UN calls for international aid to fight cholera in Yemen

In Lebanon, thousands of people demonstrated on Saturday in the streets of Beirut against the political class deemed responsible for the tragedy which left more than 150 dead, 6,000 injured, more than 300,000 homeless and missing. The government announces early parliamentary elections.

The demonstrators headed for the Place des Martyrs, the traditional epicenter of the demonstrations, with the slogan “Judgment Day”. Wooden guillotines were installed there and demonstrators waved ropes with a noose at the end.

The crowds chanted: “Vengeance, revenge, until the fall of the regime”. Some wore masks, others flags or portraits of victims of the blast, as security forces tried to prevent certain groups from advancing towards Parliament.

Protesters stormed the headquarters of the Banking Association in central Beirut, setting it on fire before being dislodged by the army. Other protesters took over the Department of Foreign Affairs and Commerce.

Security forces fired tear gas while some protesters threw stones at them. The explosion at the port on Tuesday, the circumstances of which are still not clear, was allegedly caused by a fire that affected a huge deposit of ammonium nitrate, a dangerous chemical.

Early parliamentary elections-

The disputed Prime Minister Hassan Diab has announced that he will propose early parliamentary elections. He believes that only “early elections can make it possible to get out of the structural crisis”.

“I call on all political parties to agree on the next step. Their leaders do not have much time, I am ready to continue to carry out my responsibilities for two months until they are set. okay, “he added, Mr. Diab said.

-Support videoconferencing-

The UN and France will organize a support videoconference in Lebanon on Sunday. For France, this meeting should mark the beginning of an “emergency and hope for the future” of the country.

France did not want to give the amount of aid that could be released on Sunday, but the UN has estimated the cost of health needs alone at 85 million dollars. “The immediate objective is to provide for the emergency needs of Lebanon, on conditions which allow aid to go directly to the population”, explained the Elysee, aiming “for the consolidation of damaged buildings, emergency medical services, food aid and catering for hospitals and schools “.

The representatives of the European Union, the United States, the United Kingdom, China, Russia, Jordan, Egypt will participate. Israel is “not in the round table”. Iran has “not shown its willingness to participate”, while “the Gulf countries have been invited”.

-A disaster of too much-

Lebanon is in the midst of an economic wreck, having defaulted on its debt, and its leaders have been unable to agree on a bailout with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

For the Lebanese already suffering from an unprecedented economic crisis, Tuesday’s explosion was the catastrophe too many, relaunching a protest movement that had started in October to denounce the entire ruling class, deemed corrupt and incompetent, but s was out of breath due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Decryption of the Mauritanian change of government

President Mohamed Ould Cheikh El Ghazouani has appointed a new Prime Minister. The Head of State has instructed Mohamed Ould Bilal to form a new government, replacing that of Ismail Ould Bedda Ould Cheikh Sidiya, who resigned yesterday in the day after the submission to justice of the report of a parliamentary committee on the management of ex-president Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz. For their part, opposition parties take stock of the current head of state, who took over as head of the country a year ago. Some of these parties complain that they do not have access to political space.

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Malaria parasite begins to resist major drug in Africa

First cases of resistance to the main antimalarial in Africa

For the first time in Africa, a Franco-Rwandan team of scientists, led by Didier Ménard from the Institut Pasteur in Paris and Aline Uwimana from the Rwanda Biomedical Center in Kigali, highlighted what field doctors and the WHO feared for a long time: the appearance of parasites Plasmodium resistant to the drug most used since the 2000s, artemisinin, in patients with malaria (1).

Strictly speaking, the latter is not alone, but combined with another molecule, a bit like the combinations of drugs implemented against bacteria (antibiotics) or AIDS (antiretrovirals). Artemisinin acts very quickly (it kills most parasites within a few hours) while a partner molecule acts over a long time. Artemisinin itself is a molecule extracted from the leaves of the annual mugwort (Artemisia annua or Chinese wormwood), a plant growing naturally in Africa and cultivated in particular in Madagascar.

« This resistance, which shortens the period of elimination of parasites from treated subjects, currently represents a serious threat that can hamper disease control efforts., warns Didier Ménard, research director who has worked for a long time in Cambodia and head of the Genetics and resistance of malaria unit at the Institut Pasteur. In particular, the major fear of seeing these resistant parasites spread to sub-Saharan Africa, the continent most affected by malaria (more than 90% of cases), as was the case with previous generations of antimalarial drugs such as chloroquine in particular “, he continues.

Against malaria, South Africa has resorted to DDT and antimalarials

Ants work on the ground led by Rwandan biologists

In the field, Rwandan biologists and doctors detected in more than 500 people with malaria based on their clinical signs, treated and followed them for 42 days, while sending the blood samples to the Institut Pasteur in Paris (2 ). Result: the identification, for the first time in Africa, of parasites resistant to artemisinin and presenting mutations within the K13 gene. With different infection rates from city to city, proving that the resistant strain is spreading throughout Rwanda.

