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India-Africa partnership in global food security


The partnership between India and Africa is rapidly evolving. India and Africa have tie-up as key partners for the global food security with the change of global landscape for agriculture and food.

According to India Inc, India’s experience benefits Africa’s agriculture as Africa’s farm sector estimated to grow to $1 trillion by 2030.

A Didar Singh, the secretary general of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) said that India needs a renovation and look for consumers whereas the African continent offers one of the most unexploited markets, in a forward to a global accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report on agricultural partnership between India and the 54-nation.

According to the PwC report, Africa “represents the ‘last edge in global food and agricultural markets”.

“The continent houses almost 60 percent of the world’s uncultivated land and an abundance of natural resources.”

Due to the financial problem, Nigeria, which is called as the largest African economy, was rotating to China for the commercial agriculture.

Sub-Saharan area is said to have the large percentage of uncultivated fertile land and presence of water and sub-Saharan Africa alone requires $50 billion annual investments to make the agricultural system work better.

Ajay Kakra, the head of PwC India agriculture and natural resources said Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) has 11 of the world’s fastest growing economies and estimated to reach $2.6 trillion by 2020.

“At present, India and Africa together have manpower of almost $2.2 billion and a combined GDP estimate of more than $3 trillion,” Kakra said.

“The agricultural sector in Africa has great potential to contribute to this growth, with the continent having almost 60 percent of uncultivated land in the world and currently producing only 10 percent of the global output,” he added.

The continent hopes to increase $280 billion agricultural output in 2010 to $880 billion in 2030.

“This increase will be enabled by bringing potentially cultivable land into cultivation, increasing yields and shifting to the cultivation of high-value and high-yielding crops,” Kakra said.

“Over the last decade, countries that have increased investments in agriculture as per the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) targets have seen reductions in hunger and poverty, and increases in productivity,” it said.

“Ghana, Togo, Zambia, Burundi, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Congo, Senegal, Ethiopia and Malawi are some examples,” it added.

The PwC report recommended ‘’public-private’’ partnerships as a chain key to take Africa’s agriculture to the next level and government support to the private sector should not be underestimated.(IANS)

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Pentavalent vaccine: Doctors raise red flag

In spite of the data presented in this paper from a large cohort, the authors point out that the evidence is merely circumstantial and not conclusive

the new Hepatitis B vaccine for adults is called Heplisav-B.
India's PV to be reexamined because of its harmful effects. .
  • Pentavalent vaccine was introduced in India six years ago
  • It is since then have been a cause of many deaths
  • Doctors want it to be reexamined before continuing its use

Pentavalent vaccine (PV), that was introduced by India a little over six years ago, doubled the deaths of children soon after vaccination compared to the DPT (Diphtheria-Pertussis-Tetanus) vaccine, according to a new study that calls for a “rigorous review of the deaths following vaccination with PV”.

Health officials have launched a campaign targeting nearly 24 million people with a one-fifth dose of the vaccine. Wikimedia Commons
PV has been cause of many deaths in past years. Wikimedia Commons

Government records show that there were 10,612 deaths following vaccination (both PV and DPT) in the last 10 years. There was a huge increase in these numbers in 2017, which the Health Ministry has promised to study. “The present analysis could be a starting point in the quest to reduce the numbers of such deaths,” authors of the new study say.

The study by Dr Jacob Puliyel, Head of Pediatrics at St Stephens Hospital, and Dr V. Sreenivas, Professor of Biostatistics at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), both in New Delhi, is published in the peer-reviewed Medical Journal of Dr D.Y. Patil University.

PV is a combination of the DPT vaccine and two more vaccines against Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) and hepatitis B. Starting December 2011, PV was introduced into India’s immunisation programme to replace DPT vaccine in a staged manner with a view to adding protection against Hib and Hepatitis B without increasing the number of injections given to infants.

Doctors have raised concerns over these vaccines. Wikimedia Commons
Doctors have raised concerns over these vaccines. Wikimedia Commons

But sporadic reports of unexplained deaths following immunisation with PV had been a matter of concern. Puliyel, Sreenivas and their colleagues undertook the study to find out if these deaths were merely coincidental or vaccine-induced.

The authors obtained data of all deaths reported from April 2012 to May 2016 under the Right to Information Act. Data on deaths within 72 hours of administering DPT and PV from different states were used.

For their study, the authors assumed that all deaths within 72 hours of receiving DPT are natural deaths. Using this figure as the baseline, they presumed that any increase in the number of deaths above this baseline among children receiving PV must be caused by this vaccine.

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According to their analysis of the data provided by the government, there were 237 deaths within 72 hours of administering the Pentavalent vaccine — twice the death rate among infants who received DPT vaccine.

Extrapolating the data, the authors have estimated that vaccination of 26 million children each year in India would result in 122 additional deaths within 72 hours, due to the switch from DPT to PV.

“There is likely to be 7,020 to 8,190 deaths from PV each year if data from states with the better reporting, namely Manipur and Chandigarh, are projected nationwide,” their report says.

It is important to make sure that these vaccines are reexamined peroperly. VOA

The authors note that while the study looks at the short-term increase in deaths (within three days of vaccination) it does not calculate the potential benefits of PV on infant mortality, for example by protection against lethal diseases like Haemophilus influenza.

In spite of the data presented in this paper from a large cohort, the authors point out that the evidence is merely circumstantial and not conclusive. “These findings of differential death rates between DPT and PV do call for further rigorous prospective population-based investigations,” the study concludes. IANS