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(Bloomberg) -- Burundi received 500,000 doses of Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccines on Thursday, in a Chinese donation valued at $3 million, according to Health Minister Thaddée Ndikumana.

“We have received these doses from the Chinese government as a grant,” he said. More vaccines from Belgium, France, and the U.S. are expected, Ndikumana said, without giving more details.

Burundi has registered 19,513 Covid-19 cases and 14 deaths, according to the World Health Organization. - Desire Nimubona, Bloomberg News


Rescuers try to retrieve the bodies of two workers who died at a septic tank they were cleaning at Kitengela in Kajiado on Wednesday, October 6, 2021. Photo Peterson Githaiga/Standard


Two people have died while cleaning a septic tank in Kitengela.

Police said the two died of suffocation.

They climbed down the tank using a ladder to apply a chemical that eliminates bad odour.

A neighbour who witnessed the incident said he heard someone shout twice, followed by a loud scream.

"I was passing by when I heard a scream. When I rushed to see what was happening, I found two people inside the manhole shouting for help," he said.

Police from the nearby Kitengela police station who were called to the scene found the two had already died.

It took emergency response teams including Kenya Red Cross officers more than two hours to retrieve the bodies.

Isinya police boss Charles Chepkonga said investigations into the matter have commenced. -  Peterson Githaiga, The Standard

Photo via Anadolu Agency


Government officials and experts have shown concern at the rising cases of teenage pregnancies in the landlocked East African country of Uganda during the COVID-related restrictions.

Education officer Nelson Ayo claimed that over 90,000 girls under 18 have got pregnant during this period when they were not going to school.

Education Minister Janet Museveni urged parents to guard their daughters. “I will not get tired of reminding you (parents) to always keep an eye on your children so that they do not get pregnant during this lockdown,” she said.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, primary teacher Rachael Bakalikwir, who resides in Natayigirwa village in Luuka district, 180 kilometers (111 miles) from the capital Kampala, said since the COVID-19 enforced lockdown, it has become a normal sight in the region to see teenage pregnant girls.

“Since lockdown, children stopped going to school. They became redundant and started misbehaving leading to many of the girls becoming pregnant,” she said.

She added that in that village, and neighboring villages it is normal to see 14- or 15-year-old girls pregnant.

Hamuza Lubale, a district children welfare officer, said he has so far recorded 770 pregnancies of children below 18 years in the district. But he said there may be many more in rural areas which have not been recorded.

Livingstone Naitema, a retired headmaster, urged the government to reopen schools so that students will get engaged.

“Few girls have been impregnated by fellow students, but the majority ones have been exploited by mature men in the villages especially those who work in sugar plantations,” he said.

Reports said the phenomenon is not limited to Luuka, alone but has spread across all the 144 districts in the country.

Jonana Kandwanaho, who heads the country’s national planning authority, said these pregnancies will become a burden on the nation in the nearby future. He also said that schools should reopen soon to allow children to return to an organized environment to keep them safe.

A recent survey by Twaweza, an NGO which promotes education countrywide, said at least 80% of Ugandans are worried about teenage pregnancy at epidemic proportions during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Richard Mugahi, an assistant commissioner of reproductive and infant health at the Health Ministry, also described teenage pregnancies as a big challenge. He said girls are better and safer in schools. - Godfrey Olukya, Anadolu Agency

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