Julia Duncan-Cassell

Aid agencies ‘exploiting Ebola orphans to fund lavish lifestyle in luxury $800-a-night hotels’

Aid agency workers living in fancy hotels while orphans struggle to eat
Liberia minister accuse agencies of handing out huge daily allowances
Thousands of orphans have been abandoned to the care of neighbours
More money should be directed to orphaned children, minister claims

Western aid agencies are using the plight of Africa’s Ebola orphans to fund a lavish lifestyle in $800-a-night hotels and leaving the children to fend for themselves, according to Liberia’s development chief.

Children who were forced to watch their parents die and were then shunned by their community are being ignored while useless facilities are being built, according to Julia Duncan-Cassell, Liberia’s minister in charge of saving the orphans.

She accused the agencies of handing out $235 daily allowances that are higher than her salary – and that the money invested is wasted on expensive hotels and driving around in big cars.

Meanwhile thousands of orphans have been abandoned to the care of neighbours and relatives who are struggling to find money and food to support them.

A MailOnline investigation has discovered that just 531 of Liberia’s estimated 12,000 orphans are receiving formal help in government safe homes despite the hundreds of millions of pounds of Western aid pouring into the country.

There is only one worker dedicated to tracking them down for every 66,000 people in the country.

Duncan-Cassell – whose department is responsible for the welfare of the country’s 1.7million children below the age of 15 – says: ‘I feel sad, the children are being used for the wrong reasons.

‘They [the agencies] are using the situation to raise money for their organisations. Some of the money is paid directly to NGOs – but for the foreigners, their per diem, the money they get per day, is even more than I make as a minister, the kind of cars that they ride, the best hotels. How many of them do you need to do that? We do not need an army of them.’

She said the money was going to the wrong people because in the end it would be the government of Liberia that had to account for the future of the children, not the NGOs or donor agencies.

‘Millions of dollars might be coming into the country but it is going to international organisations that are running their own institutions and their own organisations, not understanding the dimension of what needs to be done.’

All over Liberia, there are orphans camped out with neighbours and relatives because no-one has taken responsibility for helping them. All have painful stories but few have been through as much as the five Kpaingba children.

Chancy Kpaingba, 15, watched his mother Catherine, 34, a bright and vivacious beautician, die in front of him after developing Ebola and were admitted to a treatment centre.

Now he and his four brothers and sisters: Odell, 17, Chancy, 15, Otis, 8, Josiah, 5, and Daniel, just five months old are alone. Their father Augustine died before Catherine fell sick. Mail Online


DRAMA AS BRIDE’S FATHER AND BRIDEGROOM’S MOTHER BONK DURING THEIR CHILDREN’S WEDDINGThere was drama in Bulawayo last week when the bride’s father and bridegroom’s mother were caught sexercing bedroom gymnastics much to the embarrassment of all the relatives.

The bizarre incident has caused so much friction between the new couple such that there is now a high possibility that they will terminate their shortlived marriage.

According to ZimEye, the Mzwananzi family and their in-laws from Siyezhukwe in Gwanda last week travelled from their different homes to attend a wedding for their daughter, and son in-law respectively, which was held in Bulawayo.

The new couple who have since stopped travelling for their honeymoon, refused to be identified in the press for reprisals.

The daughter in-law’s mother passed away when she was still in high school, while her husband’s father also died when he was about to complete his tertiary education at one of Bulawayo’s technical colleges.

The wedding ceremony went well and everyone was happy, with both families expressing their joy and pleasure for the new couple. However, in the middle of the party, after one too many, the two parents somehow agreed to make love. Suspicion is rife that they had started dating before hand. They then spent the greater part of the night busy at it like rabbits.

The marathon bedroom sessions were apparently so vigorous and too sweet -presumably because of the drought on account of their deceased spouses-that the two overslept and the whole family discovered them in each other’s arms fast asleep in the morning!

One close relative who identified herself as Bongiwe Tshuma, said the two have since become inseparable and are now living together much to the chagrin of the two families. “We are very disappointed by our parents, who have failed to respect their kids who have just wedded.”

Another relative from the son in-laws’ family who preferred to be called Baba Nkala, had no kind words for the two and declared war on them saying they were a threat to the relationship of the young couple. “We will get to the bottom of the issue, as it is embarrassing to both families. How can they wait for the wedding to reveal their affair,” asked a disgraced Nkala.

The clergyman who joined the two unfortunate offspring of the shameful in-laws expressed utter disgust and recomended counselling and deliverance. “We will try our best to sit down with the new couple to ignore the devilish moment and move forward with life.”

Reporters tracked the love birds to their hiding place, and they were not at liberty to reveal their next move, as they also refused to comment and referred all questions to the one who tipped us.

Efforts to get more comments from the couple as to what they will do were fruitless by the time of going to press, as the two were still pondering their next move and they also refused to be photographed.

Source: ZimEye


NAFDAC suspends use of Nigerian government’s ‘substandard’ HIV drug

The drug was deemed substandard by persons living with HIV.

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, has suspended the use of Tryonex, a brand of Antiretroviral, ARVs, medicines in the country. This was due to concerns expressed by Treatment Action Movement, TAM, a coalition of HIV activists in Nigeria and other similar organisations.

Distributed under the Federal Government’s National HIV/AIDS program, Tryonex is a local brand of ARV medicine produced byTryonex Nigeria Limited, a Lagos-based company, with funding from the Millennium Development Goals, MDGs, funds through the Federal Ministry of Health. It contains Zidovudine, Lamivudine and Nevirapine. The latter of the three is no longer accepted for use by the World Health Organisation but is still in circulation in Nigerian hospitals.

In July 2013, the Director General of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS, NACA, John Idoko, confirmed in an interview with PREMIUM TIMES that Nevirapine was still in circulation in Nigerian hospitals but would be gradually phased out.

A document dated December 20, 2013, signed by the Director, Pharmacovigilance unit of NAFDAC, Adeline Osakwe, on behalf of the agency’s Director General and addressed to all Antiretroviral Treatment (ART) Centres, stated, “NAFDAC in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health, FMOH, and NASCP commenced immediate investigations into the quality and associated clinical issues which is ongoing. Pending the final outcome of this investigation, ART centres are advised to immediately switch their patients to alternative brands of ARVs. Furthermore, NAFDAC directs the immediate suspension of all Tryonex brands of ARV medicines in all ART centres in the country until a definitive status of safety and quality of the Tyonex brand of ARVs are determined. This is with immediate effect to enable us safeguard Public Health.”

The eventual suspension was due to TAM members’ going to hospitals to physically cart away all consignments of the drug to prevent its further use by People Living With HIV/AIDS, PLWH.

READ MORE HERE…premiumtimesng.com

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