Saturday, November 17th, 2018
MCP’s green-red hope
DOWA-(MaraviPost)-The main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) leadership on Saturday brought hope for the developmental-cautious government with an assurance of having modern boma come 2019.
The central district despite being agricultural produces hub, is still in abandoned since Malawi’s attainment of democracy since 1994.
Without the the First Malawi’s President Dr. Hasting Kamuzu Banda developmental mindset, the district could be in shambles as only a few notable infrastructures are available.
MCP President Lazarus Chakwera along side his deputy Sidik Mia and entire backroom staff said enough of Dowa’s misery.
Chakwera told the boma rally that the government in waiting will revolutionize Malawi’s agriculture system where rural farmers be transformed economically.
Before the rally The MCP leadership toured Mvera and other places with message of hope come 2019.
“Malawians are now tired of man made stricken poverty due to poor leadership particularly Dowa which feeds the capital city with farm produces.
“Dowa should wear its original dignity design that was put by British Protectorate. We need new hospital, schools and quality road networks”, assured Chakwera.
The MCP President who is also opposition leader in Malawi Parliament assured the nation of free corrupt and nepotism government.
Mia, the lowershire figurehead touted of his ability to turn Malawi into an independent economically nation.
The MCP First Vice President reminded the nation of his past track record performance in the water and roads network sector.
“I am a star performance as I managed to improve water resources quality provision from 55% to 95% when I was Water Developed Minister. But now the record has slipped backwards to 60%.
” So, the nation must have confidence in us taking Malawi level of development than ever before “, assures Mia.
Chakwera and Mia are expected also to address the political rally in Mchinji.
Political parties are over the country seeking their votes just six months before the general elections.
Malawi mangoes, which taste almost like Alphonso mangoes, will be imported from the African country starting this week to be sold here, said traders.
“Mangoes from Malawi will be available in Mumbai and Pune this week at about Rs1,500-1,800 a dozen, two months ahead of India’s mango season that begins in January,” said PN Khaire, a vete, a veteran fruit trader from Maharashtra.
While this is the off season for mangoes in India, insignificant quantities of local varieties are available in some markets, like the Ratnagiri Alphonsos that were sold at Rs 2,000 a dozen a few weeks ago in Mumbai.
The Malawi mangoes will be available in bulk as about 150 tonnes are likely to be imported this year.
The variety of mangoes that will be imported will be 99% similar in taste to Indian Alphonso mangoes, sources at Malawi Mangoes said during an earlier interaction.
Indian traders are upbeat about importing mangoes from the African nation as the two countries have different harvest windows.
Indian mangoes are not available during October to December, when mangoes are harvested in Malawi.
The arrival of Indian mangoes begins with those coming first from the Konkan coast of Maharashtra and Kerala.
Beginning from South to North, the Indian season runs from January through August.
This has been a particularly hellish year in television and film. From A24’s Hereditary to Hulu’s Castlerock , the devil has lurked behind dozens of 2018’s most talked about plot twists, appearing time and again to rain chaos on the mortals who challenge him.
But with Beelzebub on such a roll, modern-day Satanists are once again pushing back on Hollywood’s decades-old practice of fictionalizing their very real belief system.
The Church of Satan has publicly criticized the misrepresentation of their organization in FX’s American Horror Story: Apocalypse, responding to a comment made by star Kathy Bates on Twitter in the process.
Similarly, another group, The Satanic Temple, has leveled a $50 million copyright lawsuit against Netflix and Warner Bros., contending that one of their iconic religious statues was ripped-off for use in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.
At the core of these developments is a simple complaint: when it comes to Satanism, Hollywood just doesn’t get it.
So, who are the real believers supposedly “inspiring” these horrific narratives? And what can be done when it comes to accurately representing them on screen?
The historic “Satanic Panic”
The Exorcist (1973) and Rosemary’s Baby
(1968) are two legendary examples of the film industry’s enduring fascination with Satan. Notably, their releases also coincided with—and may have played some part in—what many have come to know as the “Satanic Panic” of the late 1960s and early 1970s.
