Sharon Siwale-Fumbeshi

Sharon Siwale-Fumbeshi
Me, Myself and I

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Countries worldwide are saving mothers’ and children’s lives at a faster pace



International efforts to address maternal and child health challenges appear to be working, yet few countries will meet Millennium Development Goals for maternal mortality and child mortality.

With four years left for countries to achieve international targets for saving the lives of mothers and children, more than half the countries around the world are lowering maternal mortality and child mortality at an accelerated rate, according to a new analysis by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington.
In 125 countries, maternal mortality has declined faster since 2000, the year that countries signed the Millennium Declaration, promising to make improvements in child and maternal health, and the progress has been particularly strong in the past five years. Over the same period, in 106 countries, child mortality rates have declined faster between 2000 and 2011 than in the previous decade.
The number of deaths related to pregnancy and childbirth decreased from 409,100 in 1990 to an estimated 273,500 deaths in 2011, and the number of deaths in children under the age of 5 fell from 11.6 million deaths to an estimated 7.2 million over the same period.
The trends indicate that efforts to educate more women, to prevent infectious diseases, and to implement other targeted health programs in developing countries are having an impact. They also show, though, that few countries are going to achieve international targets for improving maternal and child health.
An estimated 31 developing countries will achieve Millennium Development Goal 4 (MDG 4), which calls for a two-thirds reduction in the child mortality rate between 1990 and 2015, and 13 developing countries will achieve Millennium Development Goal 5, which calls for a three-fourths reduction in maternal mortality ratio over the same period. Of those countries, nine will achieve both goals: China, Egypt, Iran, Libya, Maldives, Mongolia, Peru, Syria, and Tunisia. The study, “Progress toward Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5 on maternal and child mortality: an updated systematic analysis,” is published in The Lancet.
“If the world is going to achieve these goals, we need to see immediate, concerted action on the part of governments, donors, and bilateral agencies to move these trends in the right direction,” said Dr. Rafael Lozano, Professor of Global Health at IHME and the paper’s lead author. “We know that accelerated progress is possible because we are seeing it already.”
Over the past decade, a significant number of countries saw declines of more than 8% annually over the past decade – twice the global rate – including Kenya, Morocco, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Afghanistan, which has
– more –
one of the worst maternal death rates in the world, has seen a 4.9% annual decline in maternal mortality since 2000, after increasing 2.2% annually over the previous decade. In Cambodia, Ecuador, Rwanda, Malaysia, and Vietnam, child mortality fell by 5% annually or higher, while globally the child mortality rate fell by 2.6% annually.
Part of the decline in maternal mortality in much of sub-Saharan Africa is due to improved prevention and treatment efforts for HIV/AIDS, the researchers note. In looking for other key drivers for the mortality declines, the researchers point to global health programs, such as the scale-up of insecticide-treated bed nets in countries with a high malaria burden, and to country-level programs, such as the government of India’s ongoing investment in rural health clinics. In 2010, IHME published a paper showing that educational attainment among women of reproductive age accounted for 51% of the decline in child mortality.
“We must not let the focus on MDGs detract from what has been real and impressive progress with maternal and child maternal survival, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa,” said Alan Lopez, Head of the University of Queensland School of Population Health and one of the report’s co-authors. “It is critical that this progress be maintained and that lessons learned from this success be rapidly transferred to other countries where progress has been less impressive.”
One area that needs attention is neonatal deaths. Even as the mortality rate in children under 5 fell by 2.2% annually, the mortality rate for infants during the first week of life declined by only 1.7% annually.
“The difference between neonatal mortality and overall mortality in children under 5 might seem small to someone outside of global health, but it’s worrisome because it can be a sign of other problems in the health system,” said Dr. Haidong Wang, Assistant Professor of Global Health at IHME and one of the paper’s co-authors. “If countries can’t make sure that children survive during that first week, they may not be effectively providing prenatal care to mothers, good obstetrical care during the birth, or important follow-up care.”
For these new estimates of child and maternal mortality, researchers used the most recent data and advancements in statistical tools to provide policymakers with more precise information as the world intensifies efforts to achieve international targets for maternal and child health. The authors acknowledge that the new estimates may lead to some confusion among policymakers, who have seen a series of analyses on maternal and child deaths in recent years, including two previous sets of estimates from IHME. For example, maternal death numbers for 2005 were estimated to be 546,000 by the United Nations in a 2007 study and are now estimated to have been 347,000 in this study, a difference of 35%. Reports on child deaths over the years track more closely, mostly because of the larger amount of data available over a long period of time.
“People have argued that we should not be updating these numbers every year, but we think that as new data are available and as methods are being improved it is crucial to show governments, funders, and the public at large how much progress is being made,” said Dr. Christopher Murray, Director of IHME and one of the paper’s co-authors. “Decisions are being made today that could mean the difference between thousands of lives being saved or more women and children dying. That is why improvements in data gathering and measurement are important for guiding policymakers as well as holding them accountable.”

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) is an independent global health research center at the University of Washington that provides rigorous and comparable measurement of the world's most important health problems and evaluates the strategies used to address them. IHME makes this information freely available so that policymakers have the evidence they need to make informed decisions about how to allocate resources to best improve population health.


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Monday, 26 September 2011

Zambians in Sheffield congratulate Sata on his election as President

Mueti Moomba


The Executive of Network Zambia Sheffield (UK), on behalf of all Zambians resident in Sheffield wish to congratulate the newly elected President of the Republic of Zambia ,Mr Michael Chilufya Sata on his victory in the Presidential elections. 
This was according to a statement issued by network chairperson, Mueti Moomba.
''We hope under your Presidency that we shall see the rule of law upheld, a zero tolerance stance on Corruption , provision of healthcare for all and labour laws which will be favourable to employees.'' Said Moomba.
''We wish your God's blessing and direction as you lead our great nation for the next 5 years.
May God be with You.'' he said



Wangari Maathai, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Dies at 71


NAIROBI, Kenya — Wangari Maathai, the Kenyan environmentalist who began a movement to reforest her country by paying poor women a few shillings to plant trees and who went on to become the first African woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize, died here on Sunday. She was 71.
Nobel laureate Wangari Maathai, center, in Nairobi in 2004.
Wangari Maathai of Kenya holding her Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway, on Dec. 10, 2004

