Africa

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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...

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

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...
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.
black-bass

Biodiversity of freshwater fish in turmoil

In the last few centuries, 15% of new fish species have been introduced by Man into rivers across the world. Researchers have found that these introductions alter the ecosystem to a much larger extent than originally anticipated.
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.
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.
Wild form of millet in the Sahara

Genetic diversity in millet: a past and future adaptive advantage

Having sequenced the millet genome, an international consortium involving French researchers from IRD, Indian, Chinese researchers and numerous laboratories from the North and South, studied different wild and cultivated varieties. This allowed them to trace the history of cultivated millet and...
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.
Root nodules of Discaria (Order: Rosales), a non-legume species capable of nitrogen-fixing symbiosis.

Nitrogen-fixing symbioses reveal themselves

Recent research has revealed the origin and evolution of symbiotic relationships between certain plants and soil bacteria in order to use atmospheric nitrogen. This knowledge could ultimately contribute to the development of sustainable agriculture minimising the use of chemical fertilisers.
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.
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.
Aedes aegypti takes the most from fertilisers to develop faster.

Fertilisers beneficial to… mosquitoes

Fertiliser application promotes the proliferation of mosquitoes, notably in rice fields and food crops. The concomitant use of insecticides increases the risk of resistance. New strategies to combat these disease-transmitting insects are required.
aedes-albopictus

The Asian tiger mosquito enjoys car journeys

Original research shows the role of car journeys in the spread of the Asian tiger mosquito in Europe. Accustomed to freight transportation, this invasive species also uses passenger vehicles to propagate. It is seemingly found in 5 out of 1,000 cars.