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  • Christine Chumbler
    Cholera Outbreak in Blantyre African Eye News Service (Nelspruit) May 13, 2003 Posted to the web May 14, 2003 Charles Mkula Blantyre Malawi s health
    Message 1 of 102 , May 15 11:08 AM
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      Cholera Outbreak in Blantyre

      African Eye News Service (Nelspruit)

      May 13, 2003
      Posted to the web May 14, 2003

      Charles Mkula

      Malawi's health authorities have stepped up efforts to contain a
      cholera outbreak within it commercial capital of Blantyre.

      The water borne disease surfaced three weeks ago and has infected eight
      people and killed one in three area that receive clean water from the
      state, namely the medium density area of Naperi, and the high density
      areas of Zingwangwa and Manase.

      Health officer for the Blantyre district, Elita Kamoto, blames the
      outbreak on the Blantyre Water Board, which cut the water supply to
      residents who hadn't paid bills.

      Affected residents have been forced to collect water from streams.

      Health department director for the city, Lester Bandawe, said he
      couldn't be sure the water board was to blame, but said 75 percent of
      residents in the areas had access to "what may be considered safe
      water." A water board inspector confirmed water had been cut in the
      affected areas and that more disconnections were expected as a result of
      outstanding bills.

      Preventative health director in the health ministry, Habib Somanje,
      expressed concern at the fatality.

      He said one death in less than eight cholera cases was high.

      He said the fatality standard set by the World Health Organisation's
      (WHO) was only one death per 100 cases.


      Foot And Mouth Outbreak in Southern Malawi

      African Eye News Service (Nelspruit)

      May 13, 2003
      Posted to the web May 14, 2003

      Charles Makola

      The Malawi government has banned all meat from the the Lower Shire
      Valley in southern Malawi following an outbreak of foot and mouth
      disease among cattle.

      Grey Matita, field service director in the department of animal health
      in the agriculture ministry said some 350 head of cattle were diagnosed
      with the disease by last week.

      There are about 6 000 cattle in the affected region.

      An alert has been issued to neighbouring countries about the outbreak
      and meat from the area has been banned until the situation is

      Matita said that although foot and mouth disease does not affect
      people, it causes havoc in the dairy and cattle farming industry because
      infected cows cannot produce milk while work oxen suffer sore joints and

      Matita said samples of the virus had been sent to laboratories in
      Botswana and South Africa to determine what vaccine to use to contain
      the disease.

      "We are hopeful that the situation will be contained in a few weeks,"
      he said.

      The ban is affecting business.

      Esa Arab of E&M Halaal Meat which supplies meat to a number of
      butcheries and institutions in the country, said the company had been
      forced to cut its supplies to 25 percent of normal supply because of the

      He said the ban was forcing butcheries in the Lower Shire Valley to
      source beef from further afield like the central district of Ntcheu, at
      greater expense.

      Bario Khoko, a cattle farmer from Chikwawa - where the outbreak was
      first discovered - warns that the local cattle industry faces collapse,
      but Wilfred Lipita, director of the animal health department, says
      without the ban, the entire country's meat industry was at risk. -
      ECN-African Eye News Service


      Malawi Increases Free Farm Inputs Beneficiaries

      Malawi Standard (Blantyre)

      May 10, 2003
      Posted to the web May 12, 2003

      By Paul Kang fombe
      Blantyre, Malawi

      Malawi Government has increased the number of winter cropping programme
      beneficiaries from 300,000 to 400,000 in its endeavour to ensure food
      security in rural households.

      According to the ministry of agriculture, irrigation and food security
      and the department for international development (DFID), the total
      numbers of 847,034 beneficiaries were identified at national level.
      However, the demand could not be met due to lack of seeds.

      gAn exercise was carried out within the Logistic Unit [in the
      Ministry of Agriculture] to determine the district allocation, this was
      a straight forward case of reducing the district demand by the same
      percentage required to reduce the national demand of 847,034 to 400,000
      that could be supported by the resources, h the Logistic office said
      in the Winter TIP Update Newsletter.

