Connect with us

General

Fears for jailed Akashas’ health as Covid-19 kills prisoners

Published

on

Loading...
KEVIN J. KELLEY

By KEVIN J. KELLEY
More by this Author

Convicted drug traffickers Baktash and Ibrahim Akasha are serving long sentences in US prisons hit by outbreaks of the coronavirus.

A total of 59 inmates of US federal prisons are reported to have died from Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus. Another 1,735 federal inmates and 191 federal prison staff members have tested positive for the virus.
The Akasha brothers’ own current health status is unknown, although Baktash is said to suffer physical conditions that increase susceptibility to the virus.
The US Bureau of Prisons has banned all visits to federal inmates due to the pandemic. And neither prison authorities nor attorneys for the Akashas are providing information on the brothers’ medical status.

Baktash is incarcerated in a correctional complex in the state of Louisiana where eight prisoners have died from the virus. Ibrahim is housed in a detention centre in the New York City borough of Brooklyn that has recorded no inmate deaths or current infections, but reports that five inmates at the facility have recovered from cases of Covid-19.

“We do not comment on the conditions of confinement for any specific inmate,” US Bureau of Prisons spokesman Emery Nelson said on Thursday in response to a Nation query regarding the Akashas’ health.

Advertisement

George Goltzer, a New York attorney who has represented Baktash Akasha, wrote in an email on Thursday: “I have no further comments on the case or his status in prison.”

Bernard Alan Seidler, a New York attorney representing Ibrahim Akasha, said by telephone on Friday that he has not spoken with his client since March 1 and has no information on Ibrahim’s current condition.

Attorney Goltzer stated in court last year that Baktash, 43, suffers from obesity, asthma and diabetes. These conditions make him particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus.

Loading...

Ibrahim Akasha, 30, has received counselling for depression, Dawn Cardi, his attorney at the time, told a US judge earlier this year.

The Bureau of Prisons lists Baktash’s release date as May 21, 2038, while Ibrahim is scheduled to be let go on September 5, 2036.

The brothers pleaded guilty last year to multiple felony charges involving a conspiracy to smuggle heroin and methamphetamines into the United States.

Most of the 137,500 inmates of US federal prisons have been largely confined to their cells since the onset of the pandemic in March in an attempt to limit the spread of the virus.

But authorities at the Louisiana facility where Baktash is serving his sentence have failed to isolate several inmates who tested positive for the virus, according to the labour union representing prison officers at the state’s Oakdale Federal Correctional Complex.

The Oakdale prison consists of two main institutions. Oakdale I, with 986 inmates, has recorded seven prisoner deaths and 188 infections among prisoners and staff. Oakdale II, the part of the complex where Baktash is confined, has reported one death and six recoveries from the virus among its 795 inmates.

Ibrahim Akasha is one of 1598 inmates at the Metropolitan Detention Centre (MDC) in Brooklyn. Although none of them are known to have died from the virus, a former chief medical officer for New York City jails charged after a visit to the MDC that it is “ill-equipped to identify cases of Covid-19 within its population.”

Comments

comments

Loading...
Continue Reading

General

Beyond Zero, AMREF to train health volunteers on Covid-19 – KBC

Published

on

Loading...

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta’s Beyond Zero initiative has teamed up with the African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF) to train 5100 community health volunteers to boost the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

KBC Radio_KICD Timetable

The one-month Covid-19 training for community health volunteers in Nairobi county sponsored by Beyond Zero at a cost of Kshs 4.5 million will be delivered virtually by AMREF through a digital learning platform called “Leap”.

Speaking Tuesday during the launch of the virtual training at the AMREF International University in Nairobi, Beyond Zero Coordinator Ms Angella Langat said the training comes at the right time when community health volunteers who are at the forefront of the Covid-19 response efforts require accurate information.

“This Covid-19 training is especially timely, as the world and Kenya grapple with the disease,” Ms Langat said.

Get breaking news on your Mobile as-it-happens. SMS ‘NEWS’ to 20153

She expressed hope that the training will equip the community health volunteers with the necessary information and skills to help combat the spread of the virus.

“Her Excellency the First Lady’s Beyond Zero Initiative is honoured to be part of this process through the funding of the first cohort of community health volunteers. I thank the Ministry of Health, AMREF and respective teams for their commitment towards the development of this training curriculum,” Ms Langat said.

Loading...

Ms Langat pointed out that Beyond Zero’s interventions in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic is aligned to complement government efforts in promoting the health and wellbeing of Kenyans.

AMREF Enterprise CEO Caroline Mbindyo praised the partnership between Beyond Zero and her organization especially in the training of the community health volunteers, saying it will go a long way in scaling up efforts geared towards curbing the spread of Coronavirus in the country’s informal settlements.

Ms Mbindyo said AMREF has in collaboration with the Ministry of Health developed the curriculum for the training of community health workers, adding that the volunteers will access the training through their mobile phones free of charge.

