VICTORIA – SEYCHELLES is on high alert after a serious outbreak of pneumonic plague in neighbouring MADAGASCAR, where the disease has killed 57 people in less than TWO weeks.

The World Health Organisation, WHO, says the plague has been affecting major cities and other non-endemic areas since it was FIRST detected last month in MADAGASCAR.

However, it says the outbreak, of which there has been a total of 684 suspected, probable and confirmed cases reported from 35 out of 114 districts, carries a moderate risk of spreading to neighbouring INDIAN Ocean islands.

The WHO says the danger has been mitigated by the short incubation period of pneumonic plague, from exposure to onset of symptoms, as well as exit screening measures at the airport and other major ports.

SBC News says the global organisation has sent TWO experts to assist with response to the plague, as the situation in neighbouring MADAGASCAR shows no signs of abating.

It says they are supporting the Department of Surveillance Response Unit and have carried out a ONE-day-long training workshop for contact tracing.

The authorities have admitted in hospital ONE person suspected to have been infected by the ailment, but who is no longer infectious; although he remains in isolation to complete his antibiotic course.

A statement from the Public Health Authority says they have effectively controlled all potential contacts with the suspected case.

Meanwhile, the authorities in SEYCHELLES are calling on members of the public to report any individual planning to travel to MADAGASCAR and they have given a hotline number for people to call for information and advice./Sabanews/cam


Africa now more serious about strategic partnerships


ADDIS ABABA – AFRICA has launched a program to reflect on and review its strategic partnerships, to make them more relevant and responsive to the needs of the peoples of the continent.

Experts say strategic partnerships are long-term ties between TWO countries or continents – based on political, economic, social and historical factors; and AFRICA has such a link with EUROPE.

The AFRICAN UNION, AU Executive Council has this week held an extraordinary meeting at the AU Commission Headquarters in the ETHIOPIAN capital, ADDIS ABABA.

The Commission says delegates have discussed ways to speed up talks ahead of the FIFTH AU-EU Summit scheduled for 29 and 30 NOVEMBER in ABIDJAN, the major city of COTE D’IVOIRE.

The Commission has issued a statement saying the Ministers of Foreign Affairs have been exchanging views to have a common AU position during the upcoming AU-EU Summit.

Commission Chairperson MOUSSA FAKI MAHAMAT has opened the gathering and commended the continued commitment of the Foreign Affairs Ministers in the application of the AU Development Agenda 2063.

Agenda 2063 is a strategic framework for the socio-economic transformation of the continent over the next 50 years, a program aimed to speed up implementation of past and existing initiatives.

Mr MAHAMAT says the upcoming AU-EU Summit comes at a crucial moment in the history of the AU-EU Partnership, when AFRICA is now expecting such ties to be more meaningful.

He says the Summit will also be greatly vital because it will discuss the AU theme of the year: Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investments in the Youth.

It therefore touches on the larger part of the AFRICAN citizens, given that young people represent more than 60 percent of the population on the continent.

Mr MAHAMAT says the AU has recognized the urgent need to improve the current state of the youth, because any action, or inaction, today, regarding youth development and empowerment will have a huge impact on future prospects.

The AU Commission Chairperson says there is need to reorganise the structure of the AU and revise its methods of work, as well as redefine the AU-EU partnership and ties with the rest of the world; based on mutual respect, equality, freedom and solidarity./Sabanews/cam