Inception Meeting at Begoro – The Sugar Project

The Sugar Project has run for three consecutive years in partnership with a local radio station; Joy Fm and the Rotary Club. The purpose of this project is to create awareness in the communities on the need to live healthy life styles and avoid Diabetes. In view of that, Joyfm, Millennium Promise Ghana and the Rotary Club in collaboration, organised a charity concert to raise funds for the project. The concept is to reunite secondary or high school bands to create a lot of excitement and also attract people from that era to have fun whiles contributing to a worthy course.


The Project has provided free diabetes health screening to over 500 people in various regions across Ghana. People in Breman in the Central Region and around Manhyia District Hospital in Kumasi have recently benefited from this exercise.


The meeting was attended by the District Director Dr. Abou and his team. They are in full support of the programme.

Also in attendance were Prof. Hagan and a representative from JoyFM.

Rotary PolioPlus, MPA sign pact to end polio

The Ghana National PolioPlus Committee of the Rotary International has entered into a partnership agreement with the One Million Community Health Workers (1mCHW) Campaign of Millennium Promise (MPA) to embark on a nationwide polio vaccination exercise.

The two, on Monday, September 17, 2018, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to that effect.

The deal will see the duo commit to the numerous activities they have agreed upon to end the dreaded polio disease from the West African country.

Per the dictates of the MoU, 1mCHWs Campaign of MPA and the Ghana National PolioPlus Committee of Rotary International will leverage on their respective strengths to improve routine immunization in Ghana in the month of October 2018.

The partnership builds on a similar collaboration in October 2017.

Immunization against preventable diseases such as neonatal tetanus, polio, measles, pneumonia and diarrhoea have contributed to reduced under-five mortality in Ghana as preventable deaths have been averted.

For example, since 2003, no child has died from measles in Ghana and the country has officially not recorded a polio case since 2008.

The One Million Community Health Workers (1mCHW) Campaign has since 2015 been providing technical support to the Government of Ghana in the training, deployment and management of 20,000 Community Health Workers (CHWs) and 1,000 eHealth Technical Assistants (eTAs) to support Ghana’s Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) programme for improved health.

The CHWs electronically register households, follow-up on pregnant women and children under five years, provide alerts on defaulters of immunization and antenatal visits for improved health. They (CHWs) are therefore a great resource to conduct disease surveillance, trace defaulters, and detect emerging or resurging diseases before they reach alarming proportions.

The CHWs also have an added advantage as they operate directly under the Ghana Health Service structure – the Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) system.

So far, the CHWs module has proven to be the best ever module run by the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) with an excellent exit strategy that has seen several numbers of young men and women gain admission into professional nursing training institutions.

The exit strategy was developed in partnership with MPA and its stakeholders.

As part of the collaboration, MPA will undertake Social Mobilization and Routine Immunization Campaigns by working with key healthcare stakeholders such as chiefs and opinion leaders, religious leaders, community health management committees (CHMCs), school management committees (SMCs) as entry points to educate community members on the benefits of routine immunization.

During the immunization week, the CHWs will embark on home visits to educate households especially parents/guardians of children under 5years to garner full participation in the immunization exercise.

MPA will also support CHWs to undertake home visiting to educate households on benefits of immunization, monitor project activities and ensure comprehensive reporting.

Chief Nat Ebo Nsarko, the Country Director of Millennium Promise Alliance commenting on the partnership deal, stated that his outfit will train and equip the frontline health workers with custom built, GPS– enabled smart phones and tablets to electronically register children under 5 in the respective households including GPS location and immunization status.

“The eHealth tools will help deploy a targeted response that better identifies and reaches populations and locations with high numbers of children who are typically left out of immunization. The eHealth application guides immunisation, defaulter tracing and tracking, as well as real-time data flow for prompt decision making.  This will promote efficient use of resources for maximum impact”, he noted.

The project, he added, will target some communities in all the ten regions across the country.

The Chair of the Ghana National PolioPlus Committee, Madam Theresa Osei Tutu also commenting on the partnership deal stated that Rotary Clubs across the country will be engaged to lead the exercises in the target localities.


