New report on COVID-19 in Africa shows impact of COVID-19 on African continent has been underestimated
May 12, 2021 | 0 Comments
Urgent, strategic action needed in light of limited vaccine and mounting threat of new variants
As the world battles new COVID-19 variants and supply and rollout of vaccines remains critically low in Africa, new research from the Partnership for Evidence-Based Response to COVID-19 (PERC) indicates that burdens experienced by people in African Union Member States remain grave: 81% of survey respondents reported challenges in accessing food, 77% reported experiencing income loss and 42% reported missing medical visits since the start of the pandemic. The report calls for targeted public health measures for high-risk populations, increased surveillance in light of new variants, and scaled-up vaccine supply from the global community to control the pandemic in Africa.
“As case counts surge across the world, new variants emerge and vaccine rollout remains slow, it will be crucial for African Union Member States to use evidence-based strategies to manage COVID-19,” said Dr. John Nkengasong, Director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. “The PERC report provides valuable insights to countries to strategically tailor their ongoing responses.”
Limitations in testing capacity and surveillance—as well as uneven demand for testing—are likely masking the true severity of COVID-19 on the African continent, fueling the dangerous myth that much of Africa has been unscathed by COVID-19. Test positivity rates were above 10% across many Member States during the second wave—substantially higher than the 5% maximum warning level suggested by the World Health Organization and suggesting that many cases have gone undetected.
Vaccine acceptance was high among survey respondents—67% of people said they would get the vaccine when it’s available—with several important caveats. Acceptance varied widely among countries, from 91% in Morocco to 35% in Tunisia and Cameroon. At the time of the survey, most respondents did not yet have access to vaccines or much information about specific vaccines rolling out in the region. In fact, among those who expressed hesitancy about vaccination, lack of information was a leading reason.
“Vaccine hesitancy is driven by high levels of disinformation, misinformation, and lack of information, which erodes trust in the safety and efficacy of vaccines,” said Dr. Richard Mihigo, Program Coordinator, Immunization and Vaccine Development, WHO’s Regional Office for Africa. “Going forward, we must prioritize sustained and targeted campaigns which address the growing infodemic around vaccines while providing evidence-based information to dispel myths and build confidence in vaccines. Communication and engagement is key to building trust and creating a positive discourse around vaccines from the ground up.”
Nearly nine in 10 respondents reported using masks when near others in February 2021—almost identical to findings six months before. However, in some of the populous and hard-hit countries, such as South Africa and Ethiopia, self-reported mask use trended downward in February, suggesting the need to redouble efforts to promote this low-cost and effective intervention in some areas. Overall, self-reported adherence to measures restricting social gathering and movement declined significantly between August 2020 and February 2021.
Given the delayed rollout of vaccines and the threat posed by new variants, all AU Member States will need to scale up effective testing strategies to detect early indications of potential surges and sustain the strategic use of public health measures to prevent subsequent waves while ensuring social protection. The researchers conclude that clear, transparent communications from leaders and public health officials will be vital in building trust and influencing people to follow any further measures; respondents who expressed high satisfaction with their government, community leaders or Ministry of Health were more likely to report adherence to public health measures than those who expressed dissatisfaction.
“Countries are most effective controlling the pandemic when they consider what measures people will actually follow at this stage in the pandemic and take steps to inform, partner with, and support communities,” said Dr. Tom Frieden, President and CEO of Resolve to Save Lives, an initiative of Vital Strategies. “Analysis of PERC data can help governments predict adherence to preventive measures, craft effective communications and mount a stronger response to COVID-19.”
The PERC survey—the third in its “Using Data to Find a Balance” series— was fielded in February, when Africa was emerging from a second, substantially larger wave of COVID-19. PERC polled more than 24,000 adults across 19 African Union (AU) Member States, compiled social, economic and epidemiological data from a range of sources and compared results from the previous survey conducted in August 2020.
Other key findings in the report include:
Three primary factors influenced people’s adherence to PHSMs: belief that such measures are necessary, perception of personal risk and satisfaction with the government’s handling of COVID-19.
- Little more than half (53%) of respondents supported measures restricting social gathering, such as limits on visiting places of worship, public gatherings and entertainment venues, compared to 65% in August; 54% supported measures restricting movement (stay-at-home orders, reducing trips to the market or store), down from 64% in August.
- Fear of contracting COVID-19 continued to be the most common reason for missing care in the previous six months (26%). 51% of respondents believed that health care workers should be avoided because they might transmit COVID-19.
- Affordability of care was a further barrier for missing care (20%), likely related to secondary burdens such as income loss.
- Income loss and food insecurity have worsened since the beginning of the pandemic. Food insecurity is a grave concern, with 81% of respondents reporting issues in accessing food, and 48% reported having to reduce the number or size of meals in the past week.
- Households in lower income groups are the most affected and least reached by social protection programs (where such programs exist at all).
Recommendations include that governments and the global community invest in:
- Increasing capacity to detect, test, sequence and trace cases and new COVID-19 variants;
- Prioritizing targeted, individual PHSMs to high-risk areas to maximize adherence for the long run and minimize secondary burdens;
- Using an evidence-based approach to identify and offer relief to high-risk populations;
- Protecting health care workers via adequate personal protective equipment, fair compensation, paid sick leave and access to mental health care;
- Prioritizing vaccination of health care workers and strategically communicating to the public to reduce stigma against them and to reinforce that seeking health care is safe;
- Maintaining and strengthening vaccination information campaigns to bolster confidence, and supporting regional efforts to combat misinformation and build trust, in preparation for when vaccines become more available; and
- Stepping up action from the global community to increase vaccine production, ensure equitable allocation and share technological expertise to facilitate local vaccine manufacturing with Member States.
