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Lost in SA, Found in Malawi: Fugitive Malawian Pastor, Bushiri, Surrenders to Police

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A Malawian cleric, Pastor Shepherd Bushiri, has turned himself in to the police after South Africa issued a warrant of arrest against him for skipping bail and fleeing home to Malawi.

Bushiri and his wife, Mary, are facing several charges bordering on money laundering and fraud to the tune of $6.6m when they fled South Africa and resurfaced in Malawi despite their passports being seized.

On Saturday he told his social media followers that he had left the country because he had received death threats.

Police in Malawi’s capital Lilongwe say the couple surrendered on Wednesday as officers were looking for them following an arrest warrant they received from Interpol.

Some reports say that the self-declared “prophet” and his wife were smuggled out last week by a sophisticated syndicate which specialises in taking stolen cars from South Africa to Malawi.

There have also been suggestions in the South African press that he was smuggled out in Malawi’s presidential jet – something which has been denied by the authorities in both countries.

Malawi’s President Lazarus Chakwera was in South Africa on a state visit last week, and there has been speculation in South Africa that a member of his entourage had aided Mr Bushiri’s escape.

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Nigeria Stock Exchange | All-Share Index and Market Capitalization increased by 2.19%

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Nigerian Stocks ended last week on a bullish run cumulatively. The All-Share Index and Market Capitalization increased by 2.19% to close the week at 34,885.51 and N18.228 trillion respectively. We had, on News Central Now, the CEO of TrustBanc Asset Management Limited, Oluwaseun Adesoye join Sulaiman Aledeh to discuss this.

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The Big 5 Review | 30 – 11 -2020

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Malaria Death Toll to Exceed COVID-19 Deaths in sub-Saharan Africa – WHO

More than 409,000 people globally; most of them children in the impoverished parts of Africa were killed by malaria last year, the WHO said in its latest global malaria report, and COVID-19 will almost certainly make that toll higher in 2020.

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that, due to disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, malaria deaths will far exceed those killed by COVID-19 in sub-Saharan Africa.

More than 409,000 people globally, most of them children in the impoverished parts of Africa, were killed by malaria last year, WHO said in its latest global malaria report, and COVID-19 will almost certainly make that toll higher in 2020.

Director of WHO’s Malaria Programme Pedro Alsonso said “Our estimates are that depending on the level of service disruption (due to COVID-19), there could be an excess of malaria deaths of somewhere between 20,000 and 100,000 in sub-Saharan Africa, most of them in young children.”

“It’s very likely that excess malaria mortality is larger than the direct COVID mortality.”

Meanwhile, drugs like Hydroxychloroquine, which should have been used to treat malaria patients, were once sold out in many countries. Both U.S. President Donald Trump and Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro touted the drug as a preventative measure for the coronavirus.

But later studies have shown that it’s not an effective treatment for COVID-19. WHO has halted the drug’s clinical trials, as it doesn not reduce the death rate among COVID-19 patients.

Read also: Africa COVID-19 Cases Surpass Two Million – WHO

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has also revoked the emergency authorization for malaria drugs championed by the President, amid growing evidence they don’t work and could cause serious side effects.

The WHO report found there were 229 million malaria cases globally in 2019. It further said that despite the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries around the world had fought hard and held the line against the disease.

But it also said “long-term success in reaching a malaria-free world within a generation is far from assured.” Some of the African countries worst affected by malaria have struggled to make significant progress since 2016.

Due to the ongoing transmission of malaria via mosquitoes in many parts of the world, half the global population is at risk of contracting the disease, and it still kills a child every two minutes. Despite this, the focus of worldwide funding and attention has been diverted, making preventable child deaths more likely.

Peter Sands, executive director of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, said the WHO report’s findings were “extremely timely.”

“The global health world, the media, and politics, are all transfixed by COVID, and yet we pay very little attention to a disease that is still killing over 400,000 people every year, mainly children.”

“And to remind you, this is a disease we do know how to get rid of – so it is a choice that we don’t.

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