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Archive for April 1st, 2013

Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for a Legally Binding Agreement on Forests in Europe

Posted by African Press International on April 1, 2013

The Resumed Third Session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for a Legally Binding Agreement on Forests in Europe will be convened on 3-5 April 2013 in Saint Petersburg, the Russian Federation.

During these days the members of the Committee are expected to further advance the draft negotiating text, inter alia, general provisions, terms and definitions, finance and secretariat arrangements, including possible interim solutions.

The Committee will consider possibilities for bringing the agreement under the United Nations umbrella.




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Kenya: Nyanza Administration Police Commandant under probe for snatching one’s wife.

Posted by African Press International on April 1, 2013

The Government has launched investigations against Nyanza Administration Police Commander James Mwaniki over claims of attempting to snatch someone’s wife in Kisumu. Nyanza Administration Police Commander James Mwaniki Nyanza Administration Police Commander James Mwaniki

This is after an employee of a security firm in the city petitioned the Nyanza Provincial Commissioner Francis Mutie’s office claiming the senior officer was breaking his family.
In a letter dated March 25, 2013, titled ‘breakage of my marriage,’ and addressed to Mutie, the man seeks to know why the officer wants to break his marriage.
The wife is also an Administration Police officer in Kisumu the rank of a Corporal.
The letter also copied to the Nyanza Provincial Police officer Joseph Ole Tito reads in part; “Sir, as stated above, kindly assist me through your able office to know why a very senior police officer, James Mwaniki wants to break my marriage with my wife.”
He says they have been blessed with three children and would not wish to break his family. On the letter, a marriage certificate between the man and the corporal AP officer is attached.
The man further states that his wife is not Mwaniki’s escort but has been going out with him and spending night-outs without his knowledge.
“On March 2, 2013 they went to Muhuru bay and later spent a night in Migori until the following morning of March 3,” states the letter.
He says the officer at one time also called his wife with whom they spend close to eight hours at night at a club in APs camp in Shauri Moyo AP line where they reside.
“Mwaniki send an officer to call my wife. When I asked her where she was going, she said that the boss wants her to go and open for him a beer,” said the wife’s husband, adding that the wife left at 6pm and came back to the house at 1 am in the night.
According to laws and regulation of the APs, a senior officer of his rank should not be in the AP line unless on a special duty. He has been reportedly going there with reports indicating that he even sends junior officers out of the club to pave way for him and the lovebird.
The AP boss who is reportedly referred to by his junior officers as libidious is said to have been involved with three female officers based at the PC’s office. Two female officers have children with their husbands.

According to their husbands, complains have been raised over the officer’s behavior with their legally married wives.
This has even created animosity among the two latest female catch of Mr. Mwaniki. They are said to be in bad terms with each other as they are fighting over the man.
However, the junior officers have also alleged that he has been mobilizing officers to attack the husband (complainant) on the eve of, and after, the incident in order to cover his behavior. This, he did when addressing a parade at Kisumu East District and Provincial headquarters.
“We turned down such orders as we could not involve in wrong doings of somebody who wants to break the marriage of other people,” claimed the officers who could not be named due to security reasons.
When contacted whether they have received the copy of the letter, Nyanza PC Francis Mutie consented and said they have launched investigations into the matter.
“I have received a copy of the letter and even interviewed the husband over the allegations. After proper investigations I assure you action must be taken,” the PC said.
Nyanza Police boss Joseph Ole Tito also confirmed receipt of a copy of the letter. “I have seen the letter and the truth is that we belong to different departments.
It is therefore up to the Administration department to get to the bottom of the matter and make a decision concerning the allegations,” Ole Tito told API on phone when contacted for comment.
However, efforts to reach Mwaniki for comment regarding the accusations were futile by the time of going to press.


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TB vaccines: The options in terms of cost-effectiveness

Posted by African Press International on April 1, 2013

CAPE TOWN, 28 March 2013 (IRIN) – As researchers consider who might benefit most from the next wave of tuberculosis (TB) vaccines, some argue that we’re not doing enough with the vaccine we already have. 

The disappointing results of the first infant TB vaccine tested for efficacy in 40 years were published in February 2013, but new research suggests that while babies might be easier to reach, given existing childhood vaccination programmes, new vaccines will be more cost-effective if geared towards teens and adults.The findings by the London School of Tropical Medicine are based on mathematical modelling that compared the cost-effectiveness of potential TB vaccines in the top 22 countries with the highest burden of TB, as listed by the World Health Organization (WHO), including South Africa, India and China, which account for 82 percent of all TB cases globally.

