2015

30.04

UgandAbout

Ugandabout – aprile 2015

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Alcune notizie sull’Uganda e sull’Africa recuperate da internet nell’aprile 2015.

OMS, EPIDEMIA DI FEBBRE TIFOIDE IN UGANDA
28 marzo 2014

NEW MEASURES IDENTIFIED FOR NEWBORN CARE IN UGANDA
1 april 2015

HIV/AIDS: UGANDA IN AFRICA’S TOP 3 FOR NEW INFECTIONS
5 april 2015

INFLATION UP AS UGANDA SHILLING FALLS
5 april 2015

WHAT INFORMS THE BASIS OF UGANDA’S EDUCATION SYSTEM?
5 april 2015

KENYA AND UGANDA EYE NUCLEAR POWER
19 april 2015

GOVERNMENT URGES RESEARCHERS TO REFOCUS ON EBOLA CURE
21 april 2015

UGANDA’S SUCCESS IN UNIVERSAL PRIMARY EDUCATION FALLING APART
23 april 2015

MALARIA, DELUDENTI I RISULTATI DEL VACCINO
24 aprile 2015

A GIUGNO UNA GRANDE AREA DI LIBERO SCAMBIO
28 aprile 2015

INSTANT SELF-TEST HIV KIT GOES ON SALE
28 april 2015

HIV FUNDING NOT ADEQUATELY REACHING WOMEN, GIRLS
28 april 2015


OMS, EPIDEMIA DI FEBBRE TIFOIDE IN UGANDA
28 marzo 2014
In Uganda è scoppiata un’epidemia di febbre tifoide. A renderlo noto è l’Organizzazione mondiale della sanità (Oms), cui è stata notificata dal ministro della salute ugandese lo scorso 24 febbraio.
L’epidemia, che ha avuto come epicentro la capitale Kampala, è iniziata con l’anno nuovo e finora sono stati registrati 1.940 casi sospetti. I più colpiti sono i maschi tra i 20 e 39 anni. La maggior parte dei casi infatti è stata segnalata tra chi lavora nel settore economico o in lavoratori occasionali. Colpiti anche i venditori di cibo e bevande e i cuochi, ragione per cui l’epidemia si è diffuso in modo così vasto. Acqua contaminata e succhi sono stati infatti identificati come le principali fonti di infezione, visto che la maggior parte dell’acqua analizzata è stata trovata altamente contaminata dal batterio dell’Escherichia coli e materiale fecale.
Il paese ha attivato una task force nazionale per far fronte all’epidemia, e con il supporto dell’Oms e altre agenzie, come Cdc, Unicef e Croce Rossa, sta implementando misure di controllo e migliorando la sorveglianza. Le fonti d’acqua pericolose sono state chiuse, mentre viene distribuita nelle aree colpite acqua pulita e viene informata la popolazione su come comportarsi.
La febbre tifoide, causata dalla Salmonella typhi, viene trasmessa con l’ingestione di cibo o bevande contaminate da feci o urine di persone malate, i sintomi compaiono 1-3 settimane dopo l’esposizione e possono essere anche gravi: febbre, malassere, emicrania, costipazione o diarrea, macchie rosse sul petto, milza e fegato ingrossato. La malattia può essere curata con gli antibiotici, anche se è sempre più diffusa la resistenza a quelli più comuni.
L’Oms finora non ha raccomandato alcuna restrizione a viaggi o commerci verso l’Uganda sulla base delle informazioni disponibili.
fonte www.ansa.it

