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King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre Achieves Medical Milestone with World’s First Fully Robotic Living Donor Liver Transplant

King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre Achieves Medical Milestone with World’s First Fully Robotic Living Donor Liver Transplant_02

King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre Achieves Medical Milestone with World’s First Fully Robotic Living Donor Liver Transplant _ 02

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Oct. 29, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — In a historic achievement, the Organ Transplant Center of Excellence (OTCoE) team at King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre (KFSH&RC) has successfully performed the world’s first fully robotic living donor liver transplant in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia—a move that solidifies KFSH&RC’s position as a global leader in minimally invasive transplant surgery.

KFSH&RC’s pioneering approach employed state-of-the-art robotic technology to conduct both donor and recipient surgeries with precision and minimal invasiveness, eliminating the need for a hybrid approach. While other centres offer minimally invasive liver transplants using mixed techniques, KFSH&RC is the only centre to complete a fully robotic living donor liver transplant surgery successfully.

This accomplishment represents a significant leap forward in the history of transplantation, a testament to the centre’s commitment to advanced practices that enhance healthcare outcomes, improve the patient experience, and boost hospital operational efficiency. It has also led to a reduction in the risk of complications, recovery time, and the length of hospital stays.

King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre Achieves Medical Milestone with World’s First Fully Robotic Living Donor Liver Transplant

King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre Achieves Medical Milestone with World’s First Fully Robotic Living Donor Liver Transplant

As a strategic health partner at the Global Health Exhibition held in Riyadh from October 29 to October 31, KFSH&RC is showcasing its latest innovations at the forum. Attendees will gain insights into the OTCoE’s expertise in applying cutting-edge technologies to expand healthcare possibilities.

KFSH&RC has set records in successfully conducting reciprocal kidney transplants, a medical approach that facilitates kidney transplants between two donors from different families simultaneously. In 2022, the program achieved a remarkable milestone by completing 91 reciprocal transplants, surpassing its international counterparts.

KFSH&RC’s OTCoE is a pioneer in the Kingdom, representing one of the most advanced and comprehensive facilities for multi-organ transplantation in the Middle East. Its services encompass kidney, liver, lung, pancreas, and intestine transplants, collectively called solid organ transplantation.

KFSH&RC is globally renowned for its exceptional contributions to specialized healthcare, commitment to innovation, and dedication to advanced medical research and education. Furthermore, KFSH&RC is steadfast in its pursuit of developing medical technologies and elevating the standard of healthcare globally by collaborating with major local, regional, and international institutions. It is committed to delivering world-class clinical, research, and educational services.

Contact information:
kfshrc@mcsaatchi.com

Photos accompanying this announcement are available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/888a9b0a-3cd2-4186-ab5e-b44eb8f0d9cb

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General

UNFPA lauds KDSG’s attention to GBV, family planning, maternal death

The UNFPA has commended the Kaduna State Government for the commitment toward ending unmet needs for family planning services, curbing preventable maternal death and ending Gender-Based violence (GBV).

The Head of Office, UNFPA Kaduna Sub-Office, Ms Loide Amkongo, stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna on Sunday.

Amkongo said that the commitment was in line with the UNFPA Strategic Plan 2022 to 2025, hinged on three transformative results.

She identified the transformative results as contributing to ending unmet needs for family planning services, contributing to preventable maternal death, and ending GBV.

“These transformative results are being achieved in Kaduna, Zamfara, Sokoto, Gombe and Bauchi states, under the Kaduna Sub-Office.

“I have seen the commitment of the Kaduna State Government, along with other states, on the discussion table.

“Government officials are there, chairing various technical working groups and fully understanding the willingness to take actions for the needed results.

“From our engagements with the state governments and commissioners in the various states, UNFPA is optimistic of achieving the transformative results.”

On ending unmet needs for family planning, the head of office said many countries, including Nigeria, are facing difficulties.

She pointed out that women want to use family planning commodities but there were issues of access due to unavailability, shortage of commodities and other barriers.

She said UNFPA is working primarily with the Kaduna State Ministry of Health to ensure that adequate family planning choices are available for women to access.

This, according to her, will help to prevent unwanted pregnancy and provide the needed opportunity to plan their facilities.

“We are working closely with the state government to ensure that it strengthens its commitments to family planning.

