Did Multiple Unsolved Murders Lead to Sannoh Resignation?

first_imgUp lead lawyer and former Justice Minister Benedict Sannoh Cllr. Benedict Sannoh has resigned as Justice Minister, an Executive Mansion press release has announced. The GoL did not cite reasons for his resignation, simply stating that Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf had accepted his resignation and thanked him for his service.Sannoh was the fourth Justice Minister to serve in the Sirleaf administration since it took office in 2006. He replaced Cllr. Christiana Tah, who parted ways with the Unity Party led government early August 2014, citing what she described as the “complete collapse of the rule of law” in the country. Tah was preceded by Cllr. Philip A. Z. Banks and Cllr. Frances Johnson-Allison respectively.Sannoh was appointed Justice Minister late 2014, which puts the length of his tenure at just over one year. Prior to to this position, he served as Deputy Minister of Justice for Economic Affairs, designated by then Justice Minister Tah, on May 1, 2012, to represent the Ministry of Justice on the Board of Commissioners of the Public Procurement and Concessions Commission (PPCC).The outgoing Justice Minister’s short-lived tenure has been marred by serious breakdowns in the Rule of Law as it relates to the Justice Ministry’s handling of major murder cases in the country — the murder of Michael Allison, a Petroleum law expert who blew the whistle on irregularities in the drafting of Liberia’s new oil bill; the murder of Harry Greaves, a staunch critic of the Sirleaf administration; and the murder of Victoria Zayzay, the 20-year-old pregnant mother who died in police custody. The bodies of both Allison and Greaves were found on Monrovia beaches following their gruesome murders. The Government of Liberia said they had drowned. Police said Zayzay had hanged herself after she was found dead in her police cell. But a leaked autopsy report said she had not died of hanging. Her family recently buried her body in Brewerville after waiting five months for an official autopsy report they never received. There have been no signs of an investigation after both the Liberia National Police under Director Chris Massaquoi and the Justice Ministry under Sannoh promised justice. None of the three murders, for that matter, was investigated. Any autopsy reports received by the press were either “preliminary” (Greaves) or leaked (Zayzay). But no official autopsy or investigative reports have been released. The Zayzay family says their daughter’s blood is on the hands of the Government of Liberia.Sannoh was also Justice Minister when Movement for Progressive Change (MPC) leader Simeon Freeman was placed under house arrest by military personnel after he expressed fear for his life as an opposition leader following the mysterious death of Harry Greaves. After Freeman cited the existence of a “hit list”, military personnel surrounded his house, barring family members and lawyers from leaving or entering the house for several days. Freeman was reportedly smuggled out of the country by a foreign mission, his case cited as a violation of human rights. Following Freeman’s ordeal, political activists Vandalark Patricks and Archie Sarnoh were jailed for reiterating Freeman’s allegation of a hit list. They were later released.As such, it is unclear whether the Government of Liberia is under pressure from the international community (and the declining confidence of the Liberian citizenry) to arrest the situation, in which case more heads may roll. It also remains to be seen whether an incoming Justice Minister will properly investigate these cases or whether, with Sannoh’s resignation, justice has effectively been denied.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Man stabbed after running into Police station for help

first_img…as Cops dash for coverAn Angoys Avenue, New Amsterdam, Berbice man had to seek medical attention after being stabbed in the vicinity of the heart during what Police are investigating as a triangular love affair.Reports are the 30-year-old pork knocker was stabbed in the vicinity of his heart at the Traffic Department of Central Police Station, New Amsterdam after he ran into the Police Station seeking help, as the perpetrator was hot in pursuit.The incident started at the New Amsterdam Market and in a bid to be rescued by Police, the victim ran some 300 meters to the Police Station with his attacker behind him on a motorcycle. The victim made it into the Police Station, but his attacker rode his motorcycle into the building crashing into the door. The loud impact sent officers dashing for cover.Armed with a knife, the 35-year-old attacker continued his pursuit of the pork knocker.The two men reportedly ran around several sections of the Police Station until the victim escaped outside again with his attacker in pursuit. It was outside the Traffic Department the attacker stabbed the victim. A Police Officer then picked up a stick and hit the attacker in a bid to save the victim. The victim, this newspaper was told, was recently released from prison. He was serving time for injuring the very man who stabbed him.This newspaper was told that the feud between the men stemmed from a relationship both of them share with the same woman. Both men were arrested and are in custody pending charges.last_img read more

