Fact-checking articles about Covid-19 by Journalism students

Covid-19 Scams, Image Source: Ophtek

Find hereunder links to five fact-checking pieces published by Journalism students of the University of Mauritius for my Digital Journalism module this semester:

A news organisation in Mauritius published a misleading headline about the mixture of different jabs of covid-19 vaccines

Authors: Tasnim Domun and Nouf Gounjaria

Fact-checking article published as part of an assignment for the Digital Journalism module at the University of Mauritius

Article analysed: https://www.lexpress.mu/node/390480

Source: University of Oxford

During the month of March 2021, L’express, a media organisation in Mauritius, published an interview with a Mauritian cardiologist entitled: Dr Sunil Gunness: “A dose of one vaccine and a booster of a different one can even be better than two doses of the same vaccine.” (See below the headline of the article by L’Express and the claim)

Why is it misleading/risky to use this as a headline?

First and foremost, during this interview, Doctor Sunil Gunness simply answered the question of the journalist by stating his personal opinion/advice. With the use of words like, “I don’t think” and “it seems”, it is obvious that his claim was not factual, he was uncertain about his claim, and the result of the research of Oxford University might contradict this. Further, with a lot of controversy cropping up worldwide, people are hesitant and indecisive of whether to be vaccinated or not. Thus, with much restlessness, they are fervently following every news piece (developments) related to COVID-19 vaccination, and this is the case for Mauritian people as well. Hence, with such a headline, it can easily mislead the Mauritian population (they might not read the full article and quickly jump to a conclusion). With the availability of WhatsApp and other social media sites, this news piece could go viral, causing people to make different assumptions and believing that the statement is true, when it is not the case, as the results of the study were not yet posted at that time. To sum up, it is only an interview – with the doctor expressing his opinions – and the statement was not yet scientifically proven.

Is it good to share such a claim with the public?

The cardiologist said that the University of Oxford has recently embarked on the study mentioned above. The University announced this on 4th February 2021. However, the results were published on 28th June 2021 on the website of University of Oxford, and it does support the claim (Mixed Oxford/Pfizer vaccine schedules generate robust immune response against COVID-19, finds Oxford-led study), but at the time Doctor Sunil Gunness made this claim, the results were not yet published, meaning that there was no proof or scientific data to support his statement. It is crucial for health professionals, authorities, or news organizations to check any claims or health related information before communicating these to the public, as this can severely mislead the population, possibly resulting in unwanted repercussions.

Is the mixture of two COVID-19 vaccines recommended by The World Health Organisation (WHO)?

According to Reuters World, The World Health Organisation warns individuals against mixing and matching COVID-19 vaccines. The following is a tweet by a chief scientist at WHO, Dr Soumya Swaminathan.

Moreover, according to Healthline, a website providing health information, Dr Nikhil Bhayani, an infectious disease specialist stated in March 2021 that “the use of two different vaccines is not recommended.

One can assume that an infectious specialist’s claim is more reliable than that of a cardiologist’s claim in matters concerned with vaccines.

It must also be noted that Doctor Sunil Gunness did not mention about which combination of vaccines are practicable, again creating doubts in the minds of the Mauritians. The vaccines approved for use in Mauritius are Gamaleya Sputnik V, Gamaleya Sputnik Light, Oxford/Astrazeneca, Bharat Biotech Covaxin, and Sinopharm (Source: COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker). It should be noted that it is the mixing of the Oxford–AstraZeneca jab and the Pfizer–BioNTech that is being tested in the Oxford University study and that the Pfizer vaccine is not yet available in Mauritius.

An article in Nature which reports about the study also cites another study conducted by Saarland University in Homburg, Germany and states that, despite optimism about the possibility of mixing vaccines, “the trials so far have been too small to test how effective combinations of vaccines are at preventing people from developing COVID-19. Martina Sester, the immunologist who led the study, declared: “As long as you don’t have any long-term or any follow-up studies with efficacy calculations, it’s hard to say the level or duration of protection.”

Summing up…

The news organisation used this particular claim of Dr Sunil Gunness as a headline, but it was only an opinion of the latter about a possibility at the moment the article was published. With reference to other questions in the interview, it can be seen that he believes that the WHO’s approval is necessary. He simply stated his personal opinion, and has the right to do so. However, the news organisation should have been more careful, because vaccination topic is a sensitive one in these times. For L’express to use this section of his interview as a headline is not totally responsible, due to the reasons mentioned previously. An example of a preferred title could be: The mixture of COVID-19 vaccines may be feasible but extensive research needed. In such a way, the Mauritian audience would take the time to read the article to discover if this is a fact-checked statement or just an opinion.

Does covid vaccination endanger women’s lives as claimed by an article?

Team: Avinash Dhondoo, Yeshikha Doobaree, Owen Lim Chin Fa

Fact-checking article published as part of an assignment for the Digital Journalism module at the University of Mauritius

Article to be analysed for fact checking :
http://www.mauritiustimes.com/mt/saignements-menstruels-post-vaccination-une-vraie-pharmacovigilance-peut-sauver-des-vies/

(“Saignements menstruels post-vaccination : Une vraie pharmacovigilance peut sauver des vies”) published by Mauritius Times

Does Covid vaccination have an impact on menstrual bleeding and does it endanger women’s lives?

On the 9th of July, Mauritius Times published an article in which it is mentioned that studies have shown that abnormal menstrual bleeding following vaccination can be life-threatening for women and yet, they are trivialized by medical authorities. According to the article, this demonstrates the importance of pharmacovigilance with a human face, with real medical monitoring of vaccinated people.

Catherine Boudet, the author of the article is a political analyst specialized in Mauritian democracy. She is regularly invited by the Mauritian media to provide her analyses on Mauritian politics. Unfortunately, the article that she has written in the Mauritius Times does not contain factual information. The very first line of the article is a proof that whatever she is saying is not a fact.

« Les témoignages se multiplient : des femmes se plaignant de douleurs au ventre, de retards de leurs menstruations et de saignements anormaux suite à la vaccination anti-covid. A tel point que la presse s’est fait écho de ces cris d’alerte. »

Which can be translated as :

“The testimonies are multiplying: women complaining of stomach pains, delayed menstruation and abnormal bleeding following the anti-covid vaccination such that the press had to put forward this “cry of alarm”.

But where is the “cry of alarm”?

Piece of article to be fact-checked:

Studies have shown that abnormal menstrual bleeding post vaccination can be life threatening for women “.

This claim by Catherine Boudet is not totally true. It is a fact that an individual can have side effects post-vaccination which are fever, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, nausea, sore throat, diarrhea, and vomiting and nowhere it is mentioned that the vaccine is life-threatening for women.

Catherine Boudet has also cited the statements given by Doctor Catherine Gaud, epidemiologist and Senior Adviser on Public Health Matters, using subtle formulations which clearly seek to undermine the latter’s credibility. We feel like she is trying to prove Dr Catherine Gaud wrong despite the fact that she herself is not a doctor and is not medically qualified. For example, she writes:

“… elle allait même jusqu’à déclarer…” [which can be translated as: “… she even went so far as to state …”]

Se montrant même catégorique …” [which can be translated as: “She even went so far as to be categorical…]

It should be noted that one of the statements by Dr Catherine Gaud which was published in L’express of the 9th June 2021, an article mentioned here, is as follows:

Dr Catherine Gaud, adviser to the Ministry of Health affirms: “Even if we trained doctors when they are administered Covaxin, they spoke a lot about their reservations to their patients, whereas at present, the vaccine does nothing to women who wish to get pregnant in the future”. (Our translation).

To be noted that even in an article from the BBC, it has been mentioned that vaccination does not really affect the menstrual cycle: “During the consultation about the Covid vaccine, you will likely be warned of possible side effects like fever, headache, and sore arm for a day or two after the vaccination. However, menstrual cycle changes are not in the list.

The World Health Organization on its website answered a few questions related to the COVID vaccine in which one question is about the side effects that women may have after the jab.

Below is a screenshot of the answer concerning the side effects about Covid vaccine for women from WHO.

The claim that the “vaccine is life-threatening for women” is very misleading especially when it is stated just on the first line of the article. Many Mauritians are still in a dilemma of whether they should get vaccinated or not, and when such an article is published, it is obvious that this will create more fear in an individual’s mind which is not correct. Somehow by using words like “danger”, “cry of alarm”, Catherine Boudet is misleading people by making them think that vaccination is not something that we can rely on and women doing it may die. This is quite a powerful statement as this has not been proven yet. Of course, some may have some side effects but to go to the extent of “dying” is quite exaggerated. Or maybe, she made use of wrong words by trying to explain the side effects of vaccines on women. It is surprising to see that a woman who usually comes forward with very precise information and powerful and pertinent views about certain subjects made a statement like this without getting more involved in the research part.

Catherine Boudet is considered to have a very good reputation as political analyst.

Text Box: Catherine Boudet is a political analyst specialized in the Mauritian democracy, Dr Catherine Boudet was born on Reunion island and lives in Mauritius. She holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the Institute of Political Science of Bordeaux (France) and a Masters in Comparative Politics from the Institute of Political Science of Aix-en-Provence (France). Dr Catherine Boudet has an academic background in African politics, with a focus on Mauritian democracy, especially in the fields of identity politics, ethno-nationalism, nation-building and consociational democracy. Her Ph.D. thesis was dedicated to the Franco-Mauritian diaspora, its role in the political history of Mauritius and its networks in South Africa. She is regularly invited by the Mauritian media to provide her analyses on Mauritian politics. Catherine Boudet also is the author of ten poetry books and a poetry award winner.

