Sunday, 28 March 2010

Your Health Your Future

Sierra Leone has one of the highest in the world for infant, child and maternal mortality rates.

World wide mortality rates have improved significantly but in Africa especially Sierra Leone mortality rates are very high and reversal of this decline is painfully slow.

The Human development index provides the blue print by which mortality rates can be measured and evaluated. Mortality rates are part of a wider problem. GDP, life expectancy, literacy rates, gender inequality and human rights are factors that assist in providing clarity as to the causes and solutions to this problem.

Sierra Leone is one of the poorest nations on earth. Slavery, colonisation, bad governance and a decade long war have contributed to large parts of the population living on a dollar a day. The Sierra Leonean economy is heavily reliant on International Aid and urgently needs Foreign Direct Investment. But this will only take root when there is good governance, availability of an educated work force and respect for human rights.

In Sierra Leone only the privilege have access to education and health services. The poor have to fend on their own and women and children can become seriously affected. Access to health care and education is a human right. This is sanctioned and should be respected by all those countries that are signatures of convention. The Sierra Leonean government must provide the basic rights for women ensuring that this equality is applied to all.

Inequalities in health provision have a direct relationship with income inequality that is synonymous with many poorly managed economies. This Results in increases in mortality rates and reduction in life expectancy. However countries like china have shown that without GDP increases and economic prosperity, progress in addressing a nation’s health can be dawdling. But with clear vision and care provision, people lives could be improved and transformed.

The health of the nation is very important; the health of any nation can directly affect wellbeing. This can influence spending habits and affect economic activity. Healthy workers can live longer and can be very hard working. Healthy individuals are likely and more willing to invest in education, which empowers others and provide immense career opportunities for many.

Mortality rates can only be reduced by immunization, availability and accessibility to adequate health services. There is a need for the government of Sierra Leone to increase the numbers of qualified health professionals. It is imperative that these services are made available locally, preventing residents from travelling great distances.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Rough Justice

At the best of times justice in many parts of Africa can be corrupt, unfair and unequal. It is usually based on who you know, how much money you have and the level of influence you are able to command.

In South Africa popular R&B star Molemo (known as Jub Jub) was intoxicated, high on cocaine and other drugs. He raced his car at high speeds in a heavily populated part of Soweto, leaving four people dead following a fatal collision.

Drug use and its glamorization is an ever growing problem in Africa. Cocaine an illegal drug is one of the most addictive. It stays longer in your body, slows down your judgement, can lead to delayed reactions and a false sense of security.

The granting of bail to "Jub Jub" despite his reckless actions and poor judgement, have upset many people in community. Many people have taken to the streets in protest leading to clashes with the police and law enforcement officials.

Issues relating to poverty, inequality and justice is what Soweto residents are demanding. South Africa must have one justice for all. There cannot be one justice for celebrities and another for common every day South Africans. Justice must be true and uncompromising. It should be free, fair and equal amongst all men and women.

President Zuma and his ANC party will have to start delivering on what they have promised the vast majority of the people. They must bring in much needed investment, development and addressing the root caused of poverty. We must all remember that the ANC was created with a sole purpose of enriching and empowering the lives of all South Africans.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

International women’s day

International women's day is recognised across the world in celebration of women’s achievements in all areas of our society. In some parts of the world, this day is celebrated by a national holiday, raising awareness and funding for projects that can enrich women’s lives.

Women have always been at the heart of human development, but they find themselves at the margins of most societies, despite major advances and a constant promotion of women development world wide.

In many countries in Africa women’s position within society has not changed much in over 50 years, cultural beliefs and taboo ensures that women’s roles remain invincible and their efforts recognised for almost little or no reward.

International women’s day started in 1911 with calls for a closing of the gender gap, for women to be paid as much as men and for all women to be offered the same privileges usually bestowed on man.

International women’s day in Africa is a serious affair. Women’s lives are burdened excessively. In both urban and rural Africa women work from 7am to 7pm. Especially in rural Africa; women can be burdened by domestic chores, taking care of their kids and other activities to support their families.

In many parts of Africa there is very little investment in girls. There is a general perception that if too much energy time and resources is spent on girls, they would more than likely get married and leave the home taking away much needed investment.

In many parts of Africa women cannot own land nor control the earning made of that land. Inheritance is usually passed on directly to men ignoring women all together.

Africa must recognise women’s contribution. Women burdened life style must be changed. Women cannot remain invincible. Women have to be empowered through education and a highlighting of their important role in society.

An educated woman can influence decision making with their husbands at home and members of the community. It is these actions that can ensure that the roles of women become fully recognised leading to better rewards.

Women’s roles across Africa are changing, much faster than we are willing to give credit for. Critics will say not fast enough. We have also seen many large institutions increase their female participation and quota for senior positions.

We must acknowledge, that Africa has its first female president in Liberia and in Rwanda; female members of parliament out number their male counterparts. This is unheard off in the entire world, outstripping both the British and American parliaments.

We can see clearly how an educated, empowered and resourceful women; can achieve to great heights; especially when opportunity is readily made available. Calls for women to have better control and more say in their lives, is a noble and welcome call from an ever changing world.