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Showing posts from July, 2016

National health systems – Africa’s big public health challenge

Brazzaville, 22 December 2014 – No region needs to scale up its health systems more than Africa. People get sick and die in many cases because the systems for disease prevention and control are not in place or – if they are – they do not function properly.

This is not only the case in Ebola-affected countries in West Africa but also in non-affected countries throughout the African Region. By any measure of health system function – immunization coverage, skilled birth attendance, malnutrition, and maternal and child mortality – the Region is in poor shape, despite recent improvements.

In spite of all the obstacles, a unique opportunity exists for governments to produce and implement bold strategies that can have large health and economic benefits. This is especially true for the countries affected by Ebola.

Read the full press release

How to save the lives of newborns in Africa

Brazzaville, 17 December 2014 - According to a new WHO report, one third of all neonatal deaths occur in the African Region. Approximately three quarters of these deaths occur during the first week of life and almost half within the first 24 hours.  The first 28 days of life, called the neonatal period, is a very risky period for babies. For every newborn baby that dies, another 20 will face illness or disability from conditions such as birth injury, infection, the inability to breathe normally after birth, neonatal tetanus, congenital anomalies, and the complications of premature birth. Too many babies are also being born to mothers who have not had adequate nutrition and antenatal care during pregnancy and who were not given skilled care during the birthing process. These mothers are at the greatest risk of dying during or after delivery – leaving newborns at an even greater risk of dying from inadequate care and suboptimal feeding practices. According to statistics, quality care wi…