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Members of South Africa’s Zip Zap Circus. Washington Post/Getty Images

Better access to stories can improve adolescent lives in Africa

Elleke Boehmer, University of Oxford Across cultures, the self-making powers of storytelling are widely recognised. Steve Biko, the South African Black Consciousness thinker, once said that we need to speak from where we stand. Seeing the impact of our environment on our thinking about ourselves can change our thinking, he…

An aerial view of a part of Lagos. shutterstock

Lagos state is likely to get hotter and more humid, leading to greater health risks

Opeyemi Salau, Ekiti State University Without doubt, there are several reasons to believe that our climate is changing. Records over the period of 1880-2012, indicate that the surface temperatures have risen globally. There has also been an increasing rate of the warming reported over the last 25 years, during which…

A warning sign advising users to be aware of their surroundings while playing a video game. Stefan Heunis/AFP via Getty Images

Electronic banking fraud in Nigeria: how it’s done, and what can be done to stop it

Oludayo Tade, University of Ibadan Six years ago, a cashless policy became fully operational in Nigeria. The aim was to encourage electronic transactions with a view to reducing the amount of physical cash in the economy. The logic was that this would minimise the risk of cash-related crimes. But a…

Jean-Pierre Bemba during his trial at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, The Netherlands. EPA-EFE/Michael Kooren

The ICC’s rejection of Bemba’s compensation claim points to need for reform

Tonny Raymond Kirabira, University of Portsmouth and Leïla Choukroune, University of Portsmouth The International Criminal Court (ICC) recently rejected a claim for financial compensation by former Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) vice president Jean Pierre Bemba after he was acquitted of war crimes and crimes against humanity on appeal in…

President Muhammadu Buhari raises his fist during an inspection of honour guards on parade to mark Democracy Day in Abuja, on June 12, 2019. Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP via Getty Images

Buhari’s COVID-19 economic plan: old wine in new wineskins

Stephen Onyeiwu, Allegheny College COVID-19 is increasingly wreaking havoc on the health of Nigerians, but its economic impact may well be more devastating. Before the pandemic, the Nigerian economy was growing at an anaemic rate of 2%. The country has also been suffering from high poverty and unemployment rates. This…

A pharmacy store in Ogun State, southwest Nigeria. Photo by Pius Utomi Ekpei /AFP via Getty Images

Non-medical use of prescription drugs among skilled workers: a pilot study in Nigeria

Samson Femi Agberotimi, North-West University More than ever, the world is facing a challenge of non-medical use of prescription drugs among people of all ages, genders and occupations. Evidence shows that pharmaceutical opioids (tramadol, codeine, or morphine), barbiturates such as pentobarbital sodium, benzodiazepines (diazepam and alprazolam), and amphetamines are the…

A security guard checks the body temperature of a motorcyclist as a preventive measure. [Risa Krisadhi/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images]

So you think investing in fever screening can curb the spread of COVID-19? Think again

As lockdowns are lifted, procedures are being put in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Along with physical distancing, hand sanitisation and wearing of masks, fever screening is increasingly being set up as a requirement before entry is allowed into hospitals, shops, workplaces and schools. But there are physiological…

Nigerian teenagers need knowledgeable digital mentors and coaches. [Frederic Soltan/Getty Images]

Why it’s time for adults to accept that Nigerian teenagers have a digital life

All over the world, the reach of digital technology is growing at an extraordinary rate, even in developing countries. Young people are growing up in an environment ruled by digital devices, the internet and social media. Research evidence indicates that using the internet and other technologies such as video games…

A user looks at President Donald Trump’s tweets, and the Twitter-appended notice suggesting users ‘get the facts.’ AFP via Getty Images

President rages as Twitter labels White House disinformation

In a landmark action, Twitter has for the first time attached independent fact-checking information directly to two tweets from President Donald Trump. The president’s tweets make false claims alleging that wider use of mail in ballots will result in an increase in voter fraud. This is far from the first…

RGtimeline/Shutterstock

Coronavirus vaccine search: how we’re preparing to make enough for the whole world

Qasim Rafiq, UCL and Martina Micheletti, UCLThere are 102 candidate vaccines being explored as a means of ending the COVID-19 pandemic, as of April 30. Eight of these have already made it to clinical trials in humans, and another 94 are in the pre-clinical evaluation stage. These candidates also fall…

Harvesters work on a soybean harvest in the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil. (Pixabay)

Coronavirus: Another chance to transform the global food trade

For the second time this century, the interdependence of the global food supply is in sharp focus. In the first instance, the economic crisis of 2008 created high food prices and pushed an additional 100 million people toward hunger. For many, though, that crisis neither began nor ended in 2008.…

Electronic waste heap from used discarded computer parts and cases [Photo: The Conversation - Ladislav Kubes/Getty Images]

Why Nigeria needs to manage electronic waste better

In most of Nigeria’s cities, there are visible piles of refuse that have built up on roads, river banks and swampy land. These waste dumps smell bad and are breeding grounds for germs that cause diseases. Perhaps less well-known is the electronic waste that’s becoming a serious problem in parts…

Lack of technology infrastructure is a barrier to mobile healthcare in Nigeria [Photo: The Conversation - Stefan Heunis/AFP via Getty Images]

Mobile technology can improve access to healthcare in Nigeria – if it’s regulated

