Havana is home to the most African embassies in Latin America

Source:  Granma

Photo: cadenagramonte.cu

Despite the geographical distance and economic limitations, regionally Cuba is home to the most African embassies, a continent with which it shares many historic and cultural ties.
With the opening of the Kenyan Embassy in the Cuban capital, set to take place this Friday March 16, there will now be 22 nations from Sub-Saharan Africa with diplomatic missions in the country, according to information by the Cuban Foreign Ministry.
Although African countries have embassies located throughout the region, there are less than a dozen missions in bigger and economically stronger nations on our continent, like Mexico and Brazil.

The Republic of the Seychelles

Meanwhile, an important event occurred in April last year with the opening of the Embassy of the Republic of the Seychelles in Havana, the island’s first in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Attending the inauguration was the country’s President Danny Faure, who studied Political Science in Cuba.

In addition to Africa’s roots in Cuban society, culture and history, the 1959 Revolution also inspired and supported anti-colonial struggles on the continent.
Cuban soldiers for example, gave their lives to help several African countries secure their freedom, while tens of thousands of doctors, athletes, and teachers have contributed, and continue contributing, to the social and economic development of these nations.

In addition to the vast number of young Africans currently studying on the island, Cuba has also trained thousands of students from that continent who now hold important and even senior political positions in their countries of origin



Cuba to Send 100 Doctors to Kenya

Source:  The Star, Kenya / TeleSUR
March 18 2018

President Uhuru Kenyatta speaks on direct engagement among African-Caribbean and Pacific countries during his state visit to Cuba, March 16, 2018. /PSCU

Kenya has announced that they will bring 100 Cuban medical specialists to fill gaps in county hospitals after Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta ended a short visit to the Caribbean island.

One of President Kenyatta’s “Big Four Agenda” objectives is to implement universal health care for Kenyans, and that’s why medical assistance was one of their main discussion points during their visit to Havana.

Read: Kenya, Cuba bank on historical ties for stronger health, tourism sectors

Health Chief Administrative Secretary Rashid Aman said Kenya had struck an agreement to bring in 100 medical specialists – with each county getting at least two – and that 50 doctors will be sent to Cuba for specialised training.


Kenya will also work with Cuba on collaborative research projects, develop training for primary healthcare workers and collaborate to build capacity to undertake genetic engineering and biotech work.

What we discovered is that Cubans are very concerned and very dedicated to research and have a very strong research department and they have had many firsts, they have eliminated malaria from the face of Cuba all together,” said Mohamed Ali, the governor of Marsabit, who also visited the island along with Kenyatta.

Ali also said they would bring livestock vaccines from Cuba to help Kenyan pastoralists without damaging the environment.

“Timelines are as soon as possible,” said Aman, who was part of the delegation that accompanied Uhuru to the Caribbean nation globally known for its leadership in primary healthcare.

Cuban doctors will need to be cleared by the Kenya Medical and Dentists Practitioners Board but Governors Anyang Nyong’o of Kisumu and Mohamed Ali of Marsabit, who were also in the delegation and back the deal, said they expected no problems.

Nyong’o had been to Cuba twice before when he served as minister in the Grand Coalition Government. He had been been party to health cooperation agreements that were never implemented.

The Governor said he wants swift implementation of the plan because health is at the epicentre of a growing Kenya.

The President ordered Aman to remain in Cuba until he delivers an agreement with extensive detail on cooperation with Cuba.

 Essentially, the agreement will cover a raft of critical areas. These include the secondment by the Cuban government of doctors to Kenya to fill crucial gaps in county hospitals and that of technical experts to operate equipment.

It also covers participation in research and advanced trials of medicines in areas in which Kenya is vulnerable. This will be through the use of therapeutic anti-HIV and anti-prostate cancer vaccines; vaccines to control influenza and meningitis; and control of diabetic foot ulcer amputation.

It will also cover the vector control in the fight against malaria.

Kenya will also look to Cuba for vaccines against ticks, guaranteeing healthy animals and cleaner environment due to a reduction of chemicals used in tackling ticks at the moment.

The sum total of these agreements is that Cuban experts will come to Kenya within the next few weeks and roll out a range of medical interventions that will radically change how we manage a large number of life-threatening diseases.