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NEW MEASURES IDENTIFIED FOR NEWBORN CARE IN UGANDA
1 april 2015
In Uganda child mortality rates are improving, but progress is slower for deaths occurring in the first four weeks of life, or the newborn period, and for stillbirths. But recent evidence from local researchers show that a cost-effective package of care linking families, government-mandated village health teams (a form of community health workers), and health facilities can improve life-saving practices during pregnancy, childbirth and in the first weeks of life and benefit poorest families the most. This new evidence was published today as a special issue of the peer-reviewed journal Global Health Action.
The nine-article special issue, titled ‘Newborn Health in Uganda’, details results of a community randomized trial, the Uganda Newborn Study (UNEST), which evaluated an integrated care package linking homes, clinics and hospitals and involving visits during pregnancy and the postnatal period at home by a designated member of the village health team. The study was carried out in rural eastern Uganda by Ugandan researchers using existing health system structures and in partnership with national policy-makers and district leaders.
The UNEST results demonstrate that these home visits in pregnancy and soon after delivery were possible to achieve, and that life-saving behaviors could be improved by this interaction. Breastfeeding practices, skin-to-skin care immediately after birth, delaying a baby’s first bath, and hygienic care of the baby’s umbilical cord stump were higher amongst the families receiving home visits compared to those that did not receive them. Importantly, these home visits were pro-poor, with more women in the poorest households, who are at most risk of encountering difficulties in access to care, receiving an early home visit after delivery when compared to the wealthiest families.
According to the editorial published as part of the special issue, UNEST was influenced by the previously published neonatal survival series in the Lancet which identified cost-effective interventions that could prevent the majority of deaths in the newborn period.
It was this series that initially prompted Ugandan officials to act, organizing the nation’s first stakeholder meeting on newborn survival and setting up the National Newborn Steering Committee which has proactively served as the country’s lead advisory group on newborn care since 2009. UNEST, designed to address important gaps for care around the time of birth at community and facility level, was adapted from similar trials conducted in South Asia, and carried out concurrently with five other country trials conducted through the Africa Newborn Network.
Prof. Joy Lawn Director of the MARCH Centre at the London School of Hygiene, was involved in the trial from the outset. In the editorial, she and her co-authors identify four key learnings from UNEST:
– While community care is pro-poor in this rural African context, scalability depends on recognition of community care as a part of the health system with consistent funding and supervision. UNEST results proved that harmful behaviors can be altered as a result of the interactions between mothers and the village health team members, even if behaviors are strongly held. But researchers warn inadequate funding at district level could impede expansion efforts and further integration between community programs and health facility care.
– Quality care at facilities is crucial for ending preventable deaths amongst mothers and their babies. Care at the time of birth is highlighted as a sensitive marker of any health system. Improved quality of care at clinic and hospital level through management and procurement support were associated with increases in women delivering at health facilities instead of at home in both study intervention arms. However, systemic challenges related to staff shortages and attrition, and supply chain failures for drugs and equipment affect all healthcare users and babies are the most vulnerable.
– Innovations can address key challenges. UNEST tested a number of novel solutions to address the realities of operating in a low resource setting. Innovative solutions included a foot length card that village health workers can use, in the absence of a scale, to identify and refer small babies to the health facility for extra care.
– Local leadership is key and requires intentional strategies. UNEST provides a model for local capacity building intended to inform national policy. More leaders are needed, particularly at district level, to shine light on the burden of stillbirths and neonatal deaths on families, communities and the health system, and to champion the cause of improving care at birth and ending these preventable deaths.
The study, supported by funding from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation through Save the Children’s Saving Newborn Lives program and the Swedish International Development Agency, was the first of its kind to be led and carried out by local researchers in Uganda.
Professor Stefan Peterson, co-Principal Investigator of the study says “We are especially happy to have graduated three Ugandan PhDs from this study who are experts in newborn health research. Capacity development should be part of all studies and that is how we will build national cadres of researchers.”
Among those leading the study was Dr. Peter Waiswa, from Makerere University School of Public Health and senior lecturer at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. Dr. Waiswa explains “I grew up around this region and know how important community is. As a medical doctor working within the rural health system before becoming a researcher, I felt there was more we could do to understand and address the gaps between households and health facilities that are keeping women from accessing quality care for themselves and their newborns.”
fonte http://medicalxpress.com

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HIV/AIDS: UGANDA IN AFRICA’S TOP 3 FOR NEW INFECTIONS
5 april 2015
National rates of new HIV cases remain substantially high, keeping Uganda off the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/Aids (UNAIDS) target of having zero new infections by end of 2015.
Latest estimates by Uganda Aids Commission (UAC) show that 380 new infections (also called incident HIV) occur daily. This implies that annually, 138,700 new infections are added to the already 1.6 million people living with HIV. These statistics make Uganda the third leading contributor of new HIV infections in Africa after Nigeria and South Africa.
UAC chairperson Christine Ondoa, said the proportion of Ugandans living with HIV, an incurable infection, has remained relatively stable during the past few years but infection rates are increasing in some populations.
“Multiple sexual partners, especially for most at-risk populations such as fisher folk and long-distance truck drivers, unprotected sex among youths and complacency remain the main causes of the increasing HIV infection” said Dr Ondoa.
Inadequate comprehensive knowledge about the transmission of HIV also remains high. Other causes of high incidence include early marriage and economic disparities which lead youths to engage in cross-generational or transactional sexual relationships.
But improved access to treatment has greatly reduced new infections, especially among babies. The infection rate fell from 28,000 babies in 2008 to 8,000 babies in 2014.
To bridge the knowledge gap challenge, UAC recently launched the National HIV/Aids Documentation and Information Centre (NADIC) to provide local knowledge in an effort to improve informed decision-making.
fonte www.observer.ug – Racheal Ninsiima

