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    • Nigeria teacher in seized girls plea April 19, 2014
      The headmistress of a school in Nigeria calls on the government to do more to save teenage girls abducted by suspected Islamist militants.
    • Egypt left-winger to challenge Sisi April 19, 2014
      Egyptian left-winger Hamdeen Sabahi submits his official bid to run for president, the only challenger so far to ex-army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
    • 'Dozens die' in S Sudan cattle raid April 19, 2014
      Dozens of people are killed in a cattle raid in a remote herders' camp in South Sudan's northern Warrap state, local officials say.
    • Algeria's president gets fourth term April 18, 2014
      Algeria's President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who suffered a stroke last year, wins a fourth term in office taking more than 81% of the vote.
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      The UN expresses outrage at a deadly attack on one of its bases in South Sudan, saying it could "constitute a war crime".
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      The International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague summons reluctant witnesses to testify at the trial of Kenya's Vice-President William Ruto.
    • French troops free Mali aid workers April 17, 2014
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      A Senegalese court rules that Karim Wade, the ex-president's son, should stand trial on corruption charges over his wealth, an official says.
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      Manchester City's Yaya Toure thinks he is not regarded as one of the best players on the planet because he is from Africa.
    • VIDEO: Nigeria 'should do more' on abductions April 19, 2014
      Nigeria's military has admitted that most of the teenage girls abducted by suspected Islamist militants have not been freed as it earlier stated.
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      South Sudan's government has sent troops to provide security at a United Nations base where at least 48 people were killed in an attack.
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    • VIDEO: Pistorius trial day 24 - in 60 secs April 17, 2014
      Forensic tests carried out by an expert for Oscar Pistorius' murder trial have been rigorously challenged by the state prosecutor in South Africa.
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      Libyan author Mansour Bushnaf says Libya does not have much of reading culture because under Col Muammar Gaddafi, people were afraid of books.
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      A powerful bomb blast has ripped through a crowded bus station on the outskirts of Nigeria's capital, Abuja, killing at least 71 people.
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      The prosthetic leg belonging to Oscar Pistorius has been shown to the court during his murder trial. He denies murder, claiming he mistook Reeva Steenkamp for a burglar.
  • RSS BBC News – Home

    • Novice 'steered South Korea ferry' April 19, 2014
      The South Korean ferry that sank on Wednesday was steered by a ship's mate unfamiliar with the waters where the accident occurred, officials say.
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      Orthodox Easter messages from patriarchs in Kiev and Moscow reflect Ukraine's deep divide, as a tense stand-off continues in the east.
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      The UN envoy to the Middle East accuses Israel of blocking his way to an Easter ceremony in Jerusalem, as Israel questions his judgement.
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      The Archbishop of Canterbury is to highlight the suffering of people in conflicts around the world during his Easter Sunday sermon.
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      A mother tells of her family's lucky escape after their car caught fire in the lion enclosure at Longleat Safari Park.
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      Four French journalists held captive in Syria for months have been freed and are in "good health", says President Francois Hollande.
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      Japan begins building a military radar station near the Senkaku islands, focus of a bitter territorial row with China, which calls them the Diaoyus.
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      Teachers are warning that CCTV safety cameras are being misused by senior staff as a way of spying on lessons.
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      Residents of a poor community near Rio de Janeiro torch vehicles in protest at the deaths of two young men in incidents involving the police.
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      Islamic extremism is the "most deadly" threat to charities in England and Wales, says William Shawcross, chairman of the Charity Commission.
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      Iran condemns a decision by the US to seize a Manhattan high-rise belonging to a charitable foundation and sell proceeds to victims of attacks by Iran-backed militants.
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      A newspaper investigation prompting a sacking by Downing Street, Labour's election plans and the latest in the alleged plot to "Islamise" schools all feature on Sunday's front pages.
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      Manchester rapper MC Tunes' second album is to get its public debut, 23 years after it was due to be heard.
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  • RSS Reuters: Politics