The Church of Satan, founded by late High Priest Anton LaVey, began recruiting members to their non-theistic religious organization in 1966. Distribution of The Satanic Bible and later its companion volume The Satanic Rituals presented a
reimagined version of existing nihilist philosophy to newcomers—highlighting Satan not as a supernatural being, but instead as a “symbol of pride , liberty, and individualism.”
Simply put, LaVey’s Satanists were (and are) atheists. But their non-threatening stance on what some have called “self-worship” quickly became entrenched in more sinister news items of the time.
During the summer of 1969, the notorious
Manson family murders took center stage as one of the nation’s most sensationalized current events —rivaling both Woodstock and yes, the moon landing. The ritualistic slaughter of numerous victims understandably raised the national profile on Satanic ritual abuse and was made even more disturbingly dramatic by its connection to Rosemary’s Baby director Roman Polanski.
In the years that followed, numerous serial and spree killers, including Ted Bundy and the infamous Son of Sam, as well as the Jonestown massacre gained international attention. Although not all of these high-profile crimes were directly related to occult practices, they enflamed a very specific fear of devil-worship in the United States, which was then fed by popular culture.
This “moral panic” continued well into the 1980s and an article from Vox makes a compelling argument that its effects were felt as late as 2016.
And now, the fall 2018 TV season is adding powerful new fuel to that narrative, extending the mythical terror to present day.
The Church of Satan’s Anton LaVey in American Horror Story
Cue American Horror Story: Apocalypse, which recently featured Anton LaVey—or, at least, a parodied version of him—throughout its ten episode season.
Appearing most prominently in Episode 6 “Return to Murder House,” the fictionalized LaVey introduces himself and his two followers to Michael Langdon, AHS’s Antichrist, as members of The Church of Satan. The trio vows to assist Michael in his takeover of Earth and subsequently performs a ritual human sacrifice of a young woman abducted from a bus stop.
A cursory glance at The Church of Satan’s
website will quickly inform you that this portrayal is far from factual. Among a number of inaccuracies, real Satanists absolutely do not believe in a supernatural god and they certainly don’t sacrifice living beings to it. (Moreover, Anton LaVey’s death in 1997 was not staged as AHS contends.)
Church officials have responded to the AHS depiction in multiple formats, including a post specifically directed at American Horror Story, a statement on 2018 Satanic media representation at large, and a number of comments on Twitter. As is the case with much of their literature, their responses have been nuanced, lengthy, and a bit dense.
The Church of Satan has assured its congregants that officials will be “monitoring such developments as this trend plays out.”
Broadly speaking, The Church of Satan is neither pleased with the portrayal nor outraged by it. Current High Priest Peter H. Gilmore regards the representation of LaVey as “both a disservice and an insult to the memory of a true iconoclast,” but concedes that the farcical portrayal may be “the price [Satanists] pay for being prominent in contemporary media.”
The church additionally takes no issue with fellow Satanists who continue to enjoy American Horror Story, noting: “Mileage varies amongst our folks who care enough to view it. We aren’t a collective, but a varied cabal of individuals, so to each his own!”
However, this live and let live philosophy does not entirely supersede the genuine concerns some Satanists have over these caricature-like images. Gilmore has said he wouldn’t be surprised to see “less sophisticated viewers” take hostile actions toward his faith’s followers.
As a result, The Church of Satan has assured its congregants that officials will be “monitoring such developments as this trend plays out.”
The complicated case of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
On the more litigious end of the spectrum, you have The Satanic Temple’s pending lawsuit against Warner Bros. and Netflix, a copyright claim the plaintiff is
valuing at $50 million. The suit itself is straightforward, but the politics surrounding it muddle the discussion.
The Satanic Temple contends that Warner Bros. and Netflix are profiting from its well-established statue, “Baphomet With Children.” This image of an ancient deity (often attributed to occult practices) was commissioned by The Satanic Temple as part of a controversial protest regarding the separation of church and state.
In Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, a strikingly similar statue appears at
Sabrina’s “Academy of Unseen Arts.” The Satanic Temple is accusing the show’s creators of unlawfully cashing-in on their original work.
Both Warner Bros. and Netflix declined to comment on the accusation.
