Malaria: Africa urged to source funds locally

Posted on | augustus 23, 2012 | No Comments

African governments should begin looking inwards to raise funds needed to fight malaria, a disease that still kills an African child every 45 seconds Dr Nathan Mulure, Novartis Pharma, Nairobi told participants at the first African Science Journalist Conference going on in Nakuru, Kenya.

According to Dr Mulure, donor funding has become unreliable adding that the only sustainable way in the fight against the disease that is caused by a parasite (Plasmodium falciparum) and transmitted by mosquitoes is through raising local funds.

Dr Mulure pointed to Tanzania, Zambia and South Africa as countries in Africa who have shown that it is possible for governments to set aside budgets within their own resources to wage war against malaria.

He said that although African governments may be looking to the West for support, yet, malaria is still an African problem and the solution to it lies within the continent.
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KWS denies ‘sitting’ on Wildlife Bill

Posted on | augustus 23, 2012 | No Comments

Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) Wednesday denied allegations fronted by wildlife activists that it is sitting on the Wildlife Bill. Speaking at the ongoing first Africa Science Journalists conference currently going on in Nakuru, Kenya, Paul Mbugua, Assistant director in charge of conservation education said KWS may have played a role in its development but does not seat on bills. This is somewhere in the government chain.

A Bill is developed through consultative process involving many stakeholders but it is the responsibility of the parent ministry of wildlife and mineral resources and the Attorney General who will present it before parliament.

Mbugua said the Bill once enacted into law will help Kenya effectively manage the rising human-wildlife conflicts.

The Bill has been put on hold since its development in 2008. While the activists blame the KWS for forestalling it, KWS on the other hand points fingers at the Parliament and the office of the AG for the delayed debating of the Bill.
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Heathen Songs of the natives

Posted on | augustus 22, 2012 | No Comments

These songs of ours always get us into trouble. When we want peace we sing. When we want to be heard we sing. Sound permeates our lives and like Fela Kuti said; music is a weapon. Pipe smoking elders in Zimbabwe who spend lazy afternoons playing Mbira say a grunt in a chant spells trouble. This is the free voice of African music –its poignancy and articulation of the Afrikan resistance is linked to cultures and social groupings across the continent. Our healers say freedom music is the healer. Once, I heard soldiers toyi-toyi in the dead of the night in Mutasa, Mutare during the second Chimurenga war and I knew that freedom music was the exit point of our frustrations. It’s like a punctuation in a reggae beat or the protesting horn of an Afrobeat track. It is our remedy to forget – even if it’s just for a few minutes. Over the years I have come to understand freedom music as the soundtrack of our lives. Freedom music comes from the heart. It articulates raw emotions – good or bad. Music is like balm on chaffed souls. It soothes and energises the body and spirit.
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Child maltreatment and abuse ripe in East Asia and Pacific

Posted on | augustus 22, 2012 | No Comments

In East Asia and the Pacific, the number of children who face maltreatment is shockingly high.  Roughly 10% to 30% of the 580 million children –one quarter of the world’s children — in the East Asia and Pacific regions are victims of forced sex and other physical abuse according to a report by UNICEF.   The high prevalence of physical abuse — including sexual abuse — is causing long-term damage to many children in East Asia and the Pacific, warns a new report issued earlier this month by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).  The report, “Child Maltreatment: Prevalence, Incidence and Consequences in East Asia and Pacific,” is the first review of existing studies compiled by experts over a 10 year period, January 2000 and November 2010.

“Child maltreatment has harmful long-term consequences, not only for the children suffering the abuse, but also for the families and societies in which they live,” UNICEF’s Regional Child Protection Specialist, Amalee McCoy, said in a news release. “Understanding the prevalence of child maltreatment is a first step towards identifying the right measures to make every child in the region safer” (UN News Center).

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Egerton University to set up Ksh400m first agro-based Science Park in Kenya

Posted on | augustus 22, 2012 | No Comments

File:Graduation hat.svgThe Egerton University’s plans to establish the first agro-based Science Park in Kenya has received a boost with the setting aside of extra Ksh3 million and 24 hectares on which the administrative centre will be based.

Started September 2011 with seed money worth Ksh4 million from the university, the flagship science park has so far has been able to nurture three ideas into new bean varieties, with other products in their various stages of development.

“We want to come up with a complex to house all work now scattered in various departments by 2030 when Kenya hopes to be a middle income developing country with science, innovation and technology being the main driver,” said Dr Inyagwa Muleke, project coordinator of the science park.
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