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5 Million People are bitten by snakes every year-report

Animal bites pose a major public health problem in children and adults worldwide.

The health impacts of animal bites are dependent on the type and health of animal species, the size and health of the bitten person, and accessibility to appropriate health care. Numerous animal species have the potential to bite humans; however the most important are tabhose arising from snakes, dogs, cats and monkeys.

Worldwide, up to five million people are bitten by snakes every year. Of these, poisonous or envenoming snakes cause considerable morbidity and mortality. There are an estimated 2.4 million envenomation’s, or poisonings from snake bites and between 94 and 125 thousand deaths annually, with an additional 400 thousand amputations and other severe health consequences, such as infection, tetanus, scarring, contractures, and psychological sequelae. Poor access to health care and scarcity of antivenom increases the severity of the injuries and their outcomes.

According to World Health Organization WHO report, the majority of snake bites occur in Africa and South-East Asia. Snake bites are most common among people living in rural, resource-poor settings, who subsist on low-cost, non-mechanical farming and other field occupations. Agricultural workers, women and children are the groups most frequently bitten by snakes. Adding to the burden of these injuries is their socioeconomic impact on families and communities. Adult victims are often the wage earners or care providers of the family unit; and child victims can suffer lifelong disability intensifying demands on families and communities.

Approximately 600 species of snake are venomous and approximately 50-70 per cent of bites by these cause envenomation. At the time of a bite, the cornerstone of care is complete immobilization of the affected boy part and prompt transfer to a medical facility. Tourniquets and cutting wounds can worsen the effects of the venom and should not be used as first aid. Frequently, victims of snake bites will require treatment with antivenom. The report said it is important that the antivenom is appropriate for snakes endemic to the region. Additional measures include wound cleansing to decrease infection risk, supportive therapy such as airway support, and administration of tetanus vaccine upon discharge if the person has been inadequately vaccinated against tetanus.

According to the report, snake bites can be prevented by avoiding tall grassy areas, wear protective shoes, keeping storage areas clear of rodents as well as removing rubbish, woodpiles and lowering brush from around the home. To prevent or limit the serious health consequences of snake bites, health-care providers should be educated on snake-bite management, including proper use and administration of antivenom. Public health authorities and policy- makers should ensure appropriate supplies of safe and effective antivenoms to communities, countries and regions where they are most needed, and prioritize research initiatives that will further determine the burden of these injuries.There are no global estimates of dog bites incidence; however studies suggest that dog bites account for tens of millions of injuries annually.

In the United States of America for example, approximately 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs every year. Of these, nearly 885 thousand seek medical care; 30 thousand have reconstructive procedures; 3-18 per cent develop infections and between 10 and 20 fatalities occur. Other high-income countries such as Australia, Canada and France have comparable incidence and fatality rates.Low- and middle-income countries that are more fragmented, however some studies reveal that dogs account for 76-94 per cent of animal bite injuries.

Dog bite fatality rates are higher in low- and middle-income countries than in high-income countries as rabies is a problem in many of these countries, and there may be a lack of post-exposure treatment and appropriate access to health care. An estimated 59 thousand people die annually from rabies, and bites from rabid dogs account for the vast majority of these deaths.The report stressed that children make up the largest percentage of people bitten by dogs, with the highest incidence in mid-to-late childhood.

This risk of injury to the head and neck is greater in children than in adults, adding to increased severity, necessity for medical treatment and death rates. In some countries, male shave a higher frequency of dog bites than females. Dog bites account for over 50 per cent of animal-related injuries in people who are travelling.Further, the report recommended that health-care providers should be educated on the appropriate management of dog bites.

Health authorities and policy-makers should ensure rabies control within dog populations, ensure appropriate supplies of rabies vaccines for potential rabies exposure in people, and develop data collection systems to further document the burden of this problem.Worldwide, according to the report, cat bites account for 2-50 per cent of injuries related to animal-bites. They are commonly second to dog bites in terms of incidence. In Italy for example, the incidence of cat-related injuries is 18 per cent per 100 000 population, while in the United States of America, there are an estimated 400 thousand cat bites and 66 thousand visits to hospital emergency departments every year. Female adults have the highest rate of cat bites, according to the WHO report.