In Ghana, where the Baah-Wiredu Laptop per Child Foundation is working towards a 10,000 laptop deployment, the Millennium Village cluster in Bonsaaso includes some of the first adopters of one laptop per child.

The Millennium Villages are part of an effort to help sub-saharan African countries realize the Millennium Development Goals through global social, financial, and innovation support.  Professor Jeffrey Sachs and former Secretary General Kofi Annan have worked closely together in designing and championing the MDGs, and proposing Millennium Villages and related programs.
This past week, Sachs and Annan visited Bonsaaso and visited the primary students there.

Primary students show off to visitors in Bonsaaso

As the village is unusual in a number of ways, not least in that it reportedly has reliable free internet access, it will be interesting to see how the students and teachers progress over the coming year. What do you think?

Billionaires reach for the stars while world suffers

Billionaires reach for the stars while world suffers

By Jeffrey Sachs

Updated 1224 GMT (2024 HKT) August 15, 2018

Source: CNN

Jeffrey Sachs is a professor and director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University. The opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author; view more opinion articles on CNN.

(CNN)With all due respect to Jeff Bezos and other billionaires who plan to spend billions of dollars of their personal wealth on space travel, hundreds of millions of children who lack access to basic health care and schooling more urgently need help right here on Earth.

The world economy is pumping trillions of dollars into the accounts of a few thousand people. These riches should be directed first and foremost to end the millions of needless deaths caused by extreme poverty, and to educate the hundreds of millions of children who lack schooling. The billionaires would still have enough left over to indulge their longing for mega-yachts, personal space ships, private tropical islands, and other conspicuous consumption.

The digital age has created winner-take-all markets in information — including our personal data — and Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page, Sergei Brin, and others are giddily reaping the benefits. In the past dozen years, according to Forbes Magazine, the number of billionaires and their net worth have both roughly tripled, from 793 billionaires with $2.6 trillion in net worth in 2006 to around 2,200 billionaires with $9.1 trillion as of March this year.

The flood of wealth to the top vastly outpaces economic growth. Much of the wealth reflects the redistribution of income from low-skilled workers, whose jobs and earnings are being lost to robots and artificial intelligence, to the super-rich owners of these “smart” systems. National income is shifting away from lower-skilled labor to the owners of high tech, including key technologies whose development was originally taxpayer-funded, like the Internet itself and Google’s search engine.

The system is rigged for those at the top. The tech giants divert their mega-wealth offshore, usually with the connivance of the IRS, which turns a blind eye on outrageous schemes that reassign US-based intellectual property to overseas tax havens.

The companies harvest our personal data, for which they pay nothing, to earn their fortunes. They are given patents that create 20-year artificial monopolies on technologies that should be in the public domain.

The billionaires and the corporations they own use campaign donations and media power to cajole our “representatives” in Congress to represent them rather than us. The result is tax cuts and tax gimmicks for the billionaires, and massive deficits and debt left for us and our children to repay. Companies like Amazon entice cities to join the fiscal race to the bottom, as they compete to attract Amazon through offers of local tax breaks and publicly financed infrastructure.

The wealth at the top is rising so rapidly that even when Bill and Melinda Gates, the greatest philanthropists of our age, nobly give away several billion dollars each year to fight disease and hunger, their wealth soars anyway, with new capital gains vastly outpacing their giving. In 2010, Gates pledged to give away at least half his wealth and called on other rich individuals to do the same. At that time he was worth $53 billion. Today, his net worth is $94.8 billion.

Nearly 200 wealthy individuals have joined the Giving Pledge over the past eight years, fewer than 10% of the billionaires. Moreover, there is no reporting or accountability of their actual giving. All in all, most of the world’s richest people have not yet joined the battle to end poverty. Yet their wealth is so vast that these few individuals could dramatically improve the lives of hundreds of millions of people.

Hundreds of millions of impoverished children live without access to basic health care or schooling. Around 5.6 million children under the age of five die each year because there is no clinic to safeguard their births, help them, if necessary, to take their first breath, provide life-saving antibiotics to fend off respiratory infections, or ensure timely access to a $1 dose of life-saving anti-malaria medicine in the event of an infective mosquito bite.

