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UNICEF, WHO Issue Alert On Low Polio, Measles Vaccinations

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The United Nations Children Agency, UNICEF, and the World Health Organization, W.H.O., have raised an alarm that millions of children are at risk of not being vaccinated against polio and measles because of the coronavirus, especially in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation.

The agencies issued a joint statement on Wednesday in Abuja, saying it is essential to address the global COVID-19 pandemic, but other deadly diseases, such as polio and measles, also threaten the lives of millions of children in some of the poorest parts of the world.

The two organizations say there has been “a global resurgence of measles with epidemics under way in all regions of the world in recent years.”

Gaps in immunization coverage have been further exacerbated in 2020 by COVID-19. The world agencies have called for “urgent action” by global donors and policymakers.

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Malawi Airlines Staff Strike Disrupts Flights To South Africa

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Malawi Airlines staff have gone on strike today over deductions from their November salaries. The airline crew and staff stormed the company’s head office in Lilongwe, demanding answers from management for salary deductions they said were made without prior notice or consultations.

Passengers were stranded at the Kamuzu International Airport after flights were grounded.

Local media report, the industrial action has affected the only weekly flight from the country`s capital Lilongwe to Johannesburg.

Malawi airlines is government-owned with Ethiopian Airlines holding some of its shares.

The strike comes a month after the country reopened its air border closure in march because of coronavirus.

 

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Ethiopia’s Tigray Crisis: PM Declares Assault On Regional Capital Mekelle

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An African Union mission has arrived in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, to try mediating between the federal government and the northern Tigray state after three weeks of conflict.

Three former African heads of state – of Mozambique Joaquim Chissano, Liberia -Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and South Africa Kgalema Motlanthe are part of the mission.

Their arrival coincides with what prime minister Abiy Ahmed has called the “final phase” in the assault operation in Tigray.

Abiy has already rejected international efforts to negotiate a peaceful end to the fighting, describing the conflict in the nation that has killed 600 persons as a law-enforcement operation. Thousands have fled their homes into neighbouring Sudan.

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Miners Trapped Underground In Zimbabwe

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The Zimbabwe Miners Federation has on Thursday said rescue operations are under way in northern Zimbabwe, where dozens of illegal miners are believed to be trapped underground after the collapse of an old mine shaft.

Wellington Takavarasha, head of the Zimbabwe Miners Federation said the incident occurred late Wednesday in the town of Bindura, around 70 kilometres (43 miles) north of the capital Harare.

At least 40 informal miners in Zimbabwe have been trapped underground after a shaft in a disused gold mine collapsed, six miners have since been pulled from the rubble and taken to hospital.

Takavarasha told AFP the miners were working inside the disused Ran Gold Mine when a shaft caved in.

Mining without the proper permits has been on the rise in the gold-rich country due to high levels of joblessness and the COVID-19 lockdown.

The southern African country is rich in minerals such as platinum, diamonds and gold. Small-scale miners account for over half of the gold produced in the country.

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