Below are two links to her articles and debates on politics which have nothing much to do with the related subject about the Covid pandemic. They have been taken as references to put forward how she is usually pertinent on politics and this is why it is weird how she came up with such an article about Covid vaccines.

Catherine Boudet : «Une absurdité de dire que le GM a les faveurs d’un tiers de l’électorat»

Echanges animés entre Rajen Narsinghen et Catherine Boudet sur les agissements des ‘Avengers’

Hamid Merchant’s rapid response is used as only reference

More importantly, in the article of the Mauritius Times, the author says that the British Medical Journal published an article entitled “CoViD-19 post-vaccine menorrhagia, metrorrhagia or postmenopausal bleeding and potential risk of vaccine-induced thrombocytopenia in women” written by Hamid Merchant. Below a screenshot of the paragraph can be found.

This can be translated as:

“Yet, international specialist medical publications are sounding the alarm about post-vaccination menstrual bleeding. In particular the British Medical Journal which published on April 18, a pharmacy researcher’s article entitled ‘Covid-19 post-vaccine menorrhagia, metrorrhagia or postmenopausal bleeding and potential risk of vaccine-induced thrombocytopenia in women’.

Its author, Hamid Merchant, of the English University of Huddersfield, specifies that many women around the world have complained of menstrual disturbances and even vaginal bleeding after receiving a vaccine against Covid-19. “Some experience heavy menstrual bleeding (menorrhagia), others bleeding before their periods or frequent bleeding (metrorrhagia / polymenorrhea), while still others have complained of postmenopausal bleeding,” the author continues.”

While it is true that Hamid Merchant wrote this, the article is not really an article which we can refer to put forward analysis, but rather a rapid response to an actual research article entitled “Thrombosis after covid-19 vaccination” by Paul R Hunter, a Professor in Medicine in the UK. Below you can find the rapid response of Hamid Merchant which has erroneously been presented as a proper research article by Catherine Boudet.

We see that Catherine Boudet made an error when referencing her sources. She cited a rapid response, instead of the original article. A rapid response is not the same as an original research article; the claims are not of the same importance. A research article in a research journal is generally peer-reviewed to check for validity of the paper presented. But, in her article, Catherine Boudet continues to emphasize on what Hamid Merchant said, as if he is the only person that can give the best opinions on this subject.

Admittedly, Hamid Merchant is a Senior Lecturer in Pharmaceutics but he did not state that he had conducted any study on the subject when he wrote his rapid response. Conversely, Paul R. Hunter is a Professor in Medicine. The UK’s National Institute for Health Research states that he “was the first professor of health protection to be appointed in the UK and is a specialist in Medical Microbiology. He works on outbreak response, emerging infectious diseases and infection in complex emergencies.”

Below you can find the original article by Paul R Hunter published in the British Medical Journal, on 14th April, which Catherine Boudet should have used for her article in the Mauritian Times.

The research article clearly stated that there were rare cases of thrombosis post-vaccination but that these “rare events should not derail vaccination efforts”.

At the end if we take consideration a lot of the factors analysed above, it can be seen that:

  1. The author of the article, Catherine Boudet, gave us the impression that she is referencing a lot of articles and other authors while she ended up taking only Hamid Merchant who only gave his opinion as a reader in reaction to a proper research article.
  2. Her words were quite exaggerated, unnecessarily trying to create chaos and panic in the minds of individuals especially women. The menstrual phase for a woman is a very sensitive subject in itself and coming with such articles can create anxiety.
  3. Catherine Boudet gave us the impression that Dr Catherine Gaud’s experiences and opinions do not count at all and that the latter is completely wrong in all the things that she said on this subject while Catherine Boudet herself took only Dr Hamid Merchant as reference rather than Prof Paul R. Hunter.

Sources:

Real PDF of Paul R Hunter – https://www.bmj.com/content/bmj/373/bmj.n958.full.pdf
Rapid Response Of Hamid Merchant – https://www.bmj.com/content/373/bmj.n958/rr-2

Reference to these articles:

https://ionnews.mu/coronavirus-les-vaccins-ont-ils-un-effet- Coronavirus : Les vaccins ont-ils un effet sur les règles ?

https://www.lexpress.mu/article/394942/covid-19-vaccins- Covid-19 – vaccins: quels effets sur les règles ?

L’Ivermectine pour traiter la Covid-19: une dangereuse affirmation

Par Chavee Bacchoo, Ethan Boyjoo, Hanshika Heeramun

Fact-checking article published as part of an assignment for the Digital Journalism module at the University of Mauritius

L’article intitulé “Dr Marie Christine Piat, Docteur en médecine : « Je soutiens l’Ivermectine parce qu’il est efficace contre la Covid… Et je me dis: qu’est-ce qu’on attend ? »”, prétend que l’Ivermectine peut être utilisé contre la Covid-19. Cependant, l’OMS, la FDA ainsi que plusieurs études démontrent qu’il n’y a aucune confirmation concernant l’éfficacité et l’innocuité de ce médicament contre cette maladie.

Le Dr. Marie Christine Piat, un médecin généraliste, affirme que la solution est l’Ivermectine mais cette affirmation n’est pas fondée. Il est donc dangereux et irresponsable de sa part de tenir de tels propos lors d’un entretien pour un journal grand public. En effet, notre analyse est basée sur trois essais cliniques notamment ceux du Chest Journal, du JAMA Network et de l’Université des Sciences Médicales de Qazvin, qui indique qu’il est dangereux d’utiliser ce médicament non-approuvé par l’OMS.

Non à l’utilisation de l’Ivermectine contre le nouveau Coronavirus sans données solides!

Cette période de pandémie a vu circuler beacoup de fausses nouvelles, de mythes, toutes sortes de remèdes de grands-mères, entre autres. Il faut cependant bien s’informer avant de prendre des médicaments, et il est surtout très important de prendre uniquement des médicaments qui ont été testés et approuvés, notamment par l’Organisation Mondiale de la Santé.

Or, le médecin Marie Christine Piat qui exerce comme généraliste depuis 25 ans a expliqué, dans son interview, qu’elle soutient l’Ivermectine car, selon elle, ce médicament est : « efficace » et « safe ». Elle clame que « les études in vitro ont prouvé sans ambiguïté » son efficacité et son innocuité.

Dr. Piat clame que l’Ivermectine est efficace, abordable et sûr

En ce qui concerne l’utilisation de l’Ivermectine pour traiter la Covid-19, l’Organisation Mondiale de la Santé a publié le 31 mars 2021, un article pour informer le monde qu’elle recommande l’utilisation de l’Ivermectine uniquement pour les essais cliniques.

Déclaration de l’OMS recommandant l’utilisation de l’Ivermectine uniquement pour les essais cliniques

Dans son entretien avec Le Mauricien, le Dr. Piat minimise l’importance de l’OMS en disant que l’instance administrative et régulatrice ne travaille pas sur le terrain. L’ironie est que le Dr. Piat n’est qu’une généraliste et non pas une spécialiste en maladies respiratoires.

Déclaration ironique du Dr. Piat concernant le rôle de l’OMS qui n’est, pour elle, “qu’une instance administrative”.

Il n’y a pas que l’OMS qui avertit sur l’utilisation de l’Ivermectine en dehors du cadre de recherches cliniques. La FDA (U.S Food & Drug Administration), organisme qui régule les médicaments aux États-Unis, a aussi clairement averti contre l’utilisation de l’Ivermectine pour traiter le Covid-19. Cette agence rappelle que la molécule est surtout utilisée chez les animaux et l’utilisation non-approuvée peut avoir des conséquences dangereuses chez les humains. Cette déclaration est donc en opposition avec ce qu’a dit le Dr. Piat.

La mise en garde de la FDA contre l’utilisation de l’Ivermectine chez les humains

L’Agence Européenne des Médicaments met également en garde contre l’utilisation de l’Ivermectine en dehors des essais cliniques en faisant les mêmes rappels que l’OMS et la FDA.

Il convient de souligner que l’Université d’Oxford au Royaume Uni a récemment ajouté l’Ivermectine à un grand essai clinique pour analyser l’efficacité du traitement contre le Covid-19 [https://www.clinicaltrialsarena.com/news/ivermectin-principle-trial-covid/] mais que cette étude n’est pas encore terminée. Les conclusions ne sont donc pas encore disponibles.

À propos de l’Ivermectine

L’entreprise biopharmaceutique Merck a publié une déclaration en ligne le 04 février 2021 pour affirmer qu’il n’y a aucune base scientifique jusqu’ici pour prouver l’efficacité de l’Ivermectine contre la Covid-19.

Quand le Dr Piat mélange les termes “in vivo” et “in vitro

Il faut se rappeler que la FDA avait confirmé l’efficacité de ce médicament uniquement contre le SARS-Cov2 in vitro en 2020, contrairement à l’affirmation du Dr Piat qui parle d’études in vivo. Mais que veulent dire ces termes? Tout simplement, la locution latine “in vivo” signifie “dans le vivant“, donc des tests effectués sur des organismes vivants, en milieu naturel . Par opposition, “in vitro” signifie “sous verre“, donc en laboratoire dans des cellules cultivées en dehors de leur milieu naturel. Les conclusions d’une étude réalisée in vitro sont utiles pour tester des hypothèses comme étape préliminaire mais ne sont pas nécessairement transposables telles quelles à la réalité [voir https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/in-vivo-vs-in-vitro#in-vitro] .

Les déclarations publiées par les différentes instances mentionnées nous passent un message commun : il n’y a aucune confirmation que l’Ivermectine soit efficace contre la Covid-19. Cela réfute donc les propos du Dr. Marie Christine Piat qui semble rassurer la population mauricienne que de nombreuses études ont prouvé que l’utilisation d’un médicament non-approuvé est efficace et « safe ».