To read the full report, please visit click here.
About Resolve to Save Lives
Resolve to Save Lives, an initiative of the global health organization Vital Strategies, focuses on preventing deaths from cardiovascular disease and by preventing epidemics. It is led by Dr. Tom Frieden, former director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
About Vital Strategies
Vital Strategies is a global health organization that believes every person should be protected by a strong public health system. We work with governments and civil society in 73 countries to design and implement evidence-based strategies that tackle their most pressing public health problems. Our goal is to see governments adopt promising interventions at scale as rapidly as possible.
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) are private, nonprofit institutions that provide expert advice on some of the most pressing challenges facing the nation and the world. Our work helps shape sound policies, inform public opinion, and advance the pursuit of science, engineering, and medicine. The National Academies do not receive direct appropriations from the federal government, although many of their activities are mandated and funded by Congress and federal agencies. NASEM also works with Foundations, state governments, the private sector, and philanthropy from individuals to enable them to address critical issues on behalf of the nation.
About the UK Public Health Rapid Support Team
The UK-PHRST is funded by UK aid from the Department of Health and Social Care and is a partnership between the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and Public Health England (PHE).. Through the UK Public Health Rapid Support Team (UK-PHRST), the UK has the capacity to respond rapidly to disease outbreaks in low- and middle-income countries around the world and conduct operational research into epidemic preparedness, playing an important role in global health security. The team also works to help countries to build their own capacity for an improved and rapid national response to outbreaks.
Ipsos is the third largest market research company in the world, present in 90 markets and employing more than 18,000 people. Our passionately curious research professionals, analysts and scientists have built unique multi-specialist capabilities that provide true understanding and powerful insights into the actions, opinions and motivations of citizens, consumers, patients, customers or employees. Our 75 business solutions are based on primary data coming from our surveys, social media monitoring, and qualitative or observational techniques. “Game Changers”—our tagline—summarises our ambition to help our 5,000 clients navigate with confidence our world of rapid change. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos is listed on the Euronext Paris since 1 July 1999. The company is part of the SBF 120 and the Mid-60 index and is eligible for the Deferred Settlement Service (SRD).
Novetta delivers scalable advanced analytic and technical solutions to address challenges of national and global significance. Focused on mission success, Novetta pioneers disruptive technologies in machine learning, data analytics, full-spectrum cyber, open source analytics, cloud engineering, DevSecOps, and multi-INT analytics for Defense, Intelligence Community, and Federal Law Enforcement customers. Novetta is headquartered in McLean, VA with over 1,300 employees across the U.S.
About the World Economic Forum
The World Economic Forum is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation. In response to the COVID-19 emergency, the World Economic Forum, acting as partner to the World Health Organization (WHO), launched the COVID Action Platform. The platform is intended to catalyse private-sector support for the global public health response to COVID-19, and to do so at the scale and speed required to protect lives and livelihoods, aiming to find ways to help end the global emergency as soon as possible.
About the Word Health Organization
WHO is working with UNICEF, Gavi and partners to support all aspects of COVID-19 immunization in Africa, including capacity assessments, planning, advising on delivery strategies, regulatory mechanisms, ensuring adequate cold chain, training and supervision, data monitoring and surveillance, and communication including raising public awareness and promoting demand for vaccination. The WHO-founded Africa Infodemic Response Alliance (AIRA), a joint platform of 12 partner organisations is working to counter misinformation and disinformation and share science-based facts on health, including vaccines.
Covid-19 en RDC : 37 nouveaux cas confirmés et 107 guéris mardi
May 12, 2021 | 0 Comments
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Rwanda:Why a hospital recorded more neonatal cases
May 12, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Jean d’Amour Mbonyinshuti
One of the referral hospitals in Rwanda, Ruhengeri hospital has admitted having recorded more unusual neonatal death cases and undertook laboratory analysis processes to assess the cause of the death.
According to the hospital management 19 people died in March 2021, an unprecedented death toll in the history of hospitals in the country.
“Suspecting the presence of the multi resistant microbe, processes of laboratory analyses have been undertaken and revealed the two types of microbes both sensitive to only a strong antibiotic called vancomycin,” said the hospital management in the statement released on Tuesday.
Vancomycin is an antibiotic medication used to treat a number of bacterial infections. It is recommended intravenously as a treatment for complicated skin infections, bloodstream infections, endocarditis, bone and joint infections, and meningitis caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.
“A set of actions have been taken to reverse the problem, including treatment with vancomycin to all the babies presenting neonatal infection, relocation of all admitted babies in a separate room and application of rigorous infection prevention and control measures in the neonatal care unit,” it added.
One of the local media, The Source Post broke the news earlier reporting that more neonatal cases at Ruhengeri hospital had increased and parents were scared to give birth from the hospital which is the biggest referral hospital.
The hospital is located in Musanze district, in the Northern Province, and serves thousands of patients who seek services either directly or transferred by areas hospitals.
The hospital said that the main causes of premature infant deaths include congenital malformation such as malformed organs which cannot allow a newborn to survive.
Others are prematurity complications including respiratory problems and neonatal infections.
Specifically for the March infant deaths, three infants died from prematurity complications, two died from congenital malformations, while 14 died from neonatal infections.
However, the hospital management has assured Rwandans that to date, the situation is stabilized and the disinfected room had been put to use again.
“The Management of Ruhengeri hospital presents its utmost condolences to grieved families and is conducting investigations to establish whether there has been any case of gross negligence and assures that those involved will be held accountable,” reads the statement in part.
