Building labs in shipping containers

In Zambia, I visited Barry Kosloff from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine who is the lab manager on the ZAMBART project in Lusaka. He’s been working on developing high containment labs which are housed in shipping containers, which are perfect for doing lab studies and tests on infectious diseases in low resource settings.

The LSHTM have used the interview in their latest podcast, which you can listen to here.


Journalism in Zambia: Self-censorship, blocked websites, and social media monitoring

Brandishing placards asking passing traffic to honk in the name of free press, Zambian bloggers will today take to the streets of Lusaka for the second time in a fortnight to protest against the government’s stifling of freedom of expression on the Internet.

Zambia’s reputation as one of the more liberal and democratic countries in Southern Africa falls short when it comes to journalistic freedoms. Accustomed to having a strong hold over content in traditional media through state ownership of two daily papers and the public broadcaster, the government now appears to be taking a similar approach to online content.

I’ve spoken to numerous journalists during my travels in Zambia, and they all voice concerns that the government abuses its power and uses harassment to try to ensure the press tows the party line. “Media bodies are scared of the government laws which date back to pre-colonial times,” says blogger Nancy Handabile.

Earlier this month, three journalists were arrested in suspected connection with the critical blog Zambian Watchdog , which is believed to be run from outside of the country. The site, along with a second independent site, Zambia Reports, has also been blocked from access within the country. Continue reading