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Will Gambia become the first African Country to beat malaria?

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Malaria is one ailment that has plagued the African continent for so long. The notorious ailment which is borne by mosquitoes has been more dominant among children.

Malaria on an annual rate kills 430,000 people a year, of which a major fraction of this number are children. This is quite disturbing as mosquitoes in sub-Suharan Africa are getting resistant to anti-malarial drugs and even treated bed nets.

Breaking Free from the Ugly Hold of Malaria

Musukeba Camara in Kafuta village in The Gambia. Musukeba’s family received a long lasting insecticidal net (LLIN) to help prevent the transmission of malaria in their home. With support from a Catholic Relief Services program, the mosquito net was free.

However there is good news is that the whole of Africa will one day break from the clutches of Malaria. Such hopes seem brighter with the steady breakthroughs made by Gambia which is now close to becoming the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to do away completely with Malaria.

Encouraging statistics released by the National Malaria Control Program (NMCP) revealed that the dominance of the malaria parasite in children below the age of five in Gambia has drastically plunged down to 0.2%. This is from a previous 4% recorded six years ago in 2011.

The overall count of fresh malaria cases from the apportioned 2011 to 2016 (as shown by statistics from the NMCP) has also been slashed down by 40%.  Numerically, this amounts to a drop from 262,000 in 2011 to 155,450 last year.

The target is becoming very realistic for the West African nation to wipe out Malaria from its abode and attain the mega achievement of recording no fresh malaria cases by 2020. However going by the conditions on ground, over $25 million separates Gambia from this milestone.

Challenges in the Push to Freedom

In an interview with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, NMCP head Balla Kandeh said “This last mile is the most difficult – we need more support to sustain the gains we have made yet donors often turn their attention elsewhere as cases drop,” . His fear is that the strides recorded by Gambia may be lost if the needed funds are not provided on time.

The NMCP head went further to reiterate his optimism that the newly elected government of President Adama Barrow who unseated long sitting Yahya Jammeh, would be able to pull in donors. A number of donors had pulled out from the scheme owing to disenchantment with the despotic tendencies of Yahya’s regime.

“There is a better working environment under Barrow, with less constraints and less political uncertainty,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “The fear of the unknown has gone.”

In addition to the conventional control techniques, which include measures like antimalarial drugs, bed nets that are insecticide-treated, Gambia has been applaudable in deploying technology to hack down malaria. Online platforms as well as GPS have been impressively slotted into combating malaria, while internet providers have generously revamped bandwidth in areas off the urban areas for people to readily reach information.

On a general note, the world is gliding forward in its fight against Malaria. According to statistics released by the World Health Organization, since 2000, the world has reached great heights in the battle against Malaria. Over 6 million death cases have been prevented with mortality rate from Malaria going down by 60%.

 

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Ethiopian Prime Minister and Wife Set An Example With Adoption From Kibebe Tsehay Orphanage

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Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed’s charisma has warmed our hearts on multiple occasion. His latest example came to fruition this month when the courts approved him and his wife’s petition to adopt an orphan named Million from Kibebe Tsehay Orphanage.

The adopting parents applied to the court on January 22, 2019 making the argument that the child will be better off with them. The court approved the adoption in light of the fact that the agreement is in the best interest of the child and confirmed that Million could not give comment on the adoption agreement since his age is under two years.

FANABC reported that Meaza Ashenafi, President of the Supreme Court, sent a congratulatory message to First Lady Zinash and Prime Minister Dr Abiy.

'The decision of First Lady Zinash and Prime Minister Dr Abiy could be a model to other Ethiopians to adopt disadvantaged children' - Meaza Ashenafi Click To Tweet

The prime minister’s wife, Zinash Tayachew, who attended the court in person, said her family will give Million all the needed love and care.

African First Lady Adoptions

The development comes on the back of Zambia’s first lady’s decision to adopt an abandoned month-old baby last December. The baby girl was abandoned by her mother a few days after she was born at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) in Lusaka. Other former first ladies in Africa have also adopted children, including Ghana’s Lordina Mahama and Zimbabwe’s Grace Mugabe.