Hundreds of millions of children lack access to adequate public schools with trained teachers, electricity, books, and hygienic facilities. The result is that kids leave school after a few years without basic skills needed for the 21st century.

These debilitating conditions could be overcome for a tiny fraction of the vast wealth of the billionaires. A mere 1% of the billionaires’ net worth each year would amount to around $91 billion, a sum that could ensure access to health care and education for the poorest children across the globe. (UNESCO estimates a global financing gap for education of $39 billion per year; WHO professionals estimate a global financing gap for health of $20-$54 billion per year).

The billionaires should give this sum voluntarily, but when they don’t, governments should put on a 1% net worth levy to fund the basic health and education needs of the world’s poorest people.

When I led a commission 17 years ago that pointed out how modest levels of aid could make great strides against killer diseases like AIDS, TB, and malaria, I was told that the aid would be stolen, the poor would not adhere to the drug regimens, and so on. This is the blather of rich people.

In fact, when new institutions were established, including the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria and the US Government’s PEPFAR program to fight AIDS, the programs saved millions of lives. Even so, despite the overwhelming evidence of their success, these worthy life-saving organizations remain bereft of adequate funding.

The mega-rich expect the adulation of the masses and often get it. Yet the forbearance of society for the antics of the mega-rich will soon wear thin. Too many people are suffering, too many lower-skilled workers are losing their jobs and earnings, too much wealth is being frivolously squandered, and too much power over our lives is being asserted by big tech and other corporate giants.

Donald Trump channeled the rising unhappiness into his electoral victory, but his trade wars and tax cuts for the rich only widen the divide. Real answers depend on redirecting the mega-wealth towards those in urgent need.

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People as dynamic and capable as Jeff Bezos should aim their great wealth and energies toward the world’s urgent challenges: extreme poverty, needless disease, illiteracy, and environmental devastation. For those who don’t do so voluntarily, governments should put a levy on mega-wealth.

Once society’s urgent needs are faced and financed head on, there will be enough time and wealth to reach for the stars.


Kofi Annan protected us from our worst instincts

Jeffrey D. Sachs is a professor and director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University. The opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author;

(CNN)In every generation we depend on a few people of supreme decency and intelligence to hold the world together. In Jewish tradition, there are at all times 36 tzadikim, righteous people, without whom the world would perish. Kofi Annan was one of the righteous people, a man of extraordinary intelligence, decency, warmth and joy of life. He helped to keep our world from blowing itself apart, or dividing mercilessly between the rich and the poor.

Kofi Annan brought the UN into the 21st century with a momentous two terms of office between 1997 and 2007. I was profoundly privileged to work for Kofi during that period, first as an adviser on an economic report, then as director of a commission at the World Health Organization, and then as his special adviser on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for six years, 2001-2007. It is perhaps superfluous to say that watching and learning from Kofi greatly enriched my life; he did that for all of us.
Kofi’s core idea was that our crowded, interconnected world requires economic justice, peace and human rights. He would often say that there could be no development without security, no security without development, and neither security nor development without human rights.
He saw the need for the world to join together to deliver the end of poverty, the cessation of war and the protection of human dignity. He believed that the United Nations was the unique global institution that could support these immense ambitions, and he made it his life’s work to fashion a UN for our times. He inspired countless others, myself included, to devote ourselves to the work of the United Nations.
Kofi opened up the doors of the UN to the people of the world. While the UN Charter appropriately begins with the words “We the Peoples,” the members of the UN are in fact the world’s governments. Kofi made sure that people all over the world would regard the UN as theirs, not merely their governments’.
He indefatigably championed the moral charter of the UN, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. He brought the business community into the UN through the Global Compact.
Most poignantly, urgently and successfully, he put the world’s focus on the least among us, as the world’s great moral traditions bid us to do. Kofi’s greatest achievement for the poor was to mobilize global energies to fight poverty, hunger and disease through the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which Kofi put forward to the world’s governments at the UN Millennium Summit in 2000.
The MDGs inspired scientists, doctors, agronomists, community leaders, academics, business leaders, working people and youth everywhere to work together in the great challenge of ending poverty.
With the persuasive powers of the world’s consummate diplomat, Kofi signed up the world to this great mission. Extreme poverty declined rapidly during the MDG period, from 37% in the 1990 baseline year to below 10% at the MDG finish line in 2015. Because of this progress, the world’s governments had the confidence to set the goal of ending extreme poverty by 2030 as the first of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals launched in 2015. Kofi’s legacy continues in this ongoing global mobilization to end the scourge of extreme deprivation.
I watched Kofi’s dazzling persuasive powers on full display in early 2001 when we worked together to launch a new Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
Kofi made an inspiring call for the new Global Fund in Abuja, Nigeria, in April 2001. Just a few weeks later — a blink of the eye in the usual workings of public policy — I watched the TV in rapt attention and amazement as Kofi joined George W. Bush in the White House Rose Garden for the President’s announcement that the US would become the first country to join the new Global Fund. To date, the Global Fund and its partners have saved more than 20 million lives.
Kofi Annan Fast Facts

