Public Health

Nigeria: Program launched in Oyo state to expand HIV treatment coverage among children and pregnant women

The United States Government, through the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC), launched the Accelerating Progress in Pediatrics and PMTCT (AP3) program in Oyo State to scale up HIV case identification among pediatric and adolescent populations and prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT). Through AP3, the US CDC supports Nigeria’s efforts to close existing treatment gaps in these populations and work towards sustained HIV epidemic control. At the AP3 launch in Ibadan, US Consul General Will Stevens emphasized that “existing

Less than half of people living with diabetes in Africa know their status

Only 46% of people living with diabetes in the African region know their status, raising the risk of severe illness and death, potentially worsening the situation in the region which already has the world’s highest mortality rates due to the disease, a new analysis by World Health Organization (WHO) shows. Globally, 55% of people with diabetes know they have diabetes. In the African region, lack of testing facilities and equipment, inadequate number of trained health personnel, poor access to health facilities

Uganda declares Ebola outbreak

The health authorities in Uganda today declared an outbreak of Ebola after a case of the Sudan ebolavirus was confirmed in Mubende district in the central part of the country.  The Uganda Virus Research Institute confirmed the case after testing a sample taken from a 24-year-old male. This follows an investigation by the National Rapid Response team of six suspicious deaths that have occurred in the district this month. There are currently eight suspected cases who are receiving care in a

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

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