Japan to bolster its fight against COVID-19 with launch of infectious disease databank

JAPAN – The Japanese government plans to launch an infectious diseases databank later this month, starting with a plan to collect data on 10,000 COVID-19 patients by next March, to help firms and universities develop effective treatments. Under the project, the government seeks to first collect blood and saliva samples as well as the treatment records of COVID-19 patients and make them available for firms and universities researching the disease, possibly from this fall. About 50 medical institutions are expected to join the project, and the databank will be managed…

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Kenya risks losing KSh48 billion from Global Fund over Covid-19 Kemsa graft

KENYA – The Global Fund has said Kenya risks losing KSh48 billion (US$444.7 million) if corruption allegations at the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa) are not completed and changes made to ensure transparency. The fund mobilizes and invests money to accelerate the fight against Aids, tuberculosis and malaria as epidemics. The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission began investigating allegations of graft at Kemsa last year over the procurement and supply of Covid-19 equipment. The agency cited an “irregular expenditure” of KSh7.8 billion. The Fund and the Kenyan government have signed a…

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Covaxin trials now set to be conducted on children across six hospitals as also Glenmark plans to roll out its phase 3 trials of its nasal COVID-19 treatment

INDIA – The Indian government is aggressively trying to curb the COVID -19 pandemic with the roll out of various programs across the state. Currently the state has embarked on two programs in a bid to curb the spread of the virus with the first one being conducting vaccine trials on children (Covaxin trials) and the second one involving phase 3 trials of a nasal therapy meant to cure COVID-19 symptoms. The Covaxin trials will be conducted on 175 children aged 2-6, 6-12 and 12-18 who will be given the…

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Merck Foundation provides scholarships to Mauritian doctors in commitment to build healthcare capacity

MAURITIUS – Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany, in partnership with Ministry of Health and Wellness, Mauritius, has underscored their commitment to build healthcare capacity through providing one-year PG Diploma and two-year Master Degree in many critical and underserved specialties for doctors from Mauritius. Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and President, Merck Foundation More Than a Mother explained, “I am very proud that in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Wellness of Mauritius, we have provided till today 71 scholarships of one-year diploma…

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Philips’ strategic partnership with NicoLab set to accelerate stroke diagnosis and treatment

NETHERLANDS – Royal Philips, a global leader in health technology, has partnered with NicoLab, a MedTech stroke care company, to increase leverage on Philips’ stroke portfolio. Philips has a deep portfolio of stroke care solutions and a strong commitment to further innovation in this field. The partnership with NicoLab brings a cloud-based, end-to-end artificial intelligence (AI) based stroke triage and management solution, StrokeViewer, that aims to improve patient outcome by optimizing the stroke workflow. Together with the recently expanded stroke capabilities of Philips Image Guided Therapy System, Azurion, this new…

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UNBS certifies 166 firms to make face masks and sanitizers to alleviate pandemic effects

UGANDA – The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) has issued 166 companies with licenses to manufacture facemasks and sanitizers in the wake of the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic “I want to remind Ugandans that as they are rushing to the market to purchase facemasks and sanitizers, they should look out for companies that are making products, which we have endorsed. These will not compromise their health,” Sylvia Kirabo, head of public relations and marketing at UNBS. Of these, 57 are certified to manufacture non-medical face masks. These…

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Indian government to start administering sputnik v vaccines as Morepen manufactures its first test batch of the vaccine

INDIA – Sputnik V vaccine will now become the third vaccine administered in India after production of the same began in Morepen laboratories following a signed an agreement between the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and Morepen Laboratories. The vaccines will be administered at government vaccine facilities across the country under a free campaign vaccination program. This vaccination campaign program is targeting a population sample size of nearly 93 million individuals above the age of 18 years. The Sputnik V vaccine is based on a proven and well-studied platform of…

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NGOs urge government to declare state of emergency on healthcare as they launch COVID-19 tracking website

NIGERIA – A coalition of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), has urged the federal government to declare a state of emergency on primary healthcare services in Nigeria. The Nigerian healthcare sector generally consists of all the organizations that provide medical services, manufacture medical equipment or drugs, provide medical insurance, or otherwise facilitate the provision of healthcare to patients in Nigeria. Due to the type of government system in Nigeria, there are three tiers for healthcare provision in the country; namely: primary healthcare, secondary healthcare and tertiary healthcare. The federal government has a…

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Breakthrough as Uppsala University discover structures in brain cancer patients found to help fight tumors

SWEDEN – Researchers at Uppsala University have discovered lymph node-like structures close to the tumor in brain cancer patients, where immune cells can be activated to attack the tumor. In the study now published in the journal Nature Communications, the researchers describe their discovery of structures similar to lymph nodes in the brain where T lymphocytes(major components of the adaptive immune system that kill infected host cells) could be activated. The research was conducted on glioma- bearing mice and showed that the formation of tertiary lymphoid structures (TLS), ectopic lymphoid…

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WHO statement on the clinical trial results of CVO+ remedy by Madagascar

MADAGASCAR – The World Health Organization (WHO) has reiterated that there is not yet a specific antiviral treatment whose safety and effectiveness are proven to treat COVID-19. Corticosteroids and medical oxygen remain essential in saving the lives of patients with severe cases of COVID-19. WHO has developed treatment guidelines and implemented a robust methodology to not only assess new evidence gathered by countries, but also to make recommendations when it comes to new COVID-19 treatments. If a traditional medicine product is found to be safe, effective and of guaranteed quality…

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