Gee-Whiz Science or Biopiracy?

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By Sifelani Tsiki, The Herald | Editorial comment by Dady Chery, Haiti Chery. Pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and food companies have made millions on plant species that have been used for generations by indigenous groups. Africa could be losing more than US $15 billion from its biodiversity as medicines, cosmetics, agricultural products from indigenous knowledge are illegally patented by multinational companies without benefits accruing to local communities in the countries of origin.

Human Trafficking Gang Busted By Zimbabwe and Zambia

By Majie Sayila, The Times of Zambia | Staff, The Herald Online. Forty-one Bangladeshis have been arrested between Zimbabwe and Zambia as these countries tighten the fight against human trafficking. Fifteen who were smuggled into Zambia from the Democratic Republic of Congo have been fined for unlawful presence in the country. The driver of the truck in which they were ferried was committed to the High Court for sentencing after he admitted to the offense of smuggling persons, which carries a minimum sentence of 15 years.

19 Tons of Poison Delivered to Harare’s Main Waterworks

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By Michael Chideme and Daniel Nemukuyu, The Herald Online. An alert truck driver sent to deliver 19 tons of poisonous sodium cyanide — instead of aluminum sulfate — to Harare’s main waterworks averted disaster last Wednesday July 25 when he raised alarm just as he was about to offload the chemical.

Are Stealth Oral Cholera Vaccines in Haiti’s Recently ‘Expanded Program of Immunization’?Les vaccins anticholériques oraux furtifs: sont-ils dans le ‘programme élargi de vaccination’?

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By Aline Sainsoivil, Le Matin | Translation and editorial comment by Dady Chery, Haiti Chery. Haiti’s Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP) presented a plan to strengthen its “Expanded Program of Immunization (EPI)” at a meeting on Monday, March 12, with UN organizations UNICEF, PAHO, and WHO. Might this strengthened EPI involve a plan to administer oral cholera vaccines? (English | French)

Pioneering Cholera Scientist Gives Thumbs Down to Oral Vaccines Promoted for HaitiUn pionnier scientifique du choléra dit que les vaccins oraux promus pour Haïti sont inutiles

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By Rashid Haider, Haiti Chery. Prof. Richard A. Finkelstein, an eminent microbiologist and Nobel-Prize nominee for his pioneering studies on cholera, advises that for cholera “the best solution resides in providing safe drinking water and sewage disposal.” In Dec 2010, alarmed by the oral vaccination plans for Haiti, he wrote to the health officials, including Jon Andrus, the Deputy Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) that the proposed use of Dukoral was “a useless and expensive waste of resources.” This vaccine was not adopted, but a campaign immediately started for the use of Shanchol, another questionable oral cholera vaccine. (English | French)

Oral Cholera Vaccines Cannot Control Haiti Cholera: Rebuttal to an Article in Scientific American

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By Rashid Haider, Haiti Chery | Editorial Comment by Dady Chery, Haiti Chery. From the moment cholera appeared in Haiti, a series of “experts” started to promote oral cholera vaccines for the country in articles that did not require a declaration of conflicts of interest or a critical review by independent scientists who study cholera. Here Rashid Haider, who is knowledgeable about the cholera trials in Bangladesh and Peru, provides a devastating rebuttal of the most recent of such articles, which extensively quotes Paul Farmer and appeared in the January 12th issue of Scientific American. DC

Cholera Vaccines Unnecessary, Ineffective, Expensive, and Dangerous

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By Rashid Haider, Haiti Chery | Editorial comment by Dady Chery, Haiti Chery. Cholera vaccines are being pushed on Haiti, especially Shanchol, a vaccine that protects only 45% of those vaccinated during the first year and is unsuitable for controlling epidemic or endemic cholera. Shanchol is expensive. In addition, preparations of it for use in developing countries contain the dangerous mercury-based preservative thiomersal.

Zimbabwe: 40 Water Bottling Companies BannedZimbabwe: 40 Water Bottling Companies BannedZimbabwe: 40 Water Bottling Companies Banned

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By Peter Matambanadzo, The Herald via All Africa. Out of 49 potential bottlers that submitted their water for testing and possible certification, only nine were advised that their water was suitable for bottling.