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Re: Malawi news

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  • reysampaga
    Interesting. In 1995, during our first year of service, I came down with a flu like illness with symptoms of high fever, aches, and a very sore throat. I went
    Message 1 of 102 , May 15, 2003

      In 1995, during our first year of service, I came down with a flu
      like illness with symptoms of high fever, aches, and a very sore
      throat. I went to the 7th Day Adventist Hospital and the Dr.
      treating me said that they had a rash of these illnesses. I'm sure
      he prescribed a "cillin" drug and it cured me of the illness.
      Anyway the following week, Blantyre Water Board found a dead body and
      a galu pickling in a water treatment plant tank. The tank happened
      to be one of the tanks that held water before it was distributed.
      After that , we boiled the "heck" out of the water before we touched
      That tank was located in the hills above and just before going to
      Limbe. That area, I believe, is also above Zingwangwa. Hmmm.


      --- In ujeni@yahoogroups.com, "Christine Chumbler" <cchumble@d...>
      > 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 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
      > people and killed one in three area that receive clean water from
      > state, namely the medium density area of Naperi, and the high
      > 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
      > 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.
    • 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 9:03 AM
        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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        "...for f*ck’s sake, the only thing that privilege is good for is to try to help other people." –Junot Diaz
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