Yet Kofi’s second term would also face the nightmare of the US war on Iraq. After 9/11, the Bush White House immediately took aim at Iraq’s leader, Saddam Hussein. The US beat the drums of war with Iraq ever more loudly in 2002. Kofi implored Saddam to let the UN arms inspectors do their work to check whether the regime had abandoned weapons of mass destruction and implored the US administration to give the inspectors time. Kofi strongly urged the US to seek the approval of the UN Security Council for any military action against Iraq, as required by the UN Charter.
The US pressures on Kofi were nearly unbearable. The White House was determined to overthrow Saddam, no matter the evidence or lack thereof, and irrespective of the UN Security Council. The US decision to invade Iraq, which will surely be recorded as one of the greatest failures of US foreign policy, unleashed wave upon wave of violence, conflict, unrest and mass refugee movements across the Middle East and into Europe.
Kofi paid a heavy personal price for standing up to the US empire. When he declared that the US action in Iraq was against international law, the response from prominent Republicans was swift and unrelenting, attacking Kofi professionally and trying to smear him personally by going after his son’s business dealings. The attacks reflected the US at its worst, Kofi at his bravest, and the UN at its most vulnerable, trying to maintain international law against a lawless White House.
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Kofi never retired. That’s why his death is so shocking. There was no physical or mental decline, no retreat or slowing down in old age. Kofi worked tirelessly around the world with his unmatched diplomatic skills to save lives, tamp down conflicts, avoid the spread of war.
He often faced US obstinacy, as he did in trying to end the Syrian conflict in 2012. The Obama administration, on that occasion, wouldn’t accept a peaceful compromise solution, leading instead to many more years of a brutal and useless war.
Kofi Annan inspired and protected us — all too often from our own worst instincts and flawed judgments. He taught us the inestimable value of diplomacy, the art of finding common ground by listening to and respecting others. There was no finer practitioner of such exalted decency in our time.

We join the World to mourn a great legend, a genius and a shining star from Ghana Africa. May His Soul Rest in perfect peace

Kofi Annan, the first black African to lead the United Nations, has died at age 80. He served as Secretary-General at a time when worries about the Cold War were replaced by threats of global terrorism, and his efforts to combat those threats and secure a more peaceful world brought him the Nobel Peace Prize.

Annan, who was born in Ghana in 1938, served as the seventh UN Secretary-General, from 1997 to 2006, and was the first to rise from within the ranks of the United Nations staff.
He had also been a member, since 2007, of The Elders, a humanitarian group of a dozen leaders and activists of worldwide stature formed by Nelson Mandela. In 2013, Annan became its chairman.
The Kofi Annan Foundation confirmed his death with “immense sadness” in a statement posted on Twitter.
Annan passed away peacefully Saturday morning after a short illness, with his wife Nane and their three children by his side during his final days, the statement said.
The foundation paid tribute to Annan as a “global statesman and a deeply committed internationalist who fought throughout his life for a fairer, more peaceful world.”

