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CORONAVIRUS: WHO Africa Online Press Briefing on COVID-19 and vaccine development in Africa

CORONAVIRUS: WHO Africa Online Press Briefing on COVID-19 and vaccine development in Africa

AFRICA, CORONAVIRUS
Ask your questions to the WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso MoetiBRAZZAVILLE, Congo (Republic of the), July 6, 2020/ -- Please join an online media briefing with the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa (www.afro.who.int), and the Principal Investigator of Oxford Covid-19 Vaccine Trial in South Africa. The briefing is on-the-record and it is an opportunity for you to ask questions about the COVID-19 and vaccine development in Africa. The media briefing is facilitated by APO Group.Speakers include:Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for AfricaProfessor Shabir Madhi, Wits University, Principal Investigator of Oxford Covid-19 Vaccine Trial in South AfricaDate: Thursday 9 JulyTime: 12:00 Brazzaville/Kinshasa Time GMT +...
Coronavirus – Africa and Middle East: Statement by WHO Regional Director Dr Ahmed Al-Mandhari

Coronavirus – Africa and Middle East: Statement by WHO Regional Director Dr Ahmed Al-Mandhari

AFRICA, CORONAVIRUS, Middle East
Increasing numbers of cases are also being reported from Iraq, Libya, Morocco, the occupied Palestinian territory, and OmanGENEVA, Switzerland, July 2, 2020/ -- By Dr Ahmed Al-MandhariJune 30 marked six months since WHO received the first reports of a cluster of cases of pneumonia of unknown cause in China The six-month mark of the outbreak coincides with reaching 10 million cases and 500,000 deaths world-wide.  Although many countries have made some progress, globally the pandemic is speeding up.A few days ago, our Region passed its own significant and concerning milestone, with more than one million people now infected with COVID-19. The number of cases reported in June alone is higher than the total number of cases reported during the four months following the first reported case ...
Coronavirus – Africa: World Health Organization (WHO) concerned over COVID-19 impact on women, girls in Africa

Coronavirus – Africa: World Health Organization (WHO) concerned over COVID-19 impact on women, girls in Africa

CORONAVIRUS
BRAZZAVILLE, Congo (Republic of the), June 19, 2020 -- Humanitarian crises, including health emergencies affect men and women differently. As COVID-19 continues to spread in Africa, there are concerns over its impact on women and girls, with vulnerabilities feared to worsen as the pandemic overwhelms health systems. Although overall in the African Region, women account for around 40% of COVID-19 cases, this ranges from 35% in some countries to over 55% in South Africa. “We are already seeing that the impact of COVID-19 on women and girls is profound. Women are disproportionately affected by lockdowns and this is resulting in a reduced access to health services,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa. As efforts are focused on curb...
Coronavirus – Africa: World Blood Donor Day 2020 – Message of the WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti

Coronavirus – Africa: World Blood Donor Day 2020 – Message of the WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti

HEALTH
BRAZZAVILLE, Congo (Republic of the) -- On 14 June every year, the African Region joins the global community in celebrating World Blood Donor Day, because blood donors give the gift of life, and more lives will be saved if more people volunteer to donate blood on a regular basis. This year we are calling on people to “give blood and make the world a healthier place” because by regularly volunteering to donate blood, we can all contribute to solidarity and saving lives. Safe blood is a critical resource in severe infant anaemia, postpartum hemorrhage and trauma care. It is also vital in surgeries and the treatment of malaria, sickle cell disease, thalassemia, inherited blood disorders, and AIDS. WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti In the COVID-19 pandemic, the...
COVID-19 in Africa: World Health Organization (WHO) urges constant vigilance as cases top 200,000

COVID-19 in Africa: World Health Organization (WHO) urges constant vigilance as cases top 200,000

HEALTH
NEW YORK, United States of America, June 13, 2020/ -- COVID-19 is accelerating in Africa, with more than 200,000 cases and more than 5,600 deaths, the regional office for the World Health Organization (WHO) reported on Thursday. Africa recorded its first case of the new disease in mid-February. While it took nearly 100 days to reach 100,000 cases, the jump to 200,000 cases occurred in less than 20. “For now, Africa still only accounts for a small fraction of cases worldwide”, said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “But the pace of the spread is quickening. Swift and early action by African countries has helped to keep numbers low but constant vigilance is needed to stop COVID-19 from overwhelming health facilities.” South Africa ...
Coronavirus – Africa: Record number of countries contribute data revealing disturbing rates of antimicrobial resistance

Coronavirus – Africa: Record number of countries contribute data revealing disturbing rates of antimicrobial resistance

CORONAVIRUS
GENEVA, Switzerland, June 2, 2020/ -- A record number of countries are now monitoring and reporting on antibiotic resistance - marking a major step forward in the global fight against drug resistance. But the data they provide reveals that a worrying number of bacterial infections are increasingly resistant to the medicines at hand to treat them. “As we gather more evidence, we see more clearly and more worryingly how fast we are losing critically important antimicrobial medicines all over the world,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO). “These data underscore the importance both of protecting the antimicrobials we have and developing new ones, to effectively treat infections, preserve health gains made in the last century an...
New Ebola outbreak detected in northwest Democratic Republic of the Congo; World Health Organization (WHO) Surge Team supporting the response

