Guinea Current Affairs - 2019

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Macky Sall re-elected as Senegal’s President

President of Senegal Macky Sall has won the re-election with 58.27% of votes cast. More than 50% votes to a candidate imply that there would be no second round voting under the election system of Senegal.

Senegal

Senegal lies on the west coast of Africa. Senegal is bordered by Mauritania in the north, Mali to the east, Guinea to the southeast, and Guinea-Bissau to the southwest. Senegal also borders the Gambia which occupies a narrow sliver of land along the banks of the Gambia River. Senegal also shares a maritime border with Cape Verde. Dakar is Senegal’s economic and political capital.

Senegal was the colony of Portuguese and later the French. Senegal gained independence from France in 1960. Senegal is the Muslim majority country and it has successfully escaped the jihadist attacks which have destabilised neighbours such as Mali.

Senegal has witnessed two peaceful power transfers, in 2000 and 2012, and has never experienced a coup even though election campaigns are typically stained by charges of corruption, disinformation and bouts of violence.

Diplomatic relations between India and Senegal was established at the ambassadorial level with the establishment of a resident Indian mission in Dakar in 1962.

Senegal is often referred to as the biggest Indophile of West Africa since it is greatly influenced by a range of Indian cultural elements ranging from Hindi cinema to the concept of caste and outcaste.

New Ebola vaccine may be up to 100% effective: WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) has expressed confidence that a prototype vaccine for Ebola called rVSV-ZEBOV may be 100% effective in protecting against the deadly virus.

The vaccine was initially developed in Canada by public health authorities before being taken over by pharmaceutical giant Merck.

Key Facts
  • Earlier in a major experimental human clinical trial of this vaccine conducted on nearly 6,000 people in Guinea in 2015 was found to successfully.
  • It was observed that no one from the 6,000 people contracted again to the lethal disease. The test results of the trial were released in The Lancet magazine.
  • This new vaccine has not yet been approved by any regulatory authority. But it is said that the vaccine could become available in 2018 under a fast-track approval process.
  • However, this new vaccine has some flaws as it appears to work against only one of the two most common strains of the Ebola virus.
  • Thus, it may not give long-lasting protection and some of patients who were given this vaccine have reported side effects like joint pain and headaches.

About Ebola virus

Ebola virus disease (EVD) is a severe, often fatal illness in humans. It was first identified in 1976 in the Democratic Republic of Congo in a village near the Ebola River, from which it takes its name. It is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission. Fruit bats are natural host of this virus. It spreads through contact with body fluids of inflected persons such as blood, urine and saliva. Symptoms faced by people who have contracted the Ebola virus include high fever, bleeding and central nervous system damage. In 2014, Ebola virus had erupted periodically mainly across west and east Africa mainly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. It was the deadly outbreak of the virus in the history that had killed 11,000 people.