Kenya Current Affairs - 2019

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Sustainable Blue Economy Conference held in Nairobi, Kenya

The first Sustainable Blue Economy Conference was held in Nairobi, capital of Kenya. It was organized by Kenya and cohosted by Japan and Canada. The theme of this conference was ‘The Blue Economy and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.’

Sustainable Blue Economy Conference

This conference was held on momentum of UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, 2015 Climate Change Conference in Paris and UN Ocean Conference 2017 ‘Call to Action. Over 17,000 plus participants from some 184 countries had participated in the conference. India was represented Union Minister for Shipping, Road Transport & Highways, Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Nitin Gadkari. Other parties who participated in this conference are World Wildlife Fund, WWF; International Maritime Organization, IMO; International Seabed Authority, ISA;  orld Bank; AFRIEXIMBANK; Ocean Foundation etc.

Background

Blue Economy is economic benefit and value that is realized from Earth’s coastal and marine environment. Sustainable Blue Economy is marine-based economy that provides social and economic benefits for current and future generations, restores, protects and maintains diversity, productivity and resilience of marine ecosystems. It is also based on clean technologies, renewable energy, and circular material flows.

Blue Economy is very crucial for India’s economic development. India has strategic location in Indian Ocean region (IOR), and on this basis, it endorses growth of Blue Economy in sustainable, inclusive and people centred manner through framework of Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA).

India is also developing its maritime infrastructure as well as its inland waterways and coastal shipping through launch of the ambitious “Sagarmala Programme” which aims to revolutionize maritime logistics and port led developments in country. India’s national vision about this sector is clearly articulated in term “SAGAR”- Security and Growth for All in IOR which was coined by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

First malaria vaccine to be tested in Kenya, Ghana and Malawi in 2018

The World Health Organization has announced that it is ready to test the first malaria vaccine in the real world setting in 2018. The aim of the testing will be to ascertain whether the vaccine will work under real world circumstances or not. Kenya, Ghana and Malawi have been chosen for taking part in the pilot project.

The vaccine, RTS,S, also known as Mosquirix, was produced by GlaxoSmithKline in 1987 in a public-private partnership with the PATH Malaria Initiative and with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In 2015, the vaccine received approval from the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

For the next four years (2017-2021), the vaccine will be administered to children between 5 and 17 months in Kenya, Ghana and Malawi. The vaccine will be given four times and will be administered by an intramuscular injection.

The RTS, S vaccine works by targeting the liver phase of the malaria parasite’s life cycle as the parasite multiplies inside the liver after getting introduced into the body by a mosquito bite. It has taken about 30 years for the creation of the vaccine to the approval of pilot programme in 2017. Only five species of Plasmodium parasite spread malarial parasite worldwide.

Need

According to WHO, malaria kills one child every two minutes and has killed 429,000 people in 2015. According to the WHO World Malaria Report 2016, Nigeria suffers most malaria deaths worldwide (26%), followed by the Democratic Republic of Congo (10%), India (6%), and Mali (5%). African continent suffers the most mosquito-borne ailments and there still exists gaps in prevention coverage as many people in sub-Saharan Africa lack access to mosquito protection like bed nets or bug spray.