Tag Archives: Africa

“…desert locusts in a swarm the size of Manhattan…” are destroying crops in East Africa

“Across Somalia, desert locusts in a swarm the size of Manhattan have destroyed a swath of farmland as big as Oklahoma,” the Wall Street Journal’s Nicholas Bariyo reports. “In Kenya, billions-strong clouds of the insects have eaten through 800 square miles of crops and survived a weeks-long spraying campaign. They have “swept across more than 10 nations on two continents.” In parts of East Africa they “are destroying some 1.8 million metric tons of vegetation every day, enough food to feed 81 million people.”  click here

Vibrio Pathogens a Health Concern in Sub-Saharan Africa

Osunla CA, Okoh AI. Vibrio Pathogens: A Public Health Concern in Rural Water Resources in Sub-Saharan Africa. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2017 Oct 7;14(10). pii: E1188. doi: 10.3390/ijerph14101188.

Members of the Vibrio genus are autochthonous inhabitants of aquatic environments and play vital roles in sustaining the aquatic milieu. The genus comprises about 100 species, which are mostly of marine or freshwater origin, and their classification is frequently updated due to the continuous discovery of novel species. The main route of transmission of Vibrio pathogens to man is through drinking of contaminated water and consumption inadequately cooked aquatic food products. In sub-Saharan Africa and much of the developing world, some rural dwellers use freshwater resources such as rivers for domestic activities, bathing, and cultural and religious purposes. This review describes the impact of inadequately treated sewage effluents on the receiving freshwater resources and the associated risk to the rural dwellers that depends on the water. Vibrio infections remain a threat to public health. In the last decade, Vibrio disease outbreaks have created alertness on the personal, economic, and public health uncertainties associated with the impact of contaminated water in the aquatic environment of sub-Saharan Africa. In this review, we carried out an overview of Vibrio pathogens in rural water resources in Sub-Saharan Africa and the implication of Vibrio pathogens on public health. Continuous monitoring of Vibrio pathogens among environmental freshwater and treated effluents is expected to help reduce the risk associated with the early detection of sources of infection, and also aid our understanding of the natural ecology and evolution of Vibrio pathogens.

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….