Copyright claims aside, ownership of this particular image doesn’t speak to the factual or responsible portrayal of Satanists on screen. But the clash between The Satanic Temple and the aforementioned Church of Satan does. These are entirely separate groups and the looming Sabrina lawsuit is highlighting a long-standing rift between them.
This unexpected laundry list of accusations only scrapes the surface on a long-standing, nuanced rift between The Church of Satan and The Satanic Temple.
In a statement made on behalf of The Church of Satan, Reverend Joel Ethan first clarifies the distinction between his organization and The Satanic Temple. He then presents an evidentiary argument that picks apart The Satanic Temple’s copyright claim bit-by-bit, ending with a particularly out-of-left-field kicker.
“While TST is known for childish PR stunts such as fake political rallies, mailing ‘cum rags’ to congress and rubbing genitals on grave stones to turn people gay after their deaths, these actions are not in anyway representative of the apolitical, individualistic and atheistic religion of Satanism. Please do not attribute their actions to us.”
This unexpected laundry list of accusations only scrapes the surface of the interfaith disagreement between The Church of Satan and The Satanic Temple.
Case in point: responding to Mashable’s request for comment, The Satanic Temple similarly provided a lengthy account of discontent.
Here is an excerpt.
In regards to your request for reaction to The Church of Satan’s recent statement regarding the lawsuit, the most anyone can say at this point about the Church of Satan’s constant need to make uninformed statements about The Satanic Temple’s affairs is: it’s not our concern and should be of no concern to anyone else. Their stances are purely based on needing to be against us, not based on any legitimate counter-arguments or knowledge of the activities at hand, and merely provides them the opportunity to continually and falsely claim sole ownership of Satanism. The advantage of being a do-nothing group is that, by virtue of merely stating disapproval of our actions, anyone also taking issue can rally behind them in applause for a stance that requires nothing more than 10 minutes of writing incoherent ramblings laced with hypocrisy and irony.
Summarized plainly, neither group thinks the other qualifies as correctly Satanist. And, perhaps more importantly, they simply don’t want to be confused with one another any longer.
That makes accurately representing their philosophy and practices on screen that much more complicated.
Can Hollywood represent Satanists accurately?
When asked how The Church of Satan would ideally be depicted, Reverend Joel Ethan told Mashable, “I think like anyone we simply want to be portrayed accurately. Especially in the case like AHS where we are mentioned by name, I don’t think that’s too much to ask.”
Most reasonable consumers of media can agree that fictitious imaginings of real religions should reside within factual framing. Unfortunately, in the case of Satanism, that is far easier said than done.
History suggests Satanists will need to present a united philosophy for beginners to latch onto.
For practicing Satanists to effectively fight back against decades of cinema-fueled Satanic panic and find realistic portrayals of their faith on screen, history suggests they will need to present a consistent, united philosophy for beginners to latch onto.
Or, at the very least, find a way to stay in the same room long enough to agree on the rules they expect Hollywood to follow.
By Juliet Mlowoka Chirwa, MEC Stringer Nkhotakota
Ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) parliamentarian for Nkhotakota South constituency who is also Secretary General for the party,Griselda Jeffrey, has called on all party followers to exercise Peace during party primaries being conducted in various districts of the country.
The call comes following her victory on the party parliamentary primaries held at Nkhotakota LEA school on Saturday.
Speaking in an interview after the caucus, Jeffrey said she is grateful to the people in her constuency for giving her a chance to contest again on the party ticket in the coming 21 May 2019 polls.
She said” am happy that people in my constuency have given me another chance to represent them hence I am committed to make sure I bring the needed development in the area”.
She then called on all party royalists to exercise peace and rally behind her and president professor Arthur Peter Mutharika in the coming elections so that they win with a majority vote.
On his part, Member of Parliament for Chitipa South constituency Welani Chilenga, who was one of the presiding officers for the elections commended the supporters for their overwhelming support which he said shows that more malawians are happy with how the party is discharging it’s duties.
He then called on all followers in other districts where the primary elections are yet to take place, to emulate the discipline people of Nkhotakota have displayed during the elections.
