The world’s first commercial drone delivery service operates from a hill in the middle of Rwanda. From here, Zipline, a San Francisco-based robotics company, delivers blood by drone to almost half of all Rwanda’s blood transfusion centers. Orders are made online, by text, phone, or WhatsApp. An order has come in for a hospital about two hours away by car. The drone delivers the package in 20 minutes. “To have a proven model here first in Rwanda is amazing,” says Maggie Jim, Zipline.
Health: Latest News
Staff, 8:13 pm
In Mali, where skin conditions are widespread and skin doctors are scarce, physicians have turned to a new app to treat patients remotely. From his Bamako office, Professor Ousmane Faye, one of a small number of dermatologists in Mali, examines photos of an arm and a torso afflicted by a skin disorder. The photos arrived the same day the patient visited his doctor in Koulikoro, 35 miles away. Faye’s program lets general practitioners in even the most remote areas to consult with a specialist.
Peter Pedroncelli, 8:42 am AFKI Original
Africa has embraced mobile like few other regions of the world have, with some of the highest mobile penetration rates and the majority of internet users accessing content online via their mobiles. Whether one considers online banking, apps for healthcare, connecting through social media or voting for a political party, Africans have fully embraced mobile technology and all of its possibilities. Here are the 12 things you didn’t know about how Africans have embraced mobile.
Staff, 1:00 am
With Africa’s population projected to be about 2 billion by 2050, farming must undergo huge strides in productivity to ensure the ability to feed them. Numerous types of digital technology are available to take farming to this level, and entrepreneurs are beginning to introduce them to farming. To take advantage of them, however, there must be widespread internet availability, adequate funding, and ways overcome farmers’ reluctance to adopt new practices.
Peter Pedroncelli, 5:53 am
Cape Town has been named the best business tourism destination on the African continent once again, a ranking produced by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) revealed. The Mother City is now considered the 39th best business tourism hub in the world, having improved last year’s ranking by 15 spots. In the last financial year, the city secured 33 new bids with an estimated attendance of 28,000 delegates and an estimated economic impact of around $31.7 million, while conferences over the past six years have had an estimated economic impact of more than $112 million.
Peter Pedroncelli, 4:30 am
Seven South African biotech, health, agro-processing, and manufacturing projects have received a funding boost from the Cape Craft and Design Institute (CCDI) through their Design Innovation Seed Fund (DISF) initiative. The grants, which form part of the Cape Craft and Design Institute’s second round of seed funding, will allow for the innovative projects to be developed for use in a variety of sectors that will benefit from the ideas in development.
Peter Pedroncelli, 5:49 am
The World Health Organization has admitted that a new Ebola outbreak is something of an inevitability due to the nature of the virus, but the group is confident that the world is now better prepared to combat an outbreak thanks to the successful vaccine that has been developed and tested. The Ebola crisis that began in December 2013 hit West Africa hard, killing 11,300 people in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia while leaving thousands of survivors with long-term health problems. The urgency of the previous epidemic led to the development of a new vaccine and rapid-response measures that are designed to quickly assist with an Ebola outbreak.
Staff, 9:41 pm
Many South African business leaders say that malaria is among the top reasons they do not travel to other African countries. The world’s first malaria vaccine will undergo trials in Kenya, Ghana and Malawi in 2018, possibly heralding victory over a disease that still kills close to 500,000 people a year, mainly Africans. Although health is a cardinal element of the human development index, this is not a health story, but an economic and a human story. Africa’s bid for economic self-reliance stands to benefit from a malaria vaccine.
Peter Pedroncelli, 7:36 am
President Donald Trump’s proposed plan to cut foreign aid funding to African countries by 28 percent provides an opportunity for nations such as Liberia to stand on their own and take responsibility for the well-being and future of their people. In March the American president unveiled a plan to cut funding for the State Department and USAID. The budget proposal will see a massive cut in funding to African beneficiaries, with West African nations such as Liberia set to lose out on a significant amount of aid from the U.S.
Staff, 10:34 am
Tests developed to treat white people may be unsuitable for Africans. Ethiopia banned the painkiller codeine because many Ethiopians carry a gene variant that causes their bodies to convert the drug to morphine. Scientists have been pushing to improve health care by tailoring to the environment, lifestyle and genes of individuals. Few have taken this precision-medicine approach in Africa, but that’s changing. Precision public health is a new approach to precision medicine that bases decisions on populations and communities rather than on individuals. There’s a big problem though. Precision medicine is expensive.
Ann Brown, 1:04 pm AFKI Original
When a coup in Madagascar sent her father into bankruptcy, 24-year-old Hanta Tiana Ranaivo Rajaonarisoa was forced to abandon her business administration studies in the U.S. She took over the family’s unused essential oil-making machine, and now supplies insect repellants to 40 pharmacies in Madagascar. Malaria is one of the country’s top 5 causes of death. Rajaonarisoa says she’s helping protect Madagascar’s amazing biodiversity — up to 90 percent of the country’s plant species are endemic — by using green waste recovery in her products.
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