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  • Workshop focuses on prevention of assault against bus crews

    GIS 20 April, 2018: A half-day workshop on “Preventive measures to ensure security in buses” at the initiative of the ERS Transport Squad (Police du Transport) was held yesterday at the National Transport Corporation (NTC), La Tour Koenig Regional Office.
    Speaking at the workshop, ASP Jean Claude Ramsay, Head of the ERS Transport Squad, urged public transport employees to be more vigilant. He added that the society is undergoing a change and that bus crews should adapt to these new situations. “People with different characters and having diverse behaviours travel by public transport daily. You should learn how to prevent incidents in public buses”. He, however, warned bus crews not to take the law into their hands, and try to act on behalf of the Police or any other authority.
    Mr. Ramsay also announced that the ERS Transport Squad will soon start a sensitisation campaign targeting students. He explained that it has been reported that bus crews usually have a tough time with some students.
    With regard to dark spots where assaults against bus crews are more likely to occur, ASP Ramsay announced that his Squad along with other Units within the ERS will be more present so as to ensure the security of bus crews. After a brief presentation of the ERS Transport Squad, ASP Ramsay said that although the Squad has only eight police officers, it has so far been very much active.
    On the other hand, Inspector Poorecelan of the ERS insisted that the main objective of the ERS Transport Squad is to curb down assaults against bus crews and ensure their security and that of passengers. He added that Road Traffic (Conduct of Passengers) Regulations 1967 are very clear regarding the behavior of passengers in public buses. “Any passenger who contravenes these regulations commits an offence and could be liable to a fine, if convicted”, he explained. Furthermore, he urged bus crews to share information with the Police so as to better deal with the problem of assault.
    For his part, Mr. Pradeep Panday, NTC Traffic Manager, explained that the workshop aims to facilitate an exchange of information and ideas between the ERS Transport Squad and bus crews. He added that the management of the NTC is very much concerned about cases of assault against its employees. Ten employees of the NTC have been victims of assaults since the beginning of this year.
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org
  • High-angle rope rescue demonstrations held at Coromandel Fire Station

    GIS 20 April, 2018: The Mauritius Fire and Rescue Services (MFRS) held demonstrations of a high-angle rope rescue yesterday at the Coromandel Fire Station. The simulation consisted of undertaking a rapid intervention in a low angle situation to reach for casualties.
    Two systems of cords were used to reinforce the security of the mission. A second exercise was carried out to simulate the rescue of a casualty in his vehicle trapped in the strong currents of a river in a flood situation. A rope throwing gun and a highline system were used in the undertaking of this mission.
    The Station Officer of the Coromandel Fire Station, Mr Nawshad Elaheebocus, underlined that the demonstrations showcased the scopes of intervention of fire-fighters who have been trained to engage in road rescue missions.  He pointed out that 30 officers have been trained over a period of 15 days by experts from the Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service Training Academy (DSFRS) of England to perform safe, effective rescues from height.
    He also highlighted that in view of reinforcing the capacity-building of the team, in 2016, 30 fire-fighters were offered two-year training in the road rescue operator training dispensed by the DSFRS and benefitted from further guidance in the field of road rescue technician and advanced technician training preparing them for team-based work.
    The aim of such capacity-building initiatives are to provide for better specialised rescue services in different situations of life-saving and in this regard, the MFRS has set up different special rescue units, added Mr Elaheebocus. They consist of the Rescue Operation Unit, the Aerial Fire Fighting Rescue Unit, the Swift Water Unit and the Road Rescue Unit. A Hazmat Unit is also in the pipeline.
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org
  • Sixth edition of Web Cup to be held in May 2018