Dr. Marie Christine Piat, explique son point de vue sur l’efficacité de l’Ivermectine comme un “outil supplémentaire”. Elle base son argument sur le fait que la Grande Péninsule a autorisé dans ses quatre États, l’utilisation de l’Ivermectine et elle ajoute également, que grâce à cette décision, il y a eu un déclin dans le taux de mortalité. Or, rien ne le prouve. À ce sujet, le journal français Ouest-France a publié en juin 2021 un article sur l’Ivermectine dont le titre relie le médicament avec le mot “controversé“.

Source: https://www.ouest-france.fr/sante/virus/coronavirus/cinq-questions-sur-l-ivermectine-ce-medicament-controverse-utilise-par-l-inde-contre-le-covid-19-2fa4fa60-cab9-11eb-970e-1ac8a79f7b68

Les conséquences de l’auto-administration de l’Ivermectine

Julie Weber, la Présidente de l’American Association of Poison Control Centers qui est aussi la directrice de la Missouri Poison Center, a expliqué qu’il y a une confusion entre l’utilisation de l’Ivermectine pour les animaux et pour les humains. Malheureusement, beaucoup de personnes ont décidé ne pas se renseigner et ils se sont donc auto-administrés une dose d’Ivermectine prescrite pour les chevaux. Cette dose est définitivement beaucoup trop grande. Conséquence: les centres américains antipoison et de la toxicovigilance accueillent donc un grand nombre de personnes avec environ 40 à 50 appels additionnels chaque jour.

Julie Weber souligne un manque d’information portant à confusion concernant l’utilisation de l’Ivermectine chez les animaux et les humains

Il est important de bien informer le public et de bien s’informer avant de proposer une solution. Par exemple, le Dr. Joshua Nogar du Northwell Health indique que certains ont consommé du détergent, du désinfectant pour les mains, de l’eau de Javel entre autres, pour essayer de tuer le virus dû à un manque d’information, voire à une désinformation délibérée.

ABC News: Dr. Joshua Nogar parle de la dangerosité et de l’inéfficacité de ces “remèdes alternatifs”

En Afrique du Sud, les citoyens demandaient au gouvernement de légaliser l’utilisation de l’Ivermectine Dans la région de Pietermaritzburg, deux personnes se sont retrouvées aux soins intensifs après avoir pris une overdose d’Ivermectine.

Dans un article publié par la BBC News, le Professeur Abdool Karim, un médecin sud-africain, a expliqué que la dose d’Ivermectine recommandée pour lutter contre la Covid-19 chez les humains peut être toxique. Le Professeur Rietze Rodseth, spécialiste des soins intensifs en Afrique du Sud, a aussi affirmé que la qualité des résultats des études réalisées pour déterminer l’efficacité de l’Ivermectine n’est toujours pas rassurante.

Dosage d’Ivermectine chez les humains

En effet, comme le suggèrent des études en pharmacocinétique et pharmacodynamique, la dose requise pour atteindre la concentration de plasma nécessaire pour avoir l’efficacité antivirale contre la Covid-19 détectée in vitro serait plus de 100 fois supérieure à celle approuvée sur les humains (Chaccour, Carlos et al., 2021) & (Guzzo, Cynthia A et al., 2002).

Source: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/11094854_Safety_Tolerability_and_Pharmacokinetics_of_Escalating_High_Doses_of_Ivermectin_in_Healthy_Adult_Subjects

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/eclinm/article/PIIS2589-5370(20)30464-8/fulltext

 POUR L’HOMMECONTRE LA COVID-19
DOSE D’IVERMECTINE RECOMMANDÉE200 ug/kg (200 micrograms (mcg) per kilogram (kg) (91 mcg per pound) of body weight as a single dose. L’équivalent d’une concentration (Cmax) de 0.05 µM.      L’équivalent d’une concentration de 5 µM.
Tableau No.1: Dose d’Ivermectine recommandée chez l’homme

Dans son étude, Guzzo, Cynthia A et al. rapporte que même l’essai clinique sur l’homme avec la plus forte dose d’Ivermectin, approximativement 1700 ug/kg, avait généré une concentration maximum en plasma de 0.28μM.

Qui plus est, l’Ivermectin sous forme orale est seulement accessible sur le marché en pilules de 3 ou 4 mg, donc cela comprend un risque pour les gens qui essaieraient de s’auto-administrer des doses de cette substance car ils pourraient avoir recours à des formules plus concentrées, pouvant causer du surdosage.

Un document sur l’Ivermectin datant de 1992 de l’INCHEM (International Programme on Chemical Safety), agence spécialisée dans la gestion des substances chimiques, précise que le surdosage d’Ivermectin peut être associé à divers effets secondaires. La substance pourrait causer de la tachycardie, des fluctuations de la pression artérielle, des effets sur le SNC (somnolence, ataxie), des vomissements ainsi que des perturbations visuelles.

En outre, le site en ligne MedlinePlus, site spécialisé informations concernant la santé, ajoute que l’exposition à cette substance peut causer encore plus d’effets secondaires tels que la perte d’appétit, des brûlures d’estomac, de la diarrhée ou de la constipation et des tremblements.

Le site officiel du National Institute of Health du Royaume Uni précise aussi dans des Covid-19 Treatment Guidelines qu’il n’y a pas assez d’information du COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel tirer des conclusions claires sur l’utilisation de l’Ivermectin comme traitement pour la Covid-19. Des recherches pouvant produire des résultats prouvés et plus spécifiques sont requises pour pouvoir donner un verdict sur le rôle de l’Ivermectin contre la Covid-19.

Les études liées à l’Ivermectine: des résultats peu probants

La Société Française de Pharmacologie et de Thérapeutique (SFPT), définit l’Ivermectine comme un médicament antiparasitaire. La SFPT donne différentes raisons pour montrer que ce médicament n’est pas infaillible et peut même être inutile. “À l’heure actuelle, aucune donnée ne permet de recommander l’utilisation de l’Ivermectine pour prévenir ou traiter une infection au SARS-CoV-2. De plus, il n’existe aucune donnée concernant la sécurité de son utilisation dans cette indication“, précise la SFPT.

  1. CHEST JOURNAL

Une étude, par le “Chest Journal” nous parle de l’efficacité de l’Ivermectine pour le traitement des patients positifs au Covid-19 comparée à ceux qui n’ont pas été administrés le même traitement.

Extrait du Chest Journal

Sur deux cent quatre-vingts (280) patients, uniquement cent-soixante-treize (173) ont pris l’Ivermectine. Le résultat de l’observation : le taux de mortalité était plus élevé chez les patients traités sans Ivermectine (25%) comparé à ceux qui ont reçu des doses d’Ivermectine (15%). Les chercheurs précisent, dans leur conclusion, que des essais randomisés contrôlés, sont nécessaires pour valider leurs conclusions.

Nombre de Patients280Taux de Mortalité
Nombre de patients traités avec l’ivermectine17315%
Nombre de patients traités sans l’ivermectine10725%
Tableau No. 2: Résultat de l’observation

2. JAMA NETWORK

En mars 2021, le JAMA Network a publié les résultats d’un essai clinique randomisé qui ne soutiennent pas l’utilisation de l’Ivermectine pour traiter le Covid-19. Voici plus de détails :

ENDROITCali, en Colombie
TYPE D’ESSAIEssai randomisé en double aveugle
NOMBRE DE PATIENTS476
ÉTAT DE SANTE DES PATIENTSPositive à la Covid-19 et symptomatique pendant 7 jours ou moins
DOSAGE300 microgrammes chaque jour pendant 5 jours
Tableau No.3: Détails de l’essai clinique randomisé publié par le JAMA Network

Pendant cet essai, il y avait un suivi des patients pendant 21 jours. Certains patients ont signalé des symptômes indésirables tels que la céphalée (104 patients) et une défaillance multiviscérale (4 patients). Le JAMA Network laisse savoir que les résultats ne soutiennent pas l’utilisation de l’Ivermectine et recommande des études plus approfondies pour confirmer les effets de ce médicament sur les patients positifs à la covid-19.

3. UNIVERSITÉ DES SCIENCES MÉDICALES DE QAZVIN

L’Université des sciences médicales de Qazvin a publié les résultats d’un essai clinique multicentrique randomisé, en double aveugle.

ENDROITQazvin, Iran
TYPE D’ESSAIEssai multicentrique randomisé en double aveugle
NOMBRE DE PATIENTS180
ÉTAT DE SANTE DES PATIENTSLégers atteints de Covid-19 et hospitalisés
MÉDICAMENTSHydroxychloroquine et Ivermectine
DOSAGEHydroxycloroquine: 200mg deux fois par jour
Ivermectine: une dose unique de 400g/kg
trois doses à faible intervalle – 200, 200. 200 g/kg
trois doses à intervalle élevé – 400, 200, 200 g/kg
Tableau No.4: Détails concernant l’essai clinique par L’Université des Sciences Médicales de Qazvin

Durant cet essai, 5 sur 30 patients recevant 200mg d’hydroxychloroquine deux fois par jour sont décédés et 6 sur 30 patients recevant un placebo ainsi que 200mg d’hydroxychloroquine deux fois par jour sont décédés. Quant à l’Ivermectine, le taux de mortalité a baissé d’environ 15% et a réduit également la durée d’hospitalisation des patients. Les chercheurs précisent cependant que l’échantillon est limité et que des études élargies sont nécessaires.

