Monitoring & Evaluation Directorate partners with the Media

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The National Monitoring and Evaluation has on Wednesday 2nd February 2022 held a partnership meeting with proprietors and Editors at its head office in Freetown.

Dr James Edwin, the Director of the National Monitoring and Evaluation Directorate, said the government of President Bio made commitment to the establishment and operationalization of NaMED system that will enhance the understanding of what government is doing and where it should aspire to do better in achieving positive development for the people of Sierra Leone.

The Director continued that since the inception of the ruling government, the president Julius Madda Bio thought it fit that there must be a system which will be able to monitor and evaluate all national projects funded by government and donor partners.

He furthered that their key mandate is to strengthen and institutionalize the evaluation of Government policies, programmes and projects with a view to ensure accountability and transparency in all Ministries, Departments and Agencies

He explained that the purpose of the meeting is for the media to be aware of the mandate of NaMED and forge a collaborative partnership for raising public awareness of the activities of NaMED in such a way that every citizen becomes monitor in an attempt to support and own development interventions in thier, Villages, Towns and Districts.

“We will ensure to be providing accurate and timely information to the media on the activities of NaMED as well as sending invitation to the media in order to provide coverage on NaMED activities as often as possible”. He said.

 Ahmed SahidNasralla, the president of the Sierra Leone Association (SLAJ), said that he was very happy with NaMED for playing host to senior proprietors as well as senior editors and also pledged his support on behalf of SLAJ.

The president again said that it was a good idea and therefore hoping that NaMED will continue to have cordial partnership in terms of its relationship with the media as we are going along.

Orange Foundation Joins Thinking Pink Foundation To End Breast Cancer

By FeimaSesay

Orange foundation has joined forces with Thinking Pink Breast Cancer foundation on the campaign to end Breast cancer .

The annual event took place last Friday, 4th February on the occasion of world cancer day with the theme ‘Close the Care Gap.’

Cancer is one of the most serious diseases posing a big threat to the health of not only women but men in Sierra Leone.

Health experts have said that with low research and treatment facilities; the disease is capable of spreading fast and affects men, women and girls.

Orange SL is a company with a sound health pillar under its corporate social responsibility. The company is encouraging people to join the anti-Breast Cancer campaign to help stem what has been described as the rising tide of the disease.

The campaigners have said that this year’s global event marks what they said is a moment to invite global attention to the disease under its raging theme: ‘Close the Care Gap.’

Considering its commitment to health, Orange Foundation Sierra Leone said it has joined the global movement to end Breast Cancer in the world.

Being part of the global celebration, Orange Foundation held a session to observe the Cancer Day celebration at its Hill Stations headquarters in Freetown.

In her statement, the Director for Orange Foundation, Jestina Betts called on Sierra Leoneans to fight together and end the scourge.

“This is a fight for all of us. Together, we have touched the lives of many Sierra Leoneans over the years from Freetown to the villages. Every single person can make a difference, but together we can make a real progress. ” Betts assured.

She said Sierra Leoneans had to take up the responsibility to eliminate Breast Cancer;  adding that closing the care gap is not only the  company’s grants ; but also about everyone taking the decision to stop cancer in their own little way.

According to her, is not only prevalent among women and girls but also among men.

“Breast Cancer is not only affecting women, but there is a steady increase in cancer among men,” she noted.

Madam Betts also noted on the support Orange Sierra Leone has been providing for Thinking Pink Foundation, a non-governmental organisation that takes the lead in the prevention and treatment of Breast Cancer.

She informed the audience that Orange SL supported Thinking Pink Foundation  during ‘Breast Cancer marathon,’ ‘Think Gala’ and sensitisation in various public schools nationwide.

The awareness raising campaign was also taken to market places, offices; as well as College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences.

“Over 3, 000 students were screened in 2021, and hundreds of abnormalities were found during the test,” she revealed.

Betts believes that Breast Cancer can be defeated through sensitisation, screening and treatment.

Orange and Thinking Pink Foundations, she said, were ready to demonstrate their efforts to end Breast Cancer in Sierra Leone.

