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Your Africa Health News Bites For February by Dara Oloyede

This Month's Headlines:

Kenya: Misuse of Antibiotics Leading to Resistance by Immune System

Ebola Maternity Ward Opens in Sierra Leone

New Meningitis Vaccine Can Help African Babies

Ebola Crisis: New Cases Declining in West Africa

In Africa, Motorcycles Can Save Lives by Delivering Health Care

Kenya: Misuse of Antibiotics Leading to Resistance by Immune System

“In Kenya, the bacterial infections that contribute most to human diseases are often those in which resistance is most evident” (voanews.com). With drug resistant bacteria on the rise, the improvements that scientists have made can potentially be hindered (voanews.com). If the uses of antibiotics are not preserved, it can have detrimental effects on the lives of many (voanews.com). “A global report commissioned by British Prime Minister David Cameron revealed that this resistance will claim 10 million extra lives each year and cost the global economy up to $100 trillion in the next 35 years” (voanews.com).For more information check out this article at voanews.com: Kenya: Misuse of Antibiotics Leading to Resistance by Immune System

Ebola Maternity Ward Opens in Sierra Leone

In Sierra Leone, Doctors Without Borders has opened a special treatment ward for pregnant women with Ebola (voanews.com). “Sierra Leone already had one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world before Ebola arrived” (voanews.com). Pregnant women with Ebola face greater risks while giving birth such as hemorrhaging (voanews.com). “Pregnant women in Sierra Leone, who are confirmed or suspected of having Ebola, can now receive specialized care at a new maternity ward in the suburbs of Freetown” (voanews.com). For more information check out this article at voanews.com: Ebola Maternity Ward in Sierra Leone First of its Kin

New Meningitis Vaccine Can Help African Babies

“The World Health Organization has approved giving a ground-breaking meningitis vaccine, which does not have to be stored in fridges or iceboxes, to babies across Africa” This approval means that vaccines are safe and can be administered on children younger than a year old (health24.com). This also allows for the UN and other agencies to do vaccination programs routinely (health24.com). For more information check out this article at health24.com: New Meningitis Vaccine for African Babies

Ebola Crisis: New Cases Declining in West Africa

“Sierra Leone and Guinea both recorded the lowest weekly total of confirmed Ebola cases since August, and Liberia had its lowest weekly total since June” (bbc.com). Local and international interventions have contributed greatly to this steady decline. “The death toll from the world's worst Ebola outbreak has reached 8,429 with 21,296 cases so far” (bbc.com). Because of the progress, a number of schools and universities will open very soon. Anthony Banbury, who is the head of one of the UN teams, believes that cases will be down to zero by the end of this year (bbc.com). For more information check out this article at bbc.com: Ebola Crisis: New Cases Declining in West Africa

In Africa, Motorcycles Can Save Lives by Delivering Health Care

When it comes to people having access to transportation to get to healthcare facilities and also the ability of health workers to get from one home to another, we see that “the lack of reliable transportation ‘is a severe barrier and a bottleneck’ to delivering health care in the developing world”(wsj.com). Seeing a need, Andrea Coleman started a program called Riders for Health. She saw that people who needed to get to healthcare facilitates and health workers who needed to see their patients, often did not have a safe or fast way to get there (wsj.com). “Riders for Health, provides motorcycles to health workers and trains them in road safety and maintenance (wsj.com). For more information check out this article at wsj.com: In Africa, Motorcycles Can Save Lives by Delivering Health Care

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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