“Kaduna State, like Gombe State, has already domesticated the Family Planning Guidelines and is ready to procure family planning commodities. That is being done.

“Our role is advocacy to ensure that more partners are working, and the state plays a critical role to fund the procurement of the commodities,” she said.

Amkongo added that UNFPA is also working with social society organisations and youth groups to ensure that people understood the need to demand for services being provided.

She regretted that religious and cultural practices were hampering the use of family planning.

“We are working with religious and community leaders to sensitise people on the importance of family planning, particularly to the economic development of women, their families, and the country at large.”

The head of office equally said that UNFPA, in partnership with the Kaduna State Government, was doing a lot of work that contribute to preventable maternal deaths.

“These include maternal death review and surveillance processes and capacity building of healthcare workers and doctors, among other interventions, and ensuring that certain procedures take place.

“We are working on advocacy, knowledge management and capacity building, both at individual and institutional levels.

“This is ensuring that people understand basic comprehensive emergency and obstetric essential services.

“The programme for fistula is tied to family planning and equally tied to preventable maternal death.

“For us, it is critical to prevent unplanned pregnancy and ensure that women access ante natal care and hospital delivery to prevent fistula, but when it does occur, we are providing repair services and psychosocial support.”

On GBV, Amkongo said UNFPA had been contributing toward ending the menace in Kaduna and other states, adding that the UN body had also been working with various partners, including groups of women advocating for their rights.

She added that the Fund had been working with a multisectoral group of ministries of justice, health, the police, and other security agencies.

“This is to ensure that as much as we attend to GBV survivors, the perpetrators are also brought to book, and we are implementing relevant laws that are there to prevent women from abuse,” she said.

She reaffirmed UNFPA’s technical support and commitment to the government, particularly in the three transformative results.

She identified financial and human resources as critical to achieving significant results, and expressed optimism that the state government would come through with its financial commitment.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Categories
General

Angola wants strengthened cooperation with Czech Republic

Luanda – Angolan president João Lourenço said Saturday in Luanda that his country intends to develop closer cooperation with the Czech Republic by identifying areas of common interest.

In a congratulatory message on the celebration of the European country’s Independence Day, João Lourenço said he hoped it would be possible to exploit the great potential that exists in both countries for mutual benefit.

In the message, João Lourenço suggests the holding of high-level meetings to lay the foundations for strengthening bilateral cooperation in the near future.

Long-standing relations

Relations between the two countries date back to the proclamation of Angola national independence through the then Czechoslovak Socialist Republic.

With a long-standing relationship, Angola and the Czech Republic have been considering establishing more solid and effective co-operation in a wide variety of areas.

Political-diplomatic and cooperation relations between the Republic of Angola and the Czech Republic date back to January 1, 1993.

In December 1999, a Declaration was signed on the ties between the two countries, which were strengthened in 2006 with the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding and the Development Cooperation Programme.

The Czech Republic is a Central European country bordered to the north by Poland and Germany, to the east by Slovakia, to the south by Austria and to the west by Germany.

The country’s capital is the city of Prague, which is also its largest and most populous, with over a million inhabitants.

Source: Angola Press News Agency

Categories
Sports

Petro and 1º de Agosto draw in championship’s opening round

Luanda – With a goal scvored by Dago, at 90 minutes plus three, 1º de Agosto managed to avoid the defeat, this Sunday in Luanda, and drew 1-1 with Petro de Luanda, an encounter deemed a classic for some time now that counts for the opening round of the top division National Football Championship (Girabola 2023/24).

Played in Coqueiros Stadium, the match was attended by eight thousand spectators, who vibrated throughout the clash between the two most titled teams of the country.

Petro scored at 63 minutes through Erivaldo.

Although the game had lost some momentum, with Petro eventually trying more to manage the result, 1º de Agosto never lost hope and in the stoppage time period (90+3) their pressure on the opponents worked out. Dago’s well executed shot gave the ball the right direction and it ended up inside the net, not giving goal keeper Hugo Marques a chance.

Although the game was not so thrilling as expected, it did give a good “sample” of the competitiveness coming ahead.

Meanwhile, the championship titles record shows 17 trophies won by Petro de Luanda and 13 by 1º de Agosto.

This the 16th draw between the two squads in the last 60 encounters. 1º de Agosto won 23 and scored 59 goals, while Petro won 22 games and scored 65 goals.

