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Malawi begins the usage of new WHO approved typhoid vaccine in Africa.



Malawi has launched a new generation of typhoid vaccines making it the first country in Africa using the vaccines to fight typhoid infections in children.

Four-year-old Golden Kondowe was the first child to receive the vaccine, on Wednesday (January 21) in Blantyre’s Ndirande Township.


The settlement has registered at least 100 cases of Typhoid, and is said to be a high risk area.

The clinical trials are meant to test the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of the typhoid conjugate vaccine (TCV) according to the Malawi-Liverpool Wellcome Trust which is running the programme.

About 24,000 children aged from nine months to 12 years will take part in the study funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

“Many parents are sceptical about the vaccine. But I know it will be helpful. We just have to protect our children and babies. typhoid is claiming many lives both in rural and urban areas,” said Christopher Kondowe, Golden’s father.

“The coming in of this vaccine is very significant in Ndirande because we have a huge population of about 140,373. And with the study that our colleagues did, they found that Ndirande has a lot of typhoid cases. So, the coming in of this vaccine will help to reduce the number of cases that we register,” said Mwagomba, a senior nursing officer.

Typhoid is a highly contagious infection caused by the Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi bacteria. It is contracted by consuming contaminated foods or drinks and symptoms include nausea, fever, abdominal pain and pink spots on the chest. Untreated, it can be fatal.

Health workers are conducting awareness campaigns to educate residents on prevention and cure of the disease.

The new vaccine against typhoid has been approved by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The GAVI global vaccine alliance said last year it had earmarked $85 million to help support the introduction of typhoid vaccines in poor countries.

A team of researchers from the University of Liverpool and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine has been working with their local counterparts to develop the vaccine for about 20 years.

Typhoid is usually treated with antibiotics. But access to antibiotics in poor regions is sometimes limited, and the bug’s resistance to them is on the rise.

Professor Melita Gordon, is the principal investigator, at Malawi-Liverpool Wellcome Trust.

“Until about five years ago, there was relatively little typhoid here in Blantyre, in Malawi. And what we have been able to show is that there has been a big outbreak not only in Malawi, in Blantyre but across many big cities in Africa. And we have been able to show that this is a new strain of typhoid that came across to the continent from the Indian subcontinent and it is multi-drug resistant which means that it is transmitted very quickly and spread very quickly,” she said.

Typhoid fever affects between 12 and 20 million people worldwide in regions where the quality of water and sanitation is low, particularly in south Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

Around 1 in 100 cases is deadly, and about 3 percent of those infected become chronic carriers of the disease.


Motherland News

Nigeria General Elections postponement not politically influenced – INEC



Nigeria’s electoral body, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has cleared the air, saying its decision to postpone the general elections a few hours to the commencement was not politically influenced.

INEC chairman Mahmoud Yakubu said at a press conference that “The decision has nothing to do with security, nothing to do with political influence and nothing to do with lack of resources.”

The postponement heightens the political tensions in the country, especially between the ruling All Progressives Congress and the main opposition People’s Democratic Party.


The parties have accused INEC of kowtowing down to the political influence exerted by either party to postpone the elections which ought to begin the presidential and National Assembly elections on Saturday, February 16 2019.

PDP and APC faulted INEC’s decision to reschedule the presidential and National Assembly elections will hold on February 23 while the governorship and state houses of assembly elections will take place on March 9.


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Motherland News

Nigeria: Reactions trail INEC Postponement of 2019 General Elections



Reactions have trailed the decision of The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to postpone the Presidential and National Assembly elections earlier slated for today by a week, citing operational difficulties.

Prior to the postponement of the election, the PDP accused INEC of hoarding the presidential and senatorial elections result sheets for undisclosed reasons.

The party also revealed that its monitoring and intelligence showed that INEC had been distributing sensitive election materials in most states of the federation without the Presidential and Senatorial elections results sheets.

The National Publicity Secretary of the Party, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement said that the party’s agents were being denied the INEC accreditation and identification cards, ostensibly to shut them out of the election monitoring process and allow the APC a field day to manipulate the process.

According to him, “The development is already heightening tension and suspicion of underhand method by the commission to open the elections for manipulations and allow the APC to enter fictitious results for onward transmission to collation centres.”

The PDP also rejected alleged substitution of the already trained INEC adhoc staff in various states of the federation with members of the APC.

The party said that PDP would never allow “this unscrupulous attempt at power hijack to stand.”

He stated, “This surreptitious ploy to use APC members as polling staff is a direct template by the APC in collusion with some INEC officials, to rig the elections for the APC.

“This affront to the collective quest by the people for a credible election is akin to sitting our nation on a keg of gunpowder.”

A renowned political analyst in Lagos state, Isaac Abiola on his part expressed displeasure at the postponement, citing the electoral body’s insincerity the worrisome part.

Mr Abiola said “I am disappointed with INEC. It is obvious that they are not sincere with us. INEC till 11:30pm yesterday claimed to have been ready and even tweeted that their situation room was ready. It is not a must to conduct elections when you are not fully ready. But the decision to postponed should have been reached and announced at least 24hrs before election. Why announce 2:30am when people were sleeping. I feel there is an arrangement somewhere.”


Also Reacting to the postponement, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Ahmed Raji, noted that if the postponement was towards achieving a credible, free and acceptable election, it is in order. According to him, if the reason for the postponment is actually on logistics as it is being said, it is okay instead of the Commission to go ahead and conduct an election that would put it to ridicule both locally and internationally.

Raji, while stating that it is high time Nigerians begin to see election as a process, observed that budgetary allocation for the elections came a little bit late.

According to him election materials are not things people just pick from the shop, hence the commission needs adequate time to plan and arrange for some of this materials.


On the ruling party’s side, Arc Waziri Bulama, the deputy director general of APC presidential campaign council disclosed the party’s readiness for the forthcoming general elections dismissing claims that the APC was looking for a postponement of the polls. Bulama who disclosed this on Wednesday, February 13, stated that the council had carried its campaign all over the country. He said the responsibilities of leaders was to deliver good governance, secure the lives of Nigerians, ensure that they promote justice, rule of law, peace and freedom through their actions.

Meanwhile, the opposition People’s Democratic Party presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar said the postponement of the general election by Independent National Electoral Commission is “obviously a case of the hand of Esau but the voice of Jacob.”

“The Buhari administration has had more than enough time and money to prepare for these elections and the Nigerian people were poised and ready to perform their civic responsibility by voting in the elections earlier scheduled for Saturday, 16 February, 2019,” Atiku said in a stateemnt on Saturday.

“By instigating this postponement, the Buhari administration hopes to disenfranchise the Nigerian electorate in order to ensure that turn out is low on the rescheduled date,” he added.

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