  • RSS CNN.com – Africa

    • Luxury shoes made in Ghana April 15, 2014
      Fred Deegbe was standing outside a shop window five years ago, marveling at the shiny pair of wing-tip Oxfords he'd just bought, when he started wondering whether such beautiful designer shoes could ever be produced in his country, Ghana.
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      It's almost impossible for a photographer to find fresh visual perspectives these days. Brooklyn-based Zack Seckler had to travel to a different continent and strap into an ultra-light aircraft to find one. His Botswana series presents the country from between 50 and 500 feet, providing a unique and captivating view of the savannah.
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      The Center for African Family Studies in Nairobi has teamed up with Kenyan artist Michael Soi to create eye-catching condom wrappers to promote safe sex and raise awareness about HIV/AIDS among young people.
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      A South African carpenter lost his fingers in an accident -- now he's making mechanical fingers and hands for others.
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      World record-holder Wilson Kipsang completed a Kenyan double at the London Marathon Sunday as home hope Mo Farah disappointed on his debut over the 42km distance.
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      He's known as the "bull dog" in South Africa's legal circles, and just two days in to Gerrie Nel's merciless cross-examination of Oscar Pistorius, it's easy to see why.
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      Here are your photos of the tastiest -- and most unusual -- African street food.
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GAMBIA: Pneumococcal immunization campaign underway

Posted by African Press International on August 22, 2009



Photo: Alimbek Tashtankulov/IRIN
Overlooked tool to fight pneumococcal disease (file photo)

DAKAR, – Health officials have launched a nationwide pneumococcal vaccine campaign in the Gambia, where one in six deaths is caused by pneumonia the most common pneumococcal illness according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Researchers from the US-based Johns Hopkins School of Public Health estimate at least 5,000 children fall ill to pneumococcal disease every year in the Gambia, leading to hundreds of deaths.

A director of the schools PneumoADIP project, which researches pneumococcal disease and vaccines, told IRIN pneumococcal disease is deadly but preventable. Every 15 minutes 23 children [worldwide] die of pneumococcal disease, but there is a solution, said information director Lois Privor-Dumm.

Depending on where the bacteria attack in the body, the illness can show up as pneumonia (lungs), meningitis (brain), or bacteraemia (bloodstream). Together, these pneumococcal diseases are the leading preventable killers of under-five children worldwide, according to WHO.

The vaccine introduced in the Gambia Prevenar, produced by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals is expected to prevent half of the forms of pneumococcal diseases found in Gambia, Privor-Dumm told IRIN. Given the high disease mortality in Gambia, even though we are not getting all the types of pneumococcal diseases, this is still significant.

Wyeth donated 3.1 million vaccine doses for Rwanda and the Gambia, the first two developing countries selected to receive the vaccine. Almost half of the vaccines will be delivered to the countries this year with the remainder expected to be delivered in 2010, said Privor-Dumm.

Commitments

While vaccines exist for pneumococcal diseases, they are not widely available in poor countries where 95 percent of such diseases occur, according to WHO.

The Johns Hopkins public health schools Privor-Dumm said new vaccines historically take up to two decades to reach the poorest countries, but that a continuous push from the research and donor community has halved the time for pneumococcal vaccines. We are turning a tide against a major child killer. Countries, donors and suppliers are now recognizing we have an opportunity to save millions of lives by making this vaccine available at an affordable price through the AMC [advanced market commitment].

With the donor-backed commitments, drug manufacturers produce vaccines for poor countries at reduced prices in exchange for guaranteed donor-funded orders over the long-term.

While the price of US$7 per dose for vaccines used in developing countries is 10 times less than what manufactures would be paid in wealthier countries, this is still enough of an incentive to get drug manufacturers to invest in developing countries, according to the GAVI Alliance, formerly known as the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation.

With donor support, the final cost to developing country governments can be as low as 15 cents per dose, according to PneumoADIP.

The UN Childrens Fund (UNICEF) is expected to issue a call for bids in September from drug manufacturers interested in producing some of the estimated 200 million pneumococcal vaccines to be funded in the pilot advanced market commitment.

Pneumococcal disease was one of six diseases considered for funding through advanced commitments, GAVIs director of information, Jeffrey Rowland, told IRIN. Pneumococcal vaccines were the best choice for a pilot AMC because of the potential to quickly demonstrate that the AMC concept works.

If 60 countries that qualify for GAVI support introduced the pneumococcal vaccine, seven million children could be saved by 2030, according to GAVI.

Johns Hopkins Privor-Dumm told IRIN it will take more than vaccines to prevent pneumococcal deaths.

As public health professionals we need to recognize that fighting pneumonia will take a multi-faceted approach. There is no silver bullet. We need breastfeeding, antibiotics and vaccines. It must be integrated, but the solution does exist.

pt/np source.ke

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