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Your Africa Health News For December by Dara Oloyede

This month's headlines:

South Africa: Minister of Health Fights Against Salt

Liberia: Working to Reduce the Stigma of Ebola

Plague Kills 40 People in Madagascar

South Africa: Male Circumcision as a Way to Reduce HIV Infections

Tanzania: Health experts talk about Plans for 2015

Africa Nears Eradication of Polio

 

South Africa: Minister of Health Fight’s Against Salt

In South Africa, Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi is the Minister of Health (npr.org). Motsoaledi is saying that the country is dealing with what he refers to as the "exploding pandemics of non-communicable diseases: high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, chronic lung disease” (npr.org). Non-communicable diseases now place a huge burden on health facilities in South Africa (npr.org). The Minister of Health urges people to take ownership of their health, but he understands that “changing people's behavior is a very difficult thing” (npr.org). He has been trying to cut down rates of high blood pressure by telling South African food corporations to “reduce the amount of salt in bread, soups, snacks and other processed foods, but he [has been] met [with] fierce resistance both from industry and ordinary people” (npr.org).

 

For more information check out this article at npr.org: He Fixed South Africa's AIDS Policy, Now He's Out To Fight Salt

http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2014/09/24/351165582/he-fixed-south-africas-aids-policy-now-hes-out-to-fight-salt 

Liberia: Working to Reduce the Stigma of Ebola

Along with the health crisis that Ebola has brought to Liberia, stigma has also increased “intercommunal tensions” towards survivors and their families (theguardian.com). “Often marginalized by their own neighborhoods, they find it difficult to reintegrate after being quarantined” (theguardian.com). Community programs are taking action by “raising awareness of how the virus is contracted, and reassuring communities that those cured will not infect others” (theguardian.com).

For more information check out this article at theguardian.com: Ebola: reducing stigma to reintegrate survivors into communities

http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2014/nov/24/ebola-reducing-stigma-survivors-libera-sierra-leone-guinea

 

Plague Kills 40 People in Madagascar

In Madagascar an outbreak of a plague has killed 40 people out of 119 found cases. This began in late August and the World Health Organization says that there is a risk that the disease could spread in the capital. Already 2 cases have been recorded at the capital, and the WHO warns that “figures could climb quickly due to the city’s high population density and the weakness of the healthcare system”.

For more information check out this article at theguardian.com: Plague Kills 40 People in Madagascar

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/nov/21/plague-kills-40-madagascar

 

South Africa: Male Circumcision as a Way to Reduce HIV Infections

Despite government involvement and NGO efforts towards reducing the spread of HIV infection, South Africa still remains the “the country [with] the highest number of new HIV infection worldwide and 15 to 20 percent of the adult population is HIV positive” (voanews.com). Health experts have opened up a new avenue for prevention by promoting the circumcision of men (voanews.com). “Each day, dozens of men pass through the doors of this circumcision clinic in southern Johannesburg, [and] before any surgery, all patients attend a counseling session to be briefed on the protective impact of circumcision”(voanews.com) These clinics advises men to use condoms and offers them HIV tests so that they can be aware of their status (voanews.com).

For more information check out this article at voanews.com: South Africa Sees Male Circumcision As a Way to Reduce HIV Infections

http://www.voanews.com/content/south-africa-sees-male-circumcision-as-way-to-reduce-hiv-infections/2538279.html

 

Tanzania: Health experts talk about Plans for 2015

In Tanzania, health experts gathered to talk about, “challenges and opportunities facing health care in Africa post-2015” (busiweek.com) The Tanzania Health Ministry permanent secrecy said that Tanzania is working towards creating “a health sector workforce which is capable of addressing the considerable health challenges facing [the] population” (busiweek.com). The CEO and Board member of the Private Sector Health Alliance, Muntaqa Umar-Sadiq, says that  “Public Private Partnership is very important especially in developing health care in any country, because if the two sides link together they will come up with proper strategies which will lead to great results for African health care” (busiweek.com). Leaders agree that the reforms that the government will make over the next decade are critical in reaching these goals to improve health care (busiweek.com).

For more information check out this article at (busiweek.com): Health experts in Tanzania for post-2015 talks

http://www.busiweek.com/index1.php?Ctp=2&pI=2322&pLv=3&srI=49&spI=27&cI=10

 

Africa Nears Eradication of Polio

“One month after quelling its deadly Ebola outbreak, Nigeria stands poised to make another public-health triumph—the near-eradication of polio” (theatlantic.com). In 2012, the World Health Organization declared the infectious disease a “global-health emergency” (theatlantic.com). Since then Nigeria has used vigorous outreach strategies and vaccination campaigns, and now “Nigeria is on the verge of eliminating the virus and making Africa polio-free, the CDC reported” (theatlantic.com).  Between January and August, “Nigeria only reported six cases of polio, and when compared with the 122 polio cases from all of 2012” these reports revel the level of hard work towards community outreach and vaccinations (theatlantic.com).

For more information check out this article at theatlantic.com: Africa Nears Eradication of Polio

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/11/africa-nears-eradication-of-polio/383060/

 

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 the Director of Events for African Students Association at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She currently 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 further studies in Public Health after graduating from 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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