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News in the Humanosphere: Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launched to prevent next health crisis

A healthcare worker dons in protective gear before entering an Ebola treatment center in the west of Freetown, Sierra Leone. (AP Photo/Michael Duff)

In a double move hailed as a milestone for public health, African leaders have launched an agency to tackle global threats such as Ebola and pledged to make immunization available throughout the continent by 2020. Under the twin commitments, African heads of state will establish regional health centers around the continent, increase funding for immunization, improve supply chains and delivery, and prioritize vaccines as part of broader efforts to strengthen health systems. At the heart of the new health push will be the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which will help countries across the continent to deal with major health emergencies by establishing systems for early warning and response surveillance. Based in Addis Ababa, the new organization will liaise with regional centers in Zambia, Gabon, Kenya, Nigeria and Egypt. (Guardian

#ThisFlag leader arrested…A Zimbabwean pastor, accused last year of trying to overthrow President Robert Mugabe’s government after calling for protests, was arrested at the airport when he flew home from the United States on Wednesday, his lawyer said. Evan Mawarire was previously arrested and charged last July, but was freed by a magistrate’s court which said police had not followed procedure. Harrison Nkomo, his lawyer, said the pastor had been arrested at Harare’s airport and was taken to the capital’s central police station. Police spokeswoman Charity Charamba confirmed Mawarire’s arrest, saying he had an outstanding warrant after failing to appear in court last year. She did not provide more details. (Reuters

Quote of the day: “I think that these measures should be removed sooner rather than later. I think that those measures violate our basic principles, and I think that they are not effective if the objective is to really avoid terrorists to enter the United States.” – U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (AP

Top Stories

An armed group attacked a U.N. technical team working along the border between Nigeria and Cameroon, killing five people and wounding several, the United Nations Office for West Africa said. (Reuters

The U.N.’s top refugee official says the damage to the Syrian city of Aleppo is “much bigger” than what he had thought. (AP

The homicide rate in Rio de Janeiro climbed by 20 percent in 2016 from the previous year, as violence soared in the Brazilian metropolis amid rising unemployment and sharp cuts in public security budgets as the country struggles through a recession. (Reuters

India pledged to spend billions of dollars to boost the rural economy and ease the plight of poor people who were worst hit by the currency ban imposed last year to clamp down on untaxed money.  (VOA

The European Union said that it will speed up talks with Mexico on a new trade agreement amid signals from U.S. President Donald Trump that he intends to renegotiate major international trade pacts including one with Mexico. (AP

At least 94 mentally ill patients died after South African authorities moved them last year from hospital to unlicensed health facilities that were compared to “concentration camps,” a government investigation revealed. (AFP

Longtime DR Congo opposition chief Etienne Tshisekedi died at the age of 84 in Brussels, where he had flown for medical treatment, his political party said. (AFP

Italy pledged $215 million in funds to several African countries as it seeks to slash the number of migrants risking their lives in the Mediterranean to reach Europe. (AFP

Zimbabwe started levying a 15 percent value-added tax on basic foodstuffs, the government said, dealing a further blow to cash-strapped consumers already battling to survive in an ailing economy. (AFP


Based on the recent dengue outbreak situation report for the Solomon Islands, the dengue outbreak has not yet been contained in the country says the Red Cross. (IFCR

The latest in a series of medicine scandals is hitting Mexico with the government’s seizure of almost 47,000 Chinese-made HIV testing kits that it says could give false negative results. (AP


5 Big Global Health Victories to Anticipate in 2017. (UN Dispatch

4 ways cities are financing climate action (Devex

The US tried extra-high tariffs before, in 1930. It was a disaster. (PRI

Better cities, better growth: India’s urban opportunity (ODI Blog

3 Ways Trump’s Travel Ban Could Affect Humanitarian Aid Workers (Goats and Soda

More than half of President Trump’s Global Development Council have resigned (Devex

Watching Oxfam morph into an interdependent networked system (From Poverty to Power

Global Gag Plus, family planning and Australian aid (Dev Policy


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