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Hajj 2024: International SOS encourages organisations to prioritise pilgrim health and safety with new precautions

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The annual Hajj pilgrimage, a global gathering attracting over 1.8 million participants last year1, is expected to take place in Saudi Arabia from 14 to 19 June 2024. Due to the large scale of the event, ensuring the health and safety of all pilgrims requires a focus on preventive measures. Meningococcal disease has been reported in travellers returning from Saudi Arabia, highlighting the importance of adhering to the requirements.2 International SOS, the world’s leading health and security services company, encourages organisations with employees participating in the Hajj pilgrimage to ensure their workforce is aware of essential precautions for a safe and healthy spiritual journey.

Aligned with the latest health and safety regulations established by the Saudi Arabian authorities, International SOS has developed a comprehensive guideline focused on ensuring pilgrims’ health, security and wellbeing. The guideline outlines crucial pre-travel considerations including several newly implemented requirements. It highlights the official permit and vaccination requirements, heat mitigation strategies as well as promoting vigilance and awareness of surroundings to ensure individual safety, particularly during crowd surges.

Dr Nosa Aihie, Regional Medical Director, Middle East, at International SOS, said: “It is important for pilgrims to adhere to vaccination requirements listed by the government of Saudi Arabia to protect themselves and their peers from various infectious diseases. This includes the required vaccination against meningitis administered no more than three years and at least ten days prior to the planned arrival in Saudi Arabia. In line with this, pilgrims are advised to carry valid health certificates stating they are free from any acute, chronic or infectious diseases. Furthermore, we suggest scheduling activities to avoid peak heat hours whenever possible and being adequately hydrated during Hajj, as pilgrims may experience heat-related illnesses and dehydration.”

Gulnaz Ukassova, Security Director at International SOS in Dubai, stressed the need for thorough pre-travel preparation and compliance with government directives, stating, “It is vital for pilgrims undertaking Hajj to thoroughly understand and comply with the relevant Hajj regulations prior to, and during, the pilgrimage. Pilgrims should expect large crowds at religious sites, particularly on the Jamaarat Bridge in Mina and around Al-Masjid Al-Haram Mosque in Mecca. Remain safe during crowd surges by staying alert to surroundings, adhering to designated lanes, avoiding walking against the direction of traffic and knowing the nearest emergency exits and evacuation routes. Pilgrims should also account for potential travel disruption and increased demand for various services during this period.”

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Hajj 2024 health and safety guidelines for organisations and their workforce to ensure the health and safety of pilgrims:

  • Encourage employees undertaking Hajj to obtain vaccinations and health certification: All pilgrims are required to have proof of meningococcal disease vaccination. Ensure all routine vaccinations, including COVID-19 and seasonal influenza are up to date. Depending on their country of origin, travellers may be required to show proof of polio and yellow fever vaccination.
    • Registration on the ‘Sehaty’ app is mandatory to verify vaccination status and facilitate entry into the country for all pilgrims.
  • Ensure compliance with regulations: Encourage employees to always follow guidance provided by licensed Hajj operators for a safe and organised pilgrimage. Ensure they adhere to designated time slots allocated by authorities to help minimise overcrowding risks.
  • Offer security briefings and heightened situational awareness: Provide pre-departure briefings on security protocols, situational awareness practices and cultural sensitivities. Develop contingency plans to address potential travel disruptions during the Hajj.
  • Educate employees on risks of extreme temperatures: To mitigate the effects of potentially extreme temperatures, pilgrims should prioritise staying hydrated. Choosing lightweight and light-coloured clothing helps regulate body temperature and reduces heat stress.
  • Ensure crowd and emergency preparedness: Provide employees with crowd management guide with tips for navigating densely populated areas. Encourage pilgrims to save emergency contact information for police, ambulance services, embassy officials and local contacts on their mobile phones in case immediate assistance is needed.

