Topics : Long after the funding for his project was frozen, Bilal Endris has kept a lonely watch over cemeteries in Ethiopia’s capital by slipping cash to gravediggers to alert his team to any sudden spikes in burials.In a nation where fewer than 2% of deaths are registered, an increase in burials may be one of the first signs that a killer disease is on the loose.The program was set up to monitor deaths related to HIV/AIDS a decade ago. Now doctor Bilal monitors for a spike in fatalities linked to COVID-19. “In Ethiopia and everywhere across Africa … we go blind.” Bilal told Reuters. “I wanted to turn the health care system into one based on evidence.”In the capital Addis Ababa, less than 20% of deaths occur in hospitals, Bilal said, so monitoring deaths requires talking to community leaders and burial grounds.In Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, media reports citing gravediggers alerted authorities to an undetected COVID-19 outbreak in the northern city of Kano in April, when deaths surged from a daily average of 11 to 43.Counting the deadBilal’s project began tracking burials at all graveyards in Addis Ababa a decade ago.But in 2018, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) froze its funding, as the country had started using other methods to track HIV mortality, according to a CDC spokeswoman.Bilal scaled back his surveillance to 10 cemeteries and began working for free, paying sources with a tiny grant from Addis Ababa University – until May.City officials called him for a meeting, desperate to know whether COVID-19 was cutting swathes through their city, he said. The Ministry of Health did not respond to requests for comment.Although official figures are still low – 7,650 confirmed cases and 127 deaths as of Sunday night – Ethiopia’s outbreak is accelerating. The university has now given Bilal enough support to restart the program in all 73 graveyards.”It used to be funded by the CDC but now it is funded by Addis Ababa University as everyone, including the government, thinks the program is very important,” said Dr Wondwossen Amogne, an associate professor in infectious diseases at Addis Ababa University and director of research at the university’s Black Lion Hospital.Health minister Lia Tadesse confirmed the study was being used by the government to monitor any spikes in death.As a separate initiative, New York-based public health initiative Resolve to Save Lives is working with five other African nations to set up similar programs, including Rwanda and Senegal. The other three don’t want to be named.They will establish the usual death rate by interviewing community leaders, then watch for spikes.Deciding whether any excess deaths are due to COVID-19 could be tricky, however. People with other diseases are avoiding hospitals for fear of catching the virus, health officials say. He has yet to see one, but projects like his are being set up in other African countries where many deaths go unrecorded, making it hard to assess the scale of a disease. In some cases, nations are dusting off programs set up during Ebola outbreaks.Bilal himself has secured additional funding to restore the program to all 73 of Addis Ababa’s cemeteries from just 10 now.Only eight countries in Africa – Algeria, Cape Verde, Djibouti, Egypt, Mauritius, Namibia, Seychelles, and South Africa – record more than 75% of deaths, according to the United Nations.In other regions, where official data is readily available, researchers have used the number of deaths from all causes that exceed the average for the time of year to help gauge the number linked to the coronavirus pandemic.
401 & 401a Church Road Taigum Qld 4018. Picture: Realestate.com.au 401 & 401a Church Road Taigum Qld 4018. Picture: Realestate.com.auONE of the biggest residential blocks in Brisbane has hit the market along with its two houses, tennis court and pool. 401 & 401a Church Road Taigum Qld 4018. Picture: Realestate.com.au“While not the typical 11,900sqm parcel these grounds are very easy to maintain, yet still extremely private. It also lends itself to a prime development opportunity,” was how he described it. 401 & 401a Church Road Taigum Qld 4018. Picture: Realestate.com.auMore from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home1 hour agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor7 hours agoMr Rowland was marketing it as a “rare opportunity” to get into the acreage market with the 11,900sq m block (1.19 hectares) half an hour from the CBD and its second residence currently earning $430 a week in rent. 401 & 401a Church Road Taigum Qld 4018. Picture: Realestate.com.auThe main home has four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a remote double garage, spa bath, extensive well-manicured grounds with vegetable garden, salt water inground pool, sauna, flood lit tennis court, three gate access and a 9000 litre water tank. 401 & 401a Church Road Taigum Qld 4018. Picture: Realestate.com.auThe rental property has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, double lockup garage, high cathedral ceilings, large attic storage space, fully fenced child and pet friendly separate garden and a 9,500 litre water tank. Among other large blocks currently on the market was 20 Coriander Place, Forest Lake, a 1.073 hectare site that Chris Foenander of Coronis Forest Lake was marketing as “a blank canvas” 20 minutes to the Brisbane CBD. Another large landholding at 581 Gold Creek Road Brookfield has recently gone under contract. The 1.43 hectare site was being marketed by Ryan Smith of ReMax Profile Real Estate as being “enveloped by the established landscaped grounds”. 401 & 401a Church Road Taigum Qld 4018. Picture: Realestate.com.auThe dual residences at 401 and 401a Church Road in Taigum were a “prime development opportunity” according to listing agents Tristan Rowland and Samantha Foster of Place Aspley, with the owners looking for offers over $1.35 million.
MANCHESTER: Veteran pacer Stuart Broad has progressed seven places to reach third position among bowlers in the latest ICC Test Rankings after a stellar show in the final Test against the West Indies, which England won by 269 runs to clinch the three-match series 2-1.The formerly top-ranked bowler, who finished with a match haul of 10 for 67 during which he touched the milestone of 500 Test wickets, has reached his best since August 2016 when too he was third. Another England bowler to advance is Chris Woakes, whose five-wicket haul in the second innings has lifted him to 20th position and a career-best rating points tally of 654. Meanwhile, India’s Jasprit Bumrah has dropped down a place and is currently at the eighth spot in bowler’s rankings. West Indies skipper Jason Holder has dropped down by two places and is at the fifth spot. Broad has also gained seven places with the bat after his 62 off 45 balls in the first innings, the joint-third fastest for England in Test history, and risen three places among all-rounders to 11th. England opener Rory Burns has also gained in the latest update, gaining 13 spots to reach 17th position after scores of 57 and 90 at the Old Trafford, the first time the 29-year-old left-hander has moved into the top 20. Ollie Pope is at a career-best 46th position, gaining 24 slots on the back of his 91 in his only innings of the match, while Jos Buttler’s knock of 67 has lifted him from 50th to 44th. (IANS) Also watch: #NewsMakers: Amending EIA Notification, 2020 Impact on NorthEast