    GIS – 20 April 2018: The sixth edition of the Web Cup, a 24-hour website creation challenge, will be held on 05 and 06 May 2018 at BPML Cyber Tower 1, in Ebène Cyber-city. 
    The Minister of Technology, Communication and Innovation, Mr Yogida Sawmynaden, made this announcement yesterday at a press conference at SICOM Building, in Ebène. The President of Mauritius IT Industry Association and Federation of Innovative and Numeric Activities in Mauritius, Mr Dev Sunnasy, and other personalities were present on that occasion.
    Web Cup, the Minister highlighted, aims at valorising the talents and competencies of people working in the digital sector as well as enhancing skills such as time management, project management and team work.  The competition will also enable participants to develop friendly ties and enhance cooperation with other neighbouring countries through the exchange of know-how and sharing of experiences, he added.
    Minister Sawmynaden emphasised on the important investments made by Government in new technologies and innovative tools so as to transform Mauritius into a digitally modern country.  He underscored that several capacity-building initiatives have been implemented in order to cater for the emerging needs of a technology-driven society.  Some of the initiatives are: hosting of Robotics Week; launching of AppFactory; initiation to coding via the Digital Youth Engagement programme; and, an ICT awareness training programme for senior citizens.
    The Minister pointed out that a boot camp focusing on web creation techniques will be held on 28 April 2018 at the Institut de la Francophonie pour l’Entrepreneuriat, in Réduit.  The objective will be to provide guidance to Mauritian participants to succeed in the 2018 Web Cup challenge.
    Registration for the Web Cup challenge will be open till 30 April 2018.
    Web Cup 2018
    Web Cup Mauritius is organised at the initiative of Outsourcing and Telecommunications Associations of Mauritius; Mauritius IT Industry Association and Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie France Maurice. It is partnered by the Ministry of Technology, Communication and Innovation and the National Computer Board in collaboration with sponsors specialised in the ICT sector.
    The competition is open to participants (webmaster/web developer, web-designer, community manager, web editor, students as from 16 years, professionals, and amateurs) who can register in teams not exceeding four people.  They will be assigned a topic with the challenge of staying awake during 24 hours to create a website. The teams will be divided in three categories, namely professionals which is open to companies; ‘The Fun’ category is meant for interested individuals and the third one is open to students.
    The national event aims at rewarding talent in the ICT field with regard to design and development of websites.  Prizes will be awarded to the first, second and third best sites. A prize will also be awarded to the website which has gone most viral on social media.  The best team will participate in the international final.
    The event will be held simultaneously in Réunion Island, Madagascar, Mauritius, Comoros, Rodrigues, Seychelles, Mayotte and Burkina-Faso. The international final will be held in one of these islands.
    The first edition of Web Cup Mauritius was held on 18-19 May 2013.  Mauritius hosted twice the international final of Web Cup in Rodrigues.  Since 2013, some 330 people have participated in the Web Cup representing a rate of more than 25% in the Indian Ocean zone.
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org
  • Health Ministry launches national prevention campaign against Non-Communicable Diseases

    GIS 20 April, 2018: The national prevention campaign against Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), a joint initiative of the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life, and the Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, was launched yesterday at the Roche Bois Social Welfare Centre.
    The campaign aims at sensitising and educating the public against the risk related factors, complications and prevention measures of NCDs. It comprises a series of activities namely screening for NCDs, breast cervical, vision, cholesterol, and counselling and health education.
    Present at the launching ceremony, the Minister of Health and Quality of Life, Dr Anwar Husnoo, underlined that an early detection of NCDs is fundamental to prevent diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and cancer and their related complications. He added that currently some 250 000 persons are suffering from blood pressure, 200 000 persons from diabetes and 2 500 from cancer. The population, he stressed, should adopt and maintain a healthy lifestyle as well as practice sports to improve the management of NCDs, and promote the health status of the population.
    Minister Husnoo highlighted that NCDs is the leading cause of death in Mauritius, and added that this campaign will help raise awareness of NCDs at national level and make Mauritius a physically active and healthy nation. He also pointed out that his Ministry is continuously working on programmes to provide free medical check-ups to the public as well as to encourage the population to practise physical activities and adopt healthy eating habits.
    Moreover, he urged the population to take full advantage of the facilities put at their disposal and to encourage their family members and people of their locality to do regular medical tests for an early detection and timely treatment so as to avoid the risk of premature deaths.  
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org
  • Culinary competition and exhibition held to mark contribution of women in agriculture

