kids

WHO: New Malaria Vaccine Cuts Child Mortality Rate

A baby receives a dose of the RTS,S vaccine for malaria in Cape Coast, Ghana in 2019. Credit: Cristina Aldehuela/AFP/Getty/Nature
A baby receives a dose of the RTS,S vaccine for malaria in Cape Coast, Ghana in 2019. Credit: Cristina Aldehuela/AFP/Getty/Nature

The World Health Organization, WHO, has announced that their new malaria vaccine, RTS,S, has proven to be safe and effective, reducing the number of severe cases and deaths in children residing in Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi. 

 

After administering the vaccine to more than 1.6 million children, WHO Director-General, Tedros Ghebreyesus spoke recently in New York of the positive outcome. Adding that the new vaccine also contributed to a fall in child deaths.

 

“As the first vaccine against malaria, the RTS,S vaccine has now been delivered to more than 1.6 million children in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi. It has been shown to be safe and effective, resulting in a substantial reduction in severe malaria and a fall in child deaths” Tedros announced.

 

Despite this being an important step forward in the battle against malaria, WHO Director of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals, Katherine O’Brien, warned that the rate of child deaths due to this disease was still persistently high. 

 

O’Brien emphasized the need to remember that every minute a child dies of malaria and the introduction of this new vaccine is just one tool in the toolbox of fighting against this severe health issue.

 

“I think it’s really important to remember nearly every minute a child dies of malaria, and the introduction of malaria vaccine as another tool, an additional tool in the toolbox to fight against the severe disease, the deaths that occur, is a really essential step forward” she said.

 

Sadly, UN studies have indicated that climate change is contributing to a higher number of mosquitoes carrying malaria-like diseases, further emphasizing the need for more effective strategies to combat the spread of malaria.

UGANDA: Government Introduces New Curriculum To Lower Primary.

The government of Uganda is proposing a collection of reforms for lower primary education, and as part of it, has decided to introduce three new subjects in a new curriculum. 

Officials from the National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC) yesterday said the new curriculum is expected to cost Shs204b (about $55m). The curriculums to be introduced are Swahili, Science and Social Studies (SST) to learners in Primary One, Two and Three. These subjects are currently introduced to the learners from Primary Four.

The Deputy Director of Research, Consultancy, and Library Services at NCDC, Dr. Richard Irumba, said the move aims at ensuring that learners can comprehend the two subjects from the onset.
“Schools have been implementing a thematic curriculum at this level and the principles of sciences were covered well in literacy,” Dr Irumba said.

He also added that learners were taught these subjects as sub-topics in literacy one and two, but they were not sufficiently covered and taught. Also, as the government is pushing the technology and science agenda for the development of the country, Dr. Irumba said this cannot be achieved without sciences being introduced to learners at an early stage. He further stated that SST, on the other hand, encompasses civic education, hence being crucial to young learners.

The new curriculum will soon be approved, when it is approved, starting in July, learners will learn seven subjects.

Dr Irumba made the remarks yesterday at the head offices of Monitor Publications Limited in Kampala during a courtesy visit to partner with the organization in publicizing their events, including the forthcoming international conference on curriculum development as they mark 50 years of existence.

 

The communications officer of NCDC, Mr Taddeo Bwambale said the center will use the Shs180b to, among others, develop and print materials, train more than 150,000 teachers across the country, and review all the subjects.

In 2017, the Ministry of Education rolled out a thematic curriculum for Primary One and Two after the literacy level among learners had dropped. Six years down the road, the ministry plans to review the entire curriculum for the primary level.

According to Dr Irumba due to insufficient funds, it has been difficult for them to meet the requirement to revive the curriculum every five years to match the changing technology.

The move to introduce the science subject in the lower primary was welcomed by the Secretary General of the Uganda Professional Science Teachers Union,  Mr. Aaron Mugaiga. He also added that the NCDC should include the component of practical sessions at the primary level so that pupils are also exposed to scientific experiments at an early age.

EMMANUEL ADEBAYOR GOES ROUND TOGO TO SUPPORT STUDENTS, YOUNG FOOTBALLERS AND AMATEUR TOURNAMENTS.

Sheyi Emmanuel Adebayor is a Togolese football player who plays as a striker for the Togolese Championant National club Semassi. Prior to this, he has played for clubs like arsenal, Manchester city, Tottenham Hotspur and Crystal Palace as well as some other teams.

