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Mulago to handle VIPs only

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To control the surge in the number of people seeking to be screened for potential exposure to the coronavirus, Mulago national referral hospital has temporarily closed its Covid-19 sample collection centre.

The hospital insists it’s largely a treatment and isolation center.

“Mulago hospital is a treatment and isolation center. We don’t want patients moving in and meeting people dropping samples. It’s only VIPs, like MPs and ministers allowed to go there for sample collection since their number is not big,” Emmanuel Ainebyoona, the ministry of Health senior public relations officer, said in a weekend interview.

Interviewed at the weekend, Rosemary Byanyima, the deputy executive director of Mulago hospital, said the Covid-19 sample collection centre at the referral hospital was closed on Tuesday, August 18. She said all suspected cases and especially people who wanted to travel have been referred to Kiswa health center in Bugolobi and Makerere University for screening.

“Many people were coming at Mulago hospital, yet we are now concentrating on (Covid-19) case management,” she said.

As of Monday, August 24, Uganda had a total of 2,263 Covid-19 cases, 1,226 recoveries and 20 deaths. Ainebyoona said Mulago hospital’s Covid-19 collection centre has moved to Kiswa health centre in Bugolobi.

“There is a criterion at Kiswa health centre. Not all people should go there…If you don’t have signs and symptoms of Covid-19, or if you are not going to travel, don’t go there,” Ainebyoona said, adding that the ministry is working towards expanding sample collection centres.

He said many people with persistent symptoms of Covid-19 and who wanted to be tested, were usually referred to Mulago hospital to get their samples withdrawn and taken to different testing laboratories.

“The testing laboratories include National Central Public Health Laboratory (CPHL), Makerere University Microbiology and Immunology Laboratory, Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) and other laboratories at the border points of Malaba and Mutukula and Adjumani hospital,” Ainebyoona said.

He said the ministry also accredited four private laboratories to test for Covid-19 at an individual’s cost to expand on the services. These are Medipal International hospital, MBN laboratories at Nakasero, Lancet Laboratories and Makerere University College of Health Sciences (Mulago).

Ainebyoona said through the ministry’s surveillance system, government picks samples of contacts of Covid-19 suspected cases from their homes. He said there is also a planned rapid assessment that will occur in greater Kampala Metropolitan, Wakiso and Mukono districts like what happened in other high-risk districts.

“We shall be selecting a number of people scattered across in these districts and test them. We shall also do risk basic testing; for example, if premise X has a case, then we test all the occupants and their contacts there,” he says.

Ainebyoona said it takes only 48 hours to know the results.

“Sometimes when the results delay, it is due to the running out of reagents or sometimes traffic jam affects movements of medical officers from sample collection centers to testing laboratories,” he said.

The ministry also has several psychotherapy teams that counsel people who are tested and found positive with Covid-19. The same team also visits different quarantine areas and hotels to counsel people from abroad.

The ministry issued a statement on Monday listing all testing centres within Kampala and Wakiso. They include Kiswa Health Centre IV Bugolobi, Kisenyi Health Centre IV, Kibuli hospital, Kawaala Health Centre IV, Kitebi Health Centre IV, Nsambya hospital, Kira Health Centre IV, Kasangati Health IV and International hospital Kampala.

Tests are free for all symptomatic cases in government facilities.

WHO projection

According to the World Health Organisation chief, the coronavirus disease pandemic could last for another two years. 

Speaking last Friday, director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus compared the virus to the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic which took “two years to stop.”

The WHO has always been cautious about giving an estimate on how quickly the pandemic can be dealt with while there is no proven vaccine.
But on Friday, Tedros said that globalisation allowed the virus to spread quicker than the Spanish flu did in 1918. He added that the world now has the technology to stop it, which wasn’t around 102 years ago.

“And in our situation now with more technology, and of course with more connectiveness, the virus has a better chance of spreading; it can move fast because we are more connected now,” he told a briefing in Geneva.

“But at the same time, we have also the technology to stop it and the knowledge to stop it.
“We hope to finish this pandemic [in] less than two years, especially if we can pool our efforts.”