LATE SWALLOW CHICKS WON’T PERISH IN DONEGAL, SAYS BIRDWATCH IRELAND

first_imgBirdwatch Ireland has assured people that thousands of young swallow chicks will not be left behind when the birds migrate out of the country in the coming weeks.A brood of swallowsAn unusually mild September has seen many late broods of chicks being born in barns and outhouses across Co Donegal.Now Birdwatch Ireland says it has been inundated with calls from worried people concerned about the young chicks. However the group says that while the majority of swallows will leave in September, others will leave throughout October.A spokesman said “The fact is, although the bulk of our Swallows leave us during September, it’s actually perfectly normal for good numbers to remain here well into October, and it happens every year.“All going well, these late-brood chicks will leave their nests soon and begin the long and arduous flight to southern Africa, where they will spend our winter.”Once strong enough the birds will gather and will make the 9,000km journey to South Africa but many will perish along the way. The birds born in Ireland will return to the same location next year where they too will begin the breeding cycle. LATE SWALLOW CHICKS WON’T PERISH IN DONEGAL, SAYS BIRDWATCH IRELAND was last modified: September 25th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Birdwatch Irelanddonegalswallowslast_img read more

Man appears in court after attempted armed raid on shop

first_imgA man has appeared in court following an attempted armed robbery at a shop in Newtowncunningham.Rory Moyne came before Letterkenny District Court today and was granted legal aid. The court was told that no directions had yet been given by the Director of Public Prosecutions in the case.It follows an alleged armed robbery at Your Shop in Newtowncunningham at 11.45am on Friday last.A lone male entered a convenience store and allegedly threatened a staff member at knife-point before leaving the store on foot empty-handed.The alarm was raised and a Garda unit on covert patrol in the area at the time arrested a man in his 20s who was near the scene a short time later.He was taken to Letterkenny Garda Station and detained for questioning under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984.Moyne, of Cornfield Lane, Newtowncunningham, who is aged 26, is charged with having a knife at the shop on the date of the robbery.He was freed on bail to appear at Letterkenny District Court again on January 6th.Man appears in court after attempted armed raid on shop was last modified: December 4th, 2019 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:NewtowncunninghamrobberyRORY MOYNElast_img read more

FINN VALLEY’S TORI GETS CLOSER TO WORLD CHAMP BEST

first_imgFINN Valley AC’s Tori Pena continues to improve the Irish pole vault record and indeed moves closer to world championship qualification 4.40m as she cleared 4.30 and came so close to the magic Q mark for Daegu world champs in Chula Vista Invitational, San Diego on Thursday.Jumping in the USA tf/open finals opened at 4m went clear again at 4.15 then cleared 4.30 narrowly failing at 4.40m . The event was won by Becky Holiday at 4.50.She will return to Europe next month for European Cup in Turkey. FINN VALLEY’S TORI GETS CLOSER TO WORLD CHAMP BEST was last modified: May 13th, 2011 by gregShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

