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PREVENTING HIV MOTHER-TO-CHILD TRANSMISSION
By Betty Muriuki*
Mother-to-child transmission is the second most common cause of HIV transmission in Tanzania. Without intervention, a third of HIV-positive women would transfer the infection to their babies. Although 80 per cent of health facilities in Tanzania have services for prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV, many challenges limit effective usage.
Tanzania's escalating HIV epidemic is contributing to the country’s health crisis, as well as high maternal death rates and severe health worker shortages. Amref Health Africa empowers communities and supporting the government at all levels to identify and address major health needs. We have tested half a million people for HIV in a programme that has been adopted and scaled up by the government. More than 2.2 million people are living with HIV/AIDS in Tanzania and an estimated 2 million children have been orphaned as a result of the disease. Malaria is one of the biggest killers in Tanzania and accounts for the deaths of 80,000 children under-five every year. Tanzania has one of the highest adolescent pregnancy rates in the world. In extreme cases gender-based violence, sexual abuse and female genital mutilation becomes the norm.
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INTWASA FESTIVAL IN BULAWAYO
The annual arts jamboree, Intwasa Arts Festival koBulawayo, is expected to run from September 23 to 27 under the theme "Unforgettable".
This year's arts fiesta is a special one as the festival celebrates its 10th anniversary.
Starting in 2005 as a community initiative, Intwasa has grown to become an important event on the Zimbabwean arts calendar that celebrates human diversity and creativity.
Festival director, Raisedon Baya has promised an unforgettable festival, with over 40 events spanning music, dance, theatre, spoken word, literary arts, visual arts and crafts set to be staged at different venues throughout the city.
"The 10th edition of Intwasa Arts Festival koBulawayo shall embrace and celebrate the different cultures and forms expressions found in Zimbabwe, Africa and the world at large.
The timing of Intwasa is meant to coincide with the Inxwala and Umthontiso that were common features in Mzilikazi's Ndebele Kingdom.
Since inception, Intwasa has hosted regional and international artists from Botswana, Swaziland, South Africa, United States of America, United Kingdom Sierra Leone, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Wales and Zambia.
DUTCH GOVT: NIGERIAN ECONOMY OFFERS OPPORTUNITIES
The Nigerian economy, Africa’s biggest, is making an effort to diversify from oil, notably by promoting manufacturing and agriculture. Together with the presence of West Africa’s biggest port and with the country’s over 170 million inhabitants, this offers opportunities for Dutch companies and knowledge institutions.
Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Lilianne Ploumen made this conclusion after her three-day visit to Nigeria with a trade delegation made up of 35 Dutch companies.
*L-R: Nigeria Ambassador to Netherlands, Dr. (Mrs.) Nimota Akanbi, Minister Olusegun Aganga, Minister Lilianne Ploumen
‘The dollars that are earned from oil only trickle down in dribs and drabs to poor Nigerians,’ said Ms Ploumen. ‘Other industries need to be built up to create growth that benefits everyone. Dutch companies can contribute in the fields of agri-food, health care and maritime logistics. There’s opportunities for Dutch companies in Africa’s biggest economy.’
Lilianne Ploumen: ‘During my talk with my Nigerian counterpart Olusegun Aganga, it became clear that Nigeria has a lot to offer Dutch entrepreneurs.’
However, doing business in Nigeria does involve challenges. Companies have to contend with corruption, poor infrastructure and inadequate financial services. ‘We can’t eliminate all the difficulties, I’m afraid.’
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By A.G. Kleijweg
Dear TAB Readers,
With matters of immigration law, it is not always bad news; sometimes I can bring good news to the readers’ attention. In this article, I bring to your attention few important issues. Some are good news while others are only informative or warning.
Few of the other articles in this edition