Science

Africa press review: precious archives of South African history gone up in smoke

Valuable archives of South African history gone up in smoke

According to the South African online daily Daily Maverick, the fire of Sunday April 18, on the heights of Cape Town, in South Africa, certainly erased the most beautiful treasures from South African memory. Fire from the slopes of Table Mountain, which overlooks Cape Town, ravaged historic buildings, prompted the hasty evacuation of students from the university campus, and wiped out valuable heritage held in the Jagger Library. The report drawn up by the daily journalists is overwhelming. The library’s holdings were rich in numerous documents recounting the colonial history of the country, the recent struggle against apartheid or even the culture of several of the communities. Who live there For example, nothing remains of the sound recordings in San languages ​​- or bushmen – and khoisan, from the first newspaper printed by the black South African community in the 19th century, Imvo Zabantsundu, archives of local personalities, documents retracing the fight against the AIDS epidemic or the African Film collection. Only a part of these documents had been digitized, as told to the correspondent of the radio France Info, the director of the center in charge of the preservation of the archives. An online call has been made to researchers who have worked on the funds of the Jagger Room so that they send the photocopies or photos taken and collected from the documents consulted on site.

77% efficacy in a phase 2 clinical trial for a malaria vaccine

A vaccine 77% effective against malaria? The 12-month phase 2 clinical trial, the results of which should be published by the magazine The Lancet, raises a lot of hope in the researchers who developed it, but also in the mothers of the 450 children enrolled in this research. The little ones, aged 5 to 17 months at the start of the trial, live in the commune of Nanoro, in Bukina-Faso. The region is stricken by seasonal malaria (experiencing an upsurge during and just after the rainy season). But it may still be early to claim victory. Tests conducted over four years in Ghana, in Malawi, and in Kenya with a vaccine designed by the GlaxoSmithKline laboratory, the RTS, S (Mosquirix) intended for toddlers, have not been so conclusive: the prevention of contamination as well as that of severe forms in children children in the cohort were barely 39% and 29%, respectively. Participants in the trial, describes the British daily The Guardian, were divided into three groups. The first two were given the vaccine in question, with little or a lot ofadjuvant, while the control group received a rabies vaccine. If we believe the Guardian, the good results obtained by the first two groups have fueled the optimism of Adrian Hill, the director of the Jenner Institute, the research organization that designed the vaccine. Dr Hill imagines an ideal scenario where the vaccine could be administered within 3 years, if rapid approval procedures were adopted, such as during the anti-Covid vaccine race. And why not ? The protagonists have experience in this area: the Jenner Institute is at the origin of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Vaccines are coming soon to Madagascar

In Madagascar, vaccines are “for soon”, TitleMadagascar Express. The details on the number and type of vaccines are not known, specifies the Malagasy daily, but these are purchases, and not donations, authorized by the State, which will be delivered by “fifteen days” the Minister of Health said on a prime-time TV channel. Five vaccines have been selected by the local Academy of Medicine: Covishield, the version of AstraZeneca made in India, vaccines from Sinopharm, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson. The State called on private actors to procure the precious doses of which the local press does not yet know the exact volumes. As the French international radio reminds us RFI, the country has suddenly changed course in terms of vaccines. Two months ago, the head of state promoted a traditional remedy based on artemisia. Since the beginning of April, the country has been facing a deadly peak, increased by the circulation of the so-called South African variant. The nursing staff are exhausted by the epidemic and the lack of means.

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