BATTEN DOWN THE HATCHES: STORM WITH 110KMH WINDS BATTER DONEGAL

first_imgDONEGAL is being lashed with a storm this Saturday night – with winds of up to 110kmh.Forecasters say a deluge of rain is accompanying the storm which will ease on Sunday before picking up again on Monday and Tuesday.On Monday, says forecaster Peter O’Donnell from The Meteo Times which specialises in Irish forecasts, winds may gust up to 130 kmh. And Met Eireann has issued a gale warning for tonight and the next three days.There is the potential for storm damage and spot flooding as the storm brings up to 40mm of rain over the next 24 hours.Mr O’Donnell says high tides brought by the current full moon have the potential to be even higher, causing problems on the coast.“So be prepared,” he said.  BATTEN DOWN THE HATCHES: STORM WITH 110KMH WINDS BATTER DONEGAL was last modified: January 26th, 2013 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:BATTEN DOWN THE HATCHES: STORM WITH 110KMH WINDS BATTER DONEGALDonegal Dailydonegal weatherlast_img read more

DONEGAL MAN FOUND GUILTY OF CAUSING CRIMINAL DAMAGE TO EX-GIRLFRIEND’S FACEBOOK PAGE

first_imgA Donegal man who caused criminal damage to his ex-girlfriend’s Facebook page after he admitted posting an offensive “status update” on it has been given a suspended jail sentence.The man caused criminal damage on his ex-partner’s Facebook page.The 30-year -old was acquitted last month of raping and falsely imprisoning the woman in her home on the same date. It is the first prosecution for criminal damage to a social media account.The man, who avoided a jail term, was charged under the Criminal Damage Act 1991 which carries a maximum penalty of ten years in prison and a €10,000 fine.The Irish Examiner reported how Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan asked how he was supposed to assess the damage if nothing had physically been broken.Counsel for the Director of Public Prosecutions replied that the offence had more in common with harassment than criminal damage and that the harm was reputational rather than monetary.The judge noted there was no relevant precedence to guide him in sentencing.Justice Sheehan called it a reprehensible offence which seriously damaged the woman’s good name but said that “fortunately” the status was quickly was spotted and taken down.He said that a financial penalty was the most appropriate and imposed a €2000 fine.The man, who cannot be named because of the rape charge, pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to criminal damage on April 6, 2011. He had pleaded not guilty to falsely imprisoning and raping the woman at her Donegal home in the early hours of April 6, 2011.At a sentencing hearing today the court heard that the woman had remained friends with the man after their relationship ended in January 2011.A local garda told prosecuting counsel Sean Gillane SC that in the early hours of April 6, 2011, the accused went to her house to confront her over a perceived infidelity. When the accused later left the house, the woman noticed that he had taken her phone.He went through her text messages which confirmed to him that she was in a new relationship. He then logged into her Facebook from her phone and posted a “status update” in her name stating that she was “a whore” who would take “any offers.”The man was arrested shortly after. He admitted making the post and said it was because he was angry about the woman’s new partner.Defence counsel Isobel Kennedy SC said “they were the actions of a man scorned” and that he had been drinking beforehand. She said that this doesn’t excuse what he did but might help explain it.Counsel said his guilty plea was very helpful to the gardaí, particularly because no one from Facebook had given a statement and no one was ever likely to.Ms Kennedy said her client now has a new partner who was supporting him in court along with his parents. She said he has also secured a new job.She submitted that he made “full and frank” admissions to gardaí and is very remorseful. She asked Mr Justice Sheehan to mark the case by imposing a suspended sentence.DONEGAL MAN FOUND GUILTY OF CAUSING CRIMINAL DAMAGE TO EX-GIRLFRIEND’S FACEBOOK PAGE was last modified: July 1st, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:courtdonegalFacebookjailrapelast_img read more

49ers RB Matt Breida, WR Pierre Garcon sustain injuries

first_imgSANTA CLARA — Running back Matt Breida and wide receiver Pierre Garcon exited with first-quarter injuries Sunday to further deplete a 49ers offense that lost Jimmy Garoppolo and Jerick McKinnon to ACL tears last month.Breida sustained an ankle injury on the final play of the first quarter and did not return, although he wasn’t ruled out until after halftime.One series earlier, Garcon left with a left-shoulder injury, and Garcon actually headed to the locker room with doctors when Breida got …last_img read more

