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Senegal’s Institut Pasteur confirms Ghana’s suspected Marburg disease outbreak

The Institut Pasteur in Dakar, Senegal, a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre laboratory, has confirmed Ghana’s first outbreak of Marburg virus disease. The Institut Pasteur in Dakar, Senegal received samples from each of the two patients from the southern Ashanti region of Ghana – both deceased and unrelated – who showed symptoms including diarrhoea, fever, nausea and vomiting. The laboratory corroborated the results from the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, which suggested their illness was due to the

Ghana prepares for Marburg disease outbreak

The government of West African state of Ghana has announced it is swiftly setting up preparations for a possible outbreak response for Marburg virus disease following the announcement of the country’s first-ever reported suspected cases. Ghana has announced the preliminary finding of two cases of Marburg virus disease and if confirmed these would the first such infections recorded in the country. Marburg is a highly infectious viral haemorrhagic fever in the same family as the more well-known Ebola virus disease.  Preliminary analysis of

DR Congo’s 14th Ebola outbreak is over

The Democratic Republic of the Congo today declared the end of the Ebola outbreak that erupted less than three months ago in Mbandaka, the capital of Equateur Province in the northwest. It was the third outbreak in the province since 2018 and the country’s 14th overall. With greater experience in Ebola control, national emergency teams, with the support from World Health Organization (WHO) and partners, mounted a swift response soon after the outbreak was declared on 23 April, rolling out key

Restrictive abortion laws put Nigerian women in danger

Friday Okonofua, University of Benin The word “abortion” is used to describe two types of pregnancies that end before 20 weeks, which is now regarded as the age of viability of a pregnancy. Spontaneous abortion occurs without an intention by the woman to stop the pregnancy, it is pregnancy loss before 20 weeks of gestational age. Induced abortion is the deliberate termination of a pregnancy because it is unwanted. About 10% to 20% of all pregnancies in

Over $4bn committed to end malaria and neglected tropical diseases by 2030

Global leaders led by African Heads of State have today announced the first in a series of pledges to accelerate progress against malaria and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) at the historic Kigali Summit on Malaria and NTDs. Hosted by His Excellency Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda, the Kigali Summit featured commitments totalling more than $US 4 billion including funding from governments, international organisations, philanthropists, and private sector support. In addition, 18 billion tablets have been donated by pharmaceutical companies for

Hope for people co-infected with visceral leishmaniasis and HIV

Today, the World Health Organization (WHO) has released its guidelines for the treatment of people co-infected with visceral leishmaniasis and HIV, to recommend better treatments based on the results of two studies conducted by the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and their partners in Ethiopia and India. In Ethiopia, the new treatment strategy was shown to have an 88% efficacy rate at the end of therapy (after 58 days), whereas the efficacy

Climate change poses serious risks to mental health and well-being — WHO

Climate change poses serious risks to mental health and well-being, concludes a new WHO policy brief, launched at the Stockholm+50 conference. The Organization is therefore urging countries to include mental health support in their response to the climate crisis, citing examples where a few pioneering countries have done this effectively. The findings concur with a recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), published in February this year. The IPPC revealed that rapidly

Togo eliminates trachoma as a public health problem

Togo has eliminated trachoma, an eye disease that can cause permanent blindness, as a public health problem. The West African nation becomes the fourth country on the continent to be validated by World health Organization (WHO) as having reached the elimination milestone after Morocco in 2016, Ghana in 2018 and The Gambia in 2021.  Trachoma is a neglected tropical disease. It is caused by bacteria and mainly affects children. In adults, women are up to four times more likely than men to

What we know about the origin of DRC’s latest Ebola outbreak

On April 23, 2022, the Minister of Public Health, Hygiene, and Prevention announced a new case of Ebola virus disease (EVD) occurring in Mbandaka health zone in Equateur Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). EVD outbreaks occurred previously in Equateur Province in 2018 and 2020. The 31-year-old male, a student from Boende in Tshuapa Province, returned to Mbandaka, Equateur Province on February 25, 2022. He was vaccinated against Ebola virus in 2020 and is not known to be an EVD

We can accelerate our efforts to achieve a malaria-free Africa — Moeti

Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO’s Regional Director for Africa expressed optimism in the actualization of a malaria-free Africa. In a statement to mark the World Malaria Day 2022, Moeti said there is the need to urgently scale up innovation and the deployment of new tools in the fight against malaria, while advocating for equitable access to malaria prevention and treatment, within the context of building health system resilience. The past year has seen significant breakthroughs in malaria prevention and control, in spite