Conclusion: Non à l’Ivermectine pour lutter contre la Covid-19 sans plus de recherche solide

Dans l’article pour Le Mauricien, le Dr. Marie Christine Piat propose l’Ivermectine comme une solution miracle mais il n’y a aucune confirmation existante concernant l’éfficacité de l’Ivermectine pour traiter la Covid-19. En effet, il y a beaucoup plus de risques que de bienfaits et la molécule n’est toujours pas approuvée par l’OMS. Avant d’adopter ce médicament, il faudrait d’abord des études plus approfondies ainsi que le feu vert de la part des instances régulatrices de la Santé car la sécurité de tout un chacun est primordiale.

Nous pouvons donc en conclure que les propos du Dr. Marie Christine Piat sont inexacts.

Le vaccin contre la Covid-19 n’est-il vraiment pas obligatoire à Maurice ?

Par Emilie Spéville-Hortense, Michaëlla Ber et Florian Philippe

Article de fact-checking publié dans le cadre du module Digital Journalism de l’Université de Maurice

Carte de vaccination reçue après la première dose de vaccin.

Nous ne pouvons demander que le vaccin soit obligatoire.” C’est ce que le ministre mauricien de la Santé et du bien-être, le Dr Kailesh Jagutpal a déclaré à la presse le 22 décembre 2020.

Le Dr Jagutpal au lancement d’un atelier de travail organisé conjointement avec l’OMS, le 22 décembre 2020. Source audio : defimedia.info

C’était après sa participation au lancement d’un atelier de travail organisé conjointement avec l’Organisation Mondiale de la Santé. Le Dr Jagutpal a continué sa déclaration en disant que “c’est une protection qui va produire des anticorps pour votre bien-être. Quand nous allons commencer à le faire (ndlr, la vaccination), il y aura certaines personnes qui ne voudront pas le faire. Nous devons l’accepter. Notre objectif est de donner le vaccin.” À ces propos s’ajoutent ceux que le ministre fera un peu plus de 3 mois après, en affirmant qu’à “aucun moment le gouvernement n’a pris la décision de rendre la vaccination obligatoire.” Il répondait à une question de la presse pendant la conférence de presse du National Communication Committee, le 10 avril 2021.

Le Dr Jagutpal à la conférence de presse du National Communication Committee, le 10 avril 2021. Source vidéo : page Facebook de Le Mauricien

Une affirmation qui ne sera pas totalement respectée après que le gouvernement ait ajouté de nouveaux règlements à l’article 13 de la Quarantine Act 2020, le 21 juin 2021.

Extrait de l’article 13 de la Quarantine Act 2020.

Ces règlements visent à permettre l’entrée qu’aux personnes ayant au moins une dose de vaccin contre la Covid-19 dans les écoles, les hôpitaux et autres centres de santé. Dans le cas où une personne n’a pas été vaccinée contre la Covid-19, elle devra présenter une attestation de test RT-PCR certifiant un résultat négatif datant de moins de 7 jours. Quiconque ayant plus de 18 ans qui n’a pas été vacciné (ou qui ne présente pas de test PCR négatif datant de moins de 7 jours) et se trouve dans un établissement spécifié encourt une amende ne dépassant pas Rs 500,000 et jusqu’à 5 ans d’emprisonnement.

Cette réglementation ne s’applique pas à une personne qui doit se soumettre à un traitement médical dans un établissement et de la personne qui l’accompagne, ou à celui ou celle qui doit se procurer des médicaments auprès de cette institution (hôpital, clinique, dispensaire, établissement de santé privé, centre de santé régional ou communautaire, cabinet médical ou cabinet dentaire). Le règlement ne s’applique pas non plus à une personne qui est en possession d’un certificat médical approuvé par deux médecins de l’État, attestant que, en raison de sa condition médicale, il ne peut recevoir un vaccin anti-Covid-19.

Pourquoi est-ce que ces nouveaux règlements rendent la déclaration du ministre de la Santé contradictoire ?

La loi ne stipule effectivement pas directement que la vaccination contre la Covid-19 est obligatoire. Cependant, les personnes de plus de 18 ans travaillant ou devant impérativement se rendre dans les institutions hospitalières (sauf pour les patients et la personne qui les accompagne) ou scolaires, sont obligées de présenter leurs cartes de vaccination pour y accéder. Cela pose tout d’abord un problème aux employés de ces établissements hospitalières et scolaires. La plupart ne pourront pas éviter la vaccination, au risque de perdre leurs emplois. Cela s’applique aussi pour les étudiants de plus de 18 ans, et si ces derniers ne sont pas présents en cours ou pour leurs examens, cela peut affecter grandement leur éducation et leur avenir.

Il est important de noter que tous les membres du gouvernement et des autorités liées sont restés prudents dans leurs discours entre le 10 avril 2021 et la date d’application de ces nouvelles lois. Ils ont fait très attention à ne pas utiliser de termes qui font allusion à une vaccination obligatoire. Lors de notre recherche, nous n’avons trouvé aucune déclaration publique de ce genre.

Une obstruction à l’obligation de respecter le droit universel à l’éducation ?

Source photo : Nations Unies / Déclaration Universelle des Droits de l’Homme

Toujours concernant le secteur éducatif, ces régulations peuvent aussi potentiellement brider l’un des droits fondamentaux de la Déclaration Universelle des Droits de l’Homme (1948) publiée par les Nations Unies. En effet, l’Observation générale No 13 sur le droit fondamental à l’éducation (Partie 47), qui a été approuvée par le Comité des droits économiques, sociaux et culturels, affirme que “l’obligation de respecter le droit à l’éducation requiert des États parties qu’ils évitent de prendre des mesures susceptibles d’en entraver ou d’en empêcher l’exercice. L’obligation de le protéger requiert des États parties qu’ils prennent des mesures pour empêcher des tiers de s’immiscer dans son exercice. L’obligation de faciliter l’exercice du droit à l’éducation requiert des États qu’ils prennent des mesures concrètes permettant aux particuliers et aux communautés de jouir du droit à l’éducation et les aidant à le faire.”

Certes, il n’y a pas de privation à l’éducation mais, il y a une difficulté supplémentaire, surtout pour les familles vulnérables.

Le test RT-PCR : est-ce vraiment un choix ?

Ceux qui ne souhaitent pas se faire vacciner peuvent présenter un test Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) négatif, ne datant pas de plus de 7 jours, aux établissements auxquels ils ou elles veulent avoir accès. A savoir que l’État ne subventionne pas ces tests, sauf pour les personnes qui ne peuvent se faire vacciner pour raison médicale et les personnes qui ont eu contact avec une personne positive à la Covid-19 – les autres doivent le payer dans des enseignes privées.

Est-ce donc vraiment un choix qui est proposé pour le vaccin ? Prenons en considération le prix des différents tests RT-PCR disponibles à Maurice :

  • NovaLab – Rs 2 100 par test. Frais de déplacement de Rs 400 en optant pour le service à domicile.
  • Rs 3 500 – GeneXpert par test (résultat en 6 heures). Frais de déplacement de Rs 399 en optant pour le service à domicile.
  • C-Care – Rs 2 250 par test.

D’après une étude de Statistics Mauritius, le salaire moyen du Mauricien était d’environ Rs 21,500 en 2020. Sachant cela, il est difficile d’imaginer que le Mauricien moyen puisse prévoir un budget d’entre Rs 8,400 et Rs 14,000 par mois (en calculant le prix d’un test RT-PCR par semaine). Ce montant atteint déjà la moitié ou plus de son salaire mensuel, ce qui rend son choix pour se faire dépister une fois par semaine très difficile. Ce choix cornélien s’applique d’autant plus pour les étudiants de plus de 18 ans qui dépendent (pour la majorité) financièrement de leurs parents.

L’article 2 du formulaire de consentement

Communiqué de presse du Ministère de la Santé et du Bien-Être, du 7 mars 2021.

De plus, depuis le début de la campagne de vaccination à Maurice le 8 mars 2021, le Ministère de la Santé et du Bien-Être a mis en place un formulaire de consentement à remplir avant de se faire administrer le vaccin anti-Covid-19. “Jusqu’à présent, toutes les personnes recevant des vaccins anti-Covid-19 ont été invitées à signer des formulaires de consentement dédouanant le gouvernement, ce qui signifie que cela a été totalement volontaire,” déclara Milan Meetarbhan, un expert constitutionnel, dans un entretien à L’Express, le 2 juin 2021. Effectivement, il est écrit noir sur blanc dans la section 2 du formulaire que la personne qui sera vaccinée et dont le nom y figure “demande” que le vaccin lui soit administré et qu’elle donne son autorisation.

Extrait du formulaire de consentement à remplir avant la vaccination anti-Covid-19.

Selon Meetarbhan, le problème que le gouvernement aurait, s’il est sujet à des poursuites judiciaires, c’est d’expliquer comment il crée deux catégories de personnes: celles qui ont volontairement signé des formulaires de consentement pour se faire vacciner et renoncé à tous droits de réclamations contre le gouvernement; et les catégories de travailleurs qui ont été obligés de se faire vacciner pour conserver leur emploi. 

Ambiguïté…

Les actions et le discours du gouvernement font planer un doute sur sa position concernant la vaccination. Depuis l’entretien du ministre Jagutpal du 22 décembre 2020 avec la presse, le gouvernement affirme toujours que le vaccin n’est pas obligatoire. Il n’y a certainement pas d’obligation directe. Ladite déclaration n’est donc pas fausse en ce sens.

