Feature Stories

What’s the cause? Certifying deaths in sub-Saharan Africa

Brazzaville – About two thirds of countries in the African region do not have reliable data on births, deaths, and causes of death, a recent World Health Organization (WHO) assessment found. The absence of this crucial information complicates effective health responses and policy-making in region.

Defeating Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Jeudi Mputu felt unwell. He went for a check-up at an Ebola treatment centre where he tested positive for the virus. However, his visit was short-lived. He fled the facility. A few days later he was readmitted. He escaped once more. “I thought I was going to die,” he recalls. 

Mauritian clinics help cut diabetic foot amputations

One of the severe consequences of diabetes complications is the risk of lower limb amputation. Damaged nerves or reduced blood flow to the feet can cause ulcers that may become infected, and in severe cases get partially or severely gangrened. In Mauritius, around 500 amputations are carried out every year, but 85% of them are preventable.

Talk radio, teletherapy expands mental health services in Ethiopia

The Erq Ma’ed – or ‘reconciliation table’ – social enterprise has mixed talk radio, communications and counselling to boost the mental health and wellbeing of Ethiopians for nearly a decade. With the added pressure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, their journey of innovation to meet people’s mental health needs amid unprecedented times has been further spurred on.

Easing COVID-19 impact on key health services

The COVID-19 pandemic has strained health systems and disrupted essential health services in Africa. Countries are working to restore and strengthen key services to better withstand shocks and ensure quality care. Regina Kamoga, the Executive Director of Uganda’s Community Health and Information Network and Chairperson of the Uganda Alliance of Patients Organizations, speaks about the impact of COVID-19 and solutions to restore essential health services.

Reinforcing key health services amid COVID-19

Thousands of vaccinators fanned through villages and towns across 73 districts in Ghana, immunizing more than 4.6 million children against vaccine-derived poliovirus. Mass immunization campaigns, like many key health services, have suffered a heavy jolt dealt by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fighting fake immunization travel certificates with frontier technologies

At the main bus terminus in Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital, travellers heading to neighbouring Zambia can be tempted by offers of counterfeit travel vaccination certificates. A thriving black market there sells a fake proof of immunization for between US$ 15–20, says Dr Integrity Mchechesi, who works with a technology firm to combat such forgery.

Innovating for health in Niger

Ibrahima Guimba Saidou, Nigerian Minister and Special Advisor to the president, and CEO of the National Agency of Information Society, is spearheading the country’s digital transformation. He speaks about the efforts being made to drive innovation in health.