Posts tagged as: discovery

MP Lays Emphasis On Self-Help Spirit

By Suleiman Shagata

Shinyanga — Special Seats Member of Parliament in Shinyanga Region, Ms Azza Hilal, has donated an assortment of items worth 33 million shillings, to some wards there.

In her remarks, she expressed dismay over the discovery that at Tinde Health Centre, which was established nearly one century ago, children and adults shared a ward. The scenario, the legislator lamented, was horrific, because, being vulnerable, they should be accommodated separately from adults.

She also stressed that community members should expel the notion of total dependence on the government and donors, and cultivate a volunteering spirit and selfreliance culture instead.

Elaborating, she said that, once pooled, whatever little money and labour everyone would contribute, would add up to a significant resource. This, she explained, could be invested in socially beneficial projects like dispensary buildings, adding that the initiatives would inspire better-resourced benefactors to donate top-ups in the form of money and materials.

She remarked further: “Your leaders, such as the MP and ward councillor, have several commitments, and so, do not expect them to initiate development projects for you. You should do so, and once they pick up momentum and they notice the progress, they will compliment your initiatives.”

Ms Hilal advised expectant mothers to refrain from delivering babies in risky environments at their homes, and use modern facilities instead.

In his reaction, the Tinde Ward councillor, Mr Jafal Kanolo, said community members had been eager to make contributors for development projects, but they were frustrated by dishonest leaders who pocketed their funds. During the tour, the MP donated medical equipment, beds and chairs in Shinyanga and Kishapu districts.


Increased Budget Allocation to Push Govt Industrial Drive

The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment has doubled development budget in the 2017/18 financial year, pushing the… Read more »

Tanzania: Stamigold to Generate 350 Billion/ – in Two Years

Mwanza — State-owned gold mining company, Stamigold, is set to mine record 120,000 ounces of gold worth over 350bn/- in the next two years.

All is set for the job expected to start next month, with the firm’s General Manager, Mr Denis Sebugwao, saying explorations have already indicated the possibility of attaining the historical reserves.

According to Mr Sebugwao, the explorations undertaken in the Western Zone of the mine site have shown deposits amounting to 26,000 ounces and that of the Eastern zone has over 85000 ounces.

“We are glad to announce this historical milestone achieved by our public owned mining firm, with the two areas showing great potential in gold deposits never achieved before and which will be the biggest since the mining commenced in 2014,” he said.

He said the discovery of gold in the areas will require heavy investment of nearly 44 million US dollars (about 90bn/-) with strategies already in place to secure the funds from different sources.

Giving a brief statistics, Mr Sebugwao said up to March this year, the Company had produced over 51,000 ounces and at least 5,000 ounces of different concentrates all worth 127bn/-.

Due to the recorded income, the company has paid different government dues of about 35bn/-, with 515m/- committed to Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) activities in the villages surrounding the mine.

Mr Sebugwao maintained that a series of explorations will be undertaken in future, with one continuing on T 7 area and other nine sites with prospects of attaining over 70,000 ounces that will help to increase the life span of the mine for another two years.

Other master plans in the pipeline include the expansion of the processing plant to at least double the capacity, the investment likely to cost over 15 million US dollars.

“Reduction of production costs is one of our major targets and we plan to purchase the brand new mining machines worth over 12 million dollars, with soft loan from Exim Bank of China,” he said, hinting that the loan will be repaid in five years at a two per cent interest rate.

The purchase of own machines will relieve the company of the 10 million dollars it spends annually on renting equipment from private dealers.

Another achievement, according to Mr Sebugwao, is the agreement on power connection from the national grid before the end of next year if all goes well, again relieving the company of millions of money it pays for running the power generators.

He however pleaded for continued government support for the company to effectively undertake its operations and appreciated the Ministry of Energy and Minerals, which is about to allocate 10bn/- to fund different expenses.

South Africa: Bhekisisa Journalist Scoops Impactafrica Award

Reporter Pontsho Pilane has been recognised for her reporting on menstruation.

