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Archive for June 7th, 2010

Blood can be ‘cleaned’ of HIV

Posted by Administrator on June 7, 2010

By Joy Wanja

People infected with HIV can now donate blood, according to a new study.

The research paper says that, using simple and inexpensive technology, infected blood can be cleaned of the virus and be safely used for transfusion.

The study authors say this would help close the current blood supply gap in the country.

The findings are among the presentations at the 29th World Congress of Biomedical Laboratory Science being held at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre in Nairobi.

Titled Can HIV Positive Individuals be Safe Blood Donors? the paper by Dr Samwel Oketch from the New Nyanza Provincial General Hospital shows that washing red cells makes them free of HIV plasma RNA, making it safe for transfusion.

The conference, which ends on Thursday, is being held in the continent for the first time and brings together about 600 laboratory technicians and medical professionals from more than 40 countries.

The country is facing a crisis as fewer people turn up to voluntarily give blood except in instances where they are needed to save the life of relatives or friends.

The shortage of blood stocks stems from the fear that blood donors are tested and informed of their HIV status.

Statistics from the National Blood Transfusion Service show that the prevalence of HIV among blood donors is currently at 1.3 per cent, down from 6.4 per cent in 1994.

Students are increasingly forming the core group of blood donors and blood banks are reported to experience shortages during school holidays.

If the study results are adopted, HIV positive persons could become possible blood donors.

Saline solution

According to the researchers, by using different HIV testing kits, they were able to clean the blood of any HIV trace using ordinary saline solution. Saline is a sterile solution of table salt and water.

The study was conducted between January and February last year at a regional blood transfusion centre in Kisumu.

Another paper presented at the conference called for confirmatory tests on discarded blood to avoid doing away with supplies that could be free of infections.

Daily Nation


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US V-P Biden starts Kenya visit

Posted by Administrator on June 7, 2010

US Vice President Joe Biden with his wife and daughter arrive at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi on Monday. PHOTO/STEPHEN MUDIARI

US Vice President Joe Biden with his wife and daughter arrive at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi on Monday. PHOTO/STEPHEN MUDIARI

Posted Monday, June 7 2010 at 20:36

US V-P Joe Biden has arrived in Nairobi at the start of a three-day official visit to Kenya, he will address a joint Press conference with President Kibaki on Tuesday

Mr Biden was received by his Kenyan counterpart Kalonzo Musyoka at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) shortly after 8.30pm.

President Barack Obama’s deputy arrived in Nairobi from Cairo, Egypt which was his first stop in a three-nation Africa tour. His next stop is South Africa for the kick-off of the FIFA 2010 Football World Cup.

Earlier, the question of Gaza and specifically the Israeli-imposed blockade of the enclave was at the centre of talks between Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and US Vice President Joe Biden in Sharm el-Sheikh on Monday.

Egyptian construction of an underground barrier on the border with the Gaza Strip will be completed “by the end of the summer,” a security official said.

Egyptian authorities started building the underground steel barrier last year in a bid they said to stop the smuggling of goods and weapons into the Gaza Strip via a network of underground tunnels.

“We will close all the tunnels, for sure,” the official told a small group of reporters in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

“We hope to finish by the end of summer,” he said when asked when the construction of the barrier would be completed.

“It’s our right, it’s legitimate. We will have goods delivered to (Gazans) over ground. It has to happen before our eyes,” he said.

In a statement following the talks, Biden said the United States was looking for new ways to deal with blockaded Gaza.

On Tuesday, Egypt announced it was indefinitely opening the Rafah border, the only gateway to Gaza that bypasses Israel.

The move came after raid by Israeli commandos on a flotilla carrying humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip which killed nine people.

Egypt had come under increasing regional criticism for the construction of the barrier. Palestinians in the impoverished enclave rely on the tunnels to bring in many basic goods, but Israel accuses the Islamist Hamas movement of also using them to smuggle in weapons.

Daily Nation



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Nairobi waits for Biden

Posted by Administrator on June 7, 2010

U.S. President Barack Obama (L) reacts to remarks by Vice President Joe Biden. Biden is scheduled to visit Kenya on Monday. PHOTO/ REUTERS

U.S. President Barack Obama (L) reacts to remarks by Vice President Joe Biden. Biden is scheduled to visit Kenya on Monday. PHOTO/ REUTERS

Security at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport was heightened as the country awaits the arrival of US Vice President Joe Biden on Monday evening.

The security detail that included US Secret Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Kenya’s paramilitary General Service Unit and regular police combed various sections of the airport to ensure top-notch security was maintained.

A sniffer dog was also part of the surveillance team.

Mr Biden is expected to be received by his Kenyan counterpart Mr Kalonzo Musyoka.

Vehicles parked near terminal three were towed away to discourage movements in the restricted area.

Shortly after 4pm, a convoy of four-wheel-drive vehicles was driven into the airport amid tight security, as officials got ready to receive their high profile guest.

A battery of journalists has camped outside the VIP area next to waiting patiently for Mr Biden who is expected in the country around 7pm.

He will be in the country for two days as part of a three-nation visit, which includes attending the opening ceremony of the Fifa World Cup in South Africa on Friday.

He is expected to deliver a special message from President Obama on reforms and the constitutional review. The American V-P will also hold talks with Prime Minister Raila Odinga and speaker of the National Assembly, Mr Kenneth Marende.

Source: Daily Nation

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