Monday, September 22, 2014

President Obiang to Attend UN Climate Change Summit During 69th UN General Assembly

Equatorial Guinea’s President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo will attend the UN Climate Change Summit on September 23, as well as meet with other heads of government and heads of state this week. President Obiang will address the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on September 24.

The Equatorial Guinea delegation, led by President Obiang, will join other Heads of State and Government, Vice Presidents, Prime Ministers, Ministers of Foreign Affairs and their delegations as they discuss their commitments to a UN action plan aimed at placing people at the center of development and consider new population challenges.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, visited Equatorial Guinea earlier this year during the African Union Summit, which was held in the West African Nation. During the Summit, President Obiang and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon dedicated a new UN building, which houses all UN agencies in the country.

Equatorial Guinea Resumes Flights To Neighboring African Countries

Equatorial Guinea has resumed regional flights to neighboring African countries by its national air carrier, Ceiba International, after taking control measures to safeguard public health.

The temporary suspension of the Ceiba International flights was a precautionary measure adopted by the government, but it resumed the flights after it obtained equipment to detect and confront a possible Ebola outbreak. The flights were resumed in order to break the isolation of the affected neighboring countries, which need commercial air service in order to receive supplies and maintain commercial ties with the rest of the continent.

The Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea has invested more than 1 million Euros in the acquisition of healthcare materials, including ambulatory hospitals, ambulances, thermographic cameras for the airports of Malabo and Bata, protection suits, disinfection material, waterproof boots, protection glasses and laser thermometers, among other articles, aimed at confronting a possible Ebola outbreak in the country. Two quarantine areas and specially equipped isolation chambers have also been prepared in the cities of Malabo and Bata.

After verifying the size of the current Ebola outbreak, which has already caused the deaths of some 2,400 persons, the Government of Equatorial Guinea created a special committee for the control and prevention of this disease, and has organized awareness tours on Ebola throughout the entire national territory.

Equatorial Guinea also made a gesture of solidarity to its neighbors earlier this month, when President Obiang announced the donation of 2 million U.S. dollars to the WHO as a grant for the programs to combat Ebola. He made the announcement during the ceremony to present the UNESCO-Equatorial Guinean Prize for Research in Life Sciences. 

Equatorial Guinea Discovers New Gas Well In Bioko Island

Country to expand LNG project

Equatorial Guinea’s Minister of Mines, Industry and Energy, Gabriel Obiang Mbaga, recently announced the discovery of a new gas well off the coast of the Island of Bioko. The new gas well will allow the ministry to expand the Floating Installation of Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG) project in the country.

“I am extremely pleased that the increase in recoverable reserves in Block R, as a result of the drilling of the Silenus East-1 well may result in a potential expansion of the Block R FLNG project from a 2.5mm TPA to a 3.0mm TPA project. We are currently in negotiations to conclude the Block R gas terms and confirm the midstream partners, with the development of the first project of Floating Installation of Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG) planned for early 2019.”

President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo has established the strengthening of the energy sector in Equatorial Guinea as a national priority. Equatorial Guinea LNG Holdings Limited (EG LNG), a national liquefied natural gas company, began operations in 2007 and has shown excellent results.

In the last decade, the West African Nation has become one of the major regional powers in hydrocarbon extraction and processing, leading to an unprecedented economic boom and transformation, which has been noted by the ICE Economic Bulletin. The development of the country’s energy sector plays a mayor role in taking the country closer to become an emergent and sustainable economy by 2020.

The well was discovered by Ophir Energy, which estimates that the Silenus East -1 discovery includes recoverable reserve of 405 bcf (billion cubic feet) of gas, with de-risked prospects for similar prospects in the area. Ophir’s initial assessment is that the recoverable reservoirs in the broader Silenus area, including this discovery, are approximately 1.2 TCF (trillion cubic feet).

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Equatorial Guinea Spends US$13 Million to fight Ebola Disease

The government of Equatorial Guinea has spent more than US$13 million (600 million CFAs) in recent weeks to fight the Ebola virus, according to the Ministry of Health. The government has taken a number of preventive measures after it formed a national commission to lead anti-Ebola efforts.

Equatorial Guinea has taken a proactive approach to the Ebola threat as it continues to affect neighboring regions. It has purchased special ambulances, ambulatory hospitals (tents) and thermographic cameras for airports (which will be used to detect whether an arrival has had a fever in the prior 72 hours), trained health personnel assigned to these health units, and purchased drugs for palliative treatment and laser thermometers for all the borders, among other initiatives.

Equatorial Guinea has also received aid from the World Health Organization (WHO), which recently donated protective equipment for prevention of the Ebola hemorrhagic fever to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare. The Ministry received suits, waterproof boots, gloves, masks, goggles, aprons and miscellaneous disposable material, among others to add the government’s current resources.

