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