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Kenya celebrated for introducing the HPV vaccine

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Kenya is among the three leading countries in Africa with the highest number of cervical cancer deaths, the Global Vaccine Alliance (GAVI) Board Chair Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Lweala has said.

She said that slightly over 311, 000 women die from cervical cancer globally each year with 90 percent of those being in middle-income countries.

“Twenty-five percent of these cases are in Africa which is around 72,000 deaths and the three countries with the highest number of deaths are in Africa namely Zimbabwe, Malawi and Kenya,” she said.

Speaking Wednesday in Nairobi during a high level dialogue on the future of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine programme in Kenya, Dr. Ngozi said what the numbers mean is there is a need to focus a lot and give attention to the vaccine and added that GAVI is passionate about having the HPV vaccine.

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“As a   colon cancer survivor myself,   any type of cancer that has a vaccine and can be prevented, I propose we should go for it. I went through three years of treatment and it is by God’s grace that I am sitting here and so I am a strong advocate for prevention,” Dr Ngozi said.

Dr. Ngozi said that the vaccine will not only save young girls but said while undergoing vaccination brought in by their grandmothers and even mothers, the occasion can be used as a platform to educate them on nutrition, health status, reproductive education.

She explained that GAVI works towards reduction of costs for vaccines for the countries and has a unique instrument called the advance market commitment which enables it to negotiate with vaccine manufactures to lower the cost of vaccines

“For HPV for instance in a case where it would cost 100 dollars in the US, we can bring it down to about 4.50 dollars and this is what makes it affordable for our countries,” she said adding if they did not have these kind of mechanism, it would be much harder for Africa to afford it.

The demand for the vaccines is high Dr. Ngozi said, but added despite the excitement about launching the vaccine, there is need to acknowledge challenges such as critics who may not understand what the vaccine does.

“It is not about reproductive issues with girls it is about saving lives, being able to communicate that and say this vaccine has to do with preventing a death in future thus we must work together in all our countries as community advocates to send the message,” she added.

She however noted that the biggest challenge of the vaccine would be the supply and demand.

“The continental demand of the vaccine could reach 80 million doses and we only have about 35 million available meaning there is a deficit of about 45 million,” she said.

Dr. Ngozi thus encouraged and called on vaccine manufactures to step up production to avoid a situation where people are excited to get it but there is a constant shortage.

GAVI, the alliance, she said is ready and willing to move on with the vaccine and to support Kenya and all other African countries to deliver on it.

Health Cabinet Secretary, Sicily Kariuki said the country has improved immunization coverage from 52 percent to 82 percent national average as it were two years ago in terms of vaccine coverage within the routine of vaccinations just shortly on the heels of the launch of malaria vaccine two months ago.

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“These means that we have found immunization and vaccinating our children to be a worthwhile investment and indeed see it is with our primary health care approach to delivering UHC,” she said

During the run up to introduce the HPV vaccine, the CS noted that although it was not easy to bring all stakeholders together because of various interest groups, they did not hesitate but take everyone’s input even at the 11th hour before the launch

“What brings us here is part of the engagement to say yes on the 18th of last month when the national launch was done and currently we have 41 Counties out of the 47 having launched the facilities,” she said

Kariuki said the other six remaining Counties would by December launch and therefore covering the whole country.

“If we have managed to do 280,000 of the targeted 800,000 girls  in the ages of 10 years within a month its commendable because we have the desired political and County support.

“There have been disruptions because schools were closed. Examinations were and are also ongoing and also heavy rains in northern areas with a challenge of roads being impassable, but all of us are on course,” she said

She explained that introduction of the vaccine would not only stop families from sinking out of catastrophic expenditure due to cancer  but also is an investment considering there are close to 30,000 Kenyans dying  every year because of the various cancers  with breast and cervical cancer leading.

The CS said that Kenya being the 115th country in the world to introduce the vaccine is not a mistake and is an issue proven beyond science since the outcome of the pilot phase done had also confirmed there was much advanced effect on the vaccine

Henrietta Geiger, Director, People and Peace of European Commission said prevention is much less costly than treatment and that this fact was enough as a selling argument for vaccine.

“With reduction of price, the roll out can be on a massive scale and I laud Kenyans for taking leadership role in doing it as a pilot initiative and taking risk which has succeeded despite the difficulties they have had,” she said.

Benda Kithaka, chair of Women 4 Cancer said civil society supports the HPV vaccine as one of the interventions that is available to the Kenyan populace and are convinced that the vaccine is a tool towards elimination of cancer.

“By combining screening with HPV vaccine, we will be protecting our girls now and securing their future and as civil society   we still need to talk loudly to convince the dissenting voices and ensure our girls are protected,” she said.

Kithaka said however that their work as civil society was not done and that they would also in the future hold communities and governments accountable in sustainability and systems strengthening as the roll out of the vaccine continues and also in delivery.

