Malaria vaccine loses effectiveness over several years: study

WAAF Team member testing a community member to know status

An experimental vaccine against malaria known as Mosquirix — or RTS,S — weakens over time and is only about four percent effective over a seven-year span, researchers said Wednesday.

The findings, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, are based on a phase II clinical trial involving more than 400 young children in Kenya.

There is currently no vaccine against malaria on the world market and Mosquirix — developed by the British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline — is the experimental vaccine in the most advanced stage of development.

It has also been tested in a vast clinical trial that spanned seven African nations, and last year the European Medicines Agency gave it a “positive scientific opinion” regarding its use outside the European Union.

But the current study, involving 447 children from five to 17 months of age, suggested otherwise.

Some of the infants were given three doses of the malaria vaccine, while others received a vaccine against rabies for comparison.

In the first year, the protection against malaria among Mosquirix-vaccinated children was 35.9 percent.

But after four years this protection fell to 2.5 percent.

Researchers said that on average, over the course of seven years, the vaccine would be considered just 4.4 percent effective against malaria.

This rate “was substantially lower than that seen over short-term follow up,” said the study.

Furthermore, among children who were more frequently exposed to mosquito-borne malaria, cases of infection with the parasite P. falciparum in the fifth year were higher than in the control group.

Researchers said this phenomenon may be occurring because the vaccine protects against the earliest form of malaria’s life cycle, known as sporozoites, and reduces exposure to a later form, known as the blood-stage parasite, which causes the clinical symptoms of malaria such as fever, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

“The reduced exposure to blood-stage parasites among persons who have received the RTS,S/AS01 vaccine may lead to a slower acquisition of immunity to blood-stage parasites, leading to an increase in episodes of clinical malaria in later life,” said the study.

The results of a larger, phase III clinical trial with the same vaccine, published last year, showed that three doses could reduce the risk of malaria by 28 percent over a period of four years.

The rate of protection rose to 36 percent when children received a fourth dose of the vaccine, suggesting that this additional dose was significant.

Malaria killed more than 400,000 people worldwide in 2015, with most of the deaths occurring in sub-Saharan Africa and most among children under age five.

The research was funded by the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

AFP

Advertisements

Angola’s yellow fever death toll tops 300: WHO

story

Angola’s yellow fever outbreak has killed more than 300 people since December, with cases of the deadly disease spreading to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya and even China, the World Health Organization has said.

The outbreak was first detected in the capital Luanda at the end of last year, and has now been confirmed in most coastal and central regions of the west African country.

“Angola has reported 2,536 suspected cases of yellow fever with 301 deaths,” WHO said in an update released Thursday.

“Despite vaccination campaigns in Luanda, Huambo and Benguela provinces, circulation of the virus persists in some districts.”

WHO warned of unimmunised travellers spreading the virus after neighbouring DR Congo reported 41 cases imported from Angola, with two cases in Kenya and 11 in China.

“The outbreak in Angola remains of high concern due to persistent local transmission in Luanda despite the fact that more than seven million people have been vaccinated,” WHO said.

There is no specific treatment for yellow fever, a viral hemorrhagic disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes and found in tropical regions of Africa and Latin America’s Amazon region.

Yellow fever vaccinations are routinely recommended for travellers to Angola, though the country had not previously seen a significant outbreak since 1986.

Aid groups have warned of poor health facilities and vaccine shortages limiting Angola’s ability to cope with the outbreak.

AFP

AU Commission Chairperson concludes official visit to Belarus

african_union_flag-svg_-750x350

A bilateral meeting with the Prime Minister of Belarus, signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, holding talks with the Board Chairman of the Belarus National Bank and delivering a lecture at the University of Belarus. These are highlights of the maiden official visit of the African Union Commission Chairperson, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma to Belarus. The visit took place from 21-24 April 2016.

In her meeting with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus, H.E. Andrei Kobyakov, the AU Commission Chairperson made a case for greater collaboration and cooperation between Africa and Belarus. She recalled the historic relationship that existed during the days of the Soviet Republic, and invited the Government of Belarus to create favourable conditions for Belarusian businesses to invest Africa at national, sub-regional and continental levels.