  1. General Authority for Statistics (GASTAT) | Hajj Statistics 2023
  2. Emergency Preparedness and Response | Meningococcal Disease Cases Linked to Travel to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA): Ensure Pilgrims are Current on Meningococcal Vaccination

 

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Introducing Bisayen! Ask Us! & Touch Us! Project: A Campaign Revolutionizing Breast Cancer Support and Education

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Global Outreach Consortium, an NGO focused on providing complete health care to the underprivileged, announces a significant milestone in the fight against breast cancer with the launch of Bisayen! Ask Us! & Touch Us! Project. This is an innovative project dedicated to providing comprehensive support, education, and empowerment to breast cancer patients, their loved ones and women in general. At the thrust of this campaign, is the Toll-free Helpline 0800 332200 (MTN) and 030 8249430 (other networks).

Breast cancer remains one of the most prevalent forms of cancer affecting women worldwide and it is the number one cause of cancer diagnosis and death from cancers amongst women in Ghana. It impacts negatively on the lives of individuals, families and communities during the period of diagnosis and quest for treatment every year. In the face of such a challenging journey, access to reliable information, compassionate support, and personalized guidance can make an immense difference in a patient’s experience and outcome.

Ask Us! & Touch Us! Project: A Campaign Revolutionizing Breast Cancer Support and Education

Ask Us! & Touch Us! Project: A Campaign Revolutionizing Breast Cancer Support and Education

Bisayen! Ask Us! & Touch Us! emerges as a beacon of hope and guidance, offering a lifeline for individuals navigating the complexities of breast cancer diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship. The innovative helpline is staffed by a team of compassionate healthcare workers, all dedicated to providing unwavering support and reliable information to those in need.

What sets Bisayen! Ask Us! & Touch Us! apart is its holistic approach, designed to address the diverse needs and concerns of breast cancer patients at every stage of their journey. Whether seeking clarity on treatment options, grappling with emotional distress, or simply in need of a listening ear, callers to the helpline can expect empathetic guidance and practical insights tailored to their unique circumstances.

Ask Us! & Touch Us! Project: A Campaign Revolutionizing Breast Cancer Support and Education

Ask Us! & Touch Us! Project: A Campaign Revolutionizing Breast Cancer Support and Education

The project is already underway with the training of facilitators in patient-centered clinical interviewing methods as well as regular hospital and community activations. “We understand that every breast cancer journey is unique, and we are committed to empowering individuals with the knowledge, support and training they need to navigate this challenging path with resilience and hope,” said Dr. Priscilla Vandyck-Sey, Executive Director of Global Outreach Consortium. 

The two-year project offers a wide range of opportunities, including:

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  • Educational Resources: Access to up-to-date information on breast cancer myths and misconceptions, diagnosis, treatment options and common side effects of treatments amongst others.
  • Emotional Support: Confidential counseling and emotional support for patients, their families and general population.
  • Survivor Connection: Opportunities for patients to connect with others who have faced similar challenges, fostering a sense of community and solidarity.

Bisayen! Ask Us! & Touch Us! identifies as a testament to the power of compassion, knowledge, and shared experience in transforming the breast cancer journey. By offering a supportive lifeline to those in need, we aim to not only improve outcomes in breast cancer treatment but also to uplift spirits and inspire hope in the face of adversity.

For more information or to reach out for support, please visit www.globaloc.org/bisayen/ or call the toll-free helpline above. 

Together, let us stand united in the fight against breast cancer, one call, and one conversation at a time.

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Travel Bloggers and Portable Triple Monitors: A Perfect Match?

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Today’s travel era is the era of digital nomads. Many travel bloggers love to spend their time visiting various exciting destinations. They capture great images and turn them into creative content that inspires many others. They need modern portable triple monitors to do the desired editing work efficiently and flexibly. Many travel experts find this gadget a game changer.

Besides, these compact and high-resolution monitors enable travel bloggers to multitask seamlessly. It covers everything from editing photos and videos to managing their social media and researching new destinations. Let’s discover how these innovative tools can elevate your travel blogging experience!

Travel Blogger’s Daily activities and responsibilities

Researching destinations

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Undoubtedly, researching destinations is the most crucial daily activity for travel bloggers. It includes the effort to dive deep into the potential travel locations to uncover unique stories. The research process includes studying the local culture, history, and the exciting attractions in the new places to explore. With the help of a tool like a Mobile Pixels Trio portable triple monitor, it becomes easy to research the destinations effectively.

