Common Diseases in Seychelles Seychelles is an African nation consisting of many islands located off of the east coast of Kenya. Due to its geographical location, some of the common diseases in Seychelles are mosquito- and animal-borne.

Three of the more common diseases in Seychelles are dengue fever, chikungunya and leptospirosis.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), dengue fever and chikungunya have a number of common symptoms. Fever, joint pain and headaches are some of the more prevalent symptoms of dengue and chikungunya.  Even though both have overlapping symptoms, they are still separate diseases and it is possible to be infected by both diseases at the same time.

Dengue fever and chikungunya are both viruses that are spread by mosquitos. Thanks to the tropical climate that Seychelles has, it is a high breeding ground for mosquitos, meaning that these diseases can be spread easily. In 2005 to 2007, it was reported that there was an epidemic of chikungunya in Seychelles that infected about 60 percent of the population.

Thankfully, a French team from the World Health Organization (WHO) went to Seychelles and assisted the islands. They destroyed domestic breeding sites of mosquitoes and began a public health education campaign.

There are no vaccines for chikungunya but there is a vaccine for dengue fever. However, only a few countries have approved the use of the dengue vaccine. Because the mosquitos in Seychelles can bite indoors or outdoors and are active both day and night, preventative measures are the best way to ward off these diseases. Wearing long sleeves and using bug sprays are common ways to prevent mosquito bites. Cleaning and covering standing water can help prevent mosquito-breeding sites.

Another one of the common diseases in Seychelles is leptospirosis, which is a bacterial infection spread through animal urine. Leptospirosis can lead to kidney damage, liver failure and death if left untreated. Like chikungunya, leptospirosis currently does not have a vaccine available to prevent it. However, since leptospirosis is bacterial, antibiotics can be prescribed as treatment.

Much like dengue fever and chikungunya, preventative measures are the best way to not become infected. Avoiding areas where infected urine may be found are unclean water sources, soil after rainfall and animal habitats is the best preventative measure against leptospirosis.

Thankfully, research is well underway to get a vaccine for chikungunya and leptospirosis. Due to the outbreak of chikungunya, knowledge was gained on how the virus behaves and that has allowed scientists to be one step closer to produce stronger tools against it.

Daniel Borjas

Causes of Poverty in Seychelles

Although only around one percent of citizens in Seychelles live in extreme poverty, the country hopes to assist those living in that condition and eventually bring them out of poverty. Here are some of the causes of poverty in Seychelles and how the government is responding to it.

One of the causes of poverty in Seychelles is its dependence on tourism. When the global economy is struggling, tourism is a luxury that many people give up. When tourism declines, this severely affects the majority of Seychelles’ economy. Beyond that, Seychelles is uncomfortable with raising the cost of tourism to make the country more competitive with other tourist destinations; the country strongly values their reputation as an inexpensive place to visit.

Both of these factors culminate into a strong economy that nevertheless cannot sustain its growth. eTurbo News discusses how Seychelles maintains a decent gross domestic product. Unfortunately, a lack of national or international competition prevents the country from soliciting economic improvement.

The stagnant economy exacerbates other causes of poverty in Seychelles, one of which is the incredibly high cost of living. One of many reasons for this is a value-added tax on many items, which makes buying and selling those items very expensive for both the consumer and the producer.

Another of the causes of poverty in Seychelles is the lack of basic needs for the poorer citizens of the country. A study explored in Seychelles News Agency highlights how a large number of Seychellois people lack clean water, food and electricity. The survey also highlights the effects of drug abuse on poverty in Seychelles. In turn, this drug use leads to a lot of ineffective crime punishment.

Because of the causes of poverty in Seychelles, the government is developing programs to assist the poor in the country. Already, the government of Seychelles has implemented short-term intervention programs aimed at making sure families have access to water, food and all-around adequate living conditions. These programs are a fantastic first step aimed at alleviating poverty for Seychelles’ poorest citizens and hopefully they will continue to help even more people.

Cortney Rowe

Photo: Flickr

Hunger in SeychellesJames A. Michel, the former president of Seychelles, attended a General Assembly for the United Nations in September of 2008 to discuss hunger in Seychelles as one of the enemies the Seychellois face daily.

