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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…

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Healthcare in Sierra Leone

According to Médecins Sans Frontières the health care system in Sierra Leone causes loss of life because the poor cannot afford medical treatment. The maternal death rate and the child mortality rate in Sierra Leone are the highest in the world. Experiences of Médecins Sans Frontières had shown that free care or low fees lead to a dramatic increase in the number of patients.

Nonetheless the national health system of Sierra Leone demands payment for all treatment with simple consultations costing as much as 25 days of income. According to Action Against Hunger the number of children with acute malnutrition has reached almost twice the level of the WHO’s emergency threshold of 2% in the Moyamba district of Sierra Leone. Read More…