Select Page

WHO’s new scorecard shows poor progress of hepatitis response in Africa

WHO’s new scorecard shows poor progress of hepatitis response in Africa

The World Health Organization (WHO) African region new scorecard shows that only three of the 47 countries are on track to eliminate, Hepatitis, that affects one in 15 people in the region, which is the first time that they examine hepatitis prevalence and response rate.

Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa said the analysis is the first to track each country in the region and to assess progress towards the goal of saving the lives of more than two million Africans who may develop progressive hepatitis B or C liver disease in the next decade if countries fail to ramp up their efforts.

WHO said in a statement that the scorecard will be presented at the first African Hepatitis Summit to be be held in Kampala Uganda from 18 to 20 June, which will provide vital information about the status of the regional hepatitis response, measuring progress against the Framework for Action for the Prevention, Care and Treatment of Viral Hepatitis in the African Region (2016-2020).

“It is fitting that the first African Hepatitis Summit should be held in Uganda, the country has superb lessons to share and we support these important exchanges as they are helping to build evidence based policies and promoting partnerships for more concerted action against viral hepatitis across the region, they are showing us that beating this disease is achievable,”added Moeti.

WHO emphasised that every year more than 200,000 people in Africa are dying from complications of viral hepatitis B and C-related liver disease, including cirrhosis and liver cancer, while 60 million people in the WHO Africa Region were living with chronic hepatitis B infection in 2015.

They further stated that more than 4.8 million of them are children under five years old and further 10 million are infected with hepatitis C most likely due to unsafe injection practices within health facilities or by communities.

The analysis also show that 28 countries have developed a national hepatitis strategic plan for viral hepatitis, however, most are still in draft form with only 13 officially published and disseminated. While only 15% (7/47) countries are leading prevention efforts with national coverage of both Hepatitis B birth dose and childhood pentavalent vaccination exceeding 90% and there are major gaps in hepatitis testing and treatment with less than eight countries providing subsidized testing and treatment for viral hepatitis.


 

About The Author

Mandisa Rasmeni

Mandisa Rasmeni has worked as reporter at the Economist for the past five years, first on the entertainment beat but now focussing more on community, social and health reporting. She is a born writer and is working on her degree in Journalism at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST). She believes education is the greatest equalizer. She is the epitome of perseverance, having started as the newspaper's receptionist in 2013.

Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia

Promotion

20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.