 

In 2008, he was voted African footballer of the year, he later on became the most iconic signing in Paraguayan football. In 2020, he was the highest paid player in the country’s history. In the country’s debut in the FIFA World cup in Germany in 2006, Emmanuel represented his country; it was also the country’s only appearance till date. He is also the country’s all-time top goal scorer with 32 goals

 

Even though originally Nigerian, born to parents of Yoruba origin, Adebayor chose to represent the country of his birth. He was a pundit for the BBC sports 2020 FIFA World cup coverage. In 2007, he was BBC footballer of the year. He also scored the BBC goal of the season in 2007/2008.

 

Emmanuel Adebayor owns a foundation called the Sheyi Emmanuel Adebayor Foundation (SEA). This foundation takes care of hundreds of children.

 

Adebayor has been traveling around his country, Togo to support students, young footballers and amateur football tournaments. Helping people with talent achieve their goals

 

ZIMBABWEAN MOLECULAR BIOLOGISTS INVENTS ICE CREAM FLAVORS WITH INDIGENOUS FRUITS.

Tapiwa Guzha is a Zimbabwean born and raised food mastermind. He learnt to cook from his grandmother, he developed a passion for food in his youth.

 

He moved to Cape Town to study and it took him off cooking for a while. But his love for cooking still found its way back during his postgraduate days in Cape Town. He further developed his interest in cooking and did this during his postdoctoral years. He said during an interview “overtime cooking evolved for me and became a tool to entertain people and to unwind after a long day”. He decided to leave the traditional academic life and pursue his passion for education through the medium of food.

 

This brought on the season of Tapi Tapi, an ideophone that directly translates from the chikorekore dialect of the Shona language in Zimbabwe which means “sweet sweet”. When he opened up, he focused on making European, Asian and American inspired ice creams. He experimented with the flavors and he used some unusual ingredient combinations but he still always felt like something was missing as it did not fully reflect the unique flavors, textures and aroma of the continent and this made him feel uninspired.

 

He was in a Zimbabwean cuisine restaurant and saw a few snacks from home being sold there and wondered how they would taste in ice cream form. This was a lightbulb moment for him and he decided to start creating flavors that appealed to his childhood palate. The name flavourite came from here as every flavor, according to him, is his favorite.

 

Tapi Tapi explores different African flavors, many of which are symbolic to children of the soil. Flavors like rondo which is made from vanilla and edible clay or nhopi which is made from roasted pumpkin and dark chocolate. He experiments with different ingredients like wild roots, avocados, okra to mention but a few.

 

The African infused flavoring goes beyond the ice cream itself; his cones are made with millet, cassava, sorghum, maize and plantain flour.

 

This invention appeals a lot to the African child and his palate.

 

 

 

 

TANZANIAN PRESIDENT DIVERTS INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION FUNDS TOWARDS BUILDING DORMITORIES FOR SPECIAL NEEDS KIDS.

President Samia Suluhu is Tanzania’s first female President. Decades before she became the country’s president, she worked as a development officer in the Zanzibar Government. She was also the project manager for the United Nations World Food programme and later the executive director of an umbrella body governing a non-governmental organization in Zanzibar. She also previously served as a minister for youth employment, women and children and has spoken publicly for Tanzanian women to pursue their dreams.

 

On Friday, the 2nd of December was the independence day of Tanzanians and $445,000 dollars had been budgeted for the celebration. The president, however, thought the extravagance was unnecessary and decided to divert the money allocated for this day into building dormitories for children with special needs in primary schools around the country. The funds will be channeled to the school through the president’s office. 

 

On Monday, the 5th of December, the country’s minister of state, George Simbachawene announced that the money has already been disbursed. He said that in lieu of having parades and other national celebrations, the country will commemorate Independence Day by having public dialogues on development. He stated “ the debates and conferences will be preceded by various schedules for regional district leaders to carry out social activities in different areas including cleaning hospitals, schools, elderly homes and groups with special needs”.

 

This is however, not the first time the country is skipping an independence day celebration. In 2015, the then president John Magufuli diverted the funds towards building of a road in Dar es Salaam, the country’s commercial capital. In 2020 again, he did the same and directed that the budget be used to support medical facilities. 

 

 

MODERN MENSTRUAL HYGIENE MANAGEMENT ROOM INAUGURATED IN NGERUKA PRIMARY SCHOOL.

