Health

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    The 2014 Ebola epidemic cost the lives of more than 11 000 West Africans. Researchers now have developed a vaccine that they consider to offer 100% protection against the disease. A trial involving nearly 12 000 people was conducted by the WHO and partners in Guinea. No Ebola cases were recorded 10 days or more after vaccination of nearly 6 000 people who received the new vaccine, called rVSV-ZEBOV. Read on
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    The UEMOA Commission organised a regional informational and consultative meeting with the stakeholders of the veterinary drug sector from 12-14 October in Ouagadougou. This meeting was part of the process of harmonising veterinary pharmaceutical legislation in the UEMOA area. Read on
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    On 16 September, Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who is also the current ECOWAS Chairwoman, met in Monrovia with Xavier Crespin, the Director General of the West African Health Organization (WAHO). President Sirleaf said that it is important to have more coherence between the health plans of individual West African countries and the plans of regional and international organisations. Read on
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    The region is not only a transit point for global drug traffickers, but it is also a booming consumer market and a production area. The anti-narcotics measures that have been implemented in the region so far seem ill adapted to the problem. In this article, Adeolu Ogunrombi, Regional Director of the West Africa Drug Policy Network, says that discussions about reforming the region’s drug policies must start and should be spearheaded by courageous leaders. Read on
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    Several new cases of Ebola were detected in Guinea in March and in Liberia in early April, just weeks after the end of a resurgence of the epidemic in Sierra Leone. These outbreaks, which had been anticipated by WHO because of the persistence of the virus in some survivors, are a real test for health authorities in the countries. Read on
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    Nearly 30% of the West African population does not have access to an improved drinking water source. While disparities between rural and urban areas are decreasing, significant gaps remain. Among the Sahelian countries, only Burkina Faso and Mali have achieved Target C of MDG 7 relating to access to safe drinking water; no Sahelian country has achieved the goal relating to access to basic sanitation services. Read on
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    Held every year on 22 March, World Water Day is dedicated this year to the theme of water and employment. In West Africa as elsewhere, water is a job creator (building and maintenance of infrastructure, distribution, etc.) and is necessary for agriculture (irrigation) as well as for urban development. As a public good, targeted by Sustainable Development Goal 6, access to water and sanitation leads to indirect positive effects on employment, due to its role in the development of human capital. Read on
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    African leaders are gearing up to realize the demographic dividend in Africa. John Dramani Mahama, President of Ghana, opened the 7th Africa Conference on Sexual Health and Rights in Accra on 8 February 2016. The five-day conference gathered some 1 000 high-level experts, including African women and youth associations and other civil society representatives. Read on