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  • RSS BBC News – Africa

    • Algeria militants 'kill 11 soldiers' April 20, 2014
      Islamist militants have killed 11 Algerian soldiers in an ambush on a patrol in mountains east of the capital Algiers, security sources say.
    • Nigeria teacher in seized girls plea April 19, 2014
      The headmistress of a school in Nigeria calls on the government to do more to save teenage girls abducted by suspected Islamist militants.
    • 'Dozens die' in S Sudan cattle raid April 19, 2014
      Dozens of people are killed in a cattle raid in a remote herders' camp in South Sudan's northern Warrap state, local officials say.
    • Egypt left-winger to challenge Sisi April 19, 2014
      Egyptian left-winger Hamdeen Sabahi submits his official bid to run for president, the only challenger so far to ex-army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
    • Algeria's president gets fourth term April 18, 2014
      Algeria's President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who suffered a stroke last year, wins a fourth term in office taking more than 81% of the vote.
    • UN outrage at South Sudan attack April 19, 2014
      The UN expresses outrage at a deadly attack on one of its bases in South Sudan, saying it could "constitute a war crime".
    • ICC calls Kenya Ruto trial witnesses April 18, 2014
      The International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague summons reluctant witnesses to testify at the trial of Kenya's Vice-President William Ruto.
    • French troops free Mali aid workers April 17, 2014
      French troops in Mali free five aid workers who were kidnapped in the north of the country by suspected Islamist militants in February.
    • Pistorius forensic tests challenged April 17, 2014
      The tests carried out by a forensic expert for Oscar Pistorius' murder trial are rigorously challenged by the state prosecutor in South Africa.
    • Senegal's Karim Wade 'to face trial' April 17, 2014
      A Senegalese court rules that Karim Wade, the ex-president's son, should stand trial on corruption charges over his wealth, an official says.
    • Guinea-Bissau run-off to pick leader April 17, 2014
      Officials in Guinea-Bissau say a run-off vote will be held next month after no candidate won an outright victory in Sunday's presidential election.
    • Remittance fees 'hurt Africans' April 16, 2014
      Communities in sub-Saharan Africa are being "hurt" by high fees charged by money transfer operators, charity Comic Relief says.
    • VIDEO: Nigeria 'should do more' on abductions April 19, 2014
      Nigeria's military has admitted that most of the teenage girls abducted by suspected Islamist militants have not been freed as it earlier stated.
    • VIDEO: High security at S Sudan UN camp April 18, 2014
      South Sudan's government has sent troops to provide security at a United Nations base where at least 48 people were killed in an attack.
    • VIDEO: Abducted schoolgirls 'still missing' April 18, 2014
      The Nigerian military has admitted that most of the 129 girls abducted by Boko Haram Islamists from their school in the north-eastern state of Borno are still missing.
    • VIDEO: Pistorius trial day 24 - in 60 secs April 17, 2014
      Forensic tests carried out by an expert for Oscar Pistorius' murder trial have been rigorously challenged by the state prosecutor in South Africa.
    • AUDIO: 'Killing books' in Libya April 15, 2014
      Libyan author Mansour Bushnaf says Libya does not have much of reading culture because under Col Muammar Gaddafi, people were afraid of books.
    • VIDEO: At site of Nigeria bus station blast April 14, 2014
      A powerful bomb blast has ripped through a crowded bus station on the outskirts of Nigeria's capital, Abuja, killing at least 71 people.
    • VIDEO: Cleaning up Cairo's waste system April 14, 2014
      The Egyptian government is turning to its traditional rubbish collectors - the Zabaleen - to revolutionise Cario's waste disposal industry.
    • VIDEO: Pistorius trial shown prosthetic leg April 17, 2014
      The prosthetic leg belonging to Oscar Pistorius has been shown to the court during his murder trial. He denies murder, claiming he mistook Reeva Steenkamp for a burglar.
  • RSS BBC News – Home