Bhekisisa health reporter Pontsho Pilane has won an impactAfrica award for her reporting on access to healthy, safe and dignified menstruation.

Pilane won the fourth round of the impactAfrica competition, which sought to award stories that shed light on the challenges women and girls face in accessing healthcare and health services. The award acknowledges a series of pieces by Pilane on menstruation that covered issues such as inequities in people’s access to sanitary pads or alternatives as well as pushes for the introduction of government-subsidised pads.

For Pilane, who was named Vodacom Young Journalist of the Year in 2016, this is the latest accolade recognising her deep commitment to covering gender issues.

She will also join Chris Roper, deputy director at Code for Africa and International Centre for Journalists Knight Fellow, on a panel at the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers’ World News Media Congress in Durban in June.

Pilane has also been named as a finalist in this year’s Discovery Health Journalism awards alongside Bhekisisa news editor Laura Lopez Gonzalez and senior multimedia journalist Demelza Bush.

Former Bhekisisa journalist Ina Skosana is also a finalist in the features category and Mail & Guardian business journalist Lynley Donnelly is up for an award for best health economics reporting.

In a statement released this week, Discovery Health judges said the quality of entries this year was exceptional and noted that it was a challenge to identify the finalists. They commended reporters for improving knowledge and encouraging public interest in matters that shape health and healthcare.

Pilane will accompany fellow impactAfrica award-winner and M&G environmental reporter Sipho Kings on a study tour of the United States. Kings was also awarded the prestigious Nieman Fellowship this week and will attend Harvard University in August.

South Africa

Malema Slams ‘Apartheid Criminal’ De Klerk

Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema says former African National Congress presidents Kgalema Motlanthe and… Read more »

Rhino Fausta to Take Rhino Frida On a Date

By Amby Lusekelo

MAY 3 is World Press Freedom Day. Oh, happy day I thought to myself then laughed out loud. I inherited my late Dad’s sense of humour because I see the sense of humour in anything.

If all else fails, I will consider becoming a stand-up comic but that’s a story for another day.

But seriously, the words ‘press’ and ‘freedom’, being so completely dissociated in the country right now but mark my words, there will be someone, somewhere who will issue a press release commemorating the day.

The press release will give [fake] praise and all that good stuff and the press corps will be encouraged to keep doing their jobs confidently as if they were working to the Promised Land. World Press Freedom Day will be just another Wednesday in Tanzania because we have to watch it.

We really, really, have to watch it. However, do you know who does not have to watch it? Rhino Fausta. Did you know this 54-year-old rhino (yes, a wild animal) is living it up in Ngorongoro Conservation Area and costing the government 64m/- per month? That is approx. $30,000 Rhino Fausta is living it up and has nothing to worry about and absolutely does not do any watching.

This discovery was made when the minister in charge of Natural Resources and Tourism Minister admitted in parliament that the government was spending this amount per month for the wild animal. Apologies, I mean Rhino Fausta.

There was no mention of Rhino John who was also being ‘maintained’ by the government. Everybody seems to have forgotten about Rhino John but, let me watch it. Rhino Fausta did not received any memos regarding having to watch anything really. Not the amount he uses on his food allowance, not his cable TV subscriptions (home and office), not his monthly entertainment allowance and not even his wardrobe allowance.

This has got to be the only way to explain 64m/- (approx. $30,000) per month expense that the government of the united republic of Tanzania is spending on this wild animal. Gosh, I apologise again. I mean Rhino Fausta.

In an effort to understand this issue, a friend of mine decided that Rhino Fausta was actually being kept at such an expense not for research as was claimed because really, how much can you learn from a 54-year-old rhino?? But rather because he was being groomed to mate with a Rhino Frida to produce a Rhino Filip.

In a show of solidarity with the government, you know, being patriotic citizens and all, we decided that this was in fact the only reason. That the government of the united republic, is actually sponsoring the preparation for a real expensive date.