During the elections, Griselda Jeffrey has won unopposed to represent the party as parliamentary candidate, while Doreen Nkhoma went unopposed as well to contest as a councillor for Linga-Sani ward as Patrick Khombola Samson won against Aubrey Kamanga to represent Mpama ward.
Lakeshore RC Chidzanja greedy puts MCP into disrepute….Salima North-West primaries suspended for second time
SALIMA-(MaraviPost)-The main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Lakeshore regional chairperson Augustine Chidzanja is putting the party into disrepute on how capable can handle internal minor issues.
RC Chidzanja’s questionable character of failing to handle the party’s primaries in the lakeshore region must be taken seriously.
Dedza East and Salima North-West constituencies whose incumbent Members of Parliament (MPs) including Juliana Lunguzi and Dr. Jessie Kabwira respectively is a typical example on how Chidzanja and his committee are putting the party’s image into disarray.
RC Chidzanja along side his backroom staff Maganga and Chimphoyo (Salima District chairperson) are soliciting bribes from potential aspirants to disturbalize party’s well-structures area committees in their favor just to win primary elections.
For instance on Saturday, November 17, Chidzanja with his team was caught registering new area committees dissolving the already existing structures in Salima North-West constituency.
The aim was to have new areas that favours aspirant Enoch Phale whom he has paid heavy some of money to do the exercise at the expense of owners of the party.
While the primaries were supposed to take place, Chidzanja and his team dissolved eligible committee which was mandated to run primaries.
With ego to meet his needs after the plot failed, Chidzanja instructed presiding officers Deus Gumba and Makowa Mwale to suspend the primaries to a later date.
The decision was made without consulting the seating MP Kabwila when all in all aspirant Phale detained vehicles that were meant for ferry delegates to primaries venue.
“We decided to called -off Salima North West constituency primaries due to logistical challenges as delegates were not ferried to voting venue. So, I will need a report on how this happen that a new date be set for the same exercise,” discloses Gumba after the primaries were suspended.
Chidzanja and his team refused to speak to the media following the second called-off of the Salima North West constituency.
The development angered the incumbent lawmaker Kabwila saying Lakeshore RC Chidzanja incompetency and greedy have cost the party’s reputation.
Kabwila told journalists that the conduct of Chidzanja has worsened people on the ground with the party a head of 2019 general elections.
“This is so pathetic that the entire lakeshore regional committee still putting the party into disrepute over small matter that could have been resolved amicably. But, let me assure people of Salima North West that Kabwila remains their MP a head of 2019 general elections,” assures Kabwila
It is not known if Chidzanja and Chimphoyo have the blessings of the Party’s Executive but their continued arrogance and defiance to the party orders shows there’s more than what meets the eye.
At least 11,231 Kenyans were arrested between Monday and Friday as police enforced a government directive for strict compliance with traffic laws, a Sunday Nation analysis shows.
As a result, the government collected millions of shillings fines from various traffic offenders across the country in the intensified inspections.
Regional data from various traffic courts and police sources indicate that in the first week of the crackdown, 1,200 people were arrested in Nairobi; 5,600 in Central; 2,389 in Nyanza and 2,402 in Western.
In Nairobi, common offences that saw hundreds taken to court included failing to fasten seat belts, pedestrians crossing the road at the wrong places, motorists exceeding the speed limit, obstruction, driving defective motor vehicles and touting.
For the penalties, the minimum fine imposed was Sh500 for failing to fasten a safety belt while the highest ever charged was driving a defective vehicle that attracted a penalty of Sh150,000.
Principal Magistrate Benson Nzakyo, who spoke to Sunday Nation a few weeks ago, said fines imposed on defective vehicles depend on the number of defects. Some of the drivers do not have head lights or inspection stickers, he said.
Those found touting or doing the business of a bus conductor without a license were fined Sh2,000.
To ease the payments of fines for offenders, the Judiciary had made arrangements including having a Kenya Commercial Bank agent inside the courtroom as well as employing more account clerks inside the courtrooms.
An M-Pesa PayBill number has also been displayed in the courtroom for those that seek to pay their fines through the mobile payment platform. Offenders who have pleaded guilty pay their fines as the magistrate continues with other cases.
