Tuesday 23 January 2018
(AFP (eng) 10/06/17)
Authorities in Madagascar Friday announced a ban on prison visits to prevent the spread of a plague epidemic that has killed 36 people in the Indian Ocean island. "In order to protect prisoners from the plague that is spreading outside the prison, we have decided to suspend family visits," prisons administrator Arsen Ralisaona told AFP. The ban covers seven jails in the country's two worst affected regions. The risk of contamination is high in overcrowded prisons, where conditions are usually unhygienic. The outbreak includes bubonic plague, which is spread by infected rats via flea bites, and pneumonic plague, which spreads from person to person. It has also resulted in a ban on public gatherings and forced the closure of two...
(AFP (eng) 10/05/17)
Madagascan authorities Thursday ordered two universities to close temporarily as efforts intensify to halt a plague outbreak that has killed 33 people and caused widespread panic. The Indian Ocean island nation suffers annual plague outbreaks, but this year the disease has affected urban areas, triggering concern from the World Health Organization (WHO). "In the fight against the spread of plague, the universities of Toamasina and Antananarivo will be closed for sanitation," the Ministry of Higher Education said in a statement. The capital Antananarivo and the port city of Toamasina have been at the centre of the plague outbreak. Thirty-three people are now confirmed to have died nationwide since the end of August.
(AFP (eng) 10/05/17)
An outbreak of high contagious plague has claimed 30 lives in the impoverished Indian Ocean island nation of Madagascar over the last two months, authorities said Wednesday. "We have recorded 194 suspected cases of plague, including 30 deaths," health official Manitra Rakotoarivony said in a statement, updated the death toll from 25. Madagascar has a history of plague outbreaks almost every year since 1980, often sparked by rats fleeing forest fires. The current outbreak is unusual as it has affected urban areas, increasing the risk of transmission, said the World Health Organisation. The government has banned public gatherings in the capital Antananarivo in a bid to slow the disease's spread.
(Bloomberg 10/05/17)
An outbreak of pneumonic plague in the Indian Ocean island nation of Madagascar has killed 30 people, with almost 200 others infected, the Public Health Ministry said. Seven of the deaths occurred in the capital, Antananarivo, where 43 people are suspected of having contracted the disease, the ministry said in a statement Wednesday. The outbreak started on Aug. 23 after the death of a 31-year-old male in the country’s Central Highlands region, a plague-endemic area, according to the World Health Organization. Ten cities have reported outbreaks of pneumonic plague, while there have also been cases of bubonic and septicemic plague, the United Nations body said on its website. Read more at: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-05/plague-outbreak-kills...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/05/17)
NAIROBI (Reuters) - Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (HLT.N) plans to spend $50 million over the next five years to add 100 hotels to its chain in Africa, it said on Thursday, joining other chains keen to tap growing business and international travel on the continent. One property will open in the Kenyan capital Nairobi by the end of this year and another in the Rwandan capital Kigali in 2018, it said in a statement. There was 11 percent growth in Sub-Saharan African tourism in the past year, according to data from the U.N. World Tourism Organisation. Hilton said the remaining additions to its 39 existing African properties would be operational within the next five years. “The model of converting existing...
(APA 10/05/17)
APA-Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) - The African Union (AU) will on Thursday endorse reports and recommendations on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment (ARWE) made by experts and senior officials in a meeting held on Monday and Tuesday. The endorsement will take place during the ministerial session of the AU’s Specialized Technical Committee on ARWE that opened on Thursday in Addis Ababa under the theme “Improve environmental sustainability and transform agriculture to ensure food and nutrition security.” These include policy papers and reports on agriculture, rural development, water and environment and recommendations and guidance on issues in the 2063 Africa Development Agenda, including agriculture, environment, climate change, and youth engagement. Among the points chosen for the discussions are the assessment of...
(AFP (eng) 10/04/17)
Crowds of fearful residents flock to their local pharmacies before dawn, desperate to buy masks and antibiotics to stave off a plague outbreak sweeping Madagascar. In just the past few days, the highly infectious disease has wreaked havoc in the poor Indian Ocean island nation, claiming six lives in the capital city Antananarivo and causing widespread panic. Like many of his neighbours, 50-year-old Johannes Herinjatovo quickly became overwhelmed by fear as news of the outbreak spread. He too joined the long lines forming outside the capital's chemists. "I'd already visited six this morning and at each one they told me that they didn't have any more masks," he said as he left a pharmacy empty-handed. His wife Miora Herinjatovo, 55,...
