Healthcare news from around the world brought to you courtesy of Africa’s leading air ambulance service for the week of October 30, 2017.

Measles deaths at all time low

In 2016, an estimated 90,000 people died from measles – an 84% drop from more than 550 000 deaths in 2000 – according to a new report published today by leading health organizations. This marks the first time global measles deaths have fallen below 100 000 per year.

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More than three million people were now at risk of starvation in DR Congo

The head of the UN food agency has appealed for aid to avert a humanitarian crisis in the conflict-wracked DR Congo province of Kasai. David Beasley told the BBC that more than three million people were now at risk of starvation. He warned that hundreds of thousands of children could die in the coming months if aid was not delivered.

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Red Cross to scale back aid to Afghanistan

The international group has operated continuously in the country for 30 years. Some of its aid workers have been abducted and killed over that span of time, but the intensity of attacks has stepped up. In the past 11 months, Red Cross workers were targeted three times. Two of the incidents took place while staff members were traveling on the country’s dangerous roads. Then came the attack in September that set a new precedent.

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WHO is working to contain rare virus at Uganda- Kenya border

WHO is working to contain an outbreak of Marburg virus disease (MVD) that has appeared in eastern Uganda on the border with Kenya. At least one person is confirmed to have died of MVD and several hundred people may have been exposed to the virus at health facilities and at traditional burial ceremonies in Kween District, a mountainous area 300 kilometres northeast of Kampala.

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30 million newborns will die within first 28 days of life between 2017 and 2030

Every day in 2016, 15 000 children died before their fifth birthday, 46% of them – or 7 000 babies – died in the first 28 days of life, according to a new UN report. Levels and Trends in Child Mortality 2017, reveals that although the number of children dying before the age of five is at a new low– 5.6 million in 2016, compared with nearly 9.9 million in 2000 – the proportion of under-five deaths in the newborn period has increased from 41% to 46% during the same period.

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Tuberculosis world’s top infectious killer

The United Nations agency said that although efforts to combat tuberculosis (TB) have saved an estimated 53 million lives since 2000 and reduced the diseases’ mortality rate by 37 per cent, it nevertheless remained 2016’s top infectious killer, the main cause of deaths related to antimicrobial resistance and the leading killer of people with HIV.

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The outbreak of plague in Madagascar has spread to the Seychelles

The outbreak of plague in Madagascar has spread to the Seychelles, a nearby chain of islands in the Indian Ocean, the country’s health ministry said Wednesday. According to the ministry, a 34-year-old man who fell ill after returning from Madagascar on Friday has tested positive for pneumonic plague. He is now in isolation at Seychelles Hospital and is receiving antibiotics.

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This news was brought to you by the Flying Doctors Nigeria.

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