At 54 years of age, Rhino Fausta is the luckiest bachelor in Tanzania because really, as other bachelors are struggling to take their dates out in this economy, he has the government covering the bill. Meanwhile, where is Rhino John? Actually, never mind.

Twitter: @ambylusekelo Twitter: @ambylusekelo


More Pregnant Women Go to Hospital

AS the world prepares to mark the International Day of the Midwife (IDM) 2017, health officers here said more expectant… Read more »

Nigeria: NUPENG Official Commends Govt’s Plan to Build Second Refinery in Northern Nigeria

The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, on Wednesday commended the Federal Government on the proposed second refinery in the Northern part of the country.

Benjamin Rotimi, the Vice-Chairman, South-West Chapter of the union, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos that the initiative would reduce hardship associated with transporting petroleum products.

On April 22, Ibe Kachikwu, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, told journalists in Bauchi State that the federal government planned to build a second refinery in the northern part of Nigeria.

Mr. Kachikwu said plans to put the Kaduna refinery in better shape were also underway.

Mr. Rotimi said the plans of the government were laudable and would help in ensuring the availability of the product round the country.

“The second refinery will also provide employment and increase circulation of products in the north.

“With the discovery of oil in some states in the north, the second refinery will help in refining it.

“This is what we should have done more than 10 years ago,” he said.

The union leader, however, urged the federal government to also think of building more refineries in other parts of the country.

He noted that the country’s present refineries could only produce 30 per cent of Nigeria’s consumption needs, as that they were built when the nation’s population stood at 80 million.

“Even when they work at optimal level, the refineries still cannot solve our requirement because they were built when our population was small.

“Now, we have double and the demand has become higher with more vehicles on our roads,” he said.



Truck Crushes Motorcyclist to Death in Lagos

A commercial motorcyclist was crushed to death by a heavy duty truck at Daleko area of Lagos on Thursday. Read more »

South Africa: Could a New Single-Dose Drug Help Wipe Out Malaria?

Photo: Laura Newman/PATH

Mosquitoes (file photo).


A new drug, discovered and biologically profiled locally, has the potential to stop malaria before it starts – not only targeting the parasite throughout its lifestyle, but also working against resistant strains of the disease. By MARELISE VAN DER MERWE.

New research just published in the journal Science Translational Medicine describes the discovery and biological profiling of a new anti-malarial drug, effective against the entire parasitic life cycle and resistant strains of malaria. It has the potential to cure and protect in a single dose, say researchers – bringing us one step closer to wiping out the disease.

The study was conducted by the University of Cape Town (UCT)’s Drug Discovery and Development Centre, H3D, and Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), in collaboration with a team of international researchers.

The drug, MMV390048 – also known as MMV048 – is a compound discovered by an international team led by Professor Kelly Chibale. Chibale is senior author of the published paper, founding Director of the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) Drug Discovery Research Unit at UCT, and Founder and Director of H3D, an integrated drug discovery and development centre.

“The ability of MMV048 to block all life cycle stages of the…

South Africa

While Others Are Throwing Insults in Pretoria, We’re Celebrating – Zuma

President Jacob Zuma took a jibe at those protesting against him on Freedom Day, saying they spend “lots of money just… Read more »

Africa: Africa to Pilot World’s First Malaria Vaccine

Photo: The New Times

A mother and her child sleep under a mosquito net. This is one of the methods to fight against malaria (file photo).

By Rachel Stewart

Programs beginning next year in Ghana, Malawi and Kenya will test the vaccine’s effectiveness in children. The trial was announced ahead of World Malaria Day (25.04.2017).

A pilot program testing the first ever malaria vaccine will begin in Africa in 2018, the World Health Organization has said. Children and babies in high-risk areas in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi will receive the RTS,S vaccine, which is also known as Mosquirix.