According to the U.N., he also addressed the poverty and inequality of the global trading system that causes hunger in Seychelles. Alluding to the morality of the citizens in the Assembly Hall, Michel set clear commitments to resolve the climate, energy and food crises, among others.

The U.N. also clarified that his concepts suggest that industrialized countries should remove subsidies given to their farmers and provide the global South with urgently-needed resources to improve its infrastructure.

With about 90,000 inhabitants off the eastern coast of Africa and northeast of Madagascar, the Republic of Seychelles has the smallest population of all African countries.

While it is a naturalist’s playground and widely celebrated for its ecotourism on the mainland, inhabitants continue to look to global organizations such as Global Citizen, Save The Children, UNICEF and UNDP for support related to hunger in Seychelles. Part of this global support was the founding of a Global Island Partnership to get all small islands and nations with islands to give part of their natural resources to conservation sustainability.

The Food and Agriculture Organization reported that the islands live with several inconvenient circumstances, such as expensive food from remote markets. Another issue is the spread of aggressive creepers that have carried destructive diseases to some of the major forest lands during the last 40 years. One factor that limits agricultural production is the current forest laws that ban development on about half of the country’s land. This ultimately results in more hunger in Seychelles.

“Of the total value of tuna – our ‘blue gold’ – caught and transhipped in our waters by foreign fishing vessels every year, the Seychelles receives only 7 percent in revenue, comprising license and transhipment fees. This to my mind is unacceptable,” Michel announced to the Assembly. He suggested a restored United Nations to lessen foreign manipulation by investors for the country’s natural resources.

Correspondingly, the FAO monitored progress towards reducing hunger in Seychelles. The data displayed that of the total population from 2006-2008, over 83,000 people were undernourished.

One must remember that the slightest efforts have an impact on the mission to end world hunger. People should do what they can to help advocate for and support the less fortunate, as these affairs have the possibility to have a constructive outcome communally.

The United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) aims to give all people, especially those in vulnerable situations, access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food all year round. They also intend to double the agricultural productivity and the incomes of small-scale food producers by the year 2030.

To get involved, consider occupying your time collaboratively by joining the global conversation using the hashtag #sey4sdg in support of the SDG 2: NO HUNGER.

Jalil Perry

Photo: Flickr

Located off the coast of Africa is a small country called Seychelles. Despite numerous hurdles that made receiving an education in Seychelles a struggle, the Ministry of Education has made important strides in the educational system since the country’s formation.

After gaining independence in 1976, Seychelles had little formal education made available to the people. In fact, the government did not start a program to improve the adult literacy rate until the late 1980s.

This program encouraged adults to attend literacy classes and school, if possible, to improve their education. Consequently, the adult literacy rate rose as high as 85 percent in 1991. Today, the literacy rate is around 94 percent, taking into account all residents of the small country.

The improvement in literacy is not the only good news about education in Seychelles, though. Since 1981, the government has supported free education, allowing children to attend school without having to pay for tuition. Also, the government mandates for students aged 16 and younger to attend school.

This is all a result of the government’s effort to improve education in Seychelles to benefit all residents. According to Commonwealth Education Online, the government wants to “empower young people in order to enhance national productivity and social cohesion, and to enable them to participate fully in the global marketplace.”

These plans are going well, as around 94 percent of children now complete primary education in Seychelles.

In 2000, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) laid out goals for 164 countries to achieve by 2015. Some of these goals concerned adult literacy and early childhood development and education. By 2014, Seychelles was the only country in Africa to meet the goal of providing education to all residents before the 2015 deadline. Other countries in Africa made significant strides in their education systems. However, according to the Seychelles News Agency, 31 of these countries are not expected to achieve UNESCO’s goals until as late as 2020.

Clearly, the government has made improving education in Seychelles a top priority. Though the country has not opened a university for the continuation of education, a teaching college is available. Many students choose to study in the United Kingdom for university tuition, and the government is in cooperation with the University of London to open a center for higher learning in the island nation.

