6 April 2021

Zambia: An Ethiopian Airlines cargo plane “mistakenly landed at an airport still under construction”, 15 km away from its destination. “(A)ir traffic controllers (…) were quoted as telling the pilot that they couldn't see his plane when he informed them he was about to land.”
BBC Africa Live 06 April 2021. 7:19

Covid-19 & Violence against Girls and Women: “Lockdowns put victims and abusers in close proximity”. And that’s just one of the adverse effects of anti-Covid-19 measures on women’s and girls’ safety from sexual and physical violence. Trying to learn lessons from Ebola in Congo-Kinshasa, the authors suggest a series of measures. First and foremost, women – and especially local women’s organisations – need to be included at all levels of response planning.
(Also see Erica N. Rosser et al., How to create a gender-responsive pandemic plan. Addressing the secondary effects of COVID-19: https://www.genderandcovid-19.org/how-to-create-a-gender-responsive-pandemic-plan-addressing-the-secondary-effects-of-covid-19/)

Ghana/Long-term care for the ageing and frail: With the number of old people increasing, providing care for them needs to be proactively addressed on a national level – instead of neglected, as has been the case so far. The author has found “several initiatives that seemed promising as models for” the kind of care needed. Nursing homes or care homes are isolating and too expensive. Two possible solutions are offered by volunteers visiting the aged in their homes and by community health nurses who are attached to local clinics. The volunteers provided massage, physical therapy, grooming, and bathing – but they “drifted away” over time. They would need to be paid for their visits. The community health nurses’ mission needs to be extended beyond maternal and child health, to include the care of older adults, they would only need some basic geriatric training and this “would instantly create a nation-wide system to help families with the care of their frail and disabled older relatives.”

Tanzania: Samia Suluhu Hassan, the country’s new president has lifted media bans imposed by her predecessor and has called for transparency in the application of regulations and penalties. Government ought not to “be seen to curtail media freedom.”
BBC Africa Live 06 April 2021. 10:34

Tanzania/Covid: It looks very much like the country’s Covid policy is going to change: Samia Suluhu Hassan will set up “an expert task force to advise government on anti-coronavirus measures” and she says that “Tanzania cannot isolate itself as an island in the fight against Covid-19”. She has also directed her foreign affairs minister “to set about mending international relations”.
BBC Africa Live 06 April 2021. 11:13

Africa/Covid: According to a World Bank report’s estimations, African countries will need USD12bn “to buy and distribute enough coronavirus vaccines to interrupt transmission of the virus.” World Bank and IMF in another paper urge G20 nations to “extend their moratorium on debt repayments offered to the world's poorest countries” by one year.
BBC Africa Live 06 April 2021. 5:39

Nigeria: BBC on 6 April 2021 reports on Barbara Etim James, 54 years old head of a private equity firm, who was crowned an Efik queen (of Henshaw Town, a part of Calabar in the country’s south-east) two years ago. “I'm bringing my global experience into a culture, not taking the culture into modernity.” She believes that she and people like her are more effective than politicians in bringing about change.

Kenya: The country suffers a shortage in HIV drugs after USAID stopped supplying them, accusing the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa) of corruption and mismanagement. “Two important drugs - Nevirapine and Zidovudine syrup - are completely out of stock. One is used to suppress viral load and boost immunity, and the other drug is used to prevent mother-to-child transmission.” Mother-to-child transmission is said to be already on the rise.
BBC Africa Live 06 April 2021. 16:04

Zimbabwe: Makomborero Haruzivishe is said to have been whistling to mobilise the public against police, to have thrown stones at police and their vehicles and to have resisted arrest and is to be jailed for 14 months. The outspoken critic of the authorities will appeal, but says he is ready for the sabbatical: prison.
BBC Africa Live 06 April 2021. 17:20

5 April 2021

Mozambique: The military says it is once again in full control of Palma, the coastal city in the country’s far north that had been attacked by al-Shabab on 24 March. According to the state radio, residents who had fled have started to return. Communication with Palma remains cut. The town normally has a population of about 75,000.”

Ghana: More than 60 dead dolphins were washed up on several beaches. The reason of their deaths is unknown, investigations are ongoing. In the meantime, authorities “are warning against eating the dolphins and various other fish species that have also washed up, as it not yet clear what caused their deaths”. But dozens of dead dolphins have gone missing from Axim beach, probably people intend to sell their meat.