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Daily Archives: January 10, 2018

Zambia:Govt Imposes Curfew in Lusaka Struck By Cholera

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Kenya:President Kenyatta Heads to South Africa Thursday

By Simon Ndonga

Nairobi — President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to make an official visit to South Africa on Thursday in his first foreign trip since he was sworn-in for a second term.

According to State House Spokesman Manoah Esipisu, President Kenyatta will hold talks with his counterpart Jacob Zuma, in the Indian Ocean city of Durban centred on bilateral and pan-African issues.

Esipisu stated that the leaders will be looking to deepen bilateral cooperation, and especially in the areas of trade, security, and infrastructure development.

"Kenya and South Africa are also key players in peace building on the African continent, and the leaders will review progress in countries such as Somalia and South Sudan," he stated.

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Namibia:Farmers Should Not Lose Hope – Mutorwa

Windhoek — The Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, John Mutorwa says despite the excessive heat accompanied by a prolonged dry spell across the country, farmers should not lose hope as chances are that rains could still fall and bring relief to the crop-producing areas.

Speaking to New Era in an impromptu telephone interview Mutorwa, who is still on a Christmas break along the Kavango River where he is indulging in his other passion of avidly reading one book after another, urged all subsistence and commercial farmers not to despair as it could still rain.

He revealed that many crop farmers who mainly plant millet in areas he visited in Kavango West and Kavango East, while on his annual leave, took advantage of the downpours and have already ploughed and planted their fields. They are just praying for good follow-up rains as the ground moisture is now low.

"Many farmers in Kavango East and Kavango West took advantage of the early rains and were hard at work, ploughing and planting," quipped the agriculture, water and forestry minister.

"We are keeping hope that rains will still fall to break the current dry spell. All farmers across the country should not lose hope," Mutorwa, who also complained about the stifling and oppressive heat, exhorted all small-holding and commercial crop farmers across the country.

Some farmers in the Zambezi Region have stopped ploughing due to the lack of rains.

They say they are tired of the wait-and-see game as since the start of the year it has not rained - as a result the land is dry and they are left hopeless and in desperation as they like others rely on rains for their crops.

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Namibia:70 New Cases of Hepatitis E Virus in 4 Days

By Kuzeeko Tjitemisa

Windhoek — Incidences of hepatitis E virus (HEV) have been steadily increasing across Havana and Goreangab informal settlements in Windhoek, with 70 new cases reported in four days.

Yesterday the Ministry of Health and Social Services' acting permanent secretary Dr David Uirab confirmed to New Era that the number of cases of hepatitis E now stand at 237, compared to 167 last Thursday.

He said no more lives have been lost apart for the ones previously reported. Uirab said to date four patients have been admitted to the Katutura State Hospital and are being kept in isolation.

Uirab said a team consisting of stakeholders such as the City of Windhoek, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Ministry of Health and Social Services is currently in Havana and Goreangab working vigorously to contain the disease.

Last week, the deputy representative of UNICEF, Marcus Betts, told New Era that the organisation, together with its development partners, has not been very active in Windhoek's sanitation and water supply projects because access to sanitation is "much worse in rural areas".

The outbreak of hepatitis E was detected in mid-December 2017 and the virus is concentrated in the informal settlements of Havana, Goreangab, Hakahana, Greenwell Matongo, Ombili and the broader Katutura.

"The health ministry is now putting emphasis on hygiene education where community members are being encouraged to maintain cleanliness, boil their water, and to wash their hands.

"We are also distributing water purification tablets to make sure that if people use water from compromised sources the water is safe," Uirab said last week.

Since hepatitis E is a waterborne disease, the health ministry is currently testing water in the affected areas.

According to WHO, hepatitis E is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis E virus (HEV) - a small virus with a positive-sense, single-stranded ribonucleic acid (RNA) genome.

The virus has at least four different types: genotypes 1, 2, 3 and 4. Genotypes 1 and 2 have been found only in humans. Genotype 3 and 4 viruses circulate in several animals (including pigs, wild boars, and deer) without causing any disease, and occasionally infect humans.

The virus is shed in the stools of infected persons, and enters the human body through the intestine. It is transmitted mainly through contaminated drinking water. Usually the infection is self-limiting and resolves within two to six weeks. Occasionally a serious disease, known as fulminant hepatitis (acute liver failure) develops, and a proportion of people with this disease can die.

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