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  • Sub-Saharan Africa news in brief: 24 October–6 November

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Below is a round up of news from or about Sub-Saharan Africa for the period 24 October–6 November.

Zimbabwe government condemned for missing disease money
The Zimbabwean government has been accused of fraudulently rerouting more than US$7 million provided by the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Zimbabwe's Reserve Bank claims the money will be available by 6 November, but the news damages the country's application for a further US$500 million. More>>

Better farming 'will reduce African poverty by half'
According to a new 88-country report[4.49MB] nine of the ten countries with the highest level of hunger are in Sub-Saharan Africa. In response, a Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research analysis says "best-bet" agricultural approaches could halve Africa's poverty rate — from 48 to 25 per cent — in the next ten years. More>>

Search for an AIDS vaccine continues in Africa
A laboratory in the virology department at South Africa's University of Stellenbosch has joined an international network of 13 vaccine research groups that form the Collaboration for AIDS Vaccine Discovery. And 36 people from South Africa will participate in upcoming vaccine trials of a vaccine formula produced in South Africa. More>>

The Gambia sees massive drop in malaria
Better funding — especially that targeting pregnant women and young children — has caused a dramatic drop in malaria deaths in The Gambia, according to Samuel Anya of the University of Gambia's medical school. The Gambia's Medical Research Council laboratories worked with hospitals in Sibanor and Farafenni on the study. More>>*

Ghanaian avocados 'almost free' of sunblotch disease
The prevalence of sunblotch, a plant disease that can destroy 30 per cent of an avocado crop, is low in Ghanaian avocadoes, crop researchers from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana have found. But the risk from the plant pathogen remains high because farmers buy seeds from uncertified sources. More>>[255kB]

East African scientists each win US$100,000 grants
Elijah Songok of the Kenya Medical Research Institute has won a Grand Challenges Explorations grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to explore genetic links between HIV resistance and type 2 diabetes in Africa. Anthony Mbonye of Uganda's Tropical Disease Research Network is exploring mother-to-child transmission of HIV with his grant. South Africans also received grants. More>>

Bioinformatics takes off in Cameroon
Odile Ouwe-Missi-Oukem from the Chantal Biya International Reference Centre in Cameroon is setting up a bioinformatics platform to investigate resistance to antiretroviral drugs. Her progress will feature at the first African meeting of the International Society for Computational Biology, due to be held in Bamako, Mali, late next year. More>>

Health insurance: Experiences in Africa
Mandatory health insurance[296kB] known as 'mutuelles de santé', now protects 85 per cent of Rwanda's population. In Mali, members of community-based mutual health societies[784kB] have much better access to essential health services. But research[838kB] in 15 other African countries says that people often go into debt or sell assets to pay for health care.

Analysis of African medical education to commence
Francis Omaswa of the Uganda-based African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation will work with Ethiopian Seble Frehywot from the US-based George Washington University to study the capacity of the 102 medical schools in 48 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, using a grant from the Bill and Melinda and Gates Foundation. More>>

Compiled by Christina Scott.

If you would like to suggest a story for this news in brief, please contact the Africa News Editor Christina Scott ([email protected]).

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