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Genital warts prevalence rates high among young females in Botswana

Genital warts are one of the most common forms of sexually-transmitted diseases, but their epidemiology has yet to be thoroughly elucidated. This sexually transmitted infection (STI) is passed on through vaginal, anal and rarely through oral sex.

Genital warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) and affect both women and men but women are more vulnerable to complications. They are different from the high-risk strains that can lead to cervical dysplasia and cancer. These warts can be treated, but they can come back unless the underlying infection is also treated.

Health practitioners say these warts aren’t always visible to the human eye. They may be very small and can be the colour of one’s skin or slightly darker. The top of the growths may resemble a cauliflower and may feel smooth or slightly bumpy to the touch. They may occur as a cluster of warts, or just one wart.Genital warts on males may appear on the following areas: penis, scrotum, groin, thighs or inside or around the  anus. For females these warts may appear inside of the vagina or anus, outside of the vagina or anus or on the cervix.

According to a 2019 report from the STI Clinic in Gaborone, more women aged between 15 and 19 were diagnosed with genital warts, as compared to males of the same age bracket. The STI Clinic monthly report of January 2019 indicates that the number of new female clients diagnosed with genital warts stood at 43 as compared to 19 of males who visited the clinic in the same month.That very same month, only two females aged between zero and fourteen had the STI, as compared to zero for boys.

Females aged over 30 years who identified with the virus were 31, while males of the same age were only 18.However, as a way of curbing this virus, over 4000 condoms were issued in the same month, 18 clients did Pap smear while 53 did not do the test.The report further indicated that, in February 2019 over 74 females tested for genital warts and 50 aged between 15 and 29 were diagnosed with the infection, while only 13 males were detected. Those over 30 years and diagnosed with the infection were only 18.

At least 41 adolescent girls in March were diagnosed with the STI, and only 10 males had the infection. The following month of April saw 39 girls of the same age group (15-29) diagnosed with genital warts as compared to 11 males of the same age. However, over three thousand condoms were issued, and two referrals were made. The number of girls who did not have a Pap smear test were 50, against 21 who did the test.It was further shared that in April, 13 males did the Safe Male Circumcision (SMC) and the same number did not do the operation.

In March, at least 21 did the SMC while 15 did not go for the operation.Furthermore, in May 2019, 37 young girls were diagnosed with genital warts and only 12 of their male counterparts had the infection. The report stressed that 21 women over the age of 30 years were detected with the virus. In the next month, at least 37 young girls were diagnosed with genital warts, as compared to 13 of their male counterparts.  Pap smear tests were conducted on over 23 women, while 46 did not do the tests. The clinic issued over 2000 condoms while 9 males undertook circumcision.

September saw more women identified with genital warts unlike any other month. The number of young girls recorded were 52, an increase of 9 more cases from the previous month August. Only 19 young boys were found with the infection. Further, 23 women aged over 30 were diagnosed with genital wards for the month under review. There were 4 cases where clients did not know their HIV status, and over 60 women did not do the Pap smear. The number of young girls with genital warts was lowered to 44 in the following month.

The months of November and December saw a decline in the number of young girls with genital warts. In November, only 32 girls had the infection, while 13 males were diagnosed. The following month saw the number increase by 1 to become 33 for young girls aged between 15 and 29 years.Meanwhile, close to two thousand women of all ages suffered from vaginal discharge syndrome in January 2019. The number reduced to 1459 in February, and further peaked in the following month to settle at 1589. The number increased to 1606 in April, and saw a dramatic increase to 1811 in the following month.
However, in June 2019, only 1323 women had vaginal discharge and the number further decreased to 1141 in July. 

The report further said in August, over one thousand seven hundred (1 700) women suffered from the syndrome, a number that fell by over one thousand three hundred (1 300) in September. October registered 1974 women with vaginal discharge than any other month, and the number abridged to 1442 in November, and further saw a reduction to 1291 in December, the least number of cases recorded the entire year.


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

22nd September 2020

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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AFRIMMA nominates Vee Mampeezy

22nd September 2020

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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Miss Earth Botswana catwalks to save the environment

22nd September 2020

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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