WHO Country Representative, Dr. Rudi Eggers said HPV vaccine is one of the preventative measures that are almost magical.

“You give a child two injections and that child is protected at least 15 years and probably for life,” Dr Eggers said.

Wednesday’s dialogue and interactive session came on the heels of the ICPD meeting that is ongoing in Nairobi and is addressing health issues of women and girls.

Kenya successfully launched the HPV vaccine into the routine immunization programme last month to all 10-year-old girls with GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance support.

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Sordid tale of the bank ‘that would bribe God’

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Bank of Credit and Commerce International. August 1991. [File, Standard]

“This bank would bribe God.” These words of a former employee of the disgraced Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) sum up one of the most rotten global financial institutions.
BCCI pitched itself as a top bank for the Third World, but its spectacular collapse would reveal a web of transnational corruption and a playground for dictators, drug lords and terrorists.
It was one of the largest banks cutting across 69 countries and its aftermath would cause despair to innocent depositors, including Kenyans.
BCCI, which had $20 billion (Sh2.1 trillion in today’s exchange rate) assets globally, was revealed to have lost more than its entire capital.
The bank was founded in 1972 by the crafty Pakistani banker Agha Hasan Abedi.
He was loved in his homeland for his charitable acts but would go on to break every rule known to God and man.
In 1991, the Bank of England (BoE) froze its assets, citing large-scale fraud running for several years. This would see the bank cease operations in multiple countries. The Luxembourg-based BCCI was 77 per cent owned by the Gulf Emirate of Abu Dhabi.  
BoE investigations had unearthed laundering of drugs money, terrorism financing and the bank boasted of having high-profile customers such as Panama’s former strongman Manual Noriega as customers.
The Standard, quoting “highly placed” sources reported that Abu Dhabi ruler Sheikh Zayed Sultan would act as guarantor to protect the savings of Kenyan depositors.
The bank had five branches countrywide and panic had gripped depositors on the state of their money.
Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) would then move to appoint a manager to oversee the operations of the BCCI operations in Kenya.
It sent statements assuring depositors that their money was safe.
The Standard reported that the Sheikh would be approaching the Kenyan and other regional subsidiaries of the bank to urge them to maintain operations and assure them of his personal support.
It was said that contact between CBK and Abu Dhabi was “likely.”
This came as the British Ambassador to the UAE Graham Burton implored the gulf state to help compensate Britons, and the Indian government also took similar steps.
The collapse of BCCI was, however, not expect to badly hit the Kenyan banking system. This was during the sleazy 1990s when Kenya’s banking system was badly tested. It was the era of high graft and “political banks,” where the institutions fraudulently lent to firms belonging or connected to politicians, who were sometimes also shareholders.
And even though the impact was expected to be minimal, it was projected that a significant number of depositors would transfer funds from Asian and Arab banks to other local institutions.
“Confidence in Arab banking has taken a serious knock,” the “highly placed” source told The Standard.
BCCI didn’t go down without a fight. It accused the British government of a conspiracy to bring down the Pakistani-run bank.  The Sheikh was said to be furious and would later engage in a protracted legal battle with the British.
“It looks to us like a Western plot to eliminate a successful Muslim-run Third World Bank. We know that it often acted unethically. But that is no excuse for putting it out of business, especially as the Sultan of Abu Dhabi had agreed to a restructuring plan,” said a spokesperson for British Asians.
A CBK statement signed by then-Deputy Governor Wanjohi Murithi said it was keenly monitoring affairs of the mother bank and would go to lengths to protect Kenyan depositors.
“In this respect, the CBK has sought and obtained the assurance of the branch’s management that the interests of depositors are not put at risk by the difficulties facing the parent company and that the bank will meet any withdrawal instructions by depositors in the normal course of business,” said Mr Murithi.
CBK added that it had maintained surveillance of the local branch and was satisfied with its solvency and liquidity.
This was meant to stop Kenyans from making panic withdrawals.
For instance, armed policemen would be deployed at the bank’s Nairobi branch on Koinange Street after the bank had announced it would shut its Kenyan operations.
In Britain, thousands of businesses owned by British Asians were on the verge of financial ruin following the closure of BCCI.
Their firms held almost half of the 120,000 bank accounts registered with BCCI in Britain. 
The African Development Bank was also not spared from this mess, with the bulk of its funds deposited and BCCI and stood to lose every coin.
Criminal culture
In Britain, local authorities from Scotland to the Channel Islands are said to have lost over £100 million (Sh15.2 billion in today’s exchange rate).
The biggest puzzle remained how BCCI was allowed by BoE and other monetary regulation authorities globally to reach such levels of fraudulence.
This was despite the bank being under tight watch owing to the conviction of some of its executives on narcotics laundering charges in the US.
Coast politician, the late Shariff Nassir, would claim that five primary schools in Mombasa lost nearly Sh1 million and appealed to then Education Minister George Saitoti to help recover the savings. Then BoE Governor Robin Leigh-Pemberton condemned it as so deeply immersed in fraud that rescue or recovery – at least in Britain – was out of the question.
“The culture of the bank is criminal,” he said. The bank was revealed to have targeted the Third World and had created several “institutional devices” to promote its operations in developing countries.
These included the Third World Foundation for Social and Economic Studies, a British-registered charity.
“It allowed it to cultivate high-level contacts among international statesmen,” reported The Observer, a British newspaper.
BCCI also arranged an annual Third World lecture and a Third World prize endowment fund of about $10 million (Sh1 billion in today’s exchange rate).
Winners of the annual prize had included Nelson Mandela (1985), sir Bob Geldof (1986) and Archbishop Desmond Tutu (1989).
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Monitor water pumps remotely via your phone