(AFP (eng) 10/01/17)
The World Health Organisation said Sunday it was boosting its response to a plague outbreak in Madagascar that has killed 24 people, as the government banned public meetings to reduce infections. In a televised address Saturday, Prime Minister Olivier Mahafaly Solonandrasana said no public meetings or demonstrations would be allowed in the capital Antananarivo, which has seen six deaths in recent days. "At airports and bus stations, measures will be taken for passengers to avoid panic and to control the disease," he added after an emergency meeting with the UN health agency. Madagascar has suffered plague outbreaks almost every year since 1980, often sparked by rats fleeing forest fires. The current outbreak was unusual as it had affected large urban...
(AFP (eng) 09/29/17)
Government shutdowns of the internet have cost sub-Saharan Africa about $237 million since 2015, according to a study released Friday, as authorities increasingly implement planned disruptions. At least 12 countries have had internet shutdowns, often before elections or when protests erupt, with mobile internet networks most recently suspended in Togo during opposition demonstrations. "Internet disruptions, however short-lived, undermine economic growth, disrupt the delivery of critical services, erode business confidence, and raise a country’s risk profile," the CIPESA report said. The Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) released its...
(AFP (eng) 09/28/17)
An outbreak of plague in Madagascar has killed 19 people and may have infected 85 others in just two months, the Indian Ocean island nation's health minister said Thursday. Plague, a highly infectious disease carried by small mammals like rats, killed millions of people across the world in the past but has been largely wiped out. "We have recorded 104 suspected cases of plague across Madagascar of which 19 have died," Health Minister Mamy Lalatiana Andriamanarivo told journalists. "This year the plague season has started quite early and in brutal fashion." The first death occurred on August 28 when a passenger died in a public taxi en route to a town on the east coast. Two others who came into...
(Bloomberg 09/27/17)
Studio 189, a label founded by actress Rosario Dawson and fashion executive Abrima Erwiah, is reinvesting in its African roots. It’s hard enough to build a fashion brand, let alone an empire. Rare is the person who makes a mission of using fashion to build communities. Such is the case with Studio 189, a label founded by longtime friends Abrima Erwiah (formerly a marketing executive at Bottega Veneta) and Rosario Dawson (an enduring star most recently seen in Netflix’s Marvel franchise). “The idea is to produce everything in local markets,” says Erwiah. “Particularly in Africa, particularly in Ghana.” The founders set up the company in partnership with the United Nations’ Ethical Fashion Initiative, which also works with such socially conscious...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/26/17)
Israel’s Elbit Systems Ltd said on Tuesday it won a contract worth $240 million to provide a wide array of defense electronic systems to an unnamed country in Africa. The contract, which will be carried out over a two-year period, is comprised of Directed Infra-red Counter Measure (DIRCM) systems to protect aircraft from shoulder fired missiles, based on passive infrared systems, and includes missile warning systems, radio and communication systems, land systems, mini-unmanned air systems and helicopters upgrade.
(Voice of America 09/25/17)
African first ladies and activists hailed progress that some governments on the continent are making on gender equality. They met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. “We used to have 23 percent female representation in parliament but, with the stroke of a pen it went up to 48 percent. So, we managed to double our female representation with that decision,” said Namibia’s first lady Monica Geingos at a roundtable invitation-only event co-hosted by the Global First Ladies Alliance (GFLA) and Facebook. Geingos credited the quota enacted by the ruling SWAPO party of her husband, President Hage Geingob. But she said a similar quota might be needed for Namibia’s private sector, where only 10 to...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/22/17)
From deadly droughts and destroyed crops to shrinking water sources, communities across sub-Saharan Africa are struggling to withstand the onslaught of global record-breaking temperatures. But the dangers do not end there. Rising heat poses another threat - one that is far less known and studied but could spark disease epidemics across the continent, scientists say. Mosquitoes are the menace, and the risk goes beyond malaria. The Aedes aegypti mosquito, which spreads debilitating and potentially deadly viruses, from Zika and dengue to chikungunya, thrives in warmer climates than its malaria-carrying cousin, known as Anopheles, say researchers at Stanford University. In sub-Saharan Africa, this means malaria rates could rise in cooler areas as they heat up, but fall in hotter places that...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/21/17)
Makers of generic AIDS drugs will start churning out millions of pills for Africa containing a state-of-the-art medicine widely used in rich countries, after securing a multi-million dollar guarantee that caps prices at just $75 per patient a year. Global health experts hope the deal will help address two looming problems in the HIV epidemic - the rising threat of resistance developing to standard AIDS drugs, and the need for more investment in manufacturing capacity. Bill Gates’ charitable foundation will guarantee minimum sales volumes of the new combination pills using dolutegravir, a so-called integrase inhibitor that avoids the drug resistance that often develops with older treatments. In return the drugmakers, India-based Mylan Laboratories and Aurobindo Pharma, will agree the maximum...