She assured that the partnership Between Orange and Thinking Pink Foundation would continue in Sierra Leoneans’ interest.

We will do more, and we will lead a good fight,”  she said.

Speaking at the ceremony, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Thinking Pink Foundation ,Cremelda Parkinson Pratt said Breast Cancer is spreading at an alarming rate in Sierra Leone.

The question of what Sierra Leone can do to stop the disease’s  spread was the main point in Pratt’s address.

“Stopping Breast Cancer is about prevention and education. It is a disease that needs attention at its onset,” she admonished.

Sierra Leone, she went on, remained a low-income country adding that prevention is the way to go.

She went on to state that the Union for International Control aimed at ensuring that every man, woman and girl gets equitable access to care.

“For us, it is a call for action through our government and international partners so that we can do it together,” she noted.

Thinking Pink Director also spoke about how real Breast Cancer was, and the lives the disease has claimed.

Before this time, she said, medics had told the world that Breast Cancer was for the old, but that notion had shifted a bit.

“A person of nine years could contact cancer,” she pointed out.

The situation makes a strong case why government, NGOs and Sierra Leones should re-double effort to roll back the disease.

 Pratt, however, observes that Sierra Leone is a country where one’s chances of surviving the disease remains challenging.

The challenge comes about through neglect of one’s health and refusal to visit health facilities for examination and treatment.

“If a woman is screened regularly and Cancer detected at the early stages, chances of surviving is better,” she said.

This calls for awareness raising, diagnosis, prevention, treatment and data collection which, she said, would go a long way to aid medical research.

Pratt added that it was high time government started to conduct a research on Cancer in Sierra Leone owing to lack of proper health services.

“Sierra Leone has only one radiotherapy service. Why can’t you put attention on research,” she urged government.

She also did not lose sight of discrimination based on ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age and disability as factors that worsen Breast Cancer situation in Sierra Leone.

In spite of the prevailing circumstances in the health sector, Orange Sierra Leone is still committed to reversing the trend.

The company, on several moments, has shown its relevance to the health sector by spending millions of Leones in sensitisation and providing help to less-privileged patients.

It has made several donations to lactating mothers and other vulnerable groups at Connaught and Cottage hospitals as well as other health centres in the country.

Cottage hospital also known as Princess Christian Maternity Hospital has got a fair share of Orange Sierra Leone’s donations.

The telecoms company  is currently running one of the productive health projects in one of the most deprived slums in Freetown.

The Project is about women’s health

Orange Money gets Bank to wallet with GTB

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 By FeimaSesay

To ease the stress of customers and relieve them of the challenges queuing the banking stalls; Orange Money SL has gone into partnership with Guarantee Trust Bank Ltd.

     Under the new partnership, customers of both Orange Money and Guarantee Trust Bank will remit monies from their bank accounts to their orange money wallets.    The ceremony took place yesterday at the City Council new Auditorium.

According to Orange, the partnership will help customers transfer money to and from their Orange money wallet to their Guarantee Trust Bank accounts.    

      The company is selected among several options owing to its trustworthiness as it has earned good image to its credit since it came to Sierra Leone in 2016.         

