Across sub-Saharan Africa, babies are seven times more likely to die on the day of their birth than infants in industrialised countries.
Globally, much effort has been put into reducing death rates among young children. But while under-five mortality rates have reduced substantially, very little progress has been made for newborns. According to the charity, Save the Children, the riskiest day of a child’s life is the day of birth, with 1 million infants dying on their first day.
In the 14th edition of its ‘State of the World’s Mothers’ report, Save the Children argues that much more could and should be done to protect newborns. Simple improvements in health services could have dramatic results, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, where babies face the greatest risks. Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest newborn mortality rate (34 deaths for every 1,000 live births) and the region has shown the least progress in combating first-day deaths over the last two decades.
Having enough skilled birth attendants is a key issue and some countries in Africa, such as Ethiopia, recognise this. Health officials in Ethiopia are now placing much greater emphasis on improving obstetric care to lower mortality rates among mothers and infants. The Ethiopian government has committed to increasing its number of midwives and health extension workers.
The deputy chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission says, in spite of peace and security challenges, Africa has seen much improvement over the last 50 years.
Erastus Mwencha said there are less conflicts on the continent today than 10 years ago, and the growth rate over the last 10 years has averaged around five percent, much better than many parts of the world.
He also said Africa today is in charge of its own destiny and affairs.
Mwencha, who is also chairperson of the organizing Committee of the Golden Jubilee celebration (May 25) to mark the founding of the Organization of African Unity, said this year’s theme is Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance.
“If you look at Pan-Africanism, it is what really inspired the Africans, particularly in the Diaspora, to find their own expression, to fight for justice and equality, and also independence of the continent, and of course the solidarity that we are seeing on the continent, for the continent to work for each other to eliminate colonialism,” he said.
Ethiopia’s personal care sector is experiencing rapid growth and the government is undertaking a number of initiatives to improve access. Jonathan Dyson reports from Addis Ababa
With Africa's second largest population (around 85 million) and one of the world's fastest growing economies (expanding 7% annually over recent years), the potential of Ethiopia as a market for cosmetics products is beginning to be realised by the personal care products industry worldwide. Indeed, sales of a wide range of cosmetics are growing rapidly with both domestic and international cosmetics brands benefitting.
The total value of the cosmetics market in Ethiopia reached $25m in the 12 months up to June 2012, according to figures from the country’s Ministry of Trade and Industry, with the average growth rate over the last three years at 10%. Imported products account for around 90% of the market, with the remaining 10% sourced from domestic manufacturers.
Maternal and newborn Health in Ethiopia Partnership (MaNHEP), an organization working on the health of mothers and newborns, announced that the projects it has been carrying out in various woredas of the country have found to be effective in avoiding potential risks of giving birth.
During a full-day workshop it organized for its employees and partners on Tuesday, Abebe Gebremariam (MD), project director, addressed the meeting confirming that many of the projects it has been carrying out in the Amhara and Oromia regional states have become successful.
Mobilizing the community and disseminating workshops have contributed a lot to the success of the projects, according to the project manager. Sixty-five percent of mothers have received postnatal care in 51 kebeles of the Oromia region from March 2011 to February 2012. Moreover, the Community Maternal and Newborn Health (CMNH) have also been vital in engaging the community to discuss the challenges with the caregivers. It was also noted on the occasion that mobile video reached a wide target audience, even if the language barrier was an impediment for many.
Professor Lynn Sibley, country representative, said that the endeavors made by the ministry of health and partners have been very impressive in reducing the death of mothers and newborn infants.
Google Developers Group (GDG) bar camp is scheduled to be held today here at Addis Ababa University’s Institute of Technology (AAIT,)
where many university communities are expected to take part, including Alcatel Regional Director for East Africa, one of the key speakers participating in the event.
According to the organizers, the event is said to have a community-developer-driven event that the tripartite parties are getting involved in, the current most talked about technology, Feathers Across the Globe. They are expected to talk about android, Google apps, products, code labs, hackathons-where a gathering of programmers collaboratively code in an extreme manner over a short period of time as the technologists define the term.
Hackathons also are those events where programmers work under a particular project depending on the idea and that each developer willwork on whatever he or she wants to be involved with.
Guests from South Africa will also take part to give some lectures on development activities of IT, and Mark Clarke one of the developers, is expected to talk about android and Google API.
If you walk down Bole Road in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, you will eventually come across a jet plane attached to a five-story building. Together, this building and jet plane form the London Cafe & Satellite Restaurant, a popular establishment that has local and international menus and at night offers "live music on the plane," which, by the way, is really a structure that's made to look like a plane.
If you want to dine in a real decommissioned plane, you'll have to go to the one in Colorado Springs, or the one in Mangaweka, New Zealand, or (if you are very brave or very stupid or both) the one in Damascus, Syria. Sadly, the best-ever restaurant plane is not accessible without a time machine, as its South Korean owners demolished it in 2010—the jumbo jet had been a success as a commercial plane but a total failure as a noodle restaurant. I bring all of this up because the first thing that caught my eye when I walked into Wonder Coffee & Sports Bar, a new East African joint on Jackson and 19th, was the front of a Trans Am beneath a shelf containing blue lights and bottles of wine.
I saw in the Trans Am the same spirit as the plane in Addis Ababa. This spirit has less to do with eccentricity and more to do with audacity. As the effort and expense of modeling your restaurant as a commercial airplane in a poor city like Addis Ababa is audacious, an East African businessperson opening a huge bar/cafe/restaurant in the middle of a rich and major American city is also audacious. The Trans Am with the license plate for Colorado, the blinging hubcaps, the number 1800 painted on its hood, the splashy hiphop graffiti of Seattle's skyline (the Space Needle, the box the Space Needle came in, the bright moon in the sky), the lights that in the real world open and close by pressing a button—all of this expresses, captures, echoes, reinforces the audacity of it all.
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