Monthly Archives: September 2019

China Mobile International Wins the Best Enterprise Service Award at Telecoms World Middle East

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, Sept. 30, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — China Mobile International Limited (CMI)’s dedication to innovation was recognized when the company won the Best Enterprise Service Award at the Telecoms World Middle East 2019 in Dubai.

Representative from China Mobile International received the Best Enterprise Service Award at Telecoms World Middle East

The prestigious award celebrates the telecom operator who has launched the most innovative and scalable enterprise service in the last year. Entering its fifteenth consecutive year in Dubai, Telecoms World Middle East brings together companies that are driven by innovation and serves as a place to develop partnerships that can transform and diversify the industry.

Today’s accolade marks a new milestone for CMI and serves as evidence of the company’s dedication to excellence and digital transformation. CMI’s iSolutions provides one-stop customized enterprise services on connectivity, cloud, ICT, data center and IoT to enterprises across different industries. CMI launched mCloud in Hong Kong in May 2019 to provide online cloud-network services to many global enterprises.

Early adopters of mCloud include a commercial video streaming platform that initially needed cloud service deployment locally and then extended its business platform overseas. With the assurance of CMI’s dedicated access and data center, the business has improved its user experience, even for those in overseas locations, enabling its international expansion.

A leading international online educational institution has also adopted mCloud. With a requirement for high network stability and security, it relies on CMI’s cloud connection service to achieve reliability, low latency, flexible bandwidth and fast configuration while accommodating spikes in data transmission across different regions.

CMI actively harnesses new technologies to boost cloud computing and data center infrastructure upgrades with a view to building new world-class information infrastructure to provide clients with the best possible service. CMI is committed to helping their customers focus on their core business and stay ahead of the curve.

About CMI

China Mobile International Limited (CMI) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of China Mobile, mainly responsible for the operation of China Mobile’s international business. In order to provide better services to meet the growing demand in the international telecommunications market, China Mobile established a subsidiary, CMI, in December 2010. CMI currently has more than 40 terrestrial and submarine cable resources worldwide, with a total international transmission bandwidth of over 42T, and a total of 167 POPs. With Hong Kong, China as its launchpad, CMI has significantly accelerated global IDC development, creating a strong network for data center cloudification. Leveraging the strong support by China Mobile, CMI is a trusted partner that provides comprehensive international telecom services and solutions to international enterprisers, carriers and mobile users. Headquartered in Hong Kong, China, CMI has expanded its footprint in 22 countries and regions. For more information, please visit www.cmi.chinamobile.com.

Photo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/1003235/CMI_Telecoms_Awards_2019.jpg

A doctor takes you to the tough and joyfilled days in the Ebola battle in Goma

Since December 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) and other partners have worked in collaboration with the DRC Government to respond to a possible Ebola outbreak in Goma. Dr Ramazani Kalumbi Ramses is in charge of epidemiological surveillance for WHO in Goma. He oversees 17 health zones. The following is his account of managing the first Ebola case in Goma.

Goma is a major trading hub for Eastern DRC and thousands of people travel here from the Ebola epidemiological zones. The risk of Ebola coming into the city is high. So we have been preparing.

We have put in place an alerts system, trained more than 300 investigators, 1 700 community health agents, more than 2 000 caregivers and traditional practitioners and more than 300 tracers tasked with following up contacts of confirmed Ebola patients. We have established 17 entry points and screening points around the city of Goma. We have implemented a research cell for unidentified and lost contacts a team that tracks all the missing contacts [people who may have been exposed to the virus] from the hot zones and returns them to their health zone for the rest of their followup period.

In the process, we have had several alerts [possible cases] for months, but all were negative for Ebola virus disease. We knew it was a matter of time, but the challenge for us WHO and the Government is would we be ready? Would we identify the patient quickly, isolate and treat as well as stop the spread of the virus in such a big city?

Then, the day came: Sunday, 14 July

One of our young investigators called the Ebola Alert Centre describing a suspected patient he had just investigated and asked us to check if he was listed as a contact in Butembo, one of the Ebola hot zones. We checked. He was not in those lists.

The patient was a pastor who came from Beni via Butembo [both Ebola hotspots]. He arrived in Goma that day by bus. He went to the home of a fellow pastor who asked him to go to a health facility because his health condition was not good.

