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Chronic diseases rampant among Kenyans below age 40.
July 29, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Health Chief Administrative Secretary Dr. Mercy Mwangangi

Cancers, heart diseases, diabetes, and chronic respiratory diseases are the most prevalent Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) in Kenya.

The Ministry of Health said the diseases affect mostly young Kenyans below 40 years as they account for 53 percent of all NCDs patients.

Health Chief Administrative Secretary Dr. Mercy Mwangangi said NCDs are now contributing to 39 percent of all deaths, attributing the growing burden among young people to poor lifestyle choices and a polluted environment.

Dr. Mwangangi spoke during the launch of the 2022-2026 Kenya National Strategy for the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable diseases in Nairobi. The strategy put more weight on prevention and control measures, as well as strengthening health systems.

Dr. Gladwell Gathecha from the non-communicable diseases department, during the event named tobacco use, consumption of unhealthy diets, insufficient physical activity, and harmful use of alcohol as risk factors.

She further noted that 19 percent of Kenyans are either obese or overweight. Only 17.5 percent of men are overweight compared to 38.5 percent of women. On the other hand, 13.7 percent of those who are obese are women, whereas 4.7 percent are men.

NCD Alliance-Kenya, a local non-profit organization, chair Dr. Zipporah Ali asked the government to provide free treatment to NCDs patients.

“Most people with NCDs cannot access essential medicines, so a strategy is just one thing. We also need to look at control of food because many cannot afford special diets,” stated Dr. Zipporah.

NCDs are causing a negative economic impact on families, said Dr. Mwangangi.

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Majority of Kenyan men living with HIV unaware.
July 27, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

A study published in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome has discovered that thousands of Kenyan men live with HIV without knowing.

The research was conducted by Kenya’s National Aids and STIs Control Programme and US Centre for Disease Control in Kenya.

Researchers found out that 33.7 per cent of 114,776 men interviewed and tested for HIV in Kenya and 12 other countries are HIV positive and not aware.

The study further found that 63 per cent of those unaware of their HIV positive status had never been tested for the virus.

The number of Kenyan women going for HIV tests is higher than those of men. Statistics show that in the last 12 months, almost 72 per cent of women were tested for the virus compared to 45 per cent of men.

“The results from this large sample suggest that many men in sub-Saharan Africa are likely unaware of their HIV-positive status due to the compounding effects of sociodemographic, behavioural and clinical influences,” read part of the study.

The researchers have proposed partner testing, frequency of testing, outreach and educational strategies and availability of HIV testing where men are accessing routine health services to improve the yielding of testing programmes.

“Increased access to and frequency of HIV testing is needed to identify undetected infection in men including in settings where they are accessing services for TB and voluntary medical male circumcision,” they added.

The data from the Ministry of Health shows that Siaya(21 per cent), Homabay (20.7 per cent), Kisumu (16.3 per cent), Migori (13.3 per cent) and Busia (7.7 per cent) have a higher prevalence of HIV infection.

Nairobi County is also among the top ten counties.

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Suspension Of DWB Deprives Cameroon’s NW’s Most Vulnerable Citizens Of Free Healthcare Amid Deadly Armed Conflict.
July 24, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Andrew Nsoseka*

.A medical personnel from Doctors Without Borders attends to a patient in the North West Region

Locals in Cameroon’s Northwest region, who have had their lives distorted in the last couple of years by an ongoing war against cessation, which has displaced hundreds of thousands internally, and forced others to flee as refugees, now have another big challenge – access to healthcare.

 When the crisis erupted and protests gradually morphed into an armed resistance and the war that ensued, many institutions folded, including healthcare institutions. Many healthcare institutions and professionals, soon became targets, as they were accused of treating belligerents in the armed conflict. Several Doctors and practitioners are today, serving jail terms or languishing in pre-trial detention on such charges.

The situation, was however, was mitigated when Doctors Without Borders, DWB an international NGOs rendering health services to those affected by the war came in. However, it was short-lived, when DWB was like several medical care providers, accused of also treating armed fighters and aiding them. The accusation of aiding the fighters has been rejected by the organisation.

Unfortunately, Cameroon’s Northwest regional Governor, Adolphe Lele Lafrique in December of 2020, issued an order, banning activities of DWB in the region, leaving thousands of those who relied on the outfit for medical care, stranded, with no option. Many now rely on local remedies, prayers, or risk going to hospitals, and if treated, held hostage till the money is paid.

On its May 28, 2021 weekender edition, The Post reported a pathetic story of a family running away from the incessant raids in Bui Division, of Cameroon’s Northwest Region. The news article by Chris Mbunwe narrated the sad story of a teacher, Oliver Lankar who, in escaping from the turbulent Division, lost his one-year-old baby due to the heavy rains and cold.

At St Mary Soledad hospital, Dr Jifon Edwin Fonyuy stitches up the wounds of Felix, a young patient who was attacked and mutilated by his attackers in March 2020, in the NW

Though one could be incorrect to say that the refuge-seeking man would have sought medical help from community volunteers working with an organisation like Doctors Without Borders – providing free medical assistance to those in dire need, Lankar’s family did not have that option – it was ripped from people like him and a multitude of others, when DWB, had its activities suspended.

On December 8, 2020, Governor Adolphe Lele Lafrique issued a prefectorial order, suspending activities of Doctors Without Borders, a front-line organisations providing free healthcare services to thousands of victims and those affected in one way or the other by the Anglophone crisis in the two crisis-hit regions.

In article (I) of the Governor’s Decision suspending the activities of DWB, the Governor said, “The partnership between Doctors Without Borders (DWB, MSF) and Saint Maria Soledad Catholic Hospital Bamenda as well as similar partnerships with other health facilities in the Northwest Region are with effect from the date of signature of this Decision, suspended, pending definition of the framework of activities for Doctors Without Borders (DWB, MSF) by the Ministry of Health.”

Locals in the region, especially those displaced by war, and who now live under precarious conditions are the main beneficiaries of health services offered by DWB. This category of persons, are the region’s most vulnerable. The right to health has been denied, especially to those in distress situations who struggle to feed and can barely afford their needs, especially health needs which are expensive.

DWB often prioritises providence of its services to hard-to-reach communities, and with the current Anglophone crisis in Cameroon, many communities are without health facilities especially as many owners of private clinics were hunted down on accusations that they treat or sell medicaments to separatists too.

In 2020, DWB reported that it provided over 120,000 free medical consultations in the Northwest and Southwest regions of Cameroon – the two regions gripped by an over four war of secession. Unfortunately, with the Governor’s Decision, hundreds of thousands of patients in the Northwest who relied on this free health services can’t access it anymore, even though the armed conflict is rather deteriorating, leaving more people in need.  

The Governor said the organisation’s framework of activities are to be defined by the Ministry of Public Health, a process which has taken several months, with no sign that the organisation will be given the go-ahead, to continue to render services to the region’s most vulnerable, caught between an active war, and now the COVID-19 pandemic.

The World Health Organisation, to which Cameroon is a member, in its Constitution (1946) envisages “…the highest attainable standard of health as a fundamental right of every human being.”

Speaking in relation to access to health in the Northwest region, the Director of the Bamenda regional Hospital, Dr Denis Nsame regretted that that the hospital keeps losing money because many patients can’t afford to pay their bills after treatment. This of course, is the category that because of the war situation and its effect on their livelihoods, previously depended on free services offered by organisations like DWB.

Dr Denis Nsame revealed that just in the first quarter of 2021, his hospital alone has lost FCFA Nine million, because many patients are unable to pay bills. The situation now puts the regional hospital, as well as other health facilities in financial distress.

On the part of the community, many who now do not have the option to receive free quality healthcare are now left with the option of either trying untested home remedies, taking a chance to be treated and held back by the hospital, or just hoping to get well someday. Many others who have seemingly lost hope, now resort to cuing up in churches that advertise miracle healings, as they hope for miracles to come their way.

One of the community leaders who recently took an initiative to address the situation, is the Mayor of Bamenda II Council, Peter Chenwi, who said his office has been flooded of recent by appeals for assistance to pay health bills. “The request for assistance from patients keep rising every day. That is why the Council decided to undertake this visit and see the situation of patients at the Bamenda regional hospital” the Mayor said. He reveals that so far, the council has paid FCFA one million, covering the hospital bills of 64 patients who could not leave the hospital because of unpaid bills. Amongst the beneficiaries were women who had put to birth, but could not pay their hospital bills.

A Community Health Worker, talking of the ban on DWB’s activities in the Northwest said, “Since the suspension, many children have died in my community, due to the lack of medication. People don’t have the money to go to the hospital. They keep asking me; when will they (DWB) come back” He recounts. Other community workers who served the community under DWB regret that the suspension has left them with no means to assist the people, who depend on such services.

“People keep calling me for help, but there is no means to help them anymore. They go back, and later on you hear that some of them died. It is terrible.” Another community health worker in the region regrets.

Though not mentioned publicly, government sources claim that DWB’s activities in the region are suspended due to allegations that it also treats wounded separatists, and actively supports them by transporting arms and ammunition. In a statement released On July 5, in relation to claims that the organisation was supporting separatist fighters, DWB said they “categorically reject the allegation of having provided support for separatist fighters in the Northwest.”

Heart warming moment between young beneficiary of health services from DWB and her father

“We affirm as an absolute that we have never facilitated the transport of arms, ammunition, or armed combatants, and have never provided logistical or financial support to any of the parties to the ongoing crisis”. It furthered.

Information from DWB’s data however show that just about five percent of its patients bring cases that are directly linked to violence. The statistics rather show that most of the patients are children with malaria, pregnant women, accidents, and sexual violence victims.

In a statement released recently after three weeks of meeting with government officials to end the suspension, DWB in a statement regretted that the suspension was not still lifted.

DWB’s Director General, Stephen Cornish, remarked that “While our visit to Cameroon was an opportunity to address key points, no agreement was unfortunately reached to immediately restart our lifesaving medical services in the Northwest region. This is disappointing, but we remain hopeful that the lifting of our suspension can be reached in the coming days. Discussions will go on as all stakeholders understand that our operations cannot remain on hold indefinitely. Every extra day of suspension is another day that we cannot assist the population in dire need of health care services. An agreement will undeniably change the situation for the better in the provision of essential care in the Northwest. We are confident that such agreement is still attainable and will allow us to provide essential medical services in Northwest just as we do elsewhere in the country.”

*Culled from July Issue of PAV Magazine

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The Covid-19 Vaccine Fiasco In Malawi
July 24, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Joseph Dumbula.

Health Secretary Charles Mwansambo.jpg.

It is 8 am in the morning in Blantyre, Malawi’s commercial capital, and one Jimmy Kondwani, has had to abscond work to look for the second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which apparently, he just cannot find in hospitals, just like thousands of others.