Related: Mobile app, study tours to combat crop-munching armyworm in Africa

If the recent political handshake had the potential to change political discourse, the agreement with Cuba will be of seismic proportions when it comes to the management of Kenya’s healthcare systems.

The key approach for the Cubans concerns preventive measures so the country stops the spread of disease before the economy is drained.

Collaboration with Cuba is likely to become a major strategy in how Kenya deals with the preventive options in disease management. The main goal is saving billions of shillings that go to global pharmaceutical majors each year for treatment, at the cost of growing the economy and delivering shared prosperity to all.

Read:  Kenya: Protesters Demand US Ambassador Step Down

Raúl receives President of Kenya

Source:  Granma
March 16 2018

Photo: Estudio Revolución

Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, President of Cuba’s Councils of State and Ministers, yesterday March 15, received his Excellency Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya, who is making an official visit to the country.

In an atmosphere of cordiality, the two leaders agreed on emphasizing the relations of friendship that exist between their countries and their intention to strengthen political ties and cooperation. They likewise expressed their mutual satisfaction with the opening of a Kenyan embassy in Havana and discussed issues on the international agenda.

Raúl thanked the government of Kenya for the help offered to support recovery efforts in the wake of damage caused by Hurricane Irma.

Accompanying the distinguished guest were Monica K. Juma, minister of Foreign Relations and International Trade; Rashid Achesa Mohamud, minister of Sports and Culture; as well as the Kenyan interim chargé de affaires in Havana, Anthony Mushiry; and Raphael Tuju, secretary general of the Jubileo Party.

On the Cuban side, also participating were Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, Rodrigo Malmierca Díaz, and Abel Prieto Jiménez – ministers of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Investment, and Culture, respectively – as well as ambassador Ernesto Gómez Díaz

Recolonization of Africa by Endless War

Source:  Black Agenda Report
November 8 2017
“Washington is running a gruesome protection racket in Africa, simultaneously creating the conditions for armed groups to thrive while offering protection against them.”
Recolonization of Africa by Endless War
Recolonization of Africa by Endless War


Six years ago, on October 20th, 2011, Muammar Gaddafi was murdered, joining a long list of African revolutionaries martyred by the West for daring to dream of continental independence.

goddafiEarlier that day, Gaddafi’s hometown of Sirte had been occupied by Western-backed militias, following a month-long battle during which NATO and its “rebel” allies pounded the city’s hospitals and homes with artillery, cut off its water and electricity, and publicly proclaimed their desire to “starve [the city] into submission.” The last defenders of the city, including Gaddafi, fled Sirte that morning, but their convoy was tracked and strafed by NATO jets, killing 95 people. Gaddafi escaped the wreckage but was captured shortly afterward. I will spare you the gruesome details, which the Western media gloatingly broadcast across the world as a triumphant snuff movie. Suffice to say that he was tortured and eventually shot dead.

We now know, if testimony from NATO’s key Libyan ally, Mahmoud Jibril, is to be believed, it was a foreign agent, likely French, who delivered the fatal bullet. His death was the culmination of not only seven months of NATO aggression, but of a campaign against Gaddafi and his movement the West had been waging for over three decades.

“It was a foreign agent, likely French, who delivered the fatal bullet.”

Yet it was also the opening salvo in a new war –- a war for the military recolonization of Africa.

The year 2009, two years before Gaddafi’s murder, was a pivotal one for US-African relations. First, because China overtook the US as the continent’s largest trading partner; and second because Gaddafi was elected president of the African Union.

The significance of both for the decline of US influence on the continent could not be clearer. While Gaddafi was spearheading attempts to unite Africa politically, committing serious amounts of Libyan oil wealth to make this dream a reality, China was quietly smashing the West’s monopoly over export markets and investment finance. Africa no longer had to go cap-in-hand to the IMF for loans, agreeing to whatever self-defeating terms were on offer, but could turn to China –- or indeed Libya –- for investment. And if the US threatened to cut them off from their markets, China would happily buy up whatever was on offer. Western economic domination of Africa was under threat as never before.

The response from the West, of course, was a military one. Economic dependence on the West –- rapidly being shattered by Libya and China –- would be replaced by a new military dependence. If African countries would no longer come begging for Western loans, export markets, and investment finance, they would have to be put in a position where they would come begging for Western military aid.