Mais, l’ambiguïté survient quand on analyse les “choix” qu’ont les citoyens mauriciens face aux nouvelles régulations mises en place. Est-ce que la vaccination ne devient pas obligatoire lorsque les autres options sont hors de portée pour la majorité des Mauriciens ? Certains peuvent argumenter que c’est le cas. Surtout quand les seuls choix à leur disposition sont de se faire vacciner ou de payer entre Rs 2,100 à Rs 3,900 par semaine, au risque de mettre en péril leur situation professionnelle. Pourquoi l’État ne subventionne-t-il pas le test RT-PCR pour ceux qui le souhaitent ? Cela aurait permis à cette alternative d’être plus accessible – même si, par exemple, la subvention n’aurait été que pour les personnes dans le besoin, comme celles enregistrées à la Sécurité Sociale. Le coût total est probablement l’une des principales raisons, quand bien même ce serait une subvention partielle. On peut aussi se demander si les Mauriciens auraient été prêts à accepter une augmentation des taxes pour financer cette aide.

Si nous nous basons donc sur ces arguments, nous ne pouvons pas clairement dire que ce qu’a dit le Dr Kailesh Jagutpal est faux. Néanmoins, nous pouvons considérer qu’il y a une vaccination quasi-obligatoire indirecte pour certaines personnes.

Fake claims by a general practitioner published by a newspaper

Authors: Ammeer Musheerah, Kritisha Cheerkoot

Fact-checking article published as part of an assignment for the Digital Journalism module at the University of Mauritius

Covid-19 is present in this digital era since two years now and it is still the talk of the world. The article which has been chosen for fact-checking is one by lexpress.mu entitled “Crise mondiale: le Covid-19 fait-il plus de peur que de mal?” which includes the interview of Dr Marie-Christine Piat, who has been working as a general practitioner in Mauritius since 25 years.

The latter made several claims during the interview which grabbed our attention while reading as they seemed to be quite dubious. The claims were as follows:

  1. Covid 19 virus resembles the flu while both of them infect the respiratory tract, and contaminate human beings through aerosols and the emission of droplets while talking, coughing, and sneezing.”
  2. “It is both damaging and detrimental to deprive oneself of proven alternatives. One of them: Ivermectin known for 40 years for its anti parasitic properties and distributed at more than 4 billion doses since its origin, has shown efficacy in prevention and curative for SARS-Cov-2.”
  3. “Despite this, some 20 countries have ignored their recommendations given the growing evidence. Their decisions were followed by significant, even spectacular, results. We remember for example: Mexico, Peru, Argentina, India, Bangladesh..”
  4. Many recent meta-analysis put forward that Ivermectin clearly reduces the risk of Covid-19 related deaths.”

The first claim made by Dr Piat which was fact checked is:

Translation: “Covid 19 virus resembles the flu while both of them infect the respiratory tract, and contaminate human beings through aerosols and the emission of droplets while talking, coughing, and sneezing.” (Claim 1)

What about the major differences?

According to the CDC Covid-19 and the flu have more differences than similarities.

A research from nih.gov below contradicts the claim of Dr Piat revealing that the Coronavirus and the flu are not the same.

Additionally the death rate relating to covid-19 and the flu are very different from each other. They put forward that children are more at risk to the influenza than the Coronavirus. The image below depicts the difference between the mortality rate:

The OSF HEALTHCARE website publishes the fact that there are major differences between the flu and covid-19. Here are the those differences:

Mayoclinic also elaborates on the fact that the COVID-19 virus seems to be more contagious, proving that the claim of Dr Piat is wrong and that the two are more different than congruent.

Indeed the WHO states that the influenza and Covid-19 are different as they are actually caused by different viruses. Here is what WHO published:

Covid-19 and the flu, according to many researchers and doctors are actually two different things because the basis themselves are different. That is, the two of them are caused by two non-identical viruses. Therefore, it can be seen that Dr Christine Piat, who is a general practitioner, has not been stating facts as the Coronavirus and the influenza are very dissimilar.

Is Ivermectin the good alternative?

Extracted from L’express.mu

Translated: It is both damaging and detrimental to deprive oneself of proven alternatives. One of them: Ivermectin known for 40 years for its anti parasitic properties and distributed at more than 4 billion doses since its origin, has shown efficacy in prevention and curative for SARS-Cov-2. (Claim 2)

It is undeniable that Covid-19 has disrupted each and every aspect of the world: health, education, sports, religious activities and so on. To protect us against this invisible enemy, we should take the precautions needed. However, this does not mean that we should take any medical substances to protect ourselves. Sometimes what we think is appropriate as medicine is not necessarily the truth, and might end up as harmful to our health. So, we must think well!
For instance, according to an interview conducted by lexpress.mu, Dr Piat affirmed that Ivermectin is one of the alternatives which can be “safely” used to prevent the infection of Covid-19. She firmly stated that this anti-parasite medication has proven its efficacy. In fact, many countries are wondering whether Ivermectin should be used or not, but let’s see what medical sources indicate to us.

The US Food and Drug Administration has warned people against the use of Ivermectin. This is because this substance was mainly produced for animals to prevent heartworm diseases and parasites and hence may be harmful for human beings. Human and animal medicines are different. “Animal drugs are often highly concentrated because they are used for large animals like horses and cows, which can weigh a lot more than we do—a ton or more. Such high doses can be highly toxic in humans.” FDA clearly stated that Ivermectin is not an anti-viral.

https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/why-you-should-not-use-ivermectin-treat-or-prevent-covid-19

Moreover, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has mentioned that the use of Ivermectin against Covid-19 is only used in clinical trials. They have not given any approval for the use of this drug to treat the coronavirus. This information is provided on the website of the WHO and here is the link:

click here

Despite knowing that Ivermectin is made for animals, there are many countries across the globe which have decided to carry on with the doses of Ivermectin to treat Covid-19. However, according to WHO:

“A guideline development group was convened in response to the increased international attention on ivermectin as a potential treatment for COVID-19. This group is an independent, international panel of experts, which includes clinical care experts in multiple specialties and also include an ethicist and patient-partners.”

In addition, during the interview, Dr Piat also asserted that many countries have borne the sweet fruits of their decisions. Below is the extract from the lexpress.mu article.

Extract from L’express.mu

Translated: Despite this, some 20 countries have ignored their recommendations given the growing evidence. Their decisions were followed by significant, even spectacular, results. We remember for example: Mexico, Peru, Argentina, India, Bangladesh.. (Claim 3)

Based on a scholarly article published in the Taylor and Francis Online Journal:

“The available pharmacokinetic data for ivermectin indicate that at the doses routinely used for the management of parasitic diseases the SARS-CoV-2 inhibitory concentrations are practically not attainable. At present any empiric treatment with ivermectin or its inclusion in therapeutic protocols are not scientifically justifiable. The very consideration of the drug as a broad spectrum antiviral agent is incorrect because it has failed to demonstrate antiviral effects beyond the in vitro level. Pending the paucity of reliable data from controlled studies and the aforementioned pharmacokinetic considerations, the application of ivermectin in COVID-19 patients is to be decisively discouraged.” (click here)

In Argentina, research put forward that patients needed a high number of Ivermectin doses in order for it to be effective against the coronavirus.

In India, there was the belief that Ivermectin was the solution to decrease the mortality rate related to Covid-19. However, there is no concrete evidence about the effectiveness of Ivermectin. In a post by Health Feedback (https://healthfeedback.org/claimreview/no-data-available-to-suggest-a-link-between-indias-reduction-of-covid-19-cases-and-the-use-of-ivermectin-jim-hoft-gateway-pundit/), it is indicated that:

“India experienced a decrease in the number of COVID-19 cases in May 2021. However, no data is available to support the claim that this is causally associated with the recommendation to use ivermectin. The reduced spread of the disease began before India released official recommendations to use that drug. In spite of several clinical studies, no reliable evidence is available to suggest that hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin are effective against COVID-19. At the moment, international health agencies and scientific societies discourage using these drugs to treat COVID-19, except in clinical trials designed to assess their efficacy.”

Furthermore, even in Mexico, there is no accurate evidence to show that Ivermectin is effective. There are many online articles which have been posted without verification which purport that Ivermectin is effective to treat covid-19 patients. The lack of clear evidence contradicts the claim of Dr Piat who affirmed that Mexico recognised the effectiveness of Ivermectin.

Is Ivermectin actually decreasing death rates related to Covid-19?

In addition, while she talks about Ivermectine, Dr Christine Piat says that :

TRANSLATION: Many recent meta-analysis put forward that Ivermectin clearly reduces the risk of Covid related deaths.

She affirms that several research have suggested that Ivermectin clearly reduces the risk of Covid related deaths. But, ISGlobal published the facts and figures opposing this claim. They put forward that the data provided is not correct.

The ‘full fact’ website confirms that the Ivermectin being the cause of less death was the talk of countries since some time. Yet, they question the claim and also give clear specification about why the claim could not be believed.

reviews and fact check extract from Full Fact ( click here)

Link for Critics of review* : Ivermectin discussion with Dr Tess Lawrie – YouTube

The claim of Dr Piat, that research shows a decline in death rate through the use of Ivermectin may be partially true insofar as there are limited studies giving such conclusions. But the claim about the lowered rate of death which emerged from meta analysis according to her is not actually a reliable one.

Conclusion

The claims made by Dr Piat were mostly exaggerated. Of course, she might have used many articles but it would be rather better if she referred to more reliable medical articles, researches and journals. Below are the claims that she made and what we found when we did a deep research:

  1. The first claim was so: “Covid 19 virus resembles the flu while both of them infect the respiratory tract, and contaminate human beings through aerosols and the emission of droplets while talking, coughing, and sneezing.” When this claim was deeply analysed and researched, journals and research works did not tally with the words of the doctor.

