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Their Gain Africa’s Loss: How U.S., U.K., Others Benefit from Africa’s Medical Brain Drain

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As recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), the ideal doctor-to-population ratio is 1 per 1,000 persons. But in reality, Africa can only boast of 1 per 10,000 persons, and the shortage worsens by the day. By 2035, the insufficiency is expected to reach 4.3 million physicians. Despite the huge gap, the continent has been suffering an increasing medical brain drain as its trained health workers migrate in droves to developed countries, including the U.S., U.K. and Canada.

Africa bears 23% of the global disease burden. But in contrast, it accounts for only 3 per cent of health workers. The developed countries with the lowest relative disease burden have the highest numbers of health workers, while Africa with the highest burden has a much smaller workforce.

For example, the United Kingdom, with a population of 68 million people, has over 370,000 physicians, while Nigeria, with over 211 million people, has less than 75,000 physicians, according to WHO. Despite that, the U.K. employs at least 12 Nigerian doctors every week. A 2008 report by Lancet showed that about one in 10 doctors working in the U.K. were from sub-Saharan Africa, and the figure has been increasing. For example, as of 2006, there were 2,692 Nigerian doctors in the U.K. medical workforce, and by 2018, the figure stood at 5,250.

In 2016, a former president of the Nigerian Medical Association said an estimated 8,000 Nigerian doctors were practising in the United States. A 2004 study revealed that nearly 86% of African doctors in the U.S. workforce came from only three countries, Nigeria, South Africa and Ghana, and 79 per cent of them were trained at only ten medical schools. Apart from physicians, other U.S. healthcare fields also consist of high percentages of Africans. For instance, 24% of its registered nurses, 20 per cent of nursing assistants, and 16% of personal care aides are from Africa.

Canada also has a history of increasing its health workforce with African-trained professionals. As of 2001, 17 per cent of physicians in the province of Saskatchewan bagged their first degree in South Africa. A decade later, the total number of foreign-trained doctors in Canada rose to 22 per cent, with Africa being the biggest source. Other countries, including Saudi Arabia, Australia,  and the UAE, have sustained their relatively high physician-to-population ratio by employing medical graduates from African countries.

The driving force behind the mass emigration is the quest for greener pastures, as many health workers struggle to cope with the working condition at home. “I left Nigeria because I wanted to earn more money, learn new things and practise in a better environment,” a Nigerian physician working in the U.S. said in an interview. Low pay, poor infrastructure, paucity of job opportunities, and fear of a bleak future for their children are some of the core identified reasons for the mass exodus.

This perennial challenge has both medical and financial implications. Despite having just 16 per cent, Africa accounts for less than 1% of total global healthcare expenditures. And looking at it in per capita terms, the rest of the world spends ten times more on healthcare than Africa. The severe funding disparity tells hugely on both its medical personnel and facilities.

On average, a surgeon in New Jersey, United States, earns $216,000 annually, while their counterparts in Zambia earn $24,000, and Kenyan physicians make on average $6,000 per annum. There are 0.3 hospital beds per 1,000 people in Ethiopia compared to Germany with 8.0 per the same number of people. There have been various cases ofZimbabwean doctors operating with bare hands due to a lack of gloves. At the peak of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, the Central African Republic, a country of about 5 million people, had only three ventilators. And for Nigeria to meet its medical infrastructure gap, it needs an $82 billion investment in healthcare real estate and about 386,000 beds to reach the global average of 2.7 beds per 1,000 persons.

All these ills explain why more African health professionals move in droves out of the continent. Not only do they migrate to those countries, they usually see out their active service years and retire there. Being high-value immigrants in their countries of destination, they easily acquire permanent residence, such as the Indefinite Leave to Remain in the U.K., the Employment-Based Green Card in the USA, and later acquire citizenship by naturalisation. This indicates that once they fly out, there is no hope of Africa ever benefitting from their expertise anymore.

Monetary wise, many developed economies save hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars from the brain drain while Africa bears the financial losses. A 2011 study on nine sub-Saharan African countries (Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe) showed that governments spent between $21,000 to $58,7000 to subsidise a doctor’s education.

Therefore, losing thousands of trained physicians to other nations after graduation puts each of these African countries in a huge financial loss. The overall loss of return was estimated to be billions of dollars, and the United Kingdom was reported to be the highest beneficiary with $2.7 billion, followed by the United States with $846 million.

