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In the coming decades, the West African countries could benefit from a demographic window of opportunity to reduce their poverty. The arrival of 160 million young people on the labour market between 2010 and 2030 could accelerate economic growth. These countries could take advantage of this “demographic dividend”, which the emerging countries have been doing for 40 years. On condition that they lower their fertility rates, are still the highest in the world, with an average of five children per woman. That would enable them to reduce the number of economically non-active people being supported for each active individual..
An IRD researcher asserts this in a review published recently by the Agence française de développement (AFD), concerning a far-reaching survey( 1) conducted in 12 West African countries( 2): family planning and promotion of contraception are some of the main keys to sustainable economic growth. Yet to arrive at such a situation, these countries must assign 3 to 5 times the means currently given over to such a policy. Will they be able to manage this population turning point successfully?
50 % of Cameroonians in need of treatment against HIV now have access to such health care. In the early 2000s only 1 % had such a possibility yet in less than ten years their numbers have gone from just a few hundred to nearly 80 000.
From the beginning of the decade, a fall in the price of antiretroviral medicines( 1) started the trend. Then decentralization of access to care, set in train by the government in 2002, followed by the availability of tritherapy( 2) free-of-charge, since May 2007, have allowed this incredible progress. Commissioned by the Cameroon Ministry of Public Health, the IRD researchers and their partners in the South and the North( 3) have set up an assessment programme on this bold decentralization reform, with the support of the French Agence Nationale de Recherche sur le Sida et les hépatites virales (ANRS, France). They find that today, the health care provision for patients is achieving performances at least as good in the district services( 4) as in Yaoundé or Douala, the political and economic capitals.
Urban dwellers in the developing countries are expected to more than double in number between 2000 and 2025. This surging urbanization comes along with changes in food habits: more meat, fats, salt and sweetened products, taking rapid snacks outside the home. Paradoxically, whereas undernutrition is still cause for great concern in many African countries, obesity is rising up in the cities.
IRD nutritionists and their partners 1 have revealed that in two districts of Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, 36% of women and 14.5% of men are overweight. They showed such excess body mass to be associated with the “modern foods” and dietary habits taken up by its inhabitants, in particular the better-off sections of society.
These investigations brought insights into the causes of obesity among urban populations, with a view in the long term to setting up suitable programmes for preventing its exerting consequences for health.
Ces travaux permettent de mieux comprendre les causes de l’obésité de populations urbaines, pour la mise en place à terme de programmes appropriés pour en prévenir ses conséquences sur la santé.
Some conflicts, such as the one between Israel and Palestine, are at the forefront of the media scene and tend to obscure other no less violent crises. In Africa, there are many conflicts running that are less known to the public. The forms they take and the reasons behind them are manifold: ...
The population of Sub-Saharan Africa is continuing to grow at twice the rate recorded in Latin America and Asia. This exceptional population growth is a major handicap for efforts to achieve the UN’s Millennium Development Objectives (MDO) in most of the countries lying South of the Sahara. With ...