John Campbell

Africa in Transition

Campbell tracks political and security developments across sub-Saharan Africa.

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Showing posts for "Public Health"

HIV/AIDS, South Africa, and the United States

by John Campbell
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton talks with South Africa's Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi after attending a PEPFAR (U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) Transition Signing, at Delft South Clinic in Delft South, a suburb of Cape Town, August 8, 2012. (Jacquelyn Martin-Pool/Courtesy Reuters) U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton talks with South Africa's Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi after attending a PEPFAR (U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) Transition Signing, at Delft South Clinic in Delft South, a suburb of Cape Town, August 8, 2012. (Jacquelyn Martin-Pool/Courtesy Reuters)

In the aftermath of the miracle of a democratic transition from apartheid to “non-racial” democracy, South Africa faced a disease nightmare. During the presidencies of Nelson Mandela and his successor, Thabo Mbeki, up to a third of some population groups in South Africa were victims of HIV/AIDS. Deaths soared, and the national life expectancy dropped by a decade. Read more »

Ebola “a Complete Disaster”

by John Campbell
A health worker, wearing head-to-toe protective gear, offers water to a woman with Ebola, at a treatment centre for infected persons, as a young boy stands nearby in Kenema Government Hospital, in Kenema, Eastern Province, Sierra Leone, in this handout photo courtesy of UNICEF taken in July 2014. (UNICEF/Courtesy Reuters) A health worker, wearing head-to-toe protective gear, offers water to a woman with Ebola, at a treatment centre for infected persons, as a young boy stands nearby in Kenema Government Hospital, in Kenema, Eastern Province, Sierra Leone, in this handout photo courtesy of UNICEF taken in July 2014. (UNICEF/Courtesy Reuters)

This is the conclusion of Dr. Joanne Liu, MD, president of Doctors Without Borders (Medicins Sans Frontieres-MSF). Her interview in the New York Times is a compelling must-read for those watching Ebola and West Africa. Far from echoing the cautious optimism that the disease may be coming under control in certain areas, she says, “no one yet has the full measure of the magnitude of this crisis. We don’t have good data collection. We don’t have enough surveillance.” Read more »

Ebola, Fear, and Better Communication

by John Campbell
A U.N. convoy of soldiers passes a screen displaying a message on Ebola on a street in Abidjan, August 14, 2014. (Luc Gnago/Courtesy Reuters) A U.N. convoy of soldiers passes a screen displaying a message on Ebola on a street in Abidjan, August 14, 2014. (Luc Gnago/Courtesy Reuters)

Ebola is fearful. Its symptoms include raging fever, bleeding from orifices (including the eyes and ears), diarrhea, and vomiting. The mortality rate is high. Caregivers move about in space suits. Necessary care for the sick and proper medical practices, including quarantine and the burial methods, are contrary to the strong family and community-centered values of traditional West African society. Read more »

Health Workers Pay the Ultimate Price in the West African Fight against Ebola

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
Medical staff working with Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF) prepare to bring food to patients kept in an isolation area at the MSF Ebola treatment center in Kailahun, Sierra Leone, July 20, 2014 (Tommy Trenchard/Courtesy Reuters). Medical staff working with Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF) prepare to bring food to patients kept in an isolation area at the MSF Ebola treatment center in Kailahun, Sierra Leone, July 20, 2014 (Tommy Trenchard/Courtesy Reuters).

This is a guest post by Mohamed Jallow, grants officer at IntraHealth International, a nonprofit organization that empowers health workers around the world to better serve their communities. A version of this post originally appeared on VITAL, IntraHealth International’s blog. Read more »

Bringing Solar Power and Hope to the DRC

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
War-orphaned children sit in cardboard boxes at the Kizito orphanage in Bunia in northeastern Congo, February 24, 2009. (Finbarr O'Reilly/Courtesy Reuters) War-orphaned children sit in cardboard boxes at the Kizito orphanage in Bunia in northeastern Congo, February 24, 2009. (Finbarr O'Reilly/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Allen Grane, former intern for the Council on Foreign Relations Africa Studies program. Allen is currently an officer in the Army National Guard. His interests are in Africa, conflict, and conflict resolution. Read more »

United Nations: Harsh Realities and Hard Lessons

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
A barefoot girl jumps over an open drain filled with rubbish at Tomping camp in Juba, South Sudan, January 10, 2014. (Andreea Campeanu/Courtesy Reuters) A barefoot girl jumps over an open drain filled with rubbish at Tomping camp in Juba, South Sudan, January 10, 2014. (Andreea Campeanu/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Alex Dick-Godfrey, program coordinator, Studies administration for the Council on Foreign Relations Studies Program.

