Top Stories in Science Africa

Global Fund Pledges $12.9billion to Help End Malaria, TB and AIDS

By Christabel Ligami (ScienceAfrica Correspondent)

-25 September 2016- The Global Fund's Fifth Replenishment donors pledged over $12.9 billion for the next three years, demonstrating extraordinary global commitment toward ending the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria for good.The pledge came close to meeting Global Fund’s $13 billion funding target – funds that will be essential for making major progress against the three diseases. A fully funded Global Fund is expected to save 8 million lives, prevent 300 million new infections and lead to broad economic gains of up to US$290 billion.

 

Global Fund resources support health programs in African countries, many of which have also increased their domestic financing for health. A number of these countries recently announced commitments to the Global Fund, including Kenya, Benin, Zimbabwe, Senegal, Togo, Cote d’Ivoire, South Africa and Namibia.

 

The Replenishment Conference raised nearly $1 billion more than the previous replenishment conference in 2013. and benefitted from participation by leaders from countries all over the world, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and Bill Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

 

The conference that took place in Canada is only the beginning of a three-year replenishment period, and the Global Fund will actively work to gain further contributions in the coming months and years, with strong advocacy by civil society and partners worldwide.

 

Programs supported by the Global Fund have saved 20 million lives since 2002, and averted 146 million new infections since 2012. The Global Fund has also helped stimulate an additional $6 billion in domestic investments in health by low- and middle-income countries in the most recent three-year period.

 

The United States led the pledging with $4.3 billion, approximately one-third of total funding. The United Kingdom pledged $1.43 billion, the second-largest pledge for this replenishment period; France pledged €1.08 billion, maintaining their position as the second-largest donor to the Global Fund overall.

 

Germany pledged $0.99billion, a 33 percent increase; Japan pledged $800 million, effectively a 46 percent increase when measured in Japanese yen; Canada pledged $0.61 billion, a 23 percent increase; and the European Commission pledged $0.53billion, nearly a 30 percent increase. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation pledged $600 million.

 

Several low- and middle-income countries that are significantly increasing their investments in health also pledged contributions to the Global Fund, to benefit the broader work to end the epidemics globally, including Kenya's pledge of $5 million.

 

Pledges from private donors and innovative financing initiatives reached $250 million for the coming three years, more than double from the previous period.

 

The Global Fund is committed to achieving maximum impact with available funds, and is constantly evolving to find innovative ways to achieve even better results with available resources. Programs supported by the Global Fund partnership have put 9.2 million people on antiretroviral treatment for HIV, provided 15.1 million people with TB treatment and distributed 659 million mosquito nets to protect families from malaria.

 

"The Global Fund is one of the most impactful investments a donor can make in global health," said Bill Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. "The increased generosity pledged by long-standing and new donors is inspiring and will help ensure this unique partnership can continue its critical work to make the world better, safe and more equitable for all."

 

The Global Fund partnership is committed to removing human rights barriers to health so that everyone can access the health services they need, particularly communities and key populations who are denied access due to stigma or discrimination. The Global Fund invests in many programs that specifically focus on the needs of women and girls, who are particularly at risk from HIV, TB and malaria, and works to address the gender inequalities that are major drivers of the spread of the three diseases. Ending the epidemics requires stronger systems for health, and breaking down the barriers that prevent people from accessing lifesaving health care.

 

"We have the knowledge and tools to end HIV, TB and malaria as epidemics by 2030, but we need to invest smartly and with focus to make it happen," said Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund. "When we work together, we can achieve more than anyone dreamed possible."

R&D: Africa Doing Poorly- Japan, South Korea, Israel Lead

-14 September 2016-  Despite four decades of promises African Union’s aim of 1% allocation for R&D remains elusive and only Kenya, Mali and South Africa are approaching the target with Morocco leading   Arab States with just 0.7%. Globally the top three are Japan with 3.6%  Israel 4.1% and South Korea -world leader- 4.3%.

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Solar Energy Boosts Milk Production for Dairy Farmer

By Fred Deya

-14 September 2016- Dairy farming is phenomenal in Kenya’s Rift Valley from zero grazing of a single cow to large scale dairy farms for commercial purposes. However for the success of the business, certain factors have to be considered. Conducive environment with enough lighting system are boosts milk production. Large scale milk production also needs processing machinery akin to solar powered milk cooling machine found at Willy Kirwa’s farm.

