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African press review 12 August 2014

In Nigeria, doctors are complaining about their insurance schemes. This is the story covered in this morning's Vanguard. And it comes as the country is being shaken by the threat of the spread of Ebola. The Nigerian Medical Association has complained to the federal Nigerian government about the costs of insurance coverage for doctors and the nurses. 

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Most doctors have been on strike for more than a month despite the ongoing Ebola crisis. Last week, some members of the Medical Association said they would go back to work. But not everybody agreed. The Chairman of NMA, Dr. Tope Ojo says volunteering to work with Ebola victims is dangerous due to the "the poor level of protection for health workers". Ojo argues that even in the face of the Ebola outbreak, the government is yet to address one of its demands - the introduction of hazard allowances for doctors, nurses and other health workers in the country.

South Africa also worries over the spread of the Ebola virus. You will find the story in the country's Time. According to the paper, South Africa's main opposition Democratic Party has called for the urgent drawing up of a code of practice for health officials to deal with any possible Ebola outbreak. It says without a code of practice, health officials across the country have no guidelines. The Democratic Party warns that South Africa lacks guidance on quarantine wards, as well as the cleaning, disinfecting, sanitising and sterilising of ambulances. In short, it is calling for the creation of an Ebola task force. The government has yet to react.

Uganda's Daily Monitor tries to explain why child sex abuse is on the rise. According to the numbers quoted by the paper, Uganda has experienced an increase in the number of rape cases reported to the police. The number of cases went up from 7,690 in 2012 to 9,598 in 2013. There are several reasons that explain these numbers, says the Daily Monitor. The first one, according to Marlon Agaba, the senior programme officer at African Network for the Prevention and Protection against Child Abuse and Neglect who is quoted by the paper, is the culture of silence of the Ugandan society. It recounts the case of Harriet, who was raped when she was a teenager and forced to marry the man who raped her when she became pregnant.

The Daily Monitor says another reason for the increase is the existence of out-of-court settlements. This is when the relatives of the child agree to financial compensation, or as in Harriet’s situation, to marriage, as opposed to seeking justice, writes the paper. Marlon Agaba says this is also due to the fact that these kinds of acts are embedded in Ugandan culture. He says that some people still believe that HIV can be cured by sleeping with a virgin girl.

And finally, The Standard is writing about missed opportunities between the US and Kenya this morning. The Standard is already thinking about January 2017 and the end of Barack Obama's second mandate as President of the United States. And if that date still seems far off, the paper says "the window of opportunity for both USA companies and Kenyan firms to form partnerships and do business is closing fast". The newspaper notes that China has so far been the biggest investor in Kenya by for example financing a new terminal at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. And this is a shame for the US, says the paper. According to Bloomberg, more U.S. investment could expand Kenya's economy by 20 per cent. But despite Obama's links with the country - his father was born in Kenya - it is being treated like any other nation which trades with the USA and competing with other interests elsewhere. This, The Standard writes, is a disappointment.
 

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