International peacekeeping missions in Sudan and South Sudan received a lot of bad press last week from a number of different sources. Together these reports challenge a basic tenant of United States (U.S.) policy toward Africa–that peacekeeping missions, in their current form, work. Read more »

South Africa: Progress in HIV/AIDS

by John Campbell
A member of Grandmothers Against Aids and Poverty (GAPA) takes part in an exercise class in Cape Town's Khayelitsha township, February 23, 2010. (Finbarr O'Reilly/Courtesy Reuters) A member of Grandmothers Against Aids and Poverty (GAPA) takes part in an exercise class in Cape Town's Khayelitsha township, February 23, 2010. (Finbarr O'Reilly/Courtesy Reuters)

South Africa has been ground zero in the HIV/AIDS tragedy. In 2011, about 5.6 million people were HIV positive, about 12 percent of South Africa’s population. According to the Economist, the HIV/AID disease burden was born disproportionately by blacks, 13 percent of whom were HIV positive. For Coloureds it was 3 percent; for whites, 1 percent. South African women also carry a disproportionate burden; they account for more than half of all new cases of infection. Read more »

Gay Marriage and Goodluck Jonathan’s Tricky Position

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
President Goodluck Jonathan presents his administration's midterm report during Democracy Day in Abuja May 29, 2013. (Afolabi Sotunde/Courtesy Reuters) President Goodluck Jonathan presents his administration's midterm report during Democracy Day in Abuja May 29, 2013. (Afolabi Sotunde/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Dominic Bocci, assistant director at the Council on Foreign Relations’ David Rockefeller Studies Program.

The passage of the Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Bill on May 31, 2013, by the Nigerian House of Representatives places President Goodluck Jonathan in a tricky position. Not signing the bill risks alienating his own government and signaling to the general public that he does not support one of the few issues that brings the majority of Nigerians together. Alternatively, signing such legislation may cost the country substantial sums of international aid and investment. Either way, gay marriage—an otherwise unlikely political issue—may significantly influence the Nigerian political debate leading up to the 2015 national elections. Read more »

Polio is Back in the Horn of Africa

by John Campbell
A newly arrived Somali refugee child receives a polio drop at the Ifo extension refugee camp in Dadaab, near the Kenya-Somalia border, August 1, 2011. (Thomas Mukoya/Courtesy Reuters) A newly arrived Somali refugee child receives a polio drop at the Ifo extension refugee camp in Dadaab, near the Kenya-Somalia border, August 1, 2011. (Thomas Mukoya/Courtesy Reuters)

In April, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported the new presence of wild polio virus type 1 (WPV1) in the Banadir region of Somalia. The initial victim was a thirty-two month old girl. By the end of May, there were four polio cases in Somalia. The WHO has also announced a confirmed case of polio at Kenya’s Dadaab refugee camp, the world’s largest, housing 424,000 people from central Africa and the horn, close to the border of Somalia. This is Kenya’s first polio outbreak in two years. Read more »

The Great Green Wall of Africa

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
A dried up river filled with sand winds its way across the desert near Gos Beida in eastern Chad June 5, 2008. (Finbarr O'Reilly/Courtesy Reuters). A dried up river filled with sand winds its way across the desert near Gos Beida in eastern Chad June 5, 2008. (Finbarr O'Reilly/Courtesy Reuters).

This is a guest post by Kyle Benjamin Schneps; a dual master’s degree candidate at Columbia University specializing in international security policy and global health initiatives. He is currently completing a graduate internship with the Africa Studies program at Council on Foreign Relations. Read more »