NEWS BRIEFS ARE SUMMARIES OF REPORTS CULLED FROM OTHER LOCAL NEWSPAPERS FOR THE BENEFIT OF OUR ONLINE READERS
HIV/AIDS Takes a Steady Trend
The prevalence of HIV and Aids in the country is taking a steady trend as a result of the increase and adhoc sensitization employed in the fight to quiet the spread of the disease by the National Aids Secretariat, local tabloids say. Head of the National Aids Secretariat, Dr. Brima Kargbo is reported as saying that the prevalence and growth rate of the pandemic in the country is still very low, adding that it is still under 2%. He says HIV/Aids Agencies in the country have learnt that the incidence of HIV in the country is proportionately low and intend to keep it that way and to start exerting efforts to ensure that the fight takes a downward trend.
Kenema City on Validation Confab
Reports have it that a three day validation workshop has commenced on October 16 2008 at the District Council Hall in Kenema city. The workshop is aimed at examining the Kenema City and District Planning and Budget Manual from a gender perspective, local tabloids say. According to reports, the manual has been developed by the Kenema District Economic Recovery Programme (KDERP) in collaboration with the Central Government stakeholders and Local Councils. Reports say the KDERP is a five year pilot community development Programme designed to stimulate local economic development in Kenema District and to develop the capacity of both the city and district councils to provide services and infrastructure to local communities.
Freetown Pre Development Study Ends
Leader of the Freetown Development Plan Pre Identification Study Project, Corrado Minervini is said to have disclosed that the development of Freetown into a modern city is possible if partnership can be created between the Freetown City Council and stakeholders, including government ministries and the general public. According to reports, it is an 800, 000 Euro project funded by the European Union through the National Authorization Office with the Freetown City Council as beneficiary. Corrado Minervini is reported as saying that the study is a development study that looks at what is available in Freetown and what the city needs so as to develop a plan.
SLPP Ministers Meet President Koroma
A four man delegation comprised of former Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) Ministers on Wednesday 15th October 2008 held discussions with President Ernest Bai Koroma at State House. The delegation led by former Foreign Minister, Momodu Koroma reportedly informed the president about the unnecessary delays in paying their monthly pensions. They are said to have told the president that since they lost their posts last year they are yet to receive a single cent from the national treasurer. President Koroma is said to have expressed grave concern over the issue and promised the delegation that immediate and necessary action will be instituted to get it resolved.
NGO Wants Foreign Aid Reviewed
A non governmental organization, Global Call to Action Against Poverty Sierra Leone is said to have condemned the stiff conditional ties attached to foreign aid and called on the government for a review of these aids. Reports say donor aid entering into the country aims at reducing poverty but with the stiff conditionalities attached, the country has not been able to achieve its set goals. According to reports, comprehensive studies have discovered that these donor aids go back to donors as a result of the strings attached thus making them not effective.
Teachers Census Commences
Chairman Kenema District Council Education Committee, Councillor Peter Galiwa is said to have disclosed that the city council in collaboration with the Kenema District Council (KDC) have commenced a two week teachers’ census in the Kenema District. He is reported as saying that the move was a mandatory exercise from the Ministry of Education which states that all pupils, teachers and school materials available in every school in the district should be counted. The exercise will also aid the drive of weeding ghost teachers and pupils from the schools.
University on Lassa Fever Control
Reports say a two day workshop on Lassa Fever Surveillance, organized by Tulane University Lassa Fever Programme in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation has ended at the Kenema District Council Hall. According to reports, Lassa fever has proven to be one of the dangerous diseases in the world which kills within a short time. The program is reportedly a functional integration disease surveillance system which aims at ensuring continuous and timely utilization of information for all national disease prevention and control Programme as well as health services at all levels.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.