"Top United Nations officials [on Monday] called on the Security Council and the wider international community to support efforts to develop an integrated strategy to tackle the complex and multifaceted crisis facing the Sahel region of West Africa," the U.N. News Centre reports. "'The warning lights for the Sahel region continue to flash,' Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the Council, as it met to discuss the situation in a region that stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea, and includes Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and parts of Sudan, Cameroon and Nigeria," the news service writes. "In addition to political instability in Mali, the region -- particularly in its west -- suffers from extreme poverty, with human development levels among the lowest in the world, porous borders that present significant security challenges, as well as human rights problems," according to the news service.
"'The recent rainfall promises a better harvest season, which should help ease food insecurity. However, much more needs to be done,' [Ban] added," the U.N. News Centre writes (12/10). In similar news, SciDev.Net reports on efforts "underway to forecast Rift Valley fever (RVF) outbreaks in West Africa, where such work has so far been challenging, as Mauritania suffers a deadly outbreak of the disease." The news service highlights a study published in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases in August, which examined how environmental conditions such as local weather patterns may affect transmission of the disease in the region (Cissockho, 12/10).
This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.