- For the first time in history, the World Health Organisation (WHO) published a report that focused on challenges facing the health of 738 million Africans. The report touched on the health systems of the continent with regards to HIV/AIDS, malaria among other diseases.
Not all in the report is bad, as it recognises real health success stories of some countries in the continent.
Poor health, according to the report, traps people in the vicious circle of poverty, precariousness, impoverishment, numerous lost of lives and low productivity. It is on this basis that WHO asked its 46 member states in Africa to improve their economic development which guarantees better health for citizens.
Though grappling with high diseases and epidemics, most countries in Africa are yet to provide better health to their citizens. In fact, there is high attrition of health experts in Africa mainly because of poor salaries.
As a result of rampant contagious diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria and HIV/AIDS, which produce over three million victims every year, African countries have been forced to increase their health budgets over the years.
Precarious health systems and armed conflicts have also been blamed for retarding the health of many newly born babies and children in Africa. For instance, 17 percent of young girls and women between 15 and 24 in Zimbabwe are HIV positive.
Africa's giant economic power country endowed with quality health system, South Africa, has over 15 percent of its young women being infected by the global pandemic that is feeding on human beings.
Niger, however, appears to be doing well with less than 2 percent of 15 to 24 year-olds carrying the virus. Niger, which is Africa's poorest country, would not be able to tackle an AIDS epidemic in the same way as South Africa.
It is apparent that there are signs that Africans are finding African approaches to solving their health problems as evidenced in countries like Mali, Rwanda and Guinea-Bissau, the report noted.
In Mali, cost-sharing systems have enabled 35 of the 57 community health centres in the country to obtain skilled staff capable of carrying out emergency caesarean operations.
Rwanda's road accident prevention campaign has resulted in a reduction by one-quarter of the number of people killed in traffic accidents in a year.
And in Guinea-Bissau, the authorities decided to use "community radios" to convey health messages. With 66 percent of its population being illiterate, this is the only effective means of boosting awareness level among the people.
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.