      The Logistic Unit states that each bag of TIP would contain 5
      kilogrammes of Urea, 2 kilogrammes of OPV maize and 1kilogramme of

      gRegistration of the beneficiaries or farm families with access to
      dambo gardens or irrigation ended in March. The Logistics office has
      since printed vouchers and distributed them through Agricultural
      Development Divisions (ADD), h The Newsletter states.

      The Logistics Unit further disclosed that 526 metric tonnes of OPV
      maize were purchased out of a total of the required 800 metric tonnes.
      The seeds came from the one fs produced through contracts financed by
      DFID during last year fs winter season.

      gThe balance of OPV maize required is scheduled to be supplied via a
      contract with the Association of Small holder Seed multiplication Action
      Group (ASSMAG), this balance has to be delivered to Kanengo in Lilongwe
      and Dowa for distribution. The distribution in the two areas is
      scheduled to start on May 20, 2003.

      The office said a total of 400 metric tonnes of beans are required.
      Transglobe Produce Export Limited will supply 367 metric tones and CP
      Feeds Limited will supply 38 metric tonnes for the Northern Region.

      gOne of the possible area where problems could arise is the delay in
      clearance by the Ministry of Agriculture crop testing department at
      Chitedze. Most of the beans have passed the germination exercise and are
      now being sorted to satisfy the purity standards, h the Logistics
      office explained.

      Distribution of bags started on 29th April out of Liwonde ADMARC with
      10,784 bags to commence the programme in Zomba, Machinga and Ntcheu
      districts. In addition on 30th April 3,322 bags and 1,542 bags went to
      Phalombe and Nsanje districts, respectively.

      The Winter TIP programme that is being undertaken by the Ministry of
      Agriculture, Irrigation and Food Security in collaboration with
      stakeholders such as the Food Agriculture Organisation (FAO) is a repeat
      of last year fs attempt to ensure food security in Malawi.


      Canadian Firm to Build Nacala-Liwonde Petroleum Pipeline

      Malawi Standard (Blantyre)

      May 10, 2003
      Posted to the web May 12, 2003

      By Brian Ligomeka
      Blantyre, Malawi

      President Bakili Muluzi is taking all the practical steps for Malawians
      to benefit from the Nacala Development Corridor. Just few months after
      unveiling government's plan of building a petroleum pipeline from the
      northern Mozambican port of Nacala to Liwonde in Machinga, a Canadian
      firm, DiamondWorks Limited, has already signed a Memorumdum of
      Understanding with the government to construct the pipeline.

      At the end of this year's Nacala Corridor Investor' Conference that was
      held in the Mozambican town of Nampula, President Muluzi emphasised the
      importance of Malawi having its own Petroleum pipeline.

      "If we build a pipeline from Nacala to Liwonde, we will successfully
      lower the transport costs of fuel, and this definitely will also lower
      the price of fuel," said Muluzi.

      Muluzi further explained that the construction of such a pipeline would
      reduce transport costs of fuel, thereby ensuring that fuel would be
      readily available in the country.

      Currently, the bulk of Malawi's fuel moves on road transport in tankers
      from South African and Tanzanian ports.

      According to a press release issued by DiamondWorks Limited of Canada
      the constructin of the pipeline will be done by its wholly-owned
      subsidiary, Petroplus Africa.

      "PetroPlus Africa has entered into a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU)
      to seek out financing and arrange for the construction of an oil
      pipeline and ancillary storage facilities in the Republic of Malawi,"
      reads part of the release.

      Upon obtaining initial financing commitments for the Projects,
      Petroplus shall be appointed to arrange and provide fuel supplies and
      petroleum products to Malawi. The agreement has been entered into by
      Petroplus with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental
      Affairs of the Government of the Republic of Malawi.

      The agreement grants Petroplus the exclusive right for a period of 6
      months from the effective date to carry out the due diligence necessary
      to arrange financing for the construction of approximately 400
      kilometres of pipeline from Nacala, in Mozambique, to Liwonde in
      Machinga district, a town located in Malawi between the two principal
      cities of Blantyre and Lilongwe.

