Category Archives: Wellness

African First Ladies Advance Maternal Health Care Goals in Africa

The Organisation of African First Ladies Against HIV/AIDS (OAFLA) joined General Electric Company (GE) and Santa Clara University’s Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship on June 9 to advance social entrepreneurship to improve maternal and child health outcomes in sub-Saharan Africa.

The First Ladies of Africa were introduced to the healthymagination Mother & Child program, and participated in a roundtable panel that addressed how countries can engage social enterprises to meet U.N. Sustainable Development Goals and improve health care for mothers and children.

In March, GE and Miller Center partnered to create the healthymagination Mother & Child program which trains and mentors social entrepreneurs working on maternal and child health innovations in sub-Saharan Africa. The program combines GE healthcare product expertise with Miller Center’s proven Global Social Benefit Institute (GSBI) methodology for accelerating social enterprises.

“We are encouraged by the potential of social entrepreneurship, and the healthymagination program in particular, to help reduce maternal, newborn and child mortality rates in sub-Saharan Africa,” said Her Excellency Madam Monica Geingos, First Lady of the Republic of Namibia. “The well-being of the mother is key to ensuring the survival of the child, because children who lose their mothers are less likely to celebrate their second birthdays. The mission and goals of this GE and Miller Center project align perfectly with the mission and goals of OAFLA.”

“The healthymagination Mother & Child program is part of a multi-year global investment by GE to improve global health outcomes, foster regional economic development and develop local human capital,” said Robert Wells, Executive Director of GE’s healthymagination commitment. “We have always tried to stay close to new thinkers and partner with companies that have innovative ideas and move fast to solve major challenges of our time. We are proud to support the development of healthcare innovations and partner with the Miller Center and OAFLA to mentor the best minds to reach this goal.”

“We are delighted to partner with GE healthymagination, and to continue interaction with OAFLA, as we all work to apply social entrepreneurship to our important shared goals.”

“Miller Center has aligned our time-tested curriculum and successful track record in training, mentoring and accelerating social enterprises globally toward achieving as many of the 17 U.N. SDGs as possible—an approach we feel is the most direct path toward making a tangible difference in the lives of poor and underserved women and children in Africa and elsewhere,” said Thane Kreiner, Ph.D., Executive Director of Miller Center for Entrepreneurship. “We are delighted to partner with GE healthymagination, and to continue interaction with OAFLA, as we all work to apply social entrepreneurship to our important shared goals.”

Improving maternal and child health care in Africa, the world’s second-most populous continent, is a critical global health priority. Over 450 women in Africa die every day from pregnancy-related complications, and children in sub-Saharan Africa are more than 14 times more likely to die before the age of 5 than children in developed regions. Social entrepreneurship, with its dual focus on positive social outcomes and solid business practices, is uniquely suited to address these issues.


Social entrepreneurship is considered a crucial catalytic factor in alleviating many social and environmental ills because it provides solutions in local contexts that enrich the communities where they are located; is sustainable; invests in human capital; and delivers a replicable, business-focused model that helps organizations to scale.

Participants in the New York luncheon included: Her Excellency Mrs. Ban Soon-Taek, spouse of UN Secretary General; Her Excellency, Mrs. Monica Geingos, First Lady of the Republic of Namibia; Her Excellency, Aissata Issoufou Mahamadou, First Lady of the Republic of Niger; Her Excellency Mrs. Dominique Ouattara-Folloroux, First Lady of the Republic of Cote D’Ivoire; Deborah Elam, president of The GE Foundation and Chief Diversity Officer for GE; Carol Evans, founder and former CEO of Working Mother Media; Dr Stefan Peterson, Director and Chief of the Health Section, UNICEF, Thane Kreiner, Ph.D., Executive Director of Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship; Katherine Lucey, CEO and founder of Solar Sister; Jennifer Reingold, senior editor at Fortune magazine and Robert Wells, Executive Director for GE’s healthymagination commitment.

About the Organisation of First Ladies of Africa Against HIV/AIDS

The Organisation of African First Ladies against HIV/AIDS (OAFLA) is an organization established by African First Ladies in 2002 as a collective voice for Africa’s most vulnerable people including women and children infected and affected by HIV and AIDS. OAFLA has since expanded its mission to work broadly for the health and empowerment of women, children and adolescents in Africa, including the improvement of maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health services thereby supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

About GE and its healthymagination Commitment

GE (NYSE:GE) is the world’s Digital Industrial Company, transforming industry with software-defined machines and solutions that are connected, responsive and predictive. GE is organized around a global exchange of knowledge, the “GE Store,” through which each business shares and accesses the same technology, markets, structure and intellect. GE’s healthymagination commitment is about better health for more people. Through its healthymagination efforts, GE continuously develops and invests in innovations that deliver high-quality, more affordable healthcare to more people around the world. For more information about the GE healthymagination commitment, visit

About Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship

Founded in 1997, Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship is one of three Centers of Distinction at Santa Clara University. Miller Center accelerates global, innovation-based entrepreneurship in service to humanity. Its strategic focus is on poverty eradication through its three areas of work: The Global Social Benefit Institute (GSBI), Impact Capital, and Education and Action Research. To learn more about the Center or any of its social entrepreneurship programs,

