APO News from Africa:
Distributed by APO on behalf of The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany – Windhoek.
Members of the media are invited to a media briefing that will be hosted by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies and Deputy Minister, Mr Bulelani Magwanishe before their address to the National Assembly on the Department of Trade and Industry’s (the dti) Budget Vote.
DATE: Tuesday, 23 May 2017
VENUE: Imbizo Centre, Parliament, Cape Town
There will be a video link to GCIS, Tshedimosetso House, corner Francis Baard and Festival Street, Hatfield, Pretoria
Minister Davies and Deputy Minister Magwanishe will reflect on key achievements of the dti and outline the department’s Programme of Action this financial year. Further announcements on the Black Industrialists programme as well as on new incentives are expected to be made. After the media briefing, Minister Davies and Deputy Minister Magwanishe will address the National Assembly on the dti Budget Vote before it is debated by Parliamentarians.
RSVPs should be sent to Mamosa Dikeledi on 012 394 1680/076 023 4170 or MDikeledi@thedti.gov.za.
Distributed by APO on behalf of The Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa.
- #MakingSchistory: A giant worm in the Humboldthafen, Berlin, represents the parasitic worm of schistosomiasis that causes suffering to millions around the world. Its impact is second only to malaria.
To bring the devastating disease, schistosomiasis, to the attention of Health Ministers worldwide, the Global Schistosomiasis Alliance (GSA) (www.EliminateSchisto.org) has positioned the #MakingSchistory worm at the Humboldthafen in Berlin, Germany. The 25m inflatable structure represents the parasitic worm of schistosomiasis that causes significant suffering and death. The ‘wormzilla’ reveal coincides with the B20 Health Conference which takes place ahead of the G20 Health Ministers meeting, and will see health organizations from across the world come together to demand action on global health issues, including neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) such as schistosomiasis.
The GSA has also published a report today, The people #MakingSchistory: The global fight against schistosomiasis, which shares stories from people across the world who are working tirelessly to consign schistosomiasis to history. Included in the report are personal accounts from renowned scientists, such as Professor Alan Fenwick, to on the ground health workers who fight the disease every day.
“Schistosomiasis is the biggest killer you’ve probably never heard of, and that’s the problem. We want to bring the suffering that this disease causes to the attention of the G20 Health Ministers and the B20 Community in the hope that more awareness will lead to greater action. Our newly launched report tells the story of those closely involved in the fight to eliminate schistosomiasis. We hear about the real issues faced by the courageous people – public health officials, doctors, researchers, donors and organization leaders – who are driving positive change for those vulnerable to the disease,” said Dr Johannes Waltz, Director, Global Schistosomiasis Alliance.
The call for more global action to tackle schistosomiasis has been put into focus this year as the Merck-World Health Organization medicine donation program marks its tenth year. This program provides free praziquantel to children in Africa. To date more than 100 million children have been treated.
“In order to break the cycle of suffering and misery caused by schistosomiasis we must continue to improve on the incredible progress made over the last 10 years. We can eliminate schistosomiasis if we ensure that young children and adults at risk of the disease are fully protected and avoid the serious consequences of infection. The first step towards elimination is being achieved by free treatment, and the next step will be providing clean water and sanitation to those in vulnerable communities,” said David Rollinson, Director of WHO Collaborating Centre on Schistosomiasis, Natural History Museum, London
Schistosomiasis kills 280,000 people every year in Africa alone. People can become infected with schistosomiasis when they come into contact with contaminated water while washing, playing or working. Infection is especially high in children and can cause anemia, stomach pain and swelling, diarrhea and bladder cancer, as well as holding back their cognitive development and growth.
Distributed by APO on behalf of Global Schistosomiasis Alliance (GSA).
Dr Anouk Gouvras
The #MakingSchistory campaign acknowledges the great steps taken in moving towards elimination of schistosomiasis, while recognizing the need for stronger concerted efforts to keep fighting this dreadful infection until it is wiped out. As part of the #MakingSchistory campaign, the GSA has produced a report sharing real stories of the people involved in the fight to eliminate schistosomiasis – ‘The people #MakingSchistory’.
More information about the campaign can be found at: www.MakingSchistory.com.
Schistosomiasis is a deadly tropical disease, caused by parasitic worms that live in freshwater. Freshwater snails carrying the parasite release swimming larvae that travel through the water until they come into contact with an individual and penetrate the skin. Inside the body, the larvae develop into worms which release eggs; some of these eggs then pass out of the body in urine and stools and some eggs remain trapped in the body, causing sickness and damage to organs.
To eliminate schistosomiasis four critical factors are fundamental:
• Vector control – Measures to remove snails that spread schistosome worms
• WASH – Water, Sanitation and Hygiene: facilities for adequate hygiene
• Education – Awareness to prevent transmission and re-infection
• Treatment – Access to praziquantel in the communities that need it
About the GSA:
The GSA is an international coalition which brings together key partner organizations from governments, international organizations, leading health NGOs, academia, and the private sector, involved in the battle against schistosomiasis.
GSA members include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative, World Vision and the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases, among others. More information about the GSA can be found online at www.EliminateSchisto.org.
- Image: #MakingSchistory: Wormzilla makes a splash in Berlin