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Friday, September 20, 2019

Ebola Outbreaks Corruption Amidst Fear Of Sending Children To School


Congolese school children, photo credit: globalpartnership.org/

Congolese school children, photo credit: globalpartnership.org/



Ebola ‘miraculously’ appeared from heaven to hit the West African countries of Sierra Leone, Liberia and the Republic of Guinea, in 2014, even though the same  Ebola outbreaks occurred simultaneously in Marburg and Frankfurt in Germany, and in Belgrade, Serbia, in 1967. Thereafter, the disease has appeared in Congo many times and still claiming lives.


The sad part of the outbreaks of the disease in Africa is the advantage some of the authorities take to make money at the expense of the victims. During the administration ex-President of Sierra Leone, Ernest Bai Koroma, there was massive corruption during the Ebola outbreak in the country. Millions of dollars to help fight the disease was stolen.

Ebola corruption has repeated itself in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The former Minister of Health, Oly Ilunga, who resigned in July 2019, as a protest against the management of the Ebola epidemic that broke out in the eastern part of the country, which killed over 1700 people and infected 2,500, is now involved in corruption?

Last week, Oly Ilunga Kalenga was taken into custody over alleged mismanagement of funds for the country's response to an ongoing Ebola epidemic and had planned to flee the country, police say. The National Police confirmed that the former Health Minister tried to evade legal proceedings by leaving the country.

The outbreak in central Africa, which has been running for almost a year, has become the second most deadly killing more than 1,600 people in the north-east of the country.

Last week, the World Health Organisation called the outbreak a public health 'international emergency concern,' after the first confirmed case in Goma, a DRC city of nearly two million people in the country’s eastern border with Rwanda.

This case has increased the risk of the virus spreading internationally. The crisis in the DRC has been made more difficult due to ongoing conflict in the region and trust issues. Many Congolese think Ebola is a disease to kill them, thus, in the past, many victims had escaped from treatment centers making the fight against the disease a hectic situation.

Archbishop Katanda said the outbreak was in an area where many different armed groups of rebels from various countries were active which had made the response more complex, as local people saw aid organizations helping Ebola victims, but not the victims of the ongoing conflict.

He has called for a multi-targeted approach to help the region: tackling the Ebola virus and assisting the victims of the violence in the area. He also emphasized the importance of education in schools and churches.

Ebola has had a devastating and destructive impact on families and communities that many parents were afraid to send children to school. There are 6,509 primary and secondary schools located in areas affected by Ebola in the provinces of Ituri, North Kivu, and South Kivu - 3,800 of them are in high-risk areas. Most of them have reopened for the new school year.

Monday, September 16, 2019

OBESITY – REALITY OF THE AMERICAN DREAM?


Obesity in America: photo credit - Mark Lennihan

Obesity in America: photo credit - Mark Lennihan


One of the paradoxes of modern global capitalism is that more than 800 million people in the world do not have enough food, while about 700 million people, including 100 million children, are obese. 



These two numbers are not necessarily directly related, however, a significant proportion of the world's starving people live in states torn apart by internal conflicts or lacking normal working governments.

Obesity is a condition characterized by an abnormal accumulation of fat in the body in the form of adipose tissue. It is the result of excessive nutrition combined with a very limited physical activity, to which genetic factors are also added. 

This serious health problem occurs when over time, the body absorbs more calories than it burns. Obesity and overweight increase the risk of contracting diabetes, developing cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, gallstones, hypercholesterolemia, respiratory diseases, osteoarthritis, gout, and cancer.

An uncontrolled, rapid increase in obesity can slow down or even reverse the process of a significant improvement in health and life expectancy, which has been observed in many countries for several decades. 

A report released raises the alarm about rising levels of acute hunger. About 124 million people in 51 countries were affected by severe food insecurity in 2017 - 11 million more than in the previous year. This is reported by the new edition of the Global Report on Food Crises.

The report defines acute food insecurity as a level of hunger so severe that it represents a direct threat to people's lives or livelihoods. The worsening of the situation is largely attributable to the outbreak or escalation of conflicts and instability in countries such as Myanmar, north-eastern Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, and Yemen. 

Prolonged drought conditions have instead caused a succession of poor harvests in countries already affected by high levels of food insecurity and malnutrition in eastern and southern Africa.

Conflicts and climate change remain the main factors behind serious food insecurity in 18 countries - 15 of them in Africa and the Middle East. Conflicts are the main cause of most cases of acute food insecurity in the world, representing 60 percent of the total, 74 million people.

 At the same time, the obesity epidemic has hit a much wider range of countries, both developed and most developing. Although there is a certain association between obesity and poverty within countries.

 However, it should be noted that the level of obesity in wealthy countries such as the United States, Britain, and Canada is one of the highest in the world. 

According to recent shocking estimates by the US Centers for  Disease Control and Prevention, 40% of all Americans are obese, with obesity being defined as a body mass index of 30 or higher. 

This number includes 20.6% of all American teenagers, from12  to 19 years old. According to the CDC, the average weight of an American woman today is higher than the average weight of an American man in 1960 (166 pounds, or 75 kg).

While many are hungry or dying of hunger, many wealthy countries are destroying themselves with food. 

Inequality in relation to overweight and obesity is especially pronounced among women, especially, those with a low level of education are obese two to three times more often than highly educated women.