2. Secondly, she claimed that “It is both damaging and detrimental to deprive oneself of proven alternatives. One of them: Ivermectin known for 40 years for its anti parasitic properties and distributed at more than 4 billion doses since its origin, has shown efficacy in prevention and curative for SARS-Cov-2.” However, when we fact checked if Ivermectin is effective against Covid-19, it was found that no concrete evidence was available. There were few studies and surveys which were conducted with limited number of people. Hence, medical researchers could not clearly and unequivocally conclude if Ivermectin really works against getting infected from the deadly virus. This denotes that the claim was overemphasized to inject a misconception in the mind of citizens.

3. “Despite this, some 20 countries have ignored their recommendations given the growing evidence. Their decisions were followed by significant, even spectacular, results. We remember for example: Mexico, Peru, Argentina, India, Bangladesh..“, this was the third claim of Dr Piat. When conducting our research, it was noted that the infodemic also plays a role in the point of views of people. Just because it was posted that Ivermectin was effective, many people believed it. Yet, this was not the case as no concrete evidence was found again. We can see that this claim was also made without good profound research.

4. Finally the third claim is : “Many recent meta-analysis put forward that Ivermectin clearly reduces the risk of Covid related deaths.” Many people believed the posts that claimed this without concrete evidence. In fact, it is now clearer that Ivermectin is not really behind the lower rate of death related to Covid- 19.

Hence, on conclusion, we can say that not being an epidemiologist might have explained the fact that Dr Piat did not respond accurately. Rather she was more simplistic in her approach, which is surprising for a scientist. Indeed, the input of the doctor could have been quite insightful if she had merely talked about ongoing studies and been honest about the status of the research. Unfortunately, she simply was not in line with current research evidence.

Small Online businesses in Mauritius

Written by: Tasnim Domun and Nouf Gounjaria

Submitted as part of an assignment for the Digital Journalism module at the University of Mauritius

Make a beginning – Small online businesses in Mauritius

To begin with, a small enterprise is an independently owned and operated company that is limited in size and in revenue, depending on the industry. Many individuals, be it teenagers, young adults, or housewives, they are submerging themselves in online businesses, especially after the outbreak of the coronavirus and the confinements. Some ideal examples of online businesses booming online are, clothing line, skincare, makeup, scrunchies, crafts/accessories, cooking/baking, writers, e-commerce etc.

While in the past many Mauritians used websites more for obtaining information than for purchasing, this has changed during the confinement as companies switched to online platforms to sell their products. Many smaller Mauritian businesses, presently, prefer to use social networking sites like Facebook and Instagram to reach their target market. Interestingly, the country has upgraded to fiber-broadband with speeds between 10MB and 30MB, because the speed and bandwidth required for modern e-commerce transactions are lacking in some of the more remote places in Mauritius.

According to Sunibel Corporate Services, luckily, being a part of Africa, Mauritius has the objective, and is committed to accelerate the country’s move to an age of digitally enabled economic growth. According to McKinsey Global Institute’s “Lions go digital: The Internet’s transformative potential in Africa” 2013 report, the firm projected that annual online sales could reach USD 75 billion by 2025. With Africa’s in internet connections growth from 2.1% in 2005 to 24% in 2018, no wonder why the continent’s is an attractive place for e-commerce.

Instagram Businesses

Instagram is a popular platform for people to buy and discover products.

90 % of Instagram users are subscribed to a business account.

70 % of shoppers use Instagram to discover new products.

Source: Instagram

This post comprises of a selection of online businesses in Mauritius, inclusive of their slight sketches. Firstly Adiba of Secrets of Curls & Curves will share her story, followed by Kareema, a baker and Arielle Bousoula, owner of an online scrunchy business.

Adiba, a content creator, beauty influencer and an appreciated makeup artist on social media.

Adiba – Owner of Secrets of Curls & Curves

The young entrepreneur runs two formal businesses. One is offering Makeup Artistry services + consultations, that is, helping each individual creating personalized makeup/skincare routines, and her second business is her brand Secrets of Curls & Curves which offers digital content creation services [Photography, Videography, Copywriting and Templates designing for businesses + influencer marketing services [Ads production & brand promotion].

Indeed, to start a business you need ideas. Continue reading to discover Adiba’s ideas for her start up.

The ideas came to me after getting my routines and practices disrupted by 2 skin conditions, which also meant I couldn’t pursue my childhood dream job anymore. I felt lost and was just trying to learn new things, got into makeup and blogging- a year after being into both I started being noticed by big brands and haven’t stopped improving since! It’s now officially 2 years that I turned these passion projects into businesses.”

Being a full time student at the University, the beauty influencer has managed to run two side businesses. Besides, she is on a solo trip, but she does hire contractors if some tasks need to be delegated.

Being a digital creator means having an online presence. The owner of Secrets of Curls & Curves shares how being established online is advantageous and favorable for her businesses.

“Having an online presence is definitely what helped my business bloom since the start, the audience that I have been able to nurture over the years are the reason I turned my passion projects into businesses. Having an online presence for my businesses helped me reach more people- not restricted within my country borders. I work with brands and people from all over the world!”

Surely, to run a business, an entrepreneur needs to have a clientele, and this contributes to the growth of the business. Adiba says that she has loyal customers and audience. They are anyone from individuals, small businesses, big corporate brands, local brands, international brands. She adds that some of her services are advertised on her socials, and some are services she offers upon requests due to her tight schedule from still being a full time student. She shares that her business is growing well, but the Makeup Artistry business did hit a stop with the spread of Covid-19 and all the restrictions & fear which go along with it.

Besides, the young entrepreneur left a previous job, to manage her current business.

“I was working at my family restaurant managing the customer and food packing services. To have enough time to grow my businesses and to study, I had to consequently minimize the time I was spending at my restaurant.”

Goals and motivation are crucial for success and accomplishment. Adiba shares her goals.

“For the digital brand, my goals are getting my website & blog live and work with more local SMEs as well as international brands. For the Makeup Artistry business, my goals are to builder a stronger client base, host Makeup Artistry classes for personal uses and also to coach individuals into pro makeup artists working with a creative standard.”

Maybe an advice from the young entrepreneur will help you for your future startups?

Focus on yourself first, find what you like and what you don’t. Then make a plan of where you want to be in the short and long term and be consistent in putting in the work. For example, in 6 months, in a year, in 5 years. Having a plan helps you see the pathway to reach your goal much easier and believe me! Often times the goals are achieved before your set deadline!

Adiba’s Makeup/artwork
Adiba’s Makeup/artwork

The next online entrepreneur is a baker. The following is an interview with Kareema Mahamoodally. She has her own Instagram page to showcase her sweet goodies, and in the following video she shares her business story, growth, online presence and other stuffs.

Arielle Bousoula – Online entrepreneur

With more time on our hands to reflect on what we want from life and our careers, many entrepreneurs made the best of a bad situation, turning their side hustles and part-time passions into fully-fledged businesses.

The devastating economic impact of the coronavirus on entrepreneurs is painful but inevitable. For small businesses to survive the pandemic consequences is extremely hard.

During the past few weeks, we have been virtually meeting successful entrepreneurs operating on an online basis to find out more on how they tackle the world of business.

1. Entrepreneur for 4 years, Arielle Bousoula has launched her side business just before the second lockdown. She makes silk accessories such as scrunchies and hair bonnets. She owns 2 business; a model agency and a retail accessory business. Due to the harsh impact of covid 19 on her model agency, she decided to launch a side business to have a second source of income. Her small online operating business is in the formal sector but she does not yet pay taxes as it has been a few month since its opening. Amid slowing economic activity, COVID-19 has led to a rise in e-commerce and online shopping activities. As lock-downs has become the new normal,  customers and businesses are progressively shifting to digital platforms to stay competitive during the pandemic.  For Arielle, her business has seen a boost in sales during the lockdown. Her best business advice to others is to be flexible and adapt to meet customers’ needs.

2. Coralie and her two sisters are young successful entrepreneurs who took a leap to start and operate an online skincare and makeup business. All the 3 ladies have their full time job and decided to do a business in which they are very much passionate about as a side hustle. Since they are in the formal sector and their business is registered, they do not yet have to pay tax. Their journey has not always been easy. With the coming of the covid 19 pandemic, the fact that there has been an increase in foreign exchange this has definitely affected their buying and selling cost. Not surprisingly. Another common issue they are currently facing is that customs are taking much more longer due to backlogs and less flight to Mauritius. Since they are really into their business, they have not give up. Their best business advice to start ups and small business owners is ” Find your tribe, keep going and do not give up no matter what.” 

Product

Inaccurate reporting of homicide cases in Mauritius

In the Spotlight analysed the way homicide cases are investigated and reported by journalists in Mauritius.

By: Bacchoo Chavee, Boyjoo Ethan, Heeramun Hanshika

Submitted as part of an assignment for the Digital Journalism module at the University of Mauritius

Everyday around the World, women are killed by men and most from their intimate circle. A new report Feminicide Census based in the UK claims that a woman is killed by a man every 3 day. During the pandemic of the Covid-19, the number of feminicide cases went even higher.

In the Spotlight believes that the media does not investigate these cases properly but instead they use these types of news pieces to increase traffic on their social media pages for a day or two. Reporters do not dig through to reach the root of the problem in order to better educate and inform the audience about such crimes. In turn they tend to put the victim in the limelight by providing unnecessary details, especially details of the latter’s personal life.

As such, we chose to analyze the reporting done around three murder cases which occurred in Mauritius and we’ve also put out a number of questions which could have been answered but the media chose to overlook.