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INFLATION UP AS UGANDA SHILLING FALLS
5 april 2015
Last March, Ugandans paid higher prices for goods and services compared to February, the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (Ubos) has said.
Core inflation, which measures the changes in prices of goods and services less food and utilities, rose to 3.7 per cent for the year ending March 2015 compared to 3.3 per cent registered a month before.
The local currency continued to weaken against the dollar, further heightening fears of more inflationary pressures.
Ubos said: “An increase in prices was observed in clothing and cement in most centres during the month.” A lot of cement and clothes used in Uganda are imported, which means the expensive dollar could have pushed up their prices locally.
Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile, the governor of Bank of Uganda, told journalists at the beginning of this year that a weak shilling remained the biggest risk to medium-term inflation outlook.
However, there was a decline in prices of kerosene, petrol, diesel and charcoal. This was mainly driven by the low global oil prices – at $55 a barrel. Prices for food, which includes food crops and processed foods, went up during the month.
The increase in food prices was mainly as a result of the drought, which drove up prices of matooke, sweet potatoes, Irish potatoes, passion fruits, water-melon, bitter tomatoes, and green pepper, among others. Food is the biggest component of the consumer price index, which measures inflation.
Meanwhile, the shilling continued to struggle against the dollar, hitting the highs of Shs 3,000, once again for the second time this year. At the close of trading on Thursday, Bank of Uganda quoted the local currency at Shs 2,999/3,009.
Last Thursday’s grissly attack on the Kenyan university in Garissa by the Al-Shabab terrorists, which claimed almost 150 lives, is likely to have far reaching effects on the region as a whole, experts say.
The security risk, which could be spread over the region, could affect dollar inflows. The US mission in Uganda has already issued a terror alert of an impending attack in Uganda.
fonte www.observer.ug Alon Mwesigwa

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WHAT INFORMS THE BASIS OF UGANDA’S EDUCATION SYSTEM?
5 april 2015
I have been prompted to write about Uganda’s education system today because of the urgency which this particular sector holds for the development of the country.
In the draft report of the ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, to the sixth all stakeholders’ international conference on adult education hosted by the government of Brazil in Belém from 1 to 4 December 2009, it was emphatically observed that: “Education has been identified as a key component of human capital quality that is essential for higher incomes and sustainable economic development.”
The same report applauds education as an important ingredient in poverty eradication. Also it underscores that the Poverty Eradication Action Plan, Uganda’s planning framework, recognizes the important role education plays in strengthening civil institutions, building a democratic society, empowering women and protecting the environment.
The report points out that Uganda’s education system is both formal and non-formal. It then shows how government efforts to meet the Education- for-All-Goals agreed on in 1990, in Jomtien, Thailand; that it introduced Universal Primary Education (UPE) in 1997, of which as a consequence, the enrolment increased from 3.1 million in 1996 to 7.4m in 2002.
And since then, Universal Secondary Education (USE) has been introduced and we are waiting for another surprise from government as far as education is concerned.
Uganda has made long strides in the education sector, of which any critical mind would stop to pose a salient question: what is the principal philosophical theory that guides our education system? There are misconceptions about philosophy as a speculative science with no relevance to the practical and concrete human experience.
But we have to inform ourselves that there is no particular system which can exist or society which can advance without a philosophical outlook to guide its ideas, practices and norms. Philosophy is a comprehensive system of ideas about human nature and the nature of the reality in which we live.
It is a guide for living, because the issues it addresses are basic and all-encompassing, determining the course we take in life and how we treat other people. Hence we can say that all the aspects of human life are influenced and governed by certain philosophical considerations.
As a field of study philosophy is one of the oldest disciplines. It is considered as a mother of all the sciences and learning in general. In fact it is at the root of all knowledge.
All education theories and practices have drawn their material from different philosophical bases. Education, like philosophy is also closely related to human life.
Therefore, being an important life activity education is also greatly influenced by philosophy. Various fields of philosophy like moral philosophy, philosophy of religion, linguistic philosophy, political philosophy, social philosophy and economic philosophy have great influence on the various aspects of education like educational procedures, processes, policies, planning and its implementation, from both the theoretical and practical aspects.
When we consider Christian missionary education, it was clear in its objectives. The main aims of Christian missionary education were to Christianize and improve indigenous people’s life within the context of Western civilization through formal education.
The colonial era in Uganda, therefore, was marked by vigorous attempts by the missionaries to achieve in the field of education, a synthesis of Christian faith, moral and character formation, and intellectual learning of classical studies in literature, arithmetic, geography, history and practical education.
However, today, many high- ranking people in Uganda, both from politics and civil society, have criticised Uganda’s education and its products. If we take education in its traditional sense as the process by which society deliberately transmits its accumulated knowledge, skills, beliefs, values and symbolic expressions from one generation to another, with all the criticisms, should we consider that there is a rupture between the education system and the society it serves?
In this instance, we could take the postmodern view of education as an example. This philosophical attitude has, as the basic aim of education to prepare the youth, to become practical and useful members of society.
Therefore, education has to equip the learners not only with ideals, knowledge, information, moral values, and attitudes but also with skills and competences that are espoused by the society and considered suitably worth having.
In societies with clearly defined philosophy of life based on the contemporary reality, the aim of education is to disseminate their philosophy. Schools are thus used as the milieu for popularizing and inculcating this philosophy among the young. A school curriculum is designed in such a way that it responds to a society’s or the country’s philosophical needs.
Societies without a well-defined philosophy of education end up having diverse and multiple philosophies and aims of education with subsequent complex, irrelevant, and wide-ranging curriculum. If we consider our Ugandan case, what is that singular philosophy of education on which our education system and school curriculum are built for the better development of our country?
fonte www.observer.ug Rev. Ambrose J. Bwangato