Ghana to become hub of pharmaceutical production in SSA; sales forecast to hit GH¢2.86bn
May 12, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Maxwell Nkansah
Ghana will become the hub of pharmaceutical production in Sub Saharan Africa on the back of covid-19 vaccines. According to Fitch Solutions, the country continues to work towards its aim of establishing itself as a pharmaceutical hub on the continent. The creation of a pharmaceutical industrial park for pharmaceutical companies to establish large scale operations is therefore a testament
“Global vaccine demand has placed countries with local manufacturing capabilities in a stronger position to guarantee access. In this respect Ghana’s local industry is limited, however, on April 19, 2021, the Pharmaceutical Association of Ghana (PMAG) appealed to the government to strengthen local vaccine production.”
The move the research arm of ratings agency, Fitch, said would help guarantee a reliable source of vaccines for the country and the SSA region, adding, the country has also started feasibility studies to manufacture its own vaccine for covid-19 and also to reduce Ghana’s and Africa’s reliance on foreign vaccines in the long-term.
The Ghana National Chamber of Pharmacy last September signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a construction firm for the creation of a pharmaceutical industrial park.
Furthermore, President Akufo-Addo in November tasked the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana to position the country to become the center of generic drugs production across Sub Sahara Africa.
Since Ghana is one of the only two countries in Sub Saharan Africa which produces active pharmaceutical ingredients, Fitch Solutions, believe these initiatives will significantly help to bolster pharmaceutical growth.
To encourage pharmaceutical market growth, the Ghana National Chamber of Pharmacy with funding from foreign and development organization, have created a support package of $626,000. The fund will be used to provide grants to pharmaceutical manufacturers, distributors and consulting firms within the pharmaceutical sector.
The objective of the grant is to provide support to companies to address vulnerabilities in the pharmaceutical supply chain, among others. The report said increased localized production will help decrease the pharmaceutical trade deficit in the long-term
Pharmaceutical sales to hit GH¢2.86bn
Meanwhile, pharmaceutical sales is expected to rise to GH¢2.86 billion this year. It is expected to reach GH¢3.96 billion in 2025. “We maintain a positive forecast for Ghana’s pharmaceutical market. Increased local prodction will help to drive Ghana’s domestic pharmaceutical market and we expect growth will mainly be driven by local generics production.”
“Pharmaceutical sales in Ghana reached GH¢2.69 billion (US$462mn) in 2020, and we forecast figures to rise to GH¢2.86 billion (US$468mn) in 2021. Looking further forward to 2025, we expect sales to achieve a compound annual growth rate of 8.0% in local currency (3.3% in dollars) to reach GH¢3.96bn (US$544mn)”.
By the end of its 10-year forecast range, it expect sales to reach GH¢6.55bn (US¢896mn) by 2030.
Coronavirus: La DGM interdit l’embarquement des passagers en provenance de l’Inde et du Brésil
May 11, 2021 | 0 Comments
La Direction générale de migration (DGM) interdit l’embarquement des passagers en provenance de l’Inde et du Brésil ou ayant transité dans l’un de ces pays. Une décision prise depuis plusieurs heures pour éviter la contagion de la pandémie de Covid-19 suite à l’apparition de nouvelles variantes indienne et brésilienne, jugées trop virulentes.
La DGM a jugé bon d’interdire tout passager ayant séjourné en Inde ou au Brésil de fouler ses pieds au pays du ministre de santé, Jean-Jacques Mbungani. A la base, les nouvelles variantes de ces deux pays qui s’avèrent très virulentes.
L’Inde est devenu depuis un temps l’épicentre de la pandémie de Covid-19 avec le record de contaminés en 24h jusqu’à au moins 400. 000 nouveaux cas. Le Brésil dirigé par Jair Bolsonaro qui invite la population à se passer des gestes barrières et à vaquer librement à ses occupations, est également très touché et compte ses morts.
La RDC quant à elle, touchée depuis le 10 mars 2020 par le virus à la forme de couronne, a vu toutes ses mesures de restrictions être levées, excepté le couvre-feu de 22h à 5h. Ce pays situé au cœur de l’Afrique compte plus de 30.000 cas. On dénombre plus de 26.000 guéris et 772 décès.
Merck Foundation brings 26 African Ministers together to Empower Women and Youth in STEM through their online Merck Africa Research Summit (MARS) in partnership with African Union
May 10, 2021 | 0 Comments
|MARS Online VC brought distinguished leaders on a single platform to reaffirm Merck Foundation’s commitment towards developing a strong Africa roadmap towards gender equality|
|LUSAKA, Zambia, May 10, 2021/ — Merck Foundation Africa Research Summit -MARS was conducted online during the 8th edition of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary 2021; The MARS Summit High-Level Ministerial Panel Discussion with 26 Ministers of Health, Science and Technology, Education, Information And Gender and MARS Researchers.|
Merck Foundation , the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany conducted the Merck Foundation Africa Research Summit – MARS 2021 online, in partnership with the African Union and African Ministers of different sectors, during the 8th edition of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary 2021, held in partnership with the Government of Zambia. The conference was inaugurated by The President of the Republic of Zambia, H.E. Dr. EDGAR CHAGWA LUNGU and Prof. Dr. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp Chairman of both of Executive Board of E.Merck KG and Merck Foundation Board of Trustees. It was co-chaired by H.E. Mrs. ESTHER LUNGU, The First Lady of the Republic of Zambia and Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation.