“Information gathered in the pilot will help us make decisions on the wider use of the vaccine,” Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO’s African regional director, said. “Combined with existing malaria interventions, such a vaccine would have the potential to save tens of thousands of lives in Africa.”

Positive results

RTS,S is an injectable vaccine administered in four doses. It aims to trigger the body’s own immune system to defend against malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum – the most deadly species of the malaria parasite, which is the most prevalent in Africa.

Large clinical trials in seven African countries between 2009 and 2014 showed that the vaccine helped protect children and infants from clinical malaria for at least three years after first vaccination.

More on This

Malaria #EndItForGood – What Africa Needs to Do

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Nigeria Far From Eradicating Malaria – Minister

We’re Still Far From ‘Malaria-Free’, Minister SaysMinister – Nigeria Far From Eradicating MalariaU.S. Committed to Ending Malaria in Nigeria – EnvoyWorld Malaria Day – U.S. Has Spent $75 Million Annually to Fight Disease

According to the WHO’s World Malaria Report, published at the end of last year, the number of cases of malaria worldwide decreased by 21 percent between 2010 and 2015. However, Pedro Alonso, the director of the WHO’s Global Malaria Program, explains that there is a long way to go in tackling the disease: “It still takes the lives of over 400,000 people every year – mostly African children.”In fact, 90 percent of malaria cases and 92 percent of malaria deaths occur in Africa. The long lifespan of mosquitoes in Africa, as well as their tendency to bite humans, is thought to be one of the main reasons for the high prevalence of malaria in Africa.By the year 2020, the WHO wants to see malaria incidence and mortality reduced by 40 percent and the disease eliminated completely in at least 10 countries. Seven countries, including Morocco, the United Arab Emirates and the Maldives, have been certified by the WHO Director-General as having eliminated malaria in recent years.Mosquito nets and insecticidesPreventative measures being promoted in sub-Saharan Africa include using insecticide-treated nets, spraying indoor walls with insecticides, and administering preventive medicines to the most vulnerable groups – pregnant women and young children or babies.In 2015 it was estimated that half of people designated as “at-risk” of contracting the disease were sleeping under a treated net, compared with just 30 percent in 2010. But, as Alonso explains, preventative measures are not reaching everyone.”It’s about having the health systems that can get those commodities to all those that need them,” he says. “It’s about the financial resources to ensure that happens, and it’s about the political commitment.”We are very encouraged by the political commitment and leadership we see in the affected countries themselves. But the fight against malaria is going to be a long and hard one.”

UN Rights Chief Alarmed By Rape Chants in Burundi

Photo: The Citizen

Soldiers stand near protesters (file photo).

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein has expressed outrage at an apparent widespread pattern of rallies in several provinces across Burundi, where young men from the Imbonerakure militia – the youth wing of the ruling CNDD-FDD political party – repeatedly chant a call to impregnate or kill opponents.

According to a UN statement released Tuesday, High Commissioner Zeid said the organised nature of the marches, coupled with reports of ongoing serious human rights violations, lay bare the “campaign of terror” being waged in Burundi.

“The grotesque rape chants by the young men of the Imbonerakure across several provinces in various parts of Burundi are deeply alarming – particularly because they confirm what we have been hearing from those who have fled Burundi about a campaign of fear and terror by this organised militia,” Zeid said.

The statement cites “a chilling video” circulating on social media showing more than 100 members of the Imbonerakure repeating dozens of times their call to “make opponents pregnant so that they can give birth to Imbonerakure.”

Another group then repeats a chant in which the phrase “he or she should die” is audible some 19 times, in a rally that reportedly took place in Ntega commune, Kirundo province, in the country’s northeast.

According to the UN, following the release of the video, on April 5, the CNDD-FDD issued a statement condemning the chanting and stating that a preliminary enquiry has found that there were “influences outside the party.”