    GIS 20 April, 2018:  A culinary competition and exhibition gathering 70 female participants were held yesterday at the City Council of Port-Louis, in the context of the 50th Independence Anniversary of Mauritius in the presence of the Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security, Mr Mahen Seeruttun and the Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, Mrs Roubina Jadoo-Jaunbocus.  The objective of the initiative was to highlight and celebrate the contribution of women in the agriculture sector.  
    In his address on the occasion, the Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security, Mr Mahen Seeruttun, underpinned the key role of the agricultural sector in the development process of Mauritius, which now, he emphasised, forms the backbone of the economy. He added that Government is striving to boost the performance of the sector and envisions transforming the agricultural sector into a vibrant sustainable industry. 
    Minister Seeruttun stressed that women have played an important role in the reinforcement of the sector as they constitute more than two-third of the agricultural workforce. He also highlighted the need to give new impetus to the sector which requires the new generation to take over and join the new ventures of the sector. On that note, he recalled that various policies aiming at further consolidating and strengthening the agricultural sector to render it more responsive to the needs of the changing socioeconomic landscape of Mauritius have been elaborated.
    One such policy, he said, is the Young Entrepreneur Scheme that provides meaningful support and opportunities to young entrepreneurs. He pointed out that the Food and Agricultural Research and Extension Institute offers training and technical assistance to those who want to undertake activities in the sector. 
    For her part, the Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, Mrs Roubina Jadoo-Jaunbocus, highlighted that women are important pillars of the economy and have a longstanding contribution to the socioeconomic progress of the country.  The large presence of women in the agricultural sector indeed demonstrates their potential to be the key drivers of the economy, she added. 
    She further underscored the immense progress made by women in the society in different fields including agriculture. She underlined that the promotion of gender equality are central to all activities undertaken by the Government and in this respect Gender mainstreaming strategies have been established  to achieve the goal of leveraging women as empowered members of the society. She recalled that in line with the National Gender Policy Framework of 2008, which calls upon all Ministries to engender their respective policies, Government introduced the Gender Responsive Budgeting Initiative for which an amount of Rs 200, 000 was allocated to five Ministries.
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org
  • NPCC launches portal and logo for National Productivity and Quality Convention

    GIS – 19 April, 2018: The first edition of the National Productivity and Quality Convention (NPQC), an initiative of the National Productivity and Competitiveness Council (NPCC), will be held in August this year and in respect to the forthcoming convention, a portal and the logo dedicated to the NPQC were officially launched by the Executive Director of the NPCC, Mr. Deepak Balgobin, yesterday at Labourdonnais Waterfront Hotel in Port Louis.
    The platform which is a premier of its kind will serve for quality and productivity practitioners from public and private organisations in Mauritius and Rodrigues to showcase their value creation projects in the fields of productivity and quality and eventually compete in three different categories namely Gold, Silver and Bronze awards.
    The NPQC encourages local organisations to share their best operational practices, processes, systems and initiatives and learn from the experiences of others. It also provides an opportunity to mark the achievements of teams who have been responsible for creating and/or managing productivity and quality improvements at their workplace.
    Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Balgobin stated that the portal provides information on the aims and objectives of the convention as well as guidelines on registration and participation. He emphasised the importance to motivate enterprises to strive through sustained efforts to enhance productivity and quality with emphasis on team work. Currently, he added, Mauritius is gearing up to become a high income nation and for this to happen, it is of utmost importance that we encourage and further promote the culture of quality, productivity and innovation in all our activities.
    Furthermore, Mr Balgobin invited various organisations to participate in the different categories of the convention, namely small and medium private enterprises with an annual turnover of less than Rs 50 million, large private enterprises with an annual turnover of more than Rs50 million as well as Government departments and parastatal bodies.
    He also announced that the winners of the Gold Award will have the opportunity to present their projects to a panel of international judges in the aftermath of the convention. The six best teams, he added, will be offered the opportunity to participate in the International Convention for Quality Control Circles (ICQCC 2018) in Singapore from 22 to 25 October 2018. This membership will open opportunities for future networking between the NPCC and the other member countries, he added.
    During the months of June and July, the NPCC will provide coaching and advice to the participating teams in an effort to help them deliver a strong presentation. Videos on the steps to organise the presentations will be displayed on the NPQC website.
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org
  • Several activities organised to mark International Day for Monuments and Sites 2018

