Changing Lives: Making Research Real

Progress in Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV

The number of pregnant women being tested for HIV and accessing treatment in Sub-Saharan Africa has shown significant progress – indicating that virtual elimination of mother-to-child transmission of the virus by 2015 is possible.

One of Africa

SOUTH AFRICA: Coal – A New Solution to Fuel Problems?

A new solution to power and fuel problems worldwide may be developed by using a resource long characterised as dirty and non-renewable: coal.

Jundi Hajji is concerned how his family will survive if the yellow wheat rust claims his entire harvest. Credit: Omer Redi/IPS

ETHIOPIA: New Wheat Variety to Deal with Wheat-killer Diseases

Like most farmers in Ethiopia, Jundi Hajji expected that the profit from his wheat harvest would be sufficient to feed his family of eight until next year's harvest.

Vitamin deficiencies leave children and people living with HIV particularly vulnerable to disease. Credit:  Brian Moonga/IPS

Better Nutrition On the Menu for Zambia

Eighty percent of Zambians live on less than two U.S. dollars a day, a situation that has contributed to high levels of hunger and malnutrition for a majority whose staple diet consists largely of white maize.

Brian Muriithi of Moi Avenue Primary School in Nairobi is a mathematics student.  Credit: David Njagi/IPS

KENYA: Primary School Teachers Test Poorly in Mathematics

Like many primary school teachers in Kenya, Nemwel Mokua is not coping. He has to teach at least six subjects a day, which include a mix of arts, mathematics and science.

A system used to harvest rainfall in Eastern Kenya. Credit: Isaiah Esipisu/IPS

Harvesting Water to Save Crops and Lives

Peter Kivuti, a 51-year-old farmer from Eastern Kenya, never relied on meteorological weather predictions all his life - until three years ago. It was then that rainfall in the region become less predictable.

Women collectives in Andhra Pradesh invest and earn from procuring and processing organic lentil. Credit: Manipadma Jena/IPS

INDIA: Buoyed by Growing Market, More Farmers Go Organic

He had decided to grow watermelons this summer on his one-acre (.405 hectare) plot, and so Veera Narayana went about preparing the arid red earth by first ploughing it and then lighting fires in the furrows.

A young girl from Kenya's North Eastern Province. It is a province where a high level of apathy towards girls

AFRICA: Stronger Will Needed from Governments to Save Poorest Children

"Herding goats is tough with the thirst, sun, loneliness and hunger each day. And it can last forever. You herd as a girl, then as a wife, as a pregnant woman, as a mother and even as a grandmother," says Rukia Ibrahim whose 13-year-old younger sister was married off to a herdsman.

A new survey states that 36 percent of Angolans live in poverty - a significant reduction from the former World Bank estimate of two-thirds. Credit: Louise Redvers

ANGOLA: More Mothers Survive Childbirth

As darkness falls on a cool evening in Luanda, a group of women sit huddled under threadbare blankets outside one of the city’s few maternity hospitals. "I have to be here," Paula Silva, 45, said, shivering slightly.

Aflatoxins are toxic, carcinogenic by-products of fungi that colonise maize and groundnuts, among other crops. Credit: Isaiah Esipisu/IPS

AFRICA: Woman Researcher Tackles Aflatoxin Poisoning*

Despite a bumper harvest of maize just a few months ago, many residents in the eastern part of Kenya are facing hunger and starvation. While granaries in the region may be full, the grain cannot be freely sold, let alone eaten.

Uganda hopes to improve local rice varieties to develop disease resistance and early maturity varieties as part of a wider program. Credit: Manoocher Deghati/IRIN

Uganda Could Become Regional Rice Exporter say Researchers

In a small garden at the Entebbe Botanical garden, about 40 kilometres from Kampala, a few yellowish plants are trying to adapt to their new environment.