Source: Angola Press News Agency

Categories
General

FCT salary fuss: “We don’t have any issue against Wike” – Workers

The Joint Unions Action Committee (JUAC) of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) and Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) say workers have nothing against the Minister of FCT, Mr Nyesom Wike, over alleged salary cut.

JUAC President, Mr Matilukuro Oluwakorede stated this in Abuja on Saturday, while reacting to a social media publication alleging that, “workers in Nigeria Capital, Abuja groan as Wike cuts salaries, allowances amid inflation”.

Olyuwakorede said, “The public should disregard the information in circulation. it is not emanating from us. We have an internal issue; we had a meeting and agreed on the best way to manage the issue.

“We have nothing to do with what is trending online currently.

“We love our minister. We don’t have any issue against him as at this moment that I am talking to you, and I wish to be quoted anywhere.”

On the issue of the salary, he explained that JUAC had fought for some allowances, adding however, that the allowances were not budgeted for in the 2023 budget.

He identified the allowances as peculiar allowance, hazard allowance and “one or two other allowances like that.”

He explained that the allowances overshot FCTA and FCDA personnel budget, adding that in view of the development, the FCTA management called the leadership of the committee over the challenge.

He added that they all agreed at the meeting that the remaining funds in the vault should be used to pay October salary but may affect peculiar allowances.

“We realised that the little fund remaining may affect peculiar allowance, and we say we don’t mind stepping it down by one month, while the FCT Administration does the needful against the remaining months.

“So that by November, we return to normalcy. So, I don’t know why journalists are just cashing out on this.

“But I wish to say unequivocally, that we don’t have any problem with our distinguished honourable minister or the minister of state or even the permanent secretary of FCTA.

“We are in good relationship and this decision that we have taken, is for the best interest of staff generally,” the president said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that JUAC leadership had on Friday issued a circular, signed by its President and General Secretary, Mr Akuh Sunday, intimating their members on salary shortfall for October.

JUAC explained in the circular that FCTA and FCDA that management had asked the committee to sensitise all staff on the inability to pay the salary of all staff in the months of October.

The development, it said, was because FCTA personal budget vote has been exhausted following the payment of the 40 per cent peculiar allowance, hazard allowance and other allowances.

The committee, however, noted that the payment of the allowance in some Departments, Secretariat and Agencies were not budgeted for.

“In view of the above, JUAC insisted that instead of not paying salary at all in October, management should handle the matter in this manner.

“First, the October salary be paid without the peculiar allowance which is what the current personnel cost vote can carry.

“Secondly, between now and November, virement will be made to transfer funds from other votes to beef up the personnel cost vote to enable management to pay November Salary in full.

“In addition, the arrears for the peculiar allowance of October will be paid in November alongside the arrears for the N35,000 wage award.

“JUAC agreed to these terms because it believes that this is the best bargain and decision that it could take in the best interest of the entire staff of FCTA and FCDA, given the current situation we have found ourselves,” JUAC had said in the circular.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Categories
General

KDSG’s partnership with UNFPA on maternal, reproductive health waxing stronger – Official

The Kaduna State Government says its partnership with the UNFPA toward improving maternal and reproductive health is waxing stronger.

Mr Jamilu Ladan, the UNFPA State Sub-Implementing Partner Coordinator at the state’s Planning and Budget Commission (PBC), said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna on Sunday.

Ladan, who is a Programme Officer at PBC, said that the cordial relationship between UNFPA and the state government on maternal health has been growing stronger and creating huge impact on the lives of beneficiaries.

He explained that a total of 23 activities on reproductive and maternal health issues were planned for the third quarter of 2023.

He added that 18 of the activities have been delivered as at Sept. 30, representing 78.2 per cent performance.

Of the N52 million programmed for the third quarter, N42 million has been disbursed to the sub-implementing partners, he added.

“As I am talking right now, funds are being utilised and the financial implementation is 100 per cent for quarter three and 75 per cent compared with the annual budget performance.

“Some of the key interventions implemented in quarter three centred around maternal and reproductive health, Gender-Based Violence, as well as the coordination component domiciled at PBC.”

Ladan, however, said that the transition phase affected the delivery of some of the planned activities, adding that not much was done in quarter one and quarter three.