The news now is clear that the vaccines are no longer in stock at all across hospitals.

As other nations across the world are grappling with the third wave of the Covid19 pandemic, Malawi is seeing a wave after another but of controversies to do with the pandemic.

Although the mainstay has been how decisions are made and how infamously money amounting to 6.2 billion kwacha was lost in management of the pandemic, now it is about the vaccines.

Thus far thousands of people have not yet been able to receive the second dose as the AstraZeneca doses run out in public hospitals.

A consignment of 900,000 doses the country was expected to be in Malawi at the end of May through the COVAX vaccine-sharing facility but that has not been the case.

However, authorities cited the delay on recent worsening of the pandemic in India, a major manufacturer of vaccines.

Initially, Malawi received its first consignment of 360,000 doses from the COVAX facility in March, followed by 102,000 doses from the African Union, and 50,000 doses from the Indian government.

But Kondwani tells Pan African Visions that ‘’ I feel deceived. What government is doing is to make a daylight lie to us. What does this mean for our health?’’

But, according to deccanherald.com, recent studies say pushing the gap further to 12 weeks for the AstraZeneca vaccine does not affect the efficacy. Another British study has said, a single dose of the vaccine can reduce the infection rate by 65 per cent. 

Now, solace is found in the fact that the World Bank approved $30 million in additional financing to support Malawi in the acquisition and deployment of safe, affordable and effective COVID-19 (coronavirus) vaccines.   

The rollout is however yet to start.

‘’This is an additional financing for the existing Malawi’s COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness project bringing the World Bank contributions to the country’s health sector COVID-19 response and vaccination efforts to a total of $37 million.

The additional financing will mostly go towards the procurement and deployment of eligible COVID-19 vaccines to cover an estimated eight percent of the population by December 2023. The additional funds will accelerate the Government of Malawi’s ongoing efforts to deploy COVID-19 vaccines and strengthen the national systems for public health preparedness.’’ A statement from the World Bank reads.

This coincided with the torching of Vaccines, which is against the order that the WHO meted out to nations.

Malawi destroyed nearly 20,000 doses that had expired in April – partly because of vaccine hesitancy.  

Health Secretary Charles Mwansambo justified the decision saying authorities were forced to incinerate the doses to reassure Malawians that vaccines being used were effective.     

“The burning was of course regrettable, but we got those doses very late, they only had a very short shelf life. In fact, I am happy that we did that because we got back the confidence from the people.  That’s why we are seeing what we are seeing now.” He said.

 So, the debacle now, has to be solved as soon as possible, if the country is also to eliminate myths as Kondwani says ‘’What has happened is a recipe for more and more conspiracy theories  that are associated with the pandemic and the vaccine’’.

Currently, the Southern African nation has slightly above 2 thousand active infections, and thus far there have been over one thousand deaths with successfully recoveries at over 33 thousand.

Statistics of health also says the current positivity rates have been revolving at slightly below 15, %, a status Khumbize Chiponda, Malawi’s health minister says is a cause for worry but has bank on staunch preventive measures.

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Optimism As Rwanda Get Closer To Having Health Posts In All Its Cells.
July 24, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Jean d’Amour Mbonyinshuti

One of the health posts in Rwanda. Citizens have a chance to get health care services from neaby thanks to the facilities. Photo Society for Health Family (SFH)

Emmeline Uwimana used to trek more than 7 kilometers whenever she sought health services either for herself or for her children.

“I was born here and grew up here, my parents used to take me to the hospital whenever I felt sick and it was hard because the nearest hospital was in about seven kilometers,” says Uwimana, now a mother of three.

The resident of Musha sector in Rwamagana district, Eastern Province says, it was always hard for her and other citizens to get medical services.

“Sometimes you felt sick but you could not get to the hospital because you were scared of the long-distance,” she says. “We ended up using traditional herbs or illegal medicine as a resort,” she adds.

However, Uwimana’s worries are no more. The government has constructed a health post nearby her home where she gets health care services without trekking longer distances.

“Now we can get treatment for some diseases here, we only go to the hospital whenever referred to that hospital,” she adds.

Uwimana says she also received antenatal care services for her new born baby from the health facility.

“I got antenatal health services from the health post and just went to the hospital when it was time to give birth,” she said.

The health post, she says helps the local community to get basic services and patients are not finding it hard to get treatment.

“Now more people are treated unlike previously when it was hard, we used to depend on buying medicine to pharmacies while others opted for herbs,” she added.

The health post-Uwimana get services from is one of the hundreds facilities set up by the government in a bid to avail health facilities to citizens.

According to the ministry of health, the plan is to have each health post in all the cells across the country.

A cell is the second small entity in local government administration and the country has 2140 cells.According to the minister of health Dr. Daniel Ngamije, the country nears having at least one health post in every cell of the country.

“In the whole country, cells that don’t have a health post are not many. Currently, the number of cells that don’t have these services don’t exceed 50.”

“What we want to do now is putting more effort in making sure those that don’t have such services will get them. For those that already have these facilities, we want to ensure that they provide a full package of primary healthcare services,” he added.

The health posts, which are just below health centres, are expected to deliver basic medical services, including non-complicated births and other primary healthcare services.

In its Strategic Plan unveiled in 2018, the ministry said it wanted to put focus on having at least a health post in every cell by 2024, in order to improve citizens’ access to health services.

 “We always have more citizens who access treatment from health posts. It is clear that there is a need for us to remember the lives of children, parents, and all people in general so that we bring near them primary healthcare services,” he said.

Ngamije said that the government got support from partners such as S.C Johnson Inc, an American multinational company that manufactures household cleaning supplies and other consumer chemicals.

SC Johnson has been an important partner in the ministry of health’s efforts to improve and equipping of health posts, in a bid to advance universal health coverage.

With collaboration from SC Johnson, a total of 64 health posts have been constructed and equipped, of which 10 are of the second generation (offering maternity services and dental and ophthalmology services).

Rwandans have access to affordable health care services, thanks to the community-based health insurance (Mutuelle de Santé) where every household subscribes to it and gets medical services from all the health facilities. 

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PRESIDENT KENYATTA LAUNCHES YOUTH ARMY TO FIGHT MALARIA IN KENYA
July 22, 2021 | 0 Comments

Kilifi,Kenya 22nd July 2021 – His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta, Thursday launched the Kenya Malaria Youth Army, a social movement that brings together young people from all the 47 counties of Kenya to champion malaria control and elimination in the country.  The Kenya Malaria Youth Army will support advocacy, communication, innovation, and community efforts geared towards ending malaria, improving maternal and child health, and advancing access to universal healthcare.

The unveiling of the Kenya Malaria Youth Army (KeMYA) builds upon the bold and ambitious agenda by H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta – the chair of African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) – to eliminate malaria in Africa. In his four-point agenda, HE President Kenyatta envisioned an ‘ALMA youth army’ which will ensure that at the continental, regional and national levels, young people are mobilised through existing structures into a ‘youth army’ movement to contribute to ending malaria and expanding Universal Health Coverage.

“Now is the time to leverage the potential of young people to eliminate malaria by 2030, and work with them for faster and more effective delivery of health services at all  levels,” said President Kenyatta. “ Young people constitute the majority of our population, partnering with youth was a missing link in our concerted efforts as  leaders to defeat malaria,” he added.

The Kenya Malaria Youth Army will consist of young people aged 15 – 35, and will draw its membership from existing youth platforms, including youth groups, youth alliances, youth councils, youth societies and youth associations in Kenya. The army will be open to diverse cadres of young people, including: students, , young professionals, young leaders in political realm, public service and private sectors, and any other young persons willing to volunteer their time towards the malaria fight.

To fulfil its mandate, the youth army will support awareness raising, community sensitization activities, and dissemination of malaria messages in a bid to drive action towards malaria elimination. The army will advocate for resource mobilization and policy implementation while supporting community level malaria prevention and control efforts. These includes community-facing actions including the  distribution of insecticide-treated nets, spraying larvicides at the malaria breeding sites and performing indoor residual spraying of homes in the lake and coastal malaria-prone counties of Kenya. The youth will also take lead in innovating and scaling up the delivery of proven tools that will prevent, diagnose or treat malaria infections in a bid to save lives.

During the launch that took place in Kilifi, President Kenyatta called on young people to amplify their voices to champion for greater accountability from government decision-makers and the private sector, and for strengthening of health systems. He emphasized on the need for young people to advocate for improved malaria surveillance and data sharing, and for malaria decision-making spaces to be more inclusive.

“There has been no better time for the young generation to advocate for their own future – now is the time to own the malaria agenda. I encourage the malaria community to leverage the #KenyaNiMimi youth campaign, the Sawazisha Gumzo by the National Youth Council, and other initiatives for youth dialogue and engagement in social, economic, and leadership processes in the country to contribute to malaria and the broader health and development agenda,” said President Kenyatta.

Upon launching the national malaria youth army, President Kenyatta urged young people to support malaria prevention and control activities at the grassroots level. The youth army will leverage on existing frameworks such as the National Youth Service (NYS) and the Kazi Mtaani initiative to perform indoor residual spraying of homes in malaria-prone counties of Kenya. The newly launched Kenya-Cuba project in the Ministry of Health will also engage young people in spraying larvicides at the malaria breeding sites.

“Every two minutes, malaria claims the life of a child. This deadly disease has been stealing our future for far too long. From today, we shall demonstrate that as young people that if we come together, we are the generation that will eliminate malaria in our lifetime,” said Roy Sasaka Telewa, the Chief Executive Officer at National Youth Council.

During the launch, the President witnessed a demonstration on the use of drone technology in spraying mosquito breeding sites- an initiative of the End Malaria Council. The initiative demonstrates the use of public-private partnership in end-malaria efforts.

Kenya becomes the first country in Africa, and globally, to launch a national malaria youth army. The Kenya Malaria Youth Army has been established upon the premise that while significant progress has been made to combat malaria, action must be taken to accelerate progress, and overcome challenges from COVID-19. The youth army is also built on the idea that meaningful engagement of young people is essential in driving gains towards better health and wellbeing for all.

Malaria remains the leading cause of illness and death in Kenya and accounts for over five million outpatient visits reported in health facilities in the country, with the most at-risk population for malaria being pregnant women and children under the age of five years.

