Friday, January 4, 2013

Health News in Africa

I hope everyone has been enjoying the holiday thus far! I for one have been filling much of my time with reading both novels and current events. Here are a couple of articles I had read pertaining to public health in Africa:

In a recent article in Vaccine News Daily, I read about the Fourth Annual Regional Conference on Immunization in Africa. At this conference, recommendations were made about "strengthening Africa's immunization structure, curbing the increase in the number of wild polio virus cases in Nigeria and closing the funding gap for the Global Polio Eradication Initiative." WHO Regional Director for Africa Dr. Luis Sambo spoke at the conference, which was held in Dar es Salaam, and emphasized lowering the cost of delivery of vaccines as immunization is one of the most "powerful public health tools available." Read the article here.

In other news, I read about the dire effects of climate change on the African continent, particularly in vulnerable areas (such as ones with less availability of water). Not only would Africa be a victim of climate change, but it would also be a contributor: South Africa alone is responsible for 40% of Africa's emissions, with more tons per capita than China! The statistics are sobering: by 2025, most if not all African countries will feel effects of a lesser availability of water, with a predicted 20-30% decrease in water availability in South Africa if temperatures rise at least 2°C, and cases of malaria may rise and affect an additional 40-60 million Africans. The article argues that global action, not just small acts on the part of the government of a single African country, is necessary to prepare for such changes. Read the article here.

Also, remember to check out Leymah Gbowee's website to read about her and get a glimpse of the GlobeMed Book Club book Mighty Be Our Powers: How Sisterhood, Prayer, and Sex Changed a Nation at War, which I hope to begin after I finish my current read....

Marisa M.

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