Elaborating about the MARS Summit, Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and Chairperson of MARS Summit explained “I am very happy to have more than 20 Honourable African Ministers of different sectors, coming together for the MARS Summit. Merck Foundation has been committed to underscore its long-term commitment towards building Research Capacity in Africa. This year, the Summit mainly addressed the importance of Empowering youth to address sustainability challenges in Africa and Global South, Empowering women in education and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics); challenges and strategies, the response to Coronavirus pandemic, and the Role of Scientific Research in responding to Cancer and Vaccines Development – Two emerging challenges in Africa”.
Elaborating about the MARS Summit, Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and Chairperson of MARS explained “I am very happy to have 26 African Ministers of different sectors, coming together for the MARS Online VC. Merck Foundation has been committed to underscore its long-term commitment towards building Healthcare and Research Capacity in Africa with a special focus on women and youth. This year, the Summit mainly addressed the importance of Empowering women and youth in education and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics); challenges and strategies, the response to the Coronavirus pandemic, and the Role of Scientific Research in responding to Cancer and Vaccines Development – Two emerging challenges in Africa”.
Dr. Eng. Ahmed Hamdy, Executive Director, African Union – Scientific, Technical and Research Commission, emphasized, “The Merck Foundation Africa Research Summit was a valuable opportunity for all those engaged and interested in health research in Africa to learn about the full spectrum of ground-breaking scientific research currently underway in the continent with respect to COVID-19, and prepare the road ahead in Africa’s strategy to tackle the pandemic with a concrete approach”.
MARS Online VC brought distinguished leaders on a single platform to reaffirm Merck Foundation’s commitment towards developing a strong Africa roadmap towards gender equality by discussing policies, leadership, and scientific roles that can enable women to recover and thrive in a post-COVID-19 world.
Hon. Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda, Minister of Health and Population, Malawi said, “Women stand at the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis, as health care workers, caregivers, innovators, community organizers, and as some of the most exemplary and effective national leaders in combating the pandemic. This MARS ministerial panel has highlighted both the centrality of their contributions and the role of governments and policies in advancing gender equality which will be conducive in our collaboration to empower women and supporting girls in education. I am very privileged to work closely with the African Ministers to contribute towards the development of Africa.”
The High-level Ministerial panel included:Hon. Dr. Jonas Kamima CHANDA, Minister of Health, ZambiaHon. Dr. Dennis WANCHINGA, Minister of General Education, ZambiaHon. Dr. Brian MUSHIMBA, Minister of Higher Education, ZambiaHon. Elizabeth PHIRI, Minister of Gender, ZambiaHon. Dora SILIYA, Minister of Information & Broadcasting Service, ZambiaHon. Silvia Paula Lutucuta, Minister of Health, AngolaHon. Dr. NDIKUMANA Thadée, Minister of Public Health & Fighting against AIDS, BurundiHon. Dr. François HAVYARIMANA, Ministre de L’Education Nationale et de la Recherche Scientifique, BurundiHon. Imelde SABUSHIMIKE, Ministre de la Solidarité Nationale, des Affaires Sociales, des Droits de la Personne Humaine et du Genre, Burundi Hon. Marie Chantal NIJIMBERE, Ministre de la Communication, des Technologies de L’Information et des Médias, Republic of Burundi Hon. Jacquiline Lydia Mikolo, Minister of Health & Population, Republic of the Congo Hon. Dr. Ahmadou Lamin Samateh, Minister of Health, The Gambia Hon. Ebrima SILLAH, Minister of Information, The Gambia Hon. Colonel Remy Lama, Minister of Health, Guinea Conakry Hon. Pr. Amadou Bano Barry, Minister of Education, Guinea Conakry Hon. Amara Sompare, Minister of Information & Communication, Guinea Conkary Hon. Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda, Minister of Health & Population, Malawi Hon. Dr. Patricia Kaliati, Minister Of Gender, Community Development & Social Welfare, Republic of Malawi Hon. Agnes Nyalonje, Minister Of Education, Malawi Hon. Ulemu Msungama, Minister Of Youth & Sports, Malawi Hon. Timoth Pagonachi Mtambo, Minister Of Civic Education & National Unity, Malawi Hon. Dr. Kalumbi Shangula, Minister of Health & Social Services, Namibia Hon. Dr. Joyce Moriku Kaducu, State Minister for Health, Uganda Hon. Monica Mutsvangwa, Minister of Information & Broadcasting Publicity, Zimbabwe Hon. Sthembiso Nyoni, Minster of Women Affairs Small & Medium Enterprises, ZimbabweHon. Amon Murwira, Minister of Higher & Tertiary Education, Zimbabwe
About Merck Foundation:
The Merck Foundation, established in 2017, is the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany, aims to improve the health and wellbeing of people and advance their lives through science and technology. Our efforts are primarily focused on improving access to quality & equitable healthcare solutions in underserved communities, building healthcare and scientific research capacity and empowering people in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) with a special focus on women and youth. All Merck Foundation press releases are distributed by e-mail at the same time they become available on the Merck Foundation. Website.
*SOURCE Merck Foundation
Zimbabwe’s religious leaders increase efforts to tackle COVID-19 and support vaccines
May 10, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Wallace Mawire
UNICEF and the Ministry of Health and Child Care (MOHCC) in Zimbabwe in partnership with Apostolic Women Empowerment Trust (AWET) hosted a dialogue with interfaith religious leaders from across the country to leverage support for the COVID-19 vaccine roll out and recovery.
The faith leaders were drawn from prominent religious groups including Christian, Islamic and the African Traditional Religions. They were represented by the Zimbabwe Council of Churches, Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference, Seventh Day Adventist, The Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs in Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe National Association of Traditional Healers and Dare reMweya neVadzimu.