He arrived at Afia Himbi Health Centre where he found Ebolatrained staff who immediately escalated the matter to the alert centre. The patient was investigated and transferred to the Ebola treatment centre in Goma. The patient proposed to give a bribe to the health worker and the investigator so that he could be treated at home, but fortunately, both of them refused that proposition and helped him to understand that he will receive better care at the Ebola treatment centre. The patient was isolated for treatment in less than three hours after his arrival to the city. By now, he was still a suspected case awaiting lab tests.

I received a phone call around 17:00.

We have a confirmed Ebola case the government coordinator of Goma said.

The pastor? I exclaimed.

Yes came an affirmative response.

Although I was disappointed that Ebola had finally reached the city, I also knew this is the moment we had been preparing for. We went into crisis mode. The next steps were critical and must be done right.

The point is to stop the transmission of the virus within the population. First, we determined the pastor’s itinerary, searched for the bus manifest and traced all the patient’s contacts [travellers] and vaccinated them within 72 hours. These contacts will be followed up for 21 days to monitor their health.

The bus manifest that we obtained did not have full names and phone numbers, but with the help of the bus company, workers and the bus travellers, we were able to find all the passengers. We were lucky that everyone we called responded positively and accepted to be vaccinated. We created a climate of trust that enabled us to find all the passengers paramount.

There were two women from the patient’s village who had travelled with and took care of him during the trip. After a risk analysis and investigations, we decided to send them back home to Beni where they will be taken care of and followed up. Unfortunately, one of them developed Ebola in Beni and died. Returning her to Beni enabled us to avoid a second Ebola patient in Goma.

A second day arrived: 30 July

On the evening of 29 July, I received a call from an investigator asking me to check the Ituri [another Ebola hot zone] contact lists for a male patient who had just been investigated in a health facility in Nyiragongo, at the outskirts of Goma. This patient was not included in the lists and had no connection to the first case in Goma.

By morning, the lab confirmed the patient to be sick with Ebola. We visited the family and found two of his children with symptoms and took them to the treatment centre, but only one of them tested positive.

A day later, the wife showed signs and was taken to the treatment centre. She tested positive.

From these three confirmed patients, we found a total of 235 contacts who were vaccinated and followed up 202 of them resided in the same health zone.

The father succumbed to the disease, which caused enormous pain to the family, community and those of us who worked with them. We visited the family every day to console them for the loss as we tried to save the lives of the other sick loved ones.

At last, a day of joy arrived: 13 August

Throughout their hospitalization, the medical care teams did a wonderful job. They treated them using the new drug, which turned out be very effective. The mother and son tested negative and healed within 12 days.

It is an immense joy for us to see this mother and child return to the community free from the disease. We witnessed the joy of the neighbours, too. We sang and danced together. This was the victory of an entire community that chose to comply with the rules of hygiene and the advice of the response teams and that gives the hope of the end of the outbreak in their village.

A day like this is unforgettable. Days like this motivate us and give hope to an entire city.

This is a triumph, but the battle is not yet over. We remain focused on our goal of completely ending this tenth outbreak of Ebola.

Source: World Health Organization. Africa

Awarding the Best AntiTobacco ‘Fresque Murale’

The Awarding Ceremony for the National AntiTobacco ‘Fresque Murale’ InterCollege Competition took place on 30 September 2019 at the R. Gandhi Science Centre, Bell Village in the presence of the high officials from the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life, Ministry of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research and WHO Representative in Mauritius, Dr Laurent Musango.

Dr Bhoshun Ori, Director Health Services during his welcome address recalled that the National AntiTobacco Mural Painting InterCollage Competition was organized in June 2019 in the context of the World NoTobacco Day 2019. The aim of the competition was to deter the very first puff among young school youth. A total of twentytwo private and public secondary schools registered for the competition. Students in a group of 5 to 8, led by their respective teachers, conceptualized mural painting at their schools according to the technical guidelines set. A jury panel comprising technical officers from the ministries of Health and Education, chaired by Dr Ori, Director Health Services, reviewed and assessed the entries based on welldefined criteria which include creativity, relevance and presentation among others.

Dr Laurent Musango, WHO Representative in Mauritius, during his speech, congratulated all the students who participated in the competition. ‘You are all winners in this competition’, he told the students present. During the competition, you have sensitized your peers and everyone at schools on the harmful effects of smoking. ‘Young people underestimate the risks of tobacco and the likelihood of becoming addicted to nicotine when they first tried to smoke’, emphasized Dr Musango.