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Writing and editing content

Travel bloggers’ next daily activity is writing and editing the content. It encompasses the creation of engaging, informative, creative, and visually appealing posts. A process to do great work involves drafting detailed travel guides, personal narratives, destination reviews, unique experiences, and more. Moreover, the bloggers carefully edit the work to ensure the content’s clarity, coherence, and grammatical accuracy.

Managing social media

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Another primary daily task is managing a travel blogger’s social media. It usually includes sharing strategic content across various platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. This job comprises creating eye-catching posts that can engage the followers. It also adds the responsibility of responding to the comments and analyzing the engagement metrics to refine the approach. The bloggers also collaborate with other brands and influencers to participate in travel conversations.

Editing photos and videos

With writing and editing, another essential daily role that adds some fun with creative efforts is to edit the photos and videos. It helps travel bloggers transform their raw images and footage into captivating content. The work process includes picking the best shots, adjusting the light, color, and contrast, and adding creative touches. The helping hand in this work for the travel bloggers is a great photo and video editing software. It helps in creating compelling travel content.

How Portable Triple Monitor Benefits Travel Bloggers

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As you have read about the daily roles of a travel blogger, you can understand that it is full of work that needs help from digital devices. With a portable triple monitor, all the above-mentioned daily tasks of a traveler can become seamless. The following are the significant benefits this device offers to travel bloggers:

Enhanced productivity

The first benefit of using a portable triple monitor is enhanced productivity. These monitors enable users to multitask to simultaneously manage research, writing, photo editing, and social media. This setup effectively streamlines the content creation process and reduces the time spent to switch between tasks.

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Improved workflow

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Travel bloggers can experience an improved workflow with the portable triple monitors. These devices facilitate the fast transition between tasks. Hence, travel bloggers can skip the applications. Therefore, travel bloggers can better organize and manage multiple projects with ample screen space.

Portability and convenience

Portability and convenience are the most crucial advantages of using portable triple monitors for travel bloggers. These monitors are lightweight and compact. It makes them easy to carry during short or long travel journeys. It will not add bulk to the luggage of the travel bloggers. This benefit maintains a productive workflow regardless of any location.

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MTN GHANA CEO STEPHEN BLEWETT SPENDS TIME WITH STUDENTS IN ABURI AS PART OF 30 DAYS OF Y’ELLO CARE

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The CEO of MTN Ghana, Stephen Blewett, led a group of MTN Ghana employee volunteers in a groundbreaking ceremony at Aburi Presbyterian Secondary Technical School to kick off the construction of a container-based e-library. This project is part of MTN’s 30 Days of Y’ello Care activities.

During this year’s 30 Days of Y’ello Care Campaign, MTN Ghana will set up two container-based e-learning libraries. These libraries will be equipped with computers, internet access, textbooks, storybooks, and additional reading materials to enhance the teaching and learning experience. The first library will be handed over to the school’s management by the end of the campaign. Additionally, another e-library will be constructed in Sunyani in the Bono region.

Speaking at the school’s assembly hall packed with an enthusiastic group of students, the CEO of MTN Ghana, Stephen Blewett, encouraged the students to take their studies seriously. He emphasized that they are the future leaders of Ghana and the world. Blewett stated that the next greatest scientist, president, and CEO could be among the students, but achieving these aspirations requires dedication, hard work, and passion. He assured the students that MTN is committed to supporting them in becoming future scientists, inventors, or leaders by providing computers and digital facilities to underscore the importance of technology in their lives. Stephen emphasized that technology is crucial for building a strong future.

The headmistress of the school, Mrs. Joyce Appiah, applauded MTN for selecting her school as one of the beneficiaries for the project. She pledged their support to MTN Ghana for the successful completion of the project.

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MTN employee volunteers will not only establish a container-based e-library but also create a smart farm equipped with smart devices and irrigated by a digital borehole. The volunteers will play a part in drilling the borehole as part of the ‘Quench and Connect’ initiative. Nationwide, the volunteers will also organize digital literacy workshops for students and teachers.