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KENYA AND UGANDA EYE NUCLEAR POWER
19 april 2015
Kenya and Uganda are among the countries making progress in nuclear technology in sub-Saharan Africa with both involved with the pre-feasibility study stage in their atomic energy programmes.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said last week, Kenya successfully completed its pre-feasibility stage while Uganda is currently conducting its own.
A pre-feasibility stage involves assessing energy needs, proposing roadmaps, developing expertise and training human resources, establishing policy and regulatory frameworks and mobilizing funding as a country prepares to conduct feasibility studies for nuclear plants.
“Kenya and Uganda join their sub-Saharan Africa counter-parts, Ghana, Nigeria, Sudan and Niger while in North Africa – Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Libya have taken notable steps” Jin Kwang Lee, African Regional Officer at IAEA told a conference on energy and nuclear power in Kwale.
In an interview on the sidelines of the conference, James Banaabe Isingoma, Uganda’s acting Commissioner for Energy Efficiency and Conservation told East African Business Week while it is perceived Uganda will build a nuclear plant by 2026, this projection is too ambitious, because financing for reactors is hard to find.
“The safe estimate is 20 years. Not 10 years. Everything we have achieved so far is with the support of IAEA which has helped us make strides in building technical capacity” Isingoma said.
Kenya aims to have a nuclear plant by 2025, the country’s Principle Secretary in the Ministry of Energy Joseph Njoroge told the conference during the opening on Monday.
Kenya hopes to establish a 1,000 MW reactor between 2022 and 2027. Njoroge said “We are committed to the introduction of nuclear energy to our country’s energy mix which is currently dominated by hydro-power projects. We will soon deplete geothermal and hydro generation hence be left with no choice, but to go nuclear” he said.
“We are injecting Ksh 300 million (about $3 million) in human resource training annually and we think nuclear will be a game changer. It is economically strategic because all other available resources will be exploited by 2031″ Njoroge said.
He said “It means we will be able to drive iron and steel production, electric rails, powering mills and petroleum pipelines.”
Currently, the two regional neighbours are grappling with insufficient power supply as demand increases with economic growth and rural electrification programmes that are putting more people on the grid.
Uganda’s installed electricity generation capacity is 851.53 MW mainly from hydropower, cogeneration and oil fired plants. Electricity demand is growing at an average rate of about 15% with the peak power demand of about 489 MW.
According to the energy planning study 2015-2040; 1000 MW of nuclear will be required earliest 2026 and latest 2034.
Kenya forecasts that nuclear will account for 20% of total energy requirements by 2021.
fonte http://allafrica.com

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GOVERNMENT URGES RESEARCHERS TO REFOCUS ON EBOLA CURE
21 april 2015
The Ministry of Health has asked researchers to refocus their energies on finding the cure for Viral haemorrhagic fevers, which have become a threat on the continent.
Speaking at the Makerere University international research and dissemination symposium at Hotel Africana in Kampala yesterday, Dr Monica Musenero, the Health ministry’s assistant commissioner, Epidemiology and Surveillance Division, said the origin of the filoviruses which cause Ebola and Marburg remain a dilemma to the health fraternity worldwide.
“We don’t know up to now where the Ebola virus really hides. It is not clear how the virus is maintained in the environment and moves from one place to another when there is no outbreak” Dr Musenero said.
“We don’t have locally available research. We take long to detect them and manage them effectively. Bats are suspected to play a role but entry into human population is often difficult to determine” she added.
The expert said universities need to research about the disease to close the gap because many times when the fevers break out, they catch health workers by surprise.
Ebola is believed to be transmitted through contact with infected animals such as monkeys, chimpanzees and gorillas.
Giving her experience in West Africa last year where the disease has claimed more than 1,000 lives, Dr Musenero said doctors have to be suspicious of any signs a person presents. “When I was in West Africa, we saw people who went around for almost 10 days with just a mild cough and yet they were spreading the virus. You don’t think they are actually sick.
By the time they are down, they have infected the entire village. It becomes very difficult to trace who has been in contact with this person” she said.
fonte www.monitor.co.ug Patience Ahimbisibwe

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UGANDA’S SUCCESS IN UNIVERSAL PRIMARY EDUCATION FALLING APART
23 april 2015

A gentle drizzle beats an insistent rhythm on the rusty, corrugated iron classroom roof at Katwe primary school in a suburb of Kampala, Uganda’s capital.
It is a chilly morning and children in the primary one class are learning the alphabet. ‘A, B, C,’ they repeat after their teacher. But many of these children will not finish their seven years of primary education.
Irene Namusuubo Guloba, the headteacher, says: “Around 250 of our pupils did not come back this year. We cannot tell exactly where they went.” This exodus of pupils is not unusual here – some transfer to other schools, but others drop out completely, Guloba says.
Katwe primary is one of the government schools implementing the Universal Primary Education (UPE) scheme.
When the initiative started in 1997, as part of a national policy to provide free primary education for underprivileged children, it was a dream come true for most poor parents in the east African state. Wealthier parents take their children to private schools.
In record time, numbers in UPE schools soared. Enrolment increased from 3.1 million pupils in 1996 to 8.4 million in 2013. The numbers are evenly spread between boys and girls. And the country has been commended for achieving more than 90% of MDG2, which aimed to ensure that all children – boys and girls alike – complete primary school.
But this success seems to be falling apart amid a very high number of dropouts and poor-quality schooling for some of those who complete primary school.
The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) has estimated that 68% of children in Uganda who enrol in primary school are likely to drop out before finishing the prescribed seven years.
Chad has the highest dropout rate in sub-Saharan Africa, at 72%. In east Africa, Kenya has the highest completion rateof 84%.
At a cabinet ministers’ retreat last month, Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni expressed his rage over the rate at which pupils were leaving school, even when the country spent 900bn Ugandan shillings ($302m; $201m) annually on the scheme. He said: “We should get an answer, and if you think it [UPE] needs to be restructured, we do that.”
The scheme faces a myriad of issues: gender challenges, child labour, early marriages, less motivated teachers, and lack of awareness among parents. However, the biggest challenge is poverty.