Before the traffic police started the enforcement on Monday, the traffic court at Milimani used to handle between 100 and 200 offenders in a day. But since the crackdown began, the numbers have shot up. On Friday alone, 500 people were charged.
In the Central, regional commissioner Wilson Njega said among those arrested, 3,481 were passengers and 451 were bodaboda operators.
A total of 1,690 vehicles were also detained and drivers arrested for flouting traffic laws within the five counties of Nyeri, Kiambu, Murang’a, Nyandarua and Kirinyaga.
Most bodaboda riders were arrested for lacking helmets, licences, insurance and carrying an extra pillion passenger.
Majority of the Public Service Vehicles (PSV) detained were found to be unroadworthy, had invalid inspection certificates and had no insurance. Others were carrying excess passengers while others had defective speed governors.
Mr Njega said two drivers were arrested for attempting to bribe traffic officers tasked with enforcing the road safety rules.
He said a good number of the passengers arrested had failed to fasten safety belts when the vehicle is in motion and others boarded a vehicle that is already occupied to capacity. Both the passengers and the driver were fined Sh500 each for each of the offence.
“It is a continuous process and we want to rid of unroadworthy vehicles from public roads. We are also dealing with extortion groups that demand illegal fees from matatu owners and drivers at the bus termini,” said Mr Njega.
In Nyanza, regional police boss Leonard Katana said that out of the 2,389 people arrested, non-public service drivers arrested for flouting the “Michuki” rules were 230 while public service vehicle drivers were 181.
The rest of the figure was made up of conductors arrested for not putting on uniforms, passengers who boarded overloaded vehicles and those who failed to fasten their seat belts and matatu owners who allowed their vehicle on the road without meeting the regulations. It also included tuk tuk and motorcycle operators among others.
At the traffic offence registry of the Kisumu law courts, the Sunday Nation established that 142 people had been charged with various traffic offences by Thursday noon.
Some of the charges against them included driving a PSV with tinted windows, obstruction, displaying an unapproved photograph, failing to conform with the indications given by the Traffic Act and failing to stop after being flagged down by an officer in uniform.
One person had been fined Sh30,000 or be jailed for two months for driving an unroadworthy motor vehicle — the highest penalty imposed on an offender at the court last week. The least fine was Sh300 for failing to fasten a seat belt.
In Homa Bay, up to 288 traffic offences were committed and the offenders arrested and charged in Homa Bay County between November 12 and November 15.
Various courts in the county were able to raise Sh421,500 as fines from the said offences in the same period. Up to 54 public service vehicle drivers and three touts were arrested between Monday and Thursday.
Statistics from the police indicated that 48 other private drivers were also arrested for various traffic offences. Police detained 35 public service vehicles. One was operating without seat belts.
“Some drivers were arrested and their vehicles released after brief inspection. These drivers lacked some requirements like uniforms and licenses,” said county police commander Marius Tum.
In Western, the regional traffic enforcement officer, Mr Saitera Mwita, said a total of Sh1.2 million was imposed as fines in the first two days of the operation.
“We still have some cases pending before courts and we are still compiling details on the amount of fines to update our records,” said Mr Saitera.
At the Kakamega law courts, records indicate that 160 offenders were charged for various traffic offences which included causing obstruction, speeding and driving a motor vehicle without a licence.
Matatu drivers across the region faced charges related to defective motor vehicles and failing to display motor vehicle inspection certificates.
Some drivers found themselves in trouble for driving an unauthorised class of vehicles and failing to stop at police road blocks.
Several boda boda operators were arrested for using uninsured motorcycles and failing to wear helmets.
In Mumias town, 88 traffic offenders were arraigned in court for various traffic offences since Monday.
The court has raised Sh300,000 in fines from the offenders. The Vihiga magistrate’s court has handled 112 traffic cases since the start of the crackdown.
Reporting by Sam Kiplagat, Joseph Wangui, Victor Otieno, Derrick Luvega, Benson Amadala and Shaban Makokha
Last week I discussed why our relationship with money is so toxic: because it is ruled by fear and greed. We are driven to daftness by money because we are afraid of losing it or not having enough. But what if we could conquer those emotions? What if we could quell our fear and shackle our greed?
