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Your Africa Health News Bites For December 2015 by Dara Oloyede

December 2015 Health Bites

  • AIDS Is the Leading Cause of Death For African Teens

  • Youth Told To Live A Healthy Lifestyle to Prevent Diabetes

  • School Leaders and Parents Important for Sexual And Reproductive Health And Rights Education

  • African Nations Slowly Improve Conditions for Disabled

  • Majority of Sierra Leone Ebola Survivors Still Face Health Challenges

  • Nigeria: Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Week

 

AIDS Is the Leading Cause of Death For African Teens

The United Nations agency for children says that AIDS is the number one cause of death for African teenagers and the second cause of death for adolescents (huffingtonpost.com). South Africa is one of the nations that has the most disparities, followed by Nigeria (huffingtonpost.com). There has been much progress made for adults and babies with HIV but, according to UNICEF, “the number of 10-to-19-year-olds dying from AIDS-related diseases has tripled since 2000” (huffingtonpost.com). The children infected with HIV at birth grow up to be teens, and end up dying because of the lack of treatment and intervention programs target at their age range (huffingtonpost.com). “Only a third of the 2.6 million children infected with HIV were on treatment” (huffingtonpost.com). Teens born without HIV still face risks. “The infection rates of those between 15 and 19, add up to 26 new infections every hour; 70% of those infected [are] girls” (huffingtonpost.com).

 

For more information check on this article at huffingtonpost.com: AIDS Is the Leading Cause of Death For African Teens

 

Youth Told To Live A Healthy Lifestyle to Prevent Diabetes

The Rwanda Pharmaceutical Students’ Association collaborated with the University of Rwanda and the Rwanda Diabetes Association to organize an anti-diabetes campaign on World’s Diabetes Day (November 14th) (in2eastafrica.net). Their message for the public, specifically the youth, was to discourage them from living a sedentary lifestyle (in2eastafrica.net). They are educating people across various colleges on the causes of diabetes, and how to prevent and treat it (in2eastafrica.net). Jeanine Condo, who is the principal of the university’s College of Medicine and Health Sciences says that, “We are now getting into non communicable diseases and in the public arena, non-communicable diseases are taking the lead due to the nutrition transition that came from developed countries to our country” (in2eastafrica.net).  

 

For more details on their campaign as well as how they are using the Tour De Rwanda event as a way to educate, test, and share resources about diabetes, check out this article at in2eastafrica.net: Choose healthy lifestyle to prevent diabetes, youth told

 

School Leaders and Parents Important for Sexual And Reproductive Health And Rights Education

The Health Development Initiative, is an non-government associated organization in Rwanda with a goal of creating a society where all people can have access to the highest standard of health and wellbeing (in2eastafrica.net). Winnie Mugabekazi, who represents this organization, met with parents, school and local leaders to have a conversation about young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights (in2eastafrica.net). The goal of the meeting was to discuss the importance of the role school administers, officials, and parents have in increasing education and awareness around sexual health to their youth (in2eastafrica.net).

 

For more information on the Health Development Initiation in Rwanda, check out  http://www.hdirwanda.org

For more information on check out this article at in2eastafrica.net: School Leaders, Parents And Local Authorities Are Vital In Influencing The Framework Of Sexual And Reproductive Health And Rights Education

African Nations Slowly Improve Conditions for Disabled

In Kenya the first African Disability Forum was recently hosted, and in South Africa cabinaet members are marking Disability Rights Awareness Month and making a proposal to advance the rights of disabled South Africans (voanews.com). South Africa’s social development minister, Bathabile Dlamini, said that "Empowerment is identified as a core cross-cutting theme for enabling persons with disabilities to avail of and access all socio-economic development opportunities and rights that exist” (voanews.com). She goes on to say that often in countries on the continent, people who are disabled are stigmatized as well as marginalized (voanews.com). In addition, because people do not believe those who are disabled are valuable to their communities, policies and programs to protect and promote their health are not readily in place (voanews.com). One plan of action she offers is, that African governments must hire and promote those who have disabilities to important roles in the government (voanews.com).

 

For more information check out this article at voanews.com: African Nations Slowly Improve Conditions for Disabled

 

Majority of Sierra Leone Ebola Survivors Still Face Health Challenges

After the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone, survivors still face physical and mental health challenges (face2faceafrica.com). 80 percent of survivors in Sierra Leone are struggling to manage joint pain and fatigue…some also experience the loss of eyesight” (face2faceafrica.com). In addition the psychological stress of having the disease and experiencing the loss of families and communities poses as another health challenge (face2faceafrica.com).

 

For more information check out this article at face2faceafrica.com: Majority Of Sierra Leone Ebola Survivors Lose Eye Sight, Struggle With Joint Pain

 

Nigeria: Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Week

From November 30th to December 5th, the twelfth round of the five-day Maternal, Newborn and Child Health week in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), kicks off in Abuja (allafrica.com). The theme for this program is called, "A Package for a Lifetime for Better Health for the Family"(allafrica.com). Rilwanu Mohammed, who is the Executive Secretary for FCT Primary Health Care Development Board said that, “as part of its intervention programme targeting mothers, [they] would distribute free drugs and conduct immunisation exercise for the week (allafrica.com). In addition, mothers are encouraged to go to health care providers in their areas, to receive “free de-worming tablets for children from 12 to 59 months, as well as Vitamin A supplementation for children from 6 to 59 months”(allafrica.com). Also during this week, “antenatal care for pregnant women, HIV counselling/testing, birth registration and family planning programmes will be made available (allafrica.com). The goal of this week long Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health week is to protect and promote the health of women and children.

For more information, check out this article at allafrica.com: Nigeria: Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Week Commences

 

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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