Dr Nicholas Itaaga, a UPE expert and a lecturer at Makerere University’s School of Education, says poorer parents still struggle to meet requirements for school. “UPE was a good development for any government to implement. Our problem in Uganda [is that] it was not adequately planned. We are losing out.”
The major setback for UPE is that it is not entirely free, contrary to the general perception that parents are not supposed to pay for anything.
In practice they still have to buy scholastic materials including pens, exercise books, clothing and even bricks for classroom construction. They also have to provide or buy lunch for their children. For poorer parents, especially in rural Uganda, who live on about $1 a day, the cost is beyond reach.
Charles Mugerwa is the father of an 11-year-old boy in Kasenyi village, Kalangala district, in central Uganda. On a school day, his son is at home. Asked why, Mugerwa said: “He has no uniform.”
The poorer regions – northern and eastern Uganda – experience higher dropout rates. Western and central regions are regarded as better off.
Government figures indicate poverty levels have declined in Uganda, from 24.5% in 2009-10 to 19.7% in 20012-13.
“Do not expect a pupil who comes to school and there is no hope for a lunch[time] meal to stay in school” Guloba says.
Some schools now ask parents to pay between $2 and $5 a pupil for every three-month term so that they can prepare lunch for them. But some parents still cannot afford to pay, and their children end up dropping out.
“I have been to the deep rural areas and a simple thing such as an exercise book or sanitary pads for the girls is a very big issue” Itaaga says.
An estimated 30% of girls leave school when they start their periods, often because of a lack of sanitary pads.
At Katwe, the school steps in for parents and buys pads for the pupils. “I actually have big girls here. The school provides some money to buy sanitary pads. The senior woman talks to them and they are comfortable” Guloba says. “We are able to keep them in class”.
But not all girls have that chance so they end up dropping out, deterred by inadequate facilities, particularly the lack of privacy when boys and girls share latrines.
Fagil Mandy, former chairman of Uganda’s National Examinations Board, feels that the critical role schools can play is insufficiently acknowledged and evaluated. “The school as an institution has not been focused on by any major authority. It is a life-nurturing place, and should be overseen and monitored all the time” Mandy says.
Government statistics show that for every 71 pupils there is one latrine. NGOs and bodies including the World Bank have funded the construction of classrooms and toilets for some schools, but much more help is needed to provide adequate facilities for the huge numbers of pupils involved.
The education minister, Jessica Alupo, says the high dropout rate is a great concern for the government: “We want to know why all parents send a child to school when they are in primary one and the numbers decrease as they ascend to upper classes. We want to engage them [parents] much more than before.”
Margaret Rwabushaija, chair of Uganda’s National Teachers’ Union, says the government must increase funding to schools. Since 1997, she says, it has not revised the amount of money it pays to educate a child annually, which stands at 7,560 shillings. “How do you expect headteachers to run schools without money?” she asks.
Another major issue has been quality of teaching. A 2012 study found that three out of 10 pupils in primary three could read and comprehend a primary two-level story. At primary seven, the final class in the primary cycle, two out of 10 pupils could not read a primary two-level story. This has created a huge knowledge gap between children of the ‘haves’, studying in private schools, and the ‘have-nots, in government schools.
Betty Bitainensha, deputy head teacher at government-aided Kitante primary school in Kampala, says public schools often have the best-trained teachers, but they are less motivated to work. Teachers are among the lowest paid public servants in Uganda. The government has pledged to increase teachers’ salaries in the 2015-16 financial year.
Alupo says she is optimistic about the future, but only if they can focus on the key obstacles: “Are teachers at school at all times? Are they are motivated to teach? Is the environment conducive for the learners? And finally is there a special programme to talk to parents about their role and obligation?”
fonte www.theguardian.com

