Your Africa Health News For November by Dara Oloyede
- Ugandan HIV Law Infringes on Human rights and Has Unintended Consequences
- Zimbabwe: Rising STI Cases Draws concern for Government
- South Africa is the Fattest Country in Sub-Saharan Africa
- Nigeria: Lack of Amenities Affect Healthcare Delivery Efforts in Lagos
- Global Ebola Cases Passes 10,000
- Tanzania: Number of Youth with TB Increasing
Ugandan HIV Law Infringes on Human rights and Has unintended Consequences
Health and HIV experts an activists believe that Uganda’s HIV and AIDS Prevention and Control Act is having a reverse affect then the intended effect to decrease the transmission of HIV and is in fact discouraging people from seeking treatment(keycorrespondents.org). “The controversial Act, criminalizes transmission of the virus, [and] was passed by the Ugandan parliament in May and signed into law by President Yoweri Museveni on 31 July despite strident opposition from HIV activists, who continue to oppose it. It contains clauses which permit medical workers to reveal the status of HIV positive people without their consent” (keycorrespondents.org). Dr. Lydia Mungherera who is a doctor as well as an activist says that “Under Clause 14, the Act includes outdated and dangerous provisions for mandatory testing for pregnant women and their partners. Mandatory testing of people living with HIV is a violation of fundamental human rights and accepted principles of informed consent and negatively impacts antenatal care attendance” (keycorrespondents.org). She believes that women especially will avoid health centers and avoid seeking treatment. She said that the unintended consequence of this will be that “more children will be infected through mother to child transmission of HIV” (keycorrespondents.org).
For more information check out this article at keycorrespondents.org Ugandan activists fear ‘nonsensical’ HIV law increases infection of children
Zimbabwe: Rising STI Cases Draws concern for Government
Concerns from the government of Zimbabwe rises about the growing number of sexually transmitted infections amongst young adults as well as college students(allafrica.com). “Health and Child Care Minister Dr David Pariryatwa says his ministry will embark on a nationwide campaign aimed at raising awareness since a rise in STI infections means a rise in HIV transmission” (allafrica.com). “The National Aids Council said over 53, 000 people were infected with STIs in Harare alone between January and June this year”(allafrica.com). In an interview, Dr. Parirenyatwa said that the prevalence of STI’s among college students and young adults can be explained by the lack of protection and prevention methods by people which consequentially makes them vulnerable to STI’s(allafrica.com).
For more information check out this article at allafrica.com: Zimbabwe: Rising STI Cases Worry Gov’t
South Africa is the Fattest Country in Sub-Saharan Africa
South Africa ranks among the world’s top countries considered obese or overweight (health-e.org.za). “South Africa is the fattest country in sub-Saharan Africa, and ranks among the world’s top 20 fattest countries” (health-e.org.za). Statistics show that 7 out of 10 South African women weigh more than what is considered healthy and 3 out of 10 men are considered obese or overweight (health-e.org.za). This trend is becoming increasingly common among adolescents and youth (health-e.org.za). Research shows that the move away from traditional diets towards more western diets, which is filled with processed foods, has impacted how South Africans eat(health-e.org.za). “South Africans eat more excessive amounts of salt, fats, sugar and refined grains and skimp on whole grains, fruit, vegetables and dairy” (health-e.org.za). “According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa, less than two-thirds of children exercise weekly and this trend continues into adulthood” (health-e.org.za).
For more information check out this article at health-e.org.za: South Africa’s battle of the bulge
Nigeria: Lack of Amenities Affect Healthcare Delivery Efforts in Lagos
“Alimosho has one of highest maternal mortality rates in the state. A 2008 NDHS Report shows that it had about 900 deaths per 100,000 live births” (vanguardngr.com). Because of the poor and often unreliable power supply in Nigeria, health centers in local communities have to find alternatives in keeping mothers and their baby warm while in the hospital (vanguardngr.com). “Kerosene, petrol, matches and nylon bags have become major requirements for expectant mothers before delivery in Lagos” (vanguardngr.com). On top of the power supply issue, shortage of health staff poses another problem. These problems continue to affect the ability for healthcare services to be effective (vanguardngr.com). “The health centers in Alimosho Local Government, a suburb of Lagos, are now adding half gallon of kerosene to the list of requirements expectant mothers must submit before delivery” (vanguardngr.com).
For more information check out this article at vanguardngr.com: How lack of amenities sabotages healthcare delivery in Lagos
Global Ebola Cases Passes 10,000
According to the most current estimates of the World Health Organization, “the global number of cases in the Ebola outbreak has exceeded 10,000, with 4,922 deaths” (theguardian.com). “The UN agency said the number of cases was now 10,141 but that the true figure was much higher, as many families were keeping relatives at home rather than taking them to treatment centers and are burying their dead without official clearance” (theguardian.com). The African Governance Initiative (AGI) says that despite efforts to build more hospitals in affected countries, there will be a shortage of staff and beds if “the WHO’s worst-case scenario figure of 10,000 new cases a week by the end of the year is reached” (theguardian.com).
For more information check out this article at theguardian.com: Global Ebola cases pass 10,000 as Mali becomes latest nation to record a death
Tanzania: Number of Youth with TB Increasing
In Tanzania, there is a significant increase in the number of patients suffering from Tuberculosis (TB) who are young. (allafrica.com) “According to Kibong'oto National Tuberculosis Hospital (KNTH) Director, Dr. Riziki Kisonga, the most affected are people in the age of between 25 and 46”(allafrica.com). He also said that the research has shown that most TB patients live in rural areas and 12% of them are HIV positive (allafrica.com). “According to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, the number of TB patients has gone up from 11,703 in 1982 to 63,000 in 2010, an addition thought to have partly been caused by HIV infections that make people vulnerable to the infectious disease” (allafrica.com). Research also shows that in increase is also caused by congestion and poor housing (allafrica.com).
For more information check out this article at allafrica.com: Tanzania: Number of Youth With TB Increasing
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.