The cause was cancer, her organization, the Green Belt Movement, said. Kenyan news organizations said she had been treated for ovarian cancer in the past year and had been in a hospital for at least a week when she died.
Dr. Maathai, one of the most widely respected women on the continent, wore many hats — environmentalist, feminist, politician, professor, rabble-rouser, human rights advocate and head of the Green Belt Movement, which she founded in 1977. Its mission was to plant trees across Kenya to fight erosion and to create firewood for fuel and jobs for women.
Dr. Maathai was as comfortable in the gritty streets of Nairobi’s slums or the muddy hillsides of central Kenya as she was hobnobbing with heads of state. She won the Peace Prize in 2004 for what the Nobel committee called “her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace.” It was a moment of immense pride in Kenya and across Africa.
Her Green Belt Movement has planted more than 30 million trees in Africa and has helped nearly 900,000 women, according to the United Nations, while inspiring similar efforts in other African countries.
“Wangari Maathai was a force of nature,” said Achim Steiner, the executive director of the United Nation’s environmental program. He likened her to Africa’s ubiquitous acacia trees, “strong in character and able to survive sometimes the harshest of conditions.”
Dr. Maathai toured the world, speaking out against environmental degradation and poverty, which she said early on were intimately connected. But she never lost focus on her native Kenya. She was a thorn in the side of Kenya’s previous president, Daniel Arap Moi, whose government labeled the Green Belt Movement “subversive” during the 1980s.
Mr. Moi was particularly scornful of her leading the charge against a government plan to build a huge skyscraper in one of central Nairobi’s only parks. The proposal was eventually scrapped, though not long afterward, during another protest, Dr. Maathai was beaten unconscious by the police.
When Mr. Moi finally stepped down after 24 years in power, she served as a member of parliament and as an assistant minister on environmental issues until falling out of favor with Kenya’s new leaders and losing her seat a few years later.
In 2008, after being pushed out of government, she was tear-gassed by the police during a protest against the excesses of Kenya’s well-entrenched political class.
Home life was not easy, either. Her husband, Mwangi, divorced her, saying she was too strong-minded for a woman, by her account. When she lost her divorce case and criticized the judge, she was thrown in jail.
“Wangari Maathai was known to speak truth to power,” said John Githongo, an anticorruption campaigner in Kenya, who was forced into exile for years for his own outspoken views. “She blazed a trail in whatever she did, whether it was in the environment, politics, whatever.”
Wangari Muta Maathai was born on April 1, 1940 in Nyeri, Kenya, in the foothills of Mount Kenya. A star student, she won a scholarship to study biology at Mount St. Scholastica College in Atchison, Kan., receiving a degree in 1964. She earned a master of science degree from the University of Pittsburgh.
She went on to obtain a doctorate in veterinary anatomy at the University of Nairobi, becoming the first woman in East or Central Africa to hold such a degree, according to the Nobel Prize Web site. She also taught at the university as an associate professor and was chairwoman of its veterinary anatomy department in the 1970s.
A day before she was scheduled to receive the Nobel, Dr. Maathai was forced to respond to a report in The East African Standard, a daily newspaper in Nairobi, that she had likened AIDS to a “biological weapon,” telling participants in an AIDS workshop in Nyeri that the disease was “a tool” to control Africans “designed by some evil-minded scientists.”
She said her comments had been taken out of context. “It is therefore critical for me to state that I neither say nor believe that the virus was developed by white people or white powers in order to destroy the African people,” she said in a statement released by the Nobel Committee. “Such views are wicked and destructive.”
In presenting her with the Peace Prize, the Nobel committee hailed her for taking “a holistic approach to sustainable development that embraces democracy, human rights and women’s rights in particular” and serving “as inspiration for many in the fight for democratic rights.”
Dr. Maathai received many honorary degrees, including an honorary doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh in 2006, as well as awards, including the French Legion of Honor and Japan’s Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun.
She is survived by three children, Waweru, Wanjira and Muta, and a granddaughter, according to the Green Belt Movement.
Former Vice President Al Gore, a fellow Peace Prize recipient for his environmental work, said in a statement, “Wangari overcame incredible obstacles to devote her life to service — service to her children, to her constituents, to the women, and indeed all the people of Kenya — and to the world as a whole.”
In her Nobel Prize acceptance speech, Dr. Maathai said the inspiration for her work came from growing up in rural Kenya. She reminisced about a stream running next to her home – a stream that has since dried up – and drinking fresh, clear water.
“In the course of history, there comes a time when humanity is called to shift to a new level of consciousness,” she said, “to reach a higher moral ground. A time when we have to shed our fear and give hope to each other. That time is now.”  

Courtesy of New York Times   

Female Journalist Lays down expectations for the newly elected government


The Zambian people on September 20, 2011 went to the poll cast their vote. Michael Sata of the Patriotic Front (PF) was elected as President of the republic of Zambia. Last week the country was filled with excitement. But now the excitement is slowly fading. meaning, it’s time to get back to business and that’s exactly what Zambian Journalist Lwanga Mwilu has done. She has laid down her expectations as a woman and journalist.
Ms Mwilu expects the following-:

Lwanga Mwilu

1.My expectation is that more women will be involved in key leadership and decision making positions. It is only when women are in positions where they can influence policies and make decisions that our issues are made prioritised.

 2.I also expect the new government to ensure that girls and women have increased opportunities to education so that more of us can compete fairly for jobs and whatever else. Right now illiteracy and lack of economic empowerment are some of  the main problems experienced by our women.

3. As a journalist, my expectation is that the government improves the legal framework within which we operate. Right now there are so many oppressive laws that hinder our work and compromise the editorial independence of public media. It would be great if this government let the media do their work without interference.

You heard Ms Mwilu’s expectations for the government. What are your expectations as a woman to the newly elected government? Please comment or email ssiwale@yahoo.com.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Umoyo Women of Substance pledges to work with President elect Michael Sata's government


Norah Chisanga

Umoyo Women of Substance International (UWSI) says time has come for women to help rebuild Zambia under president elect Michael Sata’s government.

UWSI founder Norah Chisanga said in an interview that her organisation will seek to dialogue with the newly elected government.
 ‘’ It’s time for UWSI women to get up and work hard to make sure they get their place in the Zambian society, it’s time to help rebuild Zambia,’’ she said
“When MMD was in it’s infancy, there was a lot of noise and a lot of  women organisations erupted but a lot of things were not carried on as these groups disassociated themselves from government, therefore it’s not easy to be able to measure what support the previous government gave,’’ she said, when asked whether the MMD government paid attention to issues affecting women.
She further said her organisation will seek audience with the president on views relating to working with women especially in political and community issues, with regards to empowering women.
‘’The Zambian women were broken they had no voice, they must now stand up as one to the challenge. Now is the time to get a place on the policy and governance table with the ruling government and put up policies to empower them,’’ she said.

