Tag Archives: Africa

African Nations to Overcome Energy Poverty Problem with Coal

“More than 100 coal power plants are in various stages of planning or development in 11 African countries outside of South Africa — more than eight times the region’s existing coal capacity. Africa’s embrace of coal is in part the result of its acute shortage of power.” click here

Cyanobacterial Toxin in Sub Saharan Freshwater Reservoir

Eguzozie KU, Mavumengwana V, Nkosi D, Kayitesi E, Nnabuo-Eguzozie EC. Screening of Cyanobacterial Peptide Toxin, Microcystins in Hyperscum Water Samples from an Inland Sub Saharan Drinking Freshwater Reservoir. Bulletin of environmental contamination and toxicology. 2016 Nov;97(5):728-736.

A study which probed the occurrence and quantitative variations hepatotoxic microcystin in a Sub Saharan drinking freshwater reservoir was carried out between November 2014 and March 2015. Results reveal the presence of MCYST-YR, MCYST-LR, MCYST-RR, MCYST-LA and MCYST-LF variants either in cells collected directly from bloom or toxic isolates cultured under laboratory conditions. Two minor microcystin congeners (MCYST-(H4)YR) and (D-Asp3, Dha7) MCYST-RR) were identified, but not quantified. Variants dominance were in the order MCYST-LR > MCYST-RR > MCYST-YR > MCYST-LA > MCYST-LF across sampling sites. Maximum and minimum concentrations of quantified MCYSTs congeners were (489.25, 50.95 µg toxin/g DW), (98.92, 9.11 µg toxin/g DW), (140.25, 12.07 µg toxin/g DW), (56.99, 6.20 µg toxin/g DW) and (50.46, 3.65 µg toxin/g DW) for MCYST-LR, MCYST-YR, MCYST-RR, MCYST-LA and MCYST-LF, respectively. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) revealed there was a high significant difference between mean microcystin concentrations across sampling sites (p < 0.05).

Cholera Remains a Public Health Issue in Africa

Pena ES, Kakaiuml CG, Bompangueacute D, Toureacute K. Cholera: Evolution of Epidemiological Situation in four French-speaking African Countries from 2004 to 2013. West African Journal of Medicine. 2014 Oct-Dec;33(4):245-51.

BACKGROUND: The Initiative against Diarrheal and Enteric Diseases in Africa and Asia (IDEA) was launched to play a significant and sustainable role in the understanding, prevention and control of enteric diseases. Its initial focus is on cholera, a disease responsible for large-scale epidemics resulting in high morbidity and mortality rates.

STUDY DESIGN: We present an update on the evolution of cholera from 2004 to 2013 based on data provided by experts from four IDEA African countries: Benin, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mali.

RESULTS: Cholera has been responsible for severe epidemics with high fatality rates in Africa over the recent years. The 2013 data are the most recent data on cholera available for the four countries. While some signs of improvement are visible, not all countries have experienced a declining trend in the occurrence of the disease.

CONCLUSION: Cholera remains a public health issue in Africa with a risk of potential recurrent outbreaks. The multifactorial nature of the disease requires a multi-sectorial approach combining several complementary operational strategies. The most critical challenges include achieving a more consistent and reliable reporting of cases and a better appraisal of the real burden of the disease through a better cholera case definition. Ongoing efforts must be supported and renewed to provide improved and sustained access to safe drinking water and sanitation and raise disease awareness further. Investing in operational research for a better understanding of the spatio-temporal dynamics of cholera will also help adapt the control strategies against the disease.

Cholera: A Major Public Health Issue in Africa

Pena ES, Kakaiuml CG, Bompangueacute D, Toureacute K. Cholera: Evolution of Epidemiological Situation in four French-speaking African Countries from 2004 to 2013. West African Journal of Medicine. 2014 Oct-Dec;33(4):245-51.

BACKGROUND: The Initiative against Diarrheal and Enteric Diseases in Africa and Asia (IDEA) was launched to play a significant and sustainable role in the understanding, prevention and control of enteric diseases. Its initial focus is on cholera, a disease responsible for large-scale epidemics resulting in high morbidity and mortality rates.

STUDY DESIGN: We present an update on the evolution of cholera from 2004 to 2013 based on data provided by experts from four IDEA African countries: Benin, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mali.

RESULTS: Cholera has been responsible for severe epidemics with high fatality rates in Africa over the recent years. The 2013 data are the most recent data on cholera available for the four countries. While some signs of improvement are visible, not all countries have experienced a declining trend in the occurrence of the disease.

CONCLUSION: Cholera remains a public health issue in Africa with a risk of potential recurrent outbreaks. The multifactorial nature of the disease requires a multi-sectorial approach combining several complementary operational strategies. The most critical challenges include achieving a more consistent and reliable reporting of cases and a better appraisal of the real burden of the disease through a better cholera case definition. Ongoing efforts must be supported and renewed to provide improved and sustained access to safe drinking water and sanitation and raise disease awareness further. Investing in operational research for a better understanding of the spatio-temporal dynamics of cholera will also help adapt the control strategies against the disease.

Groundwater in Africa’s future

The British Geological Survey has published a study concluding groundwater resources underly much of the African continent.  Click here for the press release….click here for the full study….

Ahmed et al 2011: The 2008 cholera epidemic in Zimbabwe: experience of the iccddr,b team in the field

S. Ahmed, P.K. Bardhan, A. Iqbal, R.N. Mazumder, A.I. Khan, M.S. Islam, A.K. Siddique, and A. Cravioto. The 2008 cholera epidemic in Zimbabwe: experience of the icddr,b team in the field. J Health Popul Nutr. 2011 Oct;29(5):541-6.

icddr,b, GPO Box 128, Dhaka 1000, Bangladesh. suahmed@icddrb.org

Abstract: During August 2008-June 2009, an estimated 95,531 suspected cases of cholera and 4,282 deaths due to cholera were reported during the 2008 cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe. Despite the efforts by local and international organizations supported by the Zimbabwean Ministry of Health and Child Welfare in the establishment of cholera treatment centres throughout the country, the case-fatality rate (CFR) was much higher than expected. Over two-thirds of the deaths occurred in areas without access to treatment facilities, with the highest CFRs (>5%) reported from Masvingo, Manicaland, Mashonaland West, Mashonaland East, Midland, and Matabeleland North provinces. Some factors attributing to this high CFR included inappropriate cholera case management with inadequate use of oral rehydration therapy, inappropriate use of antibiotics, and a shortage of experienced healthcare professionals. The breakdown of both potable water and sanitation systems and the widespread contamination of available drinking-water sources were also considered responsible for the rapid and widespread distribution of the epidemic throughout the country. Training of healthcare professionals on appropriate cholera case management and implementation of recommended strategies to reduce the environmental contamination of drinking-water sources could have contributed to the progressive reduction in number of cases and deaths as observed at the end of February 2009.

Ghana (Africa) floods incorrectly attributed to “climate change”

Extreme weather events happen….and to attribute such events to an ambiguously defined “climate change” is misleading at best. The tragic impacts from these weather events in Northern Ghana (click here) are bad enough….but attributing them to the “climate change” god serves no useful purpose…..