Seven things to know about COVID-19 variants in Africa

New COVID-19 variants have emerged in Africa as the continent records anew peak in infections. While virus mutations are not unusual, those that are more infectious are worrisome.Professor Francisca Mutapi, Professor in Global Health Infection and Immunity, University of Edinburgh,explains the implications of SARS-CoV-2 variants and what African countries can do to respond. Why do viruses mutate, and should we be worried about SARS-CoV-2 variants? Viruses mutate as they replicate. Replication requires that the virus’s genetic information is copied. But this copying is not accurate. It produces mistakes such as…

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Faced With A Bleak Future Post Lockdown, Zim Men And Boys Resort To Twabam, A Highly Intoxicating Brandy

IT’S 8:00 in the morning and due to the prevailing Lockdown, there is not much activity at Kuwadzana 6 Shopping Centre, known as pa Holland. Only a few young men and boys are seen milling around the shopping Centre near the Street Café Wholesale that sales an assortment of alcoholic beverages. By Michael Gwarisa Amongst Street Café’s beverages collection is a locally manufactured brandy, “Saints Brandy” which has a 40% alcohol content and is in the class of illicit brews such as Tambilani, Lawidzani and Msombodiya which dominated the market…

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Chimanimani Youth Friendly Centre Offers Diversion Therapy For Cyclone Idai Affected Youths

IDLENESS is the devil’s workshop and with idleness, comes dangerous habits and uncouth behaviors especially for young people who are just beginning to experience adulthood. It has been scientifically proven that during times of disaster such as the Cyclone Idai that hit Zimbabwe in 2019, people can resort to negative coping mechanisms such as transactional sex, drug abuse and crime just to survive and pass the day. By Michael Gwarisa recently in Chimanimani Young people and youths are at their most vulnerable and disadvantaged positions during times of disaster. In…

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#COVID-19: The Grinch Who Stole Our Christmas

BY definition, a Grinch is a grumpy person who spoils the pleasure of others or a party-popper. Most of you might have watched The Grinch movie by Jim Carrey or the 2018 animated version of The Grinch, a movie about a grumpy Grinch (Benedict Cumberbatch) who plots to ruin Christmas for the village of Whoville, a fictional place in the film. By Michael Gwarisa To make sure the whole of Whoville doesn’t celebrate Christmas and all the joy it brings, the Grinch spent the entire Christmas eve night stealing all…

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How Economic Empowerment Project Has Liberated Zim Rural Women From GBV

THE dawn of the lockdown period that was introduced following confirmation of positive COVID-19 cases in Zimbabwe in March this year gave birth to a spike in Gender Based Violence (GBV) cases in the country. By Michael Gwarisa According to a report titled “Violence Against Women and Girls During the Covid-19 Crisis in Zimbabwe” that was gathered by five NGOs working with survivors of gender-based violence, including the Musasa Project, the Adult Rape Clinic and the Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association, there was a sharp increase in domestic violence during the…

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How Antibiotics Are Finding Their Way Onto Your Diner Table

AS the world is grappling with emerging novel public health threats and natural disasters, lurking in the dark is an even more lethal and irreversible health challenge, Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), a catastrophe which could wipe out an entire civalisation if something is not done NOW. By Michael Gwarisa According to the World Health Oragnisation (WHO), by the year 2050, the world will be faced with a catastrophe of double proportions and will be losing about 10 million people yearly at a huge cost.  A number of strides have been made…

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Why so many people still die from Aids-related illnesses despite more people being on treatment

Twenty years ago antiretroviral medicines for HIV were a rare luxury in South Africa. Exorbitant costs and president Thabo Mbeki’s government fierce government opposition against providing antiretroviral treatment (ART) kept it out of the public sector. Those were terrible days. Many lives were lost. By Dr Gilles Van Cutsem Today, one of the main challenges in the fight against Aids is the lack of availability of diagnostics and drugs that can help save lives of people suffering from advanced HIV; who are very vulnerable to deadly opportunistic infections such as…

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Best Dust Mite Covers

Dust mites are a common household problem in the United States and all over the world. These microscopic insects feed on dead skin, making them highly attracted to our homes and especially places where skin cells are most prevalent like bedding, furniture, and carpeting. SOURCE:  How I Get Rid Of HQ While it’s nearly impossible to get rid of dust mites altogether, there are some steps you can take to reduce the dust mite population inside your home while also protecting yourself and loved ones from these annoying, allergy-inducing arachnids,…

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Christmas Comes Early For Gloria, As Impala Car Rental Donates Wheelchair

MIRACLES happen everyday and they come in different forms. For Gloria Dzorwa (27) her only wish over the years has been to be mobile and move freely, but due to her disability, this has not been happening as she had to rely on aids and family who would at times carry her from one place to another. HealthTimes Reporter Due to a rare spinal disorder, Gloria had been condemned to a life of immobility. However, all that changed Friday, 30 October when she received a wheelchair donation from Impala Car…

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Fulfilling our promise to girls in East and Southern Africa will give voice to and secure their equal future

Julitta Onabanjo

Joint reflections by United Nations Senior Officials in Africa*  THIRTEEN year-old Lydia Mwela from Zambia has observed too many girls in her community becoming pregnant, suffering gender-based violence and testing positive for HIV. She does not wish to end up in a similar situation herself. Through knowledge she is gaining at school, she has become empowered to make her own informed choices and create the future she dreams of for herself. She is learning about healthy relationships, good values, the human rights she is entitled to, and sexual and reproductive…

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