Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Transport in Guinea

Railway which operated from Conakry to Kankan ceased operating in the mid-1980s. Domestic air services are intermittent. Most vehicles in Guinea are 20+ years old, and cabs are any four-door vehicle which the owner has designated as being for hire. Locals, nearly entirely without vehicles of their own, rely upon these taxis (which charge per seat) and small buses to take them around town and across the country. There is some river traffic on the Niger and Milo rivers. Horses and donkeys pull carts, primarily to transport construction materials.
Iron mining at Simandou (South) in the southeast beginning in 2007 and at Kalia in the east is likely to result in the construction of a new heavy-duty standard gauge railway and deepwater port. Iron mining at Simandou North will load to a new port near Buchanan in Liberia, in exchange for which, rehabilitation of the Conakry to Kankan line will occur.
Conakry International Airport is the largest airport in the country, with flights to other cities in Africa as well as to Europe.

AIDS in Guinea

HIV is spreading quickly in Guinea. The estimated total number of adults and children living with HIV in 2003 was 140,000 (with a low estimate of 51,000 and a high estimate of 360,000), up from an estimated 110,000 in 2001, indicating an increase in adult prevalence of 0.4% (from 2.8 to 3.2%) over the two-year period.
HIV prevalence varies by region. Surveillance surveys conducted among women seeking antenatal care in 2001 and 2002 show higher rates of HIV in urban areas than in rural areas (3.2 vs. 2.6%, respectively). Prevalence was highest in Conakry (5%) and in the cities of the Forest Guinea region (7%) bordering Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.
HIV is spread primarily through multiple-partner heterosexual intercourse. Men and women are at nearly equal risk for HIV, with young people aged 15 to 24 most vulnerable. Surveillance figures from 2001–2002 show high rates among commercial sex workers (42%), active military personnel (6.6%), truck drivers and bush taxi drivers (7.3%), miners (4.7%), and adults with tuberculosis (8.6%).
Several factors are fueling the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Guinea. They include unprotected sex, multiple sexual partners, illiteracy, endemic poverty, unstable borders, refugee migration, lack of civic responsibility, and scarce medical care and public services.

National response
As one of the poorest nations in the world, Guinea faces daunting social, economic, and political problems. Until 2002, the national response to the epidemic was weak, primarily because of a lack of governmental commitment, poor leadership, and inadequate resources. Since then, high-level political commitment and will to fight HIV/AIDS have been strengthened, but little money has been allocated to health, and most government-backed projects are funded primarily with external financing.
The National AIDS Control Program was reorganized in 2002, partly to meet the requirements for receipt of a $20 million loan from the World Bank to fight HIV/AIDS. Government response to the epidemic is now directed through the Office of the Prime Minister. The National AIDS Commission directs general activities, whereas the National Program for the Care, Support, and Prevention of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and HIV/AIDS manages clinical activities (i.e., overseeing surveillance and testing, and providing counseling, care, and support to individuals living with HIV/AIDS)

Healthcare in Guinea

Guinea has been reorganizing its health system since the Bamako Initiative of 1987 formally promoted community-based methods of increasing accessibility of drugs and health care services to the population, in part by implementing user fees.The new strategy dramatically increased accessibility through community-based healthcare (including community ownership and local budgeting), resulting in more efficient and equitable provision of services. A comprehensive strategy was extended to all areas of health care, with subsequent improvement in health indicators and improvement in health care efficiency and cost. Guinea's public health code is defined by Law No. L/97/021/AN of 19 June 1997 promulgating the Public Health Code. The law provides for the protection and promotion of health and for the rights and duties of the individual, the family, and community throughout the territory of the Republic of Guinea.

Education in Guinea

The literacy rate of Guinea is one of the lowest in the world: in 2003 it was estimated that only 29.5% of adults were literate (42.6% of males and 18.1% of females). Primary education is compulsory for 8 years, but most children do not attend for so long, and many do not go to school at all. In 1999, primary school attendance was 40 percent.Children, particularly girls, are kept out of school in order to assist their parents with domestic work or agriculture.