Corruption: Kenya is ranked ninth among the 10 most corrupt countries in the world, fourth in Africa after Nigeria, Angola and Cameroon. These countries are followed by Mozambique and Uganda. The least corrupt African countries are, in order of cleanliness, Botswana, Namibia, Tunisia and South Africa. Corruption hampers political stability and foreign investment in developing countries, according to Transparency International, a non-governmental organisation that has been releasing a corruption perception index for the last six years.
Famine: Catherine Bertini, the United Nations Secretary-General's Special Envoy on Drought in the Greater Horn of Africa made an appeal for increased donor assistance, pointing out that "3.3 million people in Kenya are in dire need of food". She said this is the worst drought on record. Bertini, on a follow-up tour to her April visit, said the situation had changed as a result of the prolonged drought. According to 'Daily Nation' newspaper more than 300,000 residents in Wajir District, northern Kenya, were in need of regular food relief supplies, up from 256,000 in the past month.
Economy: Fuel prices have suddenly gone up from KShs52 to KShs56. This is expected to cascade into higher consumer and transport costs in an economy that is already on its knees.
Integrated Entasopia Health Programme, Magadi division, Kajiado district: Curative and preventative services continue at the Entasopia Health Centre. Main illnesses observed during the month include malaria and pneumonia. The number of malnourished children seen increased, a sign of the protracted drought being experienced in the region.
HIV/AIDS Workshop: AMREF participated in an HIV/AIDS workshop organised by Ireland Aid to plan prevention activities that integrate development strategies at the embassy, national and district levels.
AMREF invited to be part of task force in Ebola Outbreak
AMREF has been invited to be part of a task force set up by the Ministry of Health Disease Outbreak Unit to spearhead the prevention and response mechanisms. The task force has so far put on alert all border entry points, and has prepared hospital isolation facilities at the borders and in Nairobi. In addition, training of health workers, immigration officers on management has been embarked on.
The deadly viral disease was detected in Northern Uganda, Gulu district. It is suspected to have originated from the death of an elderly lady, and seven members of her family died soon after her burial. Since then, 27th September, 286 people are reported as having been infected, while 94 people have died as a result of the Ebola virus.
About 1100 cases of Ebola have been documented since its discovery in 1976, 793 of which were fatal. The symptoms include severe fever, muscle pains, headaches and sore throat, followed by diarrhoea, rashes, internal and external bleeding due to liver and kidney failure. The virus spreads through body fluids killing its victims within 48 hours.
AMREF's contribution to the response is:
- Support screening of incoming travellers from Uganda at the Wilson airport
- Offer protective garments to Mbagathi hospital in Nairobi in preparation of any eventualities
- Offer medical supplies to Mbagathi District Hospital in Nairobi
- Organise for clearance of flights to transport blood samples to Nairobi
- AMREF to assist at Lokichogio border with the Turkana team on ground
- In Uganda, AMREF is involved in community sensitisation and mobilisation