Opinion: Omicron is the bad wolf created by nationalistic vaccine strategies

When you have a global pandemic. You need global solutions to stop it. However, in the case of the COVID-19 pandemic. The big pharmaceutical industries and Western hemisphere have taken most of the vaccines and paid-in-full. In such a way that the global south haven’t been able to buy-in or have ability to vaccinate their own. While state has had stockpiles and additional vaccines, which is more than they could ever use. Therefore, the donations in return have been of the surplus or the close to due-date of usage. Heck, nations have given away the vaccines to COVAX programs, which they will not use on their own citizens, because of the possible side-effects from it. Therefore, the whole new mutations or variants is created, because a lack of care or concern for the global south.

That there is a new type of COVID-19 called the Omicron is a world at large not taking care of it’s citizens. This isn’t the fault of South Africa or Botswana. No, this isn’t the fault of the Lesotho, Eswatini, Malawi or any those in question. They have been barred and not able to do what the European Union, United States of America or Canada even.

These was able to buy huge quantities of vaccines and own the market of it. While only donating away a small fraction of it in the name of charity and such. Which is the reason why plenty of nations are behind on the vaccine levels or ability to vaccinate their populations. This is why transmissions of the COVID-19 continues and creates possibilities for mutations. That’s because there is enough

This type of COVID-19 is another strong mutation like the Delta variant. We are getting into new territory. Where there is now a need for new editions of the COVID-19 Vaccine to fit this one. As the ones we currently having isn’t as effect as it was previously with other COVID-19 mutations. The virus is changing and it’s new strains is making the remedies we have powerless.

This is all happening, because the nationalistic vaccine strategies have been self-centred … and haven’t thought of the global picture. They have now created a new beast to compete with, because you wouldn’t evenly share the vaccines. The vaccines went by the capitalistic ways and not as a collective effort. Which is a failure, as this is only creating new mutations and strains… and we have to compete with another one. It is an endless cycle and we cannot win. Because, we are not playing this smart.

We have been able to vaccinate the Western Hemisphere. They are even considering a third booster doze for most of the populations. While where there is transmissions of Omicron it’s not the same rate or majority who has gotten jabs. This is because of he selfish interests and not considering the bigger picture. That’s why blocking and red-listing the Southern African nations is a cowards way of not taking responsibility. These have found the mutation and shown the world scientifically how it exists. Now, they are punished for doing so, but the “international community” have failed these states as is…

The COVAX Program of the World Health Organizations (WHO) have only patched the hurt and been a tiny charity event on sporadic basis. This haven’t created the levels or sustainability in case of the global pandemic. While the states in the Western Hemisphere have been stockpiling and had additional vaccines for cover. This is the tragic reality there.

That’s why Omicron could become a thing. Because, there was enough transmission and ability for the virus to mutate. This type of COVID-19 is proven to: Is one for which there is evidence of an increase in transmissibility, more severe disease, significant reduction in neutralization by antibodies generated during previous infection or vaccination(WHO, 26.11.2021).

This is another edition of the delta virus. Which could have been avoided. However, the world and the rich nations preferred to ditch out the rest. While being honourable by a little charity here and there. Sometimes even dumping the surplus on the global south, because they could. Not because the others asked for it, but that was still better than nothing. Still, this isn’t fair or a just system. It is making the virus a continuous global problem and it’s our fault.

We should have known better, but the greed is taken us all. That is not saving anyone, but causing new mutations down the line. Which in the end means we all have to take precautions for the Omicron. This is a beast and creation, which could have been avoided. If we had a fair global vaccine strategies and shared like gentlemen the medicines we have.

However, that wasn’t the ideal of the big-pharma or the Western Hemisphere. Therefore, it is tragic and unnecessary, but here we are fools in 2021. Looking like we learned nothing and we are repeating the sins of yesterday. Peace.

Opinion: Mbeki’s letter is right, but it’s too late now

Former President Thabo Mbeki penned a 8 page letter to the African National Congress Deputy Secretary General Jessie Duarte – “Re: Urgent Tasks of the Movement” dated yesterday on the 24th November 2021. This was his response to the failure of yet another Local Government Elections in the Republic.

Mbeki could easily see this coming and the ANC is own beast at this very moment. They are living on the past and on the stalemate they have on the political landscape. Yes, there are rising stars and movements, which can be a danger to them. However, it will still take time before they have manpower or capacity to overtake the ANC. That is what keeping the Movement alive and their current status as the ruling regime.

Cyril Ramaphosa haven’t ensured a better run state. No, the state is crippled and lacking service delivery, as it was under the reign of Jacob Zuma. They are both like kin, but Ramaphosa isn’t as conning and openly corrupt as his predecessor. Still, the systems are fixes, the financial forecasts aren’t getting better and neither is people changes.

The ANC have forgotten it’s purpose and seems to be a elitist and corrupt band of bandits on the top. They don’t seem to be fixated in governing or actually do what they promise to do. The same problems are reoccurring and generations are stagnating behind a cycle of lacking development. This is why they seek other politicians and parties. They don’t see any hope or promise in the ANC.

Why should they?