    GIS 19 April, 2018: An award ceremony for the second Heritage Short Film Competition organised by the National  Heritage Fund (NHF) in collaboration with the Mauritius Film Development Corporation on the theme “Contribution of our heritage in nation building” was held yesterday at the Rajiv Gandhi Science Centre in Bell Village. The ceremony lies in the context of activities to commemorate the International Day for Monuments and Sites 2018, observed on 18 April. The Minister of Arts and Culture, Mr Prithvirajsing Roopun, and other personalities were present on the occasion.
    The film ‘Le Batelage’ by Mr Nunkoo Pravesh won the first prize of this competition. The second prize went to Mr Ramroi Krishnaduth for ‘Hamni Ke Pechaan’ and Mr Ramroj Manish won the third prize for his film ‘Nou Pays, nou Heritage’. The Special Jury Prize was awarded to Mr Durbory Raghav for ‘Mau Zistwar’
    In his address on that occasion, Minister Roopun underlined that the International Day for Monuments and Sites offers an opportunity to the population to reflect on the importance of cultural heritages in Mauritius and their impact in their lives, promote awareness of its diversity, and draw attention to its vulnerability. On this score, he made an appeal to the population to double their efforts and to adopt a sense of ownership for the preservation, conservation and restoration of our rich cultural heritage and to pass on this rich culture to the future generations.
    The Minister also called for the collaboration of the private sector to participate actively in the preservation of the cultural and natural heritage. He enumerated on the ways synergies can be strengthened, namely by ensuring the right to creativity and the opening of new avenues and prospects between the public and the private sector.
    Moreover, Mr Roopun highlighted that Government is investing massively in the preservation and restoration of the heritage sites in Mauritius. Government has made provision for some Rs 500 million for renovation works at the Port Louis Theatre, Plaza Theatre and the Town Hall of Curepipe, he added.
    For his part, the Chairman of NHF, Mr Ramchurn, pointed out that Mauritius has more than 200 cultural sites and that there is a need to educate the population, in particular the youth, of the country’s rich cultural heritage for the promotion and protection of the sites. 
    The following Heritage Sites will be opened to the public free of charge in the context of the International Day for Monuments and Sites 2018 on 21 and 22 April 2018 from 09.00 hrs to 16.00 hrs. They are State House, Reduit; Aapravasi Ghat World Heritage Site, Port Louis; Le Morne Cultural Landscape and International Slave Route Monument, Le Morne; Domaine des Aubineaux, Forest Side; Maison Saint Aubin, Saint Aubin; Domaine de Bois Cheri, Bois Cheri; Château Riche en Eau, Riche en Eau; Martello Tower, La Preneuse; National History Museum, Mahebourg; Robert Edward Hart Memorial Museum, Souillac; Frederik Hendrik Museum, Vieux Grand-Port; SSR Memorial Centre for Culture, Port Louis; La Citadelle, Port Louis; Vagrant Depot, GRNW; La Citadelle, Port Louis; Bras d’eau National Park; SSR Botanical Garden, Pamplemousses; Postal Museum, Port Louis (Saturday 21 April 2018 only).
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org
  • Women an important pillar of the economy of Mauritius, says Minister Jadoo-Jaunbocus

