Feature Stories

Nigeria rushes into current flash flooding to mitigate health hazards

Flash flooding has created a humanitarian emergency in areas of north-eastern Nigeria already complicated by insurgency, internally displaced persons (IDPs) and a fragile health system. Now rising is the threat of water-related diseases, such as cholera and acute watery diarrhoea, which are easily spread through contaminated floodwater.

Ebola simulation drills in Tanzania trade worry for calm at border entry points

A wooden boat sways idyllically in a marsh of the Malagarasi River where it begins from an eastern mouth of the great Lake Tanganyika, Africa’s deepest lake and the world’s longest lake. Along the river, muscled men pull loaded bicycles under the scorching sun. This port in Ilagala village in Kigoma Region idles in daytime and bustles with activity at night.

Protecting the devoted from cholera in pilgrimage sites in Ethiopia

The pilgrims sometimes come by the thousands. They come by foot, by vehicle and by air to the many churches and monasteries scattered around the once ancient Christian kingdom of Ethiopia. They seek piety in their communing, but it is in the very density of their shared pilgrimage that dangerous diseases like cholera can thrive – if appropriate conditions are not prepared for them. 

Searching for polio in unusual places in Tanzania

“I have been a sewerage operator for more than 20 years now,” says Fundi Mzee, smiling as he leaves his office at the Dar es Salaam Water and Sewerage Authority premises for his weekly hunting expedition for polio.

“I never thought such a harmful virus could be hiding in the waste waters that I deal with every day,” he explains. “Such work requires a good understanding of wastewater networks and mechanics. A typical day for me involves routine maintenance and cleaning of public sewers, plus dealing with any blockages.” 

South Africa’s sugar tax: Success amid controversy

For 38-year-old Durban mother Klemmi Norris, the price hike that followed the introduction of South Africa’s highly anticipated – but also controversial – sugar tax was the last straw. Today, she has completely eliminated sugary drinks from her shopping list.

New hope with Ebola drug trial

Clinical trials of four Ebola drugs start in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The randomized trials aim to test the efficacy and safety of the treatments that are being offered on a compassionate basis.