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Liberian health authorities have ruled out Ebola and Lassa fever. Liberian health authorities have ruled out Ebola and Lassa fever.

Liberia: Sinoe Health 'Crisis' Enters Monrovia

Dr. Kateh: "While two persons are confirmed dead in Monrovia... we have sent blood samples abroad for investigation"

Dr. Francis Nah Kateh, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and Deputy Minister of Health, yesterday confirmed a second death in Monrovia from the 'strange disease' that has killed more than ten (10) people in Greenville, Sinoe County.


Dr. Kateh said the total deaths have now reached 12 including the two in Montserrado County.

"Some of those who travelled from Greenville in the aftermath of the situation and arrived in Monrovia are being traced and monitored, while at least two are confirmed dead," Dr. Kateh told the ELBC afternoon news yesterday.

He said six of the nine affected people in Sinoe County have been discharged, while the three are in stable condition at the Francis J. Grant Hospital in Greenville, the county's political capital.


Kateh noted that the cause of deaths remains unknown, but repeatedly ruled out Ebola and Lassa fever.

Meanwhile, Dr. Kateh has informed the public that specimens from the affected people are being sent out of the country to determine the actual cause of deaths as an internal investigation continues.


The latest deaths are a concern for residents of Monrovia, who are still grappling with the aftermath of the deadly Ebola virus disease that took away the lives of over 4,000 Liberians in 2014 and 2015.

It can be recalled that on April 25, residents of the port city of Greenville woke up to discover that half a dozen of their kinsmen had died under mysterious circumstances.

The Ministry of Health representative in River Cess County with oversight responsibility for Sinoe County, Derry S. Duokie's first reaction was that the cluster of deaths was of "unexplained causes," a situation which he said started at about 5 a.m. that day.


Duokie had suspected that the deaths of the six people were the result of a "suspected fever of unknown origin (FUO)," which he said health personnel in the county were investigating.

The Ministry of Health in Monrovia meanwhile made an urgent call to put into place interventions before the situation gets out of hand.

The Liberian National Police (LNP) spokesperson, Sam Collins, who confirmed to the Daily Observer that the police is investigating the deaths, also promised to investigate the circumstances leading the deaths.

Original article at the Daily Observer

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    The projected number of children expected to suffer has skyrocketed, doubling since January of this year. The country's combination of drought, dislocation, and disease is proving fatal for children.

    The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) announced in a statement on Tuesday that the number of children projected to suffer from acute malnutrition in Somalia during 2017 increased by 50 percent since initial estimates at the beginning of this year.

    Of the 1.4 million children now at risk, about 275,000 could face a life-threatening severe acute form of malnutrition. These children are nine times more likely to die of cholera, measles or diarrhea.


    "The combination is deadly for children," Marixie Mercado, a UNICEF spokeswoman, said at a news conference.

    According to UNICEF, the agency has 837 nutritional centers in the east African country where it provides aid to severely malnourished children.

    "Together with our partners, we have already treated over 56,000 severely malnourished children this year," the UNICEF representative for Somalia Steven Lauwerier said, an increase of 88 percent in comparison to 2016.

    In acknowledgement of the sharply increasing numbers, Lauwerier added, "We must do much more and be faster in order to save lives."


    UNICEF currently has no figure for the total number of Somali children who have perished from hunger and disease. However, during Somalia's famine in 2011, about 130,000 young children died.


    Fleeing individuals

    Since November 2016, around 615,000 Somali individuals, mostly women and children, have been forced to flee their homes due to a severe drought. Many face sexual assault and robbery while in flight, and some children are recruited as child soldiers to flight for the terror group al-Shabab.

    Additionally, UNICEF reported that more than 40,000 children have been forced to abandon their schooling to search for food and water in order to survive.

     cmb/se (Reutes, KNA, edp)

    For individuals who end up in relief camps, the danger is far from over as the overcrowded camps have experienced a rise in malaria and cholera outbreaks.

    Rain brings both relief and danger

    Gradual relief could come from Somalia's rainy season, the "Gu," which typically begins in April. However, the rains could also endanger displaced individuals living in temporary structures.

    Somalia has been battling a two-year long drought, putting some six million individuals in need of assistance, or nearly half the country's population of around 11 million. Government aid is limited due to al-Shabab's de facto control of many of the country's rural areas.

  • Kenya: Paying for Change? Kenyan Trial Offers Cash to Parents Willing to Vaccinate Babies

    Researchers have shown that monetary incentives lead to infants being immunised on time.

    Doreen Auma puffs as her stride shortens with every step. The humidity is thick and sticky in western Kenya's rain season, and today there seems to be no end to the rough dirt road snaking to the Masogo Health Centre.

    Auma is eight months pregnant and trudging to an antenatal check-up.

    She already has a baby, who at 11 months old is overdue for his measles and yellow fever vaccinations at the same clinic. But Auma, a farmer who asked that we not use her real name, has left him at home.

    With the ever heavier little boy strapped on her back, she fears she may not make it to the health centre.


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    Auma has considered stopping her antenatal check-ups but says she is trudging to her appointment only because she got relentless calls and SMS reminders from the clinic and community health volunteers.


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  • Sub-Saharan Africa Still Suffers Vaccine Stockouts

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    It further shows that 19 per cent to 38 per cent of vaccines worldwide are accidentally exposed to freezing temperatures, potentially compromising the potency of those vaccines."

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