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Study Shows Household Ownership Of ITNs Associated With Lower Child Mortality In Sub-Saharan Africa

“Children who live in households that own at least one insecticide-treated bed net (ITNs) are less likely to be infected with malaria and less likely to die from the disease, according to a new study by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington,” published today in PLoS Medicine, according to an IHME press release (9/6).

International Public Health Spending Ignores Neglected Tropical Diseases, Some Experts Argue

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism examines what some experts are calling a serious inequity in public health spending, writing that neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) “together kill more people than maternal mortality and have a higher disease burden than malaria or [tuberculosis (TB)] and nearing that of HIV/AIDS. However, despite the severity of the situation, funding for NTDs is just a fraction of that spent on other diseases.”

WHO African Region Member States Have Challenges To Meet MDGs, WHO/AFRO Director Says

Speaking at the 61st session of the WHO Regional Office for Africa (AFRO) in Yamoussoukro, Cote d’Ivoire, on Thursday, African Regional Director of WHO Luis Sambo said “that 46 Africa member countries still had remarkable challenges to scale before meeting the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs),” Nigeria’s The Nation reports.

Integrating Rapid Syphilis And HIV Testing For Pregnant Women Could Reduce Maternal, Child Morbidity And Mortality

“A study conducted in Uganda and Zambia by the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) found high rates of syphilis and HIV co-infection among pregnant women in both countries,” but showed that “integrating rapid syphilis screening and HIV testing for pregnant women was feasible, cost-effective, and helped to prevent transmission of syphilis and HIV from mother-to-child,” PlusNews reports.

WHO Study Finds Global Neonatal Mortality Rate Down 28% Since 1990, But Progress Slow In Developing Countries

“Global death rates among newborns under one month old are dropping,” but “developing nations are still reporting a disproportionately high level of child deaths,” with “99 percent of all newborn deaths occur[ing] in developing countries,” according to a study published Tuesday in PLoS Medicine, Agence France-Presse reports. The study, conducted by the WHO, Save the Children and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, showed that half of those deaths occur in only five countries: India, Nigeria, Pakistan, China and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the news agency notes (8/30). The study authors “used civil registration systems, household surveys, and other data sources to compile statistical models to estimate that in 2009, 3.3 million babies died during their first month of life compared to 4.6 million in 1990,” a decrease of 28 percent, according to a PLoS press release (8/30).

Disappearance Of Mosquitoes From Some Parts Of Africa Puzzles Researchers

“Malaria-carrying mosquitoes are disappearing in some parts of Africa, … indicat[ing] controls such as anti-mosquito bed nets are having a significant impact on the incidence of malaria in some sub-Saharan countries,” researchers report in a paper published in Malaria Journal, according to BBC News. But the team of Danish and Tanzanian “researchers say mosquitoes are also disappearing from areas with few controls,” and “[t]hey are uncertain if mosquitoes are being eradicated or whether they will return with renewed vigor,” the news agency writes (McGrath, 8/26).

A.U. Pledges $46M For Horn Of Africa; USAID Official Discusses U.S. Response

At a meeting of the African Union (A.U.) in Ethiopia on Thursday, “African governments … pledged $46 million for the crisis in the Horn of Africa amid warnings that the emergency stretches far beyond hunger to encompass health, security and livelihood,” the Guardian reports. The amount fell short of the $50 million asked for by the aid group Africans Act 4 Africa, the newspaper adds, noting that “the African Development Bank announced a $300 million donation for long-term development in the Horn of Africa” (Tran, 8/25). Reuters reports that money is “to be spent over a four-year period, not to be used to bridge a $1.4 billion shortfall aid groups say they need for the emergency” (Malone, 8/26).

African Union Meeting Aims To Raise Funds For Humanitarian Relief In Horn Of Africa

The African Union (A.U.) “held a rare fundraiser in Ethiopia Thursday in a bid to plug a $1.1 billion shortfall in aid for millions facing starvation in the Horn of Africa’s worst drought in decades,” Agence France-Presse reports. The A.U. has pledged $500,000 of an estimated $2.4 billion “required to assist the 12.4 million drought victims,” according to AFP (Vaughan, 8/25).

Map Shows Horn Of Africa Food Security Situation

The World Food Programme and Development Seed have developed a map showing current food security situations in the Horn of Africa and featuring “operational data collected from organizations responding to the humanitarian emergency … The featured data was provided by the Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWS NET) and the Food…

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