     Making a statement prior to the launch, the Chief Executive Officer Orange Money David Mansaray thanked GTB for agreeing to partner with them.  He underscored that the bank to wallet  services would help their customers hugely; adding the partnership with the bank will make life easier for their customers. He pointed out that the partnership would benefit both Orange Money and Guarantee Trust Bank as a financial institution withing financial sector. ” The benefit would seen over the years in partnering with banks has been tremendous, even though we are in partnership with others banks, but GTB adding to that portfolio is going to make a huge difference, as GT bank is one of the biggest banks in the country in terms of balance sheet size and profitability and even in terms of overall financial mediation”, he stated.     David Mansaray added that GTB has contributed significantly to the economy of the country, he went on to say that with Orange Money being part of the financial sector, the partnership will benefit them a lot as it would help the company get access to GT bank customer base and liquidity that will help ease some of the pains withing their valued chain especially with the company aggregator.  CEO further discribed Guarantee Trust Bank as a strong support in the feature that will come up with more innovative services to support Orange Money and Guarantee Trust Bank partnership. He said he is happy because the company would have more funds coming into their distribution, adding that GT bank will also benefit a lot as it will provide speedy funds for the bank. Whiles giving an update as to the amount of moneys they have collected, he said most of the banks own few deposit for them as customers funds,  noting that those  funds are coming from the informal sector. He said before now, those funds will ordinarily be in the pocket of individuals that will never enter the formal sectors but said with the advent of mobile money, they now see most of the  funds coming to the formal sector whiles the others remains within the financial sector. ” In 2021, the funds that we collected on the cash out of the informal sector was about 4. 1 Trillion leones,  and almost two third of it went back to the sector but we were able to retain about a trillion Leone in the financial system which is good for financial inclusion”, he said.  According to him, at the end of 2021, their customers base was ta 1.5 million and that it have enable more people get access to financial services. He further that the partnership with GT bank, customers are now in a better position to have more access to things that ordinarily orange money cannot do, noting that with the services, customers now has the ability to save and earned interest. In conclusion, he assured the bank of more services.              Ade Adebigi Managing Director Guarantee Trust Bank, in his statement said in  their electronic offers  provided solution are convinence and comfortable for their customers. He said a bank account that cannot be funded is useless, but said with the launch of Bank to Wallet customers like Alusine in the village  can move money from his wallet to his bank and from his bank to wallet.  Managing Director Guarantee Trust Bank said their partnership with Orange Money is to strengthen their role in financial inclusion and interprobility and also collaboration with key industry players to ensure they deliver services to all part of Sierra Leone. He said their bank will continue to innovate in things that they provide to the customers, stating  that the bank is position to as the market leaders and perfect bank to ensure that the bank explored and leverage on branchless banking technology to ensure that their products and services are everywhere in the country. ” The integration that we have seen between GT bank and Orange money, is one that conforms to internal security standards as we have gone through the robust risk assessment, and am please to say that the transaction on the platforms are safe”, he noted.  He said the their 15 branches across the Country  with collaboration with partners like Orange Money, the bank he said will provide bank to wallet services and many more products to both customers and consumers in Sierra Leone .  The Bank to Wallet services was officially launched by both the CEO Orange Money and Managing Director Guarantee Trust Bank.

30 Years Old Woman Jailed For Trafficking  16 Years Old Pupil.    

By FeimaSesay.

Fatmata Bah a Business woman was on Monday 7 February 2022 sent to prison for allegedly trafficking 16 Years Old Assiatu Bah from Conakry Guinea to Sierra Leone for the purpose of exploitation. The accused who made her first appearance in court before magistrate SahrKekura of Pademba Road court No 1 on two counts charges of Conspiracy to commit Human Trafficking contrary to section 18 of the Anti- Human Trafficking Act 2005, Act No7 of 2005 and Engaging in Trafficking in person  contrary to the laws of Sierra Leone.   According to the police, the accused on diverse date between 13 December, 2021 and 19 December 2021, at Freetown conspired together with other persons unknown to traffickAssiatu Bah from Conakry Guinea to Sierra Leone for the purpose of exploitation. Whiles counts two added that the accused on the afformention dates engage in Trafficking in person by the  receipt of Assiatu Bah from Conakry  Guinea  to Sierra Leone by means of deception for the purpose of exploitation.     Lawyer C.  Davis Cole Esq  prosecuting the matter informed the court that her witness is absent and therefore could not proceed with the matter. Defense Counsel D Archator however applied for bail on behalf of the accused stating that she is a Sierra Leonean ordinarily resident in Freetown with reliable sureties. He added that if his client is put on bail, she will be of good conduct and will not in any way jump bail. His application for bail was made pursuant to section 79 (2) of the Criminal Procedure Act 1965.  The prosecutor in reply did not opposed to bail on the grounds that the accused was already granted bail at the CID HQ.  Magistrate SahrKekura having heard the application for bail on behalf of the accused, refused bail and sent the accused in prison due to the serious nature of the offence charged. He however adjourned the matter to the 10 February 2022 for further hearing .

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