“We will never forget the support that Africa got during that time,” said Dr. Dlamini-Zuma. “That is why today we are urging the people of Belarus to invest in Africa as it implements its 50-year development plan, Agenda 2063.”

In line with a clear strategic direction, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the AU Commission Chairperson, Dr. Dlamini Zuma and the First Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister of Belarus, Mr. Mikhnevich. Following the signing of the MoU, they agreed to put establish a working group to identify specific project areas of cooperation, based on Africa’s Agenda 2063, the 10-year implementation plan and the 12 flagship projects.

The Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, Dr. Elham Ibrahim, who was part of the Chairperson’s delegation, would lead the working group from the Africa side.

Areas that would benefit from immediate cooperation include agriculture and agro-processing, transport, energy, ICT infrastructural and industrialisation projects of continental regional and continental reach.

“Belarus has no oil, no gas, and the weather isn’t always good. But we have the head and the hands that we have used develop expertise in the areas of agriculture and agro-processing, energy generation through wind, sun, wood and nuclear,” the First Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister said.

The same views were shared by the Chairperson’s delegation when they met separately with the Belarus Minister of Industry; the Chairman of the State Committee on Science and Technology; First Deputy Minister of Architecture; and the Chairman of the Board of the National Bank of Belarus.

Dr. Dlamini Zuma highly appreciated the involvement of the Banks at this early stage, given that Financing is often one of the principal challenges raised in international business transactions.

After meetings with Government officials, the AU Commission Chairperson also delivered a lecture at the University of Belarus, focusing on Africa’s Agenda 2063. The lecture was characterized by a lively and interactive discussion between the Chairperson and students.

It was agreed that a MoU would be signed between the Pan African University and the University of Belarus to facilitate, among others, the training of students but also the transfer of technology.

African Champs League: Zamalek, Zesco and Setif through

story (1)

Egypt’s Zamalek and former champions Entente Setif of Algeria have joined Zambia’s Zesco United in the group stages of the African Champions League.

Zamalek, coached by former Birmingham City and Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish, grabbed a late equaliser against Mouloudia Bejaia to progress 3-1 on aggregate.

The success eases some of the pressure on McLeish, who’s side are trailing their great rivals Al Ahly in the Egyptian league by 11 points.

Setif, African champions in 2014, were held to a goalless draw at home by Sudan’s Al Merreikh.

Coupled with a 2-2 draw from the first leg, that takes the Algerians through on away goals.

Earlier Zesco beat Mali’s Stade Malien 2-1 on Tuesday to complete a 5-2 victory on aggregate and become the first team to reach the Champions League group stage.

Zesco’s Jesse Were scored the opener for the hosts after five minutes.

Samake Issaka equalised after the break for visitors Mali, but an 80th-minute close-range effort from Maybin Mwaba made certain of their progress.

Malien’s misery was complete when Issaka was sent off on 89 minutes.

The losers get a second chance as they enter the draw for the play-offs in the second-tier Confederation Cup.

There are five more matches on Wednesday, while the draw for the group phase takes place on 24 May.

Source: BBC

Leave When Your Time Is Up – Kofi Annan To African Leaders

story

 

Ghana’s illustrious son Kofi Annan has urged African leaders to leave when their tenure is over and to avoid excluding opposing voices during elections since that could spark conflicts on the continent.

The former UN secretary-general said that while unconstitutional changes to government on the continent had reduced, exclusionary politics threatened to reverse the gains made.

“I think Africa has done well, by and large the coups have more or less ended, generals are remaining in their barracks, but we are creating situations which may bring them back,” the Nobel laureate said in an interview at the 5th Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa.

“If a leader doesn’t want to leave office, if a leader stays on for too long, and elections are seen as being gamed to suit a leader and he stays term after term after term, the tendency may be the only way to get him out is through a coup or people taking to the streets.

“Neither approach can be seen as an alternative to democracy, to elections or to parliamentary rule. Constitutions and the rules of the game have to be respected,” the renowned international diplomat added.

