India gears-up to overcome last-mile challenge of eliminating visceral leishmaniasis

INDIA – India is redoubling efforts to resolve remaining challenges in the elimination of visceral leishmaniasis, also known as kala-azar, as a public health problem. After years of steady progress, several measures and cross-sectoral interventions are being envisaged, with 4 centres of excellence to become operational in disease endemic areas, in order to provide improved access to specialized care for complicated cases of kala-azar. India has also expanded vector control interventions. In endemic villages that have reported cases of kala-azar over the past 3 years, 2 rounds of indoor residual…

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Absa Bank Uganda donates hundreds of medical oxygen cylinders to the ministry of health

UGANDA – Absa bank, a leading financial institution in Uganda and beyond, has donated 160 medical oxygen cylinders to the health ministry, rallying behind the nations fight against COVID-19. According to the Managing Director Absa bank, the donated cylinders will be distributed in 4 Regional Referral Hospitals (RRH), where each hospital will receive 40 medical oxygen cylinders. The bank has been a key partner in fighting coronavirus in the East African country. At the beginning of the pandemic, Absa bank Uganda donated PPEs for health workers together with a number…

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Centre for disease control and prevention calls for new tact to deal with threatening delta variant

US – The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), believe that the war against COVID-19 has changed because of the highly contagious delta variant. CDC proposed the need for a clearer message regarding COVID-19 information, mandatory vaccines for health workers and a return to universal masking. The organization documented the detriment of the contagious delta variant which is dominant across the globe and is as contagious as chickenpox and far more contagious than the common cold or flu. According to the CDC, the Delta variant has mutations on the…

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New consortium working to boost vaccine production in South Africa

SOUTH AFRICA – The World Health Organization (WHO), together with a few other concerned organizations have formed a consortium, officiated by a letter of intent to address the global imbalance of manufacturing capacity for COVID-19 vaccines. The consortium, consisting of the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP), Afrigen Biologics (PTY) Limited, the Biologicals and Vaccines Institute of Southern Africa (Biovac), the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) and Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), will establish the South African mRNA technology transfer hub. This hub will allow for greater…

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Health officials concerned about expiry date of vaccines resulting in wastages

AFRICA – With millions of Covid-19 vaccine doses expected to be available to African countries in the coming weeks, public health officials are worried about the short expiration dates. Covax has allocated 60 million doses to 49 African countries to be shipped between July and September 2021, said Matshidiso Moeti, the Africa regional director at the World Health Organisation, at a press briefing on Thursday. This comes after wealthy nations, which have vaccinated substantial amounts of their populations, began donating doses on a broader scale. At least 820 million two-dose…

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Aduhelm drug set to undergo its first real world observational phase 4 study

WORLD – Biogen and Eisai have presented a design of the first real-world observational phase 4 study in Alzheimer’s disease by the name ICARE AD-US. ICARE AD-US, a prospective study of Aduhelm (aducanumab-avwa) solution for injection, is designed to collect real-world, long-term effectiveness and safety data on Aduhelm. The study design includes an important goal to help address the common underrepresentation of Black/African American and Latinx patients in Alzheimer’s disease studies, aiming to enroll at least 16 percent of the trial’s expected 6,000 participants from these communities. ICARE AD-US is…

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GlaxoSmithKline’s chronic rhinosinusitis drug therapy gains FDA’s approval

UK – The US Food & Drug Administration (FDA), has approved GlaxoSmithKline’s interleukin-5 (IL-5) inhibitor that will be used to treat chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps (CRSwNP). FDA has cleared Nucala as an add-on maintenance treatment of CRSwNP in adult patients 18 years of age and older with inadequate response to nasal corticosteroids. The approval is based on data from GSK’s SYNAPSE study which evaluated the effect of Nucala versus placebo in over 400 patients with CRSwNP. In this trial, Nucala achieved significant improvement in reducing the size of nasal…

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Thousands of children in Tigray at risk of death from malnutrition

ETHIOPIA – More than 100,000 children in Ethiopia’s northern region of Tigray could suffer from life-threatening malnutrition in the next 12 months, a 10-fold jump over average annual levels, the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has said. UNICEF spokeswoman Marixie Mercado, speaking after returning from Tigray, said that one in two pregnant and breastfeeding women screened in the region were acutely malnourished, leaving them and their babies prone to sickness. “Our worst fears about the health and wellbeing of children in that conflicted region of northern Ethiopia are being confirmed,” she…

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ASR Africa adopts Gwarimpa General Hospital Neonatal Unit while delivering hefty donations

NIGERIA – The Abdul Samad Rabiu Africa Initiative (ASR Africa) has donated multimillion state-of-art equipment and a fully equipped emergency ambulance to the Pediatric Unit of the Gwarimpa General Hospital, Abuja as part of its Health Systems Support Initiative. ASR Africa also announced that it was adopting the Neonatal Unit of the hospital under this initiative as well as providing N500,000 towards a fund being setup to assist indigent patients in accessing quality healthcare at the hospital. They will also replace all the equipment in the neonatal unit as well…

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Macomics bags £4.24m (US$5.92m) as it aims to accelerate macrophage-based therapeutics portfolio

UK – Macomics, a UK immuno-oncology company, has raised £4.24m in follow-on financing from its 2020 seed round as it aims to accelerate the development of its macrophage-based therapeutics portfolio. The new investment and planned Series A financing will enable Macomics to accelerate progress if its antibody programmes toward the clinics while also expanding its portfolio and further investing in its target discovery technology. Its target discovery platform will enable the identification and validation of novel macrophage therapeutic targets, based on a ‘deep understanding of macrophage biology’. The company also…

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