Guinea

Ebola survivors 'face possible kidney damage'

A health worker wearing protective gear is sprayed with disinfectant at the Nongo Ebola treatment centre in Conakry, Guinea, in August  2015.
AFP
The West Africa Ebola outbreak in 2014 began in Guinea

A study of people who survived the Ebola virus in Guinea found out that their mortality rate remained severe within a year of leaving hospital - and faced possible kidney damage.

Researchers, writing in the Lancet, surveyed more than 1,100 survivors of the West African outbreak earlier this decade.

Fifty-nine died within about one year of leaving Ebola treatment units, a mortality risk five times that of the general Guinean population.

The cause of death for 62% of those who died within a year was tentatively attributed to kidney failure.

The study indicated that death rates were higher among those who had stayed in hospital for longer.

The researchers said that the findings showed an urgent need for more investigation into the role of renal failure in late deaths after recovering from Ebola.

With the current outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo inflicting a higher death rate among those infected, the team hope their work can enable help to be better targeted.

Listen to the study's senior author Lorenzo Subissi discussing his research on BBC Newsday:

The report's senior author Lorenzo Subissi explains what they found.

Israeli billionaire to be tried over 'Guinea bribes'

Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz
AFP
The Israeli tycoon has previously denied any wrongdoing in obtaining mining licences in Guinea

Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz and two colleagues are to go on trial in Switzerland for allegedly paying $10m (£8.2m) in bribes in Guinea to win mining licences, prosecutors say.

A statement from Geneva’s prosecutor, Claudio Mascotto, said the payments were promised in 2005, three years before President Lansana Conte died, Reuters news agency reports.

They are accused of organising for the bribes to be paid to one of the wives of Mr Conte “to eliminate a competitor and have the contract for mining rights in the Simandou region allocated to Beny Steinmetz Group Resources”.

According to the AFP news agency, the prosecutor says the bribes were partly paid through Swiss bank accounts.

The tycoon and his company Beny Steinmetz Group Resources have previously denied any wrongdoing in the case.

In February this year, Guinea’s authorities lifted corruption charges against Mr Steinmetz and his firm after they relinquished rights to mine iron ore reserves in Simandou.

But the Geneva prosecutor continued investigations.

Guinea parents want new inquest into stowaway deaths

Sabena
Getty Images
Sabena went under in 2001 and has since been replaced by SN Brussels as Belgium's national airline

The family of two teenage boys who died in 1999 after stowing away in an aeroplane, have told BBC Afrique that their loss has left "gaping wounds" and they want a fresh investigation into their deaths.

Yaguine Koita,15, and his friend Fodé Tounkara, 14, travelled inside the Sabena airlines plane from Guinea's capital, Conkary, to Belgium. Their bodies were found in the undercarriage, along with a handwritten note addressed to "Europe's leaders" which said:

We sacrifice and expose our lives, because we suffer too much in Africa and we need you to fight against poverty."

Yaguine's father, Limane Koita, tells the BBC his heart is an "open wound" 20 years on, adding: "We did not see the bodies of our children. We saw the coffins but we do not know what they contained."

Reports at the time indicated that the teenagers' bodies had been on board the plane for up to 10 days, their decomposed bodies discovered by a mechanic who noticed the smell.

It prompted fierce criticism of the operator, Sabena, which has since been replaced by SN Brussels as Belgium's national airline.

"We really want to know how Yaguine and Fodé died," Fodé's elder brother, Sekou Tounkara, told the BBC.

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Ebola treatment centre graphic

As fears grow that Ebola could spread to other parts of the globe, we look at what is being done on the ground in West Africa to treat those infected

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Guinea fury over 25% petrol price hike

Alhassan Sillah

BBC Africa, Conakry

Protesters in Guinea
BBC

Tens of thousands of Guineans of all ages have been protesting in the capital, Conakry, against the 25% rise in the price of fuel.

The pump price went up last week as the government said it could not afford to subsidise the imports further and was meeting an International Monetary Fund (IMF) obligation to remove them.

Protesters want the price to go back to its original price of 8,000 Guiean francs ($0.88, £0.67) a litre.

Guinea gets new PM amid political tensions

BBC World Service

Police officers clear a burning barricade on a street in Conakry in March 2018
AFP
Riots erupted in the capital Conakry and other cities in February and March after local elections

Guinea's President Alpha Condé has appointed Ibrahima Kassory Fofana as the country's new prime minister amid heightened political tensions.

Mr Fofana, an economist, replaces Mamady Youla, who resigned last week along with his government.

Analysts say he will need to relaunch the economy and diffuse tension following local elections which the opposition says were marred by fraud and rioting.

Mr Fofana, an ally of the president, will also face scrutiny from critics who think Mr Condé intends to change the constitution to remain in power.