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Africa

African press review 16 February 2017

media

Health is, naturally, an issue of universal concern. More than a few newspapers in different parts of the African continent offer in-depth coverage today.
 

Doctors' strikes in both Kenya and Zimbabwe continue to hog the headlines this morning.

Kenya's Daily Nation reports that "Despite spending two nights in prison, officials of the doctors union said they would not soften their stand on better terms.

Secretary-General Ouma Oluga said the officials’ fight to improve health in Kenya was not shaken.

“It is impossible to break our resolve. It is time the government knew that we need a solution," Oluga said.

In a related story - headlined "Patients abandoned in private hospital go-slow," the Nation says "Pregnant mothers and accident victims were on Wednesday among thousands of patients turned away in hospitals around the country as private facilities went on a go-slow in solidarity with government doctors on strike.

Private doctors placed notices on their doors indicating that they would not be seeing patients for 48 hours as requested by the Kenya Medical Association.

The Standard covers the same story rather more vividly in a piece headlined "Grim picture as patients seek treatment."

The paper visits St. Mary's mission hospital in Lang'ata and put some flesh of the story, as it were, with individual tales of woe.

One woman, whose two year old only son has been diagnosed with cancer, tells of being bounced between different hospitals without getting adequate treatment.

She said she is contemplating selling all her belongings, shoes included, in order to take her son to Texas Cancer Centre for treatment.

********

In Zimbabwe, the Herald tells readers that "the government yesterday pleaded with striking doctors for the sake of patients since some of their grievances have been resolved."

A report in the Bulawayo paper the Chronicle suggests the appeal has fallen on deaf ears.

Doctors at central hospitals were on strike yesterday, the paper tells us, accusing the Government of failing to improve their conditions of service.

The accuse the Health and Child Care Ministry of taking "a lipstick approach" to their issues.

What is the "lipstick approach"?

I didn't know either? But an online explanation is that in times of economic hardship consumers adopt the "lipstick effect" approach to consuming. As they can't afford luxury items they tend to go for smaller, inexpensive items to treat themselves with. Especially lipstick. And, one assumes, health care.

Newsday, meanwhile, reports that hospital bosses have threatened to fire striking doctors if they do not report to work today, as the stand-off between the government and medical practitioners intensified yesterday.

*******

Staying with health issues, the Sowetan in South Africa reports that more than 100 deaths have now been linked to what's known as the Life Esidi-meni tragedy in Gauteng.

This is about the transfer of psychiatric patients into the care of NGOs.

The Health Minister said yesterday that all NGOs implicated in disaster, 20 of them, would be shut down, adding that some 700 patients who were removed from government health care centres will be moved back.

Cold comfort for those who have lost loved ones and, according to the Sowetan, "the number will rise as more families come forward and bodies‚ not yet claimed by relatives‚ are identified."

*******

Last but not least on the medical beat, Premium Times in Nigeria has the latest on the vexed question of President Muhammadu Buhari's extended sojourn in London for medical tests, the nature of which has not been revealed.

The paper's lede story is headlined "“No cause for alarm”, Saraki says after meeting Buhari in London."

We were delighted to see that President Buhari is doing well, was cheerful and in good spirits," said Senate President, Bukola Saraki. Buhari was "healthy, witty and himself."

And the answer to the question on everyone's lips? Yes! The President would return to Nigeria soon.All Ok, then.

 

 
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