A pharmacist prescribes medication to an HIV positive patient at a clinic in Kitwe, Zambia.
A pharmacist prescribes medication to an HIV positive patient at a clinic in Kitwe, Zambia. Alamy/The Guardian newspaper

The most important in this week’s headlines out of and concerning Africa, for those who need help catching up.

In this week’s news, the Obama administration provides aid to help stop the spread of HIV/AIDS, the administration is increasing efforts to stop Boko Haram, the situation in Burkina Faso continues to evolve, Nigeria holds its own by taking a significant step towards eliminating Polio and by rescuing  prisoners from Boko Haram.

1. Obama administration allots more money for HIV/AIDS treatment in Africa

The Obama administration is allotting an additional $300 million to help reduce the rate of HIV/AIDS infection among women and girls in Africa. The additional funds are part of the President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (PAPFAR), which hopes to provide treatment for 12 million people by 2017, as well as providing measures to reduce the spread of the disease.

2. U.S. administration increases efforts to fight Boko Haram

HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention is not the only aid that the Obama administration is providing in Africa. The government announced this week that they will be spending up to $45 million dollars to help Africans fight Boko Haram.  The funds will provide training and military equipment to those fighting the terrorist group.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian military raided two Boko Haram camps this week, resulting in the arrests of 43 militants and the rescue of 241 women and children. The local leader, Bulama Modu, was among those arrested. The camps were destroyed and their weapons seized. The raids on the camps are part of Nigeria’s ongoing, dedicated efforts to stop the terrorist group.

3. Civilian leaders return to power in Burkina Faso

Michel Kefando, the interim President of Burkina Faso, returned to power after last week’s coup. The coup was carried out by supporters of Blaise Compaoré, the former President of Burkina Faso, who was ousted in an uprising last year. The coup ended with a political compromise, and for now things are returning to normal as Burkina Faso prepares for it’s elections.

4. Fight against polio takes a turn for the better in Nigeria

The Nigeria government announced this week that Polio is no longer endemic to the country. The government  says it is committed to preventing the spread of the disease by continuing to encourage vaccinations, and that the country is well on the path to eradicating the disease completely. They say they will support the World Health Organization(WHO) in their efforts to remove polio from Afghanistan and Pakistan, now the only two countries were Polio remains an endemic disease.



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