    GIS – 19 April, 2018: Women are an important pillar of the Mauritian economy and have contributed massively in the advancement of Mauritius even before our country acceded to Independence and are still continuing to do so, said the Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, Mrs Roubina Jadoo-Jaunbocus, today at the National Women Development Centre, in Phoenix.
    The Minister was speaking at the launching of an entrepreneurship workshop, L’Atelier de L’Entrepreneuriat au Féminin, organised to sensitise existing and aspiring women entrepreneurs on the services and facilities offered by different supporting institutions to help them ensure the growth of their enterprises or set up new ones.
    In her address, Minister Jadoo-Jaunbocus indicated that the contribution to the economy brought by women entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs in general should be given due recognition.  It is necessary to understand that while the work market itself per se will not be able to absorb all people yet there exists certain slots on the market that need to be filled and it is where entrepreneurs come into play, she stated.
    For the Minister, the necessary mentoring is therefore crucial to accompany those women wishing to set up an enterprise and become entrepreneurs.  It is indeed challenging to start up a business even if the aspiring entrepreneur already has the initial idea as there are indeed numerous procedures that precede the creation of an enterprise and this is where the National Women Entrepreneur Council (NWEC) comes into play, she highlighted.
    Moreover, Mrs Jadoo-Jaunbocus emphasised the role of the NWEC in providing the appropriate support to women entrepreneurs to enable them to have a profitable business on the long-run.  We want women to become economically independent and be empowered, she added.
    L’Atelier de L’Entrepreneuriat au Féminin
    Some 100 women entrepreneurs are attending the workshop organised by the NWEC.  Resource persons are from MauBank, SME Mauritius, Registrar of Companies and Municipal Councils.  Presentations are focusing on: Procedures for Business Registration; Permits and Licences required for the setting up of a business; Schemes available at SME Mauritius; and Financial Schemes available at MauBank.
    The NWEC offers several services to support the economic empowerment of women such as: business counselling, marketing assistance, skills development, business incubators, entrepreneurship development, workshops and seminars.
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org
  • Mauritius to host SIDS Forum and Regional Preparatory Meeting

    GIS - 18 April, 2018: Mauritius together with the United Nations would co-host the Small Island Developing States Global Business Network (SIDS-GBN) Private Sector Partnership Forum and a SIDS Regional Preparatory Meeting for the Africa, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean and South China Sea (AIMS) region, from 21 to 25 May 2018. 
    The objective of the Forum is to forge collaboration among SIDS regional private sector organisations for a better exchange of experiences and best practices.  The theme of the 2018 Forum will be “Strengthening private sector partnerships for sustainable tourism development”.
    The SIDS Regional Preparatory Meeting for the AIMS region aims at reviewing the implementation of the SAMOA Pathway which articulates the sustainable development agenda for SIDS.  Some 150 participants would attend the meetings.
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org
  • Gender Caucus: National Assembly Speaker elaborates on findings and recommendations of two reports

    GIS 18 April, 2018: The key findings and recommendations of two reports issued by the Gender Caucus following studies carried out on Sociological Profiling of Perpetrators of Domestic Violence and Gender Audit in the Civil Service respectively were elaborated yesterday by the Speaker of the National Assembly, and President of the Caucus, Mrs Santi Bai Hanoomanjee, at a press conference at the National Assembly in Port Louis.
    The Gender Caucus aims to create a gender-responsive culture, the promotion and attainment of gender equality through periodical gender assessments of government policies and research on salient gender issues so as to promote a fairer society in Mauritius.
    Mrs Hanoomanjee highlighted that the purpose of the studies is to identify the factors and priorities that need to be addressed from a gender perspective to, among others, ensure parliamentary oversight on issues pertaining to gender equality; and eventually come up with recommendations to address the root causes of gender inequality in the Mauritian society. 
    The study on Sociological Profiling of Perpetrators of Domestic Violence, she underlined is to provide a sociological analysis of the characteristics of perpetrators who use violence in their relationships in Mauritius. By retracing the evolution of perpetrators, the study identifies the risk factors and triggers of domestic violence; provides recommendations for the support and rehabilitation of perpetrators and support to victims. It also addresses the root causes of domestic violence and the broader socio-economic as well as the cultural context that underpins violence in the couple, she underlined.
    As for the study on Gender Audit in the Civil Service in Mauritius, Mrs Hanoomanjee outlined that it aims to establish the baseline situation on the status of gender equality in the programming and operational dimensions of sectoral Ministries in Mauritius. Tlhe findings of the report, she pointed out reveal that the Civil Service in Mauritius has a gender sensitive institutional culture and an increase in the number of women in the public sector with 40% in 2016 compared to 23% in 2001. However, gender is still not fully viewed as a cross-cutting issue in the sectoral Ministries, she added.
    The report creates the basis for concrete and contextual recommendations to build up on existing efforts of Ministries to further consolidate their work on women's empowerment activities and gender mainstreaming measures, she underpinned.
    The general recommendations of the report are: each Ministry should take stock of the findings of this exercise and formulate their respective action plans to redress weaknesses identified; the National Steering Committee on Gender to be apprised of the findings of this exercise to guide its future strategic direction; the Civil Service College may include gender module in the training component related to the “Code of Ethics”; and the importance of gender responsive budgeting as an efficient method of carrying out the budget planning exercise throughout the cycle should be emphasised.  
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org
  • Women are the greatest assets in the process of business creation, says Minister Jadoo-Jaunbocus