THE PURPOSE OF UMOYO
o   
             The group will provide opportunities for debate on current issues facing women today.
o    the Umoyo Woman will embrace all women from different classes and get together in finding ways of making their voice heard in Parliament
o    The Umoyo Women will help each other understand good governance and policies in order to play a vital role in the lawmaking of their country.
o    The Umoyo Woman will endeavor to lobby the government in power to identify the importance of involving women in the law making process and fight for equal representation of women in Parliament.
o    The Umoyo Woman will explore ways in which women will undertake small businesses and identify financial organisations to give support in fornm of small loans and business plans

  • Values and Principles of the UWSI woman.
    • We believe in the personhood of the UWSI woman, and that their rights are an inalienable, indivisible and integral part of universal human rights
    • UWSI believes in acknowledging, valuing and rewarding women’s paid and unpaid labour in the private and public.
    • UWSI believes in solidarity, partnerships, networking, and commitment to young women’s leadership and an inter-generational transfer of skills and knowled
    • UWSI believes in nurturing feminist principles and promoting feminist leadership.
    • UWSI believes in our own diversity and recognise the benefit of working with diverse
    • institutions and individuals.
    • UWSI believes in, and encourage partnerships and alliances with men who are committed to the empowerment of women.
    • UWSI believes in the growth and long-term sustainability of organisations led and managed by women in a democratic, transparent and progressive manner.
    • UWSI believes that the African women’s movement is part of a broader movement within and outside Africa, aimed at creating an enabling environment for good governance, social justice and equality, and which tries to counter the negative consequences of globalisation
    • UWSI believes that our work will be linked to that of a Global Women’s Movement which has worked hard for gains for women and which is sustained by the voices, hands and work of women from all over the world

FAREWELL SPEECH BY HIS EXCELLENCY, MR RUPIAH BWEZANI BANDA, FOURTH PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF ZAMBIA, ON FRIDAY, 23RD SEPTEMBER, 2011






"I HAVE CALLED THIS PRESS CONFERENCE TO SAY A FEW WORDS. THE ELECTION CAMPAIGN OF 2011 IS OVER. THE PEOPLE OF ZAMBIA HAVE SPOKEN AND WE MUST ALL LISTEN. SOME WILL BE HAPPY WITH WHAT THEY HAVE HEARD, OTHERS WILL NOT.
THE TIME NOW IS FOR MATURITY, FOR COMPOSURE AND FOR COMPASSION. TO THE VICTORS, I SAY THIS: YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO CELEBRATE BUT DO SO WITH A MAGNANIMOUS HEART. ENJOY THE HOUR BUT REMEMBER THAT A TERM OF GOVERNMENT IS FOR YEARS.
REMEMBER THAT THE NEXT ELECTION WILL JUDGE YOU ALSO.
TREAT THOSE WHO YOU HAVE VANQUISHED WITH THE RESPECT AND HUMILITY THAT YOU WOULD EXPECT IN YOUR OWN HOUR OF DEFEAT.
I KNOW THAT ALL ZAMBIANS WILL EXPECT SUCH BEHAVIOUR AND I HOPE IT WILL BE DELIVERED. SPEAKING FOR MYSELF AND MY PARTY, WE WILL ACCEPT THE RESULTS. WE ARE A DEMOCRATIC PARTY AND WE KNOW NO OTHER WAY.
IT IS NOT FOR US TO DENY THE ZAMBIAN PEOPLE. WE NEVER RIGGED, WE NEVER CHEATED, WE NEVER KNOWINGLY ABUSED STATE FUNDS. WE SIMPLY DID WHAT WE THOUGHT WAS BEST FOR ZAMBIA. I HOPE THE NEXT GOVERNMENT WILL ACT LIKEWISE IN YEARS TO COME.
ZAMBIADESERVES A DECENT DEMOCRATIC PROCESS. INDEED, ZAMBIA MUST BUILD ON HER PAST VICTORIES. OUR INDEPENDENCE WAS HARD WON, OUR DEMOCRACY SECURED WITH BLOOD.
ZAMBIAMUST NOT GO BACKWARDS, WE MUST ALL FACE THE FUTURE AND GO FORWARD AS ONE NATION. NOT TO DO SO WOULD DISHONOUR OUR HISTORY.
TO MY PARTY, TO THE MMD CANDIDATES WHO DID NOT WIN, THE LESSON IS SIMPLE. NEXT TIME WE MUST TRY HARDER.
WE FOUGHT A GOOD CAMPAIGN. IT WAS DISCIPLINED. I STILL BELIEVE WE HAD A GOOD MESSAGE AND WE REACHED EVERY PART OF THE COUNTRY.
WE TRAVELLED TO ALL NINE PROVINCES AND WE SPOKE TO ALL ZAMBIANS. TO THOSE WHO WORKED EVERY HOUR OF THE DAY, I SAY ‘THANK YOU’. YOU HAVE DONE YOUR BEST. BUT, SADLY, SOMETIMES OUR BEST IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH.
DO NOT BE DISHEARTENED. THE MMD WILL BE BACK. WE MUST ALL FACE THE REALITY THAT SOMETIMES IT IS TIME FOR CHANGE. SINCE 1991, THE MMD HAS BEEN IN POWER. I BELIEVE WE HAVE DONE A GOOD JOB ON BEHALF OF ALL ZAMBIANS.
FREDERICK CHILUBA LED US TO A GENUINE MULTI-PARTY STATE AND INTRODUCED THE PRIVATE SECTOR TO OUR KEY INDUSTRIES. ZAMBIA WAS LIBERATED BY AN MMD IDEAL BUT MAYBE WE BECAME COMPLACENT WITH OUR IDEALS. MAYBE WE DID NOT LISTEN, MAYBE WE DID NOT HEAR.
DID WE BECOME GREY AND LACKING IN IDEAS? DID WE LOSE MOMENTUM? OUR DUTY NOW IS TO GO AWAY AND REFLECT ON ANY MISTAKES WE MAY HAVE MADE AND LEARN FROM THEM. IF WE DO NOT, WE DO NOT DESERVE TO CONTEST POWER AGAIN.
THE ZAMBIA WE KNOW TODAY WAS BUILT BY AN MMD GOVERNMENT. WE KNOW OUR PLACE IN HISTORY AND WE KNOW THAT WE CAN COME BACK TO LEAD AGAIN IN THE FUTURE. A NEW LEADERSHIP WILL BE CHOSEN, AND THAT LEADERSHIP WILL BE FROM THE YOUNGER GENERATION.
MY GENERATION… THE GENERATION OF THE INDEPENDENCE STRUGGLE-- MUST NOW GIVE WAY TO NEW IDEAS; IDEAS FOR THE 21ST CENTURY. FROM THIS DEFEAT, A NEW, YOUNGER MMD WILL BE RE-BORN. IF I CAN SERVE THAT RE-BUILDING, THEN I WILL.
I MUST THANK MY CABINET FOR DELIVERING ON OUR PROMISES. WE DID A LOT OF GOOD FOR ZAMBIA. MANY OF OUR PROJECTS WILL BLOSSOM INTO BRIGHT FLOWERS. SOME OF YOU WILL BE BACK TO SERVE ZAMBIA AGAIN – I KNOW YOU WILL DO YOUR BEST FOR YOUR PARTY AND FOR YOUR COUNTRY.
TO THE CIVIL SERVANTS AND GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS, IT HAS BEEN A PRIVILEGE TO SERVE WITH YOU. WE HAVE WORKED MANY LONG HOURS TOGETHER. WE DID IT NOT FOR OURSELVES BUT FOR ZAMBIA. SERVE YOUR NEXT MASTERS AS YOU DID ME, AND ZAMBIA WILL BE IN GOOD HANDS.
I MUST THANK MY FAMILY AND MY WIFE. THEY HAVE STOOD BY ME AND I CANNOT ASK FOR MORE LOYALTY THAN THAT WHICH THEY HAVE DISPLAYED. I LOVE YOU ALL DEARLY AND I WILL ALWAYS BE IN YOUR DEBT.
BEING PRESIDENT IS HARD WORK, IT TAKES LONG HOURS OF WORK. AND BECAUSE OF IT, I HAVE NOT ALWAYS BEEN THERE FOR YOU. YET, STILL YOU WERE THERE FOR ME.
WORDS CANNOT EXPRESS THE DEPTH OF MY LOVE FOR YOU ALL. ALL I ASK IS THAT MY FAMILY CONTINUES TO SERVE ZAMBIA AS I HAVE SOUGHT TO DO.
BUT MY GREATEST THANKS MUST GO TO THE ZAMBIAN PEOPLE. WE MAY BE A SMALL COUNTRY ON THE MIDDLE OF AFRICA BUT WE ARE A GREAT NATION. SERVING YOU HAS BEEN A PLEASURE AND AN HONOUR. I WISH I COULD HAVE DONE MORE, I WISH I HAD MORE TIME TO GIVE.
NOW IS NOT THE TIME FOR VIOLENCE AND RETRIBUTION.
NOW IS THE TIME TO UNITE AND BUILD TOMORROW’S ZAMBIA TOGETHER. ONLY BY WORKING TOGETHER CAN WE ACHIEVE A MORE PROSPEROUS ZAMBIA.
I HAVE NO ILL FEELING IN MY HEART, THERE IS NO MALICE IN MY WORDS. I WISH HIM WELL IN HIS YEARS AS PRESIDENT.
I PRAY HIS POLICIES WILL BEAR FRUIT.
BUT NOW IT IS TIME FOR ME TO STEP ASIDE. NOW IS THE TIME FOR A NEW LEADER. MY TIME IS DONE. IT IS TIME FOR ME TO SAY ‘GOOD BYE’.
MAY GOD WATCH OVER THE ZAMBIAN PEOPLE AND MAY HE BLESS OUR BEAUTIFUL NATION.
I THANK YOU."