He said that in spite of the challenge, quite a number of activities to improve maternal health were conducted, including surgeries for fistula patients at the Fistula Centre in Gambo Sawaba General Hospital, Zaria.

He added that several demand creation activities and awareness creation were conducted with support from UNFPA.

According to him, the demand creation activities have yielded significant result following the increase in the number of people seeking maternal health related services in communities leading to unmet demands.

“We have also procured quite a number of life-saving maternal drugs, particularly for pregnant mothers, for distribution in health facilities.

“We have done part of the distribution, while some of the drugs were stored in storage facilities of the State Primary Health Care Board.”

On coordination, the state IP said that the working synergy among project implementing partners has been very effective.

The Head of Office, UNFPA Kaduna Sub-Office, Ms Loide Amkongo, also told NAN that effective coordination of the interventions would address duplication of efforts and maximise the available resources from the various partners.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Categories
Medical

UNFPA supports fistula surgery of 104 patients in Kaduna

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has supported free fistula repair surgeries for 104 patients at the Vesico Vaginal Fistula Centre at Gambo Sawaba General Hospital, Zaria, Kaduna State.

Dr Elvis Evborein, the Reproductive Health Analyst, UNFPA Kaduna, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna on Sunday.

Evborein said that the free surgeries were conducted from January till date.

VVF, commonly known as obstetric fistula, is an abnormal opening between the bladder and the vagina that results in continuous and unremitting urinary incontinence.

The condition is among the most distress complications of gynaecologic and obstetric procedures, however, the condition can be reversed and repaired through surgery.

Common causes of VVF are obstructed labour, early marriage, poverty, and women’s limited access and control to family resources.

However, the condition can be repaired through surgery, and patients can go back to their normal lives.

The reproductive health analyst, therefore, said UNFPA provided medical consumables for the repairs to be possible, while the state government played its part in providing free services.

Describing the intervention as one of UNFPA’s priority areas in the state, Evborein said that the curative intervention was being matched with preventive services like community campaigns to end fistula.

He said Civil Society Organisations were being supported to carry out campaigns in communities and engage religious and community leaders to mobilise community members to end the scourge.

“They are talking to men and women to deal with the issue of child marriage as one of the predisposing factors for fistula.

“We are also encouraging girl-child education to ensure that youths go as far as possible in their educational pursuit, which in the long run will prevent early marriage.”

He pledged UNFPA’s continued support to the centre, while noting the prevailing challenge of manpower, especially surgeons.

He added that a Norwegian Government health project would inject part of its fund in the centre, adding that there are gaps to be filled.

He added that UNFPA upgraded the learning centre of repaired patients at the facility with chairs, tables, and instructional materials.

He said “after the repair, we ensure that the women go through rehabilitation to enable them to reintegrate into the society.

“Part of the rehabilitation programme is for the survivors to learn simple numeracy and literacy and other income generating skills.”

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Categories
Medical

UNFPA lauds KDSG’s attention to GBV, family planning, maternal death

The UNFPA has commended the Kaduna State Government for the commitment toward ending unmet needs for family planning services, curbing preventable maternal death and ending Gender-Based violence (GBV).

The Head of Office, UNFPA Kaduna Sub-Office, Ms Loide Amkongo, stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna on Sunday.

Amkongo said that the commitment was in line with the UNFPA Strategic Plan 2022 to 2025, hinged on three transformative results.

She identified the transformative results as contributing to ending unmet needs for family planning services, contributing to preventable maternal death, and ending GBV.

“These transformative results are being achieved in Kaduna, Zamfara, Sokoto, Gombe and Bauchi states, under the Kaduna Sub-Office.

“I have seen the commitment of the Kaduna State Government, along with other states, on the discussion table.

“Government officials are there, chairing various technical working groups and fully understanding the willingness to take actions for the needed results.

“From our engagements with the state governments and commissioners in the various states, UNFPA is optimistic of achieving the transformative results.”

On ending unmet needs for family planning, the head of office said many countries, including Nigeria, are facing difficulties.

She pointed out that women want to use family planning commodities but there were issues of access due to unavailability, shortage of commodities and other barriers.

She said UNFPA is working primarily with the Kaduna State Ministry of Health to ensure that adequate family planning choices are available for women to access.