    GIS – 18 April, 2018: Women empowerment equates to being autonomous and women themselves along with their ideas, abilities, determination and strong will are the greatest assets in the creation of enterprises, said the Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, Mrs Roubina Jadoo-Jaunbocus, this morning in Port Louis.
    The Minister was addressing some 75 women entrepreneurs attending a Seminar on Micro Finance organised by the National Women Entrepreneur Council (NWEC) in collaboration with State Bank of Mauritius (SBM) at the Municipality of Port Louis.  The objective was to sensitise existing and aspiring women entrepreneurs on new Micro Finance facilities offered by SBM.
    In her address, Minister Jadoo-Jaunbocus, pointed out that women entrepreneurs are those who want to achieve something and succeed.  Many aspiring women entrepreneurs, despite having brilliant ideas, are unable to set up their own businesses due to lack of access to adequate financing, she added.
    According to the Minister, funding is only a stepping stone in the process of setting up an enterprise and women entrepreneurs require only a soft loan to start with and eventually progress.  The funding being proposed is based on the system of clustering and this model has been successful across the world, she highlighted.
    Moreover, she observed that the clustering method has numerous benefits and would require women entrepreneurs to come together and operate as an organisation.  Each woman will bring in her skills within the cluster to present a finished product which is marketable and has the value-added factor which is very important, she emphasised.  When products are well presented they can be easily marketed not only across Mauritius but also on the international market, she underlined.
    For his part, the Group Chairman of SBM Ltd, Mr Kee Chong Li Kwong Wing, stated that women, who constitute more than half of the population of Mauritius, have a lot of potential and can achieve a lot in the SME sector.  SMEs in Mauritius contribute to 45% to the economy but across the world the minimum is 50% and therefore the potential of SMEs is not fully exploited, he said.
    The Group Chairman also remarked that small enterprises are responsible in wealth creation of countries such as Taiwan and Japan and for Mauritius to reach the levels of these countries several factors have to be taken into consideration which include a market to sell the products and capital.  He assured that under Micro Finance facilities, women entrepreneurs can obtain Rs 15 000 without guarantee individually to set their projects in motion if they satisfy all necessary criteria and if they opt to work in clusters they can receive funding of up to Rs 600 000 with guarantee.
    Present at the event, the Lord Mayor of Port Louis, Mr Daniel Laurent, said that it is very encouraging to note that presently most women entrepreneurs are getting easy access to micro finance facilities from various finance institutions to improve their livelihood.  It is also important for finance institutions to provide the support to all women entrepreneurs who have the capacity, talents and the will to work so as to ensure the overall progress of their families, he added.
    An overview about the micro finance system in Mauritius was given by resource persons from SBM Group.  The Micro Finance initiative will offer financial facilities to small entrepreneurs to create wealth and thus empower them to become financially self-sufficient and stand on their own feet over the years.
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org
  • Environment Ministry organises several activities to mark Earth Day 2018

