South Africa detects two imported cholera cases – Newstrends
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South Africa detects two imported cholera cases

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Sanitarians disinfect themselves after working at Bwaila Hospital in Lilongwe, Malawi. - PENG LIJUN / XINHUA NEWS / CONTACTOPHOTO

South Africa has called for vigilance on the part of the country’s citizens after health authorities confirmed two imported cases of cholera.

The South African Ministry of Health, Joe Phaahla, explained that the two cases are sisters who had traveled to Malawi to attend a funeral. In addition, several family members are reported to have symptoms compatible with the disease and are being investigated in laboratories.

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Also, the South African government, which has urged people to ensure proper hygiene, as well as the use of safe or disinfected water or the complete disposal of excreta, has maintained that it is working in “close collaboration” with local authorities, the National Institute of Communicable Diseases and the World Health Organization to closely monitor the situation.

On the other hand, the Health Minister recalled that cholera is not an endemic disease in the country, informing that the last outbreak, imported from Zimbabwe, took place in 2008-2009, when the country recorded 12,000 cases.

Malawi is facing a cholera outbreak declared in March last year that has left more than 1,200 dead in the country, according to the most recent data from the Ministry of Health. The Malawian Executive has imposed and lifted several measures over the past few months, including the closure of schools in some of the country’s cities.

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Why 600,000 Kenyans stopped using mobile money in 2023 – Statistics bureau

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Why 600,000 Kenyans stopped using mobile money in 2023 – Statistics bureau

The number of Kenyans using mobile money services dropped by 600,000 in the year ending December 2023, according to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS). The KNBS Economic Survey Report 2024 showed a significant decrease from 38.6 million users in 2022 to 38 million users in 2023, attributing the decline to factors such as taxation and cybercrime.

This represented a 1.7% drop in mobile money subscriptions. The report indicated that cybercrime activities more than doubled, from 700 million incidents in 2022 to 1.7 billion in 2023, due to system vulnerabilities.

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Tech expert Moses Kemibaro noted that cybercrime is a major factor driving the decline in mobile money subscriptions. “In line with global trends, it’s only going to escalate going forward. Individuals and organisations are always at risk and need to be proactive in protecting themselves from cyber threats,” said Kemibaro.

The Finance Act 2023 increased the excise duty on mobile money transfer services from 12% to 15%, leading Safaricom to raise its service charges. Other providers, including Airtel and Telkom Kenya, followed suit. The Finance Bill 2024 proposes further increases in excise duty on money transfer services, which could raise the cost of financial services even more.

Why 600,000 Kenyans stopped using mobile money in 2023 – Statistics bureau

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Nine child workers die in Egypt as bus plunges into the Nile

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Nine child workers die in Egypt as bus plunges into the Nile

At least 10 female farm workers, nine of them children, died in Egypt on Tuesday when a minibus plunged off a river ferry and into the Nile northwest of Cairo, the health ministry said.

“The toll is at 10 and could rise,” ministry spokesman Hossam Abdelghaffar told AFP.

Reporting the accident, the state’s flagship Al-Ahram newspaper said the driver, who had released the handbrake, was arrested while trying to flee.

He had “a verbal argument” with one of the passengers before getting out of the bus, the paper said.

Two of the victims — all of whom worked on an “export-oriented fruit farm” — were 13 years old, according to a list published by Al-Ahram.

The rest were 16 and younger, except for one victim who was identified as a 40-year old woman.

The vehicle sank at the village of Abu Ghalib, some 50 kilometres (31 miles) northwest of the capital.

Villagers used small wooden boats to row out and help search-and-rescue workers look for survivors, as relatives waited anxiously on the banks of the narrow stretch of the Nile.

A crane was finally able to lift the minibus from the water, after rescuers and locals had swum out to extract victims from the windows of the submerged vehicle.

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Nine injured passengers — most of them also minors, according to al-Ahram’s list — were taken to nearby hospitals for treatment, the health ministry said in a statement.

A search operation was “ongoing” into the evening for five more passengers who were unaccounted for, Al-Ahram said.

The ministry of social solidarity said it would provide financial compensation “to the families of the deceased and injured”.

After carrying out an initial investigation at the scene, the public prosecutor’s office ordered a technical inspection of the minibus to try to determine “the reasons it had plunged into the water”, Al-Ahram reported.

Commuter accidents are common in Egypt, especially in agricultural areas along the Nile and adjoining streams, where small, overloaded boats ferry farmers and workers back and forth.

At least 1.3 million children are engaged in some form of child labour in the Arab world’s most populous nation, official figures show.

Most do unpaid work on family farms, according to the International Labour Organization.

However, children are also frequently sent to work on large-scale export-oriented farms, according to rural sociologist Saker al-Nour, who has studied agricultural labour conditions extensively.

“These accidents happen repeatedly because girls are packed, in their own words, like sardines into these minibuses” to go and work in “terrible conditions”, he told AFP.

Nine child workers die in Egypt as bus plunges into the Nile

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Seven Soldiers, several terrorists killed in Niger Republic clash

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Nigerian military Troops

Seven Soldiers, several terrorists killed in Niger Republic clash

The Niger Republic’s military government reported on Tuesday that seven soldiers and dozens of terrorists were killed in recent clashes in the Tillaberi region, an area troubled by insurgents linked to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State. The defence ministry stated that suspected jihadists attacked a military position in Boni, near the Burkina Faso border, on Monday.

In addition to the fatalities, two individuals, including a civilian, were wounded in the attack, according to a statement read on state television. The statement noted that “several dozen terrorists” were neutralized and their transportation means destroyed.

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Defence Minister General Salifou Modi assured the public of the defence and security forces’ “unwavering determination” to combat the terrorist threat. Tillaberi is part of the “three borders” region between Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso, which has been a hotspot for insurgent attacks despite significant anti-jihadist force deployments.

This recent incident follows a terrorist ambush in August between Boni and Torodi, which resulted in the deaths of seventeen Nigerien soldiers.

The Niger Republic has been under military rule since a July 2023 coup, justified by the leaders as a response to the deteriorating security situation. In addition to the threats from Al-Qaeda and Islamic State-linked groups, the Niamey regime also contends with violence from Boko Haram and the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) in the southeastern region of Diffa, near Nigeria.

Seven Soldiers, several terrorists killed in Niger Republic clash

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