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Sata in the lead in latest presidential election result update


Election Update
Sata- 994090 (44.4%)
Banda R-808596 (36.11%)
HH-350473 (15.65%)
116 VERIFIED CONSTITUENCIES,
19 ARRIVED BUT BEING VERIFIED,
15 CONSTITUENCIES PENDING.

Latest presidential results as announced by ECZ

Latest Results from 85 constituencies as announced by ECZ chairperson Ireen Mambilima are as follows:

Sata- 639,787 (42.96%)
Banda R- 542,362 (36.41%)
HH- 247,284 (16.6%)

16 MORE TO BE SOON ANNOUNCED.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Mambilima announces some of the election results


Results from the verified 33 constituencies are:
PF-265,843 at 46.59 %
MMD-192,966 at 33.82%
UPND-93,6450 at 16.14%
Others are subject to verification
117 constituencies are remaing, more updates to follow

State House dismisses rumors of Sata winning


State House has dismissed speculations and rumors that the final results of the 2011 tripartite elections have been compiled and that Rupiah Banda has been informed.
State House spokesperson Dickson Jere said ‘such rumors are a total lie. President Banda is not aware of the final results that are still being compiled and will, like anyone else, wait for the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to announce the results.’
He said President Banda has not met anyone or issued any statement to discuss the purported final results. He the President will only make his position known on this matter once the final results are announced.
‘Attempts by the said editor to create rumors that Patriotic Front leader Michael Sata has won the Presidential election are against the Electoral Code of Conduct. Zambians should only believe the results that are coming from the ECZ.’
‘We know that there that there are some people who are trying to create anarchy by taking advantage of the situation. Zambians should remain calm and wait for the final results from the ECZ,’ said Jere

Courtesy of the Zambian Watchdog

Kabimba claims Sata has 56 per cent


Patriotic Front (PF) has claimed that their candidate Michael Sata is leading the presidential race by 56 per cent against MMD’s Rupiah Banda with 32 per cent.

And the PF has since challenged the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to immediately release the results stating that the Commission already has the results.
PF Secretary General Winter Kabimba says it is unfortunate that the ECZ has not kept the nation updated on the election results.
Kabimba appealed to donors to advise President Rupiah Banda and the MMD to respect what he called the will of the people in the elections.
The Patriotic Front has also written to the European Union Election Observation Mission to intervene in the turn of events which he says may lead to civil strife if not brought under control.

