Elephantiasis linked to volcanic soils found in Uganda

By Esther Nakkazi [KAMPALA] A surge in elephantiasis in Uganda is being linked to people walking barefoot on volcanic soils which contain tiny, sharp mineral crystals that penetrated the feet, a study says. Elephantiasis is a neglected tropical disease (NTD) caused mainly by parasitic thread-like worm called Wuchereria bancrofti, resulting in painful swelling of arms …

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Reliable weather data affect farmers’ yields

By Alex Abutu [ABUJA, NIGERIA] A project that started in 2012 is helping smallholders in 17 African nations obtain reliable and accurate weather data to increase crop yields. Lack of reliable weather information in most parts of Africa is making many households lose from agriculture, experts say. The Trans-African Hydro-Meteorological Observatory (TAHMO) project was started …

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Entrepreneurs trained to reduce high maternal deaths

By Ochieng’ Ogodo, Sam Otieno [NAIROBI] Scaling up low-cost technological innovations and incorporating business model into healthcare could help cut maternal and child deaths in Sub-Saharan Africa, experts say. According to World Health Organisation, Sub-Saharan Africa alone accounted for 66 per cent of global maternal deaths in 2015. At a meeting of the General Electric …

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African researchers to combat climate change

By Samuel Hinneh [ACCRA] A programme is building the capacity of African researchers to understand climate change impacts and develop evidence-based solutions to help policymakers tackle climate change challenges. The Climate Impact Research Capacity and Leadership Enhancement (CIRCLE) fellowship – an initiative by the African Academy of Sciences and Association of Commonwealth Universities – seeks …

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Unlocking the potential of papyrus wetlands in Africa

Michael Jones, Trinity College Dublin and Matthew Saunders, Trinity College Dublin Most households in tropical sub-Saharan Africa – over 80% – use some form of biomass, such as charcoal or wood as their primary source of energy, mainly for cooking. They source this biofuel from scrublands, savannahs and forests. Wood is the main source of …

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