In 2010, the World Health Assembly adopted a code of practice on the international recruitment of health professionals, which recommends that wealthy countries should lend financial assistance to source countries facing a shortage of healthcare workers. That same year, the U.S., through its Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI),invested $130 million to support medical schools in 12 sub-Saharan countries. While such initiatives may offer a little economic relief, they will not completely solve the ills associated with the shortage, especially as many African countries grapple with high rates of preventable disease and child maternal mortality. The continent needs its trained experts to tackle this barrage of health challenges.

Many publications have questioned the motive behind Africa’s brain drain by wealthy countries and wondered if that should be viewed as a crime. However, since the recruitment is a mutual agreement between the countries and the health workers, it may be wrong to accuse the beneficiary countries of any wrongdoings. The 2010 World Health Assembly Code also attempted to stem the flow of talent migration, but it has not really been successful, as more African health workers daily queue to join their colleagues in the developed world.

This leaves Africa with no choice but to develop its health care sector and make it attractive to its medical personnel. If provided with a world-class working environment and remuneration at home, less African-trained doctors would consider emigration. The onus is on African leaders to show the required political will to curb the brain drain. This will lessen the health challenges in the continent and improve the overall wellbeing of their citizens.

Olusegun Akinfenwa is a political correspondent for Immigration News, a news organisation affiliated with Immigration Advice Service. IAS is a leading U.K. immigration law firm that helps people migrate and settle in the U.K.

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Ameyaw Says

No matter your age, there is an online game for everyone

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My wife recently spoke to me about getting some video games for our three-year old son to play on his tablet. She had seen how the children of her colleagues play various games on their smartphones and tablets, so enthusiastically. Nathan is used to playing a lot of education videos and games on his tablets but my wife felt it was perhaps time to try something new like Candy Crush Saga or Temple Run although these games are recommended for age 10 plus.

 

I have also observed keenly, how video games excite children, so I agreed it would be a great option for Nathan as well. I still remember my earliest encounters with video games. I always wanted to have a video game for myself but my parents denied me during my primary school days. My father said it would distract me from my studies.  So, I usually played the likes of Super Mario Bros and Sonic the Hedgehog in school on my friends’ Nitendo Gameboy. The Iconic Tetris console was of course a favorite for me too, back in the day.

 

I remember when our neighbors got an Atari video game console; I was always in their living room at any opportunity I got to play Pacman and other games (I don’t even remember them now, but I think it included Contra). Then, finally my cousins visited Ghana from the USA with a Sega Genesis in the 1990s. This introduced me to games like Power Rangers, Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter.

 

Then in the 2000’s I got my first computer so started installing programs that allowed me to play a variety of games on the desktop. When I got my first laptop in my university days, it was the era of the Internet and so I explored a number of games online. But after the university, I had not played a video or computer game until recently when I was looking for options for Nathan.

 

I came across plays.org, which brought back a lot of the good old memories I have with video games. It stocks a number of free browser-based online games. There are hundreds of free games across various genres including arcade classics, cartoon games, comic games, education, solitaire, sports games, pinball and more. All games are unblocked free HTML games which you can play directly in your web browser with no app downloads.

 

One thing I have noticed is how computer games have now turned into intriguing storylines, filled with extraordinary graphics, inspiring characters, and elements of realistic approach towards gameplay setting, and overall production design.  But when I really looked through the options onsite, I knew deep within me that the true essence of computer games has never changed.

 

I tried my hands on Break the Worm, which is a players’ favorite on the website. This is a classic ‘beat em up’ game where Finn is trapped in a nightmare on a quest through 3 worlds, to defeat a worm. He gains unique magical powers in each world. The game is easy to play and there is a full guide on how to play it even before you start, from how to hit and block punches to how to swerve the worms and other adversaries that come your way. My favorite is using the special moves to kill them faster or easier.

I am not one for reading guidelines so I went straight into it punching may way through it all, and discovering new tricks as I went along.  I kicked off with level one, ‘Ice Kingdom’. Here, the opposition was largely easy to defeat worms, and some robot-like machines. I fairly aced it in a matter of time, with no failure. Just as most combat games, I was able to pick up items that boosted my lost energy due to the hits I received, as well as extra lifelines along the line.

quick tips pop on screen on how to play the game

quick tips pop on screen on how to play the game

Level two, ‘Dad’s Dungeon’, was slightly more difficult but after some few failures I managed to ace it and moved on to the third level,  ‘Candy Kingdom’. As sweet as the name sounds, I haven’t been able to complete the level yet, although I tried over ten times on my first day.