Zambian Watchdog

PF wins Nchanga, MMD gets Chavuma and Feira


And the MMD has won in Chavuma Nortwestern and Feira in Eastern province.
In Chavuma, the MMD has won with 6 thousand and 42 votes followed by the UPND who polled 3 thousnad 2 hundred and 88 votes.
The third position was scooped by the PF who had 2 hundred and 38 votes, FDD got 37 votes, Heritage party got 15 votes , ADD had 14 votes , NAREP and UNIP shared 13 votes.
NMP trailed with eight votes and ZED with three votes.
In Nchanga constituency the PF is leading with 21 thousand 4 hundred and 27 votes, followed by the MMD with 2 thousand 8 hundred and 93 votes.
The FDD polled 8 -hundred and 71 votes while the UPND polled 8 hundred and 42 votes.
Heritage Party got 51 votes, UNIP got 29 votes while NAREP got 26 votes.
The National Movement for Progress party polled 24 votes, ADD got 20 and ZED 6 votes.
In Feira , The MMD has won with 3 thousand 8 hundred and 63 votes followed by the PF with 2 thousand 4 hundred and 8.
The UPND got 7 hundred and 42 votes, UNIP got 37 votes, NAREP got 26 votes , Heritage party and FDD got 12.
The NMP and ADD trailed behind with 11 votes while ZED got 3 votes.

Courtesy of Zambian Watchdog

PF leads in Nchanga as Simusaa retains seat


Patriotic Front (PF) Leader Michael Sata has won with landslide victory in Nchanga Constituency with 21,427, as PF Parliamentary Candidate Wilbur Simusaa emerged victorious with 18,163 votes, followed by Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) President Rupiah Banda with 2,893, and United Party for National Development (UPND) leader Hakainde Hichilema in third place with 842.

Meanwhile, Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) leader Edith Nawakwi got 871 votes, National Restoration Party (NAREP) President Elias Chipimo polled 28, United National Independence Party (UNIP) Leader Tilyenji Kaunda 29, Heritage Party’s Godfrey Miyanda 51, National Movement for Progress (NMP) presidential aspirant Ng’andu Magande polled 24, Alliance for Democracy and Development (ADD) leader Charles Milupi received 20, Zambians for Empowerment and Development (ZED) Fred Mutesa got 8 votes respectively.
In Feira constituency in Eastern Province, Rupiah Banda polled 3,853, Sata got 2,408, Hichilema received 742 votes, Chipimo got 26, Kaunda obtained 37 votes, and Miyanda polled 12 of the total votes.
Furthermore, officials have disclosed that Chavuma Constituency in the North-Western Province Presidential polls has MMD leading with 6,042 votes with its parliamentary candidate Kenneth Konga winning with 6,028,the UPND is second with 3, 088, and the PF polled 238.
The latest results in Itezhi Tezhi constituency in Southern Province show that in the Presidential ballots, Hakainde Hichilema polled 7,093, Rupiah Banda 3,292, Michael Sata 586 votes, and Parliamentary, UPND Monde Monde 5,809, MMD’s Diangamo 2,603, Independent Namakau 1,535, and PF candidate Chitembo 349 votes.
More polling stations yet to compile the results as counting of ballot papers is still under way.

Courtesy of Zambian Watchdog

HH takes lead in Livingstone


United Party for National Development (UPND) Hakainde Hichilema is leading in the 16 polling stations out the total sixty one in Livingstone constituency.

Results show that Hichilema polled 1,630, followed by Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) candidate Rupiah Banda with 1,393 and Patriotic Front President Michael Sata obtained 1,090.
Meanwhile, Charles Milupi of the Alliance for Democracy and Development (ADD) got 10, United Party for National Independence Party leader (UNIP) Tilyenji Kaunda received 8 votes, National Restoration Party (NAREP) leader Elias Chipimo obtained 3votes, Zambians for Empowerment and Development (ZED) president Fred Mutesa received 2.
The total votes received so far show that the Heritage Party (HP) and Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) have nil.

Zambian Watchdog

UPND leads in Western province



The United Party for National Development is leading in most constituences in Western province except for Mongu Central and Luena, Nalolo and Luena.
The UPND is taking Sesheke, Kalabo and Kaoma, going by information from monitors at counting stations.
Charles Milupi’s party is leading in Luena constituency at parliamentary and presidential levels.
The PF through its chaiperson Inonge Wina is leading in Nalolo constituency at parliamentary level but not at presidential level.

Zambian Watchdog

Sata gets less than 200 votes in Monze


Counting of votes in Monze central constituency is almost complete with UPND candidate Hakainde Hichilema gettting more than 90 per cent of the votes.

By 11 hours Wednesday, Hichilema had polled more than 13 thousand votes with closest rival Rupiah Banda with 802 votes. Sata had managed 174 votes from the thousands of registered voters in Monze central constituency.
In Namwala, Major Robbie Chizyuka is leading at parliamentary level but at presidential level Hichiema is leading by huge margins.

Zambian Watchdog

Masebo, Mangani tumble as William Banda meets his type


Unofficial results show that former MP for Chongwe Sylvia Masebo has lost the seat.
And in Chipata central, another former MP Lameck Managni has tumbled to the ruling MMD. Both candidates were standing on the PF ticket.
Counting in both constituencies is almost complete but official results will be announced by the Electoral Commission of Zambia starting around mid morning.
Meaqnwhile, QFM radio reports that MMD Lusaka province chairman William Banda is reported to have been beaten last night by unknown people.
According to information obtained, Mr. Banda is said to have gone to Chibolya Basic School to harass policemen who were manning the school.
Mr.Banda is said to have insulted the policemen that there were not doing their job in protecting the party in government.
As his team of party cadres was driving away, some unknown people dragged Mr. Banda out of the car and beat him.
It was at that point that Mr. Banda fired three gun shots, making his attackers scampering in all direction leaving the restless MMD Lusaka province chairman screening for help.
A few hours ago, Mr. William Banda was said to be admitted to the University teaching Hospital.
Some Police officers confirmed to QFM News on the incident.
And Deputy Commissioner of police Auxenxio Mbewe was last evening stoned by unruly MMD cadres as he led a unit of riot police to rescue electoral officers that were caught in the violence in John Leing.
Mbewe who spoke to journalists immediately after the rescue operation said the riotous behaviour is being spearheaded by young men who he said do not have anything to do.
he discosed that he was stoned on his forehead as well as his left leg as his unit apprehended 10 of the riotous.
he said his unit was reinforcing and heading back to John Leing to try and contain the situation in the area where tires are being burnt on the roads as youths continue to ran amok.
The Police Commissioner stated that it is only the Lusaka that is experiencing sporadic of violence.
 Courtesy of Zambian Watchdog

