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Your Africa Health News For October by Dara Oloyede

October's Headlines

·         Kenya Targets Sex-Workers in its Plan to Eliminate HIV and AIDS

·         Kenya Releases Manual to Aid Teen Girls in Understanding their Monthly Cycles

·         Ebola outbreak: 'Thousands of orphans shunned'

·         Chad: Reducing Child Mortality By Combining Malaria Prevention and Immunization

·         Ethiopia: Research to Produce Mosquito Repellant From Indigenous Plants

·         Liberia: Ebola outbreak prompts food shortage fears

·         Ivory Coast: Resumes Flights to Countries Struck by Ebola Virus

Kenya Targets Sex-Workers in its Plan to Eliminate HIV and AIDS

In Kenya, James Macharia, the Health Cabinet Secretary of Kenya projected a Sh1.7 trillion project to eliminate HIV and AIDS by 2030 (in2eastafrica.net). Sex workers are a part of high risk groups that are affected by HIV as well as other sexually transmitted infections. The project to eliminate HIV and AIDS by 2030 includes a plan to spend about Sh48, 667 annually for every one male or female prostitute, in order to protect this high-risk group from infection (in2eastafrica.net). His proposal suggests “that high risk groups such as prostitutes, prisoners and injecting drug users should be provided with a daily HIV and AIDS prevention pill” (in2eastafrica.net). This new approach is called pre-exposure prophylaxis (Prep), which “is a process in which healthy people at high risk of infection swallow a daily single pill called Truvada to keep the virus away” (in2eastafrica.net). The Sex Worker Outreach Programme (Swop) will provide the pill and is currently running six clinics within Nairobi County(in2eastafrica.net). 

For more information check out this article at in2eastafrica.net http://in2eastafrica.net/kenya-to-spend-sh4b-to-buy-sex-workers-hiv-prevention-drugs/

Kenya Releases Manual to Aid Teen Girls in Understanding their Monthly Cycles

According to UNICEF “at least six out of every ten girls miss school during menstruation because they cannot afford sanitary towels, and also “it is estimated that an average girl loses more than a full month of classes in a school year” (in2eastafrica.net). In lieu of these statistics, the Kenyan Institute of Curriculum Development made a manual to help young female students understand their bodies (in2eastafrica.net). The Secretary of Education, Leah Rotich said providing sanitary towels to girls is not enough, they also need education about understanding and managing their menstruation cycle effectively (in2eastafrica.net). “She launched a new menstrual hygiene book titled My Monthly Cycle Guide at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD)” (in2eastafrica.net). “The book, an initiative of Saidia Dada Network, demonstrates how to fix pads on panties; take care of oneself during menstruation, and also how to deal with discomfort associated with menstruation”(in2eastafrica.net).

This manual will not only teach young girls how to understand their bodies, it will also empower them.

For more information check out this article at in2eastafrica.net http://in2eastafrica.net/kenya-unveils-manual-to-help-teen-girls-handle-monthly-periods/

Ebola outbreak: 'Thousands of orphans shunned'

At least 3,700 children in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone have lost one or both parents to Ebola this year and these children face being shunned” (bbc.com).  

According to The World Health Organization, over 3,000 people have died of Ebola in West Africa (bbc.com). Children as young as three or four years are orphaned by this disease (bbc.com). These children can be “discovered alone in the hospitals where their parents had died, or back in their communities where, if they were lucky, they were being fed by neighbors” (bbc.com).  There needs to be efforts to protect the children who lose their parents because of this disease. Due to the stigma of Ebola, these children are often abandoned or unsupported (bbc.com).

For more information check out this article at bbc.comhttp://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-29424919

Chad: Reducing Child Mortality By Combining Malaria Prevention and Immunization

 The strategy to combat Malaria in Chad has been an ongoing protect of Doctors Without Borders (allafrica.com). “They have launched a third round of Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention (SMC) in the Moissala and Bouna districts, where malaria is the leading cause of mortality for children under five years old” (allafrica.com).  Along with that “Anti-malaria medications are being distributed about 80,000 children in remote parts of Moissala and Bouna during the rainy season, when the risk of transmission is highest” (allafrica.com).  Another part of their strategy were also added to the distribution of SMC in order to increase the impact on reducing child mortality to reduce child mortality includes the giving  vaccinations against “polio, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B, and haemophilus influenzae type B” (allafrica.com).

For more information check out this article at allafrica.com: http://allafrica.com/stories/201409110707.html

Ethiopia: Research to Produce Mosquito Repellant From Indigenous Plants

The Ethiopian Public Health Institute says that a research is being done to produce an ointment to prevent mosquito bites, using indigenous plants. The Institute has been conducting a research for the past years on two types of indigenous plants which have medicinal values.  Temesgen Menberu, a researcher on traditional and modern biomedicine, told ENA that the oil obtained from the plants has been tried on squirrels and has successfully driven away mosquitoes (allafrica.com).

For more information check out this article at allafrica.com http://allafrica.com/stories/201409250825.html

Liberia: Ebola outbreak prompts food shortage fears

Liberia’s government is struggling to secure food supplies as quarantines and border closures aimed at containing the Ebola outbreak disrupt its farmers and pile pressure on food imports” (the guardian.com). Axel Addy, Liberia’s Minister of Commerce and Industry has said that agriculture has been hit hard by the Ebola crisis. Plans to help decrease the spread of Ebola has increased its reliance’s on food imports and has decreased domestic food production (the guardian.com). “The World Food Programme warned that ‘disruptions in cross-border trade and marketing activities have resulted in sharp price rises, affecting the food security situation of large numbers of people’” (the guardian.com). Food security has not been a top priority in trying to contain Ebola, and it has resulted in “entire villages and communities to be cut off, said WFP spokeswoman Frances Kennedy” (the guardian.com).

For more information check out this article at theguardian.com http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2014/sep/26/ebola-food-shortage-fears-liberia

Ivory Coast: Resumes Flights to Countries Struck by Ebola Virus

The President of the Ivory Coast, Alassane Ouattara , “will lift the controversial suspension of flights to countries stricken by the Ebola virus In order to show solidarity with the nations affected by the lethal  outbreak” (theguardian.com). Ivory Coast has opened its doors and those who want to enter will be checked. The country has contributed $1million to the international anti-Ebola effort and the president is following the World Health Organizations guidelines on prevention as an example to the country’s citizens (theguardian.com).

For more information check out this article at theguardian.com http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/27/ebola-sierra-leone-flights-suspension-lifted

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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