“Economic dependence on the West –- rapidly being shattered by Libya and China –- would be replaced by a new military dependence.”

To this end, AFRICOM –- the US army’s new ‘African command’ –- had been launched the previous year, but humiliatingly for George W. Bush, not a single African country would agree to host its HQ; instead, it was forced to open shop in Stuttgart, Germany. Gaddafi had led African opposition to AFRICOM, as exasperated US diplomatic memos later revealed by WikiLeaks made clear. And US pleas to African leaders to embrace AFRICOM in the “fight against terrorism” fell on deaf ears.

After all, as Mutassim Gaddafi, head of Libyan security, had explained to Hillary Clinton in 2009, North Africa already had an effective security system in place, through the African Union’s “standby forces,” on the one hand, and CEN-SAD on the other. CEN-SAD was a regional security organization of Sahel and Saharan states, with a well-functioning security system, with Libya as the lynchpin. The sophisticated Libyan-led counter-terror structure meant there was simply no need for a US military presence. The job of Western planners, then, was to create such a need.

NATO’s destruction of Libya simultaneously achieved three strategic goals for the West’s plans for military expansion in Africa. Most obviously, it removed the biggest obstacle and opponent of such expansion, Gaddafi himself. With Gaddafi gone, and with a quiescent pro-NATO puppet government in charge of Libya, there was no longer any chance that Libya would act as a powerful force against Western militarism. Quite the contrary –- Libya’s new government was utterly dependent on such militarism and knew it.

“Gaddafi had led African opposition to AFRICOM.”

Secondly, NATO’s aggression served to bring about a total collapse of the delicate but effective North African security system, which had been underpinned by Libya. And finally, NATO’s annihilation of the Libyan state effectively turned the country over to the region’s death squads and terror groups. These groups were then able to loot Libya’s military arsenals and set up training camps at their leisure, using these to expand operations right across the region.

It is no coincidence that almost all of the recent terror attacks in North Africa – not to mention Manchester – have been either prepared in Libya or perpetrated by fighters trained in Libya. Boko Haram, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, ISIS, Mali’s Ansar Dine, and literally dozens of others, have all greatly benefited from the destruction of Libya.

By ensuring the spread of terror groups across the region, the Western powers had magically created a demand for their military assistance which hitherto did not exist. They had literally created a protection racket for Africa.

In an excellent piece of research published last year, Nick Turse wrote how the increase in AFRICOM operations across the continent has correlated precisely with the rise in terror threats. Its growth, he said, has been accompanied by “increasing numbers of lethal terror attacks across the continent including those in Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Tunisia.

“Boko Haram, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, ISIS, Mali’s Ansar Dine, and literally dozens of others, have all greatly benefited from the destruction of Libya.”

In fact, data from the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism at the University of Maryland shows that attacks have spiked over the last decade, roughly coinciding with AFRICOM’s establishment. In 2007, just before it became an independent command, there were fewer than 400 such incidents annually in sub-Saharan Africa. Last year, the number reached nearly 2,000. By AFRICOM’s own official standards, of course, this is a demonstration of a massive failure. Viewed from the perspective of the protection racket, however, it is a resounding success, with US military power smoothly reproducing the conditions for its own expansion.

This is the Africa policy Trump has now inherited. But because this policy has rarely been understood as the protection racket it really is, many commentators have, as with so many of Trump’s policies, mistakenly believed he is somehow ‘ignoring’ or ‘reversing’ the approach of his predecessors. In fact, far from abandoning this approach, Trump is escalating it with relish.

What the Trump administration is doing, as it is doing in pretty much every policy area, is stripping the previous policy of its “soft power” niceties to reveal and extend the iron fist which has in fact been in the driving seat all along. Trump, with his open disdain for Africa, has effectively ended US development aid for Africa –- slashing overall African aid levels by one third, and transferring responsibility for much of the rest from the Agency for International Development to the Pentagon –- while openly tying aid to the advancement of “US national security objectives.”

In other words, the US has made a strategic decision to drop the carrot in favor of the stick. Given the overwhelming superiority of Chinese development assistance, this is unsurprising. The US has decided to stop trying to compete in this area, and instead to ruthlessly and unambiguously pursue the military approach which the Bush and Obama administrations had already mapped out.

