By More Matshediso
Pretoria – The introduction of Delamanid, a Japanese manufactured drug, has ushered in new hope in the fight against multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) in South Africa.
Delamanid, manufactured by pharmaceutical company, Otsuka, will initially be made available to 400 patients in South Africa as part of a clinical access research project.
GENEVA, 24 March 2017—On World Tuberculosis Day, 24 March, UNAIDS is urging countries to do much more to reduce the number of tuberculosis (TB) deaths among people living with HIV. TB is the most common cause of hospital admission and death among people living with HIV. In 2015, 1.1 million people died from an AIDS-related illness—around 400 000 of whom died from TB, including 40 000 children.
Severe drought has taken hold in parts of the Horn of Africa (HoA) region following a long dry spell. Some affected areas in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia were yet to recover from the 2015-16 El Niño- drought when rains failed again. 16.8 million people across the region face food and water shortages and it is predicted that the next rainy season, from March to May, will again disappoint. 10.7 million people need urgent food assistance.
Since early 2015, the Southern Africa and Indian Ocean region has faced widespread food shortages owing to the worst drought in 35 years which was exacerbated by the El Niño weather phenomenon. Two consecutive failed rainy seasons have left 13.8 million people in need of emergency food assistance.
Australian Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Senator the Hon Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, presented a $500,000 to Sonke Gender Justice (Sonke) in Johannesburg to extend Sonke's existing work on community interventions aimed at preventing gender-based violence in South Africa and Tanzania.
Pretoria – As the Western Cape faces a serious drought due to poor rainfall during winter, the Department of Water and Sanitation has informed the agricultural sector of 10 percent additional water restrictions.
The demand for water in the province has steadily increased due to the growing population and economy. This, as well as poor rainfall, has added significant pressure on water supply.
Switzerland - During the past two weeks I have noted with deep concern the escalation in hostilities towards migrants in South Africa.
As the Rainbow Nation, South Africa is synonymous with diversity, inclusivity and multiplicity and the current anti-migrant violence is an anathema to the true spirit of Ubuntu (or humanity towards others) for which African cultures and societies are well known and rightly lauded.
- Heavy rain has been affecting the northern, eastern and western areas of the country over the past few days, causing floods and casualties.
- Local media reported, as of 24 February at 7.00 UTC, that three people have been killed and traffic has been disrupted through the North West province.
- Over the next 48 h, more heavy rain is forecast to affect the northern and eastern areas of the country.
Pretoria - The Department of Home Affairs has urged asylum seekers and refugees visiting the Desmond Tutu Refugee Reception Centre for various services to follow due process and desist from showing up without appointments and on days that are not designated for their blocs.
Following the entry of ex-cyclone Dineo into South Africa yesterday, reports show that a number of areas are already receiving high volumes of rain. As forecasted earlier, the three Provinces of Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo have indeed experienced Dineo.
Areas like Graskop, Blyde Canyon, Punda Maria and Makhado are some of those that have already received varying levels of rain. About 166mm in 24hours of rain has been the highest volume experienced thus far in Graskop.
Strengthening national and regional early warning systems, response and preparedness plans
16 February 2016, Harare – Sixteen East and Southern African countries agreed today on urgent plans of action aimed at boosting the region’s capacity to manage emerging crop pests and livestock diseases, including armyworm and avian influenza.
South African Weather Service
16 February 2017: 11:00
Tropical cyclone Dineo made landfall near Inhambane, southern Mozambique between 8pm and midnight last night, Wednesday, 15 February. Strong winds, exceeding 100km/hr as well as torrential rainfall and very rough seas were most likely the main weather-related impacts.
Calls for enhanced capacities to prepare for and respond to emerging pests and diseases
15 February 2017, Harare - A three-day Regional Emergency Meeting discussing new transboundary crop and livestock pests in Southern Africa kicked off today with a call for increased investment in preparedness and response capacities to new and endemic threats in Southern Africa.
The African Water Facility (AWF) and NEPAD Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility (NEPAD-IPPF) signed on January 31, 2017 in Pretoria, South Africa, a letter of agreement with the Orange Senqu River Basin Commission (ORASECOM) to launch the Climate Resilient Water Resources Investment Strategy and Multipurpose Project Preparation for the Orange-Senqu River Basin, shared by Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and South Africa. The co-financed project, amounting to about €3.5 million, includes contributions from AWF of about €2 million and $1.2 million from NEPAD-IPPF.
Scientists are calling for urgent action to contain the spread of a pest that is destroying maize crops and spreading rapidly across Africa.
Researchers tracking a crop-destroying caterpillar known as the fall armyworm say it is now spreading rapidly across mainland Africa and could reach tropical Asia and the Mediterranean in the next few years, threatening agricultural trade.
The fall armyworm moth has dark-gray, mottled forewings with light and dark splotches, and a noticeable white spot near the extreme end of each.
Students from several countries - many of whom are barred from the state system - get free lessons from 3-6pm in the classrooms of a pioneering private school in Johannesburg
"These children can't go to real schools... kids have been beaten up, assaulted, deprived of food," said college head Colin Northmore of the plight of young migrants in South Africa.
So each day when lessons end at his pioneering Sacred Heart school in Johannesburg, migrant children fill up the empty classrooms - and are taught by migrant teachers.
Pretoria – South Africa is hard at work to meet its target of zero new HIV infections by the year 2030.
Currently, about seven million people are living with HIV and Aids in South Africa and 50% of them are receiving antiretroviral (ARV) treatment.
The target of no new infections by 2030 is set in the National Development Plan (NDP) and is one that the health sector, in partnership with various stakeholders and South Africans at large, is pushing to achieve before the set time.
Monday, 6 February 2017 00:01 GMT
The armyworm is destroying young maize plants across Africa and could reach Asia and the Mediterranean in the next few years, threatening agricultural trade
By Kate Kelland
LONDON, Feb 6 (Reuters) - Scientists tracking a crop-destroying caterpillar known as armyworm say it is now spreading rapidly across mainland Africa and could reach tropical Asia and the Mediterranean in the next few years, threatening agricultural trade.
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New pest poses novel threat to region reeling from effects of consecutive droughts
3 February 2017, Harare – A fall armyworm outbreak, the first emergence of the pest in southern Africa, is causing considerable crop damage in some countries. If the pest damage aggravates, it could dampen prospects for good crop harvests that is anticipated in the current farming season. Maize, a staple food in the region has been the most affected, as well as other cereals including sorghum, millet and wheat.