|Africa News Digest
On Chernobyl Anniversary, S. African Daily Says Go Nuclear
On April 26, the 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, South Africa's Cape Argus daily, in an editorial, wrote that the 1986 incident has "spawned a heated debate between those who are against nuclear energy, and those who support it. This debate continues on the page opposite today, in the context of plans for a pebble-bed modular reactor (PBMR) at Koeberg."
The editorial concludes: "In South Africa, research into the PBMR is continuing apace, and there is no prospect of nuclear-generated energy being abandoned. Our priority needs to be to learn to live safely with it, rather than to sustain dreams of living without it."
Historically, South African British-oriented dailies such as the Cape Argus have not supported pro-industrial or pro-nuclear policies.
World Bank Accused of Medical Malpractice in Africa
The World Bank has not followed through on its 1998 pledge to combat malaria in Africa, public health experts say in a report published April 25 in the British medical journal Lancet, online edition.
The article coincides with World Malaria Day. Between 300 and 500 million people contract malaria, which is transmitted by mosquito, each year. More than a million, mainly children, die of malaria each year. It kills one child in Africa every 30 seconds.
The World Bank, in reply to the charges, conceded that its malaria programs were understaffed and underfinanced, but said that over the past year it has revitalized them.
In 1998, the bank pledged to provide $500 million to combat malaria. The stated goal of the bank's Roll Back Malaria campaign was to cut the number of malaria deaths in half in a decade. But as of 2005 it had no staff working on the programs.
The public-health experts have called for the Bank to relinquish its anti-malaria funds to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.
The World Bank contends that it has spent somewhere between $100 million and $450 million to combat malaria since 1998.
"That the bank's management tolerates such vague accounting when serving its clients, the African states to whom it pledged an increase in malaria control funds, is extraordinary," the health experts wrote.
They also accused the bank of medical malpractice for spending $1.8 million to buy more than 100 million tablets of chloroquine for India, even though a deadly variant of malaria had developed resistance to the medication.