Ethiopia’s first couple have three children of their own and their decision to adopt Million has been hailed by many people.

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Comedian Okey Bakassi Gives Bachelors Some Marriage Advice

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Veteran comedian and actor, Okechukwu Anthony Onyegbule, popular by his stage name Okey Bakassi took to his Instagram page to talk about gender equality. The short video clip directed at bachelors has since gone viral. The comedian’s qualities that disqualify a bachelor from taking a girl to the altar include,

“If you do not believe that a man and a woman have equal rights, don’t bother about marriage. Looking for a woman to worship and serve you? Do not marry an educated woman. If you are insecure and too jealous, don’t marry a woman who is beautiful.”

This advice is coming a few days after another ace comedian revealed the secret to his lasting marriage. The comedian also went ahead to list qualities that qualify a bachelor for marriage. He said,

“But if you are looking for a woman who would give and raise beautiful children with you, take you to the next level, support you in times of need, marry a beautiful woman who is hardworking and educated and has a mind of her own. Don’t carry somebody’s daughter to punish her”.

 

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Small expo to bachelors who are planning to marry. #realitycheck #therelationshiptherapist

A post shared by Okey Onyegbule (@okeybakassi) on


Family life

The successful comedian and actor will celebrate 17 years of marriage later this year. In 2016, the comedian celebrated his 15 years marriage by posting throwback pictures of his star-studded wedding. The comedian and his wife have three lovely children; two girls and a boy. For a while, the comedian and his family are living apart. Notwithstanding the distance, the comedian continues to live in unity with his family.

Around April 2018 while granting an interview to Sunday Scoop on the occasion of his 25th anniversary as a comedian, Okey Bakassi explained how it feels staying apart with his family. In that interview, the 2014 “Best Actor in a Leading Role (Igbo)” said,

“The reason I do a tour in Canada is to be close to my wife and kids since they are there. Of course, my family wants me to be with them every day and they always express that. But they also understand that I need to focus on the demands of my job.”

Rise to the spotlight

Okey Bakassi started showing theatrical promise as a student. While at River State University of Science & Technology, he teamed up with a few friends to start ‘Theater Kolleagues’. The sole purpose of the group was to provide entertainment for the university community. Bakassi relocated to Lagos where he met Zeb Ejiro, popular producer and director who handed him his first role. Speaking on his future in the entertainment industry the comedian said,

“Movies take a lot of time to shoot. If I don’t see a movie I like to do I’d rather focus on stand-up comedy. Whenever I see a movie that I can sacrifice my time and energy on, I will do it”.

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Nigerian Artists Give Fans A Sneak Peek To Their Private Wedding

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Adekunle Gold and Simi

Two Nigerian music stars, Adekunle Gold and Simi, have been dating and keeping it a secret for a while.  Their amazing musical chemistry and on-stage harmony turned out to be the reason for the celebration of their love. Recently, the lovebirds agreed to their marriage being held in a small private ceremony with nearly 300 guests in attendance.

However, the internet was alight with the wedding pictures which were definitely a living scene from a romantic movie. The duo kept their relationship silent about it until recently. In a recent interview, the reason for keeping the ceremony private has been uncovered.

Talking about the relationship with his lady-love, Simi, the newlywed star, Adekune Gold said,

“This January, before God and our family, we vowed to do this thing called life together. Because to be honest, it’s easy to get lost in the limelight; so we definitely have a slightly obsessive desire for a private life that belongs to just us.”

This is coming after the previous YBNL singer and his lady-love released a song “Promise”. The song had absorbing and captivating wedding scenes in its video which made the fans believe it to be theirs. 

“We planned on sharing a little bit of the beginning of our forever with you. Thankfully my team got Kudus on our little Island with us to capture some of these moments for you.

“Here is ‘Promise’.”

This swooning response made Promise one of the most searched videos of the week, and will probably continue to be the center of attention for quite some time. It caught hearts of millions of in-love fans around the globe. As for many others, it was an official validation of their wedding that they would have loved to be a part of or kept updated about.

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