I haven’t given up yet on ‘Candy Kingdom’ because thankfully, I get the option to continue from where I left off anytime I go on plays.org and choose Break the Worm.  So I will try it again when I have some more time on my hand.

According to details on the website, beating the game unlocks a second harder version of the game called Nightmare Mode. I will surely keep trying to see what the nightmare mode has waiting for me.

 

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People & Lifestyle

How to clean parquet floors?

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Parquet flooring is very durable and reliable, and because it is very economical, most of the houses have parquet flooring in some areas. Parquet flooring can be used in any type of room. These factors make it very famous, but with some benefits, there are also some disadvantages of using it. For example, cleaning parquet flooring is very difficult because dirt and debris get stuck in the space where two parquet flooring pieces are joined together. So, it becomes challenging for us to clean parquet floors without damaging the flooring pieces. However, by following this helpful guide, you will know how to clean parquet floors. In this article, we will discuss that in detail.

 

  1. Vacuum the floor:

 

Vacuuming the floor is the most effective way to get rid of unwanted dust particles. Although parquet flooring is very durable, sometimes it cracks. So, dirt starts gathering in those cracks, and it becomes overwhelming for us to remove it. In that situation, vacuum cleaning will help a lot. It will remove all the dust particles from the cracks and even from the gaps between the flooring. So, do vacuum cleaning at least twice a week if your family is large, but for small families, vacuum cleaning once a week is perfect.

 

  1. Sweeping:

 

Regular sweeping is also very important. We know that it will not remove stains, and it will not remove stuck dust, but sweeping removes the excessive dirt particles, which, to a large extent, prevent the particles from getting into the flooring. It is known that once the dust particles get in the flooring, then they cannot be removed easily. So, it is a good practice to sweep several times a day, and you cannot do that; make sure you sweep at least 1-3 times.

 

  1. Mopping:

 

Mopping after vacuuming is the most effective way to clean the parquet floors. The reason it is behind vacuuming is that vacuuming the floor does not include the use of water. On the other hand, mopping will be done by using water. Most of the parquet floors are not waterproof. Use of water in small amounts will not be detrimental, but mopping parquet floors every day may damage the flooring. So, you should mop the floor, but not more than once every two weeks. If thorough cleaning is required, or you are trying to remove any stain, then mopping is perfect for such situations.

 

Conclusion:

 

It can be hard for you to clean parquet flooring, but our guide will help you a lot. As vacuum cleaners cause no damage to the parquet floors, you should do it as much as possible to prevent the debris from getting into the cracks and gaps. One thing to keep in mind is that you would have to clean your floor every day, or else it becomes very difficult to clean it.

 

 

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People & Lifestyle

How to Prepare for Wisdom Teeth Removal

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Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to come in, usually between the ages of 17 and 25. While it’s normal to have four wisdom teeth, some people don’t have any at all, which can result in more than one wisdom tooth growing in at the same time, or one wisdom tooth that comes up but doesn’t fully erupt through the gum line. Either of these scenarios can result in damage to the teeth, jawbone, and even nearby nerves. This guide will show you how to prepare for wisdom teeth removal so you can get back to your regular routine as soon as possible.

 

What are Wisdom Teeth?

Often referred to as third molars, wisdom teeth are one of four sets of molars that grow at random times during your life. They typically start growing between ages 17 and 25. Third molars usually don’t start forming until later in life because your mouth needs space to house them comfortably; once they begin, however, there isn’t enough room for them and they can push up against other teeth and cause damage. This is why many people choose to have their wisdom teeth removed; it’s important to think about how you plan on paying for it beforehand, though.

 

Why do I need them removed?

It’s estimated that up to 90% of people who have their wisdom teeth removed still experience pain or infection after surgery. This is usually because they weren’t properly prepared for surgery, didn’t take time off work/school, and/or didn’t stay on top of post-surgery treatments. To avoid any issues with your wisdom teeth, it’s important that you know why they’re being removed—and what you can do about it before your surgery date arrives. It’s also important that you prepare yourself emotionally and financially before hand; read on to learn how!

 

Who should get them removed?

