Changing Lives: Making Research Real

Examining a patient with drug-resistant TB. Credit:  Dominic Chavez/IPS

AFRICA: New Drugs To Speed TB Treatment

Researchers are testing a new combination of tuberculosis drugs on patients in South Africa which they are hoping will shorten the treatment term of the disease to six months.

Improved maize varieties could boost crop yields in drought-prone areas in the south of Zimbabwe.  Credit: Busani Bafana

Could Water-Efficient Maize Boost Africa’s Food Security?

As controlled field trials of a genetically modified (GM) crop are about to begin in five African countries amidst promises of improved crops grown under poor conditions, critics are charging organisations with selling out the interests of African farmers.

SumbandilaSat awaits vacuum testing shortly before its launch in 2009. Credit: Dr. Corné Eloff

SOUTH AFRICA: Satellite Preparing Scientists for New Space Industry

Though practically invisible to the naked eye, a uniquely South African satellite has been orbiting the earth for the past year, creating an archive of images and jumpstarting what its creators hope will be a space revolution in the country.

KENYA: Room to Improve on Governance

Kimani Wanyama*, a homosexual man living in Nairobi, knows what human rights violations are all about. His attempts over three years to receive treatment for reoccurring rectal gonorrhoea had resulted in verbal abuse and intense stigmatisation from the very people who were meant to help him.

ZIMBABWE: Free Maternal and Child Care Needed From Government

Mother-to-be Agnes Ncube budgets up to 100 dollars each month from her informal roadside business just so she can pay for the maternal services at her local government clinic.

Entrepreneur, Aissatou Diagne Deme

WEST AFRICA: Black-Eyed Peas Key to Economic Development

The black-eyed pea, commonly known as the cowpea, is the new kid on the block when it comes to improving the welfare of women and their families in West Africa, researchers say.

PHILIPPINES: Call Centre Boom Breeds New Culture – and Risky Behaviour

Anthony, a 22-year-old call centre agent, goes to work at 6 p.m. and finishes at around 2 a.m. But instead of going home, he heads to a bar to meet another male agent over beer, and if the late night looks promising, they spend more time together until daytime.

Senegal targets to plant one billion Jatropha Curcus plants grown using in-vitro, nursery and cuttings in the next two years. Credit: Busani Bafana/IPS

AFRICA: Can Research Strike a Balance Between Food and Fuel Crops?

While researchers and farmers are still divided on the benefits of growing crops for biofuel production as Africa grapples with food security, Senegal is steadily working to balance the growing demands for food and biofuels.

Judith Mwikali Musau is one farmer who has successfully introduced the use of grafted plants for crop and fruit harvesting. Credit: Isaiah Esipisu/IPS

AFRICA: In Search of Lasting Farming Solutions to Climate Change

In the semi-arid Laikipia district of Kenya’s Rift Valley province, research scientist Sarah Ogalleh Ayeri travels from one village to another, documenting methods used by peasant farmers as they attempt to adapt to changing climatic conditions.

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.

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