    • Anger over 'slow' Korea ferry rescue April 20, 2014
      Families of passengers on a sunken South Korean ferry protest angrily over the rescue operation, scuffling with police on Jindo island.
    • Russian outrage at Ukraine killing April 20, 2014
      The Russian foreign ministry expresses outrage at a fatal shooting incident in eastern Ukraine which it blames on Ukrainian nationalists.
    • Norwich City 2-3 Liverpool April 20, 2014
      Liverpool open up a five-point lead at the top of the Premier League after a hard-fought 3-2 win over relegation-battling Norwich.
    • Quango chair resigns over bankruptcy April 20, 2014
      A businessman appointed by the prime minister to head a multibillion-pound quango steps down after it was revealed that he was bankrupt.
    • Archbishop highlights suffering April 20, 2014
      The Archbishop of Canterbury highlights the suffering of people in conflicts around the world during his Easter Sunday sermon.
    • Hostage reporters 'chained' in Syria April 20, 2014
      Four French journalists who spent 10 months in captivity in Syria were chained to each other and kept in basements without light, one recounts.
    • Mother tells of lion park ordeal April 20, 2014
      A mother tells of her family's lucky escape after their car caught fire in the lion enclosure at Longleat Safari Park.
    • Charities chief warns of extremism April 20, 2014
      Islamic extremism is the "most deadly" threat to charities in England and Wales, says William Shawcross, chairman of the Charity Commission.
    • William and Kate at Easter service April 20, 2014
      The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attend an Easter Sunday church service in Sydney and take Prince George to the zoo as part of their overseas tour.
    • Wilshaw takes charge of Trojan Horse April 20, 2014
      Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw is to take personal charge of the watchdog's investigation into claims that a number of schools in Birmingham have been taken over by Muslim hardliners.
    • Garden centres 'want' Easter choice April 20, 2014
      The government is urged to end restrictions that prevent many garden centres in England and Wales from opening on Easter Sunday.
    • Brazil cars torched in protest April 20, 2014
      Residents of a poor community near Rio de Janeiro torch vehicles in protest at the deaths of two young men in incidents involving the police.
    • A political resignation and Labour's NHS plan - papers April 20, 2014
      A newspaper investigation prompting a Whitehall resignation, Labour's election plans and the latest in the alleged plot to "Islamise" schools all feature on Sunday's front pages.
    • Queen portrait released for birthday April 20, 2014
      A portrait of the Queen by celebrated British photographer David Bailey is being released to mark the monarch's 88th birthday.
    • Miranda 'in Generation Game talks' April 20, 2014
      Comedian Miranda Hart is in "early talks" with the BBC about a revival of game show The Generation Game.
    • Doherty beats Bingham to progress April 20, 2014
      Ken Doherty reaches the second round of the World Snooker Championship for the first time in eight years.
    • Hamilton eases to victory in China April 20, 2014
      Lewis Hamilton takes a dominant victory in the Chinese GP to win three consecutive races for the first time in his career.
    • Hopkins secures historic victory April 20, 2014
      Bernard Hopkins becomes the oldest boxer to unify a weight division with a split-decision victory in Washington.
    • 'Cast-off Borini takes Liverpool to brink of glory' April 19, 2014
      After Anfield flop Fabio Borini derails Chelsea, Liverpool will have only themselves to blame if they miss a first title in 24 years - Phil McNulty
    • Warner hoping for Trott recovery April 20, 2014
      Australia batsman David Warner hopes Jonathan Trott will return to cricket from his stress-related issues.
  • RSS Reuters: Politics

  • RSS CNN.com – Africa

    • Luxury shoes made in Ghana April 15, 2014
      Fred Deegbe was standing outside a shop window five years ago, marveling at the shiny pair of wing-tip Oxfords he'd just bought, when he started wondering whether such beautiful designer shoes could ever be produced in his country, Ghana.
    • Meet Nigeria's 'Mark Zuckerberg' April 3, 2014
      At 23, many people around the world are still at university -- at that age, Gossy Ukanwoke had already started one.
    • Why we need more geek girls April 3, 2014
      "It was like taking a big leap of faith."
    • 'Uncle Ebo' revives Ghanaian theater April 15, 2014
      African Voices meets James Ebo Whyte a passionate storyteller with a series of successful plays to his credit.
    • How medics saved lives at Westgate April 9, 2014
      When gunmen stormed into Nairobi's Westgate shopping mall, Abbas Gullet was one of the first emergency responders on the scene. As head of Kenya's Red Cross, he was in charge of coordinating services for people in need.
    • Embracing Ghana's natural beauty April 1, 2014
      She started her business with just £100, lugging her beauty bag from door to door, but some 25 years later Grace Amey-Obeng has built a multi-million dollar cosmetics empire that's helping change the perception of beauty for many.
    • Africa's most endangered April 16, 2014
      Africa is home to much unique wildlife, but many of its iconic species are threatened. Find out more about its most endangered animals.
    • Secrets of 'gorilla whisperer' March 25, 2014
      Zain Verjee visits Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable National Park -- the home of half of the world's endangered mountain gorilla population.
    • Savannah from the sky March 13, 2014
      It's almost impossible for a photographer to find fresh visual perspectives these days. Brooklyn-based Zack Seckler had to travel to a different continent and strap into an ultra-light aircraft to find one. His Botswana series presents the country from between 50 and 500 feet, providing a unique and captivating view of the savannah.
    • Why you should fear Boko Haram April 17, 2014
      Boko Haram's lethality is indisputable.
    • You gotta try South African BBQ April 17, 2014
      Grilled zebra anyone? Peri-peri warthog? This is how to barbecue, South Africa style.
    • Inside an Ebola isolation ward April 16, 2014
      Dr. Sanjay Gupta goes into an ebola clinic to find out what life is like for the patients inside.
    • Rating Pistorius's defense April 16, 2014
      After five days of intense cross-examination, has Olympian Oscar Pistorius helped or harmed his defense that he did not intentionally kill his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkam?
    • Pop art condoms saving lives April 15, 2014
      The Center for African Family Studies in Nairobi has teamed up with Kenyan artist Michael Soi to create eye-catching condom wrappers to promote safe sex and raise awareness about HIV/AIDS among young people.
    • Ebola: A swift and bloody killer April 16, 2014
      It took only moments to feel the impact of what was happening here.
    • 'I lost my fingers, made new ones' April 14, 2014
      A South African carpenter lost his fingers in an accident -- now he's making mechanical fingers and hands for others.
    • Kenya double in London Marathon April 13, 2014
      World record-holder Wilson Kipsang completed a Kenyan double at the London Marathon Sunday as home hope Mo Farah disappointed on his debut over the 42km distance.
    • Pistorius at mercy of 'bull dog?' April 11, 2014
      He's known as the "bull dog" in South Africa's legal circles, and just two days in to Gerrie Nel's merciless cross-examination of Oscar Pistorius, it's easy to see why.
    • 'Now is the time for Afro-realism' April 11, 2014
      Over the last 20 years, the narrative on the African continent has shifted from Afro-pessimism to Afro-optimism. The truth lies somewhere in between. Now is the time for Afro-realism: for sound policies based on honest data, aimed at delivering results.
    • Africa's tastiest street food April 11, 2014
      Here are your photos of the tastiest -- and most unusual -- African street food.
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A child receiving meningitis vaccine in Nigeria

