Daughters as young as 12 in the villages surrounding Antsohihy, the capital of Sofia Region, in Madagascar's remote, traditional north, often suffer the harmful consequences of falling pregnant and giving birth too young when parents accept zebus (cattle) or cash as a dowry. Nationwide, 3,750 mothers and 16,500 babies die each year during or soon after delivery. Another 75,000 women experience medical problems as a result of childbirth, and an estimated 40 per cent of these women receive more

Madagascan security forces Saturday fired tear-gas to disperse a crowd of opposition supporters who attempted to gather in the capital Antananarivo. The meeting had been organised by deposed President Marc Ravalomanana allies to discuss development issues. About three people were arrested and about forty injured during the fracas.

The April edition of the Peace and Security Council Report from the Institute of Security Studies has an article which focuses on the situation in Madagascar. 'Against the backdrop of serious obstacles in the process of implementing the Roadmap, the Malagasy military staged protests in March 2012 to air their grievances about poor living and working conditions,' notes the report. 'SADC’s failure to resolutely monitor and guarantee the implementation of the fragile Roadmap risks a relapse more

In Madagascar's east coast city of Tamatave, a local taboo against having a toilet in your house or on your land has complicated the task of trying to improve the region's dire sanitation situation. Nationwide, more than 10,000 people, of whom two thirds are children under five, die prematurely from diarrhoea annually, according to the World Health Organization, which attributes 88 per cent of these cases to poor quality water and sanitation.

Madagascar is aiming to plug its energy gap and reduce its carbon emissions by encouraging a major investment in large-scale wind-turbines, the country’s interim president, Andry Rajoelina, has announced. Unofficial figures put the cost of the initiative at US$80 million. But experts say that instead of importing costly infrastructure, the country should make micro-wind power stations from locally available materials.