What kind of business might you run if making money was not its only aim? That question is moot, you might argue: if you fail to make money no one will give you theirs to invest; and if you keep losing money you won’t have a business to worry about for long.
But that wasn’t my question. I have been advising businesses for enough decades, and I don’t need reminding of the profit motive. My point is different. What if how you measured success was different? What if the next quarter’s results were not the key preoccupation of the many brains in the enterprise?
Would you lose your way? I think not. What if you decided to give as much attention to your employees and customers as you do to your shareholders? The three are actually inextricably bound in a virtuous circle. Look after your employees so that they look after the customers, and the customers will look after the shareholders. It’s as simple as that. And yet the brainpower of the endeavour is almost fully expended in looking after the shareholders, and what returns they demand.
I have watched many promising businesses lose their way exactly like this: by eking every shekel out of customers; and denying every dollar to employees, so that the big folks make more money in the short term. The result is invariably mediocrity: bang average products produced by bang average employees so that those who can extract from the business get every possible bang for their buck.
But if you were not frozen by fear or gripped by greed, what kind of business might you run? You might try to create a workplace where humans come to give the best of themselves — not one where they give just enough to justify their compensation. You might try very hard to give extra wows to your customers. You might try to actually be useful in the world, by giving value out rather than hoarding it within.
And here’s the thing: by doing that you would in all likelihood build very strong relationships — relationships that would become remarkable sources of competitive advantage. You might become the organisation employees want to work for, and customers want to buy from — and the money might flow in even more strongly than before. You might build a business that spans generations.
What about your job and career? How might that work out if more money was not your all-consuming aim? What if you just gave all your attention to your work and your calling? Nah, you might say: no one pays you just to do great work; you have to work the hustle. You have to play the politics, manage the coalitions, spin the story. That way you get promoted, you get job offers, you grow your bank account.
That way, you also get a shallow, manipulative life and you fail to make any sort of ding on the world.
Make yourself useful. Make your work outstanding. Make your contribution indispensable. Do you not think the reward will follow, including the monetary reward? And you might earn a priceless bonus at the end — that you actually enjoyed your life, that you gave it meaning, that you made it worthwhile.
The problem is few of us are willing to try this out, to wait for the reward, to let the reward be based on our contribution, not our greed. We take the shortcut of going for the money at any cost. And even when we get that money, we eventually find the cost to be too high. We sacrifice our peace of mind, our friendships, our deeper selves at the altar of Mammon. We expend all of our lives trying to add more zeroes to the screen.
But if we could make money just one of the means we deploy in our lives rather than its only end, we might make a life that has time for laughter to be heard; has the vision to see the many hues of the sky; has the space for deeper thought to occur; has the generosity to accommodate kindness. We might make a life that becomes bigger than itself.
Sunny Bindra’s new book, The Bigger Deal, is now on sale; www.sunwords.com
Elected leaders use digital tools to connect with their followers to influence, inspire and empower. Social media tools are important echo chambers for leaders to amplify their messages.
Sadly, many leaders either don’t use them or abuse them. Political leaders who don’t use these tech tools to connect with the people they serve, don’t seem to live in the same orbit like the rest of us. They are ignorant of the fact that majority of their followers are young, tech-savvy and connected.
Online provides unencumbered connection between a leader and his or her people. If you scan some of the official social media profiles of elected leaders, you may not differentiate them from those of socialites. Theirs are platforms for showing off; for brazen display of affluence in less than humble ways.
They seem to have an affinity for posting petty pictures and videos about themselves — about where they take dinner, with whom they take a beer, where they worship, the gym where they work out, their last vacation destination and their latest shiny gears and cars.
This is a waste of social media space, an insult to the electorate and a red-hot evidence of patented weak leadership.
The electorate expect their leaders to show up and work for them. Not to show off. Showing off is not a leadership attribute. For a leader to be so preoccupied by the feeling of self-importance to the extent of repeatedly displaying it on the social media where they meet their followers, is an irresponsible use of a social public good. It is being insensitive to the people they serve, some of whom are incapacitated by shackles of poverty.