According to him, the winner-take-all approaches to elections on the continent had the effect of leaving out citizens for holding an opposing view, raising tensions around elections.

Annan, who chairs the Africa Progress Panel and the Nelson Mandela-founded The Elders grouping, said he had been the first to tell the African Union not to accept coup leaders among their midst [during an OAU heads of state summit in Lusaka in 2001].

Annan also said that solutions to the problems the continent has must come from within. However, the continent must build up its ability to do so, including in financing its institutions.

“We cannot always pass a hat around and insist we want to be sovereign, we want to be independent. We should lead and get others to support us—that support will be much more forthcoming when they see how serious and committed we are.”

Source: Starrfmonline.com

Ted Cruz decisively wins Wisconsin state primary

Ted

Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz has decisively won the Wisconsin state primary, US media project.

In the Democratic race, US media have projected that Bernie Sanders will score a victory over Hillary Clinton in the Midwestern state.

Mr Trump leads the Republican race, but there are concerns that he could fall short of the number of delegates needed to secure the party’s nomination.

Mr Trump’s rivals have pinned their hopes on a contested convention.

Source: BBC

Inside Ghana: 3 Gunned Down At Afienya

cropped-aba-logo.jpgTHREE MEMBERS of a family, including 57-year-old chief of Sota, a farming community near Dodowa in the Shai-Osudoku District of the Greater Accra Region, were shot dead in the full glare of the public on Sunday at Mangoetsonya, Afienya near Accra.

The deceased persons—Nene Tetteh Pateku, the chief, his 32-year-old nephew, Peter Tometey Dartey and 65-year-old head of the family, Fred Kwaku Tei—were killed by the unknown assailants on a jungle motorbike.

So far, no suspect has been arrested in connection with the incident which has thrown the whole area into a state of fear and shock.

The incident, which police described as targeted murder, occurred at 9:30 am when the chief and his relatives were travelling to Ningo for a meeting in their Toyota Corolla Saloon car with registration number AS 6784-14, being driven by the chief. The unidentified men, said to be wielding an AK47 assault rifle and riding on a yellow and black jungle motorbike, were said to have accosted the family members and fired at them severally.

The lifeless bodies of the three persons have been conveyed to the Police Hospital in Accra for pathological examination and preservation.

.
Greater Accra Regional crime scene investigators, crime officers from the Tema Regional Police Command and the Regional Police Commander together with officers from Dodowa and Afienya and the Greater Accra Regional Minister have visited the scene for firsthand information and commencement of investigations into the incident.

Chief Superintendent Samuel Kwesi Ofori, Commander of the Dodowa Divisional Police Headquarters, briefed DAILY GUIDE that the assailants crossed the victims opposite an Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) substation in the area and fired sporadically, killing the three persons in the car instantly, before they fled the scene.

“The pillion rider, who was wearing a batakari with the gun hidden in it, alighted after they had crossed them and without any confrontation, shot at them intermittently, killing everyone onboard the car,” the police boss indicated.

He said the police had commenced investigations into the incident and appealed to the public to assist them with information for a handsome reward.

Source: Daily Guide

1,000 African Entrepreneurs Join $100M Tony Elumelu Programme

The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) has announced the selection of the second set of 1,000 entrepreneurs for the 2016 cycle of the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP).

Launched in 2015, TEEP is the largest African philanthropic initiative devoted to entrepreneurship and represents a 10-year, $100 million commitment, to identify and empower 10,000 African entrepreneurs, create a million jobs and add $10 billion in revenues to Africa’s economy.

Over 45,000 entrepreneurs from 54 African countries applied, nearly doubling the number of applications received in 2015. Successful candidates represent 53 African countries, and diverse industries, led by agriculture and ICT.

The highest numbers of applicants came from Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Uganda and Cameroon. All five regions – North, East, Southern, Central and West Africa are represented.

Founder, Tony O. Elumelu, CON, commented: “In TEEP’s first year we spent over $8 million of our $100 million commitment – with $5 million going directly to entrepreneurs as seed capital — and the results have far exceeded our expectations. We have funded entrepreneurs, established networks and helped extraordinary people take control of their destinies.