Posted by African Press International on November 23, 2010

AFRICA: New meningitis vaccine a “revolution”

A child receiving meningitis vaccine in Nigeria (file photo)

DAKAR, 14 October 2010 (IRIN) – The emergence of a new meningitis vaccine, rather than a large-scale outbreak of the disease, has prompted the current vaccination drive across West Africa. Health officials say the vaccine marks a “revolution” in preventing the highly contagious and fatal disease.

Health workers in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger – the three countries selected for introduction of the vaccine – are preparing for country-wide campaigns set for December, having just completed a limited pilot phase.

“This vaccine, which targets the bacterium [meningococcus A] most frequently causing epidemics, is about preventing epidemics, not waiting, then reacting,” Mamoudou Harouna Djingarey of the Meningitis Vaccine Project (MVP) in Burkina Faso told IRIN. Up to now countries in the region vaccinated communities only once an outbreak had started.

Routine vaccinations with polysaccharide vaccine – used hitherto in the region – were not viable because the vaccine protects for only two to three years, and is not effective in children under two.

The just-launched meningococcal A conjugate vaccine – developed by Serum Institute of India under a partnership by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the international NGO PATH – provides protection for 10 years.

“To achieve a vaccine four times stronger than existing ones, at 200 CFA francs per dose, [40 US cents, compared to about US$1 for past vaccines] and which will protect for 10 years, is truly a revolution for public health,” Djingarey said.

“This will allow countries to avoid huge meningitis A epidemics and save their resources for other public health needs.” Health experts note that the infection will circulate less with the new vaccine, thereby protecting even non-vaccinated populations from the disease, one of the region’s greatest public health burdens.

The so-called “meningitis belt” of sub-Saharan Africa, from Senegal to Ethiopia, has the world’s highest rates of meningitis, with epidemics generally coming in the dry season from December to June. In 2009, 14 African countries reported 88,199 suspected cases with at least 4,050 deaths, according to WHO.


ReliefWeb
Meningitis belt in Africa

This year the region to date is seeing lower numbers but more patients are dying, according to MVP.

Different strains

While meningitis A is the most common cause of epidemics, other strains emerge some years as well, such as W135 in Chad in 2009 and strain X in Burkina Faso earlier this year.

Countries still must be ready to react with vaccination campaigns for other strains of meningitis and in this sense preparedness remains a challenge, health experts say.

But meningitis A has by far been the biggest problem, said Marie-Pierre Preziosi, medical officer with the product research and development team in WHO’s immunization, vaccines and biologicals department.

“Meningitis A is responsible for nearly all of the epidemics in the past century – so while there are other strains that emerge… there has never been another strain that has been so prominent,” she told IRIN.

Funding gaps

Funding constraints have threatened meningitis vaccine supplies in the past and money is needed to fully roll out the new vaccine, Preziosi said. “There are sufficient doses available of the meningococcal A conjugate vaccine to start the nationwide campaigns in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, but there is a funding gap of $475 million to complete these drives and to roll out in the other meningitis belt countries.”

Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger were selected as the first countries to introduce the vaccine due primarily to their high prevalence of meningitis as well as their capacity to carry out mass vaccination campaigns.

np/cb

source. http://www.irinnews.org

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