PF leading in Kawambwa




Michael Sata’s Patrotic Front (PF) has taken an early lead at both Presidential and Parliamentarly level in Kawambwa Central Constituency. Presidential results are as given below; Munkanta Local court Polling station: PF 286 votes; MMD 172 votes: Mpota Basic School; PF 251; MMD 51: St. Mary’s Basic School: PF 598; MMD 280: Mpota Basic School: PF 251; MMD 51: Misakalala Polling Station: PF 230; MMD 215: Munkanta Basic School: MMD 248; PF 436.
At parliamentary level, the former Member of Parliament Elizabeth Mulobeka Chitika was trailing behind the PF’s candidate Nickson Chilangwa in the five polling stations counted. The results are as given below; Munkanta Local Court Polling Station; Chilangwa Nickson 277: Chitika Elizabeth 181: Munkanta Basic School Polling Station; UPND 05: Chilangwa Nickson PF 413; MMD Chitika Elizabeth 272: St. mary’s Basic School: Chilangwa Nickson 578; Chitika Elizabeth 308.
Unconfirmed results received from Tea Estate, Council Chamber and Filope Polling Stations indicate that the Patriotic Front is leading with a wider margin.
Meanwhile in the morning there was a near punch up between the PF supporters and MMD over the use of individual pens rather than the ECZ provided pens. It took the police enforcement to calm what would have been a volatile situation at Munkanta Local Court Polling Station as some PF supporters threatened to torch some houses of MMD members.
The European Union Observers who reached at Munkanta Local Court polling station at about 17:30 hours however expressed satisfaction with the electoral process. They stayed at the station until the vote counting was finalised
Reports from Mwansabombwe Constituency indicate that Criticles Mwansa is in a very tight race as some electorates blocked the road from Kasumpa village up to Mbereshi chanting PF slogans. Some PF villagers have threatened to torch the palace of Chief Mwata Kazembe who has been supporting the candidature of Criticles Mwansa. Prelimary results indicate that the PF candidate was leading in the polling stations counted so far.

Courtesy of the Zambian Watchdog

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Sata slightly leading in Lusaka

Patriotic Front candidate Michael Sata was by 01 hours on Wednesday leading in a number of counting centres in Lusaka.
At Libala high school Michael Sata got 804 votes followed by Rupiah Banda with 260 votes. Hakainde Hichilema had 178.
At Kabulonga boys polling station: Sata 824, Rupiah Banda 232 and Hakainde Hichilema got 208, Elias Chipimo got 17 votes while others got less than five votes each.


 Courtesy of Zambian Watchdog

Official Election Results


Minister Conference Hall  Polling Station-Mongu
MMD-105
PF-177
UPND-49
NAREP-1
The rest 0.
Luanshya, Mpelembe Constituency
Presidential
Sata-531
Banda-149
HH-30
Miyanda-4
Nawatwi-2
Kaunda T-1
Chipimo E-5
Magande-1
Kitwe Wusakile-Presidential
Sata-708
Banda-73
Hichilema H-11
Nawakwi-0

RB, HH neck to Neck in Mufumbwe wards


Counting of votes in Mufumbwe North-western province has began and is expected to be over by early Wednesday.
Information reaching the Watchdog show that in two wards that were being counted by 20 hours local time, president Rupiah Banda and UPND’s Hakainde Hichilema were running neck to neck.
An election monitor at Kamabusa ward said Hichiloema was leading while President Banda was leading with about ten votes at Kalambo ward.
The election monitor said other candidates were no where near contention.

Courtesy of Zambian Watchdog

RB takes early lead in in Mumbwa


President Rupiah Banda has taken an early lead in three wards that were counted by 23 hours in Mumbwa central constituency.

A very reliable source who is present at the counting centers said President Banda got 220 votes at Nambala ward followed By Hakainde Hichilema with 115. PF’S Michael Sata got 21 votes.
The trend in the Wintinti and Mumbwa castle wards was the same with MMD parliamentary candidate Brian Chituwo also taking an early lead.
Votes from dozens of wards in the constituency were yet to be counted.

Courtesy of Zambian Watchdog.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

My little prayer for mother Zambia


Dear Lord, Jehovah God, I pray for peace as Mother Zambia goes to the poll.
I pray for my motherland to be peaceful as it has always been. I pray for the men and women to uphold by the teachings of our Lord Jesus Chris of love and peace.
Lord I pray in Jesus’ name that all those with evil plans, may their plans be thwarted and put to shame.
Lord for it is written ‘’ No weapon forged against you, shall prosper.’’
Lord we live by your word, without them we are nothing, we are comforted by your word and we trust in your word.
For it is also written ‘’ As the flowers fall and the the grass withers, the word of God stands on forever.’’
It’s your word Jehovah that will transcend across the great nation and you alone God shall choose a great leader that will lead the nation to greater heights. May the leader that is elected be accepted by all peace loving Zambians and soldiers of the Lord’s army.
I pray for the holy blood of Jesus Christ to cover my place of birth, my sanctuary, my pride.
Zambia is not only my place of birth but where my family and dear friends are. Lord I don’t want to lose each and everyone of them. I thank you Lord Jesus that the devil has no place in a Christian nation. He shall forever remain defeated. We shall forever trample over him until the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I pray for all my fellow Zambians  to stand together and pray for peace, as it is at these times that the devil takes advantage. Zambians have never sort any form of  political asylum, therefore it shall remain like that.
Lord I can safely say am proud to be Zambian, a land of peace and love, joy.
Lord my this prayer minister to each and every person who reads it…
Thank you Lord for this great nation..
Amen..

62% Nepali women feel domestic abuse is right!



Kathmandu: If a wife burns the food or demurs to have sex, her husband can beat her. And if she goes out without telling her mother-in-law or doesn't bring in dowry, the mother-in-law can do the same.

That is how a large chunk of women in Nepal's patriarchal society feels, a sample survey has discovered.

The Nepal Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2010, covering 24 of Nepal's 75 districts, focused on the state of women and children in two regions most vulnerable to disasters and the most underdeveloped: the midwest and the farwest.

These are also the districts that were the most affected by the 10-year Maoist insurgency and see thousands going to India across the border every year due to food scarcity and natural disasters.

Conducted by Nepal's Central Bureau of Statistics and supported by Unicef, the survey covered almost 6,000 households, talking to over 7,000 women about their family lives, health issues and children.

The survey, conducted from September to December 2010, found that 48 percent women, aged between 15-49 years, felt their husbands had the right to beat them if they spoilt the food while cooking, refused to have sex, neglected the children or argued.

Description: 62% Nepali women feel domestic abuse is right!Also, a whopping 62 percent believed mothers-in-law were justified in beating them if they failed to bring in dowry, went out of the house without telling them, didn't finish housework in time or argued.

Though Nepal's laws make it a punishable offence for a girl to marry before she is 18, the survey found an overwhelming 60 percent had been married before the legal age of consent.