Tangled String: Cosmology on the Brink

first_imgThe February cover of Astronomy Magazine poses an intriguing question: “What if string theory is wrong?”  Maybe you are unfamiliar with string theory.  Writer Sten Odenwald is not talking about violins or balls of string, but about the current leading theory of fundamental physics.  “Superstring theory,” Odenwald explains, “is based on three ideas that remain experimentally unproven after 30 years of research: the principle of supersymmetry, additional spatial dimensions, and gravity as a force defined by the exchange of quantum particles.”    You don’t need to understand these three ideas in depth other than to know they are extremely weird.  They envision exotic particles like selectrons and squarks, and physical dimensions and universes we could never know except by mathematical inference.  Yet this theory is the leading candidate in an attempt to unify the forces of nature and give a physical explanation for why the universe is the way it is.  It seems strange that scientists would cling to a theory that has no experimental support.  Odenwald mentions that the Steady-State Cosmology held sway for some 30 years before collapsing.  Is string theory, of comparable age, also on the brink?    Odenwald is not predicting an impending collapse, nor are most cosmologists.  But he does ask what would happen to physics and cosmology if it turns out string theory is wrong.  Here’s where the consequences are astronomical:Without superstring theory, we’d lose the intriguing philosophical appeal for the multiverse, with its infinite and eternal creativity in spawning new universes.  We’d have no mathematics for spanning the gap between everyday physics and the high energies where quantum gravity operates.  The road to creating a quantum description of gravity will be a murky one.    More immediately, dark matter and dark energy would remain imponderable enigmas, shorn of any clues about where they come from.  Astronomers can live without knowing the quantum properties of gravity.  But to learn that 96 percent of the cosmos is unknowable would be a bitter pill for astronomers to swallow.    It would be even worse for physicists.  Without a logical framework in which to pose and answer questions, our inquiries into the fundamental aspects of the physical world would devolve into semantic quibbles.Mathematical knowledge gained from string theory has advanced so far since the 1970s, no one is envisioning a return.  Odenwald reminds readers also that general relativity had a rough time gaining experimental support at first.  Still, he leaves it as an open question whether string theory will survive middle age.  It’s “sobering to realize what we stand to lose if physics’ best bet proves to be a complete dead end.”Something is terribly wrong with a theory that cannot make predictions that are experimentally verifiable, posits imponderable substances, and envisions multiple universes we can never know, just to keep the universe eternal.  Earlier scientists were ridiculed for appealing to imponderable substances like caloric and phlogiston.  Those were tame compared to today’s dark matter and dark energy, extra dimensions, and multiple universes.  Cosmologists claim their imponderables make up the vast bulk of reality, such that we inhabit a tiny fraction of what “must” exist.    But why must these imponderables exist? (see PhysOrg.com for an alternative view).  Odenwald says, “In some respects, a world without superstring theory isn’t so bad.  The standard model and ordinary general relativity hold all astronomers need to describe accurately most of the phenomena they study, from galaxy evolution and supernova detonations, to the extreme physics of neutron stars and black holes.”  OK, so why not leave well enough alone?  Richard Feynman said, “Perhaps it is difficult for physicists to unify gravity with the other forces because nature never intended for them to be unified in the first place.”    Two motivations may be driving the superstring craze.  One is the desire for a theory to be elegant.  Cosmologists have found many laws that are simple and elegant, allowing a wide variety of phenomena to be expressed in simple equations.  Well, that’s great, but does nature owe us an obligation to dress according to our style?  This is an example of a metaphysical paradigm as the controversial philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn described it.  It’s a way of doing science that the guild of scientists agrees on.  Philosopher J. P. Moreland calls this a second-order theory change – not just a change of one theory with another one, but a change in what scientists value in a theory.  