This year’s 30 Days of Y’ello Care theme is “Education for rural and remote communities”. In line with the theme, MTN Ghana employee volunteers will implement a specialized program called “Quench and Connect.” Volunteers will assist in drilling digital boreholes in schools experiencing water shortages, enabling students to concentrate on their studies.

MTN Y’ello Care is an annual employee volunteerism program across the MTN Group, allowing staff to participate in community development projects in countries where MTN operates. The initiative, which was started in 2007, has had a significant impact on millions of people and hundreds of communities across the continent. At the end of the program, the country with the most impactful projects wins a prize of $100,000 to be reinvested in community projects.

The 21 Days of Y’ello Care programme takes place in June every year. However, this year, to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of MTN’s operations, the 21 Days of Y’ello Care has been extended to 30 Days.

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King Promise Talks About Latest Single on Apple Music’s Africa Now Radio

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King Promise Talks About Latest Single on Apple Music’s Africa Now Radio

This Week’s Episode Features a Conversation With King Promise, and the 5 Hottest Tracks of the Week! Tune in to Africa Now Radio with Nandi Madida this

Friday, June 14th at 9a Lagos/London / 10a Johannesburg/Paris / 1a LA / 4a NYC on Apple Music 1 [ and broadcast on  YFM Accra every Sunday at 2pm, YFM Kumasi on Saturdays at 3pm and YFM Takoradi on Saturdays at 6pm]

Cover Star Interview
Ghanaian Afrobeats star King Promise joins Nandi Madida via FaceTime on Apple Music 1 to talk about his latest single, “Continental (feat. Shallipopi).” He also discusses his new album, ‘True To Self,’ his creative process, and what he loves about contributing to culture.

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Nandi Madida shares the 5 hottest new African tracks of the moment. This week’s selection includes new tracks from Oxlade, Ravanny & Harmonize, Stonebwoy, DJ Stokie & Sobzeen feat. Lington, and PHILA DLOZI.

Tune in and listen to the full episode this Friday, June 14th at 9a Lagos/London / 10a Johannesburg/Paris / 1a LA / 4a NYC on Apple Music 1 at apple.co/_AfricaNow [and broadcast on  YFM Accra every Sunday at 2pm, YFM Kumasi on Saturdays at 3pm and YFM Takoradi on Saturdays at 6pm].

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King Promise Tells Apple Music About the Global Popularity of His Song, “Terminator” 

I love to contribute to my culture—the goal has always been global domination through our music as Africans. The fact now the world is catching on—even they are late but they are welcome to the party—I’m blessed, not just as a Ghanaian, but as an African in general. It’s so beautiful to see the world latching on to what we’re doing, love it and appreciate it.

When “Terminator” dropped, it was another level of what I’m doing, for me. It was such a blessing to have a record known all over the globe; it’s just so beautiful. After that it’s just been back-to-back with “Paris,”  “Perfect Combi,” “Favourite Story” and now finally the album, so I’ve been super proud of this whole movement right now.

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King Promise Tells Apple Music How He Felt No Pressure To Deliver With His New Album, ’True To Self’ 

It’s always been [about] having fun for the music, becauseI feel like that’s when you make the magic. When you overcalculate it and you overthink it, you lose a spark, and this is something I learned from the OGs before I became established in the business. It’s good to be a perfectionist—I like my things perfect—but there’s also beautify in the flaws, so it’s always to a certain level.

There’s really no pressure—I never go to the studio like, “I need to make a hit today,” you know? I go to the studio making music that I love and giving it my very best, because obviously I believe I’m blessed with this talent and I really don’t need to overthink it, and that’s really how I always move in what I do. It’s never really pressure, it’s more like excitement… it pushes me to want to do more.

King Promise Tells Apple Music What Inspired the Title of His New Album, ’True To Self’ 

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Life and growth [inspired this album title]. I just got to the point where I felt the most important thing and the best thing you can to do to yourself is really lean into your originality and what you represent, and where you belong. All those things are important in making you grow into a better person. I’ve always kept it 100 with my music. I don’t do music because of what’s popping, I make music that I love, and I’m actually true to myself.

With a few things happening in my life at the point when I started working on the album, it just felt like [it was] the right title to call it, because I thought I’m gonna go back to the basics. I’m allowing myself to be vulnerable, allow myself to be a superstar, allow myself to be a fan, and allow myself to be an artist.

