Friday, 16 January 2009

New malaria treatment

Data confirm absence of side effects and benefit of the simpler treatment schedule:

The results of two new large scale trials show that the combination of di­hydro­artemisinin and piperaquine (DHA+PQP) not only is effective against uncomplicated malaria in a way which is comparable to other artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs), but it also protects patients against new infections for at least two months after treatment. The DHA/PQP combination is very well tolerated with no significant side effects. These notable results were presented at the 57th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene.
Read it all.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Zambia's President Mwanawasa dies in France

Reuters writes:

Lusaka (Reuters) — Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa died in a French hospital on Tuesday after suffering a stroke in July, Vice President Rupiah Banda said.

»Fellow countrymen, with deep sorrow and grief, I would like to inform the people of Zambia that our president Dr. Levy Patrick Mwanawasa died this morning at 1030 hours (0830 GMT)«, Banda said on state television.

»I also wish to inform the nation that national mourning starts today and will be for seven days.«

Banda is expected to take over as acting president according to Zambia's constitution and elections would be called.
R.I.P.

Saturday, 15 September 2007

Kabwe one of the ten worst polluted places

A study by the Blacksmith Institute found Kabwe to be one of the ten worst polluted places in the world due mostly to heavy metal (mostly zinc and lead) tailings making their way into the local water supply:

Kabwe, the second largest city in Zambia, is located about 150 km north of the nation's capital, Lusaka, and is one of six towns in the Copperbelt, once Zambia's thriving industrial base. In 1902, rich deposits of lead were discovered there. Mining and smelting commenced soon after and ran almost continuously until 1994 without addressing the potential dangers of lead contamination. The mine and smelter are no longer operating but have left a city poisoned by debilitating concentrations of lead dust in the soil and by metals in the water. In one study, the dispersal in soils of lead, cadmium, copper, and zinc extended over a 20 km radius at levels much higher than those recommended by the World Health Organization.

A small waterway runs from the mine to the center of town and has been used to carry waste from the once active smelter. There are no safeguards or restrictions on use of the waterway and local children use it for bathing. In addition to contaminated water, dry, dusty, lead-laced soils near workers' home are a significant source of contamination for the locals. Most workers and residents are exposed to toxic levels of lead through inhaling dust in these areas.

In some neighbourhoods in Kabwe, blood concentrations of 200 µg/dl or more have been recorded in children and records show average blood levels of children range between 50 and 100 µg/dl. On average, children's blood lead levels in Kabwe are 5 to 10 times the permissible EPA maximum and in many cases are close to those regarded as potentially fatal. Children who play in the soil and young men who scavenge the mines for scraps of metal are most susceptible to lead produced by the mine and smelter.

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Stevia

While there is little doubt that stevia is going to be the next big thing in non-sugar sweeteners, I wonder: Could stevia become a source of income for rural Zambia? Or is the climate in Zambia too hot or too arid for growing this sweet herb?

Sunday, 15 July 2007

Wikipedia

Wikipedia has the following relevant articles:

Saturday, 7 July 2007

Blog Africa

Blog AfricaBlog Africa, now a part of Global Voices, has a listing of Africa-related blogs. Anything posted to any of the blogs in the aggregator will end up on the main page of BlogAfrica and in the rss feed BlogAfrica offers as output.

If you are blogging from an African country or about African issues, you could request that your blog be included in the aggregator.