    GIS  – 17 April, 2018: The Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity, and Environment and Sustainable Development is organising several activities in the context of Earth Day 2018, which will be celebrated on 22 April. The theme for this year is ‘End Plastic Pollution’.
    The activities comprise the official launching of the National Tree Planting Campaign at the Royal College of Curepipe on 22 April 2018, including the distribution of medicinal/decorative plants to students and the community, and a collection of plastic and PET bottles from 22 to 29 April 2018 in Curepipe. A National Tree Planting campaign will also be organised in all primary and secondary schools from 22 to 27 April 2018.
    Furthermore, the second edition of the booklet “Une Famille, Une Plante” will be launched and a talk on radio will be organised to sensitise the public on the importance of Earth Day and environment protection.
    About Earth Day
    On 22 April 1970, millions of people took to the streets to protest against the negative impacts of 150 years of industrial development. In many countries around the world, smog was becoming deadly and evidence was growing that pollution led to developmental delays in children. Biodiversity was in decline as a result of the heavy use of pesticides and other pollutants.
    Earth Day is now a global event each year, and more than 1 billion people in 192 countries now take part in what is the largest civic-focused day of action in the world. It is a day of political action and civic participation. People march, sign petitions, meet with their elected officials, plant trees, clean up their towns and roads. Corporations and governments use it to make pledges and announce sustainability measures.
    Earth Day Network (EDN), the organisation that leads Earth Day worldwide, announced that Earth Day 2018 will focus on mobilising the world to End Plastic Pollution, including creating support for a global effort to eliminate single-use plastics along with global regulation for the disposal of plastics.  EDN goals include ending single-use plastics, promoting alternatives to fossil fuel-based materials, promoting 100 percent recycling of plastics, corporate and government accountability and changing human behaviour concerning plastics. It will also educate millions of people about the health and other risks associated with the use and disposal of plastics, including pollution of oceans, water, and wildlife, and about the growing evidence that decomposing plastics are creating serious global problems.
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org
  • Signing of medical twinning with South Africa in the field of hemophilia

    GIS - 17 April, 2018: The Jawaharlal Nehru Hospital and the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital of South Africa signed yesterday a medical twinning in the field of hemophilia at the Victoria Hospital in Candos.
    The Minister of Health and Quality of Life, Dr Anwar Husnoo; the President of the World Federation of Hemophilia, Mr Alain Weill; the Professor of Hematology from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, Prof. Johnny Mahlangu; and the President of the Hemophilia Association of Mauritius (HAM), Mr Asraf Caunhye, and other eminent personalities were present for the event.
    The twinning project, which will span over a period of four years, will be sponsored by the World Federation of Hemophilia. It aims to improve the diagnostic capability of health care professionals in Mauritius; help better identify patients with hemophilia and other bleeding disorders; produce guidelines for the management of hemophilia patients; set up a comprehensive Hemophilia Treatment Centre; and facilitate the sharing of regional expertise through publications and presentations.
    In his address, the Minister of Health and Quality of Life, Dr Anwar Husnoo, lauded the twinning initiative which will enable the setting up of a Treatment Centre at the Jawaharlal Hospital. Speaking about the disorder, he recalled that hemophilia is an inherited bleeding disorder in which the blood does not clot properly while adding that in Mauritius 94 patients are diagnosed with hemophilia.
    Dr Husnoo highlighted that the mission of the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life is to provide quality services to everyone and in that context Factor Concentrates are being provided to all hemophilia patients which shows the significant progress made by Mauritius as regards treatment of hemophilia patients. The management of the disorder, he pointed out, requires the collective efforts of patients, parents and health care professionals since a comprehensive team is required for the long term management and rehabilitation of this disease.
    For his part, the President of the World Federation of Hemophilia, Mr Alain Weill, underlined that the mission of the Federation is to work globally to close the gap in care and to achieve treatment for all people with hemophilia and other inherited bleeding disorders. To that end, several programmes have been put in place with the aim of increasing accurate laboratory diagnosis of the disease, improving medical expertise and care delivery through training, increasing access to safe treatment products, and building a strong national patient organisation through capacity building, he emphasised.
    Mr Weill added that a World Bleeding Disorders Register will be launched this year by the Federation. The World Bleeding Disorders Registry is a web-based data entry system that provides a platform for a network of hemophilia treatment centres to collect uniform and standardised data on people with hemophilia. This registry, he pointed out, will bring together privacy-protected patient data from countries around the world, storing it in one central location. He underpinned that the real-world data generated in the registry will be used to advance the understanding and care of people with hemophilia worldwide and support evidence-based advocacy initiatives.
    The President of the Hemophilia Association of Mauritius, Mr Asraf Caunhye, pointed out that the first twinning of the HAM and the South African Hemophilia Association occurred from 2012 to 2016. Its objectives, he stated, were to build the capacity of the HAM to enable it to meet its aims and objectives, develop its strategic plan, mission and vision, as well as create awareness of the disorder.
    He emphasised that the first twinning resulted in a number of positive outcomes amongst which the setting up of a National Hemophilia Register; launching of a guideline protocol in 2013; publication and dissemination of leaflets, posters and magazines; and training of over 100 health professionals from the public and private sectors. The achievements of Mauritius as regards the treatment and care of hemophilia patients are being recognized at world level, he underscored.
    Speaking about the twinning with the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital, Mr Caunhye underlined that it will give a comprehensive infrastructure for the diagnosis, treatment and care of hemophilia patients. He added that Mauritius is strongly committed towards the cause of hemophilia patients and can serve as a model to be promoted in the African region.
    Twinning Programme
    The Twinning Programme of the World Federation of Hemophilia aims to improve hemophilia care in emerging countries through a formal, two-way partnership between two hemophilia organisations or treatment centres for a period of four years. 
    For more than 20 years, the Twinning Program has established 215 partnerships across 113 countries, with the goal that twinned organisations or hemophilia treatment centres work together and share information, resulting in a mutually beneficial partnership, to transfer expertise, experience, skills, and resources. Over the lifespan of the programme, twins have completed a total of 949 total years of twinning partnerships.
    World Hemophilia Day
    The signing of the medical twinning marks the World Hemophilia Day which is annually observed on 17 April. It aims to create awareness about the disorder and help people with bleeding disorders live a healthier, longer and more productive life by educating and empowering them through knowledge sharing, information exchanges, education and training.
    Activities marking World Hemophilia Day
    A booklet focusing on the topic of hemophilia was launched yesterday in Quatre Bornes by the Hemophilia Association of Mauritius, as part of its activities to mark World Hemophilia Day 2018. The Association will also be lighting the ‘Cheminee de Bagatelle’ in red in support of all those suffering from this life-threatening disorder in Mauritius.
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org
  • School Feeding Project launched to support socially disadvantaged children of Grand Port district