Furthermore, monkey bites also account for 2-21 per cent of animal bite injuries. In India for example, two studies found monkeys to be second to dogs as the most common source of animal bite injuries. Monkey bites are an important risk among travellers, being the second most common animal bite risk to travellers after dog bites.WHO said it is working to address the public health problem of animal bite injuries. For snake bites, WHO has launched several tools to help guide the appropriate development, distribution and administration of antivenom.

For rabies, the organization advocates greater access to post-exposure treatment through promoting increased production of rabies biological, continuing education in rabies prevention and control, and widespread immunization of dog populations.

 

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WeekendLife

200,000 Members of International Church Hold Virtual Prayer Service for Covid-19

22nd September 2020
200,000

After its initial outbreak with a cluster of pneumonia cases at a seafood, poultry and live wildlife market in Wuhan City, China, Covid-19 has spread rapidly across the globe. The virus has hammered economies worldwide and brought devastation to many.

On 16 September Shincheonji Church of Jesus, a church with thousands of members in various countries, held a global online prayer service to pray for the victims of the coronavirus and their families, healthcare workers, government officials and for the complete eradication of and cure for Covid-19.

The virtual prayer service was live-streamed to the entire congregation with more than 200,000 members in countries all over the world participating, including the USA, the United Kingdom, South Korea, Australia, South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

In keeping with social distancing, health protocols and protecting its members from possible exposure to the coronavirus, Shincheonji arranged the virtual gathering for members to pray together in safety and set an example for others.

Prayers were mainly for the healing of those infected with the virus, for overworked healthcare workers who are struggling to fight Covid-19, and for people in economic distress in the wake of the pandemic. The overwhelming online participation from its members worldwide showed the desire and urgency to end this virus and for healing and restoration in communities.

The Chairman of Shincheonji Church Mr Manhee Lee suggested this online virtual gathering and said that all believers will continue to pray at the church’s worship services until the complete eradication of the coronavirus.

At least 1,700 of the church’s South Korean-based congregation have donated their blood plasma for research around an effective treatment. Convalescent plasma has also showed promise as therapy for Covid-19 and is believed to have reduced the severity of symptoms in critical patients.

“In order to defeat Covid-19, we need to embrace, love, and unite,” as global citizens, the church said. “We wanted to do all we can as believers by praying for the people working to prevent the spread of the virus and healthcare workers who are working at the frontlines of this battle against Covid-19 and we believe that God will answer our earnest prayers.”

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WeekendLife

AFRIMMA nominates Vee Mampeezy

22nd September 2020
Vee-Mampeezy

The annual prestigious music awards, African Muzik Magazine Awards and Music Festival (AFRIMMA), has resumed this year. But this time around with a virtual version of it.

The awards that celebrate the originality of African music has unveiled their seventh edition. The awards seek to promote the African talent by bringing together on the same stage African legendary artists to celebrate African culture.

The event was established by the International Committee of AFRIMMA, in collaboration with African Union to reward and celebrate musical works, talents and creativity around the African continent while promoting the African cultural heritage amongst African countries.

However after the Covid-19 global pandemic, the event will not be hosted on a live global stage, but it will be hosted virtually and nominees are expected to deliver their performances virtually. The AFRIMMA Virtual Awards 2020 is set to be the first of its kind in the African music world with performances coming from different artists around the world and audience catching the performances, speeches and award presentations on multiple streaming devices.

Amongst the many who are nominated by the AFRIMMAs is local sensation Vee Mampeezy who has been nominated in the category for Best Male Southern African alongside music giants, Black Coffee- South Africa, Slap Dee – Zambia, Cassper Nyovest- South Africa, Master KG- South Africa, Jah Prayzah – Zimbabwe, Vee Mampeezy – Botswana, Shyn – Madagascar, Tshego- South Africa, Tha Dogg – Namibia and Yanga Chief – South Africa.

Mampeezy has established with WeekendLife that prior to that, he had received an email from AFRIMMA confirming his nomination. They wished for him to perform which he said he will confirm the performance first with his manager, but as for now he is not sure if he will be performing.

“We have accepted the nomination. It is such an honour to be nominated alongside music giants like Black Coffee. I am very excited, others I am not as excited to be nominated alongside them because I have been nominated before with them. I do not mean to say they are not great, they are great in their respective right,” he said.