Sixteen percent got married while below 15.

Though women dominated the population with the male-female ratio being 100:92.9, the dreaded tradition of chhaupadi still prevailed, despite being banned by the government.

Chhaupadi is the custom of regarding menstruation as a period of impurity during which women are not allowed to touch anything, including water, plants and their husbands.

Though it is not observed so rigidly in the capital and major cities, in the remote villages girls and women are confined to cowsheds during menstruation. Both girl students and women teachers are barred from attending school.

The survey found the midwestern mountain region to be the worst affected -- 52 percent, while the farwestern hilly region reported a 50 percent prevalence.

"It is unacceptable," said Hanna Singer, Unicef representative in Nepal, referring to the high prevalence of the chhaupadi system and the early marriages.

"The legal structure is protective of women but the implementation needs monitoring."

Singer linked the violence against women to the violence targeting young children.

A whopping 83 percent of the children interviewed said they had been disciplined either by severe psychological abuse or physical punishment.

Description: 62% Nepali women feel domestic abuse is right!
"It creates a continuous cycle of violence against women (and also) subjects women to longer cycles of child-bearing (that) has grave consequences for children's and women's health," Singer said.

IANS



Girls Education in Danger....


Wa, Sept.18, GNA – Girls’ education at Jongo-Tabiasi, a community in the Wa Municipality is in danger due to some traditional beliefs and practices of the people.
Findings by the Child Protection Programme, a UNICEF- assisted intervention undertaken by Community Development and Social Welfare Departments have revealed that members of the community believe that it is a taboo for a girl to cater for her aged parents.
Any girl who risks taking care of her aged parents would be destined to die and as a result parents do not see the essence of educating them.
This was made known at a stakeholders’ sensitisation seminar in Wa at the weekend, to review UNICEF’s assisted projects and programmes in the Upper West Region.
The findings also advocated stiffer sanctions on commercial drivers who helped to traffic children to urban centres and illegal mining spots to help deter the practice.
The two departments called for the establishment of Births and Deaths offices in the hospitals to help reduce the burden on parents who go to the law courts to swear affidavits before they could get their children registered later.
Alhaji Issahaque Salia, Regional Minister, commended UNICEF for contributing towards the realisation of key millennium development goals in the country.
He said UNICEF had made huge investment in the provision of health facilities, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene, child protection and education as well as means of transportation to the Region, which had helped to address some of the many social development challenges of the communities.
He noted that issues of water, sanitation, hygiene, child protection, girl- child education and health as well as child trafficking and migration, elopement and child marriages are among the very core of the Region’ developmental endeavour.
Alhaji Salia therefore asked the district assemblies to develop strategies to integrate these challenges into their development plans.
He called on the assemblies to embrace new initiatives such as the integrated community care management and the community management of acute malnutrition that the Ghana health sector and other institutions had introduced.
Ghana News Agency


Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Empowering Women and Girls is Key to Address World’s challenges


 Empowering women and girls will have a profound impact on the survival and well-being of children, says UNICEF.
According to a press release, UNICEF  joined  the United Nations Population Fund’s (UNFPA) global campaign to mark 7 billion people in the world in New York Yesterday.
‘’The world’s population will reach a major milestone next month as it tops 7 billion. The UNFPA 7 Billion Actions initiative aims to build global awareness around the opportunities and challenges the world faces as it reaches this staggering number of people, most of whom live in the developing world and half of whom are women.’’ The statement read in part.
‘’Today, many people live longer and healthier lives but, billions of others - especially women- struggle to combat poverty, inequality, lack of education and poor healthcare.’’
Despite progress, the lives of millions of girls and women are still overshadowed by discrimination and disempowerment. Girls and women are disproportionally affected by HIV and AIDS and women in most places earn less than men for equal work.
‘’ Up to 70 per cent of women experience violence in their lifetime and more than half of the 67 million primary school age children out of school are girls.’’ It read in part.
The 7 Billion Actions campaign urges governments, NGOs, the private sector, media, academia and individuals to take actions that will reverse these trends and move ahead with measures that will have a positive impact on society to ensure a healthy and equitable world with women playing an equal and central role.
UNICEF believes investment in the health and education of women and girls is key to solving many of the world’s problems. Educated girls are more likely to postpone marriage and child-bearing until they are older and more capable of fulfilling these responsibilities. They are better able to protect themselves from HIV and AIDS and from sexual exploitation and abuse.
Women with access to healthcare and education are far less likely to die in childbirth and far more likely to have healthy babies who survive their infancy and go on to thrive and go to school themselves, benefiting their families and communities.
Every year of secondary education a girl can complete will greatly increase her future income – sometimes by as much as 15 per cent - greatly raising her family’s standard of living and increasing her chances to break out of the cycle of poverty.
Ensuring the eradication of the discriminatory practices that are barriers for women and children to reach their full potential is at the heart of UNICEF’s equity approach.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Why Abused Women Don't Tell


Most of us have probably come across a woman who has been abused continuously and wonder why she has not left such a relationship/marriage??