Faith leaders are critical partners in addressing many known barriers to the uptake of health and other essential services, including vaccines.
UNICEF’s Global Faith for Positive Change Initiative recognises the central role and influence of religious leaders in behaviour and social change communication. Through the partnership with AWET, over 850 interfaith and community leaders have been trained to support engaging and mobilizing their communities about integrated COVID-19 prevention and continuity of essential health, nutrition, education, child protection and WASH services. The initiative aims to reach 5 million people across all provinces of Zimbabwe.
To kickstart the dialogue, participants reflected on misinformation, distrust and barriers including social, religious and cultural barriers contributing to vaccine hesitancy. Leading the conversation AWET National Director Tendayi Gudo said, “Understanding and addressing these barriers is key for our partnership with local faith actors, increasing their abilities to counter false claims or address religious questions or other sensitive topics.”
The religious leaders also noted with concern that the spread of too much unfiltered information and misinformation has undermined people’s trust in the COVID-19 vaccines.
Zimbabwe Council of Churches Director for Research, Innovations and Programme Development, Ronald Nare said that faith leaders have a responsibility to provide a fresh understanding and insights about these vaccines. “We must mobilise faith groups to take direct actions to promote the well-being of children, families and the communities they serve.”
This, he said was in line with UNICEF’s Faith for Positive Change for Children, Families and Communities Strategy that states: “Religious leadership hold some of the deepest and most trusted relationships with their communities and, as skilled and influential communicators, they can significantly move the hearts and minds of millions and in turn shape behavioral and cultural practices.”
The faith leaders who attended the three-day workshop endorsed the COVID-19 vaccination campaign and pledged to play an active role in boosting community trust in the science behind COVID-19 vaccines and enlisting their communities to join the efforts to end COVID-19.
The President of the Supreme Council of Zimbabwe, Sheikh Ishmael Duwa said he was the first Islamic leader in Zimbabwe to receive the vaccine in public and is now encouraging congregants and the wider population to get vaccinated.
“I am a sharing my vaccination experience to Islamic followers and Zimbabweans at large to prove that these vaccines are safe and taking them is how we can protect our children, families and communities from this pandemic,” said Sheikh Duwa.
As vaccination champions, the leaders agreed to model and promote positive attitudes and behaviors towards vaccinations, articulate trust in accurate information, engage followers to address faith-related barriers and help congregants to understand how vaccines work.
“With this knowledge, I am going to play a leading role in challenging misinformation circulating through our congregation platforms and social media space by promoting trust in accurate information sources such as Ministry of Health and Child Care and UNICEF,” said Phyllis Manungo from Seventh Day Adventist Church.
With funding from the Health Development Fund (HDF) supported by the EU, UK Aid, Sweden, Irish Aid and Gavi, UNICEF will continue facilitating multi-faith dialogues and actions to increase uptake of COVID-19 vaccinations and improved access to health, nutrition, education, WASH and child protection services to children, families, persons with disability, the ageing population and those in need of care.
RDC/Lutte contre le cancer : Roche met l’accent sur la formation des professionnels de santé et le dépistage précoce des populations
May 6, 2021 | 0 Comments
La firme suisse, pionnier mondial dans le diagnostic in vitro et le traitement du cancer, Roche met l’accent sur la formation des professionnels de santé et le dépistage précoce des populations congolaises en vue d’une meilleure prise en charge contre ce fléau. C’est ce qu’a indiqué, Jean-Claude Vimpy, directeur général de cette entreprise de biotechnologie en RDC, à l’occasion d’un déjeuner de presse organisé, ce jeudi 6 mai au Fleuve Congo Hôtel dans la commune de la Gombe. Les 9 membres provisoires du groupe Roche dont 3 femmes ont été également présentés officiellement.
Renforcer la collaboration entre Roche et les différentes institutions publiques ainsi que les structures partenaires privées, sensibiliser les décideurs politiques à cet enjeu de santé publique, qu’est la prise en charge de patients atteints de cancer en RDC, tels sont les objectifs assignés par ce leader mondial dans le domaine des produits pharmaceutiques et du diagnostic.
« Nos attentes sont vraiment nombreuses mais ce qui compte plus c’est d’aligner les professionnels de santé dans la lutte contre le cancer, suivre une formation pour accompagner les patients parce que nous sommes installés il y a trois ou quatre mois« , a affirmé Jean-Claude Vimpy.
Et de poursuivre :
« Les stratégies misent en place ne commencent pas aujourd’hui. Nous nous sommes réunis avec plus de 80 experts. De cette réunion, il s’est dégagé que pour suivre les patients du cancer, il faut mettre sur pied un Centre national de lutte contre le cancer (CNLC). Cette structure va donc épingler la stratégie nationale et nous, nous viendrons en accompagnement. Nous avons l’expertise dans d’autres pays. Grâce à ce centre, nous allons aider beaucoup de professionnels de santé puisque dans cette prise en charge, Roche va envoyer 5 médecins pour avoir l’expertise. A côté de cela, nous avons déjà 7 sites que l’on va transformer en centre d’oncologie« , a-t-il précisé.
Le numéro 1 de Roche, a insisté sur le bien fondé du dépistage qui s’effectue à temps, seul moyen pour sauver des vies en lieu et place d’attendre l’étape finale de la maladie.
« Le grand message c’est que quand on parle de cancer, il ne faut pas avoir peur. Aujourd’hui il y a beaucoup de morts de cancer, parce que le diagnostic se fait à l’étape finale. Quand il y a la sensibilisation, il y a le dépistage et lorsque c’est fait tôt c’est guérissable« , a conclu Jean-Claude Vimpy.