Scientists used to think of their craft as the art of verifying natural phenomena by experimentation.  If we are changing the rules now, such that a theory must be elegant, then we are on a different track entirely.  A scientist remains on good terms with the guild if he comes up with theories that are elegant, even if they have no connection with reality.  What if, however, reality turns out to be very inelegant in this arena?  What if we are stuck with an ugly theoretical mess?  What if no amount of mathematical modeling will reduce all the forces to a unified set of equations?  A man spoke into the sky, “Universe, I exist!” to which the universe responded, “But that fact places on me no sense of obligation.”    The second motivation driving the superstring craze is the desire to escape intelligent design (11/27/2006).  The fine-tuning of the laws of physics for our existence has been studied now for well over 60 years.  There’s no escaping the anthropic principle (08/11/2006).  If the laws and constants of physics were not what they are, we could not be here to study them.  Theists have a ready answer for this.  The God who spoke the universe and its laws into existence formed it to be inhabited (Isaiah 45:18).  That cosmologists would escape into multiple universes to avoid the obvious is a measure of extreme desperation.    Where did this desperation come from?  Think back to the late 19th century, when Darwinism was on the rise.  Various social, political, economic and philosophical trends were moving away from natural theology and toward philosophical materialism.  The Myth of Progress was the “in” thing.  Materialists such as Tyndall and Huxley inculcated a third-order theory change: a change in what constitutes science itself.  There were two sides to this theory change: an exclusion, and an inclusion.  Moreland explains that Darwinism was an attempt to exclude theology from science.  As a consequence, this led to the inclusion of storytelling.This is commonly stated that appeals to miracles and the supernatural are no longer permissible in science.  OK, define miracle.  Is it a one-time event, with no known cause?  Is it a completely unpredictable circumstance?  What is supernatural?  Does it involve imponderable entities beyond the range of human experience?  Undoubtedly the materialist is thinking of angels dancing on the head of a pin, but let’s ask some interesting questions.  Was the big bang a miracle?  Are extra dimensions beyond experience supernatural?  In what way do extra universes differ from the supernatural, if they can never cross into our experience?  At least God interacts with the world and with human beings, but the materialists are invoking alternate realities that can never be known by scientific investigation.    Ask the question also whether intelligence is a legitimate subject for scientific inquiry.  Is information an imponderable substance?  Is it really possible to reduce intelligence and information to atoms?  If we deal with information on a daily basis (as in fact, your intelligence is right now pondering the semantics of this information you are reading), why should not science be able to investigate information and its causes?  These examples show that the issues are more nuanced than often described in the either-or dichotomy of natural vs. supernatural.  See also the 05/11/2006 entry with its question, “Is our universe natural?”Since appeals to design have been ruled out of bounds, today’s cosmologists are forced into speculating about how material objects created worlds of exquisite design and complexity without help from a Mind.  It’s not that science must be defined this way.  The purveyors of this third-order theory change won a strategic battle in academia.  As a result, cosmologists are stuck with material particles and efficient causes as their only explanatory resources – even if such limitations lead to absurdities.    The founders of science would be shocked to see modern cosmologists auditioning for the theater of the absurd.  It’s one thing to discover the absurd, but quite another to stay there.  Arthur C. Clarke once said that the only way to find out the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible.  OK, fine.  Now that cosmologists have tested that boundary, will they be prepared to retreat, and escape back to reality?  Watch them.  If they jump off the cliff, they weren’t really scientists.  They weren’t really interested in following the evidence wherever it leads, but rather in fulfilling their own selfish desires in the futility of their own imaginations (01/17/2006).(Visited 26 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Swaziland to wipe out malaria

