SciCombinator

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Concept: Mandinka people

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An Ebola outbreak started in December 2013 in Guinea and spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone in 2014. The health systems in place in the three countries lacked the infrastructure and the preparation to respond to the outbreak quickly and the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared a public health emergency of international concern on August 8 2014.

Concepts: Africa, Nigeria, West Africa, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Economic Community of West African States, Guinea, Mandinka people

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The death of a mother is a tragedy in itself but it can also have devastating effects for the survival of her children. We aim to explore the impact of a mother’s death on child survival in rural Gambia, West Africa.

Concepts: Africa, West Africa, Ghana, The Gambia, Senegal, Atlantic slave trade, Fula people, Mandinka people

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Malaria remains a pervasive public health problem in sub-Saharan West Africa. Here mosquito vector populations were explored across four sites in Mali and the Republic of Guinea (Guinea Conakry). The study samples the major ecological zones of malaria-endemic regions in West Africa within a relatively small distance.

Concepts: Malaria, Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, West Africa, Mali, Liberia, Guinea, Mandinka people

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The first part of this article compares the distribution of chimpanzee and elephant populations in reaction to human territorial dynamics of West African trade in parts of nineteenth century Guinea, Guinea-Bissau and Senegal. It answers for this specific region the question of whether present-day situations of close chimpanzee-human spatial proximity are stable or only temporary phenomena in long-term processes of environmental change, and shows that conservation policies centred on either of these two “flagship” species carry radically different ecological, political and territorial implications. The second part shifts to local-level perspectives on human-chimpanzee relationships, emphasizing the land rights contentions and misunderstandings created by the implementation of protected areas at Bossou and in the Boké region of Guinea. These case studies help to look at acts of resistance and local interpretations of primate conservation policies as opportunities to reconsider what is being protected, for what purpose, as whose heritage, and to move towards new and more legitimate opportunities for the implementation of conservation policies.

Concepts: Human, Africa, West Africa, Mali, Fula people, Economic Community of West African States, Guinea, Mandinka people

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The largest and most complex Ebola epidemic in history is believed to have started with the infection of a 2-year-old boy in South-eastern Guinea in late 2013. Within a year, thousands of children and their families had contracted the virus, many had died and many more were orphaned. We reflect on our experiences of volunteering at the Kerry Town Ebola Treatment Centre in Sierra Leone between January and February 2015, where we were deployed to care for just a few of these children as part of the Save The Children team.

Concepts: West Africa, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Freetown, Economic Community of West African States, Guinea, Mandinka people, Susu people

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Access to antiretroviral treatment (ART) becomes more and more effective in resource-limited settings (RLS). However, this global effort would be even more profitable if the access to laboratory services especially in decentralized settings was strengthened. We report the virological outcome and HIV-1 drug resistance in three West African countries using dried blood spots (DBS) samples.

Concepts: HIV, AIDS, Africa, West Africa, Mali, Senegal, Guinea, Mandinka people

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On August 29, 2014, Senegal confirmed its first case of Ebola virus disease (Ebola) in a Guinean man, aged 21 years, who had traveled from Guinea to Dakar, Senegal, in mid-August to visit family. Senegalese medical and public health personnel were alerted about this patient after public health staff in Guinea contacted his family in Senegal on August 27. The patient had been admitted to a referral hospital in Senegal on August 26. He was promptly isolated, and a blood sample was sent for laboratory confirmation; Ebola was confirmed by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction at Institut Pasteur Dakar on August 29. The patient’s mother and sister had been admitted to an Ebola treatment unit in Guinea on August 26, where they had named the patient as a contact and reported his recent travel to Senegal. Ebola was likely transmitted to the family from the brother of the patient, who had traveled by land from Sierra Leone to Guinea in early August seeking treatment from a traditional healer. The brother died in Guinea on August 10; family members, including the patient, participated in preparing the body for burial.

Concepts: Microbiology, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Economic Community of West African States, Guinea, Mandinka people

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The Bandafassi Health and Demographic Surveillance System (Bandafassi HDSS) is located in south-eastern Senegal, near the borders with Mali and Guinea. The area is 700 km from the national capital, Dakar. The population under surveillance is rural and in 2012 comprised 13 378 inhabitants living in 42 villages. Established in 1970, originally for genetic studies, and initially covering only villages inhabited by one subgroup of the population of the area (the Mandinka), the project was transformed a few years later into a HDSS and then extended to the two other subgroups living in the area: Fula villages in 1975, and Bedik villages in 1980. Data have been collected through annual rounds since the project first began. On each visit, investigators review the composition of all the households, checking the lists of people who were present in each household the previous year and gathering information about births, marriages, migrations and deaths (including their causes) since then. One specific feature of the Bandafassi HDSS is the availability of genealogies.

Concepts: Genetics, Demography, West Africa, Mali, Senegal, Guinea, French West Africa, Mandinka people