Education in Seychelles has come a long way since the country’s formation, and only plans on improving.

Jacqueline Nicole Artz

Photo: Flickr

Two separate grant agreements between Seychelles and the European Union were signed on December 10. The two agreements will provide as much as $6.4 million in order to help foster sustainable development and fight the effects of climate change in the archipelago nation.

The two agreements come on the heels of warnings from both the UN and the World Bank Group about the potential of climate change to exacerbate poverty in coastal communities. Seychelles’ economy—dependent chiefly upon tourism and tuna hauls—is particularly vulnerable to effects of climate change.

Recently, Seychelles has become something of a regional leader in the fight for sustainable development. Seychelles has already reached the majority of the UN Millennium Development Goals, and is now advocating the adoption of “blue economy” principles, which emphasize the protection of maritime resources and the economic potential of the Indian Ocean’s fishing, shipping, energy and tourism sectors.

Seychelles Foreign Affairs Minister John-Paul Adam believes that the development of the blue economy could allow the Indian Ocean to become a hub of sustainable ocean management and resiliency in the face of a changing climate. Adam, speaking at the 38th annual ministerial meeting of the G77 plus China, said, “The blue economy provides a blank canvas to many developing countries to charter a completely new sustainable development pathway that is to their best interest.”

In a press statement at the same meeting, Adam called for cooperation amongst southern hemisphere nations in science and technology in order to bolster blue economy sectors. Seychelles is also doing its part in building regional cooperation, strengthening bilateral ties with Fiji in the fisheries sector.

Seychelles’ efforts to sustain development and mitigate the compounding effect of climate change on poverty exemplify the kind of regional leadership that will be necessary in meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Similarly, the EU grants will need to be replicated by wealthy nations in order to provide developing nations with the financial resources necessary to not only continue developing, but to do so in a sustainable and climate-conscious way.

– Parker Carroll

Sources: Chatham House, Seychelles News Agency 1, Seychelles News Agency 2, Ventures Africa
Photo: Seychelles News Agency

Though African countries may not be the most traditional tourist destinations for the average Westerner, the World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2013 ranked five African countries in the world’s top twenty-five most welcoming places to travel. This report, which evaluates destinations according to their “attractiveness and competitiveness,” also indicated that several African countries are frequent destinations for business trip extensions. While these measures cannot wholly encompass the subjective factors that draw people to specific tourist destinations, the WEF’s report highlights the burgeoning role of African countries in the global economy and encourages people to travel to Africa for their next trip abroad. Here are the top 5 countries to visit in Africa:

1.  Seychelles – Ranked as the top country for travel and tourism competitiveness in Africa, the Republic of Seychelles is a group of 115 islands located off the east coast of Africa. The islands’ scenery is replete with luxury hotels, sandy beaches, and palm trees, vastly different from the diverse climates of continental Africa.

2.  Mauritius – Mauritius came in second on the WEF’s list of Africa’s most competitive travel destinations, ranked highly because of its high safety and security ratings and desirable island environment. Located to the east of Madagascar, Mauritius is a popular destination for golf and deep sea fishing and is home to countless resorts and spas.

3.  South Africa – South Africa has become an increasingly popular tourist destination due to its historical significance, outdoor activities, and cultural opportunities. Listed as the third most competitive travel destination in Africa by the WEF, South Africa’s visitors embrace the country’s climactic and cultural diversity.

4.  Morocco – Ranked third in the world on the WEF’s list of the most welcoming nations for tourists, Morocco is home to many sites of cultural and historical significance. Visitors flock to the country in pursuit of its grand architecture, exciting bazaars and monumental cities such as Casablanca.

5.  Rwanda – Placed third on the WEF’s list of the African countries most recommended for business trip extensions, Rwanda is finally moving past the days of its 1994 genocide to become a popular travel destination. The country boasts mountainous scenery, hidden beaches, and extensive rainforests, a prime destination for visitors wishing to experience Africa’s beauty without traveling to its more frequented sites.

Katie Bandera

Sources: How We Made It In Africa, WEF, Lonely Planet
Photo: Vacation Rental Times