first_imgThe female Anopheles minimus mosquitofeeding on human blood. (Image:Centres for Disease Control & Prevention) A mosquito net treated with insecticide.The nets can withstand occasional washing.(Image: Syngenta AG) A child holds a mosquito net, given tohim during a Red Cross vaccination drivein Togo. (Image: Red Cross) The Olyset net factory in Arusha, Tanzania,opened in February 2008 and has createdthousands of new jobs.(Image: Roll Back Malaria partnership)Janine ErasmusHealth experts predict that Swaziland will soon be the second country in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to eradicate malaria, following the example set by Mauritius. The country will be certified malaria-free by the World Health Organisation (WHO) if no cases occur for three consecutive years, and will be issued with a certificate of elimination by the WHO.One of the scourges of the temperate areas of Africa and other global regions, malaria kills a child under the age of five every 30 seconds, and more than a million people worldwide succumb annually to the disease – which is both preventable and curable. Most of the victims, 90% of them, are in sub-Saharan Africa, and pregnant women are especially vulnerable.Every year, says the WHO, more than 500-million people become severely ill with malaria, again the majority of them in Africa, although certain parts of Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Europe are also affected.In South Africa, malaria occurs in low-lying areas of Mpumalanga and the Northern Province as well as the north-eastern parts of KwaZulu-Natal. About 10% of South Africans live in malaria risk areas.Reversing the spread of malariaIn 2007 five people died of malaria in Swaziland. The country is one of six SADC member countries named in the organisation’s strategic plan against malaria in the region. In terms of the strategic plan these countries, which include Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, and Swaziland, have the potential to be free of malaria by 2015. This is the target set by the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals against world poverty, one of which is the complete halt of malaria’s spread and its reversal, along with HIV, tuberculosis, and other major diseases.After a resurgence of malaria in Mauritius following a calm period, the country has been declared malaria-free by the World Health Organisation as the last reported case appeared in 1997. Mauritius has thus achieved one of its Millennium Development Goals.The eradication of malaria in the SADC region is important for many economic sectors, especially tourism, because visitors from non-malarial areas are particularly vulnerable to the disease, having had no exposure to it. Therefore fear of contracting malaria curtails tourism as well as the establishment by foreign companies of local offices.The SADC Malaria Strategic Plan was launched in Zimbabwe in 2001 and lays out a comprehensive and co-ordinated programme to eradicate malaria in the region. The plan aims to reduce malaria deaths by half by the end of 2010 and calls for concerted action from community right up to regional level. The development of a regional epidemic forecasting system in collaboration with national meteorological services is also in progress.SADC is assisted in this goal by such bodies as the Southern African Malaria Elimination Support Team, the WHO, the United Nations Children’s Fund, and the Southern African Regional Network of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, which was established in November 2007 in Zimbabwe.Another strategy, the Lubombo Spatial Development Initiative, has been lauded internationally and has been described as possibly the best anti-malaria programme in the world. The initiative is a regional collaboration between Swaziland, Mozambique and KwaZulu-Natal province. It was launched in 1999 by Swaziland’s King Mswati III, former South African president Thabo Mbeki and the late president Joachim Chissano of Mozambique.The Lubombo anti-malaria programme has had many beneficial effects, among them a significant decrease in malaria outbreaks, a corresponding increase in malaria control capacity, positive spin-offs for tourism, and the creation of a regional malaria monitoring system.A global effortSwaziland is one of a number of countries to receive grants from the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and has managed to cut the number of reported cases from 45 000 in 2000 to less than 10 000 in 2007 through its malaria elimination programme.The WHO says that from 2004 to 2006 Africa had a larger increase in funding than any other region, mostly through investments from the Global Fund as well as from bilateral and multilateral organisations, and national governments.In September 2008 the Global Fund announced that it has requested approval from its board of directors for an additional R17-billion ($1.62-billion) over the next two years for its malaria programmes. If granted, says the Global Fund, by 2010 it will be able to give a bed net to every single person at risk. In addition to the 59-million bed nets the organisation has already distributed, the new funding would allow for an additional 