(AFP (eng) 09/20/17)
In most countries health ministers are seen as bureaucrats more interested in paperwork than medical miracles. Not in Madagascar, where Mamy Lalatiana Andriamanarivo recently picked up a scalpel and separated conjoined siamese twins in a medical first for the Indian Ocean island nation. "Surgery was performed at the Joseph Ravoahangy Andrianavalona hospital on September 13 to separate siamese twins joined at the abdomen and lower thorax," Jean Marie Rasamimanana, the deputy technical director at the hospital in the capital Antananarivo, told AFP on Tuesday.
(Xinhuanet 09/20/17)
A group of Chinese ophthalmologists will be sent in November to Madagascar's capital Antananarivo to perform 200 cataract surgeries for Malagasy patients, the Chinese ambassador to Madagascar Yang Xiaorong said on Tuesday. A Memorandum of Understanding for Bright Journey Project in Madagascar, aimed at providing 200 free cataract surgeries scheduled in November, was signed on Tuesday by the Chinese Ambassador to Madagascar Yang Xiaorong and Madagascar's minister of Public Health Lalatiana Andriamanarivo. "Madagascar has a real problem of accessibility, especially from a financial matter. Many patients cannot afford to be operated especially in the field of ophthalmology," Madagascar's minister of health said on Tuesday. The minister of Health added that not only Chinese ophthalmologists will operate the patients freely but...
(The Guardian 09/18/17)
Anna Jones says that, through selling its cocoa cheaply, Africa is exporting its wealth overseas; while Sue Banford claims that the soya moratorium in the Amazon has done nothing to halt deforestation. Only the final paragraph in your article on cocoa farming causing deforestation in Ivory Coast (Forests pay price for world’s taste for cocoa, 14 September) mentioned the most fundamental thing – the farmer’s livelihood, or lack of it. The low value of his (or more likely her) crop is undoubtedly the cause of this problem. But cocoa farming could also provide the solution. Recently, I was in Ivory Coast for the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) in Abidjan. It united many different parties – governments, the UN’s Food...
(AFP (eng) 09/15/17)
Pneumonic plague has killed five people in Madagascar since August, a top health official told AFP on Thursday, but stressed the situation was under control. "We have detected 22 suspected cases of pneumonic plague, including five deaths," said senior health ministry official Willy Randriamarotia. "There have been no deaths since Monday," he said, adding that there was widespread panic in the eastern region of Tamatave "which has not seen the plague for 100 years." Plague killed millions of people across the world in earlier centuries. The first death in Madagascar's recent outbreak came on August 28 when a passenger in a bush taxi died en route to Tamatave. Two others who came in contact with the passenger also died, while...
(Bloomberg 09/15/17)
Societe Generale SA, challenged on its home turf by Orange SA’s push into banking, is fighting back with a new mobile lender in Africa. The French lender started YUP, a new app for smartphones, in Senegal and Ivory Coast and plans to begin operating in four other sub-Saharan countries this year and next, the company said on Thursday. The bank aims to double its client base to 2 million in the region within three years. “Telcos have opened the way and they’ve gotten ahead,” Alexandre Maymat, who oversees Societe Generale’s operations in French-speaking Africa, said at a press briefing. “We’re catching up” by redefining the retail strategy and providing a broader offering than telephone companies. Chief Executive Officer Frederic Oudea...

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