Health

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    The 2018 Mo Ibrahim Forum Report paints a very poor picture of the state of Africa’s public services. The reports covers a variety of sectors -- from safety and security, health, education, climate change to justice -- and illustrates these issues with facts and figures. Nearly all African governments fail to deliver essential public services to their citizens; the demand for quality services is quickly rising, particularly in urban settings. A majority of African citizens are in favour of paying for public services. Read on
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    Only one out of every five Senegalese people has health coverage. Enabel, the Belgian Development Agency, is helping the government of Senegal put in place a health insurance system in the departments of Koungheul (160 000 inhabitants) and Foundiougne (280 000 inhabitants). Several pilot programmes are testing a flat-rate payment system. Read on
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    Opinion: 
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    “Health systems in Africa are rapidly developing and the fourth Industrial Revolution in healthcare could take hold,” writes Patrice Matchaba from Novartis in a blog post on the World Economic Forum’s website. African countries have an opportunity to develop a strong preventive approach by conducting, for example, massive high-tech driven campaigns against parasitic diseases, malaria chemoprophylaxis and prophylactic antiretroviral medication to prevent HIV infection. Read on
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    During a courtesy visit to the new Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo, the Director General of the ECOWAS West African Health Organisation (WAHO), Dr. Xavier Crespin, called on Ghana’s head of state to make the country a leader in pharmaceutical production in West Africa. This appeal is part of WAHO’s ambition to double the amount of medications produced in the region, which is only about 25% today. Read on
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    The 2014 Ebola epidemic cost the lives of more than 11 000 West Africans. Researchers now have developed a vaccine that they consider to offer 100% protection against the disease. A trial involving nearly 12 000 people was conducted by the WHO and partners in Guinea. No Ebola cases were recorded 10 days or more after vaccination of nearly 6 000 people who received the new vaccine, called rVSV-ZEBOV. Read on
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    Population policies: Since the 1960s, mortality has declined steadily due to advances in medicine, immunisation and improved access to basic services like drinking water. Population policies should have resulted in a decline in natality greater than mortality to accelerate the demographic transition. However, this was not the case. Such policies suffer from a lack of political support and from strong socio-cultural restrictions. Read on
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    Chronic malnutrition persists: Malnutrition is, first and foremost, a chronic problem. Rates of Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) in the Sahel have exceeded the alert threshold of 10% for at least the past 15 years. In many areas, they regularly exceed the emergency threshold of 15%. Nearly 40% of children under five years of age are stunted. Read on
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    The UEMOA Commission organised a regional informational and consultative meeting with the stakeholders of the veterinary drug sector from 12-14 October in Ouagadougou. This meeting was part of the process of harmonising veterinary pharmaceutical legislation in the UEMOA area. Read on
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    On 16 September, Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who is also the current ECOWAS Chairwoman, met in Monrovia with Xavier Crespin, the Director General of the West African Health Organization (WAHO). President Sirleaf said that it is important to have more coherence between the health plans of individual West African countries and the plans of regional and international organisations. Read on
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    Opinion: 
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    The region is not only a transit point for global drug traffickers, but it is also a booming consumer market and a production area. The anti-narcotics measures that have been implemented in the region so far seem ill adapted to the problem. In this article, Adeolu Ogunrombi, Regional Director of the West Africa Drug Policy Network, says that discussions about reforming the region’s drug policies must start and should be spearheaded by courageous leaders. Read on

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