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Africa united in fight against polio outbreak

An extensive vaccination campaign across 19 West and Central African countries is to begin today in an attempt to stem a year-long polio epidemic in the region.

A child receives oral polio vaccine

The United Nations and international aid agencies plan to immunize 85 million children under five. More than 400, 000 volunteers and health workers will take part in the campaign, visiting children in their homes.

The current polio epidemic has been going on for a year and there have been outbreaks in the last six months in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal and Sierra Leone.

These countries will be the focus of the campaign, along with Benin, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Niger, Nigeria and Togo. Read More…

Thousands displaced after heavy flooding in Burkina Faso

According to the United Nations’ humanitarian agency, severe flooding in Burkina Faso has affected over 100,000 people, following the country’s heaviest rainfall for ninety years.

Thousands of homes in the vicinity of Ouagadougou, the country’s capital, have been destroyed by the waters. Officials requested international aid for those affected by the disaster.

“I would like to join the government’s appeal for blankets, clothes and food, because there really is an urgent need for these things,” Ouagadougou’s mayor Simon Compaore said. Read More…

66 people killed in Burkina Faso collision

At least 66 people are dead after a bus and truck collided with one another on Saturday in the western African country of Burkina Faso. 66 people were reported dead by officials; 30 further victims were being treated in hospital on Saturday.

The bus is reported to have been bound for Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), when the collision occurred near the city of Boromo. Many of the bodies were badly burned.

Illegal miners killed in Burkina Faso

More than 30 illegal gold miners have died and others are missing after a mine collapsed following heavy rain in Burkina Faso. The miners were working at a site near the village of Boussoukoula when the mine walls collapsed on Saturday.

Witnesses had reported that at least 50 people had been working in the mine, roughly 500km south-west of here and near the border with Ivory Coast, just before the accident, he said. Thirty-four bodies had been recovered.