Ghana has taken a major step towards reducing its under-five mortality rate by becoming the first African country to introduce two new vaccines for rotavirus and pneumococcal disease.
Fifteen-year-old Aicha is one of the many spice vendors hawking their wares in the Dantokpa market, in Benin's economic capital, Cotonou. But a closer look at her tidy stall reveals a disturbing detail: the powdered spices are packaged in recycled medicine vials.
They survived floods and witnessed the horrific scenes of their houses, livestock, household items and gardens being swept away at the end of January. Now, the people of the Nsanje and Chikhwawa districts on Malawi’s southern border with Mozambique are facing another menace; a cholera outbreak, which has already killed one child and infected up to 103 people.
If the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) had 1.28 billion dollars it could help 97 million people around the world.
Nadine Mbwol suffers from konzo, an epidemic paralytic disease that affects the lower body. "I lost my marriage because of this disability," she says sadly.
Although there has been considerable progress towards reducing maternal and infant mortality, millions of women and children in Africa are still in need of better health services, food and sanitation.
For the past 10 years, Buruli ulcer has been eating Benjamin Essel’s leg. The skin above his ankle is totally gone, and a swollen, pulpy and reddish wound rises almost up to his knee and wraps around his calf. Even still, this is an improvement over recent years.
Doctors in Mogadishu are warning that famine victims in internally displaced camps have become vulnerable to contagious diseases like cholera and measles, as conditions here are ripe for an outbreak. This comes as internally displaced persons complain that relief aid to some camps has dwindled or stopped.
Malawi is experiencing a drug shortage as the country's international donors remain reluctant to release aid meant for the health sector.
When Aisha Diis* and her five children fled their home in Somalia seeking aid from the famine devastating the region, she could not have known the dangers of the journey, or even fathom that she would be raped along the way.
"Every quarter, more than a hundred women with fistulas - including many younger than 20 years old - are admitted for surgery in Maniema province," says nurse Julie Mawazo. "The number of affected women who don't have the means or awareness to come in must be far greater."
Ester Abeja has experienced both physical and emotional atrocities. She was captured by Uganda's feared rebel group the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and was forced to join them. But not before the soldiers made her kill her one-year- old baby girl, by smashing her skull in, and then gang raped her.
West African health experts are calling for governments to take the prevalence of hepatitis B and C more seriously, and to act to reduce the cost of treatment as part of more effective control of the disease.
Tuberculosis remains a leading cause of death in Mali despite the availability of free treatment. The resurgence of the illness, linked to poverty and HIV infection, could be reduced by changing behaviour, doctors say.
As the first of food aid from the United Nations World Food Programme was airlifted into Mogadishu on Wednesday, it came too late for Qadija Ali's two- year-old son Farah.