“Terror attacks have spiked over the last decade, roughly coinciding with AFRICOM’s establishment. In 2007.”

To this end, Trump has stepped up drone attacks, removing the (limited) restrictions that had been in place during the Obama era. The result has been a ramping up of civilian casualties, and consequently of the resentment and hatred which fuels militant recruitment. It is unlikely to be a coincidence, for example, that the al Shabaab truck bombing that killed over 300 people in Mogadishu last weekend was carried out by a man from a town which had suffered a major drone attack on civilians, including women and children, in August.

Indeed, a detailed study by the United Nations recently concluded that in “a majority of cases, state action appears to be the primary factor finally pushing individuals into violent extremism in Africa.” Of more than 500 former members of militant organizations interviewed for the report, 71 percent pointed to “government action,” including “killing of a family member or friend” or “arrest of a family member or friend” as the incident that prompted them to join a group. And so the cycle continues: drone attacks breed recruitment, which produces further terror attacks, which leaves the states involved more dependent on US military support. Thus does the West create the demand for its own “products.”

It does so in another way as well. Alexander Cockburn, in his book Kill Chain, explains how the policy of ‘targeted killings’ –- another Obama policy ramped up under Trump –- also increases the militancy of insurgent groups. Cockburn, reporting on a discussion with US soldiers about the efficacy of targeted killings, wrote that: “When the topic of conversation came round to ways of defeating the [roadside] bombs, everyone was in agreement. They would have charts up on the wall showing the insurgent cells they were facing, often with the names and pictures of the guys running them,” Rivolo remembers. “When we asked about going after the high-value individuals and what effect it was having, they’d say, ‘Oh yeah, we killed that guy last month, and we’re getting more IEDs than ever.’ They all said the same thing, point blank: ‘[O]nce you knock them off, a day later you have a new guy who’s smarter, younger, more aggressive and is out for revenge.”’

Alex de Waal has written how this is certainly true in Somalia, where, he says, “each dead leader is followed by a more radical deputy. After a failed attempt in January 2007, the US killed Al Shabaab’s commander, Aden Hashi Farah Ayro, in a May 2008 air strike. Ayro’s successor, Ahmed Abdi Godane (alias Mukhtar Abu Zubair), was worse, affiliating the organization with Al-Qaeda. The US succeeded in assassinating Godane in September 2014. In turn, Godane was succeeded by an even more determined extremist, Ahmad Omar (Abu Ubaidah). It was presumably Omar who ordered the recent attack in Mogadishu, the worst in the country’s recent history. If targeted killing remains a central strategy of the War on Terror”, De Waal wrote, “it is set to be an endless war.”

“Endless war undermines China’s blossoming relationship with Africa.”

But endless war is the whole point. For not only does it force African countries, finally freeing themselves from dependence on the IMF, into dependence on AFRICOM; it also undermines China’s blossoming relationship with Africa.

Chinese trade and investment in Africa continues to grow apace. According to the China-Africa Research Initiative at John Hopkins University, Chinese FDI stocks in Africa had risen from just two percent of the value of US stocks in 2003 to 55 percent in 2015, when they totaled $35 billion. This proportion is likely to rapidly increase, given that “Between 2009 and 2012, China’s direct investment in Africa grew at an annual rate of 20.5 percent, while levels of US FDI flows to Africa declined by $8 billion in the wake of the global financial crisis”. Chinese-African trade, meanwhile, topped $200 billion in 2015.

China’s signature ‘One Belt One Road’ policy –- to which President Xi Jinping has pledged $124 billion to create global trade routes designed to facilitate $2 trillion worth of annual trade –- will also help to improve African links with China. Trump’s policy toward the project was summarized by Steve Bannon, his ideological mentor, and former chief strategist in just eight words: “Let’s go screw up One Belt One Road.” The West’s deeply destabilizing Africa policy –- of simultaneously creating the conditions for armed groups to thrive while offering protection against them – goes some way toward realizing this ambitious goal. Removing Gaddafi was just the first step.