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R&D Funding: Africa Doing Poorly – South Korea, Israel, Japan Lead

      -14 September 2016-  Despite four decades of promises African Union’s aim of 1% allocation for R&D remains elusive and only Kenya, Mali and South Africa are approaching the target with Morocco leading   Arab States with just 0.7%. Globally the top three are Japan with 3.6%  Israel 4.1% and South Korea -world leader- 4.3%.

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Polio Eradication, Recurrence: Africa must be Vigilant

By HENRY OWINO (ScienceAfrica Correspondent)

-13 September 2016- Eradicating polio virus in Africa involves serious surveillance, continuous vaccination and needs scaling up across all countries. Therefore all African governments need to prioritize polio surveillance and remain committed to full implementation of the polio eradication and endgame strategy.  This caution is the result of declaring Nigeria a polio free country, only to report back again an outbreak of polio barely one year later. This is why the need for extra vigilance on polio is important with special emphasis on cross borders.

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Biosecurity Experts Meet to Boost Africa’s Trade

13 September 2016 -  35 African biosecurity experts from ten Central and East African countries met on 5-9 September 2016 in Nairobi, Kenya for the third Africa Plant Biosecurity Network Workshop. The Network brought African biosecurity professionals from Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe together to share information, provide ongoing mentoring, and boost training and outreach. The aim is to improve national and regional plant biosecurity, lifting crop yields and enabling safe trade.

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WAC Launches Medicinal Plants Manual Documenting Treatment of 49 Livestock Dis;eases

 

-9 September 2016- The World Agrofoestry Centre (ICRAFhas launched a new publication Traditional Ethnoveterinary Medicine in East Africa: a manual on the use medicinal plants.  It documents treatment of 49 main livestock diseases in East Africa using medicinal plants used in the region. The manual goes further to provide details and chemical formulae of the active compounds found in these medicinal plants.

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Climate Change: Africa’s Math Institute Gets $22.6m from Canada

-9 September 2016-Canada is contributing CA$22.6m over five year period to the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences – Next Einstein Initiative (AIMS-NEI) to train mathematicians to develop climate change adaptation and mitigation solutions. AIMS has six centres in South Africa, Senegal, Ghana, Cameroon, Tanzania, and Rwanda and has produced 1,211 graduates- a third are women. 

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Agricultural R&D: KALRO, ILRI Sign MOU

-9 September 16-  Te Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) and the International Livestock Research Institute(ILRI) recently signed an MOU p to deepen their collaboration in agricultural research for development. The MoU is the culmination of a series of previous meetings between KALRO and ILRI senior management that explored areas of mutual interest in supporting livestock sector development in Kenya.

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Climate Change: Local Communities Bear the Weight

By Norah Akelo (ScienceAfrica Correspondent)

 

Thirty years ago, if the situation was as it is today elders would have gathered their people to their first grandfather’s compound for a cleansing ceremony. Cattle, goats and chicken would have their day at the altar as they were the gifts that would open the skies and send down the rain.’ Teresa Odhiambo, a 48 year old local from Lwak, Siaya County narrates from her doorstep as she watches a cow grazing nearby tug on what is more of soil than grass.

 

Her voice joins with the other locals who are worried about the delayed rains, the scorching sun and the fact that they may be facing the possibility of drought and food shortage.

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Solar Power Enables Women Group Generate Income from Fruits

By Fred Deya

-17 August 2016-In the dusty Uthini village of Machakos County, Kenya, group of 25 women are converting solar energy to dry fruits for commercial sale. However, over 40 percent of fruits grown in the area go to waste. Farmers growing mangoes paw paws and bananas, in large scale experience challenges due to poor storage and unavailability of ready market, leading to waste.

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Off Grid Island Residents Resort to Solar Power

By HENRY OWINO

-17 August 2015-In Kenya’s Siaya County, little known and Mageta Island in Lake Victoria is about 20Km from the mainland is increasingly getting crowded. However, the island has remained off grid after 53 years of Kenya enjoying the independence attained in 1963. Residents have depended entirely on kerosene and diesel as sources of energy to power for their televisions, refrigerators, computers, barber shops, mobile phones charging, posho mills, and water pumps.

