STOP COVID-19 RELATED STIGMATIZATION AND DISCRIMINATION

It appears the culture of stigmatization and discrimination is creeping in Ghana’s efforts in fighting against the deadly coronavirus, which has brought the world to its knees and ought to be nipped in the bud. Stigma and discrimination are heightened by insufficient knowledge about how the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is transmitted and treated, and how to prevent infection. Where stigma and discrimination exist, there is the tendency for people to be labeled, stereotyped, separated, and/or experience loss of…

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COVID-19 IN AFRICA HIGHLIGHTS THE URGENT NEED FOR THE AFRICAN CONTINENT TO PROTECT ITS HEALTH SYSTEMS AND COMMUNITIES

The challenge Africa is currently facing is two-fold; curbing the spread of COVID-19, whilst also maintaining access to essential health services for those suffering from other diseases. As COVID-19 diverts attention and requires an immediate response, now more than ever it is crucial that we protect our health services and ensure that progress made in tackling issues such as malaria, immunization, neglected tropical diseases and inadequate access to sanitation is not compromised. Now, the pressure is on to slow…

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Making education safe for children with albinism in Malawi

In Malawi, where children with albinism face attacks, and even ritual killings, going to school can expose them to life-threatening dangers. The UN is helping to make schools safer for these vulnerable students.  Chinsisi Jafali, a 14-year-old with albinism, knows that going to school is a risky prospect, but it’s a risk he’s prepared to take. “I have six siblings who are all looked after by my mother,” he says. “Fending for the entire family has been exceptionally difficult…

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NO ‘MIRACLE CURE’ FOR CORONAVIRUS UNTIL CLINICAL TRIALS PROVE MADAGASCAR’S HERBAL MEDICINE

WASHINGTON – Scientists are putting an herbal remedy from Madagascar, purported to cure COVID-19, to the test. Researchers at Germany’s Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, in Potsdam, are collaborating with a U.S. company, ArtemiLife, to test an extract from the plant Artemisia annua to determine its effectiveness in speeding recovery from the virus. “We are working with two independent laboratories to ensure the highest possible quality and exclude any bias in the results,” Peter Seeberger, lead researcher, told VOA…

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When the young learn to farm

In line with growing the urban farming community, this writer accepted an invitation to be a guest speaker for two online classes with grade school students. The topic was food security, community resiliency, urban farming and aquaponics. Based on the feedback (the kids have a reflection journal), and the Q&A portions of the class, the kids really had fun, especially after finding out that we can use fish poo as nutrient source/fertilizer for vegetables. We started the class by…

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Coronavirus – Africa: UN sets up regional knowledge hub to fight COVID-19

As the world grapples with an unprecedented global health crisis of COVID-19, the United Nations is spearheading a digital hub to house information and knowledge resources to assist crucial development system partners in fighting the pandemic in Africa. The virus has caused a global crisis affecting the core of humanity, affecting the social, economic, environment and related spheres, and it is attacking societies indiscriminately. In Africa, the region’s fragile health systems and economic costs can derail the socio-economic development…

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Coronavirus: Why lockdowns may not be the answer in Africa

Many African countries have introduced lockdowns in order to halt the spread of coronavirus, but, as Alex de Waal and Paul Richards argue, ordinary people have to be involved in choosing the solutions that will work for them. Countries on the continent have learned much from tackling epidemics such as HIV and Ebola that should be put to good use as they face the impact of Covid-19. The most important lesson is that communities must be at the forefront…

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AFRICA’S BIGGEST PROBLEM IS ITS LEADERSHIP

The biggest conspiracy against the growth and dominance of Africa and Africans is not the work of Bill Gates, Monsanto, 5G, the Coronavirus or imperialists or colonialists. It is not Donald Trump. It is not China, it is not Boris Johnson or Queen Elizabeth. It is not a right-wing conspiracy or a left-wing conspiracy, neither is it a grand plan of Israel or even the Middle East. Africa’s biggest problem is its leadership. No world leader, or richest man…

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WE NEED TO DECONGEST AFRICA’S PRISONS URGENTLY. FOR EVERYONE’S SAKE

Across the continent, prisons are overcrowded. They exceed capacity and are under-resourced. In South Africa, one of the continent’s wealthiest countries, prison overcrowding stood at 37% in March 2019 with 162,875 detainees for just 118,572 bed spaces. People in detention are particularly vulnerable to the COVID-19 outbreak. Prisoners live in confined conditions with others for prolonged periods. Hygiene and health care are difficult to access in detention centres worldwide, and even more so during a pandemic. And the transmission of diseases in…

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Tension, fear as South Africa steps up coronavirus fight

Johannesburg, South Africa – Despite all the warnings, Mama Pinda and Mama Thando decided to go to church. Dressed in skirts and colourful headwraps, the two ladies in their late thirties met on Monday evening to walk to their church service in Troyeville, Johannesburg. Now more than ever, they felt the urge to pray. “People are scared,” said Mama Pinda, as she hurried up the hill. “We are chasing the coronavirus away in our prayer,” she added with a laugh….

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