This, according to her, will help to prevent unwanted pregnancy and provide the needed opportunity to plan their facilities.

“We are working closely with the state government to ensure that it strengthens its commitments to family planning.

“Kaduna State, like Gombe State, has already domesticated the Family Planning Guidelines and is ready to procure family planning commodities. That is being done.

“Our role is advocacy to ensure that more partners are working, and the state plays a critical role to fund the procurement of the commodities,” she said.

Amkongo added that UNFPA is also working with social society organisations and youth groups to ensure that people understood the need to demand for services being provided.

She regretted that religious and cultural practices were hampering the use of family planning.

“We are working with religious and community leaders to sensitise people on the importance of family planning, particularly to the economic development of women, their families, and the country at large.”

The head of office equally said that UNFPA, in partnership with the Kaduna State Government, was doing a lot of work that contribute to preventable maternal deaths.

“These include maternal death review and surveillance processes and capacity building of healthcare workers and doctors, among other interventions, and ensuring that certain procedures take place.

“We are working on advocacy, knowledge management and capacity building, both at individual and institutional levels.

“This is ensuring that people understand basic comprehensive emergency and obstetric essential services.

“The programme for fistula is tied to family planning and equally tied to preventable maternal death.

“For us, it is critical to prevent unplanned pregnancy and ensure that women access ante natal care and hospital delivery to prevent fistula, but when it does occur, we are providing repair services and psychosocial support.”

On GBV, Amkongo said UNFPA had been contributing toward ending the menace in Kaduna and other states, adding that the UN body had also been working with various partners, including groups of women advocating for their rights.

She added that the Fund had been working with a multisectoral group of ministries of justice, health, the police, and other security agencies.

“This is to ensure that as much as we attend to GBV survivors, the perpetrators are also brought to book, and we are implementing relevant laws that are there to prevent women from abuse,” she said.

She reaffirmed UNFPA’s technical support and commitment to the government, particularly in the three transformative results.

She identified financial and human resources as critical to achieving significant results, and expressed optimism that the state government would come through with its financial commitment.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Categories
Sports

Nigerian clubs can learn from Bundesliga sides, FCT FA boss says

Mouktar Mohammed, the Chairman, FCT Football Association, says Nigerian clubs can become a success story in terms of growth and development, using the FC Bayern Munich model.

Mohammed spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday from Munich, Germany where he is currently on a tour of Bundesliga side, FC Bayern Munich Football Club.

He said that Bundesliga clubs have continued to lay down the standards for the rest of the world, in terms of financing, structure, sponsorship and followership.

“I had the rare opportunity to see the dynamics that have made the clubs in the German top-flight the most profitable in the world football.

“I think Nigerian clubs can indeed learn a lot from Bundesliga sides that go into commercial partnership with local companies in their respective areas.

“They draw financial strength from such contracts, rather than go cap-in-hand to state governors, who in Nigeria will starve them of funds,” he said.

The FCT boss said the tour brought to the fore the begging question of why Nigerian clubs always begging from hand- to-mouth from self-serving state governors.

He alleged that these governors usually see the clubs as mere pawns to be used in their hands to fester their selfish and inordinate desires.

Mohammed said that unlike the Nigerian League, the Bundesliga is financially strong and founded on a business model.

“This is basically to discourage control by a single entity, which accounts for great support that a team like Bayern enjoy from residents of Munich.

“Unlike the government ownership club structure in Nigeria, German clubs in the Bundesliga operate under the 50+1 rule structure that stipulates that teams are majority- owned by German club members.

“Bayern, for instance, draw its support from locals in Munich, creating a sense of belonging for the fans, who see the club as their ,“ said.

He said that all these generally accounted for why a club like Bayern had sold all its tickets for the 2023-2024 season since February.

Mohammed said that it was irrespective of the fact that the Bundesliga had the lowest ticket prices and the highest average attendance out of Europe’s five major leagues.

The football administrator also said that youth development was the cornerstone of German football success.

“Unlike in Nigeria, where football clubs run without academies to mint the next youngsters that will take over from the league stars, Bundesliga sides have world-class academies.

“These academies regularly churn out players that go as far as playing in the country’s top-flight league.

“A case in point is the Bayern Academy, which, to their credit, has been a ready supply chain of players for Bayern’s main team.

