Something new out of Africa
A simple diagnostic test can identify most of the children who have life-threatening malaria. A 1995 study that followed 1,844 children admitted to a Kenyan hospital with malaria found that 84% of the deaths occurred in children with impaired consciousness or respiratory distress. Respiratory distress was a risk factor for death even in the absence of impaired consciousness. Respiratory distress can occur when red blood cells infected with the malaria parasite block blood flow to and from the lungs. However, it is possible that some of the children had respiratory distress that was not directly caused by the malaria parasite. Further research on the complications of malaria is desperately needed because the disease kills more than 3,000 people every day, and 90% are children.
Publication Name: The New England Journal of Medicine
Africa on the precipice: an ominous but not yet hopeless future
Health professionals should play an active part in helping the countries of sub-Saharan Africa recover from the effects of natural disasters, the AIDS epidemic and political corruption. Health care workers can help Africa in three ways. They can advocate for additional international aid to Africa. Their research can be used to find solutions to the problems unique to Africa. Health professionals can also volunteer with the many organizations working in Africa. Aid programs should be as flexible and as unbureaucratic as possible. Big-budget, intergovernmental Western aid agencies can learn from the smaller, volunteer, nongovernmental agencies. These smaller agencies have the ability to tailor programs to a specific country's needs and to abandon aid programs that do not work.
Publication Name: JAMA, The Journal of the American Medical Association
Nomads in the Horn of Africa
The first level of health care among the nomadic peoples of the Horn of Africa is provided by relatives and neighbors. Traditional or religious practitioners provide treatment for more serious problems. Herb specialists act as birth attendants.
Publication Name: World Health
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