An estimated one million people in Madagascar are diabetic, but only about half of them know it. Finding the other half presents a major challenge for this large, island nation in which 80 per cent of the population live in rural areas where few people have ever heard of this chronic and potentially deadly disease. With the country’s underfunded public health sector barely functioning, this task has mainly fallen to the Madagascan Diabetes Association which dispatches its doctors and nurses more

Every Friday, mothers and their children gather at the community nutrition centre in the little village of Rantolava, 450 kilometres north east of Antananarivo, the Malagasy capital, to learn more about a healthy diet. The weekly workshops are part of the 3.5 million dollar National Community Nutrition Programme (PNNC) being implemented at 6,000 centres across the country. Madagascar is among the six countries suffering the worst rates of malnutrition in the world – half of all children more

Madagascar has launched an online research network, the Research and Education Network for Academic Learning Activities (iRENALA), which aims to boost science, technology and education in the country, as well as internationalise its science. The network, launched earlier this month (8 June), will promote discussions between worldwide researchers, students and policymakers, and facilitate access to digitised documents available in virtual libraries, according to Horace Gatien, president of more

The Basic Health Centre or Centre de Santé de Base (CSB) II in Anjalajala, near Antsohihy, the capital of Madagascar's northern Sofia Region, is housed in a recently renovated building and its status as a CSB II promises the availability of a trained doctor. But the doctor left for Antananarivo, the capital, in 2002 and has not been replaced, and whenever the remaining nurse is absent, services stop. The situation at this clinic is not unique in Madagascar, where an already weak healthcare more

Madagascar has a low level of HIV prevalence, and managing its AIDS programme should present no major difficulties. But the apparent advantage of a low infection rate, combined with the ongoing political crisis, has brought its own challenges. Madagascar, and the neighbouring islands states of Comoros, Mauritius and Seychelles, are anomalies in the context of HIV/AIDS in Africa. Prevalence is very low - around 0.37 per cent, or 24,000 confirmed cases - and restricted to a few sections of the more