About ALMA Chair’s Agenda

The African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) is a ground-breaking coalition of African Union Heads of State and Government working across 55 African countries with various partners including Regional Economic Communities and development partners to eliminate malaria by 2030. On assuming the Chair of ALMA for the period 2020-2022, His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta set his agenda outlining four key results-based priority areas. These are (1) digitalisation to provide real time access to health-related data including sharing of Scorecards for Accountability and Action at country level to facilitate evidence informed policies and programmes; (2) Engagement with Regional Economic Communities as the key pillars to implement AU Malaria commitments; (3) Establishing End Malaria Councils and Funds to boost multisectoral action, accountability, resource mobilisation and accountability and (4) Creating an ALMA Youth Army to create a broader social movement to fight malaria, improve maternal and child health, and improve access to universal health-care.

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Ghana : Health Minister Sweats At Sputnik-V Vaccine Committee Hearing.
July 19, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Maxwell Nkansah

The Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyemang Manu, on Monday, July 19 appeared before the nine-member bi-partisan committee set up by Parliament to probe the botched contract between the government of Ghana and Emirati middleman Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum to procure Sputnik V vaccines. It was the second time the Minister was appearing before the committee after he did so on the first day of sitting on Thursday, July 15.

However, when a question was posed to the Minister regarding who first approached who for the supply of the overpriced vaccines to Ghana, there was confusion following his answer.Mr Agyeman Manu, who is also Member of Parliament for Dormaa Central, told the committee that he, first, contacted the office of the Sheikh via phone, in contrast to his press statement on Wednesday, June 9 that the Office of the Sheikh rather approached the government.

According to the Minister he doesn’t see where the confusion arises, he told the committee. The minister said, the initial contact to the Sheikh was on phone call in his desperation to get vaccines, when the normal channels were failing, he spoke to people, Ghanaians and therefore he cannot remember who really gave him the indication of the likely supplies from Al Maktoum.

But after indicating that he had called the Sheikh’s office, the Chair of the Committee sought to clarify the issues to the Minister. Mr Agyemang Manu later said: he thinks he is even getting more confused. But the Chair of the Committee Alexander Afenyo-Markin insisted the “use of certain words within the context of law and the use of certain words within the context of public communication have to be reconciled so that nobody questions his credibility.

The committee is probing the circumstances under which government entered a deal with the Sheikh without Parliamentary approval to procure the vaccines at $19 per dose instead of the factory price of $10. The contract has since been terminated, according to the Health Minister.

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Covid 19 Vaccine (Astrazeneca) Recipients Recommend Vaccination.
July 18, 2021 | 0 Comments

Both people living with and without HIV have been vaccinated in Zambia and they share their experiences.

By Kelvin Mbewe

SOME Zambians that have completed their dose of the Astrazeneca covid 19 vaccine have recommended others to get vaccinated owing to what they described as improved immune system after they got their first and second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The recipients of the vaccine include people without and those with underlying conditions such as HIV, tuberculosis, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension among others.

They however reported having experienced side effects such as fever, headache, pain on the side of the arm where the injection was given.

These side effects where mostly experienced in a day, while some said to have had experienced it for about a week.

Mr Wilson Banda aged 63 of Kapata township in Chipata said he experienced improved health after receiving his first vaccination.

Mr Banda is living positively with HIV.

“Yes I had a fever after getting the injection but later on I appreciated the efficiency of it when everybody in the house got infected by a flu, I was the only one that didn’t get the infection despite my old age,” he said.

Another recipient Bertha Chipemba is a coivd 19 survivor and also a recipient of the coivd 19 astrazeneca vaccine.

“I got covid 19 before I got the vaccine and my experience was horrible, I was really in pain. I was lucky I did not reach the oxygen level. I then got the vaccine and got infected again but the experience was different, I could feel the flu but it was not that strong, it was very mild,” she said.

And United Party for National Development (UPND) candidate for Chipata central member of parliament Reuben Mtolo expressed shock when he found the que for receiving the covid 19 vaccine at Kapata clinic in Chipata empty.

“I’M in a campaign trail and I have just lost my campaign manager Mr Kiliti Phiri. He has died of covid 19. Another guy on the campaign trail is admitted due to the same virus. Im the only one that is okay and it’s because I got the first dose of AstraZeneca,” he said.

Mr Phiri has just received his second jab of the covid 19 vaccination.

And Centers for Disease control (CDC) Dr Jonas Hines says research on how the vaccines react to people living with HIV is currently underway but that information that has been gathered so far proves that a person living with HIV like any other person respond to covid vaccines as long as they adhear to treatment.

Dr Hines said this during an online media science café (Mesica) meeting which was discussing the differences and similarities between HIV and covid 19.

He said the similarities in the viruses are that both HIV and covid 19 are spread through viruses and that they both cause death.

Dr Hines however said that the two viruses differ in that HIV is a chronic infection while covid 19 is not chronic.

“HIV is a virus that our immune system is unable to control and eliminate. It causes a chronic infection that lasts for and not like covid 19 where flu like symptoms last only for a short time. Over time hiv destroys the immune system and optimistic infections such as qnuemonia and others lead to death,” he said.

Meanwhile Dr Hines said all the vaccines that have been recommended by the world health organisation (WHO) are effective with regards fighting the covid 19 pandemic.

And the Ministry of health on 15 th July, 2021 announced that the country has cumulatively admistered 189, 408 dose 1 vaccinations (182, 509 AstraZeneca and 6,899 sinopharm).

The ministry’s Facebook page states that Zambia is expecting more vaccines.

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Washington: A sustained commitment to healthcare for Dr. Azim, Uphealth Inc.International CEO
July 16, 2021 | 0 Comments

Ban Bangura*

In his ongoing efforts to make Healhcare available to millions of people around the world, Dr. Sabahat S. Azim, Founder and CEO of Glocal Healthcare Systems, held a colorful reception on Friday June 25, 2021, at The Willard Intercontinental Hotel in Washington.


The evening emceed by Raissa Girondin, journalist and Co-Founder of GMedia, was an opportunity for the Indian native to share his personal story and discussed the challenges the world faces as millions lack access to basic healthcare.


Speaking to an audience that included US government officials, Ambassadors and stakholders involved in public policy matters, Dr. Azim spoke with emotion about his late  father who was killed by “an unnecessary surgery” in India years ago, a tragic situation that affected him deeply to the point he decided to do something. To that end, he went on to explain the agenda being pursued by his organization to address the critical issue of preventive medicine aimed at making it accessible, affordable and accountable. .


Using Cutting-edge technology and and optimized processes, Glocal Healthcare Systems has successfully been established and is currently operating in many countries around the world including a dozen in Africa.


Other  speakers at this event include Dr. Chirinjeev Kathuria, Co-Chairman and Co-Founder, UpHealth Inc. Richa Azim, Chief Budgets & Monitoring, Glocal Healthcare Systems, Dr. Al Gatmaitan, Chief Operating Officer, UpHealth Inc., Mariya Pylypiv, Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer, UpHealth Inc. and Dr. Azfar Malik, President, Behavioral Health, UpHealth Inc.


The evening provided an engaging, interactive event during which guests enjoyed drink, food and each others’ company as the nation makes progress in vaccination to square off the COVID-19 pandemic that has long kept people on home confinement.

Glocal Healthcare is a part of UpHealth Inc. a company that was recently listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). According to speakers, its “sophisticated services platform empowers healthcare providers, health systems and payers to manage care for people with complex medical,
behavioral and social needs”, improving dramatically patient access to primary care.


In 2020, Hellolyf CX, the organization’s digital clinic model, emerged as the public choice at the United Nations Health Innovation Exchange for achieving the sustainable development goals adopted by world leaders in September 2015

*AlloAfricaNews

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City of Kigali, eight other districts under the third lockdown.
July 16, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Jean d’Amour Mbonyinshuti

The cabinet meet yesterday imposed a 10-day lockdown in the capital city of Kigali and in either other districts considered to be the hot spot of COVID-19 positive cases.

Rwanda, which is in what seems to be the third wave of the pandemic has been experiencing a surge of new positive cases and recorded an unprecedented number of fatalities over the past few weeks.  

As a result measures to curb the spread of the pandemic including the total lockdown in the City of Kigali and in other eight districts was imposed from July 17 to 26.

“The surge in cases has necessitated a lockdown in the city of Kigali and other 8 districts” read a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office on Wednesday, July 14, 2021.

“Citizens are urged to significantly reduce social interactions, and limit movements to only essential services,” it added.

The affected eight districts placed under lockdown alongside Kigali include Burera, Gicumbi, Kamonyi, Musanze, Nyagatare, Rubavu, Rwamagana and Rutsiro.

The cabinet meeting resolved that only essential services will be allowed to operate. They include food markets and pharmacies which will be allowed to operate at 30% capacity.

All schools, higher education institutions will close for 10 days, but primary and secondary school students who are doing national exams will continue amid tough measure to ensure they finish exams.

Then, the government will look for ways to transport them in their respective places.

Public transport, outdoor sports and recreational activities will not be permitted in the affected districts.

Air transport and tourism-related activities will continue under strict Covid-19 guidelines.

Rwanda has 30 district and the remaining districts will also observe measures put in place by the cabinet.

For instance, movements are prohibited between 6pm and 4am, and businesses will be closing at 5pm.

Inter-district movements are not allowed except for essential services.

Social gatherings like weddings are suspended, but vigils and funerals are allowed with attendance not exceed 10 and 15 persons respectively.

Rwanda recorded 10,761 Covid-19 cases and 160 related fatalities in the first two weeks of July, according to figures from the Ministry of Health.  

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Sierra Leone records 394 Covid 19 cases in two weeks of July.
July 13, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma

In just two weeks since the start of July , Sierra Leone has recorded a total of 394 Covid-19 cases in its territory one of the highest ever cases recorded in a  short while in a month, after the West African nation confirm the delta variant in its samples of Covid -19  confirmed cases in the country.

The country has recorded a total of 6, 046 cases of total confirmed cases , 112 deaths , and a total of 541  total in quarantine  and a total of 16, 268 discharged from quarantine.

In June, the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MOHS) and the National Covid-19 Response Centre (NaCOVERC) in Sierra Leone, confirmed that the nation was going through its third wave thus advising citizens to follow Covid- 19 protocols like the frequent washing of hands, wearing face mask and to follow social distancing rules among others.

“Be careful fellow #SierraLeoneans! The Delta strain of the #coronavirus is on the rampage. Get vaccinated. Wear a face mask PROPERLY. Avoid avoidable gatherings – especially those for pleasure. Pleasure doesn’t thrive in dire COVID conditions,’’ Public Health National Emergency Operations Centre, said in a statement.

The British West African nation is not only battling with covid-19 but also facing an incessant challenge over the spread of fake news and the many myths shared on its various social media platforms on the virus thus making people not trusting what their health authorities are telling them about the existence of Covid -19 in the country and other parts of the world.

“The Spread of Misinformation Helps Fuel the Spread of Coronavirus. Let’s Stop Both! ,’’ Public Health National Emergency Operations Centre, Sierra Leone added.

There has been vaccination apathy in the country with only 15, 170 fully vaccinated totaling 0.2% out of a population of over 7 million despite the massive sensitization and publicity by the country’s health ministry urging citizens to go out for vaccination , assuring it of its safety on citizens.

 “Vaccination has been one of the key strategies in many countries. Many diseases have ended with vaccination” – said Dr. Amara Jambai, Deputy Minister of Health and Sanitation.

Despite the announcement by NaCOVERC and the Ministry of Health and Sanitation about the country experiencing the delta variant, many citizens are reluctant to take their covid-19 vaccines, neither wearing face mask nor doing social distancing rules daily.

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Germany, Finland donate COVID-19 medical supplies to Namibia.
July 9, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Andreas Thomas

Medical supplies that were donated by Germany being offloaded at the Hosea Kutako Airport outside Windhoek

Windhoek – The world’s largest cargo plane, the An Antonow AN225 touched down on the Hosea Kutako International Airport on Thursday carrying 65 tonnes of medical supplies as a gift from Germany and European Union in response to Namibia’s efforts to respond to the worsening of the COVID-19 outbreak

The donation that was made through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism consists of 300,000 surgical gowns, 60 care beds, and 500,000 face masks. 

Namibia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations Nandi-Ndaitwah expressed Namibia’s gratitude “for the consistent support Germany has rendered since the coronavirus has reared its ugly head in Namibia. This support has reached miscellaneous sectors that were impacted by the pandemic.”

German Ambassador to Namibia Herbert Beck has announced that 40,000 antigen rapid tests and 20,000 safety goggles would be delivered next week. This will be followed by further assistance from Germany including ventilators, pulse oximeters, PCR tests, and additional face masks. 

Beck said the goods valued at 11.2 million Euros will be handed over to the ministry of health and social services for further distribution.

Ambassador Beck said: “I am glad that the Government of Namibia quickly drew up a list of the goods and services needed to fight Covid so that Germany was able to provide the appropriate support within its means. 

“Now that the much more infectious delta variant has also been detected in Namibia, the pressure on the health system will continue to increase. It is good that we can support our Namibian partners and friends in this difficult time and for all of us living here in such a stressful situation by providing practical assistance.”

Namibia, currently under pressure from the third wave of COVID-19 worsened by the Delta variant, the government through the ministry of international relations submitted an emergency assistance request for support to the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.

Namibia fared relatively well during the first months of the pandemic with a low positivity rate, and a low rate of hospitalizations and deaths. However, in the past few weeks, the coronavirus made an unexpected comeback, more aggressive and is spreading faster than ever.

Finland recently donated 2.36 million masks, 200 000 protective visors, 30 000 medical gowns, 100 000 syringes and 189 000 swabs to assist Namibia’s effort to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

EU Ambassador to Namibia Sinikka Antila has welcomed the donations by the EU member states, as another tangible example of EU solidarity in the face of the pandemic. This support is preceded by the donation from the Finnish Government received last week. Belgium and Norway have also offered medical supplies expected to arrive in Namibia in the coming days, Antila noted.

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Shunning face masks, fear of taking vaccines, and no social distancing might increase Covid-19 cases in Sierra Leone.
July 9, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma

Maada Bio receiving an injection of one of the 200,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccines donated by China.Photo credit State House Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone is experiencing the third wave of the Corona Virus in its territory and there is fear that it might lose out of control with the non –adherence of Covid- 19 protocols like the use of face mask, the fear of taking vaccines and the blatant disregard of social distancing rules, this expert say has the tendency to increase the number of cases of the deadly virus spreading in the West African nation.

The country has so far recorded a total of 5, 867 confirmed cases, 108 deaths, a total number of recovered cases of 3,766 according to the latest data from NaCOVERC lower than other countries in Africa and the Mano River Union basin.

According to the country’s National COVID-19 Emergency Response centre (NACOVERC), there is the Delta Variant in samples of confirmed cases of the virus in the country thus prompting the Sierra Leonean government to re – introduced measures like the imposition of curfew from 11pm – 5am for a month across the country, the closure of churches, mosques and other places of worship for a month and restricting the movements of people in the other parts of the country.

In the first week of July, the country did record well over one hundred confirmed cases in less than a week, thus seeing an increasing   hospitalization of people in recent weeks at the 34 Military hospitals which have cost the loss of lives. The reasons for the spike is simple, there are only a handful people wearing face masks in public and private places and of course social distancing is a far fetch dream which has the tendency of destabilizing the gains which the former British colony has made since the country first recorded it Corona Virus Index case in March 2020 – the lowest cases deaths rates in Africa and the world at large.

The country’s National COVID-19 Emergency Response centre (NaCOVERC) has intensified its publicity and public relations drive urging citizens to follow guidelines and the many preventive measures like social distancing, washing of hands whilst encouraging people to take their vaccines especially for those that are over 30 years of age as a way of protecting themselves and the country from the deadly virus. Sierra Leone has one of the weakest health systems in the world. The Ebola outbreak between 2014- 2016 in the former British colony exposed its weakness costing thousands to die of the virus and leaving hundreds of orphanages as a result of the impact of the deadly Ebola virus in the country.  

Official spokesperson for NaCOVERC, Solomon Jamiru is calling for cooperation from all citizens in Sierra to work together in defeating the third wave

Official spokesperson for NaCOVERC, Solomon Jamiru Esq. in a statement to the public called on citizens to put on face masks, adding the third wave is causing more death and that everyone should be vigilant and follow all directives by the World Health Organization and the nation’s Health Ministry.

‘’Due to the way and manner Covid -19 cases are rising in Sierra Leone NaCOVERC and the Ministry for Health and Sanitation is calling on  all Sierra Leonean men and women that is over 30 years to go out there and take their Corona Virus vaccine . In western  area , we have corona Markelete centers at Lumley Government Hospital , Kingharman  Road Government Hospital , Macaulay street government hospital , Rokupa government hospital , Connaught hospital and the PCMH respectively ,’’Lawyer Jamiru said.

Lawyer Jamiru went on by saying there are other centers in the western area within the Freetown municipality which government has established in order to enable citizens at the age of 30 across the country to get vaccinated.

“Please use face mask that will be able to cover your mouth, nose, and chin all the time. Let us maintain social distance and let’s wash our hands all the time with soap and water. If you have your alcohol based hand sanitizers use it. How we defeated the first wave and the second wave that is how as a nation we will defeat this third wave we are experiencing, ‘‘the NaCOVERC spokesman added. 

We all have a moral duty in public health epidemics to protect ourselves and others ,says Epidemiologist and Infectious disease expert, Prof. Alhaji U. N’jai

For Epidemiologist and Infectious disease expert, Prof. Alhaji U. N’jai on the issue of the vaccine, said for mandatory vaccinations to be feasible, four conditions must be satisfied fully, one of them been the gravity of the public health epidemic and must be highly significant and proportionality should be established adding that vaccine safety and efficacy must be established beyond all reasonable doubt; for a trial vaccine like Covid19.

“Are you able to established safety and efficacy against all the different variants of the virus? Thirdly, available alternatives must have been fully examined including the level of natural immunity in your population, and fourthly sufficient vaccine supply should have been established. Again, on a broader aspect, there is the breach of individual intimate liberties, human rights and above all labor rights with coercion. We all have a moral duty in public health epidemics to protect ourselves and others but that doesn’t mean we are morally obliged. Moral obligation is an aspect of ethics and far different from legal obligation,’’ he said.

*Ishmael Sallieu Koroma is a Freelance journalist based in Freetown, Sierra Leone.  He writes for Pan African Visions, a leading publication on African perspectives with operational base from the USA . He is also the Correspondent for EFE News Agency- Spain’s International New Agency and he is the Vice President Sierra Leone Reporters Union.

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Africa CDC, African Union, The Rockefeller Foundation, Clouds Media and the ‘One by One: Target COVID-19 Campaign Join Celebrity Influencers from DRC, Zambia and Uganda to launch Africa Covid Champions in DRC, Zambia and Uganda
July 7, 2021 | 0 Comments

KAMPALA, Uganda, 7 July 2021 -/African Media Agency(AMA)/- In order to combat the spread of misinformation and to mitigate the deadly spread of COVID-19, the One by One: Target COVID-19 Campaign, the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, the African Union and The Rockefeller Foundation have joined hands with celebrity influencers to launch Africa Covid Champions Campaign in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia and Uganda. The Campaign features influencers such as Awilo Longomba, DJ Spilulu, Top Congo Radio, Mama Radio, Wezi Victoria, Simon Mwewa Lane, Hot FM, Icengelo FM, Martha Kemigisha Kagimba (Martha Kay) and GNL Zamba. In order to extend the reach of the Campaign, One By One has partnered with Clouds Media International, a multinational multimedia company.

The Campaign’s celebrity influencers have been designated by the Africa CDC as ‘AfricaCOVIDChampions.’ One By One has equipped each of the influencers with Africa CDC approved “COVID Engagement Toolkits” which contain accurate messages about prevention of the pandemic and about COVID vaccines.

The Campaign is aimed at equipping citizens across Africa with accurate information on COVID-19 prevention and COVID vaccines. AfricaCOVIDChampions will help ensure that accurate, life-saving information about COVID-19 vaccines reaches Africans across the continent. As Martha Kay, media personality, Uganda, remarked, “A year into this pandemic, Uganda and Africa continue to fight this deadly disease. Now that Africa is experiencing a third wave of COVID-19, it is vital that all Africans are informed about the importance of vaccines to stop the spread of this deadly virus and prevent new infections.”

Seed Global Health has been instrumental in leading the efforts of the AfricanCOVIDChampions Campaign in Uganda.

“The last frontier is vaccines. Vaccines are about to hit Zambia. The biggest challenge we are going to have is convincing our people that it is important to take these vaccines,” said Simon Mwewa Lane, Campaign Ambassador, Zambia. 

The Africa Covid Champions Campaign is made possible by the generous support of The Rockefeller Foundation. “These tools and resources are necessary to end the pandemic and recover in a way that enables sustainable and resilient growth well into the future.”

Partners involved in this campaign include:

One by One: Target COVID-19
One by One: Target COVID-19 is a pan-African, coalition-driven communications and advocacy campaign created by The Access Challenge, the African Union and the Africa CDC. The Coalition supports the African Union in its COVID-19 response by advocating for increased financing for the Africa COVID-19 Response Fund to strengthen the Africa CDC’s capacity for securing essential diagnostics and medical supplies. The Campaign also includes various mass media campaigns to mobilize influencers from all sectors to use their viral platforms to promote increased testing, vaccine uptake, and general COVID-19 prevention measures across Africa.

The Africa CDC
Africa CDC is a specialized technical institution of the African Union that strengthens the capacity and capability of Africa’s public health institutions as well as partnerships to detect and respond quickly and effectively to disease threats and outbreaks, based on data-driven interventions and programmes. Learn more at: http://www.africacdc.org

The Rockefeller Foundation
The Rockefeller Foundation is a pioneering philanthropy built on collaborative partnerships at the frontiers of science, technology, and innovation to enable individuals, families, and communities to flourish. We work to promote the well-being of humanity and make opportunity universal. Our focus is on scaling renewable energy for all, stimulating economic mobility, and ensuring equitable access to healthy and nutritious food. For more information, sign up for our newsletter at rockefellerfoundation.org and follow us on Twitter @RockefellerFdn.

Clouds Media International
Clouds is a multinational, multimedia company with over 20 different brands. It is one of East & Central Africa’s most respected media houses and has been recognized as one of the region’s premier Superbrands. Our partnership with Clouds began 15+ years ago, and has proven to be a unique and unusual marriage of media and social impact. As part of this on-going engagement, The Access Challenge has recently partnered with Clouds Media on East Africa’s Got Talent. 

Seed Global Health
Seed Global Health envisions a world in which every country is strengthened by a robust health workforce that can meet the health needs of its population. Rooted in local partnerships, building on local leadership, and driven by local insights, Seed seeks to catalyze lasting change in the health systems of the countries where we work by investing in the people at the heart of health systems. Through strong collaboration with the public sector, Seed equips current and future generations of physicians, nurses, and midwives to strengthen access to high-quality care so that good health is not the privilege of a few, but the right of all. Learn more at www.seedglobalhealth.org and follow us on Twitter @Seed_Global.

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of The Rockefeller Foundation.

For media inquiries, please contact:
Fardin Rahman, Communications and Partnerships Associate, The Access Challenge, partnerships@accesschallenge.com

Source : African Media Agency (AMA)

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Sierra Leone: NaCOVERC Renews Calls For Mask Mandate As COVID 19 Sees Fresh Hike
July 7, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma

Lawyer Solomon Jamiru

The official spokesperson of the National Covid Response Centre (NaCOVERC) in Sierra Leone Lawyer Solomon Jamiru has urged citizens to wear face mask and to adhere to all Covid- 19 protocols as the West African nation grapples with the third wave of the global pandemic in its territory.

Sierra Leone has recently seen a spike in the cases of the deadly virus reporting over 400 confirmed cases prompting the government to re- introduce a nationwide curfew and a restricted movement in and around the country and the closing religious places for a month among other new measures introduced lately.

 “Please use face mask that will be able to cover your mouth, nose, and chin all the time. Let us maintain social distance and let’s wash our hands all the time with soap and water. If you have your alcohol based hand sanitizers use it. How we defeated the first wave and the second wave that is how as a nation we will defeat this third wave we are experiencing, ‘‘he said. 

He added that the third wave is causing much death, seen a rise in people been hospitalized, saw a rise of the corona virus cases in the country thus advising everyone to be ever vigilant and to follow all directives to stop the spread of the virus.

‘’Due to the way and manner Covid -19 cases are rising in Sierra Leone NaCOVERC and the Ministry for Health and Sanitation is calling on  all Sierra Leonean men and women that is over 30 years to go out there and take their Corona Virus vaccine . In western  area , we have corona Markelete centers at Lumley Government Hospital , Kingharman  Road Government Hospital , Macaulay street government hospital , Rokupa government hospital , Connaught hospital and the PCMH respectively  ,’’ Lawyer Jamiru added .

Lawyer Jamiru went on to say that there are other centers in the western area within the Freetown municipality that the government has established in order to enable citizens across the country that are at the age 30 and above to get vaccinated and to be safe.

The NaCOVERC boss urged citizens to go out in their hundreds to take the preventive measures, take their vaccines shot as the nation is experiencing a third wave adding that with the confirmation of the Indian Delta Variant recently in the country as it is very important for people to be more vigilant and to be extra cautious as they go about their normal business.

“The vaccine is safe. They have been certified by the World Health Organization, and even by our own Pharmacy Board of Sierra Leone. As a government we would  like to encourage everyone to take their vaccine shot to protect yourself from the deadly virus,’’ the NaCOVERC spokesman lamented.

The World Health Organisation has warned countries around the world not to be quick and hasty in easing restrictions claiming that the virus is still around the world in many countries thus urging nations to be mindful of their actions in easing covid 19 restrictions.

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Merck signs MoU with African Federation of Fertility Societies
July 6, 2021 | 0 Comments
  • Collaboration on training programs and disease awareness
  • Generation of scientific evidence related to fertility across Africa

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, 6 July 2021 -/African Media Agency(AMA)/- Merck, a leading science and technology company, today announced the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the African Federation of Fertility Societies (AFFS). Through this agreement, both organisations will jointly work on an agenda to further develop educational training programs for healthcare professionals, aimed at improving access to high quality infertility care in Africa for the ultimate benefit of patients.

By combining their forces, both will benefit from each other’s networks and communication channels, while also exploring opportunities to jointly offer in-depth training programs such as preceptorships and fellowships as well as training courses related to fertility issues for health care professionals. ”We are looking forward to this new collaboration with AFFS, to intensify the exchange and partnership. It will ultimately lead to an important improvement for patients, namely couples who need support to realise their family wishes – which is our common goal. Merck has a long- term commitment and a successful leadership history in reproductive medicine” said Dr. Matthias Meergans, Medical Head MEAR at Merck Healthcare.

Furthermore, the collaboration will focus on other areas such as disease awareness campaigns and generation of scientific evidence facilitating access to high-quality care, starting with the support of the African Network and Registry for Assisted Reproductive Technology (ANARA). Professor Gamal Serour, President of African Federation of Fertility Societies stated that “AFFS welcomes and appreciates collaboration with Merck for the implementation of quality fertility service for the infertile people across Africa”.

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of Merck.

About Merck
Merck, a leading science and technology company, operates across healthcare, life science and electronics. Around 58,000 employees work to make a positive difference to millions of people’s lives every day by creating more joyful and sustainable ways to live. From advancing gene editing technologies and discovering unique ways to treat the most challenging diseases to enabling the intelligence of devices – the company is everywhere. In 2020, Merck generated sales of € 17.5 billion in 66 countries.

Scientific exploration and responsible entrepreneurship have been key to Merck’s technological and scientific advances. This is how Merck has thrived since its founding in 1668. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed company. Merck holds the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the business sectors of Merck operate as EMD Serono in healthcare, MilliporeSigma in life science, and EMD Electronics.  

Press Contact:
Mantis Communications
Kerry Simpson
Tel: 079 438 3252
Email: kerry@mantiscomms.co.za

Source : African Media Agency (AMA)

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Namibia confirms COVID-19 Delta variant
July 5, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Andreas Thomas

President Hage Geingob commissioning of COVID-19 treatment facilities in Windhoek, Namibia.Photo credit WHO

Windhoek – Health authorities in Namibia on Monday confirmed the presence of the COVID-19 Delta variant in positive samples tested in the Khomas region.

The variant was detected in 17 out of 18 samples analyzed, says Ben Nangombe, executive director in the ministry of Health and Social Services. 

“Samples were collected from positive COVID-19 cases from Khomas region. This is the first report on the detection of the Delta variant in Namibia,” he said.

Nangombe said the ministry of health has tasked the University of Namibia to conduct genome sequencing activities to determine the coronavirus circulating in the country. 

The latest genome sequencing exercise covers the months of May and June 2021, the official said. 

The university conducted the exercise in collaboration with the Research Centre Borstel and the Robert Koch Institute in Germany. 

“More genome sequencing activities will be carried out in the coming weeks to determine the extent to which the Delta variant may be present in the rest of the country,” Nangombe noted.

As of July 3, the Delta variant has been detected in 89 countries around the world and is quickly becoming the dominant COVID-19 strain in many countries. 

Studies suggest that Delta is significantly more transmissible than other variants.

Over the past weeks, Namibia has been recording high cases of coronavirus infections that have sickened and killed many people. 

On Monday, Namibia recorded 1384 positive cases of COVID-19 and 13 deaths.

The country now has 24 641 active cases of coronavirus, whereby 560 people are hospitalized including 106 in the intensive care unit, while 1 662 have died.

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Ghana: Growing Concerns Over Spike in COVID-19 Cases .
July 5, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Maxwell Nkansah

The new infections of Covid-19 in Ghana have risen significantly in the past few days for reasons yet to be known. In a spate of two weeks, over 1,000 cases have been recorded. As of Tuesday, June 22, the country’s cumulative total since the outbreak of the viral disease over a year ago was 95,059.

But on Sunday, the Ghana Health Service (GHS) puts the total figure at 96,067 on its official website. Obviously, the active cases within the period were increased by over 500 cases.

On same Tuesday, June 22, the Director-General of the Service, Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, reported about the detection of the new Delta strain at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA). He insisted that efforts were being made to make sure that the new strain does not spread to the local communities.

On Friday, July 2, the Covid-19 Task Force reported of the new variant being recorded within some communities. “Relevant agencies are taking the necessary steps to ensure that spread is contained. The infected persons are in good health, the Task Force said.

So far, 19 patients are in severe conditions with nine in critical conditions out of the 1,602 active cases. Seven hundred and ninety-six have succumbed to the virus since it broke out in Ghana.

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Rwanda On Course To Manufacture COVID-19 vaccines, other medications.
July 4, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Jean d’Amour Mbonyinshuti

In keeping with our goal of self-reliance, we are working to build our capabilities to manufacture vaccines and other medications in Rwanda, says President Kagame

President Paul Kagame has assured Rwandans that the country was building its capacity to start manufacturing COVID-19 vaccines and other medications within the country in a bid to raise the level of protection.

The head of state was made the affirmation while delivering his speech on Sunday as the country celebrated Liberation Day.

The day is celebrated every year on July 4, signaling the day when the then Rwanda Patriotic Army put an end to the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and liberated the country.   

 “In keeping with our goal of self-reliance, we are working to build our capabilities to manufacture vaccines and other medications in Rwanda,” he said. 

“This will reduce our dependence on supply sources that are unpredictable or dependent on other interests. But this will take time and we have to be patient,” he added.

Kagame said that fighting COVID-19 was a continuation of Rwanda’s efforts to liberate its citizens even more.

President added that “Some relief is on the way, in terms of vaccines, to raise the level of protection, starting with those most at risk, and eventually reaching as many Rwandans as possible,”

He noted that twenty-seven years ago, Rwandans joined hands to liberate our country and hailed Rwandans for having worked together to build the country as they sustain all gains together.

“Ever since we have worked together every day to renew our society and make Rwanda the best it can be for each one of us,” he said.