BOTSWANA: HIV-positive Mothers Not Convinced to Exclusively Breastfeed

"An HIV-positive woman must never be encouraged to breastfeed because regardless of what the doctors or researchers say - it is too dangerous for the baby," says Koziba Kelatlhe an HIV-positive mother who was advised by health workers not to breastfeed her child.

A pastoralist Maasai shows off his mobile phone in Kenya. Credit: Neil Thomas/IRIN

AFRICA: ‘Welcome to My Taxi – Let’s Do Business with My Cellphone’

In cities across Africa, being an entrepreneur requires no office, business card or investors. All it takes is a cell phone, according to Adele Botha, a researcher at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in South Africa.

A young boy drinks water from an unclean water source. Credit: Fidelis Zvomuya

SOUTH AFRICA: ‘Tea Bag’ Filter Provides Safe Drinking Water

Though it may look like a tea bag, straining water through this recently developed filter could provide a cheap, easily replenished source of water for those who need it most.

Salim Kato escorts his wife to all her antenatal visits. Credit: Wambi Michael/IPS

UGANDA: Unfriendly Nurses and Culture Hinder Male Involvement in HIV Prevention

Irene Wangolo was advised to undergo an HIV test during her antenatal visit and to return to the clinic with her husband so they could be counselled on preventing HIV transmission to their unborn baby. But her husband refused to accompany her saying it was not his business and Wangolo never returned to the clinic in Bungokho in eastern Uganda. So she missed all the services, including the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT).

Two major fungal diseases have destroyed macadamia trees in Kenya. Credit: Kahuroa/Wikicommons

KENYA: A Bid to Save Macadamia Crops

Joseph Ndirangu Muriithi is a worried man. After watching the fall of coffee farming in Kenya a decade ago, he now fears that his other cash crop will also go into decline as a new disease preys on his macadamia trees.

Rwanda's small-scale farmers have relied on traditional seed varieties that mature after a long period and produce less output. Credit: Aimable Twahirwa/IPS

RWANDA: Improving the Lives of Small-Scale Farmers

Joelle Nsamira Kajuga, a female agricultural researcher has a ready answer to describe which modified crop will produce a higher yield, which will be resistant to bacteria, and which will ensure food security and generate a higher turnover for poor small-scale farmers in different regions in Rwanda.

Zimbabwean war veterans hold a make-shift sign directing people to their seized farm plots. Credit: Fidelis Zvomuya/IPS

SOUTHERN AFRICA: Land Reform Underfinanced and Failing

Mavis Muchena sits on the veranda of her mud hut, a middle-aged single mother of four with a face worn beyond her years and hands creased from working the soil. She should represent the future of a renewed farming boom in Zimbabwe, but instead she represents its failure.

Despite opposition to genetic engineering, a transgenic banana could be what Africa needs. Credit: Busani Bafana/IPS

AFRICA: Modified Banana Could Cure Deadly Disease

An innovation by researchers in Nigeria could be a cure for the devastating Banana Xanthomonas Wilt (BXW) - responsible for annual losses in excess of 500 million dollars of crop across East and Central Africa. But it has also fuelled debate on the genetic engineering of crops in Africa.

An endangered snow leopard devours its prey. Credit: Project Snow Leopard

PAKISTAN: Endangered Snow Leopard Clawing Its Way Back

For more than 10 years, Shafqat Hussain has been on the trail of the endangered snow leopard. He has heard the beast’s growl, and has seen its pugmarks against a snowy track. But his dream, of coming eye-to-eye with the elusive nocturnal feline, remains unfulfilled. "If you’ve seen the cat, you’ve seen the Holy Grail," says Hussain.

The health of South Africa

SOUTH AFRICA: “Children are Dying Needlessly”

By the time Thandi Khumalo* brought her seven-month-old daughter to the Red Cross Children’s Hospital in Cape Town, help came too late. The infant had developed acute diarrhoea and kwashiorkor, a condition caused by severe protein and calorie deficiency, and died a few days after being admitted.

« Previous PageNext Page »