LA COUVERTURE SANITAIRE, UNIVERSELLE ET LA LUTTE CONTRE LES PANDÉMIES ET ÉPIDÉMIES
La vice-ministre de la Santé et de la Prévention, Véronique Kilumba, a affirmé que le Gouvernement a souscrit sur 2 axes dans ce domaine de santé. Il s’agit de la couverture sanitaire et universelle ainsi que la lutte contre les pandémies et les épidémies.
« 2 axes seront pris en compte : la couverture sanitaire universelle ainsi que la lutte contre les pandémies et les épidémies. Nous sommes déjà à pied d’œuvre. Soyez rassurés. Nous allons mettre en place la digitalisation de toutes les structures sanitaires de sorte que nous puissions être en mesure de suivre chaque structure avec son plateau technique, son personnel, ses difficultés. L’idéal est de donner les soins de qualité. Nous comptons sur les partenaires pour atteindre nos objectifs. Surtout que nous avons l’obligation des résultats« .
Le plan quinquennal du CNLC de 2021-2025, est de mettre en place des activités pour la visibilité du centre, l’acquisition d’un plateau technique moderne, la construction de centres de cancérologie,la création de pôles d’excellence, promouvoir la subvention des centres anti-cancereux privés.
Le groupe Roche a ouvert ses bureaux à Kinshasa, le 10 février dernier. Il est installé dans 40 pays d’Afrique et s’engage notamment dans l’équipement-diagnostic de 3 laboratoires en 2021, dans le but d’élargir l’accès des Congolais aux médicaments et aux services des soins de santé contre le cancer.
L’article RDC/Lutte contre le cancer : Roche met l’accent sur la formation des professionnels de santé et le dépistage précoce des populations est apparu en premier sur Matininfos.NET – Information de la RDC en toute impartialité.
RDC : Patrick Katengo plaide pour la réglementation des lois portant protection des sages-femmes
May 5, 2021 | 0 Comments
« Investissez dans les sages-femmes ». C’est le thème retenu pour l’année 2021 pour la célébration de la journée mondiale des pratiques des sages-femmes. Célébrée le 05 mai de chaque année, cette journée vise à promouvoir le travail que produisent ces braves femmes dans la protection de la croissance humaine.
Selon Patrick Katengo, Président du Forum National de la Jeunesse (FJN), nous sommes venus tous d’une sage-femme et nous devons investir en elle pour pouvoir valoriser et sécuriser ses droits et celles de toutes nos filles et femmes accoucheuses.
Pour lui, la célébration de cette journée est une opportunité pour réglementer la profession des sages-femmes.
»Aujourd’hui il faut réglementer la profession des sages-femmes femme de manière à accorder des droits sur la santé sexuelle et reproductive en RDC. Il faut également clarifier la loi de la ratification de notre pays au traité de Maputo qui, aujourd’hui, accorde l’avortement aux femmes violentées et celles ayant des grossesses de l’inceste », a-t-il dit.
Par ailleurs, Marie Michelle Kazadi, sage-femme de profession, indique que leur métier sert à assurer une bonne reproduction à chaque femme et sensibiliser des familles sur la planification familiale.
Pour rappel, la journée mondiale des sages-femmes a été instaurée par l’Organisation mondiale de la Santé le 05 mai 1992.
Deadly Indian Covid-19 variant detected in Kenya
May 5, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Samuel Ouma
The Ministry of Health in Kenya on Wednesday announced that it discovered five cases of the Indian Covid-19 variant.
The cases were picked from Indian working on a fertilizer plant in the lake city of Kisumu last week, said the Health Ministry’s Director-General, Dr. Patrick Amoth.
“Indian variant, yes, this variant has been picked in Kenya and because of global connectivity, it is just a question of time. You cannot be able to place barriers to prevent a virus from accessing your territory,” Amoth said.
Last week the East African nation suspended all passenger flights to and from India for 14 days due to a surge in coronavirus cases in the South Asian country.
The move took effect at midnight on Saturday, May 1, 2021.
On Wednesday, the country announced 489 new cases raising the total number of confirmed cases to 161 393.
The new cases were picked from 4426 samples tested in the last 24 hours, with the country’s positivity rate doubling from 5.2 percent on Tuesday to 11 percent.
Out of the 489, 449 were Kenyans and 40 foreign nations aged between four months and 102 years.
In terms of gender, 266 were males and 223 females.
The Chief Administrative Secretary in the Health Ministry, Dr. Rashid Aman, said 20 more patients succumbed to the virus bringing the total number of deaths to 2825. Eleven of the deaths were reported on diverse dates, while nine are late deaths reports from health facilities audits.
At the same time, Dr. Aman announced 552 recoveries increasing the number of recoveries to 109,789.
Meanwhile, 1164 patients are admitted to various health facilities countrywide and 6603 in the Home-Based and Isolation Care.
One hundred fifty-three patients are now in ICU, 28 of whom are on ventilator support, 99 on supplemental oxygen, and another 26 under observation.
Merck foundation partner with Africa Reproductive Care Society (ARCS) to build fertility care capacity and advocacy in Africa
May 4, 2021 | 1 Comments
|Merck Foundation announced this partnership during their 8th edition of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary during the Fertility and Reproductive care session|
Merck Foundation , the philanthropic arm of Merck KgaA, announced their partnership with Africa Reproductive Care society (ARCS) based in Lagos, Nigeria to build fertility and reproductive tube care capacity, build advocacy to break the stigma of infertility, and raise awareness about infertility prevention and male infertility in Africa as part of Merck Foundation More than a Mother campaign.
