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The East African : January 27th 2014
30 BEHIND THE HEADLINES A season of glitches at Uneb The EastAfrican OUTLOOK JANUARY 25-31,2014 T I T B I T S Visa eyes Kenya’s cashless fare system Dar anti-drugs unit turns to ports ‘No Kenyan soldiers for South Sudan’ The News: Pupils who sat last year’s Uganda national examinations will have to endure a longer wait for the results, after the Uganda National Examinations Board (Uneb) said its computers had crashed. The Lowdown: The glitch comes less than a month after several computers at Uneb suffered technical faults. Earlier, the body had run short of money to pay teachers who mark the exams. Whereas Uneb has in the past released results beginning mid-January, this deadline has not been met this year after government delayed the release of funds for marking. It was anticipated that the results would be released at the end of this month. The News: Multinational credit card company Visa is set to launch a cashless fare payment system in public transport in Kenya by June. The Lowdown: The move will put Visa in the race for a share of the cashless payment solutions market with Safaricom and Equi ty Bank having already introduced similar products. Visa said it would extend the cashless payment solution to kiosks, fast food outlets and car parking. The Kenya government has gazetted regulations that will outlaw the use of cash for fare payments from July, increasing the use of cards beyond ATM withdrawals, cash deposits and payment of utility bills. The News: Tanzania’s Anti-Drugs Unit has said that it is now focusing on intercepting drug shipments through its ports, having experienced success at its international airports. The Lowdown: This will be a boost to the regional war on drugs, as East Africa is a major transit hub for drugs destined for Asia and Europe, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. It was reported last week that a Canadian military ship discovered 265 bags of heroin aboard a vessel while patrolling the Indian Ocean as part of Operation Artemis, a maritime security and counter-terrorism effort in the Middle East. The News: Kenya will not be sending troops to troubled South Sudan despite a request from the United Nations. The Lowdown: Foreign Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed said that Kenya had been approached to help boost the more than 5,500 soldiers needed to keep the peace in South Sudan. But later, a statement from the ministry said that no Kenya Defence Forces soldiers would be sent to Juba. “Some countries have already agreed to provide troops to South Sudan... Some countries like Rwanda have been approached to provide troops, we have also been approached...” she said. Managing diabetes Google has unveiled a smart contact lens that can help measure glucose levels in tears for detecting diabetes. The device uses a tiny wireless chip and a miniaturised glucose sensor embedded between two layers of lens material. Many global firms have been looking to expand in the wearable technology sector — seen by many as a key growth area in the coming years. Various estimates have said the sector is expected to grow by between $10 billion and $50 billion in the next five years. WHO estimates show that: Diagnosis and treatment Early diagnosis can be accomplished through relatively inexpensive blood testing. 347 million people worldwide have diabetes. 3.4 million people die from consequences of high fasting blood sugar. Diabetes will be the seventh leading cause of death in 2030. Healthy diet, regular physical activity, maintaining a normal body weight and avoiding tobacco use can prevent or delay the onset of Type 2 diabetes. Treatment of diabetes involves lowering blood glucose and the levels of other known risk factors that damage blood vessels. Tobacco use cessation is also important to avoid complications. Interventions that are both cheap and feasible in developing countries include: Moderate blood glucose control. People with type 1 diabetes require insulin; people with type 2 diabetes can be treated with oral medication, but may also require insulin; Blood pressure control; Foot care. 80% 80pc of diabetes deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. 1 in 10 people across the world’s population are forecast to have diabetes by 2035, according to the International Diabetes Federation. 347 million worldwide have diabetes 3.4 million people die from consequences of high blood sugar.
January 20th 2014
February 3rd 2014