Evidence from low- and middle-income countries suggests that digital and mobile communication technology can improve management of diseases. It is also particularly useful in medical emergencies. It has the potential to increase access to healthcare where resources are scarce and systems are under stress. One aspect of this technology is…

A food market in Ibafo in Nigeria’s Ogun State. The effects of COVID-19 on food systems will be keenly felt in poorer countries. [Photo - The Conversation]

Malnutrition and epidemics are intertwined. That makes fixing food systems crucial

Malnutrition is by far the biggest driver of ill-health and premature mortality in every region of the world. A slow-burn attritional problem, it does enormous damage. The COVID-19 epidemic that’s sweeping the world, meanwhile, brings a series of massive short-wave shocks. Both the epidemic and malnutrition will generate long-wave impacts,…

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Salvatore di Nolfi/EPA

Explainer: what Donald Trump’s funding cuts to WHO mean for the world

US President Donald Trump has announced the US is cutting its funding to the World Health Organisation (WHO) – a decision that will have major implications for the global health response to the coronavirus pandemic. The US contributes more than US$400 million to the WHO per year, though it is…

Yander Zamora/EPA. [PHOTO CREDIT: The Conversation]

Coronavirus Response: Why Cuba is such an interesting case

Some countries seem to be weathering the coronavirus pandemic better than others. One country that moved rapidly to deal with the emerging threat was Cuba. Cuba has several advantages over many states, including free universal healthcare, the world’s highest ratio of doctors to population, and positive health indicators, such as…

Health workers walk from house to house during vaccination campaign against polio in Kano, northwest Nigeria in 2017. Photo by Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP via Getty Images. [PHOTO CREDIT: The Conversation]

In northern Nigeria, distrust jeopardises response to coronavirus

The malam said: ‘there is no corona!’ We also say: ‘there is no corona!’ A video of crowds shouting this refrain circulated on Nigerian social media in late March. The “malam” or teacher they were referring to is Shaykh Sani Yahaya Jingir, an Islamic scholar based in Jos, Plateau State,…

A simple, low-tech way to get rid of germs. FatCamera/E+ via Getty Images. [PHOTO CREDIT: The Conversation]

Meet Dr Semmelweis, the man who discovered the power of hand-washing

One of the front-line defenses individuals have against the spread of the coronavirus can feel decidedly low-tech: hand-washing. In fact, it was 19th-century Hungarian physician Ignaz Semmelweis who, after observational studies, first advanced the idea of “hand hygiene” in medical settings. The simple act of hand-washing is a critical way…

Digital footprints. Prasit photo/Moment via Getty Images. [PHOTO CREDIT: THe Conversation]

How digital surveillance can help bring the coronavirus pandemic under control

Apple and Google are collaborating on new technology that will alert smartphone users who have come in sustained contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Users will need to opt-in to the contract tracing system, which will use Bluetooth technology in both iPhone and Android phones in ways…

SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, isolated from a patient and imaged using a transmission electron micrograph. NIAID

What we do and do not know about COVID-19’s infectivity and viral load

As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads, it has become clear that people need to understand basic facts about SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, to make informed health care and public policy decisions. Two basic virological concepts have gotten a lot of attention recently – the “infectious dose” and the “viral…

Virus Outbreak One Good Thing Ventilator Repairs

Coronavirus weekly: as some countries hope to ease confinement, others are just getting started

This is the week the number of people infected with coronavirus worldwide officially exceeds two million. Since this figure only relates to detected cases, the real number is likely much higher. The pandemic is ongoing, and while some countries begin confinement, others hope to ease it soon. At the same…

In Nigeria, 145 babies are born to every 1,000 girls aged 15-19 annually. [The Conversation]

More than a million babies are born to young Nigerians every year: we explored why

In Nigeria, 145 babies are born to every 1,000 girls aged 15-19 annually. Considering the population’s age structure, the adolescent fertility rate implies 1.6 million births a year in that age group. Nigeria has over 23 million girls aged 10-19. There is abundant evidence that if girls become mothers without…

ICU Ventilators: A patient on ventilator used to illustrate the story PHOTO CREDIT: The Conversation

ICU Ventilators: What they are, how they work and why it’s hard to make more

Around the world, people are racing to design and manufacture much-needed ventilators to address a global lack of supply. One New York hospital has reportedly attempted treating two patients per ventilator out of desperation. On March 26, a joint statement published by the American Society of Anaesthesiologists advised in regards…

Professor Harry Garuba [Courtesy the University of Cape Town]

A tribute to poet and professor Harry Garuba: we continue to learn with you

I wish I could let the language of the chained roar let loose rivers of rage to cleanse this land… And build for you a memorial ageless as your love. – Harry Garuba, Memorial wish, Animist Chants and Memorials: Poems (2017) Professor Harry Garuba died on 28 February 2020. Harry’s…

The guidance on masks appears to be shifting, but social distancing is still the key step people can take. Muhammad Fayyaz Rub/Shutterstock.com

ANALYSIS: Should we wear masks or not? An expert sorts through the confusion

As a professor at Boston University’s School of Medicine and a geriatrician at Boston Medical Center caring for the most vulnerable in this pandemic, I’ve been asked a lot of questions about COVID-19. It turns out there is good science out there that helps us know what masks we need…