However, from an epidemiological point of view, the complete sequencing of these parasites indicates that the mutations were selected from the populations of Rwandan parasites and that they did not result from a diffusion of Asian parasites. ” Unexpectedly, these results differ from previous scenarios in which the emergence of parasites resistant to chloroquine and pyrimethamine in Africa was due to the spread of resistant parasites from South East Asia. », Explains Didier Ménard,

Improve clinical monitoring of patients

In terms of public health, it is feared that in the absence of effective measures to contain the spread of resistant strains in Rwanda and in the countries of the Great Lakes (Uganda, DRC, Burundi, Kenya, Zambia, Tanzania), these parasites acquire over time the ability to resist the combination of molecules including artemisinin. ” As a result, the only available treatments would become ineffective, as happened in Southeast Asia. », Explains Didier Ménard.

Malaria, the other devastating epidemic

To counter this development, “ the clinical tools allowing the follow-up of the persons treated should be improved, such as the implementation of a new clinical examination from the 2nde day rather than the 3e or the 4e after starting drug treatment », Offers Didier Ménard.

Indeed, a modeling of this scenario by a team from Imperial College in London, in which no action would be taken, recently predicted that the ineffectiveness of artemisinin-based drugs in Africa could be responsible for 78 million cases and 116,000 additional deaths over a five-year period.

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A 3D printer to manufacture Handicap international prostheses

In Lebanon, thousands of people demonstrated on Saturday in the streets of Beirut against the political class deemed responsible for the tragedy which left more than 150 dead, 6,000 injured, more than 300,000 homeless and missing. The government announces early parliamentary elections.

The demonstrators headed for the Place des Martyrs, the traditional epicenter of the demonstrations, with the slogan “Judgment Day”. Wooden guillotines were installed there and demonstrators waved ropes with a noose at the end.

The crowds chanted: “Vengeance, revenge, until the fall of the regime”. Some wore masks, others flags or portraits of victims of the blast, as security forces tried to prevent certain groups from advancing towards Parliament.

Protesters stormed the headquarters of the Banking Association in central Beirut, setting it on fire before being dislodged by the army. Other protesters took over the Department of Foreign Affairs and Commerce.

Security forces fired tear gas while some protesters threw stones at them. The explosion at the port on Tuesday, the circumstances of which are still not clear, was allegedly caused by a fire that affected a huge deposit of ammonium nitrate, a dangerous chemical.

Early parliamentary elections-

The disputed Prime Minister Hassan Diab has announced that he will propose early parliamentary elections. He believes that only “early elections can make it possible to get out of the structural crisis”.

“I call on all political parties to agree on the next step. Their leaders do not have much time, I am ready to continue to carry out my responsibilities for two months until they are set. okay, “he added, Mr. Diab said.

-Support videoconferencing-

The UN and France will organize a support videoconference in Lebanon on Sunday. For France, this meeting should mark the beginning of an “emergency and hope for the future” of the country.

France did not want to give the amount of aid that could be released on Sunday, but the UN has estimated the cost of health needs alone at 85 million dollars. “The immediate objective is to provide for the emergency needs of Lebanon, on conditions which allow aid to go directly to the population”, explained the Elysee, aiming “for the consolidation of damaged buildings, emergency medical services, food aid and catering for hospitals and schools “.

The representatives of the European Union, the United States, the United Kingdom, China, Russia, Jordan, Egypt will participate. Israel is “not in the round table”. Iran has “not shown its willingness to participate”, while “the Gulf countries have been invited”.

-A disaster of too much-

Lebanon is in the midst of an economic wreck, having defaulted on its debt, and its leaders have been unable to agree on a bailout with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

For the Lebanese already suffering from an unprecedented economic crisis, Tuesday’s explosion was the catastrophe too many, relaunching a protest movement that had started in October to denounce the entire ruling class, deemed corrupt and incompetent, but s was out of breath due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

.

Insecurity and Ebola taint Beni’s economy

In Béni, in eastern DRC, security instability and the Ebola virus epidemic are marring the economic fabric of the North Kivu region.

Shaken for four years by massacres of civilians, the North Kivu region has seen its fields less and less frequented.

The Federation of Congo Businesses and local civil society
ask the government to reduce taxes to relieve the inhabitants of Béni.

In the big market, as in the stores, the traders pronounce the same sentence: “There are no buyers.”

Our clients often came from Kinshasa, Goma and Kisangani, but they
no longer arrive because of the massacres
“, says Marceline Kavira, saleswoman at the Beni market.”It is difficult to collect the goods because of the insecurity on the roads. The deposits are empty, so
that previously we lacked space for the goods “, she laments.

​”The war and Ebola scare the inhabitants of Beni away. Before I arrived
to sell between 6 and 10 mattresses per day. It is difficult today
to sell even one mattress per week
“, complains Muhindo Mastaki, trader from Beni, before adding,”soon we will, I think, close our businesses. It does not work anymore“.

The Béni section of the Federation of Businesses of Congo (FEC) has been calling for the elimination of certain taxes for 3 years to relieve entrepreneurs.

The mayor of the city, Nyonyi Bwanakawa, acknowledges the plight of entrepreneurs, but explains that “the elimination of these taxes
would taint the administrative work of its jurisdiction “
.

On Boulevard Nyamwisi in Béni, October 17, 2018 (VOA / Charly Kasereka)

Because of the activism of the ADF, the people of Béni no longer know how to get to the fields. It is therefore normal that the economic fabric is affected “, explains the mayor, who adds that “with the Ebola epidemic, there are so many restrictions imposed on these affected areas “.

According to him, the Beni region is less and less frequented lately, following this situation of constant uncertainty.

All the surrounding villages have been emptied of their occupants because of insecurity and repeated killings in the town of Béni and its surroundings.

In addition to insecurity, this region has been facing the Ebola epidemic since last August, which has killed more than 200 people.

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Speed ​​race against measles, deadlier than Ebola

It kills more than Ebola: a speed race against measles is set in motion deep in the bush in Seke Banza, in the far west of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where this forgotten epidemic has killed more than 6,000 people in one year .

Several hours by motorbike from the capital of Matadi, measles has killed six people since the start of the year in Seke Banza, for 1,254 cases, half of which are under five years old and 10% over 15 years old.

The last victim is a little boy who died in the week at the general hospital in the area.

Before being hospitalized, the child went to traditional doctors who gave him treatments that could damage the liver.

In the next room, half a dozen less serious cases, some on a drip, have pimples on the face or red pustules on the body.

“There are two categories of patients: those who are in the acute phase of measles, with respiratory signs, conjunctivitis, fevers. A few months later, as their immune system is failing, they can trigger other diseases such as malaria We also take care of them, ”explains Méderic Monier, from Médecins sans frontières (MSF).

Adolphe Kiakupuati, a hunter like most of the region’s men, came with his three children. Information is a major issue in this landlocked area in the middle of the forest, on the borders of the two Congos, he underlines.

“During the children’s vaccination period (note: in November), I was busy in the forest and I was not aware of it. But now they are under treatment,” explains the father.

A second vaccination phase has just started this week under the aegis of MSF in the region, between fields, forests and river.

The vaccines are taken by motorbike in the villages around Temba, a six hour drive from Seke Banza center, through dirt tracks.

The vaccinations take place in the parish of a church.

“You see, I didn’t even go to work in the fields. I came to vaccinate my children,” said Elodine Nsasi, mother of three, smiling.

Logistics is the other big challenge in this remote area, without infrastructure. “The big challenge is to be able to provide all these vaccines to all these villages, while respecting the quality and the cold chain. All the vaccines must be between two and seven degrees”, indicates the MSF logistician Jean Pletinckx .

“The DRC recorded the deadliest measles epidemic in its history, with more than 335,413 suspected cases and 6,362 deaths from January 1, 2019 to February 20, 2020”, according to the latest data from the World Health Organization (WHO ).

“There is a tendency to decrease in the number of notified measles cases”, adds the WHO. Between January 1 and mid-February, “the DRC recorded a total of 20,475 suspected cases of measles including 252 deaths (fatality: 1.2%)”.

Measles killed more than the Ebola epidemic declared on August 1, 2018 in the east of the country (2,264 deaths). “If all goes well, we will be able to declare the end of the epidemic on April 12”, declared the professor in charge of the response, Jean-Jacques Muyembe.

There have been no more confirmed cases of Ebola in the DRC since the last patient was released from a treatment center in Beni on Tuesday.

No new confirmed case has been recorded for 14 days and the epidemic will be officially over “as soon as we reach 42 days without any new cases recorded,” said a WHO spokesperson in Kinshasa.

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Yellow fever epidemic with 89 cases and one death

Ivorian President Alassane Dramane Ouattara announced Thursday that he would seek a third term.

Mr Ouattara, 78, came to power following a hotly contested 2010 election. He initially pledged not to run for a third term, but was forced to back down after the death unexpected, July 8, the candidate of his party RHDP, the former Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly.

“Out of civic duty, I decided to respond favorably to the call of my fellow citizens asking me to be a candidate for the presidential election”, Ouattara said during a televised speech on the occasion of the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the country’s independence. “Man proposes, God disposes”, he added.