The 2016 Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs will become a generation of newly empowered African business owners, who are the clearest evidence yet, that indigenous business growth will drive Africa’s economic and social transformation.”

Over the next nine months, the 2016 cohort will receive the intensive online training, networking and mentoring that provide a tool kit for success and sustainability. They will also participate in the three-day Elumelu Entrepreneurship Forum later in the year, the largest annual gathering of African entrepreneurial talent.

Parminder Vir OBE, CEO of The Tony Elumelu Foundation, said: “We saw phenomenal success with the first cycle of TEEP –the success stories of the TEEP 2015alumni are a testament to the transformative power of the programme we have built. Through TEEP, we are proving to the next generation of entrepreneurs that their ideas can change their communities, their countries and their continent.”

For a full list of the selected Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs for TEEP2016, do visit http://www.tonyelumelufoundation.org/teep .

Instructively, the Tony Elumelu Foundation is an Africa-based, African-funded philanthropic organisation. Founded in 2010, TEF is committed to driving African economic growth, by empowering African entrepreneurship.

The Foundation aims to create lasting solutions that contribute positively to Africa’s social and economic transformation. Through impact investments, selective grant making, and policy development, it seeks to influence the operating environment so that entrepreneurship in Africa can flourish. http://www.tonyelumelufoundation.org @tonyelumeluFDN.

While the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme represents a decade- long commitment to supporting African start-ups and entrepreneurs. We are committing $100 million to help launch an initial 10,000 entrepreneurs throughout Africa over the next 10 years, creating 1,000,000 new jobs contributing to $10 billion in revenue across Africa.

Read more at: http://www.modernghana.com

HAPPY VAL’S DAY

vals day

On every 14th February, the entire world celebrate the day as a day of love.

All About Africa wishes all wonderful readers a Happy Valentine Day.

Lets remember to show love to everyone especially to the less privileged.

Enjoy your day and stay connected with this awesome website.

#HappyValsDay

4realRecords JKL4real Premiers New single titled ‘Prayer’

IMG-20160131-WA0010
4Real records artiste, JKL (Justin Kingland), aka Dr Money drops  his new single titled ‘prayer’ today 3rd February 2016
The song is dubbed “Prayer” and it’s a long, meditative release. jkl4real said it’s not from his upcoming Album, but instead “just some things on my mind.” Through its lengthy playtime, the song employs a number of different genres and sounds.
Last month, jkl4real hopped on stage for a surprise performance with Ras Kuukus hit single “Nuff Gyals” tune. Now an unexpected but very welcomed  track has been released by jkl4real .
The Inspirational Banger will first be played by 89.9Pluss FM on their morning show and later on Reggae Embassy with DJ Double Richie. Next would be 107.9 YFM who will play it on their mid morning show with DJ Ganj and Trigmatic. Finally 103.9Hitz FM would play it on their After Drive Time with Dr Pounds
”Prayer ” is the second studio single recorded by Nigerian(Malaysian) singer and songwriter Jkl4real. The song released Today .3February 2016, Under 4Real records. Following the release and international success of jkl4real’s second studio single this year , he had considered making a successful deal out of this single .According to the singer, the single’s title is a reflection of his when he was in comma and what God revealed to him
JLK is a renowned reggae dancehall artiste who has done collabos with Sizla Kalonji and Elephant Man. He has also rocked the same stage with super stars, like Rita Mali, High Jahman, Gregory Isaac, Damian Marley, and Nigeria’s Majeck Fashek amongst others.
The Prayer is the key crooner is also a label mate with Ras Kuuku and their record label, 4Real records is based in Malaysia and the United States.
The song builds more gradually to the center than “My Own”, but like this track, his chorus is huge. He gives it  all in the hook as a passionate line like “prayer is the key” demands. The Nigerian(Malaysian) raggae  dancehall musician’s new single  will be his second GH release, so maybe he’ll win more new ears with this one.
His Inspirational new single, “Prayer”, is below: