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Kenya’s Covid-19 positivity rate hit at 15.4 per cent in the last 24 hours.
August 3, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe

Kenya on Tuesday confirmed 1085 new Covid-19 cases bringing the total number of infections to 205,356, and cumulative tests conducted so far are 2,149,379.

The new cases were from 7067 samples analyzed in the last 24 hours marking a positivity rate of 15.4 per cent.

In a statement to the media houses, the Ministry of Health said that the new patients comprised 1049 Kenyans and 36 foreigners aged between one month and 100 years.

In terms of gender, 550 were females and 535 males.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe announced 25 more deaths raising the death toll to 3995. One of the patients died in the last 24 hours, while 24 are late deaths reported after conducting facility record audits on diverse dates in the months of August, September, October and November 2020 and March, April and July 2021.

Meanwhile, 403 patients have recovered from the disease, with 305 from the Home-Based Isolation and Care program, while 98 are from various health facilities countrywide.

Total recoveries now stand at 190,095, of whom 151,451 are from the Home Based Care and Isolation program, while 38,644 are from various health facilities countrywide.

As of Tuesday, a total of 1,540 patients are currently admitted to various health facilities countrywide, while 4,112 are under the Home-Based Isolation and Care program.

One hundred ninety patients are in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), 44 of whom are on ventilatory support and 94 on supplemental, while 52 patients are under observation.

Another 475 patients are separately on supplemental oxygen with437 of them in general wards and 38 in High Dependency Units (HDU).

As of August 2, 2021, a total of 1,734,013 vaccines had been administered across the country. Of these, the total first doses are 1,067,615, while the second doses are 666,398.

The uptake of the second dose among those who received their first dose is at 62.4%, with the majority being males at 55% while females are at 45%. The proportion of adults fully vaccinated is 2.4%.

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Tanzania: Samia Leads Top Govt Officials For First Covid-19 Jabs.
July 30, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Michael Sikapundwa

President Samia Suluhu Hassan, kick off a massive Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccination drive, held over the weekend at state House.

President Samia Suluhu Hassan sought to trash some negative sentiments against Covid-19 vaccines yesterday when she toldTanzanians that being a mother and a grandmother, there was no way that she could put her own life at risk.

Speaking shortly before she received her first jab of the Janssen Covid-19 vaccine to officially launch the nationwide vaccination
exercise, President Hassan said she was a mother of four a grandmother, wife above all else also President and Commander in Chief snd there was no way that she could put lives of Tanzanians at risk.

The start of vaccination comes four days after Tanzania received its 1,058,400 doses of the Janssen Covid-19 vaccine which was received on Saturday, July 24, 2021 at the Julius Nyerere International Airport in
Dar es Salaam by Health Minister Dorothy Gwajima, her Foreign Affairs counterpart, Liberata Mulamula and US Ambassador to Tanzania Donald Wright.

It also comes against the backdrop of negative sentiments by some influential individuals, emanating from the country’s prior position on Covid-19 vaccines.

By taking the jab, President Hassan is taking a completely different approach from that of her predecessor, the late John Magufuli who had openly expressed doubt about the safety of masks and vaccines.

In line with the past thinking, a cleric-cum politician, Josephat Gwajima castigated the Covid-19 vaccines in a statement that was widely condemned by people across different walks of life.

Addressing worshipers in Dar es Salaam at his Glory of Christ Tanzania Church on Sunday, Mr Gwajima spoke ‘carelessly’, saying developed countries that spearheaded the initiatives had ulterior motives in the program.

He told his unwary followers that he was dedicating this whole week to teaching against the danger of the Covid-19 vaccinations.

And yesterday, President Hassan reiterated that the vaccines would be administered at one’s own will, noting however that the country will import more vaccines through a special arrangement by the African
Union.

“We have already pressed an order at the AU through our own funding, that was set aside,” she said.

Among those vaccinated yesterday at the State House include President Hassan, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa, Chief Justice Ibrahim Juma, Chief Secretary Hussein Kattanda, Foreign Minister Ambassador Libereta Mulamula and Health Minister Dorothy Gwajima.

“I am grateful that through the US government we were able to receive the vaccinations while at the same am also happy with the committee in charge of the pandemic that is working day and night to ensure everything goes well,” she said.

She hailed those that had joined her to launch the vaccination, because they would be able to show Tanzanians that it was safe.
Explaining she said that since Tanzania joined the vaccination programme there have been different views about the decision including those that were against it and those that supported it.

“We will continue to educate the people to make informed decisions, but at the moment the challenge is that the number of vaccinations that we have is small compared to needs” she said.

She noted that the decision to be vaccinated was voluntary and also based on one’s faith citing examples of six shots she received in her childhood days that have made her healthy and alive today.