“Today, Rwanda is not just a place on the map,” he said.

“For us, it means something that we can all identify with and be proud of, and in which we feel valued, Rwanda means hope. It means that we care for one another,” President added.

As part of celebrations, the state of the arts Kinigi Model Village, in Musanze district, was launched.

Worth Rwf26.6 billion ($26.6 million), the Kinigi Model Village was officially handed over to 144 families. The village was built by Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) as part of the RDF’s mission of contributing to the development of the country.

 Besides homes for the families, the village has different community amenities including an Early Childhood Development Centre (ECD), among other welfare facilities for low-income families.

“The Kinigi model village being launched, and other community projects that our armed forces have delivered, in partnership with other institutions, is a demonstration of our Rwandan solidarity, and we have made it a habit,” the head of state and the army’s  commandant in chief said

He urged Rwandans to put in more efforts to fight COVID-19 pandemic whose positive cases and deaths are increasing.

“It is now more important than ever to follow the measures put in place by the Ministry of Health and other institutions to curb the spread of Covid-19 and save lives,” he said.

“We want every Rwandan to be healthy and free to pursue all the opportunities available to them, including in education, employment, and entrepreneurship,” he assured.

He said that the country was committed to working  for Rwanda’s economic and social transformation must continue and accelerate.

“Beyond our borders, we want to continue fostering mutually respectful and beneficial cooperation with our neighbours, with the region, and globally,” he noted

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Zambia:Covid 19 Vaccines The Sure Way To Prevent High Death Rate.
July 4, 2021 | 0 Comments

Kelvin Mbewe

“If you survive this third wave of Covid 19, then you are lucky. I am from  the burial of my sister’s husband and I just got a call that my grandmother is dead. It is unbelievable, less than a week ago we were buryinging my friend Steve.

We will be wiped out by this virus,” says Charles Mambwe, a Lusaka resident.
Another resident Cecilia Ngoma has described the last month as “unbelievable” due to the number of Covid 19 related deaths.

“My condolences” has become a norm in this country, every time I open our organization whatsapp group there are at least three to five death announcements. And when we were burying one of our colleagues, the University Teaching Hospital morgue was crowded with people picking up corpses for burial,” she said.
From late May to date, Zambian social media and other information platforms have been filled with death and burial announcements.

According to scientists this is the third wave of Covid 19.  In Zambia, May brings in the winter season and temperatures drop to at least 3 -10 F degrees. The country is now recording about 50 Covid 19 related deaths and over 2,000 new cases according to the Zambia National Public Health Institute (ZNPHI) daily updates.

Despite the increase in deaths there is still myths and misconceptions surrounding the virus in Zambia.These misconceptions caused many to shun the AstraZeneca made available to the public in MayAs the situation stands only 150, 000 got the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The second dose is currently underway and is only available for those that got the first dose.  This means that 17 million are currently not vaccinated and are at the highest risk of infection.

The government has recently announced that it has permitted five Covid 19 vaccines to be administered on citizens after they were approved by the world health Organization (WHO)Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary  in charge of technical services Kennedy Malama recently said the new vaccines are China’s Sinopharm, Johnson and Johnson,

AstraZeneca covishield, AZD 12225-Korea AstraZeneca and Pfizer Biotech.
Boston University school of public health Lawrence Mwananyanda says acquiring vaccines and making them available to the people is a major step in fighting Covid 19 in Zambia.

Dr. Mwananyanda and his medical counterparts have been studying the outbreak of the Covid 19 in Zambia and says a head-to-head vaccination can save a lot of lives.

“What is happening is that the third wave is more vicious than the second wave. Around end of May to beginning of June we started seeing an escalation of deaths and cases related to Covid 19. This is mainly because of the new variant circulating, the delta variant which is also circulating in India and it appears to be more transmissible,” he said.
He said the reason why it is more transmissible is because most Zambians have done little with regards prevention.

“We have stopped masking up, right now as I am talking to you, I’m driving near memorial park and I don’t see anybody in a mask. We have completely dropped the ball on preventative measures. We need to do what South Africa is doing. Their president yesterday announced very stringent measures,” he said.
Prof Mwananyanga however said stringent measures are inadequate.

“Yes AstraZeneca is available but not in enough quantities, so what the government should do is to step up on the preventative measures because the hospitals will be very overwhelmed soon and you know the process of recruiting medical staff takes very long,” he said.

He called on government to also provide masks and sanitizers especially in places where locals cannot afford them.

“Asking people to practice social distancing in Kalinga-linga or chawama is almost impossible. We also need a long term plan on how vaccines will get into the country. We need millions of doses, we don’t just need 200,000 doses, to get herd immunity,” he said.

He said the current vaccination numbers are too little to fight a pandemic such as Covid 19.

“As we speak only 150,000 have received the first dose of AstraZeneca and for the second dose my estimate is that not more than 30,000 have been fully vaccinated, that is a tiny drop in the ocean,” he said.

Prof Mwananyanga called on government to roll out the vaccines and recruit medical staff to undertake the task of rolling them out to the whole country.

“We expect to see escalating numbers of Covid 19 related cases for the next four to six weeks before things get better,” he said.

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Covid-19 en RDC : 188 nouveaux cas confirmés, 8 décès et 51 guéris vendredi
July 3, 2021 | 0 Comments

Depuis le début de l’épidémie déclarée le 10 mars 2020, le cumul des cas est de 41.958 cas confirmés et 1 cas probable. Au total, il y a eu 945 décès et 28.482 personnes guéries.

•     188 nouveaux cas confirmés, dont 94 à Kinshasa, 32 au Nord-Kivu,   21  en Ituri, 18 dans le Haut-Katanga, 12 au Kongo Central, au Lualaba, à  la Tshopo, au Kasaï Oriental et au Sankuru ;
•     687 échantillons testés ;
•    nouveaux décès des cas confirmés à Kinshasa ;
•    51 nouvelles personnes sorties guéries dans les CTCo et parmi les personnes suivi à domicile, dont 34 à Kinshasa et 17  au Kasaï Oriental ;
• Une nouvelle province a été touchée par le Coronavirus. Il s’agit de la province du Sankuru avec 1 cas ;
•    Harmonisation des chiffres depuis le 20 avril 2021 liée à un écart entre le niveau national et les provinces.
N.B : Le test Covid-19 est gratuit pour tout le monde en République démocratique du Congo. Cependant, le test des voyageurs est payant à 30 dollars américains.

*Les 25 provinces touchées :

1.    *Kinshasa        :    30.454 cas ;
2.    *Nord-Kivu        :      3.300 cas ;
3.    *Kongo Central        :      2.199 cas ;
4.  *Haut-Katanga            :      2.182 cas ;
5.    *Lualaba        :      1.040 cas ;
6.   

 Sud-Kivu        :          972 cas ;
7.    *Tshopo        :         467 cas ;
8.    *Ituri            :                     443 cas ;

9.    Haut-Uélé        :         294 cas ;
10.    Equateur        :           231 cas ;
11.    Kasaï            :            82 cas ;
12.    Nord-Ubangi        :           76 cas ;
13.    Haut-Lomami        :           49 cas ;
14.    Maniema        :           42 cas ;
15.    *Kasaï  Oriental        :           37 cas ;
16.    Kasaï Central        :           30 cas ;
17.    Tanganyika        :           19 cas ;
18.    Sud-Ubangi        :            11 cas ;
19.    Kwilu            :           10 cas ;
20.    Bas-Uélé        :            7 cas ;
21.    Kwango            :                5 cas ;
22.    Tshuapa        :                3 cas ;
23.    Lomami            :            2 cas ;
24.    Maï-Ndombe        :                2 cas ;
25. *Sankuru  :  1 cas.

/!\ Les données présentées dans ce tableau sont susceptibles de changer ultérieurement, après investigations approfondies et après redistribution des cas et décès dans leurs zones de santé respectives.

Depuis le début de l’épidémie déclarée le 10 mars 2020, le cumul des cas est de 41.959, dont 41.958 cas confirmés et 1 cas probable. Au total, il y a eu 945 décès et 28.482 personnes guéries.   

Source : African Media Agency (AMA)

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Delta variant drives Africa COVID threat to ‘whole new level´: WHO warns; ‘dominant’ in Europe by August
July 2, 2021 | 0 Comments

With cases now doubling in Africa every three weeks, the Delta variant of COVID-19 has spread to 16 countries and it is present in three of the five nations reporting the highest caseloads. The variant is the most contagious yet – up to 60% more transmissible than other variants.

NEW YORK, USA, July 02, 2021,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/-Along with Alpha and Beta, Delta is fuelling an aggressive third wave across Africa, with case numbers climbing faster than all earlier peaks, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). 

WHO experts warned on Thursday that the numbers have increased for six consecutive weeks, up by 25% last week, reaching 202,000 positive cases. Deaths also rose by 15% across 38 African countries, to nearly 3,000.

Young adults hit

The Delta variant, initially identified in India, is now dominant in South Africa, which accounted for more than half of Africa´s cases last week. Moreover, the variant was detected in 97% of the samples sequenced in Uganda and 79% of those sequenced in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The variant also seems to be fueling illness among young adults. According to WHO experts. In Uganda for example, 66% of severe illness in people younger than 45, is attributed to Delta.

“The speed and scale of Africa’s third wave is like nothing we’ve seen before. The rampant spread of more contagious variants pushes the threat to Africa up to a whole new level. More transmission means more serious illness and more deaths, so everyone must act now and boost prevention measures to stop an emergency becoming a tragedy,” said Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO´s regional director for Africa.A nurse at North Kivu Provincial Hospital administers the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to a 45-year-old soldier in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.UNICEF/Arlette BashiziA nurse at North Kivu Provincial Hospital administers the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to a 45-year-old soldier in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Alpha and Beta

The Alpha and Beta variants have been also reported in 32 and 27 countries respectively. Alpha has been detected in most countries in north, west and central Africa, while Beta is more widespread in the south. Both are considerably more transmissible than the original virus.

With rising case numbers and hospitalizations across the continent, WHO estimates that oxygen demand in Africa is now 50% greater than for the first wave peak, one year ago.

Lack of shots

Eight vaccines have been approved for the WHO emergency use listing, however, shipments to Africa have, in effect, dried up.

“While supply challenges grind on, dose sharing can help plug the gap. We are grateful for the pledges made by our international partners, but we need urgent action on allocations. Africa must not be left languishing in the throes of its worst wave yet,” added Dr. Moeti.

Only 15 million people – a mere 1.2% of the African population – are fully vaccinated.A masked man walking in London's West EndIMF Photo/Jeff MooreA masked man walking in London’s West End

Delta dominant in Europe ‘by August’

Meanwhile in Europe, a ten-week decline in the number of COVID-19 cases in the 53 countries that the WHO analyses, has come to an end.

The regional director for the UN health agency, Hans Kluge, informed on Thursday that last week the number of cases rose by 10%, driven by increased mixing, travel, gatherings, and easing of social restrictions.

“This is taking place in the context of a rapidly evolving situation – a new variant of concern, the Delta variant – and in a region where despite tremendous efforts by Member States, millions remain unvaccinated”, he explained.

Mr. Kluge said that the Delta variant overtakes alpha very quickly through multiple and repeated introductions and is already translating into increased hospitalizations and deaths.

“By August, the WHO European Region will be Delta dominant”, the expert underscored.

New wave of deaths

However, by August, Europe will not be sufficiently immunized, with 63% of people currently still waiting for their first jab, and the region will still be mostly loosening restrictions, with increasing travel and gatherings, Dr. Kluge warned.

“The three conditions for a new wave of excess hospitalizations and deaths before the autumn are therefore in place: new variants, (a) deficit in vaccine uptake, increased social mixing; and there will be a new wave in the WHO European Region unless we remained disciplined”, he said.

Vaccines are effective

Mr. Kluge reminded that vaccines are effective against the Delta variant: “not one dose but two doses”,

He added that delays in getting vaccinated cost lives and the economies, and the slower vaccination programmes are, the more variants will emerge.

“We see many countries doing well, but the truth is that the average vaccine coverage in the region is 24% only, and more serious, half of our elders and 40% of our health care workers are still unprotected. That’s unacceptable”, the expert said, explaining that with these figures, the pandemic is nowhere over.

“And it would be very wrong for anyone – citizens and policymakers – to assume that it is”.

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of UN News.

Source : African Media Agency (AMA)

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Kenya Secures $130 Million for COVID-19 Vaccines.
July 2, 2021 | 0 Comments

This additional financing will enable Kenya to procure more vaccines via the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT) initiative.

File Picture. President Uhuru Kenyatta and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta today took the #Covid19Vaccine at State House, Nairobi.PHOTO/STATEHOUSE-KENYA

The World Bank Board of Executive Directors has approved $130 million additional financing for the Kenya COVID-19 Health Emergency Response Project to facilitate affordable and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for Kenyans.

This additional financing will enable Kenya to procure more vaccines via the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT) initiative and the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) facilities. It will also support the deployment of those vaccines by boosting Kenya’s cold chain storage capacity—including establishing 25 county vaccine stores, strengthening the capacity of 36 sub-county stores, and equipping 1,177 health facilities with vaccine storage equipment.

“This additional financing comes at a critical time when the Government of Kenya is making concerted efforts to contain the rising cases of COVID-19 infections and accelerate the deployment of vaccines to a wider population,” said Keith Hansen, World Bank Country Director for Kenya. “The upfront financing for the acquisition of COVID-19 vaccines will enable the government to expand access to more Kenyans free of cost.”

Other activities that will be funded include vaccine safety surveillance, training for health workers, and advocacy and communications activities to encourage COVID-19 vaccine uptake.

“With the increased support for a rapid COVID-19 response, the World Bank is offering the government a flexible approach to select a portfolio of vaccines that best suits local capacities, timings of delivery, and vaccine approvals,” said Jane Chuma, World Bank Senior Health Economist.

This is the second additional financing for the Kenya COVID-19 Health Emergency Response Project. Together with the $10 million triggered under the Contingency Emergency Response Component of the Transforming Health Systems for Universal Care Project, the World Bank’s contributions to Kenya’s COVID-19 response total $246 million.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Bank Group has committed over $125 billion worldwide to fight the health, economic, and social impacts of the pandemic, the fastest and largest crisis response in its history. The financing is helping more than 100 countries strengthen pandemic preparedness, protect the poor and jobs, and jump start a climate-friendly recovery. The World Bank is also providing $12 billion to help low- and middle-income countries purchase and distribute COVID-19 vaccines, tests, and treatments.

*World Bank

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Rife COVID-19 variants fuel Africa’s surging wave.
July 2, 2021 | 0 Comments

Cases have increased in Africa for six weeks running and rose by 25% week-on-week to almost 202 000 in the week ending on June 27th.

More transmission means more serious illness and more deaths, so everyone must act now and boost prevention measures to stop an emergency becoming a tragedy, says Dr Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa.

As COVID-19 case numbers in Africa climb faster than all earlier peaks, new and faster spreading variants are fuelling the continent’s surging third wave.  

Cases have increased in Africa for six weeks running and rose by 25% week-on-week to almost 202 000 in the week ending on June 27th, reaching nine tenths of the continent’s previous record of 224 000 new cases. Deaths rose by 15% across 38 African countries to nearly 3000 in the same period. 

With case numbers doubling in Africa every three weeks, the Delta variant is spreading to a growing number of countries. It has been reported in 16 countries, including nine with surging cases. It is the most contagious variant yet, an estimated 30%–60% more transmissible than other variants. It is in three of the five countries reporting the highest caseloads for the week ending 27 June. And it is dominant in South Africa, which accounted for more than half of Africa’s cases in the same period. According to the latest country reports, the Delta variant was detected in 97% of samples sequenced in Uganda and 79% of samples sequenced in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 

 “The speed and scale of Africa’s third wave is like nothing we’ve seen before. The rampant spread of more contagious variants pushes the threat to Africa up to a whole new level. More transmission means more serious illness and more deaths, so everyone must act now and boost prevention measures to stop an emergency becoming a tragedy,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa. 

In Uganda, 66% of severe illness in people younger than 45 years is attributed to the Delta variant. With rising case numbers and hospitalizations across the continent, WHO estimates that oxygen demand in Africa is now 50% greater than for the first wave peak one year ago. 

The Alpha and Beta variants have been reported in 32 and 27 countries respectively. The Alpha variant has been detected in most countries in north, west and central Africa. The Beta variant is more widespread in southern Africa. Both of these variants are more transmissible than the original virus.

With WHO support, genomic surveillance to track the spread of variants in Africa is increasing, with the aim of boosting sampling for sequencing by eight to ten times during the next six months at five laboratories covering 14 southern African countries. A better understanding of the molecular evolution of the variants will also aid countries in making quick decisions around which vaccines to use. 

Although eight vaccines have been shown to be safe and effective and have received WHO emergency use listing, shipments to Africa have dried up. Only 15 million people – just 1.2% of the African population – are fully vaccinated. WHO has set up the African COVID-19 Vaccine Effectiveness Network to document the effectiveness of the available vaccines when used in the African context. These studies assess the effectiveness of each vaccine against the variants circulating in the region.

“While supply challenges grind on, dose sharing can help plug the gap. We are grateful for the pledges made by our international partners, but we need urgent action on allocations. Africa must not be left languishing in the throes of its worst wave yet,” said Dr Moeti. 

African Immunization experts met to tackle a range of pressing issues, including COVID-19 vaccines, the status of the malaria vaccine implementation programme, polio eradication and routine immunization progress, at the biannual Regional Immunization Technical Advisory Group (RITAG) that was held virtually from 30 June to 1 July. Participants also addressed the implementation of the regional framework for Immunization Agenda 2030, a roadmap to achieve crucial immunization goals. RITAG members offered recommendations to African governments to address key challenges and strengthen immunization systems.

Dr Moeti spoke during a virtual press conference today facilitated by APO Group. She was joined by Professor Jean-Jacques Muyembe, Director-General, National Institute for Biomedical Research, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Technical Secretary of the Multisectoral Committee for the Response to COVID-19 in DRC and Professor Pontiano Kaleebu, Director MRC/Virus Research Institute (UVRI) and LSHTM Uganda Research Unit.

Also on hand to answer questions were Dr Richard Mihigo, Coordinator, Immunization and Vaccines Development Programme, WHO Regional Office for Africa, Dr Thierno Balde, Team Leader, Operational Partnerships, WHO Regional Office for Africa, and Dr Nicksy Gumede-Moeletsi, Regional Virologist, WHO Regional Office for Africa.

*WHO Regional Office for Africa.

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Controverses autour du vaccin AstraZeneca: La Directrice générale de l’OMS contredit Tshisekedi
July 1, 2021 | 0 Comments

Dr. Matshidiso Moeti

Source: Matininfos

Source : African Media Agency (AMA)

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Kenya to receive the Johnson and Johnson vaccine in August.
June 30, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

File Picture. President Uhuru Kenyatta and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta today took the #Covid19Vaccine at State House, Nairobi.PHOTO/STATEHOUSE-KENYA

The first batch of 13 million Johnson and Johnson vaccines will land in Kenya in August 2021, announced President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Speaking during a live address to the country on Tuesday evening, President Kenyatta said Kenya is in the process of negotiating with the company, saying they have managed to get a lower price.

The East African country rolled out its vaccination plan in March using the AstraZeneca vaccine. However, the exercise suffered a massive blow after India, the chief producer, banned the exportation of the vaccine to eradicate the virus in its territory. Only a few people have received the second dose due to a shortage of vaccines.

Mr. Kenyatta said they plan to import the covid-19 vaccine unpackaged to finalize the remaining process when the virus arrives in the country.  This is to avoid time wastage as statistics show that Kenya is one of the countries with the lowest percentage of vaccination against the virus.

At the same time, Kenya’s Head of State disclosed a plan to vaccinate 26 million adults by June 2022, with 10 million sets to be vaccinated by December 25 this year.  In the new plan, his administration is also monitoring approval of vaccines for underage with a target to inoculate four million minors by mid-next year.

He noted the government intends to accelerate vaccination exercise that will see 150,000 people vaccinated daily effective August 2021.

“Instead of vaccinating 10 million adults by June 2022, we will vaccinate the entire adult population of 26 million Kenyans by 2022. In fact, by Christmas this year, we intend to have vaccinated over 10 million adults,” said President Kenyatta.

“A vaccinated population of 30 million will allow us to begin the journey for herd immunity against this pandemic. This is our intention for the next twelve months,” he added.

During the 16th National Address on coronavirus pandemic at State House, Nairobi, President Kenyatta extended the dusk to dawn curfew by 60 days. The curfew time will run from 7 pm to 4 am in the hotspot areas, and the rest from 10 pm to 4 am. 

Political gatherings are also banned for the same number of days.

Funerals, burials, and other interment ceremonies shall be conducted strictly within 96 hours of confirmation death. 

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RDC/Covid-19 : 185 nouveaux cas confirmés dimanche
June 28, 2021 | 0 Comments

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your PR reach, industry news, and competitive activity by monitoring most channels in North, West, Central, East and Southern Africa. Comprehensive and timely media monitoring is critical to ensuring that you don’t miss any reporting of your brand,
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Source : African Media Agency (AMA)

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RDC/Covid-19 : 496 nouveaux cas confirmés, 4 décès et 14 guéris samedi
June 27, 2021 | 0 Comments

CORONAVIRUS

Depuis le début de l’épidémie déclarée le 10 mars 2020, le cumul des cas est de 40.254, dont 40.253 cas confirmés et 1 cas probable. Au total, il y a eu 916 décès et 28.219 personnes guéries.   

  • 496 nouveaux cas confirmés, dont 397 à Kinshasa, 38 au Kasaï,  22 au Kongo Central, 17 dans le Haut-Katanga, 12  en Ituri, dans le Haut-Uélé,  au Lualaba  et au Nord-Kivu, ;
  • 994 échantillons testés ;
  • nouveaux décès des cas confirmés à Kinshasa ;
  • 14 nouvelles personnes sorties guéries des CTCo et parmi les personnes suivies à domicile à Kinshasa ;
  • La République démocratique du Congo a dépassé la barre de quarante mille (40.000) cas contaminés de Coronavirus, tandis que Kinshasa a dépassé la barre de vingt-neuf mille (29.000) cas confirmés ;
  • Harmonisation des chiffres depuis le 20 avril 2021 liée à un écart entre le niveau national et les provinces ;

N.B : Le test Covid-19 est gratuit pour tout le monde en République démocratique du Congo. Cependant, le test des voyageurs est payant à 30 dollars américains.  
 
*Les 24 provinces touchées : 

  1. Kinshasa                        :             29.359 cas ; 
  2. Nord-Kivu                       :               3.162 cas ;
  3. Haut-Katanga                 :               2.188 cas ;
  4. Kongo Central                :               2.084 cas ;
  5. Lualaba                           :                  999 cas ;
  6. Sud-Kivu                           :                  955 cas ;
  7. Tshopo                              :                  431 cas ;
  8. Ituri                                  :                  372 cas ;
  9. Haut-Uélé                        :                  264 cas ;
  10. Equateur                           :                    84 cas ;
  11. Kasaï                                :                   82 cas ;
  12. Nord-Ubangi                     :                    76 cas ;
  13. Haut-Lomami                    :                    49 cas ;
  14. Maniema                           :                    42 cas ;
  15. Kasaï Central                    :                    30 cas ;
  16. Kasaï  Oriental                  :                    24 cas ;
  17. Tanganyika                        :                   20 cas ;
  18. Kwilu                                  :                   10 cas ;
  19. Bas-Uélé                            :                     7 cas ;
  20. Sud-Ubangi                        :                     7 cas ;
  21. Kwango                             :                      5 cas ;
  22. Tshuapa                              :                    3 cas ;
  23. Lomami                               :                    2 cas ;
  24. Maï-Ndombe                       :                    2 cas.

L’article RDC/Covid-19 : 496 nouveaux cas confirmés, 4 décès et 14 guéris samedi est apparu en premier sur Matininfos.NET – Information de la RDC en toute impartialité.

Source: Matininfos

Source : African Media Agency (AMA)

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These Six Health Rules “Maketh” Rich…
June 26, 2021 | 0 Comments

“Health is wealth” is a popular maxim known by all but hardly do we pursue simple health guides. Known to be the secret of most great achievers from Heads of States to Corporate captains and self-made billionaires, it is a sure guide to making riches if followed with the zeal and passion to equally achieve business targets.

GUIDE 1: SLEEP

Your brain works hard all day. It needs a good night’s sleep too! It’s a known fact sleep is beneficial for good health. We always feel refreshed and powered to take on the world after a good sleep. Scientists have gone to great lengths to fully understand sleep’s benefits. In studies of humans and other animals, they have discovered that sleep plays a critical role in immune function, metabolism, memory, learning, and other vital functions. Improved memory as a benefit from sleep does a great deal of good for business leaders and decision-makers across all facets of industries.

“I’m a huge advocate for sleep, and I prioritize it the same way I would prioritize going to the gym and seeing my friends,” said Mana Ionescu, the president of Lightspan Digital, a Chicago-based digital marketing agency., who aims for eight hours a night but estimates she gets closer to seven. “It’s so hard because it’s the thing that seems the easiest to sacrifice.”

GUIDE 2: EXERCISE

It’s been proven that exercising cuts the risks of certain diseases associated with the working class. As an entrepreneur, you’ll need regular exercise at least every morning to keep you in the right frame of mind for the daily schedule, and the benefits are enormous. Carving out time to run or do some press-ups seems like a waste when there’s a project to complete or a product to launch doesn’t it?

Here are some insights into the benefits of exercising:

1. Exercise Hones Your Competitive Edge

Exercise is a big difference-maker in wealth-creation, according to one Finnish study. When compared, twins who exercised earned significantly more income than their sedentary siblings. Why?

The answer is hugely important for entrepreneurs. It turns out that exercise actually helps build the kind of character traits that win in the marketplace.

2. Exercise Empowers Work-Life Balance

Exercise also boosts our confidence that we can accomplish difficult tasks. That self-efficacy leads to better performance at work and confidence we can keep pace with our home life.

Entrepreneurs are famous for their inability to get this figured out. If that’s you too, exercise might just be your missing component.

3. Exercise Improves Our Problem-Solving Abilities

At its most basic, entrepreneurship is providing a solution to meet a meet. The better we are at solving problems especially complex and challenging ones the greater potential for success and greatness.

There is a direct connection between exercise and problem-solving capabilities, creativity, and other executive functions like planning.

A single workout can immediately boost higher-order thinking skills, making you more productive and efficient as you go through your workday. When you exercise your legs, you also exercise your brain; this means that a lunchtime workout can improve your cognitive performance, thanks to blood flow and brain food. It improves executive function, a type of higher-order thinking that allows people to formulate arguments, develop strategies, creatively solve problems and synthesize information.

Given these and other benefits, I can think of very few reasons why entrepreneurs would skip exercise to work on their business. The research says that exercising is working on their business.

GUIDE 3: CHALLENGE

Challenge yourself with puzzles and games to keep you active and alert. Success comes faster to those who are open, active learners. The higher up the success ladder you climb, the more complex the systems and opportunities that are presented to you. Absorb all the information you can and if you sense a gap you can’t fill, connect with people who have the knowledge you need. For the entrepreneur, the importance of daily challenge is as important as making the next big move.

GUIDE 4: LOW CHOLESTEROL

Keep an eye on your cholesterol and blood pressure. A healthy heart means a healthy brain. Entrepreneurs need to be mindful of their diet particularly taking into consideration the need to always be on the move. There would be this temptation to resort to quick-meals to buy time but its impacts, in the long run, are dire.  Consider adding the following to your diets, Avocado, Red wine, Margarine, Spinach, Olive oil, Beans, Tea, Nuts, Salmon and fatty fish, and Oats they are low in cholesterol.

GUIDE 5: DON’T SMOKE

Smoking can cause decreased blood flow to your brain, causing brain damage. The really bad part is that cigarettes cause harm to every system, be it cardiovascular, nervous, or even reproductive, in one’s body. An entrepreneur needs a sound body and mind to turn out the next big idea to rival Facebook, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, UT Bank, DreamOval, and DSTV.

“One of the significant causes of premature ageing of the face is smoking,” says Michael Fiore, MD, MPH, founder and director of the University Of Wisconsin Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention.

GUIDE 6: TAKE A BREAK

Working without a break can break you. Vacations are proven to lead to significantly higher performance upon return to the job. The energizing ingredients are time away from stressors (you need two weeks to get the recuperative benefits from burnout) and mastery and social experiences while on vacation that build competence and social connection.

Ghana is blessed with so many tourist sites and attractions, many tourists on vacation visit these attractions but hardly do you see corporate Ghana or the entrepreneur taking vacations to these sites. From the north to south we can explore these attractions as we recuperate to face the game head-on.

By: Paa Swanzy-Essuman || www.Ghanatalksbusiness.com

The post These Six Health Rules “Maketh” Rich… appeared first on Ghana Talks Business.

Ghana Talks Business

Source : African Media Agency (AMA)

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Cameroon: Doctors Without Borders Want Suspension Uplifted.
June 25, 2021 | 0 Comments

For the past six months, the works of Doctors Without Borders in the North West Region has been suspended by the Cameroonian authorities.

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

MSF Officials Providing support to an injured

Doctors Without Borders (MSF), an international humanitarian medical non-governmental organization, that has been working in Cameroon for the past years now has called on the Cameroonian government to uplift the ban placed on them from operating in the North West Region.

“Vital medical services have been denied for six months now, and this is taking an unacceptable toll on Cameroonian citizens, many of whom have fled to the bush, unable to bear the sights, sounds and threats of violence any longer”, says Emmanuel Lampaert, MSF Operations Coordinator for Central Africa.

“This decision represents a substantial blow to medical and humanitarian access”. As we speak, our community health workers see people die and suffer because of the lack of treatment available in villages and displaced communities, and our ambulance call centre continues to receive emergency requests, which they are forced to decline. What rationale can justify these unnecessary deaths?”

“We call once again on the government of Cameroon to put the needs of the population first and to immediately reinstate MSF’s essential medical services in the North-West. Our operations cannot remain on hold indefinitely.”

On December 8, 2020, MSF was suspended from working in the North-West region as Cameroonian authorities accused the NGO of being too close to non-state armed groups in the area. Despite months of discussions to respond to these allegations, MSF has been unable to restart its operations, leaving tens of thousands of people without access to lifesaving free healthcare.

For the past four years, violence has been going on in the two English-speaking regions of the country as separatist fighters look to establish a state of their own. This has resulted in many being killed, maimed, others kidnapped for ransom and many fleeing their villages or areas of residence.

According to the latest UN figures, the flare-up of violence in the Anglophone Regions of Cameroon has pushed more than 700,000 people to flee their homes, while over 60,000 have fled to neighbouring Nigeria. Today, people’s living conditions are massively affected by the crisis and over 1.4 million people are considered in need of humanitarian support in North West and South West Cameroon.

“Access to healthcare services is of major concern in the North West and South West regions”, says Emmanuel Lampaert.

The works of MSF have been crucila in the North West Region of Cameroon

“Because of insecurity, lockdowns, curfews and the targeting of health facilities, access to healthcare is extremely limited, with at least one in five facilities non-functioning. Displaced populations barely dare to move to health facilities, and the economic downturn has made it still harder to travel to hospital or even to afford treatment…”

In 2020, MSF teams in the North West Region treated 180 survivors of sexual violence; 1,725 mental health consultations were provided; 3,272 surgeries were performed; 4,407 patients were referred by ambulance, of which more than 1,000 were women in labour; 42,578 consultations were provided by community health volunteers, mostly for malaria, diarrhoea and respiratory tract infections.

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