‘Young people should bear in mind that tobacco is not like any consumer product. It is hazardous and it causes death and kills half of its users’, underlined Dr Musango. The latter congratulated the Government of Mauritius and the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life for all the progress made in implementing strong tobacco measures which include among others, the promulgation of the FCTCcompliant tobacco regulations, the ban of advertising, promotion and sponsorship and the implementation of graphic health warnings on cigarette packages. ‘However’, pointed out Dr Musango, ‘there is still more actions to be taken to reinforce the existing tobacco control measures such as the strengthening of the law on the ban of single sticks and sale to minors to reduce access to tobacco products’.

Dr Ramen, Acting Director General Health Services, during his address, spoke of the ‘unpreceded pandemic of NCDs faced by all countries around the world’. He stated that ‘tobacco is a threat to everyone, irrespective of age or gender’. He added that, ‘tobacco is responsible for 7 million of death in the world yearly; of which 6 million people die due to tobacco consumption and around 600,000 due to exposure to secondhand smoke’.

The Camp de Masque State College won the National AntiTobacco ‘Fresque Murale’ InterCollege Competition and the students were awarded a check of fifty thousand rupees while the New Eton College and Hindu Girls were at excequo as the second runner up and received a check amounting to twenty thousand rupees each. The first runner up, Beau Bassin State Secondary School won a check of thirty thousand rupees. All the students who participated in the National competition were awarded Certification of Participation and Shields.

In Mauritius, tobacco importation has decreased over the years as a result of the intensive national antitobacco programme that is being conducted through the year and also due to the strong tobacco control measures taken by the Government of Mauritius after the ratification of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in 2005. A decrease in tobacco importation is noted from 1.3 billion of sticks in 2009 to 1 billion in 2018.

In Mauritius, noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) account for 85% of disease burden and 81% of mortality. According to the NCD Survey 2015, tobacco use among adult males remains high in Mauritius at 38% as compared to other African countries. 50% of the smokers are in the age group of 1924 years. As regards to youth smoking, the Global Youth Tobacco Survey 2016 revealed that 19% of school youth aged 1315 years (28% boys and 10% girls) are current smokers.

Source: World Health Organization. Africa

Southern Africa: Humanitarian Key Messages, September 2019

The climate crisis is having devastating consequences in Southern Africa, with parts of the region experiencing their lowest rainfall since 1981 while others have endured the destruction of cyclones, pests and disease.

More than 9.2 million people across the region are now severely food insecure, and this figure is expected to grow to 12 million at the peak of the lean season (October 2019March 2020).

Rising humanitarian needs and increasing suffering have exacerbated protection concerns, particularly for women and children, and heightened the risk of transmission of HIV

KEY MESSAGES

1. Southern Africa is experiencing the devastating consequences of the climate crisis firsthand. Over the past year, large parts of central and western Southern Africa have experienced their lowest seasonal rainfall totals since 1981, and the region overall received less rainfall than during the 2015/2016 El NiAo. At the same time, Comoros, Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe were all hit by the Cyclone Idai and/or Cyclone Kenneth weather systems. Angola, Botswana, Lesotho and Namibia have all declared drought disasters, while Comoros, Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe declared States of Emergency due to the impact of the cyclones. Since 2012, Southern Africa has seen only two favourable agricultural seasons.

2. There are now 9.2 million severely food insecure people (IPC Phases 3 and 4) in nine countries* across the region and this figure will rise to around 12 million at the peak of the upcoming lean season (OctoberMarch). In Zimbabwe, the devastating combination of floods, dry spells and economic downturn have driven rapidly rising hunger. In both Eswatini and Lesotho, a quarter or more of the rural population will face Crisis or Emergency levels of food insecurity at the peak of the lean season. In Zambia, more than 2.3 million people are expected to be severely food insecure during the lean season and the country�normally a net cereal exporter�has placed a ban on maize exports. In Mozambique, drought, two cyclones and violence in the north are expected to leave nearly 2 million people severely food insecure from October to March. Meanwhile, Namibia has received its lowest rainfall in 35 years and at least 290,000 of the poorest and most vulnerable people in the north of the country are suffering from an acute food security crisis and up to 90,000 livestock are reported to have died due to drought.

3. People’s livelihoods and production capacity have been eroded, jeopardizing the 2019/2020 season. Most affected households and communities depend on agriculture for their livelihoods and food and nutrition security. Southern Zambia and northern Namibia suffered crop failure, while the bulk of Zimbabwe, central Mozambique and southern Angola have had poor crops, culminating in poor harvests. Community watering points for livestock and agriculture have driedup in many places, while pasture has been depleted, resulting in increased movement of livestock and people searching for water and grazing. Outbreaks of foot and mouth disease and other transboundary livestock diseases have increased. If nothing is done, the impact of the drought situation will seriously erode the capacity of affected farming households and communities to produce in the 2019/20 season which starts in three months’ time.

