Princess of Africa visits UP’s Health Sciences Faculty

South African music icon Yvonne Chaka Chaka, fondly known as the ‘Princess of Africa’, visited the University of Pretoria’s Faculty of Health Sciences at the Prinshof Campus recently, in her capacity as New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad) Goodwill Ambassador for TB and nutrition.

Ms Chaka Chaka is a role model in Africa as a champion of women’s and children’s rights, and a supporter of universal literacy. In 2005, this humanitarian was appointed a UNICEF Special Ambassador on Malaria for Eastern and Southern Africa. She has spent much time promoting the work of agencies trying to combat malaria in the region.

Ms Chaka Chaka visited the Faculty of Health Sciences’ skills lab and was given an overall tour of the campus, much to the delight of cheering students and staff. She also met with representatives of the UP Institute for Sustainable Malaria Control (UP ISMC). Dr Taneshka Kruger, UP ISMC Project Manager and Coordinator, did a presentation on the Institute and its malaria research, awareness creation and communication methods. In addition, 12 postgraduate students and postdoctoral fellows briefly introduced their research projects.

The Institute uses various innovative and modern technological tools, including social media, an informative book about malaria for young children (Sibo Fights Malaria), a mobile app developed with travel management company Travel With Flair (Malaria Buddy), and music or songs to communicate its research and raise awareness about malaria. Recently the Institute did a flash mob recording at the 4th South African Malaria Research Conference.

Ms Chaka Chaka expressed great interest in the work being done on malaria at UP, and has already indicated that she would love to collaborate with the UP ISMC on some of its awareness strategies. She also plans to approach the Institute when she requires advisors on her ambassadorial travels.
After her tour of the campus, Ms Chaka Chaka shared her mantra with staff, colleagues and fans:

“There is no wealth without health and education.” – Ms Chaka Chaka

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Source: University of Pretoria

 

24 March World TB Day. Wanted: Leaders for a TB-free world.

March 27, saw the launch of Zambia National Tuberculosis (TB) Caucus in commemoration of World TB day which was held in Lusaka. The Caucus was spearheaded by CITAMplus as one of many ways to fight TB. The launch saw over 33 Members of Parliament, in attendance was the Minister of Health Dr. Chitalu Chilufya MP; Interim Chairperson Parliamentary Committee on Health Dr. Christopher Kalila MP; National TB Program Dr. Patrick Lungu; African Regional TB Caucus Chairperson Hon. Stephen Mule (MP Kenyan Parliament); Hon Princess Kasune, MP and it was officially launched by the 2nd Deputy Speaker Hon Mwimba Malama.

Yvonne Chaka Chaka gave a heartfelt speech where she pointed out that the African region accounted for 28% of global TB cases in 2014 and in 2016 alone 750,000 people died because of TB and 17 000  was from Zambia.

Yvonne called on political leaders especially those in government to show political will towards the fight to end TB by 2030, She urged members of parliament and politicians in general to ensure that they double their efforts in ensuring that the people they represent understand that TB is not a death sentence as it is treatable and curable. She further called for prudent application of resources meant for TB programs as she has observed that Africa is blessed with resources which can be used to improve the lives of its people but the resources have not been channeled towards that. Yvonne emphasized that the disease can be eliminated even before 2030.

“Zambia’s Caucus is being launched in a very opportune year. A special year when the United General Assembly has accepted to give TB a special session for Heads of State to deliberate on commitments they need to make towards ending TB in their individual countries and globally. She called on His Excellency President Edgar Lungu to ensure that he attends the forum to represent Zambia in the deliberations and make his legacy by leading Zambia out of the list of the countries with high TB burden.” She said on her closing remarks.

Yvonne Chaka Chaka participated in the 3rd General Meeting of the Kenjin-Tatsujin International Advisory Council that took place on 1 – 3 March in Kyoto, Japan.

As a council member Yvonne Chaka Chaka participated in the 3rd General Meeting of the Kenjin-Tatsujin International Advisory Council that took place on 1 – 3 March in Kyoto, Japan.

Ashinaga is an international non-governmental organization (NGO) founded in Japan which provide financial aid and psychological support to young people around the world who has lost one or both parent

During the 3ʳᵈ General Meeting, the Kenjin-Tatsujin International Advisory Council declared the building of an educational facility in the city of Kyoto, to help foster the future leaders of Africa.

The Council also pledges to support the recruitment of highly skilled and passionate teachers from all over the world, especially from Africa, and to provide the wisdom of its own members for support and mentoring.