Case Number 1: Farida Jeewooth, 10 years old, killed by her mother and the latter’s partner in March 2020

The case of Farida definitely shocked the citizens of Mauritius but the way the media reported this murder case was bland with a lack of investigations and most importantly, a lack of follow-ups. Below are some example of the articles which were published regarding this case through the headlines/sub-headlines of which we can already spot a basic coverage of such an atrocious murder. None of the media organizations around Mauritius went for an in-depth reporting to provide a more balanced and accurate report since there is more to what meets the eyes.

Case Number 2: Deepa Takoordyal, 33 years old, killed by her husband in January 2014

“Ashish Takoordyal écope 35 ans de prison” – a popular headline written by a few media organizations 3 years after the murder of Deepa Takoordyal. During these 3 years, no other articles were published regarding this homicide case of a husband killing his wife and cutting the dead body into pieces. Once again, a murder case turned into a sensational piece of news which attracted a number of viewers and was later forgotten.

Case Number 3: Our unnamed victim, killed by her partner in June 2020

The unnamed victim was in her fifties when she was killed by her partner who later committed suicide. The dead body was discovered by the victim’s sister. Only one article was published by l’Express to inform its audience about a murder which took place at Cap Malheureux. The other articles found online were from random groups which usually publish sensational news.

Analysis

In this video, there is a more in-depth analysis about the inaccurate reporting of homicide cases by the media in Mauritius.

Être artiste dans le petit marché de Maurice.

Par Michaëlla Ber, Florian Philippe & Emilie Spéville Hortense

Submitted as part of an assignment for the Digital Journalism module at the University of Mauritius

Être artistes dans le petit marché de Maurice.


Notre dossier consistera de portraits d’artistes mauriciens qui peine à faire de leur art un métier à cause du petit marché mauricien. Nous passerons les différentes statistiques concernant les artistes à Maurice, les mesures prises par les autorités mauriciennes face à ce problème, la réaction du public mauricien envers les artistes mauriciens (du point de vue des artistes) et, nous nous demanderons aussi si un artiste peut être considéré comme une petite/moyenne entreprise.

Nous nous sommes entretenu avec quelques artistes mauriciens pour connaître leur avis, ressenti et témoignage sur le sujet.


Quelles sont les mesures prises

par les autorités mauriciennes face à ce problème ?

Le secteur créatif est un contributeur à l’économie et est un générateur direct d’emplois et ses effets multiplicateurs ne peuvent être sous-estimés. Cette déclaration a été faite par le ministre des Arts et du Patrimoine culturel, M. Avinash Teeluck, en juin 2020, à l’Assemblée nationale. Il intervenait lors des débats sur le budget national pour la période 2020-2021.

En ce qui concerne le statut des artistes, le ministre a reconnu que les artistes, en raison de leurs conditions de travail atypiques, relèvent du secteur informel et qu’à ce jour, il n’existe pas de registre officiel des professionnels des arts. Les artistes ne bénéficient pas des droits auxquels ont droit les autres travailleurs, par exemple les régimes de retraite contributifs, les congés payés ou autres congés et les primes de fin d’année. Cela les empêche de professionnaliser leur travail afin d’optimiser le potentiel du secteur créatif pour la croissance économique, la création d’emplois et l’inclusion sociale, a-t-il observé. 

Par conséquent, un projet de loi sur le statut de l’artiste est en cours d’élaboration, et prévoira également la création d’un registre pour la professionnalisation des arts et la délivrance d’une carte professionnelle, a annoncé M. Teeluck. Celui-ci sera mis en œuvre par une nouvelle institution, The National Body for Professionals in the Arts.


Status of the Artist Bill

Du 18 octobre au 6 novembre 2017, l’UNESCO a pris en charge une mission d’assistance technique pour aider le gouvernement de Maurice à concevoir une nouvelle loi sur le statut de l’artiste.

Dirigée conjointement par Vesna Čopič, membre de la Banque d’experts de la Convention de 2005 sur la promotion et la protection de la diversité des expressions culturelles, et Sobhanund Seeparsad, expert national nommé par le ministère des Arts et de la Culture, la mission a réuni de nombreux acteurs du gouvernement et la communauté artistique de Maurice et Rodrigues, organisés en groupes de discussion thématiques.

S’appuyant sur les acquis d’une première mission préparatoire tenue en février 2017, les travaux se sont structurés autour de six grands thèmes: définitions des différentes catégories de professionnels des arts; Statut de travail; sécurité sociale; mesures et stratagèmes fiscaux; différentes mesures de politique culturelle pour soutenir la création artistique et d’autres mesures concernant l’éducation et la formation; traitement préférentiel; gouvernance et mise en place d’un organisme national des professionnels des arts.

Ce projet de loi a pour but de reconnaître le statut des artistes et de classifier ces derniers sous quatre catégories : les Professional artists, les Technical professionals, les Specialized professionals in the arts et les Entertainers.

Les mesures budgétaires 2020-2021 comprennent :

  • Provision de Rs 19 millions pour financer le Covid-19 Action Plan 2020. Le plan contient 13 mesures pour soutenir les artistes et réorganiser le secteur culturel, y compris la production de concerts virtuels.
  • Rs 15 millions pour financer des événements dans le cadre d’un calendrier culturel.
  • Un montant de Rs 35 millions pour la préservation et la réhabilitation des sites historiques et culturels.
  • Une manifestation d’intérêt à développer un Art District à Port-Louis.
  • Des espaces publics stratégiques seront ouverts pour les spectacles de rue, les installations artistiques et les arts de la scène.
  • L’Economic Development Board et la National Art Gallery créeront une galerie d’art en ligne pour accueillir des expositions d’art et faciliter les ventes au public.
  • Un espace sera mis à disposition au Complexe multisports de Côte d’Or pour des expositions d’art et des événements d’art du spectacle.
  • Un festival d’art sera organisé le week-end de la Fête nationale de la musique 2021 pour offrir une plateforme à nos artistes pour montrer leurs talents.

Plateformes qui aident les artistes :

Un site internet qui aide les artistes à vendre leurs tableaux ou sculptures en exposant les photos de ces derniers sur leur site gratuitement.

Le précurseur du site Mauritius Arts, Palmesh Cuttaree est un artiste formé à Paris. Il détient une maîtrise de l’École nationale supérieure des arts appliqués et des métiers d’arts et auditeur libre à l’École des Beaux-Arts de Paris. Palmesh Cutarree est aussi diplômé en gestion des Industries culturelles (École internationale de Bordeaux, en France). Il a régulièrement exposé ses peintures à la galerie du Grand Palais (Paris) et ses masques à l’Unesco (Paris) et à la galerie Malcolm de Chazal et Dias Pier, au Caudan.

Ils offrent également un service de marketing et de relations publiques gratuits pour donner une visibilité maximale à leurs œuvres d’art à Maurice et dans le monde.

La mission du Nelson Mandela Center for African Culture Trust Fund est de préserver et promouvoir les arts et la culture africains, préserver et promouvoir les arts et la culture créoles, collecter, publier et diffuser des informations sur les arts et la culture africains et créoles, organiser des conférences, séminaires, ateliers, expositions et toutes autres activités permettant une meilleure connaissance des arts et de la culture africains et créoles, faire des recherches et réfléchir sur l’impact de l’esclavage à Maurice et établir des liens utiles avec des organisations engagées dans des activités similaires au niveau local et international.

Le fond financier est géré par un conseil d’administration nommé par le ministre des Arts et de la Culture et fonctionne sous l’égide de son ministère.


Qu’en pensent les artistes mauriciens qui se sont déjà fait un nom ?

Les artistes mauriciens qui sont déjà célèbres ont aussi parlé ouvertement sur les médias du fait que Maurice est un petit marché.


Bruno Raya

Le porte-parole de l’Association Auteur Compositeur Mauricien (AACM). Il explique à L’Express Maurice que ce n’est pas normal que l’artiste passe toujours en dernier. “Si pa ti ena sa, mo mor net,” dit-il en parlant de son travail en tant qu’animateur à Radio One. Il continue en déclarant que la MRA n’apporte pas un bon soutien aux artistes, pensant que ces derniers, en voyant leurs rentrées d’argent, “se font de l’or et l’autorité mauricienne dit qu’elle ne peut pas les aider.”

Pour certains artistes, performer à l’étranger est un meilleur moyen pour vivre de leur art.

MaryGeann

Le danseur et chanteur, MaryGeann, souligne justement qu’à cause de son manque de notoriété dans son pays natal, il a choisi de développer sa carrière artistique en France. Ras Natty Baby, un des pionniers du séga, est du même avis. Dans un entretien adressé à Zordi il soutient qu’il y a plus d’opportunités, de progression et surtout de reconnaissance artistique à l’étranger. Pour lui, ce n’est pas le cas dans notre pays.

Murvin Clélie

Le chanteur du groupe The Prophecy, de son côté, s’est exprimé sur le fait auprès de nos confrères du Défi Média Groupe Pour lui, les artistes ne sont pas là que pour chanter et divertir le public, mais aussi pour pouvoir en faire un métier et d’en vivre.  “Je ne cesse de le répéter : la situation des artistes professionnels devrait être régularisée,” déclare-t-il. Il rebondit également sur le fait que plusieurs artistes se sont battus pour faire entendre leur voix, cependant cette profession selon lui n’est toujours pas respectée à sa juste valeur.