“While I welcome the statement by the CNDD-FDD condemning the chants in Ntega, reports that senior officials were present at other rallies are very disturbing. There also needs to be an acknowledgement that the Ntega rally was not an isolated incident, but rather the tip of the iceberg, brought to light only because it was captured on camera.” The condemnation is meaningless if, instead of a putting a stop to such events, senior government officials continue to take part in such rallies,” Zeid said.

“Similar, larger rallies have been organised across the country by officials from the government and the President’s party. On April 1 in the northern province of Kayanza, around 2,500 Imbonerakure reportedly marched from Kayanza football stadium along the main road chanting similar slogans, inciting rape and violence against opponents. Reports suggest that senior officials were present at this rally, the UN statement says. Reports also suggest, it adds, that similar chanting occurs regularly at weekly Imbonerakure meetings in the southern province of Makamba.

On April 7, the President of the Burundi Senate is alleged to have incited people to violence in Makamba, reportedly calling for all suspected rebels to be “silently collected.” This is reported as the latest of many such speeches where the President of the Senate has reportedly used coded language, with its roots in the mass violence from Burundi’s past, to incite followers to violence.

Furthermore, on April 8, following the inauguration of a CNDD-FDD party office in the eastern province of Ruyigi, it is noted that about 200 people, including Imbonerakure, began chanting for the rape of opponents so that more Imbonerakure would be born. They were reportedly instructed by party officials to stop.

Zeid said: “The Government needs to stop pretending that the Imbonerakure are nothing but a community development group. Such blatant and brazen hate speech and incitement to violence must not be tolerated, nor encouraged.”

“Reports indicate a major increase in cases of enforced disappearance between November 2016 and March 2017, as well as the discovery of dozens of unidentified bodies in various parts of the country during that time. We have also received numerous reports alleging that people are being targeted due to their ethnicity.” Between April 2015 and April 19 this year, UN figures indicate that 401,573 people have fled Burundi.

Drought Drives Kenyan Pastoralists Into Uganda

By Mark Caldwell

Tens of thousands of pastoralists fled from Turkana in Kenya to Uganda last week to escape the drought. It is the latest blow for the parched region for which politicians once made rash promises of rapid modernization.

As many as 10,000 Kenyan pastoralists have crossed the border from Turkana in Kenya to Uganda in search of pasture and water for their cattle.

Josephat Nanok, governor of Kenya’s Turkana County, confirmed their departure and urged Uganda to accommodate them, The Monitor in Kampala reported.

This latest exodus means that a total of 60,000 Turkana pastoralists and 127,000 livestock have moved to Uganda’s Karamjoa sub-region over the last seven days.

One Turkana pastoralist said they had fled to Karamoja because, unlike Turkana, it still had some shrubs and bushes which could serve as food for the cattle.

Hunger and no rain

The end of March was supposed to bring rains to Turkana, transforming barren plains into pasture. It still hasn’t happened. The dry spell is worse than in previous years, another Turkana pastoralist said.

Far from Kenya’s agricultural south, Turkana is a vast, poor northern region regularly ravaged by drought. “The image of Kenya as a middle income country doesn’t do justice to the reality on the ground,” Werner Schultink, country head for the UN children’s agency UNICEF, told AFP.

He was referring to the hunger which is plaguing the north of Turkana. In the Kibish region, squeezed between Ethiopia and South Sudan, more than half of children aged six months to five years are suffering from acute malnutrition.

In the early part of this decade, politicians made rash promises of rapid modernization that would consign to history decades of deliberate marginalization, first by British colonialists and then by Kenya’s governing elite in Nairobi, who shared a disdain for the pastoralists and their way of life.

“Expectations were disproportionate,” said John Nakara, a Turkana parliamentarian. “Those changes don’t happen in five years, but in 20, at least.”

Oil and water

That didn’t stop the promises. An ambitious plan for roads, railways and oil pipelines crossing northern Kenya was launched with great fanfare in 2012, but it has been slow in coming.

Instead Turkana remains crisscrossed with dirt tracks that become impassable when it rains, and where the few sealed sections are so badly potholed that drivers prefer the dirt shoulders.