Yes, Mbeki says the ANC should implement Manifesto Commitments, but there shouldn’t be a need for a letter from a stalwart to do that. This should be basics, just like professionalising the public administration from the top to the bottom. However, that it get mentioned in 2021 is a travesty. When the ANC have been running the Republic since 1994 and had all the time to implement promises since then. This should be things they are busy doing already and if they are not. It says more about their nepotism, cronyism and their lacking concern with actually governing.

That’s why this letter is indicating what is lacking, but also what the ANC have forgotten to do. Which shouldn’t be thing in 2021. These should be the professionals and the grown ups in offices. Nevertheless, maybe fancy cars, siphoning funds and eating of the public plate is more important than, well actually do your job and fix the local government structures. It is easier to patch the hurt with a flair and boosting promises.

That’s why the words of the letter and the extracts of the pledges made only makes it more hallow. It shallow and not very promising. As Mbeki might mean every word and wants the ANC to succeed. What is striking is that this letter could easily just prove how the ANC has totally failed and is a failure of a governing party. When they need a reminder like this and to do what they said to do. This shouldn’t be the case… but it’s so in 2021.

Mbeki is maybe the conscience of the ANC at this point. He maybe has a heart and hope that he revitalize the ailing party. Nevertheless, his late to the party and the drinks have already been served. People are buzzed anymore, they are drowsy and some are ready to throw-up. Others are bailing out and wanting to go home. This party is a pity-party and his letter only shows what’s wrong.

Ramaphosa needs to address this, but don’t expect him too. He will let some of his handlers deal with this. His preoccupied with some sort of foreign expedition or conference to be bothered by this. Cyril hopes someone else can sort this out for him. Because, this is beneath him. Even if he is the head and needs to take charge. He won’t though.

So, Mbeki will not change things. The ANC is ailing and failing on it’s own merits. The ANC have created this and they can only change this… if they start to care or actually wants to govern. However, that is too much to ask and we cannot anticipate that in 2021. Peace.

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IGAD and FAO Call for Urgent Actions to Mitigate the Impacts of Drought Across the Horn of Africa (18.11.2021)

A joint statement by the IGAD Executive Secretary, Dr Workneh Gebeyehu and the FAO Subregional Coordinator for Eastern Africa, Dr Chimimba David Phiri.

NAIROBI, Kenya, November 18, 2021 – Vulnerable communities in the IGAD region continue to experience a complex mix of re-enforcing shocks and stresses that are eroding their resilience to food and nutrition insecurity. As of October 2021, 26 million people were already facing high levels of food insecurity (IPC Phase 3+), according to the Food Security and Nutrition Working Group (FSNWG), which is co-chaired by the Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Due to the threat of worsening drought conditions, food insecurity will likely rise during the first half of 2022 across the Horn of Africa. Urgent action is therefore required now to safeguard livelihoods, save lives, and prevent possible starvation in some areas.

Drought conditions are already affecting the arid and semi-arid lands of Kenya, southern and central Somalia, and Belg-receiving areas of southern and south-eastern Ethiopia as consecutive poor rainfall seasons have driven below-average crop production, rising cereal prices, poor rangeland conditions, reduced livestock production, and drought-related  animal deaths in many areas.

Moreover, as forecast by the IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC), the start of the current October-December 2021 rainy season has been significantly delayed, with little to no rainfall observed to date in many areas, raising the probability of another poor season. Should this occur, agricultural and pastoral conditions will further deteriorate, causing households already struggling with the effects of multiple, concurrent hazards (climate variability, conflict, COVID-19, and desert locusts) to employ negative coping strategies and reduce their food consumption. This is a major source of concern as food insecurity in the region has historically increased sharply following consecutive poor rainfall seasons.

IGAD Member States continue to work in collaboration with development partners to anticipate and respond to various food security threats and build the resilience of vulnerable communities to recurrent threats and crises. During the desert locust upsurge, for example, the unparalleled support of resource partners and multi-agency coordination averted USD 1.3 billion worth of cereal losses, meeting the cereal requirements of 29.1 million people. Desert locust livelihood recovery support continues for more than 200 000 households.

IGAD and FAO share a long-standing history of successful partnership and collaboration in building the region’s resilience in several areas, including but not limited to: livelihood support to strengthen resilience against droughts; food security information and analysis; early warning and disaster risk management; implementation of cross border actions in close collaboration with the respective communities, local and national authorities; conflict prevention; natural resource management; market access and trade; and capacity building; institutional strengthening and coordination through the IGAD Drought Disaster Resilience and Sustainability Initiative (IDDRSI).

Such resilience-building efforts have significantly improved the ability of households to withstand the impacts of shocks. However, the increased frequency of climatic hazards, combined with the effects of other stressors, is threatening these hard-won gains. It is, therefore, crucial to act now to protect these resilience gains and prevent more people from sliding into food insecurity and malnutrition.

To this end, we must support farmers and herders who are experiencing the impacts of poor harvests, depleted food and animal feedstock, and rising food and water prices. More specifically, IGAD and FAO call for a scale-up of contributions to existing and future Humanitarian Response Plans (HRPs) as the response remains grossly underfunded in the relevant countries. Through rapid, collaborative action by all actors, we can safeguard the lives and livelihoods of communities currently bearing the worsening effects of the drought, while at the same time, protecting households’ longer-term resilience.

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