“A classic example is Thomas Muller, a true and true Bavarian, who grew from the academy team to become a top striker for the 32-time Bundesliga champions,” he said.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Categories
Sports

Lakeside teams dominate grape companies tournament at Aussenkehr

KEETMANSHOOP: The Lakeside Grape Company football and netball teams were both declared champions of the 21st Namibia Grape Company (NGC) sports tournament on Saturday.

The tournament took place between 21 and 28 October and involved 18 football teams, 16 netball teams, 14 volleyball teams and 13 tug-of-war teams from the nine grape companies at Aussenkehr, as well as local government employees.

The winning football team received N.dollars 6 900 in cash, a floating trophy and 15 gold medals, while the netball team received N.dollars 3 500, a floating trophy and 10 gold medals.

The Riverside Vineyard team secured second place in football, earning N.dollars 4 500 and 15 silver medals, while Broadland Grapes and Fairview received N.dollars 3 700 and N.dollars 2 900 respectively for finishing in third and fourth place.

In the netball competition, Broadland took second place, winning N.dollars 2 500 and 10 silver medals, while Frontier A and Cape Orchard Company received N.dollars 2 000 and N.dollars 1 500 respectively for coming in third and fourth place, respectively.

In the volleyball event, NGC B claimed first place and received N.dollars 3 200 and 15 gold medals. Hillside Vineyard secured second place with N.dollars 2 000, followed by the Broadland Grapes team, which received N.dollars 1 600. NDC A received N.dollars 1 200 for coming in fourth.

In the tug-of-war contest, Riverside received N.dollars 2 400 and 15 gold medals for first place, while Fairview earned N.dollars 1 500 for second place. NGC A received N.dollars 1 200 for third place, and the Government team won N.dollars 900 for fourth place.

One of the tournament’s organizers, Wilhelm Kahupi, stated at the beginning of the tournament that it is part of NGC’s social responsibility to the community of grape producers and aims to unite green scheme growers through sports.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency

Categories
Business

Etotha Carnival gets N.dollar 1.5 million boost

ONDANGWA: The Etotha Carnival received a financial boost of over N.dollars 1.5 million during the launch and fundraising event held in Ondangwa on Saturday.

The Ondonga Traditional Authority, as the main sponsor, pledged N.dollar 500,000 for the hosting of the carnival.

Speaking during the launch and fundraising, Minister of Environment and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta, said the ministry, in collaboration with the Ondonga Traditional Authority (OTA), has agreed to establish an annual festival called the Etotha Carnival in the area of the salt pans under the OTA’s jurisdiction. Shifeta stated that this is aimed at improving the livelihood of the local communities, reviving and preserving the heritage of the communities, fostering sustainable tourism development, and enhancing conservation of biological diversity while fostering social cohesion among the communities from all corners of Namibia.

‘Etotha Carnival, therefore, seeks to harmonise these two forces, using tourism as a bridge to explore and appreciate the diverse cultures and heritage that make our country so extraordinary,’ he said. He indicated that the Ekangonde Salt Pans celebrations, as an important heritage site, bring people together to celebrate the critical role they play in supporting and shaping the traditional lifestyles of our communities.

Through this event, Shifeta said they plan to improve the livelihoods of the communities in the Onanke area and the region at large by promoting domestic tourism and spreading the benefits thereof.

Moreover, Shifeta highlighted that in 2022, they recorded a total of 461,027 tourists having arrived at the end of 2022, growing by a record increase of 98.1% from 232,756 in 2021. ‘These numbers indicate a good sign of recovery in the travel and tourism sector and provide hope for all in the sector,’ he said.

He further stated that in 2015, using the broader economy concept that includes indirect effects and makes allowances for investment spending in support of tourism activities, the total travel and tourism contribution to the GDP was N.dollars 15.1 billion, representing 10.2% of the overall GDP and 100,700 jobs, which is 14.5% of total employment.

Meanwhile, Leader of the Ondonga Traditional Authority, Fillemon Shuumba Nangolo, stated that the salt pan, which has culturally been off-limits to women, will be allowed to accommodate all genders. Nangolo explained that the salt pan has been used as a place to initiate young boys into men. However, their ancestors have given permission to allow women to also visit the salt pan during the carnival. The Etotha Carnival is scheduled to take place in July next year in the Oshikoto Region.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency