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Malawi To Destroy Expired AstraZeneca Vaccines

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African Countries Keen On AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine - WHO

Despite the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Africa Centre for Disease Control (Africa CDC) urging African countries not to destroy COVID-19 vaccines that have expired, Malawi has said it will go ahead and destroy more than 16,000 doses of expired Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines.

Speaking to BBC Malawi’s Ministry of Health spokesperson, Joshua Malango said that Malawi will go ahead and destroy 16,440 doses of the vaccines because news of extension of shelf life was shared with Malawi after the vaccine had already expired and taken out of the so-called cold chain system which ensures the temperature of the vaccine doesn’t fluctuate and then lose its potency.

Malango said “for us, the vaccine doses were effectively already destroyed the moment we removed them from the cold chain system after the expiry date… the incineration will just be a formality,” Mr In early March, Malawi received 360,000 doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines but found out the vaccines were due to expire before they were all administered.

He further said the other reason for destroying the expired vaccines is that most people were hesitant to get vaccines they thought had expired so destroying them will restore people’s confidence.

The WHO says countries whose stocks might have expired should hold on to the stock and wait for further guidance. The Africa CDC says it has spoken to the manufacturer and has been reassured that the vaccines are still safe.

The WHO said that the vaccines can be used up to 36 months after manufacture.

Last week, South Sudan said it would discard more than 70,000 doses of the AstraZeneca jabs that were out of date.

The rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in Africa has been slow, partly because of supply issues and skepticism about the jab.

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White People And Dogs ‘Rescued First’ In Mozambique – Amnesty

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White People And Dogs 'Rescued First' In Mozambique

Amnesty International has alleged that rescuers in Mozambique gave priority to white people in an evacuation during an attack by jihadists in March.

The human rights body citing survivors’ accounts said two dogs were also airlifted to safety, leaving people behind in a hotel where they had sought refuge.

Amnesty International’s regional director Deprose Muchena said  “these are alarming allegations that the rescue plan was racially segregated, with white contractors obviously receiving preferential treatment.”

One survivor told the rights group “we were about 220 people trapped there in the hotel – we [local black people] were the majority, and the whites were supposed to be about 20. After the rescue and escape, we were about 170 people still alive. Most of the whites were rescued by helicopters, before we left the hotel by car.”

According to BBC report, Amnesty said it spoke to 11 survivors out of the 220 who had been in the hotel, including five who survived an attack as they attempted to flee.

Muchena said “abandoning people during an armed assault simply because of the colour of their skin is racism, and violates the obligation to protect civilians. This cannot go unanswered.”

Meanwhile, the private company which was involved in the rescue operation, Dyck Advisory Group told the AFP news agency that it would issue a statement later but emphasized that the allegations were “not at all accurate.”

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Zambia Dissolves Parliament Ahead Of Elections

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As Zambians prepare to head to the polls on August 21, the country’s parliament has been dissolved exactly 90 days before the upcoming general election as required by the constitution.

On Wednesday, the house held its last sitting and the clerk announced that it would formally dissolve on Friday.

Zambian President Edgar Lungu is seeking re-election and has in the past assured international partners of a free and fair election.

Ahead of the elections, the United Kingdom has contributed £500,000 ($703,000) to a democracy programme managed by the United Nations Development Programme.

It will support a democratic election while ensuring legitimacy and fairness during the electoral process.

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Kenyan Court Slams Brakes On President’s Constitutional Changes

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Kenya Teachers Ordered To Get COVID-19 Vaccine

A Kenya high court has annulled a plan to amend the nation`s constitution and ruled that president Uhuru Kenyatta had violated the constitution by initiating a process which ought to be driven by the ordinary citizen.

The government-sponsored constitution amendment bill, popularly referred to as the building bridges initiative, would have expanded the executive and parliament.

The court declared the bill was irregular, illegal and unconstitutional.

The five-judge bench unanimously declared that the president had failed the leadership and integrity test and that the constitution amendment process was illegal.

The proposed changes under the bill reintroduced the office of the prime minister, the creation of 70 new constituencies, and an affirmative action clause that could have created at least 300 new unelected MPs.

President Kenyatta and Odinga, who have been pushing for the reforms, say the proposed constitutional changes will end the winner-take-all structure of current Kenyan politics, which is often followed by deadly violence.

Critics have said the bbi is a selfish initiative to reward political dynasties, and that it will lead to a bloated parliament and executive which Kenya – a country already burdened by debt – cannot afford.

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