Amnesty International has accused major oil companies, including Shell, of failing to report the true picture of oil spills in Nigeria. Amnesty says oil companies often blame oil spills on sabotage in order to get out of paying compensation. In fact, most oil spills are due to corroded pipes.
A new national campaign has been launched in England to increase early diagnosis of bladder and kidney cancer and save lives.
The World Food Programme (WFP) has warned that food security in Zimbabwe is deteriorating. It predicts 2.2 million people - around a quarter of the country's rural population - will need food assistance early next year. That's due to a lethal combination: erratic rainfall and farming practices. Investment in irrigation has been suggested as a way out.
After years of research and trials in parts of Africa, scientists on the continent have welcomed new developments by British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline to get approval for the world's first malaria vaccine next year. Trial data showed the shot significantly cut cases of the disease in African children. The vaccine known as RTS,S was found, after 18 months of follow-up, to have almost halved the number of malaria cases in young children in the trial, and to have reduced by around a quarter the number of malaria cases in infants and researchers. Malaria, a mosquito-borne parasitic disease, kills hundreds of thousands of people a year, mainly babies in the poorest parts of sub-Saharan Africa. Some of the studies were conducted at Kisumu's Kombewa district hospital. Researchers say the vaccine will save lives in Kenya, where malaria is endemic.
In Madagascar, experts have warned that the island faces a bubonic plague epidemic unless it slows the spread of the disease. The Red Cross and Pasteur Institute say inmates in the island's dirty, crowded jails are particularly at risk. The number of plague cases rises each October as hot humid weather attracts fleas. The fleas then transmit the disease from rats and other animals to humans. Madagascar had 256 plague cases and 60 deaths last year, the world's highest recorded number.
British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is seeking regulatory approval for the world's first malaria vaccine. This follows successful trial data that showed the vaccine had decreased the number of cases in African children. The vaccine known as RTS,S was found to have almost halved the number of malaria cases in young children in the trial. It also reduced, by about 25 percent, the number of malaria cases in infants.
Zimbabwe faces its worst food shortages in four years following a drought and poor harvest, a month after veteran President Robert Mugabe's disputed re-election. The U.N. World Food Programme today said it was working with the government and other international aid organizations to provide food assistance to about a fifth of Zimbabwe's 13 million people from October until the next crop harvest in March/April 2014. According to the agency, hunger is on the rise in Zimbabwe with an estimated 2.2 million people expected to need assistance during the pre-harvest period early next year.
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