For those of you who haven’t had your wisdom teeth extracted, but don’t want to wait until a problem arises with them, there are a few things you can do to prevent a potential future issue. First and foremost, maintain good oral hygiene. Flossing and brushing your teeth twice per day will help remove any debris that could potentially cause an infection once your wisdom teeth grow in. Not only is good oral hygiene important for preventing cavities or gum disease from forming around your mouth, it also helps maintain healthy tooth enamel, which will keep your wisdom teeth from decaying as they come in later on down the road.

 

Why did they erupt at all?

First, schedule a consultation with your dentist. Second, ask whether you even need to remove your wisdom teeth. If your wisdom teeth are impacted (meaning they grow at an angle instead of straight up and down), but aren’t bothering you or becoming problematic, then keep ’em! They’ll continue moving into their final positions over time. On top of that, there are risks associated with having surgery; if you don’t need it done—then don’t do it! Leave them be. Chances are you’ll never notice they were ever there in the first place!

 

What can I do if my wisdom teeth aren’t bothering me yet?

While it’s generally recommended that you get your wisdom teeth removed before they become a problem, it’s not always necessary. Unless your wisdom teeth are causing physical discomfort or show signs of causing trouble (like infection), there’s no reason you can’t live with them and see if they bother you in the future. But, if you’re concerned about them and want to get them out sooner rather than later, talk with your dentist about ways to make your wisdom teeth easier to remove. For example, getting orthodontic work done on your other teeth might help give room for your wisdom teeth to come in straight and cause less problems once they break through.

 

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People & Lifestyle

$20,000 investment up for grab at Global Student Entrepreneurship Week 2021

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Stars From All Nations (SFAN) is pleased to announce that registrations are open for hybrid Global Student Entrepreneurship Week 2021 scheduled for October 28-30, 2021.

The strategic objective of Global Student Entrepreneurship Week is to help students and early-career individuals think like job creators and not just job seekers. Since its inception, the project has become an explosive growth-focused startup event with students, budding entrepreneurs, and early career professionals learning from investors and entrepreneurs from Africa, Silicon Valley, the U.K, and beyond. 

SFAN pioneered Student Entrepreneurship Week in 2018 with a maiden Ghana edition in partnership with the British Council Ghana. The following year, the team took the excitement to the rest of the continent with a Pan-Africa Student Entrepreneurship Week hosted by Ecobank Ghana. That event was featured in Forbes, with participants raising a recorded $113,000 funding.

And in 2020, despite the devastating impact of the pandemic, the SFAN team soldiered on with a global virtual edition attracting speakers from around the world.

Now in its fourth edition, this year’s Student Entrepreneurship Week receives partnership from Loveworld Next and Loveworld Business Network and will focus on the theme “The Next Frontier of Innovation and Leadership.” 

Tom-Chris Emewulu, Founder and President of SFAN says: “When I was a student entrepreneur, a certain academic figure told me that it was a terrible idea and I might not graduate. But I graduated with a First Class honor. Of course, it was a challenging process because I had to learn a lot. Hence, I created Student Entrepreneurship Week to help co-dreamers and innovators find direction and build their careers.”

Don’t miss this mind-bending experience. You can join the event onsite or online. SFAN’s partner Loveworld Next will be hosting a live pitch session called The Next Big Thing Pitch Battle with a $20,000 cash prize up for grabs. The event will also be awarding three student entrepreneurs with the prestigious Student Entrepreneur of The Year Award.

To make your reservation, apply to pitch for the $20,000 TNBT pitch, apply for the prestigious student entrepreneur of the year award, or learn more about the project, visit studententrepreneurshipweek.com.

For sponsorship or speaking opportunities, contact the team via info(at)sfanonline.org.

 

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People & Lifestyle

“Bear With Us” – GTA Boss To Cinema Operators On Closure Of Cinemas

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Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Tourism Authority Akwasi Agyemang is pleading with Cinema operators to bear with government as they the world fight COVID-19 as cinemas remain closed.
In March 2020, President Akufo-Addo announced some restrictions on movement after Ghana recorded cases of COVID-19. Cinemas, Churches and places where people could meet were closed down as part of measures to curb the spread of COVID-19
Speaking with Doreen Avio, the GTA boss explained that Ghana is still in a tough situation due to COVID-19 and will not let efforts down as the world fights the virus
“I will still plead with our operators in the industry that they should bear with us. It’s tough. If you go out there to places that have been shut, is tough, we feel it but let’s all be safe than sorry. As the vaccinations go on and restrictions eased gradually, we will be back in business.”
 He reiterated the need for our Cinemas to remain closed.
“I think we have engaged Severally on this.  We have met with the movie operators, we have met film producers,  it is not something that anybody is happy about, but we also know the times we are in, better safe than sorry. As a president indicated,  let protect lives And later on we will look at livelihoods.
The movie industry is one of the sectors hit hard by COVID-19 due to closure of cinemas. This according to movie producers has made them lose a lot of cash and asking government to reconsider the decision on the closure of Cinemas
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Radio & TV

It’s All You Can Watch Sport this weekend on the DStv App!

