- The government of Burkina Faso has confirmed that from 1 January to 11 March, a meningitis outbreak in the country has resulted to the death of 583 people.
A total of 7,333 suspected cases have been reported in 22 districts in the capital, Ouagadougou, where cerebrospinal fluid specimens have tested positive for Neisseria meningitidis serogroup A by latex test.
The Burkinabe government Health Ministry is gearing up efforts to counter the epidemic through vaccination campaign in six districts. The first phase of the campaign, which targets over a million people in the affected districts, has been completed.
The International Coordinating Group (ICG) on Vaccine Provision for Epidemic Meningitis provided bivalent vaccines for the campaign. The body has also declared its readiness to sponsor further 3,350,000 vaccination campaign doses in 13 epidemic districts. Half of the doses have been shipped and are expected to arrive in the country this week.
The Burkinabe government is further receiving technical and financial support from international organisations, including the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Despite the help, the country still urgently needs over one million US dollars to embark on full campaign, according to Ouagadougou authorities.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.