement in traditional burial practices, transmission within family groups (including transmission between mothers caring for children), differences in health-seeking behavior, as well as the impact of ongoing conflict on the underlying population structure in affected areas. 

Among those with available information, commonly identified risk factors reported by cases include: having contact to a known case (224/320, 70%), having attended funerals (121/299, 40%) and having visited/admitted to a health facility before the onset of EVD (46/139, 33%). Of note, 46% of female cases (84/181) reported having attended funerals, in contrast to 31% of male cases (37/118).


Friday, December 7, 2018

Traditional Healers fuelling Ebola spread

By Esther Nakkazi

In the past three weeks, a significant increase in Ebola cases has been observed in Butembo and Katwa with the main challenges in these areas related to the high density and mobility of the population in this major trading city of North Kivu, said Dr. Oly Ilunga Kalenga, the Minister of Health, Democratic Republic of Congo.

Another observed an unusual aspect of this epidemic is the role played by centers of traditional health practitioners in the transmission of the virus that a key factor in nosocomial infections. Nosocomial infection is an infection that is acquired in a hospital or other health care facility and is spread to the susceptible patient in the clinical setting by various means.

DRC ministry of health officials says a parallel consequence of these nosocomial infections is the contamination of a large number of healthcare providers. To date, 44 health workers have been infected (9% of the total number of cases), of whom 12 have died.

"Strengthening infection prevention and control measures in public, private and traditional health facilities is one of the priorities of the teams today," said Dr. Ilunga at a press conference in Kinshasa held Thursday, December 6, 2018.

Dr. IIunga also observed a reluctance by the community which is more violent than the reluctance usually observed during previous Ebola outbreaks.

"A minority of the population in these areas express their reluctance through the regular destruction of medical equipment and health centers as well as the physical attacks of health workers," he said.

Meanwhile, vaccination is still ongoing with more than 40,000 vaccinated people, and vaccination teams have averted more than 10,000 Ebola cases in 4 months or nearly half of the balance sheet of the epidemic in West Africa that lasted 2 years.

Since the beginning of vaccination on August 8, 2018, 41,226 people have been vaccinated, including 18,270 in Beni, 6,272 in Katwa, 4,578 in Mabalako, 3,556 in Butembo, 2,092 in Kalunguta, 1,663 in Mandima, 769 in Vuhovi, 750 in Masereka, 599 in Mutwanga, 521 in Oicha, 434 in Bunia, 409 in Komanda, 392 in Lubero, 355 in Tchomia, 274 in Musienene, 241 in Kyondo, and 51 in Alimbongo.

Continuation of vaccination of front-line providers in Lubero as a preventive measure in the context of the preparation of the health zone also continues.

Dr. Ilunga cautioned that the epidemic will last for several months and that the risk of spread will remain high until the epidemic is completely extinguished.