Senator Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation emphasized, “We are very happy to partner with an important and inclusive Society like Africa Reproductive Care Society with the aim not to only provide scientific and clinics training to African Doctors and Embryologists but to also build advocacy to break the stigma of infertility and raise awareness about infertility prevention, management and male infertility. We at Merck Foundation partnered with 20 African First Ladies, Ministries of Health, Information, Education, Communication and Genders, Academia, Media & Art communities to achieve our goals to transform the landscape of fertility care in Africa, and we have achieved very important milestones. I believe with our new partnership with ARCS we will continue our efforts and address different aspects of this topic”.
Prof. Oladapo Ashiru, President of Africa Reproductive Care Society (ARCS) emphasized, “I am very happy to partner with Merck Foundation. Merck Foundation has been creating awareness and building fertility care capacity in Africa. It is very critical to create awareness around infertility prevention and management as around 85% of infertility cases in Africa are caused by untreated infectious diseases, hence are preventable in many cases. I also thank Merck Foundation CEO, Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej for her energy, inspiration, and innovations. Together will do well for Africa”.
“I invite all fertility care experts & embryologists, media experts, fashion designers who are our Merck Foundation Alumni to join this society. Also, I invite policymakers, community leaders and members, singers and filmmakers to apply for the membership which is free and inclusive for all Africa”, Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej added.
Merck Foundation announced this partnership during their 8th edition of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary on 29th April 2021 during the Fertility and Reproductive care session, where they provided scientific and medical training for more than 400 doctors from Africa and Asia. And, discussed challenges, strategies, and solutions to improve access to quality, equitable and regulated fertility care in Africa and Asia.
This partnership is part of the Merck Foundation More than a Mother initiative.
About ‘Merck Foundation More Than a Mother’ campaign:
“Merck Foundation More Than a Mother” is a strong movement that aims to empower infertile women through access to information, education and change of mind-sets. This powerful campaign supports governments in defining policies to enhance access to regulated, safe, effective and equitable fertility care solutions. It defines interventions to break the stigma around infertile women and raises awareness about infertility prevention, management and male infertility. In partnership with African First Ladies, Ministries of Health, Information, Education & Gender, academia, policymakers, International fertility societies, media and art, the initiative also provides training for fertility specialists and embryologists to build and advance fertility care capacity in Africa and developing countries.
With “Merck Foundation More Than a Mother”, we have initiated a cultural shift to de-stigmatize infertility at all levels: By improving awareness, training local experts in the fields of fertility care and media, building advocacy in cooperation with African First Ladies and women leaders and by supporting childless women in starting their own small businesses. It’s all about giving every woman the respect and the help she deserves to live a fulfilling life, with or without a child.
The Ambassadors of “Merck Foundation More Than a Mother” are:
|H.E. NEO JANE MASISI, The First Lady of Botswana||H.E. FATOUMATTA BAH-BARROW, The First Lady of The Gambia||H.E. MONICA GEINGOS, The First Lady of Namibia|
|H.E. SIKA KABORE, The First Lady of Burkina Faso||H.E. REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of Ghana||H.E. AISHA BUHARI, The First Lady of Nigeria|
|H.E. ANGELINE NDAYISHIMIYE,|
The First Lady of Burundi
|H.E. CONDÉ DJENE, The First Lady of Guinea Conakry||H.E FATIMA MAADA BIO, The First Lady of Sierra Leone|
|H.E. BRIGITTE TOUADERA, The First Lady of Central African Republic||H.E. CLAR WEAH, The First Lady of Liberia||H.E. ESTHER LUNGU, The First Lady of Zambia|
|H.E. ANTOINETTE SASSOU-NGUESSO, The First Lady of Congo Brazzaville||H.E. MONICA CHAKWERA, The First Lady of Malawi||H.E. AUXILLIA MNANGAGWA, The First Lady of Zimbabwe|
|H.E. DENISE NYAKERU TSHISEKEDI, THE First Lady of Democratic Republic of Congo||H.E. ISAURA FERRÃO NYUSI, The First Lady of Mozambique|
|The Former First Lady of Republic of Burundi, H.E Madam DENISE NKURUNZIZA, The Former First Lady of Chad, H.E. HINDA DEBY ITNO, The Former First Lady of Republic of Malawi, H.E. PROFESSOR GERTRUDE MUTHARIKA and The Former First Lady of Niger, H.E AÏSSATA ISSOUFOU MAHAMADOU have worked successfully with Merck Foundation as Merck Foundation More Than a Mother Ambassadors to break the stigma of infertility and empower infertile women in their countries.|
Merck Foundation launched new innovative initiatives to sensitize local communities about infertility prevention, male infertility with the aim to break the stigma of infertility and empowering infertile women as part of Merck Foundation More than a Mother COMMUNITY AWARENESS CAMPAIGN, such as;
- ‘Merck Foundation More than a Mother’ Africa Media Recognition Awards and Health Media Training
- ‘Merck Foundation More than a Mother’ Fashion Awards
- ‘Merck Foundation More than a Mother’ Film Awards
- Local songs with local artists to address the cultural perception of infertility and how to change it
- Children storybook, localized for each country
About Africa Reproductive Care Society ( ARCS):
ARCS aims to be the foremost contributor and the partner of choice in advancing the ART care solutions and advocating for improving access to regulated and equitable fertility care solutions and breaking the stigma around infertility in Africa with special focus on Sub- Saharan Africa.
ARCS will work closely with its members and partners to further its aim and objectives through supporting and facilitating programs of education, training, communication of knowledge, exchange of experience, and networking.