Kofi Annan Fast Facts

“During his distinguished career and leadership of the United Nations, he was an ardent champion of peace, sustainable development, human rights and the rule of law.”
Annan was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with the United Nations in 2001 “for their work for a better organized and more peaceful world.”
Despite his many achievements, Annan’s record was not unblemished. He was head of the United Nations’ peacekeeping operations in 1994, when some 800,000 people were killed in the Rwanda genocide, and in 1995 when thousands of Muslim men and boys were massacred in Srebrenica.
Annan would later say that he should have done more to prevent what unfolded in Rwanda, and that events there and in Srebrenica had reshaped his global thinking.

Liberian politician Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, left, Kofi Annan and former Algerian UN politician Lakhdar Brahimi, right, attend an Elders event in South Africa on July 18.

Gov’t ready to assist cooperatives to develop local communities – Minister

The Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, Hon. Ignatius Baffour Awuah, has said that the government recognizing the important role cooperatives play, has resolved to provide them any assistance that will make them much stronger to be at the forefront of developing local communities to improve standards of living.

To demonstrate the government’s commitment to this pledge, Hon. Awuah said a draft Bill to that effect, is currently undergoing stakeholder consultation for subsequent submission to the Attorney-General for the necessary procedure leading to its passage.

“It therefore, behooves on the leadership of the cooperative societies to drive this agenda. As a mother Ministry, the Employment and Labour Relations Ministry would add its weight to the efforts of the cooperative societies”, he noted.

Hon. Awuah who is also the Member of Parliament for Sunyani East made this revelation when addressing representatives of the various cooperative societies in the country at the CLOGSAG Auditorium in Accra last Saturday, July 28, 2018.

The event was to commemorate the International Cooperative Day which was celebrated the world over under the theme “Sustainable societies through cooperation”.

Room for Improvement

He said despite the enormous contributions made by cooperatives in the informal and local economies, there is still great potential and room for improvement in the most sustainable manner.

“There is room to improve the productivity and output of the nation, and there is the need to do this in the most sustainable manner. The Cooperatives system already has the principles, systems and processes to ensure inclusive and sustainable development. Several countries, including South Korea, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and India have demonstrated the pivotal role cooperatives play in enhancing the contribution of the private sector to socioeconomic development. It is my strong belief that the role that cooperative movement has to play in the development of all sectors of the economy, especially, the rural and informal economy has been hugely untapped”, he stressed.

Full Potentials

To ensure that cooperatives harness their inherent full potentials, the Employment and Labour Relations Minister said the government has initiated several policies and programs such as the Planting for Food and Jobs, One District One Factory, One Village One Dam and several others that the cooperatives could tap into to realize their objectives.

For instance, he said cooperative societies could be at the forefront of the One District One Factory program since it is tailored for development of local communities.

Shining Star

Concluding, the Minister commended Kuapa Kokoo for being a shining star with cooperative principles worthy of emulation.

The Managing Director of Kuapa Kokoo, Mr. Samuel Adimado, commenting on the occasion stressed on how leadership of the formidable farmer-based organization has resolved to flush corruption out of the DNA of corrupt officials of the union to maintain the good name it has earned over the years.


SDGs: MPA supports UN Youth Ghana to host the biggest youth event in Ghana

Ghana SDG News-The Millennium Promise Alliance (MPA) is supporting the UN Youth Ghana to hold the biggest youth event Ghana has ever seen.

This time around, it will not be purely for entertainment purposes but rather to create awareness on the sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Country Director for MPA; Chief Nat Ebo Nsarko tells Bernard Buachi of his outfit has been engaging various youth groups across the country including student unions, religious associations, kayayes, tribal associations etc. towards the success of this event.

Chief Nat. who is also Chief Advisor on Global Affairs on SDG for the UN Youth Ghana team explains that in order to be successful with the attainment of the SDGs, people need to understand them and internalize them on their own level. He said MPA as part of efforts towards creating awareness among the youth about the SDGs has institutionalized the Green Ghana Lecture Series and Inter-tertiary Debate Competition in partnership with Kuapa Kokoo.

He says MPA is targeting the youth because they are the engines that will drive Ghana’s success story as far as the SDGs are concerned.

“The future is for the youth and so we must involve them at every level of this journey”, he said.