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MALARIA, DELUDENTI I RISULTATI DEL VACCINO
24 aprile 2015
Deludenti, quasi un flop, i risultati del vaccino antimalarico (RTS, S/AS01) della multinazionale GlaxoSmithKline, nel trial di fase 3 in Africa (11 Paesi, oltre 15 mila bambini selezionati, da sei settimane a 17 mesi di vita): la copertura vaccinale non ha raggiunto il 50% (tra il 27% e il 46%) secondo i dati pubblicati da ‘Lancet’ in occasione della giornata mondiale sulla malaria (25 aprile).
Non tutto negativo: nei bimbi che avevano ricevuto tre dosi e poi, dopo 18 mesi, un richiamo, il numero di casi di malaria a quattro anni si è ridotto di un terzo. Ma sul fronte globale della lotta alla malaria sono ancora le nuove resistenza ai farmaci con artemisina e la contraffazione (scarsa qualità, minore quantità di principio attivo) a preoccupare di più. Secondo le più accreditate analisi un terzo dei medicinali distribuiti nei Paesi a rischio sarebbero falsificati, con un aumento di mortalità e resistenza alle cure. Un’analisi rigorosa apparsa sull’American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene a cura dell’Artemisinin-based Combination Therapy (ACT) Consortium, che ha riguardato Cambogia e Tanzania, non ha trovato evidenza di una diffusa falsificazione di medicinali, ma il 31% dei farmaci cambogiani e il12% di quelli della Tanzania sono risultati scadenti (qualità scarsa dei principi attivi).
Sulla rivista online ‘Plos Biology’ è apparso uno studio sulla farmaco-resistenza all’artemisina (che combinata con altri farmaci è alla base della terapia vincente contro la malattia) nel Sud Est asiatico: ceppi resistenti al parassita Plasmodium falciparum (trasmesso dalla zanzara anofele), la forma più temibile della malaria, si sono sviluppati anche nelle terapie combinate, ma con un trattamento prolungato nel tempo (da tre a sei giorni) l’efficacia raggiunge il 97,7%.
Il test dei poveri – Sull’American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene un inserto con 17 contributi dal titolo ‘The Pandemic of Falsified Medicines: Laboratory and Field Innovations and Policy Perspectives’ lancia un test per i Paesi emergenti assai economico, un carta con reagenti a 12 colori per verificare la eventuale bassa qualità dell’antimalarico, già testato in Kenya. Presenza o assenza di sei diffusi antimalarici si potrebbe verificare su medicinali sospetti anche nelle farmacie o negli avamposti clinici a costi bassissimi, metodo facile, di semplice lettura. Il test è stato messo a punto dai laboratori chimici dell’università francese di Notre Dame.
I dati e l’effetto ebola – Si calcola che nel 2014, nel mondo, ancora 200 milioni di persone siano rimaste infettate e circa un milione morte e di queste il 78% bambini (ovvero un bambino ogni 60 secondi). Su ‘The Lancet Infectious Diseases’ uno studio ha calcolato che nei tre Paesi più colpiti da Ebola (Guinea, Sierra Leone e Liberia), il crollo dei sistemi sanitari avrebbe provocato un aumento di quasi 11 mila casi di malaria e 3.900 morti, dovuto tra l’altro all’interruzione della distribuzione delle zanzariere trattate. Queste nuove stime porterebbero i morti di malaria ad eguagliare quelli legati all’epidemia di Ebola nei tre Paesi.
Per l’Europa, segnala Pierangelo Clerici, presidente Amcli-Associazione microbiologi clinici italiani, e Direttore Microbiologia dell’ospedale civile di Legnano, “Il tasso di casi confermati di malaria si colloca intorno a 1 per 100.000 abitanti, sostanzialmente stabile nell’ultimo quinquennio. Il 99% dei casi è di importazione e si è verificato in Paesi con consolidati legami con le aree endemiche. In Italia si registrano circa mille casi annui di malaria causate da Plasmodium falciparum e sono tutti casi importati.”
La malaria è causata da cinque specie di parassiti appartenenti al genere Plasmodium, quattro che contagiano l’uomo (falciparum, vivax, malariae e ovale), tutte tramite la zanzara femmina del genere Anopheles (ne esistono 400 differenti specie ma solo 30 sono vettori di maggior importanza). Negli anni recenti sporadici casi di Plasmodium knowlesi, che colpisce in genere le scimmie.
Medicina complementareCome l’artemisina, ricavata dalla pianta cinese dell’artemisia, si è rivelata l’arma più importante per far progressi nel campo della cura (con le terapie combinate), ora sul ‘Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine’ appare una ricetta della medicina tradizionale africana. Un rimedio antico tratto dalle radici di un’erba infestante insieme a foglie di altre due piante, bolliti e offerti come un té, potrebbe essere una soluzione efficace, riportano gli autori, tra i quali un ricercatore di Oxford. Si tratta delle piante Cochlospermum planchonii, Phyllanthus amarus e Cassia alata.
fonte www.repubblica.itMaurizio Paganelli

