Africa is expected to be declared free from wild polio, after decades of work by a coalition of international health bodies, national and local governments, community volunteers and survivors. Four years after the last recorded cases of wild polio in northern Nigeria, the Africa Regional Certification Commission (ARCC) is expected to certify that the continent is free of the virus, which can cause irreversible paralysis and in some cases death.
The novel coronavirus could kill between 83,000 and 190,000 people in Africa in the first year and infect between 29 million and 44 million in the first year if it is not contained, the World Health Organization said on Thursday. The projections are contained in a new WHO Africa study based on assumptions that no containment measures are put in place, which has fortunately not been the case, WHO Africa head Matshidiso Moeti told reporters in a teleconference.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a warning against people using untested remedies for coronavirus. Africans deserve access to medicines that have gone through proper trials even if they are derived from traditional treatments, it said. Its statement comes as Madagascar’s president is promoting a herbal tonic for treating Covid-19 patients. The tonic, known as Covid-Organics, was tested on fewer than 20 people over three weeks.
California Gov. Ronald Reagan referred to some Africans as “monkeys” in a 1971 phone call with President Richard Nixon, according to recently released audio. The two talked over the phone as Reagan lamented on United Nations delegates who sided against the U.S. in a vote to recognize the People’s Republic of China. Nixon told his deputy national security adviser, Al Haig, to cancel any future meeting with an African leader that sided against the U.S. on Taiwan.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visited the African Union in Ethiopia, Thursday, in the highest-level visit to sub-Saharan Africa by a member of the Trump administration. Tillerson warned African countries to practice caution accepting loans from China, as the African Union commission chairman expressed his satisfaction with Tillerson, following derogatory remarks by President Trump early this year.
The Horn of Africa has been hit by the worst invasion of desert locusts in 25 years, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said Friday. The invasion poses an unprecedented threat to food security in the entire sub region, where over 19 million people in East Africa are already experiencing a high degree of food insecurity, the agency said.
A ferry on the southern end of Africa’s largest lake Victoria in Tanzania sank Thursday killing at least 100 people. An unknown number of people have gone missing and it is feared that more than 200 people may have drowned. The overloaded passenger ferry MV Nyerere was also carrying cargo including sacks of maize and cement when it capsized, close to the dock.
At least 2 people were killed and more than 150 injured after a grenade attack at a rally for Ethiopia’s new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Saturday. An explosion during a campaign rally at White City Stadium in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, which left 15 people injured, is being called an assassination attempt on President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Africa may be the most affected continent in Trump’s new order expanding funds to the abortion ‘gag’ rule. Trump’s version of the abortion ‘gag’ rule will impact $8.8 billion for programs including those related to AIDS and malaria. Defense department grants related to global health security will also be heavily impacted. This so-called rule will prevent American aid overseas from providing or discussing abortion and family planning.