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MADAGASCAR: Twins taboo splits a community
3 November 2011 (IRIN ), A centuries old practice of putting newborn twins up for adoption is dividing residents in the Madagascan coastal town of Mananjary as surely as the siblings are separated from their parents. It is said that twins bring bad luck and violence to parents and the community.
FOOD: Rumpus over GM food aid
18 October 2011 (IRIN ), Genetically modified (GM) food aid bound for Africa has long been a bone of contention among governments, scientists, activists, consumers and aid workers.
MADAGASCAR: Women tackle population growth
12 October 2011 (IRIN ), Daniel Soadava and Samoela Razafindramboho are known as "the mean women" in Antalaha, a small town on the east coast of Madagascar. "Men complain that we are always saying bad things about them," they laugh.
MADAGASCAR: Leprosy making a comeback
26 September 2011 (IRIN ), Mamysoa realized she had a problem after she stepped too close to the fire. “I burned my foot quite badly, but it hardly hurt at all,” she recalled. The 20-year-old housekeeper recently became one of five new cases of leprosy that Abdoul Zamandrahengo detects every month from his tiny public clinic in Antalaha, a small town on Madagascar’s east coast.
MADAGASCAR: Rice production slips again
9 September 2011 (IRIN ), Production of Madagascar’s staple, rice, is expected to be down 10 percent on last year and slip by 400,000 tons, according to preliminary findings by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP).
MADAGASCAR: Raw sewage kills
10 August 2011 (IRIN ), About a third of Madagascar’s 20 million people do not have access to water for washing and most of the rest share unsanitary toilet facilities, according to a July 2011 World Bank Water and Sanitation Programme (WSP) report. The threat of diarrhoea and other diseases is particularly acute in some of the poorer suburbs of the capital Antananarivo.
MADAGASCAR: Sex for school fees
1 August 2011 (IRIN ), The ambition of 16-year-old Madagascan schoolgirl Nadine* is to open a clothes boutique after completing a college course in textile design, but in the meantime, along with eight of her friends, she has turned to sex work to pay her tuition fees. Charging up to US$7 a time, she works in the poor Antananarivo suburb of 67 Hectares.
MADAGASCAR: Small steps towards treating hydrocephalus
19 July 2011 (IRIN ), The bandage covering Olida Soanirina’s eye does not disguise the ravages of hydrocephalus as the three-month-old recovers from an operation at the Joseph Ravoahangy Andrianavalona Hospital (HJRA) in the capital Antananarivo.
MADAGASCAR: Poverty and malnutrition on sisal plantations
23 June 2011 (IRIN ), At the Centre for Treatment of Acute Malnutrition with Complications (CRENI) in the town of Amboasary Sud in the Anosy region of southeastern Madagascar, Samina Tahiaritsoa, 20, cradles her son, Lambo, 3, who still weighs less than six kilograms after 10 days at the centre.
MADAGASCAR: Health care by hovercraft
17 June 2011 (IRIN ), Ankavandra is a one-car town in western Madagascar, so when the all-terrain 4x4 vehicle arrived recently it did a lap of honour around the sports field, watched by scores of applauding residents.

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