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Category Health

For future disaster preparedness, Sierra Leone could look to Cuba

On August 14th, Mudslides in Freetown, Sierra Leone killed 1,000 people, mostly inhabitants of the urban slums in the hills above the capital. Despite its portrayal as a natural disaster caused by days of heavy rain, “the tragedy was entirely man-made,” as writer Lansana Gberie states bluntly. The result of environmental degradation, lack of disaster preparedness and substandard housing for the poor, these deaths could have been avoided.

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Shining light at night could suppress mosquito bites

Cape Town – Exposing malaria-transmitting mosquitoes to light at two-hour intervals during the night or at late daytime could inhibit their biting behaviour and reduce malaria transmission, says a study. A 2016 report of the World Health Organization says that 214 million people worldwide were infected with malaria in 2015, resulting in 438,000 deaths, with 88 per cent of the cases and deaths occurring in Africa.

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More Bang for Your Buck: Saving Lives by Investing in the Poorest

New York – Investing in the health of the poorest communities saves almost twice as many lives, according to a UN agency’s analysis. In a new report titled “Narrowing the Gaps: The Power of Investing in the Poorest Children,” the UN’s Children Agency (UNICEF) found that increased access to health among poor communities saves more lives and is more cost-effective than in non-poor communities.

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Malnutrition, disease and food insecurity – a perfect recipe for disaster for Somalia’s children

Since the beginning of the year, outbreaks of cholera and later measles have been spreading across Somalia. The severe and prolonged drought has also caused high malnutrition among children. Unicef estimates that 1.4-million children will suffer from acute malnutrition this year, including 277,000 severe cases.

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New tool to forecast nutrition-related vulnerabilities

Nairobi – A new online tool to help decision-makers take early action to resolve problems that cause high levels of malnutrition in Sub-Saharan Africa has been launched. The tool known as Nutrition Early Warning System (NEWS) will be in use by the end of this year in Ethiopia, Nigeria, Somalia and South Sudan, according to researchers from the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) who are developing it.

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New report urges more action for adolescent health

Nairobi – A new report has called for an accelerated action to tackle issues that affect adolescents, especially in regions of the world such as Sub-Saharan Africa with high number of adolescent deaths. According to the report released by the World Health Organization (WHO), lower respiratory infections, suicide and road traffic injuries are the leading causes of death among adolescents worldwide, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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