Dr Gwen Knight and colleagues used information like the number of new TB cases recorded annually, population projections, and TB mortality. Where available, they also factored in TB treatment and vaccine delivery costs. Finally, they created various scenarios based on projections of, for instance, how well a future vaccine might protect people from active TB, and how long this protection would last.

Knight’s preliminary results were presented at the TB Vaccines Third Global Forum in Cape Town. They indicate that in most scenarios, TB vaccines given to teens and adults were about seven times cheaper than those administered to infants. The most cost-effective TB vaccine would be designed for adults and teens, and would confer 80 percent protection on recipients – a high level of protection compared to most vaccines today.

The options in terms of cost-effectiveness

The cost per Disability Adjusted Life Year (DALY) for a vaccine for adults and teens could be as little as 85 US cents, making it comparable to the lowest prices for the rotavirus and human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines. An infant TB vaccine conferring 50 percent protection for five years could cost as much as US$42,617 per DALY.

Vaccines for older people were modelled as much more effective in reducing TB cases, with deaths occurring at an infection level largely determined by the transmission dynamics within the group. For example, a vaccine offering life-long protection against active TB would avert almost eight times as many new cases as a TB vaccine given to babies.

The model may be important in helping researchers prioritize TB vaccine candidates and selecting groups to include in future clinical trials. “Previous modelling has shown that the global TB burden is unlikely to be controlled without new TB vaccines,” Knight told IRIN. “What we didn’t know is whether these vaccines would be economically valid, and what type of vaccine should be an economic priority in relation to others.”

In the absence of a TB vaccine, Knight and her team projected that as many as 19 million people would die from the disease between 2024 and 2050.

Making the most of what we have

The world relies on the Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) TB vaccine, developed almost 100 years ago. Given at birth, BCG’s protective effect wanes as children grow to adulthood, but the vaccine has seldom been considered a candidate for global adult or teen vaccination programmes after poor results in trials.

“While drugs have had a clinical impact, they have failed to control the epidemic – that’s why we need vaccines and other tools”

Now there are growing moves in the vaccine community to move away from approaches based solely on infant immunization and to begin developing policies on immunizing adolescents and adults. Adolescents may also be a prime target for re-vaccination with the BCG TB vaccine, according to Christopher Dye, director of health information in the Office of HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases at WHO.

Dye says the world could do more with the only available TB vaccine in its arsenal. Citing examples from the United Kingdom and Norway, he presented instances in which adult BCG vaccination campaigns in the 1950s and 1960s had not only shown the vaccine to be as much as 80 percent protective, but that it had also reduced new TB cases by 20 percent.

“If those results were obtained today with a TB vaccine, they would be the subject of worldwide acclaim, and they form the basis of my claim that we don’t do enough with BCG,” he told IRIN.

In their search for a cure-all for TB epidemics, policymakers at the time may have dismissed results too readily. “The interpretation was pretty pessimistic,” he said. “In my reading, this was a search for a panacea and when that was not the result obtained, the results were pushed aside.” Disappointing results from India and Malawi could be explained by the presence of other tropical bacterial infections that could reduce BCG’s effectiveness.

Rethinking vaccines, rethinking TB control

Vaccinating teens and adults might also make sense in places like South Africa, where data collected in the Cape Town area in 2010 shows that people between the ages of 16 and 35 experience elevated risks of TB infection when compared to children and older adults.

“Children between the ages of five and ten are extremely resistant to developing active TB, but then become at risk when they move into adolescence,” Dye told IRIN. “Where possible, they need to be re-protected.”

He said adolescent BCG vaccination could easily be added to existing campaigns in countries where girls and, in some instances, boys, are vaccinated against HPV before they become sexually active.

Using mathematical models, Dye proposed that repeated mass vaccination campaigns to protect people as infants, and again as teens or young adults, could cut the annual number of new TB cases in South Africa by 50 percent over a 30-year period. In combination with improved case management and preventative TB therapy for people living with HIV, the models projected that revaccination with BCG could cut TB incidence by more than 90 percent by 2050.

“With all of these intense efforts put into TB control through treatment, the impact at the clinical level has been profound, but the trajectory of the TB epidemic has been [more or less flat],” he told IRIN. “It’s clear from analysis that while drugs have had a clinical impact, they have failed to control the epidemic – that’s why we need vaccines and other tools.”

llg/kn/he  source


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