Kristin Schwarz for GE

+1 (646) 682-5601

Colleen Martell for Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship
Martell Communications for Miller Center

+1 (408) 832-0147

The Iconic AGATHA RUIZ DE LA PRADA to Attend Nigeria Fashion Week as “Special Guest”

Visit will highlight the world-acclaimed Spanish Designer’s Awards-Winning Fashion Designer participation at the Nigerian Fashion Week 2014 as a Guest of Honour alongside Bisila Bokoko, newly appointed Global Ambassador to the fashion house.
5G8X0477 R - 600DPI(New York, NY)— This September, Ágatha Ruiz de la Prada, multi Awards-Winning Fashion Designer will head to Africa again to honour her invitation from the “Nigeria Fashion Week” committee. The event has continuously provided the platform for local designers to rediscover themselves and for global brands to make success of their creative talents. This trip, and the cities the iconic Designer is planning to visit, will highlight many of the projects that Ágatha Ruiz de la Prada has long worked on—fashion development, business growth and humanitarian projects to name but a few.
Six months ago, Fashion Designer extraordinaire Ágatha Ruiz de la Prada Company appointed Bisila Bokoko as their new Global Ambassador for her legendary brand and thanked her for her generous involvement around the world. With a great pleasure, Bisila Bokoko welcomed her new mission with humility, showing a strong bond with the Fashion Designer and her successful label. Global Brands Ambassador, Bisila Bokoko, is paving her own lane in the fashion realm. Known for her professionalism and diligence, she sets her own standards, while maintaining originality and excellence in representing the brand.
Ágatha Ruiz de la Prada is a Spanish noble and Fashion Designer; and this will be the most exciting trip to the continent made by the famously known as the 12th Marquise of Castelldosrius. Previously, she has been a guest of honour and a representative of Spanish fashion on the main catwalks of Albania, Germany, Argentina, Austria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Slovakia, the United States of America, France, Gambia, Georgia, Greece, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Morocco, Mexico, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Romania, Russia, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Ukraine, Uruguay, Uzbekistan… This will not be the first time that Fashion Designer Ágatha Ruiz de la Prada will be setting her foot on African soil. She has recently been seen showcasing her collections at the “Fashion Night Soiree” in Banjul, Gambia where fashion lovers have applauded her colorful designs alongside Gambian tailors and craftsmen. As a friend of the continent and especially with color as her flag, Ágatha Ruiz de la Prada is once again expected to rock the show in Nigeria where she has been invited as a “special Guest.”
Over the years, Fashion Designer Ágatha Ruiz de la Prada has continued to build upon her longstanding commitment to Africa through her fashion house. Welcoming Bisila Bokoko as the new Global Ambassador allows her to impact lives throughout the “Bisila Bokoko African Literacy Program,” better known as BBALP.
Both Fashion Designer Ágatha Ruiz de la Prada and Bisila Bokoko are super excited about this upcoming event and they look forward to using this opportunity to convey optimism.

For updates, visit Ágatha Ruiz de la Prada official website: and,
Kindly join Bisila Bokoko on Facebook:

West Africa Agrees on Ebola Response

An emergency meeting on Ebola held in Ghana has ended with a resolution to set up a fund to support research into the disease which has claimed more than 460 lives in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.


The health ministers and experts who gathered in Accra agreed to establish a fund pool to which member countries of the West African sub-region would contribute and from which they would benefit in common efforts to fight the Ebola virus.

They have also agreed to improve coordination across the region with a view to containing and preventing the spread of the disease. They also recommended measures aimed at persuading citizens to abandon certain cultural practices that encourage the spread of Ebola.

The director general of Ghana’s health service, Dr Ebenezer Appiah Denkyira, said the new fund would be crucial and appealed for international support.

‘Lack of interest from research institutes’

Another doctor attending the two-day conference, Dr Didier Mbayi Kangudie, said the success of the resolution passed depended on West African countries summoning up the necessary political will. He accused the world’s biggest research institutes of failing to invest sufficiently in a vaccine for Ebola because it has largely affected only countries within Africa.

Sierra Leone’s deputy minister for health, Dr Aboubakari Fofanah, said some of the recommendations made were already being implemented in his country. “[We have a] surveillance system including finding and reporting cases, with contact tracing andmonitoring,” he said, adding that restrictions had been placed on public gatherings and schools closed in affected areas.

However, in an interview with DW, Anja Wolz of Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said the situation in Sierra Leone was still a matter of great concern. In the last two days, another 30 patients had been taken in at the treatment center where she works, she said.

According to Wolz, a major problem is that many people “are denying that Ebola exists.” People who fell sick were hiding rather than go to a doctor and could infect others.

There was still a great need for public awareness campaigns, she said, as many Africans “think the white people are bringing Ebola.” MSF staff were working hard to overcome this but they could not go to every single village, Wolz said, addding that the problem was the same in Liberia and Guinea.

The Accra meeting, which was convened by the World Health Organization, also identified the need for public awareness campaigns as a major priority.