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ICRISAT:'s Innovation Detects Aflatoxin in 15 minutes

-17 August 2016- A new rapid test kit that detects aflatoxins contamination at levels of 10 parts per billion within 15 minutes is major improvement from one called  Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (cELISA)test, developed in 2000 by International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), which has to be done in a laboratory taking up to two days. Currently, the test can be applied to detect aflatoxin in groundnuts.

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Africa: Fight against Vitamin A Deficiency Scaled Up

 By Henry Owino

Vitamin A deficiency is a leading cause of preventable childhood blindness and increases the risk of death from common childhood diseases, such as diarrhea and measles. According to World Health Organization (WHO) every year, up to 500,000 children worldwide go blind because of vitamin A deficiency. Half of these children die within 12 months of losing their sight

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Weed Control: What Plants Communicate Matters

-11 August, 2016 –  There is need for Africa’s professional associations to engage more with the public and their target audiences.  A good example comes from the Weed Science Society of America (WSSA). Its experts say plants can sense and communicate in ways that may surprise you, and those findings are opening the door for innovative new approaches to weed control.

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Accountability in County Healthcare service

Citizen Journalism and Alternative Voices

LODWAR, KENYA - Participants from various parts of the vast Turkana County attending a citizen journalism – alternative or other  voices -  two-week training workshop conducted by ScienceAfrica in Collaboration with Kenya Media Programme. The participants aim to focus on development issues that are relevant and important to Turkana people . The County suffered much neglect in the past.

Cabinet Secretary Demands Accountability, Decries Poor State of Equipment in Hospitals

By Kiprotich Koros
November 25, 2013 - Cabinet Secretary for Health James Macharia has demanded more accountability from county governments on public money.

 

“Over 3.7 billion shillings have been devolved to the county government but leaders are slow on accountability,” the Cabinet Secretary said.

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Theme: Kenyan’s Constitution and Accountability in County Health Care Service


Theme: Kenyan’s Constitution and Accountability in County Health Care Service

Vasectomy Needed in All Counties Says Expert

By ScienceAfrica Correspondent
 
November 25, 2013 - All County health authorities should include vasectomy as a reversible family planning method one of the country’s leading vasectomy experts Dr Charles Ochieng who has undergone the process says.

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Vasectomy Will Help Reduce Rapid Population Growth

By Kenya Correspondents Association Reporter
November 25, 2013 - More men need to go for vasectomy if the rapid population growth in Kenya is to be checked reproductive health expert, Dr Charles Ochieng says.

Kenya’s population currently stands at 44.3 million according to 2013 World Population Report.

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Counties Need Skilled Medics, Efficient Drug Procurement

By Lawrence Mbae

November 25, 2013 - Despite what may seem as major challenges the devolution of health services as stated in the constitution will also have tremendous benefits and other positive implications for the needy public health experts must face with the emerging reality with innovative strategies.


This was the view of two top health ministry officials who spoke in Nairobi during the recent launching of partnership between the 47 counties with Mission for Essential Drugs and Supplies (MEDS).

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Adherence to County Health Service Charters Needed

By Waikwa Maina
November 25, 2013 - Introduction of service charters in public hospitals was intended to improve on services delivery, openness and make patients easily understand on services offered, their costs and when and where such services can be accessed.


But most of the service charters have failed the tests of time. They are user unfriendly, misleading and in implementable. 

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Kiambu and Thika Counties Coping with Challenges of Devolved Health Sector

By Lawrence Mbae
November 25, 2013 - According to Kiambu county Governor ,William Kabogo, sustainable healthcare system is paramount to every county citizen since a healthy citizenry will bring social and economic prosperity to the county which is linked to increased productivity.

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County Health Workers to Benefit

By ScienceAfrica Correspodent              NOVEMBER 25th, 2013

County governments say health workers will have job security and better remuneration ahead of the impending countrywide strike steered by Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Union (KMPDU). Officials in both Kisumu and Homa Bay Counties told ScienceAfrica that they were ready to employ doctors and other health workers at the devolved units according to the strategic polices prepared in readiness for the devolution of healthcare services.

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Theme: Kenyan’s Constitution and Accountability in County Health Care Service


Theme: Kenyan’s Constitution and Accountability in County Health Care Service

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