Nigerians fight COVID-19 by turning drums into handwashing basins

As the rest of the world grapples with the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, two young Nigerian furniture-makers are turning old metal drums into handwashing basins. Bamigbose Adams and Emmanuel Ogbu are selling the recycled basins in Lagos in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Clean hands are essential for preventing the spread of COVID-19 but around 157 million Nigerians lack access to proper hand-washing facilities, according to a 2018 report by WaterAid, making it difficult to follow the World…

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Abducted girls released in northwest Nigeria, as fresh attacks rock country’s northeast

While the release of more than 200 girls abducted from their school on Friday in northwest Nigeria is a welcome development said senior UN officials there on Tuesday, civilians and aid facilities have come under attack in the country’s northeast, highlighting the plight of civilians who have suffered years of conflict and insecurity. Edward Kallon, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, denounced the attack, in Dikwa, in restive Borno state, which started late on Monday (local time). “As…

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Zimbabwe February inflation at 321.59% y/y – Zimstats

Zimbabwe’s inflation rate stood at 321.59% year-on-year in February compared to 362.63% the previous month, national statistics agency Zimstats said on Thursday. On a month-on-month basis, prices increased by 3.45% compared to 5.43% during the same period. The central bank has forecast annual inflation will end the year below 10%, which economic analysts say is too optimistic. Source: Reuters Reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe; Editing by Promit Mukherjee

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Ghana security forces shut down LGBTQ office: Rights group

Ghana security forces raided and shut down the office of an LGBTQ rights group in the capital, Accra, the organisation has said, after politicians and religious leaders called for its closure. Gay sex is a criminal offence in the West African country and members of the LGBTQ community face widespread discrimination. “This morning, our office was raided by National Security,” the LGBT+ Rights Ghana group said on Twitter on Wednesday. “At this moment, we no longer have access to…

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Ghana receives first historic shipment of COVID-19 vaccinations from international COVAX facility

Six hundred thousand doses of lifesaving COVID-19 vaccine from the UN-partnered COVAX initiative have arrived in Ghana: a historic first for the international partnership to provide equitable innoculations for all. Confirming the news on Wednesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that further supplies of the AstraZeneca/Oxford jab will reach Côte d’Ivoire later this week. These are the first coronavirus shots from the COVAX scheme to be distributed outside India, where the vaccine is being produced under licence. They…

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Kenya Emerges as a Leader in Managing Plastic Pollution

Last year, Kenya banned plastic bottles, cups and cutlery in its national parks, which followed after a country-wide ban on plastic bags in 2017. At the virtual convening of the fifth session of the UN Environment Assembly, Juliette Biao, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Regional Director for Africa, says, “Kenya has invested heavily in both policies and law enforcement to win the fight against plastic pollution. The result of this investment is today boosting Kenya’s environmental stewardship in…

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WHO calls on Tanzania to act as Covid deaths climb in the country

The Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Sunday called on Tanzania to take measures to protect its own citizens but also the people of countries visited by Tanzanians from the Covid-19 pandemic. “Many Tanzanians travelling to neighbouring countries and beyond have tested positive for Covid-19. This shows the need for Tanzania to take robust measures to protect both its own people and people in these countries and elsewhere,” says Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in a statement. In his…

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Africa COVID-19 deaths cross 100,000 after second wave: Reuters tally

Africa’s coronavirus death toll surpassed the 100,000 mark on Friday, as a second wave of infections overwhelms hospitals in the continent. So far, the region has reported 3,818,608 cases and 100,003 deaths, according to a Reuters tally. As per the Reuters tally, South Africa alone accounts for nearly half of all the reported cases in the continent with 48,478 reported deaths. SOURCE: REUTERS

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South African scientists to discuss Pfizer vaccine study

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South African scientists will meet on Thursday to discuss a laboratory study that suggests the dominant local coronavirus variant may reduce antibody protection from the Pfizer vaccine by two-thirds, the health ministry said. The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine late on Wednesday, includes additional data to one released in a pre-print review published in late January. South Africa plans to start rolling out the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine in the coming months, after on…

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‘Triple threat’ adds to long-standing crises menacing food security in Somalia – FAO

Poor rainfall, flooding and desert locusts are contributing to extreme food insecurity in Somalia, threating 2.6 million people, the UN agriculture agency said in a new analysis released on Wednesday. In a joint report, the UN The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warns that in the absence of large-scale and sustained humanitarian assistance “the situation could worsen through mid-2021”. “Somalia’s long-standing crises are compounded now by the ‘triple threat’ of the COVID-19 pandemic, desert locust infestations and climatic shocks”,…

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