Source: Deutsche Welle.

Mobile Phone App Helps Diabetics in Senegal

Dakar — Senegal has become the first Francophone country to pilot a mobile phone platform, called mRamadan, which helps people with diabetes safely manage their health while fasting. Diabetics who are testing the new app say it has been quite helpful. 00221945-44870e59fd8abf8e396e169c774dfb2e-arc614x376-w614-us1Diabetics in Senegal can now receive – for the first time – free, daily text messages with recommendations for fasting before, during and after the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. “mRamadan,” is part of the Be He@lthy Be Mobile program, a joint initiative by the World Health Organization and the International Telecommunication Union that aims to help countries fight non-communicable diseases. The goal of mRamadan is to help diabetic patients in Senegal safely manage their illness and reduce the number of emergency hospitalizations that normally peak during Ramadan. Marie Gadio, 26, who was diagnosed with diabetes at age 13, said living with diabetes during Ramadan is not easy. “It is sometimes difficult because here in Senegal the majority of people are Muslims and because of that no one is eating during the day,” she said. “Certain diabetics just fast as they want, without knowing anything, but now our technology is developing and people can take advice from this program.” While Islam exempts anyone too young, old, pregnant, or not in good health from fasting, many diabetics say they do try to abstain from food and drink during Ramadan. They also sometimes stop taking insulin injections, which are needed to regulate blood glucose levels. Dr. Maimouna Ndour Mbaye, a professor of internal medicine and diabetology who works at the Marc Sankale National Diabetes Center in Dakar, said diabetics can face a number of complications while fasting. “The first risk is hypoglycemia, which can be very harmful to the brain, in particular,” she said. “There is also a risk of hyperglycemia, because when they fast, their diabetes is less controlled. They cannot take their medication on a regular basis as they do on a normal day. And this is a risk… and exposes [patients] to complications.” Mbaye said diabetics are also at an increased risk of dehydration. People with diabetes who have existing conditions, such as chronic kidney problems, are usually not advised to fast, as such conditions can worsen. She said that all diabetics should consult with their physicians before deciding if it is safe not to eat. Ndiaga Diop, 26, who was diagnosed with Type-1 diabetes when he was eight years old, said mRamadan is proving to be a useful tool for people with diabetes in Senegal. “Before, we had many diabetics who didn’t know what to do during Ramadan, whether they should fast or not, but now with the program, it helps you know what to do while fasting,” he said. “Each day we receive messages with advice about what to do or not do. So it’s a very good thing and really helps people.” Some of the messages include reminding people to drink at least a liter of water each morning before beginning the fast, how to adjust the timing and dosage of diabetes medications, and not to eat too many sugary foods, such as dates, in the evening. Once Ramadan is over, participants will continue to receive messages about the importance of checking in with a doctor to make sure their diabetes is still well-controlled, and to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.   Sce: Voice of America

Bavarian Pork Ribs

Cooking in Sens


I found a large package of travers de porc (French pork ribs) in my freezer in Sens and brought them back to Germany with me.  The travers de porc  is sort of a bonus cut; 1/2 to 3/4 is rib and the other part is pork belly.  I believe I’ve used my Bavarian Essence on every kind of meat/poultry cut possible except for pork ribs, until today.


I stir fried some weary cabbage with a red pepper and shallot, then added a little sugar, vinegar and mustard.  Simple but satisfying.  Drizzle a little of your favorite barbecue sauce on the ribs before serving.

Bavarian Pork Ribs

1 travers de porc or a slab of pork ribs

2 -3  tbsp Bavarian Essence

1/3 cup olive oil

Barbecue Sauce

Mix the olive oil with the Essence and then brush generously on both sides of the pork. Leave in the refrigerator overnight or…

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Benedict XVI says ‘God told me’ to resign: report

Benedict XVI has said God told him to resign as pope and that hissuccessor’s “charisma” reflected this divine inspiration, Catholicnews agency Zenit has reported.

Source: Yahoo
Source: Yahoo

“God told me” to step down, the pope emeritus was quoted as saying by a visitor who met him recently, Zenit said in a report in Italian media on Wednesday.

The 86-year-old Benedict XVI, who has retained his papal name, now lives in a former monastery inside the Vatican walls and has made no public appearances.

He only very rarely meets with visitors, Zenit said.

Benedict shocked the world with his resignation announcement on February 11, when he said he was stepping down because he felt his weak physical and mental state no longer let him fulfil his duties.

Rumours of a serious illness were quickly denied by the Vatican, as was speculation that a far-reaching scandal over a series of leaks revealing intrigue in the Vatican had forced him to leave.

But Benedict was quoted by Zenit as saying he had a “mystical experience” in which he received a divine message that fostered the “absolute desire” to be with God in private prayer.

He was also quoted as saying that the “charisma” shown by successor Pope Francis showed that the resignation was indeed “God’s will”.

Benedict on Sunday visited the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo for a short walk in its sprawling grounds but usually lives in virtual seclusion.

Francis has said Benedict is like “a live-in grandfather” and informed sources say he regularly consults his predecessor.