Dan Glazebrook is a freelance political writer who has written for RT, Counterpunch, Z magazine, the Morning Star, the Guardian, the New Statesman, the Independent and Middle East Eye, amongst others. His first book “Divide and Ruin: The West’s Imperial Strategy in an Age of Crisis” was published by Liberation Media in October 2013. This article previously appeared in IBW21 [2] (The Institute of the Black World 21st Century) website

Kenya: SDP and KCFS Welcome President Kenyatta’s State Visit to Cuba

Source:  Social Democratic Party of Kenya (sdpkenya.org)

March 13, 2018

The Social Democratic Party of Kenya (SDP) and the Kenya Cuba Friendship Society (KCFS) welcome the State visit to the Republic of Cuba by His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Uhuru Kenyatta y Raul Rodriguez Cuba.jpgPresident Uhuru Kenyatta and outgoing Cuban Ambassador Raul Rodriguez

This visit further cements the good relations that Kenya has had with Cuba over the years. For instance, Kenya has consistently over the years, alongside almost all the Countries of the world, voted in support of the resolution to end the blockade that has been imposed on Cuba by US imperialism for the past 55 years. In 2016 Kenya opened her first embassy in Cuba (while Cuba opened hers in Kenya in 2001). Cuba has, and continues to offer numerous University scholarships to Kenyan students in various disciplines that include Medicine, Science, Engineering and Sports. Kenyan and Cuban Scientists, Sportsmen and Military personnel have in the past held joint projects and through such collaboration, both countries have benefited.

Both Kenya and Cuba are developing Countries which face common and uncommon challenges. Working together, both Countries can learn a lot from each other. Cuba, in spite of the unimaginable hardship caused by the 55-year-old economic, commercial and financial blockade, has managed to offer one of the world’s highest qualities of healthcare and education to its citizens, all for free. Cuba has made huge advancements in the fields of science, art and sports.

Even though such development can only be achieved, at such low costs, through a Socialist planned system (which is much superior to the Capitalist path that Kenya has taken), Kenya still can learn a lot from Cuba not only in these fields but also in the area of foreign policy, and in particular internationalism, south-south cooperation and African Solidarity. We acknowledge Uhuru Kenyatta’s independent foreign policy in this regard.

Kenya Cuba Friendship Society.jpgKenya Cuba Friendship Society has since the year 2003 fostered closer ties between the peoples of Kenya and the peoples of Cuba through people to people diplomacy, and we know that the visit by President Uhuru Kenyatta will not only strengthen the Government to Government relations, but also the People to People ties.

During his visit and after, the SDP and the KCFS ask President Kenyatta to reaffirm Kenya’s opposition to the US blockade on Cuba, and to demand for the return of Guantanamo Bay to the Republic of Cuba.

Long live the friendship and solidarity between Kenya and Cuba!

13 March 2018

Benedict WACHIRA
Secretary General – SDP
National Secretary – KCFS

Mwandawiro Mghanga
National Chairperson – SDP
National Chairperson – KCFS


President Kenyatta travels to Cuba for a State visit

Source:  Daily Nation
March 14 2018

uhuru kenyattaPresident Uhuru Kenyatta. State House says the agenda of the trip will be
boosting cooperation in health, sports and culture.

President Uhuru Kenyatta heads to the Caribbean in a historic visit to the island of Cuba on Tuesday, seeking a helping hand for his healthcare policy in the Big Four Agenda.

The president will be visiting the region for the first time since he took office in 2013.

It will also be the first visit by a Kenyan head of state since the two countries established diplomatic relations in 2001.

State House said on Monday that the agenda of the trip will be boosting cooperation in health, sports and culture.


“Cuba has a well-developed health sector which has achieved great milestones such as discovery of vaccines against lung cancer, and the eradication of malaria. Cuba is also home to a thriving pharmaceutical industry,” State House Spokesman Manoah Esipisu said.

“There is a great opportunity during the President’s visit for the two nations to expand the MoU on implementation for the achievement of universal healthcare, an important deliverable in President Kenyatta’s Big Four agenda,” Mr Esipisu added, referring to an agreement signed between Kenya and Cuba last year.


raul ridrignez cuba.jpg

President Kenyatta and outgoing Cuban Ambassador Raul Rodriguez Ramos

Officials say the President sees Cuba as important in helping him achieve some of the Big Four issues, which include universal healthcare, adequate housing, manufacturing and food security.