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As a way to reward the growing number of DStv customers accessing their favourite content through the DStv App, DStv is hosting the biggest Open Weekend yet, exclusive to customers on the DStv App.

 

From Friday 24 to Sunday 26 September 2021, customers across the continent on all DStv packages will have unrestricted access to sporting content across some of the best SuperSport channels including WWE, SuperSport La Liga, SuperSport Football, SuperSport Cricket, SuperSport Premier League, SuperSport Golf and SuperSport Tennis among many others. Note that the Open Weekend does not apply to SuperSport Rugby.

 

It’s a Baller Weekend on the DStv App and you need to Up Your Game! Catch all the weekend’s biggest games with unlimited sport on the DStv App.

 

“The way our customers access content is changing and we’re changing along with them. The DStv App has always allowed customers to stream live channels or watch the latest episodes of their favourite shows. For one weekend only, we’re adding all of our SuperSport channels to the mix, so they can kick back, relax and enjoy their favourite sporting fixtures.

 

Some of the unmissable sporting content to catch on this Open Weekend include two Premier League thrillers, as Chelsea take on Manchester City (Saturday 11:30  LIVE on SuperSport Premier League) and Arsenal battle Tottenham Hotspur in the North London derby (Sunday 3:30  LIVE on SuperSport Premier League).

 

Other football highlights include La Liga matches such as Real Madrid v Villarreal (Saturday 19:00  LIVE on SuperSport La Liga), Barcelona v Levante (Sunday 2:15  LIVE on SuperSport La Liga) and Serie A’s Rome Derby, or the ‘Derby della Capitale’, between Lazio and Roma (Sunday 16:00  LIVE on SuperSport Football).

 

Motorsport fans can get their thrills from Formula 1‘s Russian Grand Prix (Qualifying on Saturday at 2:00  and the Race on Sunday at 12:00 , both LIVE on SuperSport Motorsport), while tennis fans can catch the final of the WTA Tour’s Ostrava Open (12:30  LIVEon SuperSport Tennis).

 

Another major highlight is the Ryder Cup, golf’s traditional showdown between Europe and the United States. This year’s event takes place at the Whistling Straights Golf Course in Haven, Wisconsin. You can Catch Day 1 (Friday 12:00 ), Day 2 (Saturday 12:00 ) and Day 3 (Sunday 16:00 ) all LIVE on SuperSport Grandstand and SuperSport Golf.

 

“From when we restarted our qualification process in January, the last eight months have been very positive,” said European team captain Padraig Harrington. “Everybody has been able to play and we have a good system in place that has allowed us to look at everyone and see how they’re doing. There is no question that we are in good shape and everyone associated with Team Europe cannot wait to get to Whistling Straits and get going. Especially me!”

 

Fans of something more visceral and violent can take in UFC 266 (Sunday Prelims 12:00  and Main Card 02:00  LIVE on SuperSport Action), which will be headlined Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega’s grudge match for the UFC Featherweight Championship in the headline bout.

 

“Right now, [Ortega] thinks he understands this chess game we’re about to play. But he’s going to realise – and real quick – that he doesn’t,” warned Volkanovski.

 

And if you want your fighting to come with a fair scoop of ‘kayfabe’ alongside it, then check out the latest edition of WWESmackDown (Saturday 12:00  LIVE on SuperSport Variety 3), where you can catch up on the latest shenanigans heading into Monday’s Pay Per View event, Extreme Rules.

 

Another key highlight is the Berlin Marathon (Sunday 07:00  LIVE on SuperSport Variety 3), which will see 25,000 runners taking part for the biggest road running race anywhere in the world since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic last year.

 

What makes this Open Weekend even rewarding is that with the DStv App, customers will be able to enjoy sporting content that is not always accessible on packages outside of DStv Premium, and they can access this content while on the move through their smartphones or other smart and mobile devices.

 

The DStv App can be downloaded in Google Play and in the App store. For more information on the Open Weekend please visit www.dstvafrica.com.

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