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Crime and (no) punishment: Why Africa’s ports are vulnerable to counterfeit COVID vaccines

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Africa’s ports are vulnerable to crime and corruption. Now they’re set to be the main thoroughfare for COVID vaccines entering the continent. Here’s why we need a better strategy to curb potential counterfeits coming through.

[EXCLUSIVE] Little vials, big crime: Criminals primed for onslaught on Africa’s vaccines

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COVID vaccines have become one of the most sought after commodities in the world, but manufacturers simply can’t produce enough jabs for everyone who needs them. Bhekisisa investigates what this means for the emergence of a vaccine black market, as well as vaccine theft and falsification.

South Africa is ‘extremely unlikely’ to have COVID vaccine results before next year

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One of South Africa’s three COVID-19 vaccine trials was recently put on hold after a participant in the United Kingdom developed an unexplained illness....

‘I had to kill so many people’: The battle to protect children in conflicts

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25,000 grave violations were committed against children in conflict in 2019, says the UN, which hopes to highlight issue with new international day.
Epidemiology 101: free online course for Africa-based journalists

Want to do a crash course in epidemiology? Here you go

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The COVID-19 crisis has changed a lot about the world — including the scientific knowledge production process. This free course gives journalists the tools...

‘No bed for people like me’: When the old are left to die

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Despite clear evidence they are most at risk, older people are seen as dispensable as younger patients are prioritised in the fight against COVID-19...

Seizures of illicit chloroquine skyrocket during COVID-19 outbreak — Interpol

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With substandard medicines already in wide circulation, fears are growing that coronavirus could create a lethal ‘parallel crisis’. When Joana Opoku-Darko’s daughter Anna was 18...

Africa’s COVID-19 coronavirus research must be tailored to its realities – by its own...

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Trust is essential in the pandemic and scientists here can set the priorities that make the most sense for our people. COMMENT Research to find a...

Coronavirus: World Bank’s pandemic bonds scheme accused of ‘waiting for people to die’

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Bonds designed to provide fast funding for poor countries branded ‘obscene’ because of complex payout criteria. A flagship R7.7-billion World Bank scheme to help the poorest countries...

What do coronavirus and Ebola have in common? They always get a head start

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A passenger wearing a protective mask enters Beijing West railway station following the outbreak of coronavirus. (Nicolas Asfouri, Getty)
Ebola healthcare worker protective gear

The world finally has an Ebola vaccine. This is why it’s not enough

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The World Health Organisation prequalified Merck's vaccine for widespread use in November but regulatory hoops are just a small part of the fight to...
Lake Chad

Is one of Africa’s most important lakes really shrinking?

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Our two-year study shows the lake has been stable since the 1990s. Costly ‘solutions’ shift focus from the complex causes of the region’s deadly...
No man’s land: People gather behind a barbed wire fence in a temporary settlement on the Myanmar border. When governments fail, aid organisations step in. But who should they report to? (Ye Aung Thu, AFP)

The price of aid: Who is watching whom?

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When governments fail and health systems falter, aid agencies take over. But who holds them accountable? COMMENT After years of teaching in Ethiopia, Somalia and Sierra Leone,...

‘Most renewable energy companies’ linked with claims of abuses in mines

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Corporate watchdog urges clean-up of supply chains as analysis finds weak regulation and enforcement has led to lack of scrutiny. Most of the world’s top...
Doctor holding tweezers

Crisis of confidence: How much does the public really trust scientists, doctors and nurses?

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Trust isn't only important when it comes to relationships. It's the difference between life or death when it comes to vaccines. COMMENT Doctors and nurses have...
A man looks out over a newly cleared area of forest at Kahuzi-Biéga national park near Bukavu, Democratic Republic of the Congo. (Kate Holt, The Guardian)

Pandas or people? When the fight to save the planet pits conservation against indigenous...

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A deadly conflict simmers between the autochthon people forced out of Kahuzi-Biéga national park, and the rangers protecting the land. On a scarred hillside on...