King Promise Tells Apple Music About His Song, “Continental (feat. Shallipopi)” 

It was one of the very last songs I made on the album. My friend GuiltyBeatz produced it. I hadn’t seen him in almost a year because he’s been travelling the world—I know he just finished an album with Tems—but finally he came bearing gifts, like “Bro, I have something for you. I was just waiting to see you, when I made this one I knew it was yours.” Then he plays the “Continental” beat and I’m like, “What the hell is this?” It was just a match made in heaven, It was so perfect. When I got through those first lines I was like yes, this is truly ‘True To Self,’  and I just took it from there.

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Eventually I was talking to my manager and I said that Shallipopi will sound good and it will bring out another side of him. He heard it and was crazy about it, and I’m happy for what we’ve put together. He came to Ghana, we shot the video and everything’s beautiful… I can’t wait for everyone to hear it.

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Zipline and CorpsAfrica Partner to Address Critical Blood Supply Needs in Ghana

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Zipline, the global leader in instant logistics, and CorpsAfrica, a global NGO that recruits and trains educated African youth as volunteers to live and work in rural, under-resourced communities, have joined forces to tackle the critical need for safe and adequate blood supplies in health facilities across Ghana. This partnership aims to increase blood supplies through a series of comprehensive initiatives, leveraging the strengths and reach of both organizations to save more lives.

Despite the importance of a reliable blood supply for effective healthcare delivery, recent data has revealed a troubling trend of low voluntary blood donations in Ghana. In 2021, only 26% of the 173,938 units of donated blood were collected from the general public (as opposed to family members and immediate friends of the recipients), and in 2022, this percentage slightly decreased to 25.3% of the 179,765 blood donations.

To combat this issue, Zipline, as part of its corporate social responsibility efforts, has been actively working over the past several years to increase the availability of blood at various hospitals in the countries where it operates. In 2023, for example, Zipline collaborated with the National Blood Bank in Ghana to organize 41 blood drives throughout Ghana, successfully collecting a total of 2,780 blood units. Similarly, Zipline’s work with the Rwandan blood system has translated to a 55% reduction in maternal mortality, according to a study by The Wharton School.

“We are committed to addressing the critical blood supply needs in Ghana. Our partnership with CorpsAfrica will significantly amplify our efforts, enabling us to reach more communities and save more lives,” said Miki Sofer, Senior VP of Partnerships at Zipline.

Zipline and CorpsAfrica will collaborate with the National Blood Service to coordinate monthly blood drives at different locations nationwide. This partnership aims to organize roughly 80 blood drives in 2024 – a substantial increase of more than 100% from what Zipline organized in 2023. The effort is expected to yield about 6,000 blood units. 

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“CorpsAfrica is thrilled to collaborate with Zipline on this vital initiative,” says Liz Fanning, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of CorpsAfrica. “CorpsAfrica Volunteers across Ghana are eager to support these blood drives, enhancing sensitization campaigns, and mobilizing community support.”

The partnership looks forward to engaging community volunteers in various districts within the Zipline operational areas in Ghana (Omenako, Ashanti Mampong, Vobsi, Sefwi Wiawso, Anum and Kete Krachi) to actively participate in awareness campaigns aimed at promoting the importance of blood donation. Church groups, schools, and members of local communities are largely targeted to participate in this exercise. 

Beyond the blood drives, the partners will also conduct awareness programs and provide training to healthcare professionals on effectively utilizing different blood components, such as Fresh Frozen Plasma (FFP), for specific medical situations. By enhancing the understanding and awareness of Zipline and CorpsAfrica’s capabilities, more health facilities can leverage the support offered in accessing essential blood products when needed.

“We encourage everyone within the region to be on the lookout for our publicity materials announcing dates and locations for the next blood drive. Together, let’s work to make blood available to save the lives of those who need it the most,’’ said Sofer.     

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Pinky Pecks proclaims herself as the change in a male-dominated industry

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In a recent interview on Anidaso TV, rising music sensation, Pinky Pecks made a controversial statement that has sent shockwaves through the industry. (more…)

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