Noting that there are about 70,000 community health volunteers in the country, Ms Mbindyo called on other organizations to emulate Beyond Zero and provide sponsorship for the training of the critical health providers across the country.

On her part, AMREF’s Community Training Liaison Officer Carolyne Wanyonyi said the training will enhance the awareness of the community health volunteers on Covid-19 and empower them with skills to help in the containment of the virus in their communities.

“The training will facilitate community health volunteers to be able to do risk assessment and they will also be able to know what needs to be done if an individual has been infected with the Coronavirus or is a suspected case,” Ms Wanyonyi said.

Ms Wanyonyi said the training has four modules with the first module focusing on what coronavirus is, its prevention, risks and transmission modes.

The second module will cover what the community health volunteers need to do in suspected Covid-19 cases.

The third module will look at the risks involved and the stigma associated with the disease in order to enable them counsel community members effectively.

The final module of the training will focus on community disease surveillance where the community health volunteers will learn about how to protect themselves from contracting Covid-19 in the course of their service delivery.

Comments

comments

Loading...
Continue Reading

General

Uganda moves to phased reopening amid rising Covid-19 cases

Published

on

Loading...
CHARLES M. MPAGI

By CHARLES M. MPAGI
More by this Author

Uganda will go ahead with its planned re-opening of the country despite recording more than 150 Covid-19 cases in three days, according to President Yoweri Museveni.

In an address to the nation on Monday evening, President Museveni said that public transport will resume but with necessary health and safety measures in place.

“We shouldn’t bite too much at a time. Opening for private cars has already unleashed big numbers of people moving. We have decided to postpone the opening of schools for another month,” Museveni said in his 15th address to the nation on Covid-19.

Buses and commuter taxis will resume on June 4 but will operate at half the capacity with commuters and operators “covering their mouth and nose all the time.”

Travel in districts bordering neighbouring countries is also not allowed for the next three weeks.

“For the next 21 days, no private or public transport is allowed in the border districts. There are forty districts in northern, northeastern, Bugisu, Bunyoro, Ankole and the Kigezi subregions,” added the president.

Loading...
Advertisement

Malls and stand-alone stores have also allowed been to reopen as long as clients observe physical distancing.

Schools, gyms, salons, bars and places of worship will remain closed for 21 more days.

Meanwhile, Uganda on Tuesday recorded 32 new Covid-19 cases raising the national tally to 489.

“Nineteen of the new confirmed cases are from 1,693 samples from points of entry while 13 are from 423 samples of contacts and alerts,” the Health Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

Fourteen new cases were recorded in Elegu, near South Sudan, two each in Busia and Malaba near the Kenyan border, while one was recorded in Mutukula near the border with Tanzania.

Thirteen of the new cases are contacts of previously confirmed cases. All patients are Ugandans.

“Currently, there are 391 admitted Covid-19 confirmed cases in 15 referral hospitals in the country. All are in stable condition,” the statement added.

Comments

comments

Loading...
Continue Reading

General

Uganda moves to phased reopening amid rising Covid-19 cases

Published

on

Loading...
CHARLES M. MPAGI

By CHARLES M. MPAGI
More by this Author

Uganda will go ahead with its planned re-opening of the country despite recording more than 150 Covid-19 cases in three days, according to President Yoweri Museveni.

In an address to the nation on Monday evening, President Museveni said that public transport will resume but with necessary health and safety measures in place.

“We shouldn’t bite too much at a time. Opening for private cars has already unleashed big numbers of people moving. We have decided to postpone the opening of schools for another month,” Museveni said in his 15th address to the nation on Covid-19.

Buses and commuter taxis will resume on June 4 but will operate at half the capacity with commuters and operators “covering their mouth and nose all the time.”

Travel in districts bordering neighbouring countries is also not allowed for the next three weeks.

“For the next 21 days, no private or public transport is allowed in the border districts. There are forty districts in northern, northeastern, Bugisu, Bunyoro, Ankole and the Kigezi subregions,” added the president.

Loading...
Advertisement

Malls and stand-alone stores have also allowed been to reopen as long as clients observe physical distancing.

Schools, gyms, salons, bars and places of worship will remain closed for 21 more days.

Meanwhile, Uganda on Tuesday recorded 32 new Covid-19 cases raising the national tally to 489.

“Nineteen of the new confirmed cases are from 1,693 samples from points of entry while 13 are from 423 samples of contacts and alerts,” the Health Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

Fourteen new cases were recorded in Elegu, near South Sudan, two each in Busia and Malaba near the Kenyan border, while one was recorded in Mutukula near the border with Tanzania.

Thirteen of the new cases are contacts of previously confirmed cases. All patients are Ugandans.

“Currently, there are 391 admitted Covid-19 confirmed cases in 15 referral hospitals in the country. All are in stable condition,” the statement added.

Comments

comments

Loading...
Continue Reading
Advertisement
Loading...
Advertisement
Loading...

Trending