Faith and vaccination are not mutually exclusive

Members from various churches gather at the women and girls symposium

Religious leaders from the Christian, Hindu and Muslim communities in Kenya recently came out to support the government’s efforts to vaccinate the population against Covid-19. They called on their congregants to shun myths and misconceptions associated with the vaccine and to get vaccinated in order to better protect themselves from severe illness and hospitalisation as Kenya ramps up its vaccination efforts. This is an important step. And we need to see more of it across the continent. As in many other regions, religion plays a pivotal role in Africa. More…

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Different SARS-CoV-2 variants, same prevention strategies

On the 24th of November 2021, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) of South Africa reported the detection of a new COVID-19 variant of concern (VOC), named B.1.1.529, from a specimen collected on the 9th of November 2021 [1]. Early evidence on this variant suggests that it has a very unusual array of mutations, increased antibody resistance and is possibly more transmissible. Some countries have responded by issuing travel restrictions from South Africa and other countries in the region. Dr Grant Murewanhema et al. Several studies are already underway…

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WHO and Global Fund warn inequalities block progress towards ending AIDS, TB and malaria

Inequities have been widely acknowledged as barriers to achieving global and national goals and targets in HIV, TB and malaria programs. However, the magnitude and extent of underlying health inequalities have remained poorly documented and understood. By Sonali Reddy Until those inequalities are better identified, and their consequences better understood, it will be hard for programmes to meet people’s real health needs. Now, for the first time, a new report from the World Health Organization and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, systematically assesses the global State…

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NCDs and Disability Perspective During The IDD 2021

As Best Non-Communicable Diseases Zimbabwe (BeatNCDs Zim) we join the world in commemorating the International Day of Disability which is celebrated every year on the 4th of December. This year’s theme is “Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities toward an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-COVID-19 world.”  So as people living with NCDs(PLWNCDs) and people with disabilities(PWDs) we are taking the centre stage of this year’s commemoration by being meaningfully involved in unpacking the relationship between NCDs and disability. By Jacob Ngwenya Non-communicable diseases are diseases that are not transmitted…

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Fulfilling Our Promise to adolescents and young people

My years of work in HIV prevention have taught me a few things. Among them, one of the important things I have learnt is that if people do not know how to protect themselves or how to access treatment, they will not be able to prevent HIV or lead happy and fulfilling lives with HIV. Therefore, information and education is key. But its not the only thing needed. I might have the information that unsafe sex may expose me to HIV or other STIs, but I may still go ahead…

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Owning Our Health in A Borrowed Planet; A Sneak Peak into the Nexus Between Climate Change and Health

By Phillip T Chigiya March 2019 saw a dark cloud hanging over Southern Africa. Cyclone Idai ravaged through four countries leaving a trail of catastrophic destruction in its wake. Idai was recorded as the second-deadliest tropical cyclone in the Southern Hemisphere ever. In the immediate aftermath, over 4000 cases of cholera were reported, with about 20 casualties recorded so far. It is estimated that fifty million dollars was urgently needed for Public Health efforts to affected cyclone victims. While experts can not conclusively say that the cyclone was a direct…

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COVID-19 In Schools: What Is The Way Forward?

AS the third wave settled, there was a huge outcry for the re-opening of schools, and I personally added my voice to the sentiments. And even today when asked, I would echo the same sentiments too. Prolonged closure of schools is not good for the pupils for several reasons. Not only do they lag behind in terms of their education and social development; they also get exposed to several hazards in society. By Dr Grant Murewanhema What quickly comes to mind is the risk of indulging in drugs, early sexual…

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Access To Safe Abortion Care Is A Health Need

Recently, two bodies of newly born babies were found in a bin in Harare.[1] Due to a lack of accessible contraceptives during COVID-19, 5000 girls were reported to have fallen pregnant in January alone,[2] and sadly, the abandonment of unwanted babies is one of the outcomes. Unsafe abortions are another. The reality is, this could just be a tip of the iceberg of what is happening to women and girls as a result of their inability to access contraceptives. By Edinah Masiyiwa As the COVID-19 epidemic rages on, the health…

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COVID-19 Third Wave: Is It Time To Relax?

IF there is one thing I have been yearning for, it’s a return to some kind of normalcy. It’s been such a long journey of restricted lifestyles, and if truth be told, that’s not how we envisage life as human beings. We are social beings, with inborn instincts to mix, mingle, be outdoors, free-spirited and have fun. By Grant Murewanhema Christians want to be in that temple, singing songs of praise and worship, exchanging mics, and dancing without being restricted, and without being overly cautious to make sure that the…

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The “Ndiro ya Baba” Phenomenon:…A closer look at the intra household food distribution in Zimbabwe

TO those who have had a stint with rural life you might have across these phrases, “Musana Wehuku Ndewababa,” loosely translated as “only the father or man of the house is the one who eats the entire Chicken’s back.” In Masvingo it’s called Chiteretere and in some households, women have even been sent packing for wrongly allocating chicken portions. By Dr Tonde Matsungo (PhD, MPhil, BSc) and Dexter Chagwena To consume the entire Chicken’s back, a humongous mountain of Sadza has to complement the meal. The practice whereby the father…

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