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Archive for March 18th, 2013

Kenyans: The test of Nationhood – Congratulating President-elect Hon Kenyatta

Posted by African Press International on March 18, 2013

Receive greetings from the son of the oracles. For now, congratulations Your Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta; fourth president-elect of the Republic of Kenya. I came across a great piece online by a concerned matatu tout who is an ardent supporter of your nemesis who is in court over the election debacle. If he cared my opinion, I would advise him and all Kenyans to read that matatu tout’s piece on “we move forward” ( The biggest mistake we can make as Kenyans is to rubbish him off and disregard him as a mere stakeholder in the matatu industry.

Today I stand before you as a son of the soil and a s a Kenyan youth who has grown up knowing not my people’s language but 3 languages common to many of my generation Swahili; English and what bonds my generation-“sheng.”

I am here for all those voices which cannot be heard mothers, daughters, fathers and sons; some of whom have grown up knowing no other language apart from the 3 mentioned earlier.

Anyway, as I was saying. You have a tall order especially to those like me who did not vote for you sir and that order is to make all of us feel like we belong to you and that you belong to us.

It is time to win Kenya over; not just for the preservation of ourselves, but of our children and the generations that will follow. For the preservation of liberty, reason, law and order; but most importantly for hope.

Those who think “we lost” are deeply hurting sir. They feel their decision has been wasted to the pages of history. But their courage indeed bonds us together. That Kenya is made stronger by their actions and that their choices today reflect their bravery to exercise their democratic right by voting.

These pages need no history lessons Mr. President. The curse of uniting Kenyans has haunted every president that has set his eyes on the house on the hill. Mzee Jomo himself filed this test badly. Mzee Moi did not do well; either. Before I am reminded; I have to remind you that was why KANU was vanquished in 2002 General elections.

As for Baba Jimmy; the test of Nationhood has been a total disaster. It derogates all the other good things he did.

The son of the oracles expects that you will enumerate the lessons you want to leave. Rule of law. Honor. Duty. Glory. And that you will not play with the memoirs of this sacred country.

Whether we like or not, how we handle ethnicity today, at this very moment, will determine the level of faith Kenyans will have in your government and in the new constitution.

Kenya is bigger than any of us. Kenyans are watching you Mr. President, especially with regard to how you handle the little matter of the kitchen cabinet. After all, isn’t tribal balancing what presidents always do, even as they reserve the prizy portfolios for their people?

Your Excellency, for me and a legion more, we watch with our pen and paper in hand. At any rate, even royal ears ought to accept to listen, even to lips they do not like. But even if they will not listen, they must still be told.

Finally, what will change or break Kenya are the little things we do. Your Excellency, you can choose to ignore the sentiments of the people who glide before your eyes every day and end up making us a ragtag of mutually hostile war like tribes that bay each other’s blood. The problem is for my generation we have no tribe loyalty.

Or you can be a penchant that makes us one thriving and united proud nation. The choice I would say is yours! And so may the good God help you.

The son of the oracles will keep you company throughout sir. So, keep your eyes open to my letters. And as you take that bold step to unite Kenyans, probably what Sun Tzu said in his book The art of war” will be a nice place to start;

“Regard your soldiers as your children and they will follow you unto the deepest valleys. Look at them as your own beloved sons; and they will stand by you even unto death.”



-by Embukane Vincent Libosso; communication student at Daystar University and blogger at Africa’s Hangout blog.

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Cholera outbreak

Posted by African Press International on March 18, 2013

BRAZZAVILLE,  – An influx of migrants from the countryside into the Republic of Congo’s second largest city, Pointe-Noire, is exacerbating a cholera outbreak that began in November 2012 . The outbreak infected at least 389 and killed 10, according to the health ministry and local authorities.

“Heavy rain in the port city in recent weeks and sanitation problems triggered the cholera outbreak,” said Health Minister François Ibovi.

According to the mayor of Pointe-Noire, Roland Bouiti Viaudo, the booming city has seen a large influx of migrants from rural areas.

“People build and settle in prohibited areas, including [around] sewers, blocking the free flow of wastewater, which explains the repeated outbreaks of cholera,” he told IRIN. “To stop the disease… everyone – the authorities, NGOs and communities – should mobilize and become aware of this danger.”

In early March, during a council of ministers’ meeting, the government announced that emergency aid had been released to combat the outbreak, but it did not specify the amount.

Health authorities in Pointe-Noire, a city of more than 800,000, have set up an intensive cholera treatment centre on the grounds of the 200-bed Loandjili Hospital.

“This centre is run by six specialists in infectious diseases and the gastrointestinal tract. It also has a team of 28 nurses with disposable gowns, gloves, masks and shoes to avoid contamination,” said the country’s director-general of health, Alexis Elira Dokekias.

“So far… of all cases reported by the Pointe-Noire health services, 347 have already returned home, 10 have died, and 32 are still hospitalized,” he said.

lmm/cb/rz source

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HIV vaccine trial heralds new era in local research

Posted by African Press International on March 18, 2013

MAPUTO,  – Mozambique has completed its first HIV vaccine trial and is set to embark on a second, a demonstration of the country’s increased HIV research capacity. 

This week, researchers at Mozambique’s Polana Cancio Centre for Research and Public Health completed a trial evaluating the safety of an HIV vaccine candidate. The study was conducted through the UK HIV Vaccine Consortium’s Tanzania and Mozambique HIV Vaccine Programme (TaMoVac). Preliminary results from the Phase I trial indicated the vaccine was safe, but researchers say it will be months before they know if the vaccine produced an immune response in participants.

The country also launched its second HIV vaccine trial, this one of a Phase II HIV vaccine candidate, also through TaMoVac, this week. As part of this multi-site study, which is taking place in both Mozambique and Tanzania, Mozambique will recruit 20 percent of the 200-patient sample.

According to Ilesh Jani, director general of Mozambique’s National Institute of Health, the studies, while small, mark important first steps towards bolstering clinical trial and research capacity for diseases such as HIV and malaria. These diseases, along with malnutrition, continue to drive death rates in the country.

“We should be in the driver’s seat, not sitting in the back of the car waiting for someone to find the answer,” Jani told IRIN/PlusNews. “We need to get involved and take leadership to find the solutions.”

“Maybe we don’t yet have the capacity to develop these products in the lab, but we have the capacity to test them and accelerate discovery,” he added.

Larger HIV vaccines trials in the pipeline

The centre – which is located on the outskirts of the capital city, Maputo – aims to help the National Institute of Health understand the health concerns of the country’s increasingly peri-urban population.

“Maybe half of Mozambique will be living in peri-urban areas in the next 10 years,” Jani said. “It’s a setting where we don’t completely understand the determinants of health.”

Understanding these determinants will require household mapping and an HIV prevalence study. Researchers at the centre expect that this study will show an HIV prevalence rate of at least three percent in the local community.

If this is true, Polana Cancio could become a clinical research site for larger, more advanced HIV vaccine trials. Nationally, Mozambique has an HIV prevalence rate of about 11 percent, according to UNAIDS.

The centre will also be conducting a study into common causes of fever.

Jani added that, while it might not be possible for the all the products tested by the centre to enter the market patent-free, he hopes that products tested at the centre – and found to be effective – will be affordable for use in countries like Mozambique.


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