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Malawi news

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  • Christine Chumbler
    The 3rd and 2nd to last paragraphs are particularly interesting. And I m assuming that someone will let me know if these news postings are annoying...
    Message 1 of 102 , Mar 31, 1999
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      The 3rd and 2nd to last paragraphs are particularly interesting.

      And I'm assuming that someone will let me know if these news postings are annoying...

      Malawi-Visit Taiwan Builds
      MALAWI'S 18-Million-Dollar

      Africa News Service

      BLANTYRE, Malawi (PANA, 03/31/99) - Taiwan's visiting deputy foreign
      affairs minister David Ta-wei Lee has said his government will make sure that the
      18-million US dollar hospital project his government is funding in the northern
      city of Mzuzu is operational by 1 January, 2000.

      Speaking to journalists during his tour of the hospital site, Lee said the project is
      a milestone of his government's keenness to assist developing countries who are
      friendly to his government's campaign to lobby the UN to recognise Taiwan as
      an independent state.

      Taiwan, officially known as the Republic of China (RoC), is not recognised as a
      state and mainland China views it as its renegade province.

      "This hospital is a showcase of the friendship that exists between Malawi and the
      Repulic of China and we will make sure that the first patient gets treated by 1
      January 2000," he said.

      Prof. John Chang, who is overseeing the project, said almost 60 percent of the
      hospital has been completed.

      "We are within the time schedule of completion of the hospital," he said. "We
      hope by May we will finish the roofing stage."

      Chang said the hospital will be an ultra-modern facility, complete with
      state-of-art equipment. He said the hospital's intensive care unit and other
      medical paraphenalia will be in by July.

      In a related development, Lee has announced that his government will help
      Malawi train 400 specialist doctors in Taiwan for the hospital. Six doctors, he
      said, have already left for training in various medical desciplines in Taiwan.

      Meanwhile, during a meeting with Malawi president Bakili Muluzi in Blantyre at
      the end of his visit Lee pledged to construct a road which connnects northern
      Malawi to Zambia.

      The Karonga-Chitipa road has been a pain in the Malawi government's flesh
      since Muluzi took over power in 1994. The north, a fiercely anti-Muluzi region,
      has been needling government over the road after he promised during the 1994
      campaign that he would turn it into an all-weather highway.

      Of late Taiwan and mainland China have been jostling for influence in Africa, and
      Malawi remains one of the few friends Taipei has in the region. Lee has since left
    • kristen cheney
      But good info for my childhoods class which will be doing projects on child labor. Maybe having the info will spur people to change things. I still hold out
      Message 102 of 102 , Aug 24, 2009
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        But good info for my childhoods class which will be doing projects on child labor. Maybe having the info will spur people to change things. I still hold out hope...
        How's the home solar project??

        On Mon, Aug 24, 2009 at 9:26 AM, Christine Chumbler <wartpiggy@...> wrote:

        Nothing to be proud of here, I'm afraid.

        Malawi's child tobacco pickers 'poisoned by nicotine'

        Aug 24 2009 07:05

        Children in Malawi who are forced to work as tobacco pickers are exposed to nicotine poisoning equivalent to smoking 50 cigarettes a day, an investigation has found.

        Child labourers as young as five are suffering severe health problems from a daily skin absorption of up to 54mg of dissolved nicotine, according to the international children's organisation Plan.

        Malawian tobacco is found in the blend of almost every cigarette smoked in the West. The low-grade, high-nicotine tobacco is often used as a filler by manufacturers, reflecting a long-term global shift in production.

        Tobacco farms in America declined by 89% between 1954 and 2002. Three-quarters of production has migrated to developing countries, with Malawi the world's fifth biggest producer.

        Seventy percent of its export income comes from tobacco and the country is economically dependent on it.

        Plan cites research showing that Malawi has the highest incidence of child labour in Southern Africa, with 88,9% of five to 14-year-olds working in the agricultural sector. It is estimated that more than 78 000 children work on tobacco estates -- some up to 12 hours a day, many for less than 1p an hour and without protective clothing.

        Plan's researchers invited 44 children from tobacco farms in three districts to take part in a series of workshops. They revealed a catalogue of physical, sexual and emotional abuse and spoke about the need to work to support themselves and their families and pay school fees.

        The children reported common symptoms of green tobacco sickness (GTS), or nicotine poisoning, including severe headaches, abdominal pain, muscle weakness, coughing and breathlessness.

        "Sometimes it feels like you don't have enough breath, you don't have enough oxygen," one child said. "You reach a point where you cannot breathe because of the pain in your chest. Then the blood comes when you vomit. At the end, most of this dies and then you remain with a headache."

        GTS is a common hazard of workers coming into contact with tobacco leaves and absorbing nicotine through their skin, particularly when harvesting. It is made worse by humid and wet conditions, which are prevalent in Malawi, as residual moisture on the leaves helps nicotine to be absorbed quicker.

        Everyday symptoms of GTS are more severe in children than adults as they have not built up a tolerance to nicotine through smoking and because of their physical size. There is a lack of research into the long-term effects of GTS in children, but experts believe that it could seriously impair their development.

        Neal Benowitz, professor of medicine, psychiatry and biopharmaceutical sciences at California University in San Francisco, said: "Numerous animal studies have shown that administration of nicotine during infancy and adolescence produces long-lasting changes in brain structure and function, as well as behavioural changes that are not seen when nicotine is administered to adults.

        "The brain of a child or adolescent is particularly vulnerable to adverse neurobehavioural effects of nicotine exposure."

        Plan called on Malawi's government to enforce existing child labour and protection laws and on plantations to provide safer, fairer working conditions for those children forced to work. It demanded that multinational tobacco companies scrutinise their suppliers far more closely and follow their own corporate responsibility guidelines.

        Macdonald Mumba, Plan Malawi's child rights adviser, said: "This research shows that tobacco estates are exploiting and abusing children who have a right to a safe working environment.

        "Plan is calling for better enforcement of child labour laws and harsher punishment for employers who break them. These children are risking their health for 11p a day." - guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2009

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