A Mental Health Patient in Johannesburg. Photo Credit: Ray Mwareya

Rural Safety, Understaffing in Rural Hospitals and Other Reports

Every week, RuralReporters.com collate reports on development issues in rural Africa and its environs.

This report includes some of our top picks from recent must-read research, interviews, blogs, and in-depth articles, carefully selected to help you keep up with global issues.

Here are some of the updates you may have missed from the previous week:

Meeting held over rural safety

A huge operation in Haenertsburg involving the police, seven departments, the community and other units was held recently.

The SAPS say there are always early warning signs before a crime is committed. A red coke tin signifies danger, a green Amstel can indicates go, stones being stacked, that weren’t there before, are regarded as a warning sign. Criminals are clever, intelligent and trained. When arrests are possible, criminals move elsewhere. However, strategies only work for a short time. These have to be changed constantly.

President urges doctors to accept postings to rural communities

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Saturday urged newly qualified doctors to accept postings to rural communities.

He said young doctors who were posted to rural communities to undertake their housemanship should not to see it as a form of punishment, adding; “The missionary and sacrificial aspect of this noble profession must not be lost on you.”

The President noted that Ghana’s doctor-population ratio, being approximately one doctor to eight thousand patients, was even more lopsided in the rural and deprived communities of the country.

“I do not put all the blame on our medical doctors’ unwillingness to work in these communities. If we have good road networks, and good schools are available around the country and not only in the urban centres, if we have electricity supply in all communities, we would not have to be asking, indeed, insisting that our young doctors go to work in the rural communities,” he said.

Understaffing in rural hospitals worries MHEN

Malawi Health Equity Network (MHEN) Executive Director George Jobe said understaffing in rural health centres has always been a challenge in Malawi.

“We have been discussing with the ministry about understaffing in our rural health hospitals whereby sometimes you find that there is only a medical assistant and a nurse,” said Jobe.

Malawi is reported to have shortage of medical practitioners to help in health facilities of the country.

Climate extremes, policy confuse crop choices for Malawi farmers

Many of Malawi’s smallholder farmers who grow maize as a cash crop have diversified into legumes like soya and groundnuts, hoping for better market prices should one crop fail due to drought. But faced with climate change, uncertain markets and government policies they see as unhelpful, many farmers feel ill-equipped to decide how much of which crop to plant and when.

Last year’s extreme weather, bringing both floods and drought, left many in a food fix. Acting on specialist advice to diversify away from maize, some farmers grew more tobacco and soya in 2016, based on expectations of favorable prices in 2017.

But a glut has frustrated them, depriving them of a ready market for their surplus soya beans.

Coming to you from a Cairo village: Egypt’s first minicar

Egypt, where many suffer under economic hardship, 35-year-old entrepreneur Ahmed Saeed el-Feki has been working hard to make something of himself. He has launched his own business building a minicar in a country that relies heavily on imports of small automobiles.

In a village not far from the Giza pyramids, el-Feki set up a small workshop to create the first Egyptian-made minicar, the “minicar Egypt.”

Millions of Egyptians, especially in rural and densely populated areas, depend on auto rickshaws because of their cheap fares and smallness that make it ideal to navigate narrow alleys. Egypt imports Tuk Tuks from China, spending about $290 million a year, according to el-Feki.

‘10,000 farmers can’t access N350m donor fund’        

Ten thousand farmers in Edo State cannot access the N350 million donor fund, Edo North Coordinator of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) Alhaji Mohammed Oshiobugie has said.

Oshiobugie, in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Benin, said the government failed to pay the N94 million counterpart fund for Fadama III and Rural Finance Institution Project (RUFIN).

He noted that while other states enjoyed additional financing from FADAMA III , this doesn’t apply to Edo.

Busayo Sotunde is a prolific writer with special focus on Business, Entrepreneurship, Reproductive Health and other development issues in Africa. Her articles have been published by different outlets including Investing Port and Ventures-Africa.com. She has a penchant for reading and sustainable development. Follow Busayo on Twitter @BusayomiSotunde

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