Menstrual hygiene has always been a sensitive subject especially in  the rural areas. The issues surrounding it have always been paramount; ranging from the affordability of menstrual pads, the education of the female child on feminine care during the menstrual period and lack of who to speak to in case of any challenge. In the Bugesera district, when a female child saw her period in school, she had to go home and take care of it thereby, missing a huge chunk of her education. This is a challenge that has been solved by the building of menstrual health hygiene rooms in the school. 

 

The Bank of Kigali granted the sum of Rwf 30 million to a youth led organization, Our Past Initiative. With this sponsorship from the bank and sponsorship from a petroleum company, Rubis, the youth led organization has been able to build a modern menstrual hygiene management room at Ngeruka Primary School in the Bugesera district of Rwanda. 

 

The room has been equipped with materials the girl child needs during her menstruation period. There are period pads there and two beds. The beds are in case any girl is going through pains and needs to rest there. 

 

The room was built in two months and materials used to build it and other things to be spent on it for a period of one year cost them Rwf 30 million. The room accommodates 238 girls and 15 teachers as of this moment. The activities of taking care of the room will be continued, they want to increase the capacity to take up to 600 people. 

 

The president of the organization in an interview said “by increasing its capacity, I mean the services that are offered through it, materials that are needed daily and hiring an employee who will take care of it and be paid by us for 6 months”. The organization will also continue taking care of the project in case anything is needed while seeking to start a new project that will help ensure the operation of the room even in their absence.

 

The inauguration of the construction took place on the 24th of September at the school where different residents of the Ngeruka cell gathered for Umuganda community work. The handing over of the project happened on the 12th of November.

 

One of the interviewees said “ the room will help in solving all issues preventing girls from studying as they usually go home when it starts”. 

 

Asides provision of amenities, this will be a safe space for the female child, a space where she can share any challenge encountered in the course of the period and also ask questions on anything she is not clear on. 

 

The founder of the organization, Christian Itwali said he learnt that the girls of Ngeruka had a challenge accessing sanitary pads during this menstruation period, they could not afford it; but now the pads will be given to them free of charge. They are aware that building this room is part of the government’s plans; the idea is providing support to the government.

 

Seeking to partner with organizations interested in the rights of girls and women, they are also looking for a way to make the room more sustainable and make more impact, in the process providing jobs.

 

This project has been out there to encourage youths that changing the world or making an impact is not just for the old. 

 DEATH OF IFEANYI, SINGER DAVIDO AND CHIOMA’S SON.

 

During the early hours of the morning on Tuesday, first of November it was reported that Ifeanyichukwu David Adeleke drowned in their residence at Banana Island, Lagos, Nigeria. The parents, Chioma and Davido had earlier traveled for a family function at Ibadan and left him in the care of his nannies and a few of their friends present in the house.

 

 It was reported that he died by drowning and he was under the pool for more than two hours before he was found which led people on the internet to ask the question “what were they doing that they did not notice when a child under their care went missing for more than an hour”.

 

Everyone that was present in the house at the time of the drowning, totaling 8 people has reportedly been taken under police custody. In Mr. Hundeyin’s interview with Premium Times he confirmed some of the singer’s aides and staff have been taken into custody. He stated “eight of them have been brought in for questioning”. He withheld the location as he feared people might besiege the station.

 

His third birthday was just celebrated grandly a few weeks ago on 20th October and his father posted “I pray with all my heart that God grants you perfect health and pure happiness for as long as humanly possible. You will grow to be greater than me. Happy birthday, Son”. This is a terrible turn of events from what his father looked forward to.

 

The first post that alerted the public to this incident was from a family friend and a celebrity, Eniola Badmus who posted a heart break emoji with the caption “God why?”. This was received with backlash from the public as they were of the opinion that it was not her news to share. Since then there have been a lot of posts from other celebrities sympathizing with the family. Williams Uchemba on his Instagram posted “I said I wouldn’t believe anything on SM until I personally confirm by myself. I prayed for it to be a lie. I am upset, pained and confused. Nobody deserves to feel this pain” with the caption “please say a prayer for David, Chioma and the entire family. Nobody deserves this kind of pain. Rest up little one”.

 

So many people came to debunk the news that the boy was dead. They confirmed that he was found at the bottom of the pool and was rushed to the hospital but he was recovering. Albeit, the parents or close relatives have neither confirmed nor denied his death as they remain silent.