      "The storage facilities are to be of sufficient capacity for at least
      two months feedstock requirements for Malawi or in aggregate
      approximately 60,000 tonnes of refined oil products. In the event a
      financing commitment is secured by Petroplus during the initial 6 month
      period, the MOU will be automatically extended for an indefinite

      The Memorandum of Understanding may be terminated upon 30 days notice,
      subject to certain conditions related to reimbursement of expenses,"
      reads the Press Release in part.

      Petroplus would work closely on the due diligence and financing
      proposal with Petroplus International Marketing FZCO (Petroplus
      International), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Petroleum International
      N.V., one of Europe's leading midstream oil companies and tank storage
      operators publicly-listed in the Netherlands.

      Petroplus International is responsible for the procurement and
      financing of crude oil and certain refined products on behalf of
      DiamondWorks and is also the supplier of petroleum products to Otterbea
      International under its Zambian crude oil contract. Discussions with
      various financing institutions are relatively advanced and the Company
      has received positive initial reactions from ABSA Bank and other
      potential financiers.

      The statement says the DiamondWorks views this arrangement with the
      Government of Malawi as a significant milestone in applying the
      strategic advantages developed in its Zambian supply contract to
      leverage the Company's position as a financier and provider of
      infrastructure and related commodities for the nations of Africa.

      DiamondWorks Limited is a Canadian company listed on the Toronto Stock
      Exchange that holds interests in extensive diamond projects in Sierra
      Leone, Angola and the Central African Republic and through its
      subsidiaries, specializes in procurement and logistics into the African

      The Company maintains a substantial infrastructure throughout
      sub-Sahara Africa and provides comprehensive services to the mining and
      other industries, including transportation, warehousing, procurement,
      sales and distribution of essential equipment, supplies and a variety of


      Poor Health Blamed On Low Nutritive Foods

      The Chronicle Newspaper (Lilongwe)

      May 13, 2003
      Posted to the web May 13, 2003

      Stonald Kuphunda

      The Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) says Malawi has a high
      infant mortality rate because of micronutrient deficiency such as
      anaemia since Malawians generally consume foods which have very low
      nutrition values.

      Speaking during the inauguration of the 'Report on a Micronutrient
      Survey' at Capital Hotel last Wednesday, the Technical Adviser in the
      ministry Dr. Wesley Sangala said Malawi has tremendous problems of
      micronutrient deficiency because of an inadequate supply of food and a
      poor health environment.

      'People get low salaries from the work they do and cannot afford to buy
      foods which add vitamins to food that are required by our bodies,' said
      Sangala adding: 'People can't afford to buy a bottle of cooking oil.'
      However, the MoHP in collaboration with World Vision International
      through the Micronutrient and Health Program has introduced ways of
      fortifying maize flour by adding supplementary vitamins during the
      milling process at maize mills.

      Meanwhile, the Ministry through Micronutrient and Health Program has
      planted 12 maize mills that add supplementary vitamins into maize flour
      in different parts of the country namely Chiradzulu in the south,
      Ikwendeni in the north and Kabudula as well as Area 25 in Lilongwe

      Theresa Banda, deputy director of the Clinical and Population Services
      (nutrient) in the MoHP said poor preparation of food creates a loss of

      'We want to ensure that people get a balanced diet in the maize flour
      that they consume. People lose nutrients from maize by taking away the
      maize husks and by soaking the dehusked maize in water for a long period
      causing the food nutrients to be washed away,' pointed out Banda.

      She said the ministry is sensitising owners of maize mills in the
      country to cater for this need by having facilities that could help them
      in adding supplementary vitamins to maize flour.

      Besides, the MoHP has since the year 2000 provided supplementary
      vitamin A to children who are under five years of age and to pregnant
      women two to four months before they deliver. This is done in various
      health centres country wide.

      The MoHP has also targeted the elimination of Vitamin A and Iodine
      deficiencies by the year 2005.

      However, the ministry is concerned about the higher rate of iodine
      deficiency in the southern region which is reported to be greater than
      that of the northern region, according to the report. The delegates at
      the inauguration ceremony attribute this to the fact that the people in
      the southern region obtain their salt on the black market from
      Mozambique. Many manufacturers of salt in Mozambique do not iodise their
      product which is different from that which comes in through the northern
      region. Salt from this source is iodised from plants in Tanzania.
    • 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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