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UNICEF/Tanya Bindra

Benin responds to illness spread by tiny rat

Authorities in Benin are responding to what they are calling an “epidemic” of a severe illness that causes bleeding.

Lassa Fever is transmitted through contact with food or other items contaminated with the faeces or urine of a tiny rodent species known as the multimammate rat.

So far, there have been 25 suspected cases, with 12 deaths, four of which have been confirmed.

The haemorrhagic illness is endemic in Benin, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

MINUSMA/Marco Dormino

Benin authorities urged to tackle “inhumane” prison conditions

Authorities in Benin have been urged to tackle what have been described by UN human rights experts as “inhumane” conditions in one of the West African country’s prisons.

A delegation of experts has just returned from a visit to Benin where they inspected a number of detention centres without any prior warning.

Following those visits, they urged the government to immediately tackle overcrowding to alleviate the suffering of detainees and improve conditions overall.