Preventing Obesity: Here are some useful tips for a correct and varied food style.

Preventing obesity and being overweight is possible, starting with a healthy and balanced diet. It is necessary to limit sugars and fats thus, avoiding as much as possible quick foods and sugary or sweet drinks.

Increase consumption of vegetables, legumes, and whole grains and limit excessive alcohol consumption to a glass of wine per meal. 

The need to do exercise helps to a correct diet. There is no need to do a marathon a week: 30 minutes a day of brisk walking, cycling, and aerobic activity are all you need to stay healthy and keep your weight under control.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

THE BIGGEST CURSE MAN HAS PRONOUNCED ON HIMSELF IS GREED


Greed quotes




Greed is an overly aggressive desire of a person to get as many as possible all kinds of benefits, both tangible and intangible. It can be about money, food, pleasures, power, information, attention and so on.  


That selfish or excessive desire to take possession of everything alone exists everywhere, including, homes, working places, and the political arena.


People who are greedy for money, as a rule, are spiritually weak and insecure, since greed, is predominantly stupid and, therefore, cowardly people rowing everything for themselves because of self-doubt in the future. All that a person wants is to have unlimited quantities without thinking of others.

The stories covering greed, its disgracefulness, and embarrassments, continue to make headlines around the globe, including Africa. Instead of highlighting on greedy and corruptible cases which have taken place in Africa or Ghana, I prefer to take two of such stories from the Bible.

Greediness is like digging your own grave, either to fall in it or to bury yourself in it as it happened to King David, Ananias and his wife Sapphira.

David rising from the bed, began to walk on the terrace of the palace and from above, he saw a beautiful woman taking her bath. Despite his many wives, he immediately sent to inquire who that woman was. He was told: "It is Bathsheba, wife of Uriah the Hittite, your faithful soldier." 

Then David, not bothering at all that the woman was the wife of a valiant soldier in war, sent messengers to take her. She went to him and he slept with her. When Bathsheba returned home, she realized later that she had conceived and let David know that she was pregnant with him.

Then David, worried, devised a plan that allowed him to exonerate himself from the trouble he had caused, hoping that the betrayal will not be discovered. He sent for Bathsheba's husband, Uriah the Hittite, from the battlefield and invited him home. 

The soldier proud of the invitation, immediately rushed to his king and David inquired about the progress of the war, his troops and finally invited him to go home to his wife. He hoped that after the long absence he might miss the 'golden apple' to sleep with his wife.

"Go down to your house and wash your feet," the king ordered. Uriah came out of the palace but did not listen to the king's words. He slept at the door of the palace with all the servants of King David, without sleeping with his wife. 

His honesty and loyalty to the law of holy war prevented him from having sexual relations in a time of war. Despite the king's request, he would certainly have felt a coward committing such an abominable act.  

Eating, drinking and sleeping in a nice bed, with his beautiful wife, while his soldiers stood in the battlefield? Not at all, he couldn't do that. 

When all the plans of King David failed, the next morning, he wrote a letter to Joab, asking him to send to Uriah to the hottest part of the battle. That’s where Uriah’s life came to an end because of David’s greed. 

Later, the Lord sent Nathan, the prophet, to tell David a story about two men in the same city, one rich and another poor.

When the story came to an end, David couldn't hide his anger against that man who did that. "For the life of the Lord, whoever did this deserves death! He will pay four times the value of the sheep, for having done such a thing without pity.”

Nathan replied: "You are that man! Thus, says the Lord God of Israel: I have anointed you the king of Israel and delivered you from the hands of Saul, I gave you the house of your master and I put in your arms all the women you desired and more still I would have given you if you had asked me, then why did you despise the word of the Lord, doing what is evil in his eyes? 

Yes, because of greed, David killed Uriah the Hittite, to take his wife and he paid bitterly for it. 

The second Biblical story about the greed of Ananias and Sapphira


All the believers were together and had everything in common, selling their possessions and goods, they shared with anyone who was in need. With one accord they continued to meet daily in the temple courts and to break bread from house to house, sharing their meals with gladness and sincerity of heart.


But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a property, and kept part of the money, and delivered the part, placing it at the feet of the apostles. However, Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan so filled your heart that you lie to the Holy Spirit and keep part of the price of the farm? If this wasn't sold, wasn't it yours? And once sold, the proceeds were not available to you? 

Why did you put this into your heartYou have not lied to men but to God. Ananias, hearing these words, fell and died and a great fear ceased all those who heard these things. The young people, standing, wrapped his body, carried him out and buried him.

About three hours later, his wife, not knowing what had happened, entered and Peter, turning to her, said: "Tell me, have you sold the farm for so long?" She replied, "yes, for once." Then Peter asked her: "Why did you agree to test the Spirit of the Lord? Here, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door and they will also take you away.”

And at that moment she fell at her feet and died. The young men came in and found her dead; and, having taken her away, they buried her beside her husband. Then great fear came over the whole assembly and all those who heard these things.

These two great Biblical stories about greed are enough for greedy people, including politicians. People queue long hours under the hot sun to vote and after the politicians get what they want, they forget about the promises and neglect them to suffer. 

The greedy politicians and those chiefs selling one plot to multiple buyers, should change their ways, else all of them will end up like Ananias and his wife Sapphira.