Tedros urged countries to engage in “national unity” and “global solidarity”.

“That is really key with utilising the available tools to the maximum and hoping that we can have additional tools like a vaccine,” he added.

Uganda Health minister Jane Ruth Aceng

WHO’s emergencies chief Dr Michael Ryan noted the 1918 pandemic hit the globe in three distinct waves; the second wave, which began during the fall of 1918, was the most devastating.

“This virus is not displaying a similar wave-like pattern,” he said.
“When the virus is not under control, it jumps straight back up.”

Ryan added that while pandemic viruses often settle into a seasonal pattern, that didn’t appear to be the case for the Covid-19. More than 22.81 million people have been reported to be infected by the coronavirus globally since it was first identified in China last year and 793,382 have died, according to a Reuters tally.

The United States leads the world with 5.6 million confirmed cases and more than 174,000 deaths. Meanwhile, Britain’s coronavirus outbreak shrank again as the average number of people testing positive for the deadly disease dropped to below 1,000 for the first time in a week.

Doctors say the rise in cases is largely down to younger people becoming infected. Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation said the Balkans region is a “hotspot” for Covid-19 amid mounting speculation that Croatia could be added to the UK’s quarantine travel list.

The WHO said the Balkans have been a “concern of ours since early June” because of an increase in case numbers as it urged the region to impose additional measures to “nip transmission in the bud”.

Dr Catherine Smallwood told a WHO press conference: “The situation in the Balkans has been a concern of ours since early June when we started to see cases increase and it’s been very much a sub-regional hotspot over the summer period.”

This comes as France, Spain and Germany all reported their highest cases of coronavirus in months.  The new figures have been raising concerns about a second wave that could be hitting the continent.

zuraneetah2015@gmail.com





Source – observer.ug

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Charles Mbire gains $1.2 million as stake in MTN Uganda rises above $51 million

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Ugandan businessman and MTN Uganda Chairman Charles Mbire has seen the market value of his stake in MTN Uganda surge above $51 million in just two days, as the share price in the leading teleco company increased by a single digit.

The single-digit bump in the share price caused the market value of Mbire’s stake to gain UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million) in less than two days.

The million-dollar increase in the value of his stake came after Uganda’s largest telecom company delivered the country’s largest-ever IPO through the listing of 22.4 billion ordinary shares on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE).

Upon completing the largest IPO in Uganda’s history, MTN Uganda raised a record UGX535 billion ($150.4 million) from the applications that it received for a total of 2.9 billion shares, including incentive shares.

As of press time, Dec. 7, shares in the company were trading at UGX204.95 ($0.0574), down six basis points from their opening price this morning.

Data gathered by Billionaires.Africa revealed that since the telecom company registered its shares on the Ugandan bourse on Mon., Dec. 6, its share price has increased by 2.5 percent from UGX200 ($0.056) to UGX204.95 ($0.0574) as of the time of writing, as retail investors sustained buying interest long after the public offering.

The increase in the company’s share price caused the market value of Mbire’s 3.98-percent stake to rise from UGX178.45 billion ($49.96 million) to UGX182.86 billion ($51.2 million).

In less than two days, his stake gained more than UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million).

In a statement after the successful listing of MTN Uganda’s shares, Mbire said the IPO shows the confidence that Ugandans and other investors have in the company, its brand and strategic intent.

“We commend all the regulators for their support in our work to become a USE-listed company and to comply in a timely manner with the listing provisions of the national telecommunications operators’ license,” he said.

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350 million (debt free).

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350. ( debt free).

He is into communications-revenue assurance-cement-distribution-oil services-real estate-oil exploration and logistics.

Source: Billionaires Africa

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2-year-old dies at Arua hospital as nurse demands Shs 210,000 bribe

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A two-year-old child died at Arua Regional Referral hospital after a nurse, Paul Wamala demanded a bribe amounting to Shs 210,000 before carrying out an operation. 

The incident happened on Saturday, after Aron Nabil, a two-year-old child was referred to the hospital for an operation after he was diagnosed with intestinal obstruction, a medical emergency caused by a blockage that keeps food or liquid from passing through the small intestine or large intestine.

