28 September 2022

Lesotho: Amnesty International in a report accuses the country’s security forces of brutality, torture and unlawful killings.
BBC Africa Live 28 September 2022. 15:50

Nigeria: The Osun-Osogbo sacred grove is one of two Nigerian Unesco world heritage sites (the other being Sukur in Adamawa state). Beyond that, the Osun River is of great environmental and economic importance. But pollution has become a big problem – plastic first of all, but also heavy metals being the main culprits, with artisanal gold mining and poor waste management practices contributing.

Abortion/Kenya/Benin: Social safety – to avoid prosecution and social stigma – is more important to girls and young women seeking abortion than medical safety. In both Kenya and Benin, abortion is socially frowned upon. So abortion needs to be done discreetly. In high-income countries, “self-care for abortion” is the solution, meaning managing abortion “on one’s own as much as one wants to” including the accessing (also by using digital platforms) of “information and medical abortion pills without prescription”. But this is no way out in poor-income countries, where few have a smartphone or access to the internet. For the time being, the article suggests “investing in user-centred discreet abortion services, for example through health intermediaries” – for example “partners, relatives and community champions”.

Child marriage: It is well-known that girls who marry before 18 are more exposed to domestic violence, less likely to continue schooling and generally face worse economic and health outcomes. The article reports on a study (statistical analysis) undertaken in Congo-Kinshasa, Malawi, Mali and Niger and ends with the recommendations “for governments in these countries to introduce programmes that promote delaying the age at which girls first have sex and to equip adolescents with knowledge about responsible and safer sex.” On top of that “(p)olicymakers should also work to promote prolonged enrolment in school for adolescent girls. And, crucially, laws are needed – and must be enforced – that criminalise child marriages.” Now that’s really new!

27 September 2022

Tropical diseases in Africa and Europe: Local dengue transmission was first found in France in 2010. Since then, there have been about 12 cases per year. But 2022 has seen 40 cases so far. And there is more to come. With climate change, “the population at risk of malaria in Africa will have increased by over 80 million” by 2030 and yellow fever deaths are expected to be up by 25% by 2050. In Europe, “there have been over 570 cases of West Nile virus recorded” in 2022, most of them in Veneto, northern Italy.

Uganda/Ebola: WHO has confirmed 18 Ebola deaths in the country and about as many “probable cases”. This first Ebola outbreak in Uganda since 2012 is “caused by the Sudan strain of the disease, for which there are no licensed vaccines”.
BBC Africa Live 27 September 2022. 7:06

Nigeria: A National Human Rights Commission panel set up in the wake of #EndSars recommends “the dismissal and prosecution of a number of police officers for torture, extra-judicial killings and illegal detentions”. Details, including the number of officers to be dismissed and prosecuted, will only be made public later.
BBC Africa Live 27 September 2022. 7:39

Egypt: 200 years ago, the Egyptian hieroglyphics were deciphered with the help of the Rosetta Stone which presents a decree in three languages. As one was ancient Greek, Jean-Francois Champollion managed to translate the hieroglyphics for the first time. The Rosetta Stone is to this day displayed in the British museum.
BBC Africa Live 27 September 2022. 12:35