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  • Sub-Saharan Africa news in brief: 20 November–3 December


Below is a round up of news from or about Sub-Saharan Africa for the period 20 November–3 December 2008.

Nigerian children 'missing out on bednets'
An analysis of insecticide-impregnated bednet usage in 40 African countries over seven years, using the Global Rural Urban Mapping Project, has identified poverty-stricken Nigerian children as a priority for the rollout of free bednets to prevent malaria. Other priority countries include Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Mozambique, Sudan and Uganda. More>>

'Goats better than primates' as HIV model
Nigerian researchers from the University of Ibadan and the Federal University of Technology say that some drug and vaccine testing could be done in goats rather than primates. Their research suggests an encephalitis retrovirus infecting goats provides insight into the neuropathology of HIV-induced dementia. More>>[548kb]

Nestlé blames animal feed for melamine contamination in South Africa
The South African Department of Health has ordered Nestlé's two top baby milk powder brands off the shelves after finding the protein-rich industrial chemical melamine, implicated in the deaths of Chinese children. The Milk Producers' Organisation of South Africa has rejected Nestlé's claims that dairy farmers used contaminated cattle feed. More>>
Encouraging research relationships across the Indian Ocean
Research ties between Africa and Pakistan could be boosted now that Imtinan Elahi Qureshi, the new head of the Islamabad-based Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South, has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Cape Town component of the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology. More>>

Improving the cocoa exported from Côte d'Ivoire
Scientists have found poor fermentation processes and high rates of fungal contamination in raw cocoa beans in three regions of Côte d'Ivoire, one of the world's major producers of cocoa. These could be due to incomplete fermentation because farmers feared bean theft, or farmers paying little attention to excessive moisture content in stored beans because they wanted to make money quickly. More>>[117kb]

Teething syrup 'caused deaths of Nigerian children'
Staff at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital have blamed Nigeria's National Agency for Food and Drug Administration for not running regular quality tests on a teething syrup after dozens of children died of renal failure allegedly after consuming the syrup. Kola Okunlola of Barewa Pharmaceuticals has denied negligence after it was claimed a cheap engine coolant was used in the syrup instead of a usual ingredient. More>>  

Composting and tax cuts key to disposal of pig farming waste
Pig farmers on Réunion Island, west of Madagascar, can best deal with their nitrogen- and phosphorous- rich waste by using subsidised collective compost stations and being given a cut in effluent taxes, according to modelling carried out by researchers from the Centre for Environmental Economics and Policy in Africa. The researchers ruled out exporting the pig waste for use as a fertiliser on sugarcane farms. The waste is a pollutant at high concentrations. More>>[217kb]

Compiled by Christina Scott.

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