4. Acute malnutrition has risen in multiple countries putting the lives of thousands of children at risk. While levels of acute malnutrition do not typically reach emergency thresholds in Southern Africa, any rise in prevalence increases the risk of stunting and death for young children. Increasing numbers of acutely malnourished children have been reported in parts of Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Angola, through survey/screening and programme data. In Madagascar, acute malnutrition is expected to remain high, despite improved food security, and will likely be exacerbated as critical programs for moderate malnutrition have not received funding. In Mozambique, the first outbreak of pellagra�a disease caused mainly due to the lack of specific vitamins�in many years highlights the chronically poorquality diets of young children.

5. Drought, floods and diminishing access to clean water have increased the risk of communicable disease outbreaks. Already in 2019, Angola, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia have experienced cholera outbreaks, and as the rainy season approaches, the threat of cholera will rise. The hepatitis E outbreak in Namibia, with a high mortality rate especially among pregnant women, and dengue fever in Mauritius and Tanzania, are also closely linked to flooding. There are ongoing measles outbreaks in Angola, Comoros and Madagascar. Angola continues to record cases of vaccinederived poliovirus type 2.

6. Deteriorating economic prospects have exacerbated poverty and inequality and hampered access to essential services, including healthcare. In Zimbabwe, fuel prices have increased more than 500 per cent this year, while prices of basic goods and services have more than doubled since June and stocks of essential medicines, diagnostics and supplies have been depleted due to foreign currency shortages. The deteriorating economic situation has triggered discontent and protests that have been accompanied by reports of increased restriction on the exercise of freedom of expression, association and assembly. In Lesotho, food prices have risen since January due to the anticipated poor harvest in South Africa, where the economy is also struggling with high inflation rates. In Eswatini, access to basic services, including health and education, has been compromised by high inflation rates and civil servants have gone months without pay while hospitals are running out of medication.

7. The risk of genderbased violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect, particularly for women and children, has risen due to disasters and food insecurity. Extreme coping mechanisms during times of household stress, including transactional sex, exacerbate the situation, with girls particularly vulnerable to family separation, early marriage, teenage pregnancy and domestic violence, with dire consequences for their sexual and reproductive health. In Zimbabwe, rising food insecurity and the economic crisis pose protection risks for an estimated 840,000 women and 150,000 vulnerable children. In Angola, school dropout is reportedly on the rise, as children are accompanying their parents hundreds of miles in search of water and pasture for cattle and are engaged in child labour.

Resourcebased tensions have also been reported as communities move in search of water and pasture, including across the border to Namibia. In Lesotho, there are reports of women and girls crossing into South Africa in search of jobs, some of whom experience trafficking and sexual exploitation. In Mozambique, many families lost everything during cyclones Idai and Kenneth�their homes, their livelihoods and productive family members�and this has heightened the risks of adopting negative coping strategies, including pushing women and children into child labour, child trafficking, child early forced marriage and transactional sex, to survive the months ahead.

8. Southern Africa has one of the highest rates of HIV prevalence in the world, and crisis conditions exacerbate the risk of transmission. Food insecurity can pressure people into harmful coping strategies, including transactional sex, which drive new HIV infections, and there is a negative correlation between food insecurity and HIV treatment adherence, retention and success. A 2014 study of 18 countries in subSaharan Africa�including Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe�found that infection rates in HIV endemic rural areas increased by 11 per cent for every recent drought. In Zimbabwe, there has been a significant increase in households where at least one family member is living with HIV/AIDS, 27 per cent compared to 12 per cent in 2018. In Mozambique, after Cyclone Idai, women engaging in transactional sex reported that men would pay more for sex without a condom.

9. There is an urgent need to scale up lifesaving relief efforts as well as to invest in longerterm efforts to address the root causes of rising needs in the region. Without this, developmental gains made over the past years in Southern Africa may be quickly eroded, requiring even more costly humanitarian response in the years to come. To date, there has been limited donor support for humanitarian response in middle income countries. However, while Nambia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Eswatini, Lesotho and Angola are officially classified as upper and lowermiddle income countries by the World Bank, this label often masks extreme inequalities within the countries, and it is the poorest and most vulnerable who are bearing the brunt of rising food insecurity.

*The nine countries included in the severely food insecurity figures are: Angola, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia, Malawi, Madagascar, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs