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Your Africa Health News Bites For June by Dara Oloyede

Headlines

  • Somalia Struggles With Maternal Health
  • South Sudan: Conflict and Hunger Forcibly Displace People From Their Homes
  • Cameroon: Mass Measles Vaccination Campaign
  • Niger: Meningitis Outbreak Worsens
  • Tanzania: Insufficient Health Budget
  • Nigeria: Multiple Funding Sources Yet, Poor Health Care System

 

Somalia Struggles With Maternal Health

Somalia is ranked by the ‘Save the Children’ organization as one of the worst country’s in terms of Maternal Health care (voanews.com). The ranked is calculated by the “statistics for maternal health, child mortality, education and women’s income in Somalia” (voanews.com). The United Nations Children’s Agency UNICEF, has also ranked Somalia’s maternal mortality as being one of the highest in the world (voanews.com). Not only does “one out of every ten Somali children dies before seeing [their] first birthday, it is [also] believed that one out of every 12 women in Somalia dies due to pregnancy-related causes” (voanews.com). Many contributing factors such as instability in Somalia’s health institutions, midwife shortage, and also lack of access to birth attendants, contribute to this overwhelming high maternal mortality rate (voanews.com).

For more information check out this article at voanews.com: Somalia Listed as Worst Country for Maternal Health

 

South Sudan: Conflict and Hunger Forcibly Displace People From Their Homes

War and food insecurity in a couple states in South Sudan forcibly displace and push out people from their homes (voanews.com). “2 million people are either internally displaced or refugees…[and] almost 4 million people are without sufficient food" (voanews.com). Some aid organizations have left the region becasue of conflicts but the U.N. Secretary General is urging cooperation with U.N. agencies in order to help the people who are facing displacement (voanews.com). 

For more information check out this article at voanews.com: Conflict, Hunger Force More People to Flee in South Sudan

 

Cameroon: Mass Measles Vaccination Campaign

“Cameroon has begun a mass vaccination program to combat a measles epidemic” (voanews.com). The outbreak is said to be due to parents not being able to get their kids vaccinated, either because they forgot, refused, or simply do not have access to services that would provide their children with the vaccinations (voanews.com). Children who are not vaccinated when they are 9 months, as recommended by the WHO, can expose other children to Measles who have not been vaccinated (voanews.com). “Ngambi Martin, leader of one of the vaccination teams in Yaounde said they have been deployed to encourage people to be vaccinated” (voanews.com). Vaccination teams also go out into various communities to educate people about why they need to get their children vaccinated as well as help people  get the treatment they need for their family (voanews.com).

For more information check out this article at voanews.com: Cameroon Launches Mass Measles Vaccination Campaign

 

Liberia: Mass Vaccination Campaign for Polio and Measles

Due to the Ebola outbreak of last year, an “immunization campaign” that was planned to take place was temporarily paused (voanews.com). Now, the Ministry of Health, along with the CDC, UNCF, and WHO, are launching  “a weeklong campaign to vaccinate hundreds of thousands of children against measles and polio” (voanews.com). The goal of the campaign is to “vaccinate more than 683,000 children against polio and 603,000 against measles”, and provide “deworming medicine” for the children as well (voanews.com).

For more information check out this article at voanews,com: Liberia Kicks Off Mass Vaccination Campaign

 

Niger: Meningitis Outbreak Worsens

“A meningitis epidemic in Niger has infected well over five thousand people and killed more than 350” (voanews.com). Doctors Without Boarders say that there is not yet a vaccine for the current strain of the virus that is rapidly infecting people (voanews.com). Treatment is available and it can help those who are able to come in during the early stages of the disease, but the problem is that people are seeking care very late, leaving less time for the treatment to work (voanews.com).

For more information check out this article at voanews.com: Niger: Meningitis Outbreak Worsens

 

Tanzania: Insufficient Health Budget

Tanzania’s members of Parliament described the “budget allocated to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare for the 2015/16 financial year as inadequate to meet the Medicare challenges in the country” (allafrica.com). The  members of Parliament advocate for an increase in the allocated funds for the Minstry of Health since they “deal directly with people's lives” (allafrica.com). Ms. Lediana Mng'ong'o (Special Seats-CCM), says that, “if given sufficient budget allocation, the ministry will be able to address nutrition problems currently facing the nation where 42 per cent of the under-five children have been affected by stunting” (allafrica.com).

For more information check out this article at allafrica.com: Tanzania: Health Budget Described As 'Peanuts'

 

Nigeria: Multiple Funding Sources Yet, Poor Health Care System

Nigeria has and receives lots of funding from federal as well as international agencies and partners, yet the growth of development in the health care system is still very low (leadership.ng). “The amount of money generated or allocated for health care does not also translate to the affordability of health care in Nigeria” (leadership.ng).The number of people who need access to health care does not match the amount of resources available for them to receive medical care (leadership.ng).

For more information check out this article at leadership.ng: The Paradox Of Multiple Funding And Poor Health Care In Nigeria

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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 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 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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