100 million nets to be distributed.Swaziland is channelling the latest Global Fund grant through its governmental National Malaria Control Programme, and will now be able to implement rapid diagnostic tests to eliminate delays in getting blood samples to testing facilities and patients to treatment. A rapid diagnostic test provides a diagnosis in minutes and can be used in the field.The funding will also provide for more efficient monitoring of malaria patients and the provision of better health care services in hospitals and clinics and at home, as well as the distribution of more insecticide-impregnated mosquito nets in high-malaria areas. In 2007 every home received one net for children under the age of five and one net per pregnant woman. It is the goal of the programme to supply every person in a home with their own net.Finally, the grant will enable Swaziland to introduce the advanced anti-malarial artesunate combination therapy, which kills malaria parasites quickly. The treatment is more expensive than the current chloroquine regime but recent clinical trials have shown that it is up to 90% more effective, bringing about recovery after three days, especially for the chloroquine-resistant Plasmodium falciparum.Slow but sure progressMalaria has a crippling effect on emerging economies as the high child mortality rate affects the labour force, which in poor countries is often comprised of youngsters. And the depletion of Africa’s future human resource capital will have a far-reaching effect in years to come. Other socio-economic effects include loss of productivity because of illness and potential brain damage, days lost in education, and loss of investment and tourism.According to the Abuja Declaration on Roll Back Malaria in Africa, the total economic impact of malaria costs Africa $12-billion every year. The Abuja Declaration was signed by African heads of state in Abuja, Nigeria, in 2000. It presents a concerted strategy to tackle the problem of malaria across Africa by establishing targets for the number of people having access to treatment and protective measures or, in the case of pregnant women, receiving intermittent preventive treatment.The eradication of the disease is also a priority of bodies such as the World Health Organisation. Key methods of control include use of insecticide-impregnated nets; indoor spraying to kill the insects; and prompt treatment of infections.According to the WHO’s annual world malaria report, released in September 2008, the global burden of malaria is still very heavy but the organisation found that access to malaria control interventions, particularly mosquito nets in Africa, increased sharply between 2004 and 2006, the period covered in the report.The WHO reports that in the 18 African countries where relevant information was available for 2006, the percentage of children protected by insecticide-treated nets increased from 3% in 2001 to 23% in 2006. Procurement and distribution of antimalarial medication also increased tremendously up to 2006.Preventable and curableMalaria is transmitted by infected female Anopheles mosquitoes and is caused by any one of four species of the Plasmodium parasite. Once in the human body the parasites congregate and multiply in the liver and then move out into the blood, infecting and destroying red blood cells and waiting for the next mosquito to come along.Symptoms usually include fever, shivering, headache, and vomiting, and appear between 10 and 15 days after the mosquito bite. If left untreated, malaria can be fatal because groups of infected blood cells clump together and cause blockages in blood vessels, disrupting the blood supply to the brain and other vital organs. Blood cells are also ruptured when parasites break out of them, causing severe anaemia.There are a number of preventive and control methods available. These include personal measures, such as preventing mosquitoes from entering the house or hiding indoors. Protection of humans from being bitten, whether through clothing, mosquito repellents or coils, or nets, especially treated nets, is all-important.Early diagnosis and treatment is essential to prevent parasites from multiplying in the blood and leading to a wider spread of the disease and more death. Compliance with treatment is crucial.Control of the mosquitoes themselves is an important part of any malaria control strategy, and involves the prevention of egg-laying and development of eggs into adults, as well as elimination of adult mosquitoes and protection against bites.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Janine Erasmus at janinee@mediaclubsouthafrica.com.Related storiesHealthcare in South AfricaAdventurer spreads his nets wide Research into tropical diseasesAlive & Kicking up a stormUseful linksMalaria in Southern AfricaWorld Health Organisation – malariaThe Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and MalariaRoll Back Malaria partnershipSouthern African Development CommunityMapping malaria risk in AfricaSwaziland’s health statisticsSouth African Department of Health – statisticsLubombo Spatial Development InitiativeMalaria No MoreVoices for a Malaria-Free FutureSouthern Africa malaria controllast_img read more