However she urged the public that despite the vaccinations, they should continue taking precautions because among those vaccinated there are those who are not.

“The pandemic is real and only families that have been affected know
its impact, these families are in Moshi, Arusha, Dar es Salaam and other parts of the country, those not affected will not understand” she said.

She said there were other nations living in Tanzania including the Chinese that had requested to import the vaccinations to enable them travel to their countries without having to be quarantined.

On her part, Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender,
Elderly Children, Dorothy Gwajima said following the delivery of the vaccines, the Ministry has put up a plan for the vaccinations including identifying health centers where people will be vaccinated.

“We have also started creating awareness to enable the public to be vaccinated and reach health immunity as well as understand that the Johnson and Johnson are safe and already given to 8 million people in the US,” he said.

She said that there have been false reports that the Johnson and Johnson vaccinations had been rejected, but the reality is that there had been a few mishaps which were cleared on April 28, this year before the consignment was delivered in the country.

She further assured Tanzanians not to be wary of directives that require all those that have opted to be vaccinated to sign a consent form that makes them responsible for any eventuality on grounds that it was the normal health standard procedure.

“This is an historic event where President Hassan has launched vaccinations against Covid-19,”she said.

On his part, Prime Minister Kassim Majalia said being the chairman of the Covid-19, they were following up all issues related to the pandemic including receiving expert information.

He said Tanzania like the rest of the world was also taking action against the pandemic including preparing to start vaccinating its people.

“The Covid-19 committee will meet on July 30 to discuss a number of issues including how the public has received the vaccines and what needs to be done,” he said.

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COVID-19 vaccine shipments boost for Africa
July 30, 2021 | 0 Comments

After a near-halt of COVID-19 vaccine shipments in Africa, delivers have ramped up in recent months, the UN health agency said on Thursday. 

NEW YORK, USA, July 30, 2021,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/-According to the World Health Organization (WHO) nearly four million doses of coronavirus vaccines from the UN-partnered COVAX initiative arrived in Africa last week, compared with just 245,000 for all of June. 
Reminding that the continent is still “in the throes of the pandemic’s third wave”, WHO Regional Director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, told a virtual press conference with the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, “we are not out of the woods yet”. 

Left behind 

WHO said that it hoped COVAX would ship 520 million doses to Africa by the end of 2021, in addition to more shots from other sources, including deliveries from the African Union, which is expected to supply around 45 million jabs by the end of the year. 

In total, almost 79 million vaccine doses have reached Africa but only 21 million people, or just 1.6 per cent of Africa’s population, are fully vaccinated.  

We are beginning to see positive signs as vaccine deliveries to Africa are picking up pace after nearly coming to a halt”, said Dr. Moeti. 

Around 30 countries have used more than three-quarters of the vaccines they received, according to WHO. 

Despite the vaccine supply crunch, seven countries, including Equatorial Guinea, Mauritius, Morocco and Seychelles, have reached vaccination rates significantly above the continental average. 

“Considering a two-dose schedule, as is the case with most COVID-19 vaccines, 820 million vaccine doses are needed to reach the target of fully vaccinating 30 per cent of Africa’s population by the end of this year”, explained the UN official. 

Stepping up production  

Africa still needs more than 700 million doses to reach this target. 

To this end, COVAX has sealed deals with Sinopharm and Sinovac to immediately supply 110 million doses to low-income countries, of which 32.5 million are destined for Africa.  

“These doses have been allocated to countries this week and will be delivered as soon as countries are ready to receive them”, said Dr. Moeti.  

COVID-19 vaccines delivered through the COVAX Facility arrive in Tanzania.

And with more vaccine candidates and manufacturing sites at the tail end of the review process for Emergency Use Listing by WHO, the COVAX facility is confident that it will deliver at least 520 million doses to Africa by year’s end. 

Moreover, the African Union recently announced plans to start delivering 400 million Johnson & Johnson doses to countries throughout the continent. 

Rolling out vaccines 

With the expected influx of doses, WHO underscored the importance of scaling up all the aspects of vaccine rollouts to reach as many people as possible – from mobilizing adequate resources to increasing vaccine confidence. 

Noting that initial rollouts prohibited countries from unlocking funding because their costing schemes often omitted critical expenses, such as cold-chain storage, delivery logistics and paying vaccinators, Dr. Moeti said, “we continue to support countries to better plan and cost vaccine operational and delivery processes”. 

Tanzania kicked off its vaccination campaign this week with the first delivery of around a million Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses through COVAX from the United States. 

Together we can begin to turn the tide against this untold human tragedy”, concluded the WHO Regional Director. 

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

Source : African Media Agency (AMA)

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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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