As part of he government of Equatorial Guinea’s efforts to be prepared to fight the Ebola virus, it has temporarily cancelled regional flights to Cameroon, by its national air carrier, Ceiba International. The West African nation has also suspended the issuance of visas from neighboring countries and cancelled flights to Cotonou (Benin); Accra (Ghana); Lome (Togo); Abidjan (Ivory Coast) and Dakar (Senegal) last month.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

UNESCO-Equatorial Guinea Prize Awarded To Two Scientists And One Research Institution For Work In Life Sciences, Disease Control And Agriculture

Award ceremony will bring scientists together to address issues affecting Africa and the current Ebola epidemic

The 2014 International UNESCO-Equatorial Guinea Prize for Research in Life Sciences has been awarded to two scientists and one research institution in recognition of their efforts to improve the quality of human life.

The Prize recipients are Professor Hossein Baharvand, from Iran, a Specialist in Stem Cells and Developmental Biology at the Royan Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Technology and the Head of Department of Developmental Biology at Iran’s University of Science and Culture, whose stem cell research has led numerous applications in regenerative medicine; Andre Bationo, from Burkina-Faso, a specialist in soil chemistry whose work has led to improved techniques for agricultural production in Africa; and the Instituto de Medicina Tropical von Humboldt (IMT) at the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia of Peru. The Institute was founded in 1968 with the mission of promoting education and research on the most prevalent tropical diseases in Peru. From its founding, it has performed high quality research that has contributed to controlling diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria, leishmaniasis, leptospirosis, HIV-AIDS and others.

During the announcement, the United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO) highlighted the Prize’s objective of mobilizing science knowledge and policy for sustainable development and fostering capacity-building in science and innovation. This is the second year the prize has been awarded. It was established by the government of Equatorial Guinea to reward projects and activities of individuals, institutions, other entities or non-governmental organizations for scientific research in the life sciences, with a view to improving the quality of human life. UNESCO’s Director General, Irina Bokova, announced the recipients on August 26 and said they will be presented next month in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.

Next month in Equatorial Guinea, a scientific round table will address issues of particular concern to Africa and the world as a whole, including the management of the current Ebola epidemic, the African traditional pharmacopoeia and its potential integration into public health systems among other issues.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Equatorial Guinea Invests In Social Welfare

Country provides basic infrastructure to contribute to the national economic Growth

The government of Equatorial Guinea has built basic infrastructure in the country over the past 20 years such as social housing, roads, electricity, health and education facilities, and water accessibility, said Equatorial Guinea’s Health Secretary of State, Maria del Carmen Andeme Ela. 

Secretary of State Andeme Ela recently highlighted important actions the government has undertaken to improve social welfare for its citizens at the Equatorial Guinea Economic Forum, held at the St. Regis Hotel in Washington, D.C., on August 8.

She also said, “citizens have access to government sponsored vaccines and medicine to fight malaria and other diseases. We have worked to improve services for reproductive and child health including early detection of risk pregnancies, which has reduced infant mortality and maternal mortality.”
The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare has had support from development partners and due to the country’s progressive economic growth, it has been able to provide free public health services.

As a next step to improve the social welfare of its citizens, the government is working to provide access to health services via a health card, update regulations in the pharmaceutical sector, and provide an extensive program of human resource development at all levels.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Equatorial Guinea Highlights Gains In Health Sector

Indicators of Public Health are Steadily Improving

Equatorial Guinea’s infant mortality rate has decreased from 111 in 1994 to 65 per one thousand in 2011, said the country’s Health Secretary of State, Maria del Carmen Andeme Ela. She also reported that the percentage of pregnant women receiving prenatal care from skilled health personnel has increase from 61% in 2000 to 91.3% this year.

Secretary of State Andeme Ela recently discussed the national health system and programs available in the country at the Equatorial Guinea Economic Forum, held at the St. Regis Hotel in Washington, D.C., on August 8. The economic forum aimed to highlight the strategic commitment of Equatorial Guinea to economic diversification and encourage investment by American companies.

The government of Equatorial Guinea has heavily invested in the country’s health sector as part of UN Millennium health goals and the country’s Horizon 2020 development plan. Secretary Andeme Ela highlighted how the country’s social-health profile are steadily improving. She said that births attended by skilled health personnel have increased from 52% in 2000 to 70% in 2014.

She also cited improvements in the country’s health infrastructure, which now includes 2 regional hospitals, 5 provincial hospitals, 11 district hospitals, 45 health centers, 2 regional centers for blood transfusions, 4 provincial centers for transfusions, 2 reference medical centers (La Paz) and 7 polyclinics (3 private), various medical offices and pharmacies throughout the country.

During her presentation, Secretary Andeme Ela also outlined the national health programs the country is currently undertaking, such as the vaccination program, the fight against malaria, programs to provide essential medications and oral healthcare, diagnosis and treatment of HIV/AIDS, the fight against non-infectious diseases, efforts to control tuberculosis, leprosy and trypanosomes, the fight against river blindness and filariosis, and promotion of health and reproductive health.

The number of medical and health professionals and technicians in the country is growing significantly, although the country still suffers from a lack of specialists, said Secretary Andame Ela. The Faculty of Medical Sciences at the National University of Equatorial Guinea graduates about 45 medical students and 25 nursing students each year, and the National School of Public Health and Environment graduates about 54 nurses annually. All told, the nation now has more than 300 doctors, more than 350 nurses and similar professionals, and some 2,000 trained medical assistants and technicians. She said that the country had only one Equatoguinean doctor when it gained independence in 1968.