Stepping Over the Dead on a Migrant Boat – The New York Times


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It began with blips on a radar screen, 12 miles off the Libyan coast. As the rescuers approached, they found overloaded wooden vessels and rafts that evoked scenes of the slave trade.

Credit Aris Messinis/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Aris Messinis, an Agence France-Presse photographer aboard the rescue boat Astral, said it was like nothing he had ever seen.

The passengers — from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Nigeria and other sub-Saharan countries — were found by the Astral on Tuesday, part of a wave of more than 11,000 rescued in the Mediterranean by aid groups and the Italian Coast Guard this week.

Migrants aboard a large wooden boat, which may have held 1,000 people — roughly five times its capacity — waited frantically for help. Some jumped into the water.


via Stepping Over the Dead on a Migrant Boat – The New York Times

Abandoned girl bravely battles kidney ailment – Daily Nation

A six-year-old child has been battling a chronic kidney disease at Kenyatta National Hospital for nearly two years after her mother abandoned her at the facility.

Everlyne Akoth was diagnosed with nephrotic syndrome and admitted to KNH on December 7, 2014, when she was four years old.

She requires daily dialysis as she awaits a kidney transplant.

However, according to the nurses, the transplant might not happen as her young mother fled after she realised her daughter had a chronic disease, which comes with huge cost implications.

Renal nurse Abijah Kiriba says: “Her uncle and grandmother would come to stay with her then they all left because the condition was too much for them. We understand her mother went back to Homa Bay County and has another child.”

She added: “Her grandfather is in Kibera but he said he is ailing and too frail to take care of Everlyne. Since then, we have been with her here.”

Ms Kiriba said the hospital has tried to speak to the family on modalities of having Eva, as they fondly refer to her, to get a transplant.

via Abandoned girl bravely battles kidney ailment – Daily Nation

Climate change health risks will hit the poor hardest – so what can be done?

Discussions about climate change and the effects it will have on public health and the global burden of disease have been long in the making. These consequences are now starting to come to fore.

Several examples have recently played out. For example, in Russia, an anthrax outbreak in the remote region of Siberia meant that nomadic communities and thousands of reindeer were affected. The outbreak was due to the bodies of infected people buried in 1941 defrosting and releasing anthrax spores into the water system as the permafrost defrosts with global warming.

Closer to home, prisoners are starving in Malawian jails and suffering from acute severe malnutrition as a result of food shortages due to erratic climate conditions from both droughts and floods. Malawi has since declared a state of national disaster.

These unanticipated public health consequences of unsustainable development reminds the world that the issues are not in the distant future, but instead face us now.

via Climate change health risks will hit the poor hardest – so what can be done?

BBC: The man hired to have sex with children


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In some remote southern regions of Malawi, it’s traditional for girls to be made to have sex with a paid sex worker known as a “hyena” once they reach puberty. The act is not seen by village elders as rape, but as a form of ritual “cleansing”.

I put it to them that there’s a much greater risk that these “cleansings” will themselves spread disease. According to custom, sex with the hyena must never be protected with the use of condoms. But they say a hyena is hand-picked for his good morals, and therefore cannot be infected with HIV/Aids.

It’s clear, given the hyena’s duties, that HIV is a huge risk to the community. The UN estimates that one in 10 of all Malawians carry the virus, so I ask Aniva if he is HIV-positive. He astounds me by saying that he is – and that he doesn’t mention this to a girl’s parents when they hire him.


Listen here:


I almost chopped off my identity along with my hair – Daily Nation

I have a 6-month old Afro that I am totally in love with, but that is not how the relationship started. A few minutes after my sister chopped off my beloved tresses upon my instructions, I almost went into a panic attack on seeing the short tufts of copper-brown hair left on my head.

I had long relaxed hair for a decade now, and within minutes all that was gone!

What prompted it, you may ask?

via HAIRY CHRONICLES: I almost chopped off my identity along with my hair – Daily Nation