In Short

Tuesday 15 April 2008

>> Governments of Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast have announced a joint health programme to tackle a meningitis epidemic, which has gripped the bordering area of the two countries. By the second week of March, the disease killed 441 people in Burkina Faso and 44 people in Ivory Coast. More than 6,000 people are suffering from the disease in the two countries.

>> The US government has declared the North Pacific Right Whale (Eubalaena japonica) "endangered" under the Federal Endangered Species Act. The large whale once used to range from California to Alaska and across the North Pacific. Now, less than 50 individuals are found in the Bering Sea.

>> Japanese police have confirmed high levels of methamidophos, a pesticide, in the dumplings from China that poisoned a Japanese family in late January. The level of methamidophos in the dumplings was 10,000 times higher than the safety level, which means the pesticide was purposely mixed, said the police.

>> Yemen and WHO have come up with a programme to combat bilharzia, a parasitic disease caused by snails. The disease causes 2,000 deaths and affects three million people in the country every year. Yemen is the only country in the West Asia that has not eliminated the disease.

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