Great leaders of years gone by excelled without the megaphones provided by the modern digital tools. As internationally acclaimed leadership guru Dr John C. Maxwell says, “Leaders become great not because of their power, but their ability to empower others.”
Being a great leader is about having a genuine willingness and a true commitment to lead others to achieve a common vision through positive influence. Social media is a pious platform to do just that; to influence.
If you examine the social media profile for your politician, can you tell what he stands for? What’s his stance on the teenage pregnancy that is dimming the lives of young girls? What’s his take on the cult of corruption? What’s his position on workers’ wages?
True leadership is not about the leader. It’s about the follower. The very marrow of a leader is to light up the path for the people they lead, and show them a pathway to better lives. To misjudge or discount the potential of social media, leaders are selling themselves short and short-changing their followers.
The writer is an informatics specialist. Email:[email protected] @samwambugu2
The Ministry of Health has assured specialists, who will be handling the ultra-modern tomography (CT) scans, of their safety.
Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki Saturday assured the specialists of the safety of the new machines.
“The safety and level of accuracy of these equipment in terms of diagnostics and subsequent treatment is better than what we have before,” CS Kariuki said.
This came after two radiographers, who returned to the country last week after a month-long training in China on how to use the CT scan machines, told the Sunday Nation that the government was quiet about the safety of those who will operate the machines.
The government is currently installing 37 CAT scans in public health facilities in 16 counties. This is expected to ease the diagnosis of different ailments.
The Megascope Healthcare in conjunction with specialists from China and Europe trained about 50 radiographers and radiologists for a mentorship course.
The course covered several areas including basic operations, patient positioning, image acquisition, post-processing, and image archiving and filming.
“This is a huge investment for Kenyans but I am afraid, my health will not be taken care of,” says a specialist who sought anonymity for fear of intimidation.
He said he had worked as a radiographer before in a private clinic and was diagnosed with skin burns which were traced to radiation from the machines.
“I am not opposing this idea but I will suffer alone should anything happen so I have to raise it before we start operating the machines,” he said.
Ionising radiation has sufficient energy to affect the atoms in living cells and damage their genetic material (DNA).
Fortunately, body cells are efficient in repairing this damage. But if the damage is not repaired correctly, a cell may die or eventually become cancerous.
Health Principal Secretary Peter Tum assured that the new machines have sophisticated gadgets that can measure the level of radiation in the patient, and that of the medical practitioner.
A thermoluminescent dosimeter, or TLD, is a type of radiation dosimeter. It measures ionising radiation exposure by measuring the intensity of visible light emitted by a crystal inside the detector when it is heated. The intensity of light emitted is dependent upon the radiation exposure.
“Uncontrolled doses of radiation pose a great risk to patients and those operating the machines. This is why we had to ensure that the machines come with an automated solution to monitor every employee,” Mr Tum said.
He confirmed that the gadget also ensures no leakage of radiation from the radiology rooms thus not endangering those working in adjacent rooms or those passing near the facility.
Advances in X-ray technology and medical imaging systems have increased exposure to radiation through CAT scans and the growing complexity of the procedures.
Often excessive radiation causes cancer and leukaemia.
Excessive radiation is passed on to patients due to unnecessary and repeated X-rays as a result of poor and refurbished imaging equipment.
However, according to Kenyan Law Chapter 243, Radiation Protection Act, states that the standards of radiation protection should be observed for the safety of the patients and persons operating the machine.
Mr Tum, however, raised concern that inasmuch as the government was protecting the persons operating the CAT scans in government hospitals, there were people with unlicensed radioactive materials.
The PS advised Kenyans to seek X-ray, CT scan services in public hospitals.
“I am happy that the month-long exchange programme and exposure on the new imaging technologies will act as a positive driver to ensuring better health and reduction in exposure,” Mr Tum told the Sunday Nation.
Speaking at King Fahad County Hospital in Lamu County during the launch of dialysis machines for the renal unit, CT Scan centre and a theatre at the weekend, Ms Kariuki said the equipment would reduce the number of referrals made outside the county.
The Health CS said the national government would continue working the 47 counties to improve health services delivery to citizens.