Membership is open to individuals from several interest groups who are engaged in practicing, developing and building capacity of the Reproductive Health care, science, ethics and management. It is also open for individuals who are involved in advocacy building and raising awareness with the aim to break the stigma of infertility, empowering infertile women and improve access to equitable, safe and effective fertility care solutions in Africa.
Members include; Medical doctors, Embryologists, Scientists, Psychologists, Social workers, Fertility Nurses and Counselors, Fertility advocates, and Health Media Representatives as well as affiliated nonprofit stakeholders who are involved in ART field.
ARCS Membership application is subject to the ARCS Executive Board approval and is free of charge.
ARCS will not raise or receive funds from any organization or individuals.
Members will be able to apply for training programs that will be subject to ARSC Scientific and Educational committee screening and proceeding with affiliated training institutions with the purpose of recommendation.
*SOURCE Merck Foundation
Overcoming COVID myths and fears in Malawi
May 4, 2021 | 0 Comments
Healthcare workers in Malawi are concerned that misinformation about COVID-19 is preventing patients in dire need of medical attention not related to the virus, from seeking what could be live-saving treatment.
NEW YORK, USA, May 04, 2021,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/-When Eunice Marorongwe, a senior nurse at a rural hospital in Malawi, received a child patient with a serious leg infection, she was shocked at how her parents could keep her at home for a month, without getting treatment to save her life.
“It was at lunchtime at the end of last year when the 14-year-old girl came to the clinic with her right leg in a very bad state”, she says.
The leg could not stretch and, from the foot to the knee, it was very bad. It had turned into a green colour and was producing a very bad smell.
A tree branch pierced through the girl’s right leg, but her parents stayed put at home; not because they saw no need to rush to the hospital for treatment but because of fears and myths surrounding COVID-19.
“By the time they brought her to the hospital, the leg could not stretch and, from the foot to the knee, it was very bad. It had turned into a green colour and was producing a very bad smell”, says Ms. Marorongwe, who works at Mangochi District Hospital, about 250 kilometres southeast of Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe.
The girl was admitted after her parents were convinced the hospital could safely treat her.
“I am happy that we helped her, but I am worried that more people don’t come to the hospital for treatment. The situation worsened with COVID-19 as some are scared of being tested for COVID-19, while others are misinformed that they would get COVID-19 and die at the hospital”, says the nurse.
Limited access to health services in rural Malawi
© UNICEFA health worker checks a patient’s temperature at one of the screening sites set up in Mangochi with UN support.
Many people in rural Malawi fail to access health services due to a lack of facilities.
In Mangochi, where Eunice Marorongwe nurses, some patients walk for more than 10 kilometres to the nearest hospital. High transport costs for journeys taking over one hour, also hinder many.
“My work is very difficult when patients come very late. For every 10 patients I assist, three are in a very bad condition because they have delayed coming to hospital”, says Ms. Marorongwe.
Saving lives of the rural poor during COVID-19
Last year, she assumed greater responsibility for providing healthcare to COVID-19 patients at the hospital’s emergency treatment centre, which was set up with United Nations support.
WFP/Badre BahajiThe UN has supported information campaigns about COVID-19 in rural areas.
Similar centres were established at several rural hospitals across Malawi’s 28 districts, bringing COVID-19 healthcare closer to rural people who constitute 80 per cent of the population.
Despite Malawi recording some 34,000 COVID-19 cases and around 1,150 deaths since the start of the pandemic, Ms. Marorongwe believes many lives have been saved by the emergency treatment centres, where the UN also provided critical supplies, including medicines and oxygen concentrators.
Some of the 32,000 people who have recovered from COVID-19 in Malawi, were treated at these centres.
Our emergency treatment centre is a life saver. I am happy to see patients getting better and returning home. That makes me feel good.
“Our emergency treatment centre is a life saver. I am happy to see patients getting better and returning home. That makes me feel good”, she says.
To strengthen the rural health facilities, the UN also equipped 1,800 health workers with COVID-19 training and personal protective equipment (PPE). It has been regularly reaching over 14 million people with messages encouraging prevention and access to treatment for those who do not feel well.
A network of volunteers from over 300 community-based organisations – together with community radio stations, community leaders, a toll free line, and mobile phone messages sent through a dedicated platform – are used to communicate with people in remote parts of Malawi about the dangers of COVID-19 and the benefits of vaccination.
According to the UN Resident Coordinator, Maria Jose Torres, the most senior UN official in Malawi, without the support, the situation could have been dire for the disadvantaged groups.
Leave no-one behind
“When it comes to access to health care, nobody should be left behind”, says Ms. Torres. “Our interventions have ensured that those with disabilities, the youth, the elderly, the poor and children are able to access health care during the pandemic.
Mobile clinics and health surveillance assistants have been bringing health services to those living in the most remote parts of the country”.
Malawi’s Minister of Health, Khumbize Chiponda, says that with support from the UN and partners, “the Ministry of Health continues to send COVID-19 prevention and control messages to communities. Our laboratory testing and disease surveillance capacity has been increased to test more cases across the country.”
© UNICEF/Thoko ChikondiA senior commander in the Malawi Defence Forces is vaccinated against COVID-19.
Beyond the health response, Malawi has also been mitigating the pandemic’s socio-economic impact in rural areas.
With UN support, the country sustained learning for 2.6 million children through radio education programmes when schools were closed; maintained essential food and nutrition services for 1.1 million children to prevent and treat malnutrition; provided cash transfers to more than 450,000 ultra-poor people, and rescued 720 girls from early child marriages.
Find up-to-date figures here about the spread of the virus and the vaccination campaign in Malawi.
Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of UN News.