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Concept: Senegal


Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention (SMC) with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) plus amodiaquine (AQ), given each month during the transmission season, is recommended for children living in areas of the Sahel where malaria transmission is highly seasonal. The recommendation for SMC is currently limited to children under five years of age, but, in many areas of seasonal transmission, the burden in older children may justify extending this age limit. This study was done to determine the effectiveness of SMC in Senegalese children up to ten years of age.

Concepts: Malaria, Africa, Season, Limited, Senegal, Sahel


Over many decades our understanding of the impacts of intermittent drought in water-limited environments like the West African Sahel has been influenced by a narrative of overgrazing and human-induced desertification. The desertification narrative has persisted in both scientific and popular conception, such that recent regional-scale recovery (“regreening”) and local success stories (community-led conservation efforts) in the Sahel, following the severe droughts of the 1970s-1980s, are sometimes ignored. Here we report a study of watershed-scale vegetation dynamics in 260 watersheds, sampled in four regions of Senegal, Mali, and Niger from 1983-2012, using satellite-derived vegetation indices as a proxy for net primary production. In response to earlier controversy, we first examine the shape of the rainfall-net primary production relationship and how it impacts conclusions regarding greening or degradation. We conclude that the choice of functional relationship has little quantitative impact on our ability to infer greening or degradation trends. We then present an approach to analyze changes in long-term (decade-scale) average rain-use efficiency (an indicator of slowly responding vegetation structural changes) relative to changes in interannual-scale rainfall sensitivity (an indicator of landscape ability to respond rapidly to rainfall variability) to infer trends in greening/degradation of the watersheds in our sample regions. The predominance of increasing rain-use efficiency in our data supports earlier reports of a “greening” trend across the Sahel. However, there are strong regional differences in the extent and direction of change, and in the apparent role of changing woody and herbaceous components in driving those temporal trends.

Concepts: Africa, Sahara, Nigeria, West Africa, Niger, Senegal, Sahel, Desertification


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


The malaria burden has decreased significantly in recent years in Africa through the widespread use of artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) and long-lasting insecticide-treated nets (LLINs). However, the occurrence of malaria resurgences, the loss of immunity of exposed populations constitute among other factors, serious concerns about the future of malaria elimination efforts. This study investigated the evolution of malaria morbidity in Dielmo (Senegal) before and after the implementation of LLINs.

Concepts: Immune system, Malaria, Africa, Future, The Loss, The Gambia, Senegal, Dakar


Infectious diarrhea leads to significant mortality in children, with 40 % of these deaths occurring in Africa. Classic human astroviruses are a well-established etiology of diarrhea. In recent years, seven novel astroviruses have been discovered (MLB1, MLB2, MLB3, VA1/HMO-C, VA2/HMO-B, VA3/HMO-A, VA4); however, there have been few studies on their prevalence or potential association with diarrhea.

Concepts: Africa, West Africa, Ghana, The Gambia, Senegal, Prehistory, Military dictatorship, Atlantic slave trade


Peer outreach harm reduction initiatives are being developed with and for people who use drugs in Dakar, Senegal. This is in response to growing injecting drug use across the West Africa region and linked emerging epidemics of HIV and hepatitis C. We undertook formative qualitative research to explore the feasibility and potential of peer outreach in this context and in particular how outreach could be linked to fostering community-level processes of change.

Concepts: Africa, Hepatitis C, Drug addiction, West Africa, Quantitative research, Drug injection, Senegal, Dakar


Hundreds of millions of Afro-Palaearctic migrants winter in the Sahel, a semi-arid belt south of the Sahara desert, where they experience deteriorating ecological conditions during their overwintering stay and have to prepare for spring migration when conditions are worst. This well-known phenomenon was first described by R.E. Moreau and is known ever since as Moreau’s Paradox. However, empirical evidence of the deteriorating seasonal ecological conditions is limited and little is known on how birds respond. Montagu’s Harriers Circus pygargus spend 6 months of the year in their wintering areas in the Sahel. Within the wintering season, birds move gradually to the south, visiting several distinct sites to which they are site-faithful in consecutive years. At the last wintering site, birds find themselves at the southern edge of the Sahelian zone and have no other options than facing deteriorating conditions. We tracked 36 Montagu’s Harriers with GPS trackers to study their habitat use and behaviour during winter and collected data on the abundance of their main prey, grasshoppers, in Senegal. Since grasshopper abundance was positively related to vegetation greenness (measured as normalized difference vegetation index, NDVI), we used NDVI values as a proxy for prey abundance in areas where no field data were collected. Prey abundance (grasshopper counts and vegetation greenness) at wintering sites of Montagu’s Harriers decreased during the wintering period. Montagu’s Harriers responded to decreasing food availability by increasing their flight time during the second half of the winter. Individuals increased flight time more in areas with stronger declines in NDVI values, suggesting that lower food abundance required more intense foraging to achieve energy requirements. The apparent consequence was that Montagu’s Harriers departed later in spring when their final wintering site had lower NDVI values and presumably lower food abundance and consequently arrived later at their breeding site. Our results confirmed the suggestions Moreau made 40 years ago: the late wintering period might be a bottleneck during the annual cycle with possible carry-over effects to the breeding season. Ongoing climate change with less rainfall in the Sahel region paired with increased human pressure on natural and agricultural habitats resulting in degradation and desertification is likely to make this period more demanding, which may negatively impact populations of migratory birds using the Sahel.

Concepts: Africa, Sahara, Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad, Senegal, Sahel, Desertification


Malaria hotspots, areas with consistently higher than average transmission, may become increasingly common as malaria declines. This phenomenon, currently observed in The Gambia, may be caused by several factors, including some related to the local vectors, whose contribution is poorly understood.

Concepts: Malaria, Africa, Observation, Pesticide, English language, The Gambia, Senegal, Fula people


Infections caused by extended-spectrum beta-lactamases producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBL-E) are of major concern in clinical practice because of limited therapeutic options effective to treat them. Published studies showed that ESBL-E, widely spread in Europe, United States or Asia; are also frequent in Africa. However, the impact of ESBL-E infections is yet to be adequately determined in Sub-Saharan African countries, particularly in Senegal. The aim of our study was to estimate the incidence rate of ESBL-E infections and to assess their clinical and economic impact in Senegal.

Concepts: Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa, Sahara, Hospital, Southern Africa, Senegal, Dakar


The prevalence and consequences of malaria among infants are not well characterized and may be underestimated. A better understanding of the risk for malaria in early infancy is critical for drug development and informed decision making. In a cross-sectional survey in Guinea, The Gambia, and Benin, countries with different malaria transmission intensities, the overall prevalence of malaria among infants <6 months of age was 11.8% (Guinea, 21.7%; The Gambia, 3.7%; and Benin, 10.2%). Seroprevalence ranged from 5.7% in The Gambia to 41.6% in Guinea. Mean parasite densities in infants were significantly lower than those in children 1-9 years of age in The Gambia (p<0.0001) and Benin (p = 0.0021). Malaria in infants was significantly associated with fever or recent history of fever (p = 0.007) and anemia (p = 0.001). Targeted preventive interventions, adequate drug formulations, and treatment guidelines are needed to address the sizeable prevalence of malaria among young infants in malaria-endemic countries.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Malaria, Africa, Risk, West Africa, Senegal, Atlantic slave trade, Economic Community of West African States