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Women battle when trying to take climate change cases to court – South Africa and Nigeria study shows why

Women battle when trying to take climate change cases to court – South Africa and Nigeria study shows why

ACROSS domestic courts in Africa, climate cases have been decided in South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya, with some cases pending in Uganda. However, climate litigation is still fairly new. Climate lawsuits are an important way to access justice. This is particularly true for African women because, as research has shown, climate change affects women more than men in key areas including farming, health, water, access to electricity, migration and conflict. PEDI OBANI, Associate Professor, School of Law, University of Bradford I research how the law can be applied to cases of climate change, inclusive development, water governance and sustainability. In…
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From fatal allergies to heart attacks and malaria – the devastating health effects of global warming in Africa

From fatal allergies to heart attacks and malaria – the devastating health effects of global warming in Africa

THE winds that whip the towns of the Eastern Cape in South Africa have the power to generate energy. But on a dry, hot day, those winds can gather up embers and dump them into tinder-dry savannah and forest, destroying crops, fodder and homes, and taking lives. LENORE MANDERSON, Distinguished Professor, Public Health and Medical Anthropology, University of the Witwatersrand Wildfires create their own weather systems, generating fire storms with devastating effects. Global warming will increase the number of days of shimmering heat, creating the ideal conditions for fire. In the past months, southern Europe and North Africa have experienced…
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South African older women splash their way to health in Soweto pool

South African older women splash their way to health in Soweto pool

AT a public pool in South Africa's township of Soweto, novice swimmers in their golden years take deep breaths as they move forward, encouraging each other as they go. More than 40 older women, who have never previously had a chance to learn how to swim, go to the pool every week during the summer to face their fear of drowning and improve their health. Lifeguard-turned-coach Sibu Zabane launched the class in 2021, when COVID-19 was circulating widely in South Africa, in an effort to help vulnerable older members of the community get fitter. Gabashane Molefe, 66, joined the class…
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Pope Francis ‘gradually improving’ in hospital after infection

Pope Francis ‘gradually improving’ in hospital after infection

CRISPIAN BALMER and ALVISE ARMELLINI POPE Francis's health is improving after he was hospitalised with a respiratory infection and he has resumed working while treatment continues, the Vatican said on Thursday. The pope was taken to hospital on Wednesday after complaining of breathing difficulties, raising fresh concerns over the health of the 86-year-old pontiff, who is suffering from a number of ailments. "His Holiness Pope Francis rested well during the night. His clinical picture is gradually improving and he is continuing his planned treatment," Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said in a statement. "This morning after breakfast, he read some newspapers and…
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How ending polio in Africa has had positive spinoffs for public health

How ending polio in Africa has had positive spinoffs for public health

CHARLES SHEY WIYSONGE, Director, Cochrane South Africa, South African Medical Research Council POLIO is a highly infectious disease. It’s caused by a virus that enters the body through the mouth. The virus then multiplies in the intestine and attacks the central nervous system – causing paralysis. Polio was one of the most dreaded diseases in the world in the 20th century. Four decades ago, an estimated 350,000 people were paralysed each year by the poliovirus in more than 125 countries. This led the World Health Assembly in 1988 to adopt a resolution for the worldwide eradication of polio, drawing inspiration…
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Pollution adds to Covid-19 deaths, say scientists

Pollution adds to Covid-19 deaths, say scientists

TONY CARNIE HEART and air chemistry experts in Germany say the Covid-19 death toll in South Africa and other parts of the world has been significantly exacerbated by high levels of toxic air pollution in several big cities and industrialised nations. In a study published on 27 October in the international journal Cardiovascular Research, a team of researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry and the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz medical centre found that 15% of Covid-19 deaths globally are attributable to underlying diseases caused by tiny particles of industrial dust pollution. These include diseases of the heart, blood vessels and…
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