New Ebola outbreak detected in northwest Democratic Republic of the Congo; World Health Organization (WHO) Surge Team supporting the response

HEALTH
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo, June 2, 2020/ -- The Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo announced today that a new outbreak of Ebola virus disease is occurring in Wangata health zone, Mbandaka, in Équateur province. The announcement comes as a long, difficult and complex Ebola outbreak in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo is in its final phase, while the country also battles COVID-19 and the world’s largest measles outbreak. Initial information from the Ministry of Health is that six Ebola cases have so far been detected in Wangata, of which four have died and two are alive and under care. Three of these six cases have been confirmed with laboratory testing. It is likely more people will be identified with the disease as surveillance activities increase. ...
AMERICA: Backlash after Trump signals US exit from WHO

AMERICA: Backlash after Trump signals US exit from WHO

CORONAVIRUS, COVID-19, united states of america
President Donald Trump has been criticised at home and abroad after announcing he is ending US ties with the World Health Organization (WHO). The EU urged him to reconsider the decision, while Germany's health minister called it a "disappointing setback for international health". The head of the US Senate's health committee, a Republican like Mr Trump, said now was not the time to leave. Mr Trump said the WHO had failed to hold China to account over coronavirus. The WHO, a UN agency that helps countries promote healthcare and tackle outbreaks of disease, has faced regular criticism from the US president over its handling of the outbreak. He suspended US funding to the WHO last month and on Friday permanently halted the payment, which last year stood at more than $400m (£324...
Coronavirus – Africa: WHO urges caution as countries in Africa ease lockdowns

Coronavirus – Africa: WHO urges caution as countries in Africa ease lockdowns

INTERNATIONAL
BRAZZAVILLE, Congo (Republic of the), May 29, 2020/ -- Three months after the first case of COVID-19 was detected in sub-Saharan Africa, the region has made progress in tackling the virus. Many countries implemented lockdowns and key public health measures early and these appear to have helped slow down the spread of the disease. However, there are concerns that if these measures are relaxed too quickly, COVID-19 cases could start increasing rapidly. Thirteen countries in sub-Saharan Africa implemented lockdowns along with other public health and social measures nation-wide, while ten more instigated partial lockdowns in hotspots. Preliminary analysis by the World Health Organization (WHO) found that the doubling time – the number of days for case numbers to double in a given country –...
Coronavirus – Middle East and North Africa: Joint Statement – Food crisis likely to worsen in the Middle East and North Africa as COVID-19 continues

Coronavirus – Middle East and North Africa: Joint Statement – Food crisis likely to worsen in the Middle East and North Africa as COVID-19 continues

CORONAVIRUS
CAIRO, Egypt, May 28, 2020/ -- Joint statement from the Regional Directors of UNICEF, FAO, WFP and WHO “Governments and partners across the Middle East and North Africa Region (MENA) are working around the clock to protect communities from the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). While these efforts are saving many lives, they are having a critical impact on food supply chains and the availability, access and affordability of better varieties of safe and nutritious foods. Vulnerable families are struggling to secure household income and bringing food to their table. “Countries in the region already facing food crisis are hit hardest by the pandemic.  The pandemic has further exacerbated challenges in Afghanistan, Sudan, Syria and Yemen in the quantity, frequency and diversity of the...
oronavirus – Africa: Countries failing to stop harmful marketing of breast-milk substitutes, warn WHO and UNICEF

oronavirus – Africa: Countries failing to stop harmful marketing of breast-milk substitutes, warn WHO and UNICEF

HEALTH
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone, May 28, 2020/ -- A new report by WHO, UNICEF, and the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) reveals that despite efforts to stop the harmful promotion of breast-milk substitutes, countries are still falling short in protecting parents from misleading information. The COVID-19 pandemic highlights the need for stronger legislation to protect families from false claims about the safety of breast-milk substitutes or aggressive marketing practices. Breastmilk saves children’s lives as it provides antibodies that give babies a healthy boost and protect them against many childhood illnesses.WHO and UNICEF encourage women to continue to breastfeed during the COVID-19 pandemic, even if they have confirmed or suspected COVID-19. While researchers continue to test...
Coronavirus – Africa: WHO and UNHCR join forces to improve health services for refugees, displaced and stateless people

Coronavirus – Africa: WHO and UNHCR join forces to improve health services for refugees, displaced and stateless people

AFRICA
GENEVA, Switzerland, May 23, 2020/ -- The World Health Organization (WHO) and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency today signed a new agreement to strengthen and advance public health services for the millions of forcibly displaced people around the world. The agreement updates and expands an existing 1997 agreement between the two organizations. A key aim this year will be to support ongoing efforts to protect some 70 million forcibly displaced people from COVID-19. Around 26 million of these are refugees, 80 per cent of whom are sheltered in low and middle-income countries with weak health systems. Another 40 million internally displaced people also require assistance. For more than 20 years, UNHCR and WHO have worked together worldwide to safeguard the health of some of the world’s most ...
Coronavirus – Africa: Smithsonian Science Education Center with support of the World Health Organization launches New COVID-19 Guide for Youth

