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Broken Systems
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December 2014 Edition


The outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in West-Africa is horrendous. The epidemic, that started in the beginning of 2014, has taken the lives of thousands of people, with approximately 20,000 infected. But in countries as Senegal and Nigeria, the virus didn’t spread fast. This article discusses the outbreak itself briefly, but focusses on why the countries that are battling the epidemic are having so much trouble doing so, when other countries control it reasonably fast.

The current outbreak of the virus started on March the 21st in Guinea, West-Africa. The epidemic is mainly active in Guinea, Sierra-Leone and Liberia. The Ebola virus is a hemorrhagic fever disease, and related to diseases as Marburg and yellow fever. The natural reservoir of Ebola is most likely wild fruit bats; humans may contract the virus directly from infected bats, or secondarily from bush animals that are infected by bats. Human-to-human infection is sustained when people come into contact with blood or other bodily fluids (urine, sweat, vomit) from infected people.

At the time of writing this article, the death count has almost reached 5,000, and the number of infected people is close to 15,000. The survival rate is only 30%. The World Health Organization (WHO) expressed its concern on the 14th of October, fearing that the number of new infections will be around 10,000 a week if immediate action isn’t taken.



Gabon and Burkina Faso, from Group C, and Senegal and Tunisia, from Group G, as well as the best third-placed team, DR Congo completed the list of 16 teams that will take place in the 2015 African Nations Cup (AFCON), to be hosted by Equatorial Guinea from 17 January to 8 February, next year.

At the end of their Day 6 matches, Gabon defeated Lesotho 4-2 to win Group C with 12 points and qualify for Equatorial Guinea, ahead of Burkina Faso which also qualified on 11 points after drawing 1-1 with Angola.

In Group G, Tunisia beat Egypt 2-1 and qualified with 14 points while Senegal defeated Botswana 3-0 to go through on 13 points.

The four teams join South Africa and Congo from Group A, Algeria and Mali from Group B, Cameroon and Cote d'Ivoire from Group D, Ghana and Guinea from Group E, and Cape Verde and Zambia from Group F.

Here is the list of qualifiers:

1.  Equatorial Guinea - Host and automatic qualifier.
2.  South Africa
3.  Congo
4.  Algeria
5.  Mali
6. Gabon
7.  Burkina Faso
8.  Cameroon
9.  Cote d'Ivoire
. Ghana
11. Guinea
12. Cape Verde
13. Zambia
14. Tunisia
15. Senegal
16. DR Congo - The best third-placed team


Arthur Zang, a young entrepreneur from Cameroon, is among this year’s winners of the prestigious Rolex Awards for Enterprise for inventing what is perhaps Africa’s first medical tablet. The awards are given every year by the Royal Society of London, one of the oldest academic associations in the United Kingdom.

The medical device allows health-care workers to send cardiac test results to heart specialists via mobile-phones.

Mr. Zang’s device, called the Cardiopad, is a digital medical touch screen tablet that performs electrocardiogram (ECG) tests to determine the heart’s activity as well as diagnose life-threatening ailments. What makes the Cardiopad particularly remarkable is that it can be used even in rural locations because it has a long battery life and can send test results to specialists using cell phones.

The Cardiopad sells for $2,000, which is significantly less than conventional electro-cardiograghs.


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Other articles in this edition


Read the full text of articles below:

 Africa News

  • Zambia President Michael Sata: State funeral held
  • UN envoy lauds progress in Somalia

  • Sudan seeks better relations with US, neighbours

  • Britain wants Nigeria to deal more decisively with Boko Haram

  • Police probe Malawi envoy son's killing in Kenya

  • Ghana begins gas production

  • AU/UN welcomes Burkina Faso’s return to civilian rule

 Dutch News

  • More people in the Netherlands have diabetes

  • Many foreign partners are jobless and isolated

  • Changes to passport services abroad

  • Too many immigrants in the Netherlands?

  • Drop in crime rates continues

  • No drug testing at festivals

  • Only 6.5% of jobless benefit claimants end on welfare


    Belgium News

    • Fare increases on public transport

    • Integration courses means double exams

    • Taxi discrimination claims

    • Name change for Antwerp Province?

    • "Electric cars as polluting as cars running on petrol"

    • Improvements to bus and metro services

     Sports News 

    Edited by K. Jemael Mohamed

    • Symbols of 2015 African Games unveiled
    • CAF bans dual-citizenplayer for two years

    • Kenya to expand premier league teams to 18

    • Toure shortlisted for FIFA top player award

    • Ghana appeals CAF's disqualification of team

    • ..And More

    Other News

    • Church founder had 40 wives
    • 55,500 euro in woman’s stomach

    • Bogus groom marries undercover journalist

    • Africa’s first drone to be built in 2016

    •  ... And More 

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