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A GIUGNO UNA GRANDE AREA DI LIBERO SCAMBIO
28 aprile 2015
L’area di libero scambio tripartita (Tfta) tra i tre principali blocchi regionali dell’Africa vedrà finalmente la luce il prossimo 10 giugno. Lo ha annunciato il segretario esecutivo della Comunità di Sviluppo dell’Africa sub-sahariana (Sadc) Stergomena Lawrence Tax secondo cui il progetto, che conta di mettere insieme 26 paesi africani su 54 e una popolazione di circa 600 milioni di persone, nascerà ufficialmente durante il Summit dell’organismo, in programma a giugno in Egitto.
La Tfta sarà composta dai paesi membri della Sadc, da quelli del Mercato comune per l’Africa Orientale e Australe (Comesa) e dalla Comunità dell’Africa Orientale (Eac) con l’obiettivo di creare un unico mercato per un giro d’affari complessivo di circa un trilione di dollari (più o meno 750 miliardi di euro). Il più grande mercato unificato finora nel continente che, a sua volta, dovrebbe aprire la strada nel 2017 ad un’area di libero scambio per tutta l’Africa e per quasi un miliardo di persone.
fonte www.misna.org

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INSTANT SELF-TEST HIV KIT GOES ON SALE
28 april 2015
Britain’s first legally-approved HIV self-testing kit went on sale online on Monday, promising a result in just 15 minutes with a 99.7 percent accuracy rate.
Developers hope the BioSure HIV Self Test will help identify the estimated 26,000 people in Britain who have HIV but do not yet know.
“Knowing your HIV status is critical and the launch of this product will empower people to discreetly test themselves when it is convenient to them and in a place where they feel comfortable” explained BioSure founder Brigette Bard.
Early diagnosis reduces the risk of passing the disease on to other people and also raises the success rate of modern treatments, which now make the disease manageable.
“Over 40 percent of people living with HIV are diagnosed late, meaning they have been living with HIV for at least four years” said Deborah Gold, chief executive of the National Aids Trust (NAT).
“People diagnosed late are 11 times more likely to die in the first year after diagnosis” she added.
The kit reacts to antibodies – proteins made in response to the virus – in a drop of the person’s blood, producing two purple lines in the event of a positive diagnosis.
The self-test, which is only available via the Internet, can only detect antibodies three months after the patient has become infected, and is not effective during this initial period,and all positive results must be confirmed by professional health workers, experts said.
Rosemary Gillespie, chief executive at HIV charity Terrence Higgins Trust, said “It was great to see the first self-test kits being approved. However, it is important to make sure people can get quick access to support when they get their result.”
Currently, those who fear they may have been infected have to collect a blood sample at home and send it to a laboratory, waiting five days for the result.
There are almost 110,000 people in Britain living with HIV, which can lead to AIDS if the sufferer’s immune system becomes badly damaged.
A similar test in the US has been available since 2012, giving a result in around 30 minutes from a sample of the person’s saliva or blood.
fonte www.newvision.co.ug 

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HIV FUNDING NOT ADEQUATELY REACHING WOMEN, GIRLS
28 april 2015
Organizations of women living with HIV and women’s rights organizations in Uganda are not adequately accessing funding although billions of Ugandan shillings were spent on HIV and Aids in previous years.
This is according to the first-ever rapid assessment report of the status of access to funding by organizations of women living with HIV, gender and human rights.
The study was conducted in all districts in Uganda in 2014 by the International Community of Women living with HIV Eastern Africa (ICWEA) and funded by the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID).
A qualitative and quantitative methodology was used to collect data. It was found that although a total of $586.6m (about sh1.8trillion) and $579.7m (about sh1.7trillion) were spent on HIV and Aids in 2008/9 and 2009/10 respectively, increased funding nationally did not match with access by women organizations, especially in rural communities.
Over the last five years there have been a number of funding mechanisms from the Global Fund – to fight Aids, tuberculosis and malaria – and the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), among other multinational organizations, but little funding has trickled down to women and girls.
The report also showed that since women constitute a big proportion of Uganda’s population (50%) and that HIV prevalence is higher among women than among men, the increasing HIV prevalence and incidence rates in the country imply an increasing impact of the epidemic on women.
During the launch of the report recently, Lillian Mworeko, the regional coordinator of ICWEA, said that while women and girls in the country still carry the burden of HIV/Aids, to a large extent, organizations dealing with women living with HIV have been left out.
ICWEA is a membership regional network run by and for women living with HIV – including young women living with HIV in eastern Africa.
Mworeko said they conceived the idea out of the realization of the need for information to provide evidence on the extent to which organizations of women living with HIV and other gender and women’s rights organizations are accessing funding from funding mechanisms set up to support HIV and Aids works in the east African region.
Whereas external multilateral funding sources are accessed by some women’s human rights organizations, many women organizations fail to access funds due to technical and stringent requirements and the apparent limited capacity of the organizations to compete for funding, she said.
“Yet the significant contribution to Aids financing by households indicates that there is high burden of care to women, who are primary care providers in households. We appreciate the funding from external bilateral agencies, but there should be increment on women funding” explained Moworeko.
She talked of there being a false assumption by most global funding partners that by putting recourses in the existing global funding frameworks and mechanisms like the Global Fund and PEPFAR, access to these funds by organizations of women living with HIV as well as other women’s rights organizations is guaranteed.
Dr. Lydia Mungherera, the chief executive of the Mama’s Club said that most rural women organizations cannot draft their own proposals, which makes them vulnerable and unable to compete for funding.
Other participants retaliated that women organizations should also endeavor to build partnerships or consortia in developing proposals.
Some suggested that the involvement of all stakeholders is needed in developing the capacity of women organizations.
“The donors should also tailor funding for women organizations with lower capacities by developing simplified proposal formats and adopting an affirmative action for women organizations” said the James Titus Twesige, the country director of Alliance of Mayors and Municipal Leaders (AMICAAL)
Musa Bunagudu, a UN director, told representatives from the World Health Organization, UNAIDS and UN-Women that they should continue lobbying for funds which will directly benefit the women.
He also told women groups that they should write their proposals well indicating what they require and how funds will be used.
The meeting was attended by NGO representatives, Community Based Organizations, local and international organizations, among others.
fonte www.newvision.co.ug – Juliet Waiswa & Elvis Basudde

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: in data 30/04/2015 1 dollaro USA è pari a 2995 scellini ugandesi, 1 Euro è pari a 3349,3101 scellini ugandesi.
UgandAbout è un servizio di Italia Uganda Onlus a cura di Simona Meneghelli.

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