Tracking and monitoring motor vehicles is not new to Kenyans. Competition to install affordable tracking devices is fierce but essential for fleet managers who receive reports online and track vehicles from the comfort of their desk.

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Agricultural Development Corporation Chief Accountant Gerald Karuga on the Spot Over Fraud –

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Gerald Karuga, the acting chief accountant at the Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC), is on the spot over fraud in land dealings.

ADC was established in 1965 through an Act of Parliament Cap 346 to facilitate the land transfer programme from European settlers to locals after Kenya gained independence.

Karuga is under fire for allegedly aiding a former powerful permanent secretary in the KANU era Benjamin Kipkulei to deprive ADC beneficiaries of their land in Naivasha.

Kahawa Tungu understands that the aggrieved parties continue to protest the injustice and are now asking the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC) and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to probe Karuga.

A source who spoke to Weekly Citizen publication revealed that Managing Director Mohammed Dulle is also involved in the mess at ADC.

Read: Ministry of Agriculture Apologizes After Sending Out Tweets Portraying the President in bad light

Dulle is accused of sidelining a section of staffers in the parastatal.

The sources at ADC intimated that Karuga has been placed strategically at ADC to safeguard interests of many people who acquired the corporations’ land as “donations” from former President Daniel Arap Moi.

Despite working at ADC for many years Karuga has never been transferred, a trend that has raised eyebrows.

“Karuga has worked here for more than 30 years and unlike other senior officers in other parastatals who are transferred after promotion or moved to different ministries, for him, he has stuck here for all these years and we highly suspect that he is aiding people who were dished out with big chunks of land belonging to the corporation in different parts of the country,” said the source.

In the case of Karuga safeguarding Kipkulei’s interests, workers at the parastatals and the victims who claim to have lost their land in Naivasha revealed that during the Moi regime some senior officials used dubious means to register people as beneficiaries of land without their knowledge and later on colluded with rogue land officials at the Ministry of Lands to acquire title deeds in their names instead of those of the benefactors.

Read Also: Galana Kulalu Irrigation Scheme To Undergo Viability Test Before Being Privatised

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“We have information that Karuga has benefitted much from Kipkulei through helping him and this can be proved by the fact that since the matter of the Naivasha land began, he has been seen changing and buying high-end vehicles that many people of his rank in government can’t afford to buy or maintain,” the source added.

“He is even building a big apartment for rent in Ruiru town.”

The wealthy officer is valued at over Sh1.5 billion in prime properties and real estate.

Last month, more than 100 squatters caused scenes in Naivasha after raiding a private firm owned by Kipkulei.

The squatters, who claimed to have lived on the land for more than 40 years, were protesting take over of the land by a private developer who had allegedly bought the land from the former PS.

They pulled down a three-kilometre fence that the private developed had erected.

The squatters claimed that the former PS had not informed them that he had sold the land and that the developer was spraying harmful chemicals on the grass affecting their livestock and homes built on a section of the land.

Read Also: DP Ruto Wants NCPB And Other Agricultural Bodies Merged For Efficiency

Naivasha Deputy County Commissioner Kisilu Mutua later issued a statement warning the squatters against encroaching on Kipkuleir’s land.

“They are illegally invading private land. We shall not allow the rule of the jungle to take root,” warned Mutua.

Meanwhile, a parliamentary committee recently demanded to know identities of 10 faceless people who grabbed 30,350 acres of land belonging to the parastatal, exposing the rot at the corporation.

ADC Chairman Nick Salat, who doubles up as the KANU party Secretary-General, denied knowledge of the individuals and has asked DCI to probe the matter.

Email your news TIPS to [email protected] or WhatsApp +254708677607. You can also find us on Telegram through www.t.me/kahawatungu

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William Ruto eyes Raila Odinga Nyanza backyard

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Deputy President William Ruto will next month take his ‘hustler nation’ campaigns to his main rival, ODM leader Raila Odinga’s Nyanza backyard, in an escalation of the 2022 General Election competition.

Acrimonious fall-out

Development agenda

Won’t bear fruit

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