Rihanna and Chris Brown in happy times
Truth of the matter is that the abused mostly feels ashamed to come out and tell of their predicament. As the abuse goes on a woman tends to lose her self-esteem, they tend to feel worthless. Just the mere fact that they are hit, kicked and beaten is enough to make them feel worthless, and it robs of them of their self-esteem.
Abuse ranges from beating, kicking, shoving someone to the floor, being degraded and humiliated (emotionally, physically and verbally).
It’s very common for a woman to feel that what their lover is doing to them is out of love when in fact it’s not. Mostly as the abuse goes on a woman tends to think their spouse will change. Mostly the abuser will always assure them of how much he is going to change but at the end of the day it’s the same old story.
Most women in Africa and the world over will persevere because they wouldn’t want to be labelled as failures if they disclose and the marriage ends.
One of the elements that lead a woman not to leave an abusive relationship/marriage is lack of financial independence. Most women depend on their partners for finance, making  it hard for them to leave and start a new life as they are mostly not educated.
Some because there are children involved, it becomes hard for them to leave because being a single parent can be strenuous.
Am no expert but I feel at the end of the day it’s up to the abused to admit that they are in an abusive relationship and would want to get out of it. Only until then can everyone give their support to help them come to terms with their predicament and help them heal. But the sooner they accept and get out of it the better. Some women come out alive if they are lucky while some end up being dead.
There have been instances where people and family chipped in but the woman still went back to the abuser.
Let’s look at cases of abuse that rocked the world.
We will first look at the famous Rihanna and Chris Brown fiasco.
In 2009 the World was shocked to learn of  Rn’B Sweetheart Rihanna’s bruised pictures as they surfaced on the internet.
The alleged bruises were caused by no other than then boyfriend Rn’B singer Chris Brown.
The pair begun squabbling after leaving Clive David’s’ Pre-Grammy party. According to E news Brown pulled his Lamborghini to the side of a street in LA, that’s when Rihanna grabbed the car keys and tossed them out the window, sending Brown into rage.
He tried in vain to find the keys, then came back to the car, put his hands around her neck and said ‘’ I am going to kill you.’’
Rihanna lost consciousness, and when she woke, Brown had fled.
On August 25, 2009 Brown was sentenced to serve a five year probation and to serve more than 1,400 hours in ‘labour’ oriented service.
Then there was one that ended tragically.
According to People Magazine South Africa, Successful designer Clarena Acosta who together with her husband Samuel Abomohor amassed 14 clothing stores in Colombia and Panama.
After the abusive marriage, Clarena filed for divorce and tried to start a new life, without Samuel. While separated she moved back in with her parents because she and her husband fought bitterly every day after work. In 2009 she moved back in the house she shared with her husband.
Clarena and Samuel
Close family members knew of Samuel’s tyrannical demeanor and violent temper, but they never expected the tragedy that befell them.
During New Year’s Eve 2009, Samuel gathered the family in the master bedroom claiming he had something to announce. ‘’ Come in, I want you to be the judge,’’ he told them. Once inside he yelled at his wife as she sat on the edge of the bed: I have proof that you’re having an affair. I have your emails- all of them. I know what you’re up to, you bit#*h.
Everybody pleaded for him to put the gun down. He ordered everyone out of the room, but minutes later the argument was cut short when two shots rang out.
During the trial, Samuel showed his temper, he argued with the presiding judge.
On November 29, 2010, Samuel Abomohor was sentenced to 45 years and 10 months in jail.




Wednesday, 7 September 2011

The Measles Initiative vaccinates one billion children in first decade


Measles campaign 


The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has helped vaccinate one billion children in more than 60 developing countries since 2001, making significant gains in the global effort to stop measles.

According to a press release early this month, the child who received the history making measles vaccination was one of 3.5 million immunized in Mozambique this may.
It further stated that the immunization was capaign was sponsored by the Measles Initiative's five founding partners.
The founding partners are The American Redcross, United Nations Foundations, U.S centers for disease control and prevention (CDC), UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO).

''when we started the Measles Initiative ten years ago, we knew that we would help save millions of lives, but we never imagined where the world’s support would take us,” said David Meltzer, senior vice president of international services with the American Red Cross. 
Mr Meltzer said with every dollar donated, we vaccinated another child. Across the globe, we stopped outbreaks, improved treatment and protected future generations from one of the world’s deadliest diseases. This milestone in measles control is significant and improves the overall outlook for children’s health around the world.” 

In 1980, before widespread vaccination, measles caused an estimated 2.6 million deaths each year. With accelerated immunization activities spearheaded by governments and the Measles Initiative, global measles mortality has decreased by an impressive 78 percent worldwide from 733,000 deaths in 2000 to 164,000 in 2008. Reductions in measles-related deaths during that same time period accounts for nearly a quarter (24 percent) of the overall decrease in childhood mortality, representing significant progress toward Millennium Development Goal 4 (MDG4). This goal, which was set by the UN, aims to reduce the mortality rate for children less than five years by two thirds between 1990 and 2015.

''Even as the Measles Initiative’s founding partners marked this significant achievement, they warned that governments and the global health community should not rest or redirect their efforts and resources elsewhere at the expense of tackling measles. Because of the decline in deaths, measles is no longer perceived to be a threat by many and must compete for funding with programs aimed at other diseases.'' It read in part.

“The steady march toward a measles-free world is now facing a setback,” said Dr. Brent Burkholder, director of the CDC’s global immunization division. “Outbreaks in Africa, a high number of deaths in India and global funding gaps threaten the gains made in the last ten years and will hinder efforts to eradicate measles and achieve MDG4.”

Since 2009, widespread outbreaks affecting 30 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Ethiopia, have resulted in more than 320,000 new measles cases and more than 2,400 measles-related deaths. In the past year, several European nations have faced their worst measles outbreaks in more than 10 years, with more than 30,000 estimated cases across the region. The U.S. is also experiencing its largest measles outbreak since 1996, with more than 150 reported cases.

“The rise in outbreaks, especially in Africa, can be attributed in large part to the decrease in financial support to the Measles Initiative,” said Andrea Gay, executive director of children’s health with the United Nations Foundation. Funding decreased from a high of $150 million in 2007 to $68 million in 2010. “Due to inadequate funding, measles vaccination campaigns have been delayed and the target age groups have been narrowed, resulting in outbreaks and in less children being vaccinated overall,” she said.

The WHO estimates that waning support could result in half a million more deaths each year and erase the Measles Initiative’s gains by 2013.

Because it costs less than $1 per child to vaccinate against measles, the real stumbling block is the lack of political commitment in many countries. Several economic studies, including those referenced in the Journal of Infectious Diseases July 2011 supplement, however, demonstrate that the eradication of measles is more cost effective than a control strategy and is actually cost saving for countries where measles has already been eliminated.

The Measles Initiative continues to advocate with governments and appeal to donors around the world to maintain an aggressive vaccination schedule, and improve routine immunization and surveillance in developing countries. The support of other nations, paired with financial and technical support from the Measles Initiative, has proven to be influential among those countries whose immunization programs have not kept pace.

For example, three out of four children who died from measles in 2008 lived in India, where persistently low vaccination coverage was the norm. Last year, however, the country initiated measles vaccination campaigns in select districts and has plans to organize additional vaccination campaigns throughout the next two years. India, with a population of more than 1 billion, plans to self-finance these efforts.

Looking ahead to its second decade, the Measles Initiative will focus on achieving a series of interim targets toward the eventual eradication of measles. The first of these milestones will be to reduce measles mortality by 95 percent by 2015 (compared to 2000). The Measles Initiative estimates it will need approximately $212 million between 2012 and 2015 to reach the targets.
The Measles Initiative is a partnership committed to reducing measles deaths globally. Launched in 2001, the Initiative—led by the American Red Cross, the United Nations Foundation, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, UNICEF and the World Health Organization—provides technical and financial support to governments and communities on vaccination campaigns and disease surveillance worldwide.

UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.