Ras Natty Baby - La Isla Social Club
Ras Natty Baby

Ras Natty Baby rejoint aussi l’avis de Bruno Raya concernant le fait que les artistes doivent impérativement avoir un métier plus formel, à côté de leur art, pour pouvoir vivre. Il ajoute qu’un artiste “ne pourra jamais acheter à crédit dans un magasin, car on n’est pas détenteur d’une fiche de paye. A cause de tout ça, beaucoup d’artistes doivent avoir un second emploi qui est reconnu par la loi.”


Les débuts sont d’autant plus durs.

Nous avons recueilli les témoignages exclusifs de trois jeunes artistes mauriciennes qui veulent percer dans le domaine créatif à Maurice. Caroline, Sahana et Nathanielle avouent que c’est difficile de se faire un nom et assez d’argent dans le petit marché mauricien.


Passionnée de chant mais impossible de vivre pleinement de son talent.

Nous avons eu la chance de découvrir son visage en 2020 dans le clip de Justice Lecoq, “Closer to me“. Caroline Perne, passionnée de chant depuis son enfance nous raconte la chance qu’elle a eu de chanter avec de grands artistes locaux tels que Linzy Bacbotte ou même Cindia Amerally.

Elle exprime cependant son mécontentement car pour elle, les autorités mauriciennes ne font pas assez pour soutenir les artistes à Maurice et malheureusement pour elle, son art ne lui permet pas de gagner sa vie.


Pour la jeune chanteuse de 27 ans, c’est aux artistes mauriciens de faire leurs preuves pour plaire aux publics. Cependant, elle ne baisse pas les bras et elle travaille même sur son nouveau single qui sortira en juin 2021.


Sahana J. : “Ce n’est pas possible de faire de son art un gagne-pain dans le petit marché de Maurice”

Déjà écrivaine publiée à l’âge de 22 ans, Sahana Jafer, auteur de “In the pursuit of greater good”, nous parle de ses accomplissements et de ses éventuels projets à l’etranger. Selon elle, les artistes doivent tous être considérés comme PME car ils contribuent également à l’économie de Maurice. Sahana nous dit aussi que pour que les artistes soient reconnues à leurs juste valeur, c’est la responsabilité des médias, du gouvernement de maurice et du publiques de les encourager et de les promouvoir.

“L’otorite pa valoriz artis kouma bizin.”

Nathanielle, a.k.a. Ag Laë, nous témoigne que, malgré avoir grandi dans la musique et que cette dernière soit sacrée pour elle, elle n’arrive pas à se faire suffisamment de revenu pour en vivre. Cette jeune chanteuse de 19 ans a sorti son premier single, Premie Tifi , l’année dernière, mais reste toujours assez méconnue en tant qu’artiste. Elle trouve que les autorités et le public mauricien ne valorisent pas assez les artistes locaux. Ag Laë mentionne aussi qu’elle retrouve du soutien et des informations utiles sur la situation des artistes sur une plateforme nommé Artist Lives Matter.

Local artists and social media

by Yeshikha Doobaree, Avinash Dhondoo and Owen Lim Chin Fa

Submitted as part of an assignment for the Digital Journalism module at the University of Mauritius

As of April 2021, according to Statistics Mauritius, it is estimated that 4.2 billion people around the world use a platform of social media, showing an increase of 490 million over the last year. In addition, the average user has an account on more than 8 social media platforms. When it comes to Mauritius, Statistics Mauritius indicates that the island has 814 000 active internet users as of January 2021. The number of internet users in Mauritius increased by 70 000, which means by 9.4% between 2020 and 2021. As for social media users, the country counts 930 000 active users as of January 2021 which represents an increase of 70 000 users (8.1%) when compared to 2020. The social media platforms include Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp and other platforms. Still according to Statistics Mauritius, Facebook is the most used social media platform in the world with 2.740 billion active users as of 25 January 2021(Statistics Mauritius, 2021).

2020-2021 Budgetary measures was as follows

  • Rs 15 Million to finance events under a cultural calendar
  • An amount of Rs 35 Million for the preservation and rehabilitation of historical and cultural sites
  • An expression of interest to be launched to develop an Art District in Port-Louis
  • Strategic public places will be opened up for busking, art installations and for performing arts
  • The EDB and the National Art Gallery will create an Online Fine Art Gallery to host art exhibitions and facilitate sales to the public
  • Space will be made available at the Multi-sports Complex at Côte d’Or for fine art exhibitions and for performing art events
  • An Art Festival will be organised on the weekend of the National Music Day 2021 to provide a platform to our artists to display their talents

(Source: Minister Teeluck) 

Social media analysis of some popular and non popular artists in Mauritius

Two popular artists: Vivek Kooyela and La Nikita

Vivek kooyela and La Nikita are two famous artists in Mauritius. Both are very different from each other. La Nikita is a young female artist who is currently working at the Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation as a Journalist and presenter whereas Vivek kooyela is a 31 year old fitness and dance teacher. However, both won several competitions till date. Vivek is a four times National Dance Champion of Mauritius and he was also judge of Dance Fever competition. He masters the genres Bollywood, hip hop, contemporary, street, afro, jazz, krumping and lyrical. The talented man embellishes his choreography with fitness movements. He is also a fitness coach and gym instructor at Legacy Fitness Gym as well as Big Splash Gym.

After being part of a small singing group, La Nikita competed and won the singing competition named Star 2012.  Later on, she started singing with Gerard Louis and since then people started knowing her in 2015.  She later featured in the  album “Fierté nou zil du groupe Soldat + Mwadka”alongside Blackayo. She does have a good number of followers on her social media pages. 

Both the artists uses social media platforms to show their talent. With social media, La Nikita has been able to connect with her target audience on a global scale.  She has been able to reach people with her music. La Nikita has 6,900 subscribers on YouTube with 1,256,242 Video Views. On Instagram, the artist has 5,174 followers and 926 posts. On Facebook, she has 13K subscribers ( social blade, 2021).

Two less well known artist: Jaanavee Aklu and Gael Legane

Jaanavee Aklu and Gael Legane are two young talented youngsters that are not recognised by many Mauritians. Jaanavee is into dancing and Gael is a guy who loves singing. Jaanavee is the winner of Zenes Montre to talent 2020, the winner of Just Dance( P.Raffray), the winner of VKDS interclass competition 2019 and the 1st Runner-up of Dance UOM 2019. Jaanavee is a young girl who is passionate about dancing and is known to very few people in Mauritius. Jaanavee is not popular on social media. Her instagram page is not public and neither her Facebook page. Therefore, this may be one of the reasons why she is not famous like La Nikita And Vivek Kooyela. On the contrary, Gael Legane participates in small concerts and not competitions like Janavee. In 2018, he started his singing to another level. He participates in local shows and gets paid around Rs 3500 to Rs 4000 per party. But, he does not participate in a lot of parties as he is not famous.

These less well known artists have their own small audience which appreciates them. Some dance or sing for their passion and some do it for money. For some local artists, it is that money obtained at the end of the day that matters the most because it is with that money, that they satisfy their basic needs. In Mauritius we have many dancing troops which are called to dance in weddings especially for ” Geet Gawai” which is a pre-wedding ceremony. Some people in the dancing troupe perform for money and some do it for their passion of dancing. These local artists are very popular but they appreciate the happiness of the small group of people for whom they perform.

Being a less well known local artist, Gael Legane does not have many YouTube subscribers as La Nikita and Vivek Kooyela. As for Jaanavee, she only uses her instagram handle to publish her dancing videos, however, her instagram page is not public. She chooses her audience.

Survey about popularity of local artists.

We conducted a mini survey with 12 people in their early 20’s to have a better understanding about how well they know and listen to local Mauritian artists. The survey had one question in which they had to rank 15 artists in order of how well they know them. A second question which was a multiple question and a final question which was open-ended. The first question was as follows:

“Can you rank those artists by how well you know about them?”

Tracy, La Nikita, Warren Permal, Sean Paul, Black T, Junior, Blakkayo, G-Osphere, Mii Guel, Jaanavee Aklu, Bruno Raya, Yohan, Emmie Wong, Ti Alexandre and Jermain. 

The results are that Blakkayo was placed first 5 times, second 4 times and third 2 times of all the answers, Sean Paul was first 4 times, second 1 time and third 2 times and Bruno Raya was placed first 1 time, second 3 times and third 5 times. 

Below you can see the final answers of their average place they were placed.

1Blakkayo
2Sean Paul
3Bruno Raya
4Tracy
5La Nikita
6Warren Permal
7Yohan
8Black T
9Mii Guel
10Junior
11G-Osphere
12Ti Alexandre
13Jaanavee Aklu
14Emmie Wong
15Jermain

We can see that Sean Paul is very popular here even though he is not a local artist. Artists like Warren Permal who made himself a little name is not even in the top 5. But we can see that Tracy, who is a singer, is placed 4th overall. This might be explained by the fact that her song “Mechant Bad Gyal” was widely being used on TikTok for several months. Jermain, who was a fake name, to test the knowledge of our participants, was placed last.

The second question of the survey was:

“Do you like an artist according to his/her popularity, or for his/her talent?” Answers were either (a) talent (b) popularity or (c) both.

We found that 8 participants voted for talent, 4 participants voted for both, and 0 participants voted for popularity.

In the last question, we asked how important social media are for local artists. “Do you think social media is a great platform for local artists to share their work? If yes, justify your answer.”

All participants said yes. Some added that social media is a cheap marketing tool. Others said that social media are very useful for an artist to get visibility and promote their art. A participant added “Yes it is because they get a bigger audience and at the same time they receive feedback in the comment section which may help them in improving the work that they are putting out and at the same time have a better idea of what their audience wants.

Authors: Yeshikha Doobaree

Owen lim chin Fa

Avinash Dhondoo