    GIS - 17 April, 2018: The School Feeding Project for Social Register of Mauritius (SRM) beneficiaries of the Grand Port district was launched yesterday, on a pilot basis, at the Mahebourg Social Welfare Centre. The project is a joint initiative of the National Empowerment Foundation (NEF), the Omnicane Foundation and the Mauritius Union Foundation.
    The objective of the project is to provide students who are SRM beneficiaries, with a hot meal on a daily basis to reduce short-term hunger and cases of malnutrition that may otherwise impair their academic performance. A total of 85 children, from pre-primary school and Grade one, from the region of Mahebourg and Rose-Belle will benefit from this programme, up to the end of the academic year.
    In his address on the occasion, the Chief Administrator of the NEF, Mr Clive Auffray highlighted that the project forms part of the numerous strategies of the Community Working Group (CWG), in line with the Marshall Plan, to mobilise resources, conceptualise projects and coordinate efforts of various actors to tackle poverty at grassroot levels.
    The School Feeding project, he said, is designed to alleviate the hunger, improve nutrition and cognition of disadvantaged children. He underlined that serving an appropriate meal to malnourished children will certainly contribute to positive outcomes in terms of their physical and psychosocial health as well as academic performance and hence, reduce the level of absenteeism at school.
    Mr Auffray further observed that education is an important catalyst in the combat against poverty and that it can help the vulnerable group to overcome intergenerational poverty that affects their life chances. Subsequently, he urged parents to encourage their wards to follow an appropriate academic path so that they acquire the key asset to forge their way out of poverty.
    Furthermore, he reiterated Government’s priorities of uplifting vulnerable groups from the cycle of poverty and support and empower them to integrate the mainstream society to live in dignity.  He emphasised that these goals will be attained more efficiently and easily with the conjoint efforts of the private sector and NGOs as demonstrated by the initiatives of the CWG.
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org
  • Honorary Consul General of Mauritius in Lebanon meets Prime Minister

    GIS16 April, 2018: The Honorary Consul General of the Republic of Mauritius in Lebanon, Mr Salem Mahmoud Beydoun, called on the Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, on Friday 13 April 2018 at the New Treasury Building in Port Louis.
    During the meeting, Mr Beydoun presented to Prime Minister Jugnauth an official letter of the Lebanese Prime Minister, Mr Saad Hariri in the context of the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of Independence of Mauritius and the strengthening of bilateral ties between the two countries.
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org