“We should be excited as a country that Botswana has been nominated as well. Before anything else, the fact that we are there as nominees makes us winners. It is such an honour to be recognised more so that Botswana is a small country with a very small population.”

Famous and most decorated artists the likes of Diamond Platnumz, Mr Flavour, Harmonize, Davido and Jah Prayzah are also amongst the nominees. However, South African based artist affectionately known as Master KG has been nominated six times for Video of the year, Best Male Southern Africa, Artist of the year, Best Collaboration as well as song of the year.

Master KG’s song ‘Jerusalem’ has been making waves internationally, and it was used mostly during the pandemic to shake off the Covid-19 anxiety. The song was nominated after South African Music Awards (SAMA) failed to nominate the young talented artist.

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WeekendLife

Miss Earth Botswana catwalks to save the environment

22nd September 2020
MISS EARTH

Miss Earth Botswana is an annual local environmental-themed beauty pageant competition promoting environmental awarenessconservation and social responsibility. The reigning Queen dedicated her year to promoting specific projects and often addressing issues concerning the environment.

The Queen does this through school tours, tree planting activities, street campaigns, coastal clean ups, speaking engagements, shopping mall tours, media guesting, environmental fairs, storytelling programs to children, eco-fashion shows, and other environmental activities.

Even though this auspicious year has been faulted by the COVID-19 crisis, Miss Earth Botswana 2020 Seneo Perry has seen this as a chance to fix her crown, and get dirty in conserving the environment. This is highly impressive as it expresses how dedicated she is not only in wearing the crown, but putting in some work to create a better greener world.

Perry is a Botswana based environmentalist, equipped with a degree in Entrepreneurial Business Leadership from Sheffield Hallam University (BAC) and a top 5 finalist in Miss Earth Botswana 2019. As an eco-warrior at heart, she has dedicated her time and energy towards educating and empowering the next generation on the importance of preservation and careful management of the environment and natural resources (a clean and safe environment.)

Miss Earth Botswana will be hosting SOS Children for a film documentary dubbed “Into the Okavango” on Saturday 19th September, in Tlokweng. This initiative is influenced by National Vision 2036 Pillar of National Values which is our identity, our unique natural and cultural resources, tolerance of diversity as well as national values constitute a value preposition that makes Botswana a place to live, work and do business.

In an exclusive interview with WeekendLife, Perry’s Manager, Shimah Keakopa, said the purpose of this event is to encourage the children to open up their minds a bit more to think outside the box as they are about to choose their career paths and what more they can offer to their country as upcoming young leaders.

“This event is held under the theme ‘‘Botswana will have healthy ecosystems that support the economy, livelihoods and our cultural heritage as well as enhance resilience to climate change’’. We strive to help young children grow up knowing their purpose in life and what they actually do in achieving their ambitions.”

For her part, the queen said since 2013, conservation topics have always attracted her interests towards achieving a clean and safe environment for the benefit of humanity. She said “Botswana relies heavily on the tourism industry as it contributes 7 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Our tourism industry has been characterized as more of a fauna and flora type, which is the great attraction to local and international tourists.”

“Therefore it is imperative that we conserve and continuously engage in environmental issues, to preserve our untouchable pristine wilderness. Furthermore people who live closest to natural resources generally absorb the greatest cost associated with conservation,” she said.

Perry told WeekendLife that a lot still needs to be done to ensure everybody is of one mind in an effort dedicated towards environmental conservation, which not only benefits the flora and fauna but the economy as well through activities such as agriculture and tourism.

“In Botswana, there still not enough policies (some outdated) and public awareness towards environmental conservation, especially the collective effort that should exist between government, private sector and Non- Governmental Organisations (NGOs).

Whereas members of the general public do not have adequate access to the information on the importance of environmental conservation and this results in them being unaware of the best practices and standards in environmental conservation,” she said.

When she is not impressing at beauty pageants, Perry is a Managing Director of “Restoring the Prime Colour of the Earth” a charitable organization established in 2019 with the objective to educate both young and old people the importance of keeping a clean and safe environment and to restore the breath-taking landmarks in Botswana.

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