Accessing nutrition program in Malawi/Photo credit: Sufilana Alubino, USAID

Local Customs, Health care and Other Reports

Every week, collate reports on development issues in rural Africa and its environs.

This report includes some of our top picks from recent must-read research, interviews, blogs, and in-depth articles, carefully selected to help you keep up with global issues.

Here are some of the updates you may have missed from the previous week:

WHO: Africa’s healthcare suffering from lack of funding

A lack of funding is hampering the fight to improve healthcare in Africa, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) regional director for the continent has warned, calling for additional resources to improve access to life-saving treatments.

More than 445,000 people were killed by malaria in 2016, with Africa accounting for 91 percent of those deaths.

Last year also saw reported malaria cases rising to 216m, up from 211m compared with the year before, according to the WHO’s latest global report. Ninety percent of those cases were in Africa.

Africa’s Battle Against Malnutrition Can Be Won. These 4 Principles Will Help

Don’t leave rural areas behind

Many countries in Africa have predominantly rural populations. Leaving these areas out of plans to tackle malnutrition means leaving millions of people behind. Remote villages often suffer from food shortages, partly because they are inaccessible, but also because they are particularly susceptible to the effects of climate change.                        

In southern Madagascar, local custom presses girls into sex at a young age

UNICEF and humanitarian agencies have long struggled to end child marriage, but cultural customs are often difficult to change in rural communities. For decades, the U.N. has urged countries to modify traditions that hurt women and children, but practices such as female genital mutilation, forcing widows to marry brothers-in-law, child marriage, virginity testing and witch-killing endure in some parts of the world, including Africa.

Transformation of Africa’s rural areas is key to curtailing migration, says Adesina

As Africa joins the rest of the world to commemorate International Migrants Day today, the African Development Bank (ADB) has called on countries in the continent to reconstruct rural areas from zone of economic misery to that of prosperity.

ADB says this will in turn expand economic opportunities for African youth, leading to improvements in their lives, thereby stemming migration.

ADB noted that greater economic opportunities would motivate African youth to stay on the continent and live a meaningful life.

South Africa: The Importance of Unearthing Rural Talent & How to Do It

Why is unearthing rural talent this important though and why do such measures need to be put into place and breeding schools built?

By investing into such a project, not only does the country’s football benefit by gaining more depth and unique talents, but it also helps uplift the very communities from which those players came from. It goes a long way to enriching lives and improving the socio-economic standards of those communities while providing hope where previously there was none. People and other aspiring youngsters will then have someone to look up to. The star unearthed will most likely give back and invest even more into his/her community with his new-found financial standing (perhaps in non-football investments such as the building of hospitals) and much

Ghana to begin vaccine production     

Merck KGaA and Ridge Management Solutions (also trading as RMS Innovativ) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), opening the opportunity for Ghana to become the first country in Sub-Saharan Africa to have a dedicated human vaccine manufacturing factory.

The plant will encompass a diverse range of products in the medium to long term.



Busayo Sotunde is a prolific writer with special focus on Business, Entrepreneurship, Reproductive Health and other development issues in Africa. Her articles have been published by different outlets including Investing Port and She has a penchant for reading and sustainable development. Follow Busayo on Twitter @BusayomiSotunde

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