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The East African : May 19th 2014
26 BEHIND THE HEADLINES Angola’s first census in 44 years The EastAfrican OUTLOOK MAY 17-23,2014 T I T B I T S NRM youth leaders suspended Jonathan cancels trip to Chibok 17 migrants die in Mediterranean Sea The News: Angola started its first population census in over four decades on Friday, a survey that the president said would help speed up delivery of basic services. The Lowdown: The last census was conducted in 1970, when Angola was still under Portuguese rule. The long interruption was caused by a 27-year civil war that started after independence in 1975 and ended only a dozen years ago. President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who has been in power in Africa’s number two oil producer since 1979, has been credited with Angola’s rapid economic growth since the conflict. The News: The youth leadership of the NRM party last week suspended three of its members for insisting on convening a delegates conference. The Lowdown: The three are accused of attempting to illegally convene an NRM youth delegates conference to discuss a resolution by the party’s parliamentary caucus fronting President Museveni as the party’s sole candidate in the 2016 polls. They are further accused of undermining the party’s leadership. Denis Namara, NRM Youth League chairperson, claimed the trio was trying to create a wedge between President Museveni and Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi. The News: Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan this week cancelled his first visit to the village from which more than 200 schoolgirls were abducted by Boko Haram. The Lowdown: Officials said the president abandoned the trip to the northeastern village of Chibok due to security fears. He was scheduled to fly from the capital Abuja to Paris on Friday for a regional summit to discuss the Boko Haram insurgency and wider insecurity. “The president was planning to go but security advised otherwise on the visit,” said a source. Nigerians have criticised the government’s initial response to the plight of the girls, who were abducted on April 14. The News: At least 17 people died when a boat carrying hundreds of migrants sank in the Mediterranean Sea between Libya and southern Italy, navy officials said. The Lowdown: Two hundred others were rescued from the boat, which went down south of the Italian island of Lampedusa. This comes a day after it emerged that 36 migrants drowned last week, when their boat sank off the Libyan coast. The boat sank on Monday about 185km south of Lampedusa. Libya is used as a departure point by many African migrants trying to enter the European Union illegally. Hepatitis, the silent epidemic May is designated as the global hepatitis awareness month, and May 19 is Hepatitis Testing Day. In May, the World Health Organisation and public health partners work to shed light on this silent epidemic by raising awareness of viral hepatitis and encouraging priority populations to get tested. Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver, most commonly caused by a viral infection. There are five main hepatitis viruses, referred to as types A, B, C, D and E. Hepatitis A and E are caused by ingestion of contaminated food or water while hepatitis B, C and D usually occur as a result of blood-to-blood contact with infected body fluids (e.g. from blood transfusions or invasive medical procedures using contaminated equipment). Hepatitis B and C can also be transmitted through sexual contact, although this is less common with hepatitis C. A significant number of those who are chronically infected will develop liver cirrhosis or liver cancer. There is no specific treatment for hepatitis A. Recovery from symptoms following infection may be slow and may take several weeks or months. THE NUMBERS 1.4 millon Globally, there are an estimated 1.4 million cases of hepatitis A every year. 240 million More than 240 million people have chronic (long-term) liver infections. About 600,000 people die every year due to the acute or chronic consequences of hepatitis B. 130 - 150 million 130–150 million people globally have chronic hepatitis C infection. THE NUMBERS 50-90% Antiviral treatment is successful in 50–90 per cent of persons treated, depending on the treatment used, and has also been shown to reduce the development of liver cancer and cirrhosis. 20 million Every year, there are 20 million hepatitis E infections, over 3 million acute cases of hepatitis E, and 57,000 hepatitis E-related deaths. Hepatitis B is preventable, with the available safe and effective vaccine that has been available since 1982 95 per cent effective in preventing infection and its chronic consequence. Antiviral medicines can cure hepatitis C infection, but access to diagnosis and treatment is low. Hepatitis E is usually self-limiting, but may develop into fulminant hepatitis (acute liver failure). China has produced and licensed the first vaccine to prevent hepatitis E infection, although it is not yet available globally.
May 12th 2014
May 26th 2014