That same year, British company Tullow Oil announced the discovery of large crude reserves in Turkana.

Production is expected to begin in June, but local and national officials are still arguing over distribution of revenues and no pipeline has yet been built, meaning the oil will have to be trucked to the port of Mombasa, more than 1,000 kilometres (620 miles) away.

In 2013, Kenya and the UN cultural body UNESCO announced the discovery of large reserves of groundwater beneath Turkana that promised irrigation and enough water for all.

But the reality has proved rather different. The aquifer holding the groundwater is hard to exploit, the water is deeper underground and less pure than predicted.

“The announcement was very optimistic and based on very limited information,” said Sean Avery, a Kenya-based consultant on water issues.

Devolution and drought

The situation is not uniformly bleak in this arid region. Political devolution has handed more power, including the power to disburse funds, to local authorities since 2013. This is facilitating the opening of new health clinics in Turkana which halve the distance people have to walk to seek diagnosis or treatment.

But the drought remains a country-wide problem. Kenya has declared it a “national disaster” and appealed for international aid.

Three million people are in need of emergency humanitarian assistance, and, while the response has been more effective than the last time, in 2011, still more needs to be done, aid workers say.

“In the current situation, this is clearly not enough,” said Schultink.

As the drought bites, the road ahead looks longer than ever for Turkana where some 92 percent of its 1.4 million people live below the poverty line and only a fifth know how to read and write.


Relief As Fresh Water Discovered Near Lamu’s Lake Kenyatta

By Kalume Kazungu

Residents in Mpeketoni in Lamu are breathing a sigh of relief after a fresh water well was discovered near Lake Kenyatta which dried up a few weeks ago following ravaging drought.

For the past months, the lake, which is the only fresh water lake situated in Mpeketoni and which was named after Kenya’s first president Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, has hit headlines after it dried up, leading to massive destruction of marine life and wildlife due to lack of water.

Once a natural beauty which acted as an attraction for nature lovers and revellers, the lake has become a desert dotted with carcasses of hippos and buffalos which died due to lack of water.

The crisis has even forced residents, especially fishermen who also depend on the lake for livelihood to flee.

Over 60,000 residents of Mpeketoni and its environs depended on the lake.

The discovery of the fresh water well within Lake Kenyatta has been termed as a miracle.

The well was discovered on the western shore of the lake by one of the residents.


Mpeketoni environmental activist Samuel Muchiri said the well had been abandoned for long but after further investigations it was discovered that it had a lot of water that can be pumped back to the lake.

He said nobody had any idea that there existed a well that could supply such amount of water which, according to him, will also save wild animals from dying.

“We are very happy. There is a well that we have discovered. Its water is very fresh. We have already joined hands as a community and provided three generators which are currently pumping water from the well back to the Lake,” said Mr Muchiri.

He said he is confident that the discovered well will help save marine life and hippos which have been dying at an alarming rate in the worst drought in the history of Lake Kenyatta.


Speaking to the Nation on Sunday, Mr Harun Mwangi said the idea to pump the water from the well back to Lake Kenyatta has greatly assisted to bring it back to life.

“Wild animals were roaming into people’s farms and homes after the lake dried up. We thank God that after we came up with the idea of pumping water back to the lake from the discovered well, wild animals have already started streaming back to the lake and reduced the cases of human-wildlife conflict. This has really encouraged us to work day and night pumping the water here,” said Mr Mwangi.

He said a dedicated team of five community members are working together with environmental organisations and other well-wishers to make sure that the animals get water in time to stop them from causing havoc to the residents.

So far, Lamu Governor Issa Timamy together with County Commissioner Joseph Kanyiri have toured the area and donated fuel to pump the water.

Lake Kenyatta is estimated to cover a stretch of 3.7 square kilometres when full.


Virtual Doctor Service Launched in Kenya

A comprehensive online health solution that will allow patients to access medical consultation has been launched in… Read more »

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