Lassa fever kills nine people in Benin

TVC E, NEWS - At least nine people have been suspected to have died of Lassa fever in Benin republic just as the world ramps up its fight against the Zika virus, a health official told AFP Tuesday. "Right now, there are a total of 20 suspected cases with nine deaths," government health official Orou Bagou Yorou Chabi said. Sources disclosed that the first Lassa fever case in the West African country of 10 million people was listed at the Hospital of St Martin de Papane, in Tchaourou, a city 350 km north of Cotonou, the United Nations children agency UNICEF said in a statement. UNICEF says the Lassa fever outbreaks has killed about 84 people in neighbouring Nigeria out of 168 suspected cases and Stocks of Ribavirin, a drug used to treat the infection, were being shipped to Tchaourou and Cotonou. Benin was last hit by a Lassa fever outbreak in October 2014,...

Benin marks National Voodoo Day with procession, rituals

TVCE [BENIN] - Local believers and international visitors converged on Benin republic on Sunday (January 10) to slaughter chickens, make voodoo sacrifices and celebrate the religion that has been hyped and exaggerated by Hollywood movies. These practices, according to sources, were illegal until Benin lifted the ban on Voodoo practices and was declared an official religion in the early 1990s. National Voodoo Day in Benin is seen as an important public holiday and is viewed in the same manner as Christmas and the Muslim Eid as it is a religious day. The believers gather to watch Voodoo priests sacrifice chickens by tearing out the birds' throats with their teeth and drinking their blood. Although this act is thousands of years old, health authorities have warned that these acts create a major risk of contamination. But Voodoo believers are convinced that their faith shields them from infection during ceremonies in which sacrificed chickens' blood is sprayed...