“For the first time, Lamu Referral Hospital will be offering dialysis services. Patients who were spending a fortune to travel to Malindi, Kilifi and Mombasa will now save the cash as the services can now be obtained within the county,” said CS Kariuki.
The CS stressed on the need for Lamu County government and other counties to implement community health strategy to fight and eradicate diseases.
She said her ministry would send refrigerated equipment for storage of vaccines in Lamu to enable the county boost its immunisation profile.
According to the World Health Organisation, more than 3,600 million diagnostic radiology examinations are performed globally annually.
The use of radiation in medicine enables earlier diagnosis and often offers less invasive treatments of human diseases.
Advanced radiation technology has opened new horizons in diagnostic and interventional radiology, nuclear medicine and radiotherapy.
“While the development of modern health technology makes new applications safer, inappropriate use may result in unnecessary and preventable radiation risks,” says WHO.
The global health agency suggests a balanced approach that recognises the multiple health benefits that can be obtained while assuring that risks are minimised.
World Health Organisation is conducting a Global Initiative on Radiation Safety in Healthcare Settings to mobilise the health sector towards the safe and effective use of radiation in medicine.
“By integrating radiation protection into the concepts of good medical practice and healthcare service quality, this initiative provides a platform for collaboration to improve the implementation of radiation safety standards in healthcare settings,” it states.
Mr Tum said the data on the effects of radiation on health workers might not be easily available in public hospitals.
The now fully functional CT centres are at the Thika Level Five Hospital, Iten County Referral Hospital in Elgeyo Marakwet County, Kakamega County Referral Hospital, Narok County Referral Hospital and Voi Level Five Hospital in Taita- Taveta County.
Last month, health experts from 10 African countries visited Thika Level Four Hospital’s CT Scan Centre on a benchmarking tour. This was followed by a 69 member Ugandan delegation at Kericho Hospital as part of Universal Health Coverage success.
Weekends continue to lead in the number of road fatalities in Nairobi County with private vehicle users and pedestrians bearing the biggest brunt in the last three years, a report shows.
According to the latest report by National Transport and Safety Authority, the highest number of road fatalities is reported on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The report, covering between 2015 and 2018, revealed that a total of 1,928 road users have died in road accidents in the period under review with 365 deaths this year, 414 in 2017, 461 in 2016 and 668 back in 2015.
The report showed that between January 1 and November 5, 2015, a total of 344 road users lost their lives in the three weekend days compared to 324 for the four remaining days of the week. In 2016, a total of 244 deaths was recorded during weekends compared to 217 for the remaining days over a similar period.
The trend continued in 2017 where 231 road users died in the three days compared to 183 in the other days combined.
A similar situation was also witnessed this year where 192 deaths have been recorded for the weekend against 173 for the remaining days.
At the same time, pedestrians and private vehicle owners are the most affected in terms of road deaths even though the high numbers have been reducing over the years.
The report showed that out of the 688 fatalities recorded in 2015, more than two-thirds, at 497, were pedestrians.
In 2016, a total of 299 pedestrians died on the road in Nairobi County out of the 461 fatalities recorded for pedestrians, passengers, drivers, motorcyclists and pedal cyclists. The high figures were also recorded in 2017 where pedestrians accounted for 261 deaths out of 414 that year. This year, the number is 238 out of 365 deaths.
Pedestrians are followed by motorcyclists who nevertheless trail farther behind in numbers.
This year, a total of 102 private vehicles users have lost their lives on the road out of 365 deaths recorded. PSV passengers are next at 95.
Last year, it was 117 fatalities for private vehicle users out of a total of 414 deaths. This was rivalled by PSV passengers coming a close second at 101 deaths.
In 2016, PSV passenger deaths were at 125 against 112 deaths for private vehicle owners out of the 461 fatalities recorded under the same period. In 2015, private vehicle users topped, recording 186 deaths while PSV passenger fatalities were at 162.
Mombasa Road is the county’s most deadliest road with 42 deaths, Waiyaiki Way follows with 38, newly upgraded Outering Road with 31 and Thika Super Highway with 23.
However, countrywide, as of November 11, 2018, a total of 2,642 people died with the seriously injured being 4,010 and the slightly injured 4,527. This is an increase compared to last year.