Health

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Health in Transition

It is no longer rare for inhabitants of the Global South to die from cancer or diabetes. In these regions, non-communicable diseases now cause more deaths than infectious ones. This is due to changing diets and new—more urban and industrialised—lifestyle habits. Populations must also cope with the...

The Challenges of the Sub-Saharan Urban Explosion

Sub-Saharan African cities are presently growing at a size and speed unprecedented in human history. This region of the continent, which was always very rural up to now, is becoming predominantly urban. Small, medium-sized and large cities are doubling in size year on year, with some growing by 1...
Marilyne Bonnet, souriante, sur un fond végétal, posant à côté d'un panneau indiquant "Epicentre"

Maryline Bonnet: from humanitarian medicine to clinical research

Distinguished scientists do not always follow a traditional academic path. That is certainly true for Maryline Bonnet who just received the Christophe Mérieux Prize for her work fighting tuberculosis and HIV. She began her career as a practising pulmonologist travelling the globe to care for people...

Cesarean deliveries in India: too many and yet too few

Had India fallen prey to the epidemic of cesarean currently affecting many countries in the world? Thanks to the data issued from the latest National Family and Health Survey, Christophe Z. Guilmoto and Alexandre Dumont, both IRD researchers, have been able to chart some of the main trends and...

Verbal autopsies: a public health tool

Months after the burial a questionnaire to people close to the deceased allow to establish cause of death when it hadn’t been certified by a professional.
Vignette

Spitting to stop paludism

The effects of gold mining in rivers in French Guiana

A study conducted in the French Guiana basin where artisanal gold mining in occurs has shown there is mercury in the environment from these activities. It is even found in the piscivorous fish and indigenous communities that eat food from the rivers affected. These are important and innovative...
digue-d-atar

Malaria: P. vivax detected in the oasis of Atar

For the first time, the presence of the Plasmodium vivax parasite has been confirmed in Atar, northern Mauritania: it is responsible for most cases of malaria. It is therefore crucial to take every step to avoid an epidemic, not just in Mauritania but also in North Africa, or even beyond, notably in...
test-arsenic

The Uros of Bolivia, adept at neutralising arsenic

A study of women from various Bolivian communities shows that these peoples drink water containing elevated levels of arsenic on a daily basis. While the toxic effects of the regular ingestion of this substance are well known, these women’s bodies seem particularly adept at “neutralising” the poison...
trois-jeunes-indiennes-vues-de-dos

How the world deals with abortion

Voluntary termination of pregnancy is the subject of ideological debate as well as health policies. Demographer Agnès Guillaume, co-author with Clémentine Rossier of an extensive review of the subject*, sheds light on the right, access to and practice of abortion in the world today.
ecole-nyamsong-cameroun

Onchocerciasis and epilepsy: a strong temporal link

There is a long-running debate within the scientific community as to whether onchocerciasis causes epilepsy. For the first time, a cohort study clearly shows a temporal connection between the two.
hbv-institut-pasteur

Liver cancer: the Peruvian exception

Scientists and physicians are attempting to decipher the ins and outs of the atypical epidemiology of liver cancer in Peru, where young people are particularly affected by the disease. Their research highlights risk factors which were hitherto unknown.
chimpanze-reserve-de-la-lekedi

Malaria: cracking the genome of P. vivax-like

Research by experts in primates, mosquitoes and malaria parasites sheds light on the emergence of a form of the disease which affects human populations throughout the tropical world. It opens up new avenues for combating this scourge.
The monitoring of antiretroviral treatments by the medical staff affects the health of HIV patients.

Making the most of HIV treatments in Cameroon

A study on the effectiveness of VIH/AIDS treatments in Cameroon, conducted for the first time in urban and rural areas, highlights insufficient treatment success rates. It calls for the enhanced biological monitoring and support of patients by caregivers, including in the hinterland.
plat-de-fos-rotis

Larvae on the menu

According to an FAO report, there will be 9.7 billion human beings on the planet in 2050. Food production must increase by 70% to feed everyone. In this context, insects appear to be a possible source of alternative food. But what is their nutritional value? We focus on that of palm weevil larvae.
The fruit clusters of Coccoloba uvifera give it its nickname of sea grape.

Unwavering symbiosis

Research conducted on the introduction of a tree from extreme environments into the sand dunes of Senegal shows its solid relationship with a fungus. This fungus naturally accompanies the tree from its environment of origin, on the other side of the Atlantic.
mfa-mosquito-feeding

Protecting mosquitoes to protect humans from malaria

Scientists are researching a vaccine intended to interrupt the life cycle of Plasmodium, the malaria parasite. This original approach, designed to reduce the pressure of the disease on exposed populations, has just been tested in the natural environment of the parasite.
Le Burkina Faso s'empare du défi de la couverture santé universelle.

The challenge of universal health coverage

Universal health coverage is the theme of World Health Day , on 7 April. Are policy guidelines for its implementation, notably for the poorest, known and applied by health professionals? Possible answers from Burkina Faso.
mesure-des-arbres-mule-hole

Roots in search of water

Why are there differences in the growth of a dozen tree species in an Indian forest? Their rooting depth and ability to overcome exceptional droughts. And the most resilient are not the ones we may have imagined…
Cowpea roots bear nodules which contain nitrogen-fixing bacteria.

Lipids that boost symbiosis

Certain legumes form a symbiotic relationship with bacteria! Tucked into their roots, these bacteria increase the crop yield of these plants. These bacteria, capable of producing lipid molecules known as hopanoids, therefore seem to provide a distinct advantage.