Cost and red tape stifle Africa’s HIV drug producers

Locally manufactured antiretroviral drugs could make devastating stock-outs a thing of the past. But pilot production projects are struggling to scale up, reports Christabel Ligami. Agnes Mumbi knows all about the devastating effects that antiretroviral (ARV) stock-outs can wreak on families. The 32-year-old Kenyan mother of two has been taking the drugs since testing positive […]

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How a deadly outbreak unveiled the key to safer food

A deadly Listeria outbreak in South Africa highlighted the power that consumers wield in improving food safety. Now scientists hope to harness that power in other parts of Africa. In mid-June 2017 at a medical lab in Pretoria, South Africa, five patient samples tested positive for the deadly foodborne bacteria Listeria monocytogenes. That was unusual: […]

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Barriers from bush to bedside

Over 5,000 plants are used for medicinal purposes in Africa, but efforts to test their potency and commercialise them keep hitting snags. Scientists hope better research standards will improve outcomes, Sandrine Ceurstemont reports. A bitter-tasting plant with silvery leaves is used in many southern African countries to treat a variety of medical conditions, from cancer […]

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How Kenya’s devolution hobbled healthcare

Earlier this year, two girls died of dog-transmitted rabies in western Kenya. The deaths incensed veterinarians who had been struggling to obtain rabies vaccines from the local government for years. By all accounts, the veterinarians should have been able to source the vaccines. In 2014, Kenya’s national government had embarked on a drive to eliminate rabies […]

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Mon chemin vers l’indépendance

Comme tout bon projet, ma thèse de doctorat a été parsemée de beaucoup de difficultés. Même si à chaque fois j’ai trouvé le courage de continuer, j’avais, à un moment, pris la décision de ne pas m’engager dans une carrière de chercheur à temps plein, préférant l’enseignement. De plus, un de mes superviseurs m’avait fortement […]

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Hospital study reveals chink in the armour of Zambian superbugs

Drug-resistant bacteria found in hospitals cause thousands of deaths worldwide each year. But a study of such superbugs in a Zambian hospital offers hope that they remain sensitive to more antibiotic types than bacteria found in better-resourced hospitals in Europe or North America.  Hospital staff often unwittingly transmit bacteria between patients. Researchers from the University […]

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ARV drugs in Ugandan pork a growing health concern

Mounting evidence that farmers in northern Uganda try to fatten up their pigs with antiretroviral drugs destined for humans with HIV has raised serious health concerns in the East African country. The practice could be putting many Ugandans at risk. Ugandans are the biggest pork-eaters in Africa, with each person on average consuming 3.5 kilograms […]

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Morsure de serpent: les antivenins de mauvaise qualité inondent le marché africain

Une étude de Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) montre que les antivenins qui ont largement inondé ces dernières années le marché africain sont de mauvaise qualité et à peine efficaces. L’organisation plaide pour un essai clinique de ces produits avant leur mise sur le marché.  Kabinin Yaou, Togolais et père de famille, est l’un des rares […]

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Your grandma was wrong: seawater doesn’t cure eye infections

The use of seawater as a home remedy for conjunctivitis—an eye infection that causes redness and itching—has been passed down in Ghana for generations. But now scientists and doctors in the country are warning people against the practice, calling it ineffective and potentially dangerous. Conjunctivitis is a common complaint in Ghana, especially during the country’s […]

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The health benefits of waakye, Ghana’s secret superfood

Ghanaians are crazy about waakye, a local dish prepared by cooking rice and beans with red sorghum leaves. The leaves add flavour and give waakye (pronounced waa-che) its distinctive reddish-brown colour. The leaves are also rich in antioxidants, which in turn can be good for human health. But the health benefits of eating waakye are […]

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