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Your Africa Health News Bites For January 2016 by Dara Oloyede

January 2016 Health Bites

Guinea: Ebola Free

Uganda: HIV Drug Shortage

Eastern Malawi: Cholera Outbreak

Ethiopia Plans To End AIDS by 2030

Nigeria’s Doctors Call for Taxes to Aid Health Care Access

 

Guinea: Ebola Free

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared Guinea Ebola free (voanews.com). “WHO says this marks an important milestone in the two-year struggle to stop the spread of this deadly disease” (voanews.com). After 42 days without a confirmed case, Guinea has joined Liberia and Sierra Leone; nations who have also halted the spread of this disease (voanews.com). These 3 nations will be monitored by local and global health organizations for any signs of reemergence (voanews.com).

For more information check out this article at voanews.com: Guinea Declared Free of Ebola

 

Uganda: HIV Drug Shortage

In Uganda there is currently a shortage of medicine for those with HIV due to  “weak currency and insufficient foreign exchange” (voanews.com). According to health activists, “about 240,000 patients on publicly funded treatment programs are at risk, forcing them to take lower dosages or none at all” (voanews.com).  Out of the 1.5 million people who live with HIV, about 820,000 of them are receiving antiretroviral medication. (voanews.com). Activists accuse the government of spending more money on elections than towards health initiatives, which has resulted in medication shortages that impact those on treatment and awaiting treatment (voanews.com).

For more information check out this article at voanews.com: HIV Drug Shortage Plagues Uganda

 

Eastern Malawi: Cholera Outbreak

A few months after the start of Malawi’s rainy season, the country began experiencing a Cholera outbreak (voanews.com). Cholera is a water-born disease, and it is mostly impacting those situated near Lake Chilwa (voanews.com). The Ministry of Health is saying that, “the outbreak is largely due to poor sanitation around Lake Chilwa”  (voanews.com). Efforts have been made to spread awareness in the community about sanitation, and also organizations have been distributing chlorine that people can use to clean their water (voanews.com). In addition they will be teaching students in school about sanitation (voanews.com).

For more information check out this article at voanews.com: Cholera Outbreak Hits Eastern Malawi

 

Ethiopia Plans To End AIDS by 2030

By 2020, Ethiopia wants to “prevent more than half a million AIDS-related deaths and prevent up to 80,000 new HIV infections” (allafrica.com). According to the Dr. Achamyeleh, the director of the HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Office (HAPCO), Ethiopia has already gone above and beyond meeting its previous 5-year goal by prioritizing people who are most at risk (allafrica.com). Despite achievements, “only 20% of children who are HIV positive are taking antiretrovirals,” and youth education around HIV/AIDS is lagging (allafrica.com). In this article, Dr. Achamyeleh provides some  steps that need to be taken to end AIDS by 2030.

For more information check out this article at allafrica.com: Ethiopia in 'Strong Position' to End Aids By 2030

 

Nigeria’s Doctors Call for Taxes to Aid Health Care Access

The Nigerian Medical Association is asking the government to use taxes to increase access to affordable health care (voanews.com). The association is calling for a levy on “cigarettes, alcohol, and cellphone credits” (voanews.com). The doctors are also advocating for the government to increase the amount of doctors being trained so there can be more doctors working not only in urban areas but also in rural areas (voanews.com). Currently “there is one doctor for every 6,000 patients in Nigeria” (voanews.com). In adiition doctors are underpaid and hospitals do not have enough resources (voanews.com).

For more information check out this article at voanews.com: Nigeria’s Doctors Call for Taxes to Aid Health Care Access

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Dara Oloyede is the African News Correspondent for Engage Africa Foundation. She is currently a Sociology and Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder in Colorado. She was born in Nigeria, and currently is involved in the African Students' Association. She works at Community Health on her campus as a student coordinator and gives presentations centered on promoting student wellness through education and support. She hopes to pursue Graduate studies in Public Health after graduating with her Bachelors degree. During her free time she likes to read books, hang out with friends, go to the movies, concerts, as well as events that celebrate different cultures. 

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