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    Leprosy declining in Ethiopia, awareness creation needed: Association

    The number of persons infected with leprosy has declined from about 30,000 to 3,700 per year during the last two decades, according to Ethiopian National Association of Persons Affected by Leprosy.

    Ethiopian National Association of Persons Affected by Leprosy Manager, Tesfaye Tadesse told journalists on Thursday that though the decline is encouraging, enhanced awareness about the disease and its treatment is crucial in order to eliminate the disease.

    Condemning the stigmatization of victims of leprosy, the manager called on all to encourage victims to actively participate in the political, economic and social affairs of the country.

    State Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, Getahun Abdisa on his part said the prevalence of leprosy in the country has met the 1 case per 10,000 goal of World Health Organization.

    Yet there is stigmatization of victims due to low level of awareness, he said, adding that nationwide efforts are need to develop awareness on leprosy.

    World Leprosy Day on January will be observed in Addis Ababa on 26, 2020. (ENA)

    Africab Group interested in investing in Ethiopia

    Africab Group, the Indian manufacturer of a wide range of electrical products in Africa, is interested in investing in Ethiopia, according to an official communication released on Thursday in Addis Ababa.

    Sheikh Yusufali Imani, Director of External Marketing at the Dare Salaam branch of Africab Group, said this statement during a meeting held in this capital with Ethiopia’s State Minister of Foreign Affairs Aklilu Hailemichael.

    After highlighting the participation of several Chinese companies in many sectors of the Ethiopian economy, Hailemichael thanked Africab’s interest, and considered its productions and services for local development important, the text notes.

    Africab Group will be supported by the Government and, in addition to cooperating with our objectives, will obtain benefits from its presence in a large and stable market, he said.

    Imani, on the other hand, explained that the business group plans to produce cables, transformers, switches and other related products, which can be sold in Ethiopia and even exported to other African nations. (Prensa Latina)

    Locusts to continue attack till end of February: Ministry

    The Ministry of Agriculture has announced that it is taking measures to control desert locust swarms which will continue migrating to Ethiopia in five directions.

    Plant Health Care Director Zebdios Selato said on Thursday huge number of swarms is expected to migrate to Ethiopia through five different directions till the end of next month.

    According to him, the untimely rain during the past months has created conducive environment to the swarms to re-migrate from Kenya, in addition to the pervious ones from Somalia, Somaliland, Yemen, and Puntland.

    “We have fortunately identified the corridors through which the swarm is entering to the country. So, we have added two more aircrafts to fight the locust. In total, we have assigned four aircrafts to prevent them from crossing across the corridors”, the director elaborated.

    Zebdios noted that cooperation among east African countries is very crucial in fighting the swarms.

    So far about 65,000 hectare of lands has been affected by swarms, he revealed. Of this, 58,628 hectare was freed from locusts. (ENA)

    Patent on teff to be terminated, but problem of biopiracy is far from solved

    A controversial patent on Ethiopia’s national cereal teff is about to be terminated, but the problem of biopiracy is far from solved, according to a report by DW.

    Farmers in the Ethiopian highlands started cultivating teff 3,000 years ago. Perhaps understandably, many Ethiopians are annoyed that a Dutch company holds a patent on processed teff flour.

    To this day, in some European countries, no flour from the gluten-free and nutrient-rich super grain may be sold without paying royalties to the Netherlands. This could soon change, and if it does it will be partly due to the private initiative of a German lawyer.

    Ethiopians find it particularly perfidious that the Dutch company in question started by conducting research on teff together with the Ethiopian state and agreed to share the genetic information obtained for commercial use. But in 2004, it filed a patent alone.

     The European Patent Office granted it a monopoly on a wide range of products made from teff in Europe. (DW)

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