News

    Largest Ever Yellow Fever Immunization Program Wraps up in West Africa

    Spread by infected mosquitoes, the hemorrhagic virus causes symptoms from nausea to kidney failure and jaundice and can be fatal; Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Guinea and the Central African Republic are among countries at risk from this virus

    A health worker administers a yellow fever vaccine to a baby on a roadside in Koumassi, a poor area of Abidjan, after a case of yellow fever was discovered (File)
    A health worker administers a yellow fever vaccine to a baby on a roadside in Koumassi, a poor area of Abidjan, after a case of yellow fever was discovered (File)

    Health workers in West Africa are wrapping up the largest ever program to immunize people against Yellow Fever. Left untreated, the disease kills more than 30,000 people a year.

    In Liberia, the community group Crusader For Peace has been holding rallies to encourage people to turn out for the immunization program.

    The group's head, Julie Endee, says this campaign against yellow fever has reached deeper into Liberian communities because it has had the backing of both traditional and religious leaders.

    "We talked to the leaders, they pledged their support. We visited the Muslim community," said Endee. "We asked them for their support, and they pledged their support. We asked the Christian community, and they pledged their support."

    It is part of the largest ever mass yellow-fever immunization program targeting 12 million people in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Benin.

    Spread by infected mosquitoes, the hemorrhagic virus causes symptoms from nausea to kidney failure and jaundice and can be fatal.

    Health Minister Walter Gwenigale says the disease cannot be taken for granted.

    "When there is one case in the country, you call it an outbreak," said Gwenigale.

    The health minister says Liberia has 12 confirmed cases.

    "Once you get it, we cannot treat you, because there is no treatment," said Gwenigale. "Those who get the second stage, where the virus has attacked the cells of the liver, those are the ones who will most likely die from it."

    Liberia is one of 36 countries in Africa still reporting cases of Yellow Fever. Rosamund Lewis of the World Health Organization's Yellow Fever Initiative says the vaccine being used today is the same as the one first created in 1937.

    "It is one of the most effective, cost-effective public health tools we have available to us," said Lewis. "In these countries, we estimate that 160 million people may still be at risk of yellow fever, and  that includes the urban centers where these terrible outbreaks can take place."

    Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Guinea and the Central African Republic are also at risk from this virus.

    Dr. Lewis says more than 29 million people have been protected through mass vaccinations in West and Central Africa since 2007.

    This week's campaign in Liberia also included a vaccination center at the University of Liberia where student Cooper Vuku says he hopes to stay yellow-fever free.

    "To remain healthy, you have to take the necessary treatment in order to be a healthy person," said Vuku. "So I feel glad to have taken this vaccine today, and I am hopeful that I will be well."

    The World Health Organization says the number of yellow fever cases in Africa has increased over the past two decades because of deforestation, urbanization and the declining immunity of a younger population. 

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora