BBC News
Guinea has been free of Ebola since June. But pregnant women are still afraid of the virus, avoiding hospital and giving birth alone, writes the BBC's Tamasin Ford. Mamanata Soumah told me she didn't once see a midwife, a nurse or a doctor during her entire pregnancy and even as she entered the third day of excruciating contractions without...

BBC News
It has been 28 years in the making. When the Global Polio Eradication Initiative was formed in 1988, about 350,000 children were getting infected with wild polio virus every year worldwide. The disease leaves many children paralysed for life. About one in every 10 paralysed children dies from breathing complications. The number of infections is now down 99%, according...

BBC News
It is not a question of if, but when. There will be another outbreak of some deadly disease in Sierra Leone at some point. Every country in the world is at risk. Viruses do not care about borders. Ebola was able to spiral out of control in such spectacular fashion here, though, because Sierra Leone's health system...

BBC News
In our series of letters from African journalists, Ghanaian writer Elizabeth Ohene considers a dilemma over possible malaria prevention. About the most exciting news story I have heard in recent times is the report that the scent of chicken keeps malarial mosquitoes away. I ought to probably declare that I have what might easily be described as an...

BBC News
Recent studies have suggested that condom use is on the decline in South Africa, which has one of the highest HIV prevalence rates in the world. Some 2,700 young South Africans are infected with HIV every week - 74 % of them girls. The BBC's Pumza Fihlani speaks to some women in Johannesburg about their attitudes towards sex, men...

BBC News
South Africa's great white shark population is heading for possible extinction after a rapid decline in numbers, say researchers. A six year study of the country's coastal waters concluded that only 350 to 500 great white sharks remain. This is half the level previously thought, the researchers from Stellenbosch University said. The team said trophy hunting, pollution, shark nets...

BBC News
Almost a quarter of a million children in parts of Nigeria's Borno state formerly controlled by Boko Haram are suffering from severe malnutrition, the UN children's agency says. Tens of thousands will die if treatment does not reach them soon, Unicef warns. In areas where Boko Haram militants had been in control, it found people without water, food or...

BBC News
It is a frostily cold morning in the outskirts of Johannesburg. Children aged between 6 and 17 are queuing up for their "morning meds", shivering their greetings to the nurse assigned to supervise them. It's now part of their daily routine before they skip off into the yard and get bussed off to school. These youngsters are a walking,...

BBC News
A "go it alone" culture has long been central to Eritrea, including its economy. It is slowly opening up to foreign investment, but recent policies, especially a currency reform, mean many people are now struggling in what was already one of the poorest countries on earth. In a dusty corner of the capital, Asmara, is a walled market....

BBC News
Chinese fishing vessels operate illegally off the coast of Guinea, depleting its fish population and destroying marine life. Despite the economic and social consequences of illegal fishing, the Guinean government has failed to police its waters because it doesn't have money to operate surveillance equipment, as the BBC's Tamasin Ford reports. Abdoulaye Soumah looks out to sea...

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