Cuba, under the leadership of Fidel Castro – who died in November 2016 – for five decades, has achieved what the World Health Organisation calls a model healthcare system.

Based on socialist tenets, Castro engineered a system based on accessibility and preventive medicine (vaccination) and regarded health as a basic human right.

Mortality rate

Health services are offered for free and include check-ups, surgery, medical dispensing and doctor visitations.

Under Fidel’s brother Raul, the World Bank reports that Cuba’s community health has remained intact, reporting an infant mortality rate of four in 1,000 live births and a life expectancy of 80.

Kenya’s infant mortality rate is 37 out of 1,000 live births while the life expectancy is 62.

Low salaries

In Cuba, one medical doctor can serve up to 150 patients, beyond the World Health Organisation standard ratio of one doctor per 300 people.

In Kenya, a doctor has to work harder because he stands for 16,000 patients.

A preparatory concept note for the President’s visit said Kenya could tap into Cuba’s pharmaceuticals as well as its medical missions.

While Cuban doctors earn little at home – sometimes less than Sh10,000 a month – Havana often gets good revenues by sending its doctors abroad, earning about Sh640 billion a year, in form of portions of salaries paid by foreign governments to the doctors.

Vector control

“The President will explore how to build Kenyan capacity, increase the number of medical specialists in orthopaedic surgery, oncology, neurology, and trauma management; and collaborate in research on cancer and diabetes drugs, and eradication of malaria,” State House said on Monday.

“Cuba is interested in registering and selling its pharmaceutical products in the Kenyan market. It is also keen to cooperate in vector control.

President Kenyatta will encourage Cuba to set up a pharmaceutical plant in Kenya to serve the East and Central Africa regional market.”


Cuba’s engagements with the outside world had been limited until 2016 when the US agreed to lift the sanctions it imposed on the country in the 1960s, and reopened its embassy in Havana.

President Barack Obama then made a historic visit to Havana. A few months later, Kenya announced it would open an embassy in Cuba.

On Monday, Kenya said it would support Cuba to have the remaining sanctions imposed to it dropped, in exchange for a vote for a temporary seat for Kenya at the UN Security Council in 2021.

Good image

The temporary seat is not influential when the UN’s most powerful organ votes on substantial matters but often provides a country with good image and opportunity to lobby for favourable policies within the UN.

A temporary member can chair the UN Security Council, granting it an opportunity to influence a particular stand on issues of regional security.

Kenya has been a member of the council twice, but not during President Kenyatta’s tenure.

South Africa: EFF Asks ‘Fighters’ to Remove All Listeriosis-Linked Products From Shelves

Source:  dw.com
March 4 2018

Officials have said the outbreak was linked to contaminated sausage and warned South Africans not to consume “ready to eat” processed meat. The UN said the listeria outbreak is believed to be the largest-ever worldwide.

listeriosis outbreak.jpg

South Africa’s Health Ministry said on Sunday that a listeriosis outbreak has killed 180 people in the country since the beginning of 2017.

Officials also announced that the outbreak was tied to a sausage-type meat that is made by South Africa’s largest consumer foods group.

The meat, known as “Polony,” is produced by Tiger Brands, a unit of Enterprise Food, and by RCL Foods, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said.

“We can now conclude scientifically that the source of the present outbreak is the Enterprise Food production facility located in Polokwane,” Motsoaledi said.

He added that “Polony” would be recalled from stores and advised South Africans “to avoid all processed meat products that are sold as ready-to-eat.”

Although RCL Foods had not yet been identified as a source of the contaminated meat, one of its factories was also under investigation.

Massive outbreakListeriosis is an infection which is most frequently caused by the bacteria listeria which is found in water, soil, vegetation and animal feces.

The bacteria can contaminate food — particularly dairy products, fresh meat and seafood — but can be prevented by washing food and basic hygiene.

Listeriosis results in flu-like symptoms as well as nausea, diarrhea, and infection of the bloodstream. In severe cases, it can lead to an infection of the brain. Children, pregnant women, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems are at a heightened risk.

South Africa’s National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) said there have been 948 cases of listeriosis since January 1, 2017.

The outbreak is believed to be one of the largest-ever worldwide, according to the United Nations.