Coronavirus – Africa: Smithsonian Science Education Center with support of the World Health Organization launches New COVID-19 Guide for Youth

HEALTH
GENEVA, Switzerland, May 23, 2020/ -- The Smithsonian Science Education Center, in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP)—a partnership of 140 national academies of science, engineering and medicine—has developed “COVID-19! How can I protect myself and others?,” a new rapid-response guide for youth ages 8–17. The guide, which is based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, aims to help young people understand the science and social science of COVID-19 as well as help them take actions to keep themselves, their families and communities safe. Through a set of seven cohesive student-led tasks, participants engage in the activities to answer questions previously defined by their peers. The questions explore the impact of COVID-19 on ...
Coronavirus – Africa: WHO showcases leading African innovations in COVID-19 response

Coronavirus – Africa: WHO showcases leading African innovations in COVID-19 response

CORONAVIRUS
BRAZZAVILLE, Congo (Republic of the), May 23, 2020/ -- A community of African innovators is stepping up support to the continent’s fight against COVID-19 pandemic, collaborating with the World Health Organization (WHO) to develop solutions to help contain the spread of the virus. On 20 May 2020, WHO in the African Region hosted the first in a series of virtual sessions for innovators across the region to showcase home-grown creative solutions aimed at addressing critical gaps in the response to COVID-19. Eight innovators from Ghana, South Africa, Nigeria, Guinea and Kenya presented their pioneering solutions, all of which have already been implemented in their respective countries, with significant potential to be scaled up further across the region. The innovations ranged from i...
HEALTH: World Health Organization (WHO) and key health partners join forces to fight COVID-19 in Africa.

HEALTH: World Health Organization (WHO) and key health partners join forces to fight COVID-19 in Africa.

AFRICA, HEALTH
NAIROBI, Kenya, -- With confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Algeria, Senegal, Nigeria and South Africa, the World Health Organization (WHO) and key health partners are strengthening cooperation to better coordinate readiness and response efforts across Africa. WHO convened a meeting in Nairobi this week, with representatives from the Kenyan Health Ministry, the African Union and key United Nations partner agencies in attendance.  A parallel meeting was also taking place in Dakar with Francophone partners, also led by the WHO Regional Office for Africa. This week’s meetings were to ensure that efforts are coordinated, not duplicated, and that scarce resources are used in the most effective way possible.  At the meetings, a regional partner coordination mechanism was establis...
HEALTH: Reducing Ebola risk through voluntary isolation.

HEALTH: Reducing Ebola risk through voluntary isolation.

HEALTH, WORLD
GENEVA, Switzerland, March 4, 2020/ -- In the epicentre of the Ebola outbreak, in the city of Beni in North Kivu, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Democratic of the Republic of the Congo’s Health Ministry adopted a strategy once used during the Ebola outbreak in West Africa to simplify vital work of monitoring contacts of patients. Since December 2019, high-risk contacts, who are most likely to become infected and potentially pass on the illness, have the option of staying in community-based accommodation for the entire 21-day incubation period. On the site, specially adapted for contacts, all meals are provided and volunteers have several medical checks a day, reducing both their own risk, through early detection, and the risk to the community, by limiting the p...
HEALTH: All you need to know about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.

HEALTH: All you need to know about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.

CORONAVIRUS, HEALTH, INTERNATIONAL
By January 7 2020, it was confirmed that a new coronavirus now named 2019-nCoV had spread from animals to humans. As of Monday January 27,2020, 80 people had died from 2,744 cases in China. While there have been confirmed cases in Asia, Europe and the United States, WHO is yet to declare it a global health emergency. WHO is working with authorities in China to fill the information gaps, and contain the outbreak. “We don’t know the source of this virus, we don’t understand how easily it spreads and we don’t fully understand its clinical features or severity. WHO is working with our partners… to fill the gaps in our knowledge as quickly as possible,’‘ Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO’s Director-General said. Origin Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that normally ci...
HEALTH: Yellow fever claims 3 as Health Ministry confirms outbreak in Moyo, Buliisa

HEALTH: Yellow fever claims 3 as Health Ministry confirms outbreak in Moyo, Buliisa

UGANDA
Minister of Health Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng has confirmed the outbreak of Yellow Fever in Moyo District – West Nile region and Buliisa District – Hoima region. The Minister made the announcement while addressing a joint news conference with the World Health Organisations (WHO), on officials Friday, January 24 at the Ministry’s offices in Kampala. According to Ms. Aceng, the two people who died in Moyo were timber traders suspected to have contracted the disease in South Sudan where they were operating. “In Moyo District, there are 2 confirmed cases; both are males who were dealing in cutting and trading timber between Uganda and South Sudan. On 2 January 2020, the two cases travelled from South Sudan to Moyo,” she said. “Upon arrival, they got ill and on 3 January 2020, a...