Source: Health e-news

Rural Grannies’ Health and Other Reports

Every week, Rural Reporters collate reports on development in rural Africa and its environs. The reports include some of our top picks from recent must-read research, interviews, reports, blogs and in-depth articles which have been carefully selected to help you keep up with global issues. Here are some of the updates you may have missed from the previous week:

Rural Grannies Walk for Health

More than 80 grannies from Makuya village, near Niani in Limpopo participated in a recent fun walk which was organised by the local community leaders to educate the elderly about how to fight diabetes and high blood pressure.

During the walk, the senior citizens were not only encouraged to exercise but to eat healthily in order for them to stay fit and live long.

“We are very grateful for this day. It means a lot to us as the senior citizens. Exercise is the only thing which can keep us going for years still healthy, because as we grow older we tend to forget about exercising and all we do is to eat and sleep,” said Grace Makuya, a 73-year-old who participated in the fun walk. “Even though I felt very tired after the walk, I wish we can do this every day as it can help us to stay fit.”

Rural Disabled Struggle with Healthcare

In a recent statement South Africa’s Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini defined disability as both a cause and consequence of poverty: “It is a cause because it can lead to job loss and reduced earnings, barriers to education and skills development, significant additional expenses, and many other challenges that can lead to economic hardship.”

Regarding healthcare, Minister Dlamini added: “It is also a consequence of poverty because poverty can limit access to the health care needed to prevent disability or prevent existing disabilities from becoming worse.”

Stats SA: Rural Councils Depend on Government to Survive

Statistics South Africa (Stats SA)’s financial census of municipalities has found that rural councils continue to struggle to maintain financial viability, and are dependent on national government to survive. Statistician-General for Stats SA Pali Lehohla released the latest figures at a briefing in Pretoria today.

The survey found that overall, grants and subsidies make up 31 percent of the revenue municipalities receive. But Stats SA director Malibongwe Mhemhe says rural and metro municipalities operate differently.

It takes a village: the Malawi school Guardian readers helped build

The four young men standing near the library in the centre of the dusty village of Gumbi have not seen each other for many months. It’s the school holidays in Malawi and they’ve come back to see family and friends. They joke around, laugh about their work, the changes they can see in the village and each other. They look strong, confident and serious, happy to be home.

At 23, James Gomani is the second oldest. He is at university, studying accountancy. His friends Kennedy and Josephy Jimmy, and Yohane Lungu, have just qualified as teachers and are working 100 miles away in villages near Lake Malawi. It’s the first time in a year the four have been together in their dirt-poor village of subsistence farmers, and they talk about first jobs and their hopes.

Schools are Under Federal Pressure to Translate for Immigrant Parents

When Dadhi Dahal first came to the United States in early 2009, the Bhutanese population in Syracuse, New York was quite small — the first refugees from Bhutan, fleeing ethnic cleansing policies in their home country, arrived in 2008, after they had spent years in refugee camps in Nepal.

Fast forward eight years. The Bhutanese population has grown into a flourishing, tightly knit group of about 3,000 people. They are part of a substantial refugee population from South Asia, Africa and the Middle East that has transformed the city and its schools.  Students in the Syracuse City School District speak more than 70 different languages and four of the most common among them are Nepali, Karen, Somali, and Arabic.

Africa’s charcoal economy is booming, but the trees are paying

Charcoal has become one of the biggest engines of Africa’s informal economy. But it has also become one of the greatest threats to its environment.

In Madagascar, an island nation off the eastern African coast and one of the world’s richest nations in biodiversity, the booming charcoal business is contributing to deforestation. It is expected to exacerbate the effects of climate change, which has disrupted farming, fuelled a migration to cities, and pushed many rural residents into the one thriving business left: charcoal.

AfDB to invest $24 billion to boost agriculture in Africa

The African Development Bank (AfDB) said it will invest about 24 billion U.S. dollars to ensure the implementation of the continent’s agricultural transformation agenda, a statement has said.

The bank said it will also leverage additional investments through equity, quasi equity, debt and risk instruments to catalyze investments into the sector, according to the statement.

The total investment for the Feed Africa, a strategy for agricultural transformation on the continent is estimated at between 315-400 billion dollars over the next 10 years, with annual returns of 85 billion dollars when fully funded.

UN: African Union Must Investigate Eritrean Crimes

In that report, the UN’s Commission of Inquiry (COI) for Eritrea said the government of President Isaias Afwerki had committed heinous crimes since independence a quarter-century ago, including the “enslavement” of 400,000 people.

Many of those abuses are allegedly linked to a harsh national service programme in the secretive Horn of Africa state, which for many is almost impossible to escape and which the COI compared to lifetime enslavement.

Mandela Washington Fellows Bring Taste of Africa to Pine Forest

Pine Forest Charter School’s Cedar Avenue campus became a center of cultural exchange Friday when 25 young African leaders visited the campus for a day of community service.

Josephine Marie Godwyll, one of the fellows from Ghana,  said it was “enlightening” to see the teaching philosophies and parent and community involvement at Pine Forest. “When you involve the community in teaching and learning, the students learn more,” she said. “The parents are in touch with what the child is learning, so they can easily pick it up if the child needs help at home.”

Pine Forest Principal Michael Heffernan said the group pulled up weeds on the school grounds and planted three trees, which will stay on the campus as a reminder of the experience for the students, families and fellows. After the planting, fellows taught community members some traditional songs and dances.

African Union Launches an All-Africa Passport

On June 13, two weeks before the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, the African Union announced a new “single African passport.” The lead-up discussion was much like the original debate on the European Economic Community, the E.U.’s predecessor. African passport proponents say it will boost the continent’s socioeconomic development because it will reduce trade barriers and allow people, ideas, goods, services and capital to flow more freely across borders.

But now the A.U. faces the challenge of making sure the “e-Passport” lives up to its potential – and doesn’t fulfill detractors’ fears of heightened terrorism, smuggling and illegal immigration.

Busayo Sotunde is a prolific writer with special focus on Business, Entrepreneurship, Reproductive Health and other development issues in Africa. Her articles have been published by different outlets including Investing Port and She has a penchant for reading and sustainable development. Follow Busayo on Twitter @BusayomiSotunde

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