At least three other political figures have already submitted their candidacies: former president Henri Konan Bédié (PDCI), Pascal Affi N’Guessan (FPI), and Albert Mabri Toikeusse (UDPCI).

Earlier today Thursday, supporters of former President Laurent Gbagbo demonstrated in Abidjan. They demanded the reinstatement of the former head of state, whose right to vote was revoked following his conviction in absentia.

Mr. Gbagbo, 75, was acquitted by the International Criminal Court after spending nearly a decade in detention in The Hague. He recently applied for a passport, indicating that he intends to return to Côte d’Ivoire.

The presidential election is scheduled for October 31.

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857 dead and 25,000 cases of cholera since January in the DRC

More than 1,300 people were killed in the first half of 2020 by armed groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This figure is three times higher than that of 2019 over the same period, according to a report published Wednesday by the United Nations.

Between January and June 2020, “fighters from all armed groups (…) were responsible for the summary executions of at least 1,315 people, including 267 women and 165 children”, wrote the Joint United Nations Office for Human Rights (UNJHRO).

This review is “more than three times the number recorded in the first half of 2019”, which was then 416.

This explosion is “indicative of a deterioration of the human rights situation in the provinces in conflict, in particular Ituri, South Kivu, Tanganyika and North Kivu”, ruled the UNJHRO.

The eastern facade of the DRC has been infested for nearly three decades by dozens of armed groups.

Since December 2017, the Ituri gold region has notably returned to violence evoking a “crime against humanity” according to the United Nations, with tens of thousands of civilians displaced.

The conflict opposes two communities for land control: the Lendu, mostly farmers, and the Hema, herders and traders.

Between 1999 and 2003, a conflict between these two groups had already claimed tens of thousands of victims until the intervention of a European force.

As in Ituri, civilians are caught in the conflicts that overtake them in the provinces of North and South Kivu (east) but also in that of Tanganyika (south-east).

At the end of October 2019, the army launched operations against all armed groups in the eastern part of the country. Despite these offensives, the massacres of civilians have not stopped.

The UNJHRO report further notes that “the number of violations committed by state agents has slightly decreased (-3%)” during the first six months of 2020.

However, these officers are accused of having “been responsible for the extrajudicial executions of at least 225 people, including 33 women and 18 children, throughout the territory of the DRC”, according to the document.

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research focused on a cure for HIV

The International AIDS Society on Monday unveiled the priority lines of research aimed at curing the infection, rather than improving antiretrovirals.

In 2012, the International AIDS Society (IAS) unveiled a roadmap calling for advancing research to cure the contamination of the AIDS virus, HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). She then noted that it was not possible to be satisfied with treating AIDS patients for life even if their life expectancy has considerably improved and although some of them show long remissions after treatment.

“Current strategies have significant limitations, including immense economic, operational and logistical challenges in delivering lifelong treatment to the nearly 37 million people living with HIV,” IAS said in a statement released one week ago. before the International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa.

According to Onusida (Unaids, the UN program to fight AIDS), the cost of antiretrovirals (better known as triple therapies) of 90% of those infected in poor or middle-income countries will reach 19.3 billion US dollars in 2017.

AIDS patients have to deal with the toxicity of drugs and therefore the side effects they induce. The researchers also evoke the immune dysfunction that persists or the risks of comorbidities associated with HIV (viral hepatitis, tuberculosis, etc.).

“Not so long ago, few researchers believed that a cure for AIDS might one day be possible,” said Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, 2008 Nobel Prize in Medicine for the co-discovery of the AIDS virus, today co-chair of the IAS.

Curing AIDS is now at the heart of research thanks to the accumulation of knowledge and scientific advances, she underlines, citing the case of recovery after bone marrow transplantation, the example of patients able to control their infection after having stopped their traditional treatment with antiretrovirals or even the “remarkable” advances in gene therapy.

To continue the path to recovery, the IAS draws up a series of recommendations, recommending in particular a strategy to “kill” the “viral reservoirs”.

HIV persists in a latent state in the body of patients treated with antiretrovirals (ARVs). Scientists know that these reservoirs where the virus hides are one of the main obstacles to recovery.

In recent years, however, they have made significant progress in understanding the mechanisms explaining the persistence of the virus in the body of people treated, thus making it possible to develop new therapeutic strategies.

One of the avenues is to go and find dormant cells in the reservoirs, activate them to make them sensitive to treatment and destroy them.

The strategy adopted by the IAS is published in the journal Nature Medicine in anticipation of the 21st international conference on AIDS which will take place from July 18 to 22 on the theme of equal access to healthcare.

The previous edition took place in 2014 in Melbourne, Australia.

With AFP

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THE BALL – Filipe Nyusi extends State of Emergency for the third time (Mozambique)

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