The Programme scheduled for 5th-7th October, 2018 at the Accra International Conference Centre is under the theme; “Mobilizing and Uniting Ghanaian Youth in active Participation towards Achieving the Global Goals for Sustainable Development”.

What are SDGs?

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a collection of 17 global goals set by the United Nations in 2015. These goals are also referred to as the Global Goals for Sustainable Development. The goals are broad with each having a separate list of targets to achieve. Achieving all 169 targets would indicate an accomplishment of all 17 goals. The SDGs cover social and economic development issues including poverty, hunger, health, education, climate change, gender equality, water, sanitation, energy, urbanization, environment and social justice.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development or 2030 Agenda were developed to succeed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which ended in 2015. Unlike the MDGs, the SDG framework does not distinguish between “developed” and “developing” nations. Instead, the goals apply to all countries.

What is MPA?

Millennium Promise Alliance (MPA) is an international NGO that mobilizes cutting-edge science and technology and uses a multi-sector and multi-scale approach for effective local development.

Millennium Promise seeks to accelerate sustainable development and eradicate poverty across rural sub-Saharan Africa and beyond.

MPA collaborates with governments, partner organizations, and local communities across sub-Saharan Africa to tackle critical problems in sub-Saharan Africa to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Millennium Promise specializes in six (6) main areas: 1) Sustainable Agriculture, Ecosystem Management, Climate Change, Economic Growth and Employment; 2) Health Systems and Nutrition; 3) Education Systems, including Formal and Non-Formal Education; 4) Gender, Institutions and Governance; 5) Energy and Infrastructure; and 6) Data & Information Systems including Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E).

The Millennium Villages Project: Authors’ reply

We thank Eran Bendavid (May, 2018)1 for his thoughtful comments on our evaluation of the Millennium Villages Project (MVP).2 We offer several observations on the points that he raised.

First, Bendavid writes that the MVP “was said to promote solutions derived from aloof economic models”. We would like to emphasise that the UN Millennium Project recommendations that served as the basis of the MVP came from leading specialists across many disciplines, including medicine, public health, agronomy, ecology, hydrology, civil engineering, business, economics, and others.3

Second, he writes that “on 30 of the 40 measures, the MVP villages are better off, on average, than the comparison villages”. In our data, the MVP villages were better off on 39 of 40 outcomes, on average, with 30 of these attaining the conventional criterion of statistical significance (95% uncertainty interval excluded zero).4

Third, the figure of US$600 million is cited in the Comment as the amount of investments over 10 years. According to our on-site spending data, the project spent $160 million over 10 years in the Millennium Village (MV) sites, or $32 per person per year on average. In the MV1s, which were the villages within the MV sites that formed the basis of the evaluation, on-site spending was an average of $46 per person per year. Governments, other donors, and communities also invested in the MV sites as well as in the comparison villages, but we do not know the spending in the comparison sites. This is a limitation of the impact analysis as we cannot compare the total spending in the MV1s and the comparison villages.

Finally, Bendavid notes that the MVP may have been “partly undone by its next of kin millennial: the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)”, which “galvanised an enormous amount of goodwill and resources towards many of the same goals as the MVP”. The MVP was launched precisely to promote the MDGs at national and global scales and to demonstrate how the MDGs could be pursued. For example, the MVP helped to spur a Kenya-wide uptake in various disease-control measures.5 The MVP maintained an MDG policy dialogue with the national governments throughout the project.

I declare no competing interests.


  1. Bendavid, E. The fog of development: evaluating the Millennium Villages Project. Lancet Glob Health. 2018; 6: e470–e471
  2. Mitchell, S, Gelman, A, Ross, R et al. The Millennium Villages Project: a retrospective, observational, endline evaluation. Lancet Glob Health. 2018; 6: e500–e513
  3. UN Millennium Project. Investing in development: a practical plan to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. United Nations Millennium Project, New York, NY; 2005
  4. Gelman, A, Carlin, J, and Nallamothu, BK. ORBITA and coronary stents: a case study in the analysis and reporting of clinical trials.
  5. Ngilu, C. Kenyan Minister Asserts MVP’s Impact on Nation-Wide Malaria Breakthrough.