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Three men were killed by lightning during a heavy downpour in Ijebu-Ode area of Ogun State on Thursday, 12th July, 2018. The local newsletter announcing the incident also reported a number of beliefs about lightning that are common in Africa.
Newsletter Content
Director's note - Tell your story/Ask your question - Announcements
 More Lightning Injury Reports
Resources on Lightning - Videos and Websites

   Director's Note 

There are many things to report this month! 
First, we hope you like the new format of the newsletter. We encourage participation from all who are interested in reducing deaths and injuries from lightning. Give us your feedback on the changes!
Second, we added Google Translate to our website so more people around the world can read it in Arabic, English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, and Swahili. It has been suggested that we add Afrikaans, Chinese, German, Italian, Japanese and RussianLet us know if there are other languages your think we should include.

Third, we congratulate the University of Zambia on the adoption of their new MS and PhD engineering program to begin training Africa's own experts in lightning studies - see story below. 

Fourth, education plays a big role in preventing injuries so we will start examining common beliefs about lightning. We would love to have
your questions, stories and input on these!

In the story featured above from Nigeria, both bystanders and police would not touch the bodies --
  Some cultures believe that when a person is killed by lightning, it is as retribution for some evil the person or their family have done so they do not want to touch the body for fear of suffering the same fate. We will not disrespect cultural beliefs, but it would be unfortunate to deny aid to lightning victims if this aid might change their outcome. 
  Another common fear that can delay care -- that lightning victims retain a dangerous electrical charge. The truth is victims of lightning strike do not retain an electrical charge and are NOT dangerous to touch. They should be given first aid and medical care as soon as rescuers are safe from further lightning strikes. 

In Rev. Kirya's account below that women are preferentially killed, perhaps due to a difference in bodily fluids --
  In nearly every national study done in the world to date,
male deaths consistently outnumber females about 4:1. Reasons given range from men having greater exposure from more outdoor work and recreational activities to that they are 'too stubborn' to come off the golf course or out of the rain. The first study to show a nearly equal death rate was done in Malawi recently and will be presented at ICLP2018 in Poland in September.
  So it seems that there is no evidence to support the Kiryandongo community's hypothesis that women are more likely to be killed than men or that lightning can distinguish differences in bodily fluids. This is a good example of the common research methodology error of drawing conclusions from small or isolated samples. 

Tell your story
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share your lightning story or question
with thousands of readers worldwide
with a focus on the African continent.
We will do our best
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The District Education Officer (DEO) of Kiryandongo district in Uganda, the Rev. Edward Kirya, reports a prevailing belief in his area - that lightning is attracted to women more than men.
 In this area of central Uganda, people have hypothesized that  women must be having body fluids  which carry a charge that connects to lightning discharge more easily compared to those of men.

This belief, Rev. Edward goes on, is supported by his observations of lightning incidents in recent years in his area where women have outnumbered men as victims of lightning strikes. He also recalls the major incident that killed 19 students at Runyanya Primary School in 2011 where the ratio of females to males was 14:5.
We are happy to announce a conference to LAUNCH ACLENet's
Second National Centre in Malawi at the
Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST)
Conference dates -- 29-31 October, 2018. 

The University of Zambia (UnZa) 
advertises graduate program in Lightning Science

This program was catalyzed by the work of ACLENet's dedicated members, Mrs Foster Lubasi, coordinator of ACLE-Zambia, and Prof. Chandima Gomes, both members of the ACLENet's founding team. 

Mrs. Foster Chileshe Lubasi 
Coordinator and Founder, ACLE-Zambia
Prof. Chandima Gomes, Member of ACLENet's Board of Directors
News Reports of Lightning Injuries
This year, the second season of rains in Africa resumed with multiple lightning strikes.
Unfortunately, the first injured were those worshiping at churches and students at school.

NIGERIAVincent Uche Mbanefo, a 100 level student at Ojukwu University, Anambra State, was killed by lightning on July 2, 2018.  
Read more 
UGANDA:  A sudden thunderstorm struck Kulu Obia Pentecostal Assembly of God Church in Walela parish in Aromo Sub-county, Uganda, at around 8 pm on
Sunday, July 29, 2018, injuring 6.  Many people in the church felt the electric shock. 
Read more -- Churches in Africa seldom have lightning protection.

UGANDA:  Lightning  in Akure Village Soroti District killed a father and his daughter, July 29, 2018.

US Lightning Safety Website - this is an excellent resource for developed countries (and all downloads from this site are FREE), but what do we tell people to do in Africa where there are few 'safe' areas to go to when thunderstorms come up?

BELOW -- National Geographic Video on The Science of Lightning

The Science of Lightning | National Geographic

While this National Geographic video is excellent in many ways, it is mistaken in the number of US lightning deaths. 
There were only 16 US lightning deaths in all of 2017
thanks, in large part, to coordinated public education efforts since 2001. 

This is exactly what we hope to accomplish in Africa with EDUCATION
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