According to the relatives of the child, Wamala allegedly asked them to initially give him Shs 30,000 to buy medicines to commence the procedure. He however returned shortly asking for an additional Shs 180,000 from the relatives.

Emily Adiru, a resident of Osu cell, in Bazar Ward, Central Division, and a relative of the child says although they paid money to Wamala, he abandoned the child without carrying out the operation. According to Adiru, Wamala later refunded Shs 200,000 through mobile money, after she threatened to report him to the police.

“They told us this boy needs an operation which was supposed to be done in the morning on Sunday at around 7 am. They took him inside there, some doctor came from the theatre, he called one of us and said, we should pay Shs 70,000 for buying medicine to start the operation. We paid the Shs 30,000 [but] after paying the Shs 30,000, after some minutes, the same man came and opened the door and called us again, and told us we should pay another Shs 100,000. We also paid the Shs 100,000 and we thought it is finished. We were outside there waiting for our patient to come out [but] then this man came back again and said we should pay another Shs 80,000,” said Adiru.

Although the operation was later carried out after a 7-hour delay, the child didn’t make it, and relatives attribute the death to negligence. Miria Ahmed, a concerned resident wonders why such incidents have persisted at the facility which is supposed to service the citizens.

“Is the problem the hospital, is it the management or it is the human resource that is the problem in the hospital? A small child like this you demand Shs 210,000 for the operation? Well, if the money was taken and the operation is done, I would say anything bad but this money was taken and the small boy was abandoned in the theatre,” she said. 

When contacted Wamala refused to comment on the allegations. Dr Gilbert Aniku, the acting hospital director says that the hospital will issue an official statement later since consultations about the matter are ongoing.

Arua City resident district commissioner, Alice Akello has condemned the actions of the nurse saying she has ordered his arrest so as to set an example to the rest. The case has been reported to Arua regional referral hospital police post under SD reference No:05/30/05/2022.



Source – observer.ug

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Mexican president’s Mayan Train dealt new legal setback | Tourism News

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Activists say the planned tourist train will harm the wildlife and natural features of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has been dealt the latest setback to an ambitious plan to create a tourist train to connect the country’s southern Yucatan Peninsula.

On Monday, a judge indefinitely suspended construction on a portion of the project, known as the Mayan Train, saying the plans currently do not comply “with the proceedings of the environmental impact evaluation”.

The ruling follows a legal challenge by activists who said they were concerned the 60km (37 mile) portion of the train that would connect the resorts of Playa del Carmen and Tulum would adversely affect the area’s wildlife, as well as its caves and water-filled sinkholes known as cenotes.

The original plan for the disputed section was for an overpass over a highway, but the route was modified early this year to go through jungle at ground level.

The federal judge cited the “imminent danger” of causing “irreversible damage” to ecosystems, according to one of the plaintiffs, the non-governmental group Defending the Right to a Healthy Environment. In a statement, the group said that authorities had failed to carry out the necessary environmental impact studies before starting construction of the section.

Lopez Obrador had announced the ambitious project in 2018, with construction beginning in 2020. The roughly 1,500km (930 mile) cargo and passenger rail loop was presented as a cornerstone of a wider plan to develop the poorer states and remote towns throughout the about 181,000sq km (70,000sq mile) Yucatan Peninsula.

The railway is set to connect Caribbean beach resorts with Mayan archaeological ruins, with authorities aiming to complete the project by the end of 2023. The plan is estimated to cost about $16bn.

The project has split communities across the region, with some welcoming the economic development and connectivity it would bring. Others, including some local Indigenous communities, have challenged the project, saying it could not only disrupt the migratory routes of endangered species, including jaguars, tapirs and ocelots, but could also potentially damage centuries-old Mayan archaeological sites.

The National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism, the government agency overseeing the project, has said that it expects to “overcome” the latest challenge and that work should continue after an environmental impact statement is finalised. It said the Environment Ministry was currently reviewing its environmental application for the project.

For his part, Lopez Obrador has insisted the railway will not have a significant environmental effect and has accused activists of being infiltrated by “impostors”.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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