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Below is a round up of news from or about Sub-Saharan Africa for the period 26 September to 8 October 2007.

TB data shortfall in Eritrea
A large gap exists between estimated and actual tuberculosis (TB) infection rates in Eritrea, according to a report published in Emerging Infectious Diseases. Researchers, including Mineab Sebhatu from the Ministry of Health in Asmara, found infection rates three times higher than WHO figures, suggesting that TB detection needs to be vastly improved. More>>

Health risk parasites identified
Researchers at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital in Nigeria have identified 11 parasites in both the bloodstream and the gut as a significant source of disease in Nigeria's Edo State. Their analysis of 136,000 samples, published in the African Journal of Biotechnology, suggests infection rates higher than hospital data indicates, peaking in the wet season. More>>

Insecticide-treated bednets help antimalarial medication
Use of insecticide-treated bednets with preventative malaria drugs may be the cheapest way to combat the disease, according to research published in the Malaria Journal. The research, involving infants in Mozambique and Tanzania, points to high coverage of bednets with intermittent antimalarials as a significant factor in recorded reductions in clinical malaria. More>>

Teens take on breadwinner role as HIV hits hard
Tanzanian teenagers already burdened with the care of ailing relatives with HIV/AIDS are also expected to generate income for the family. Research from the UK-based University of Nottingham found that teenagers replace adult breadwinners with work ranging from begging and casual farm work to house cleaning or working in a shop. More>>

Angola signs to protect intellectual property rights
The World Intellectual Property Organization has welcomed Angola as the one hundred and thirty-eighth state to sign the Patent Cooperation Treaty. Angolan researchers will be able to file international patents at a reduced rate, and in a streamlined process, when the treaty begins on 27 December. More>>

Cancer in Africa: Challenges and opportunities
Contrary to popular belief, cancer is emerging as a major health problem in Africa. More than five per cent of Africans suffer from cancer but incidence is rapidly rising. Researchers estimate that in the next two decades, cancer will claim more African lives than HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined. The issue will be discussed at a meeting in Cape Town, South Africa this month (24–28 October). More>>

African crop scientists meet in Egypt
The role of agricultural research in alleviating poverty, along with biodiversity and genetic modification issues will come under the spotlight this month (27–31 October) at the Eighth African Crop Science Society Conference in El Minia, Egypt. Large delegations are expected from Ghana, Nigeria and Uganda. More>>

Ethiopian university launches watersheds
Ethiopia's Bahir Dar University, on the banks of the Blue Nile River, will offer its first master's degree in managing watersheds with help from Cornell University in the United States. The degree in international agriculture and rural development begins on 1 November. More>>

Deadline for leadership in education grant extended
The Association of African Universities, headquartered in Ghana, has extended the deadline for grant applications in its programme to support research on leadership and management in higher education in Africa. The new deadline is 15 October. More>>