ASLM Conference Spotlights Laboratory Systems relevance in Africa’s COVID-19 response

AFRICA – The African Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM) has announced its biennial conference, ASLM2021, which will take place virtually 15-18 November 2021 with the theme, ‘Responding to Outbreaks Through Resilient Laboratory Systems: Lessons Learnt from the COVID-19 Pandemic’. The conference will be a celebration of ASLM’s 10th anniversary and feature world-renown leaders and cutting-edge research on critical issues facing African laboratories and laboratory professionals today and in the future. Medical laboratory testing is vital for the early detection, diagnosis and treatment of diseases. Every day, African laboratory systems must…

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Dr Reddy’s launches cancer drug in Canada as Cipla signs waterless products distribution deal

INDIA – Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd. has announced the launch of Reddy-Lenalidomide, a generic equivalent to Revlimid (lenalidomide) capsules, in Canadian market following an approval from the Health Canada. Reddy-Lenalidomide, a cancer drug, is one of the first generic medications of its kind to launch in Canada, a press release from the city-based drug maker said. Dr Reddy’s launch in Canada comes at a time when the cancer treatment market is estimated at approximately US$158 billion in 2020, and is expected to witness a revenue of US$268 billion in 2026,…

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J&J vaccine shipments from South Africa to Europe halted

SOUTH AFRICA – Strive Masiyiwa, an envoy of the African Union (AU) has made known to the public that the J&J vaccines manufacture by South Africa’s leading drug manufacturer, Aspen, will no longer be exported to Europe. The shots packaged by J&J’s South African partner Aspen that were already sent to Europe would be returned, Masiyiwa told a news briefing organized by the AU’s disease control body. J&J had shipped less than 20 million doses to Europe, he said, and the halting of the shipments was partly due to interventions…

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Philips completes sale of Domestic Appliances business to Hillhouse Investment

NETHERLANDS – Royal Philips, a global leader in health technology, has announced that it has completed the sale of the Domestic Appliances business to Hillhouse Investment, a global investment firm. The results of this transaction, which Philips announced on March 25, 2021, will be reported under discontinued operations in the third quarter of 2021. Philips received cash proceeds after tax and transaction-related costs of approximately EUR 3 billion. The transaction values Domestic Appliances, a global leader with EUR 2.2 billion sales in 2020 in kitchen, coffee, garment care and home…

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Abbott introduces single-dose formulation of carbetocin in India

INDIA – Drug major, Abbot, has launched room-temperature-stable, single-dose formulation of carbetocin in India to help in the prevention of postpartum hemorrhage (PPH). PPH refers to excessive blood loss of 500 ml or more after vaginal delivery and 1,000 ml or more after a caesarean procedure, within 24 hours of childbirth. Although preventable, PPH is associated with almost 20 per cent maternal mortality in the country. PPH, if left untreated, can result in complications like anaemia in the postpartum period or aggravate mental health problems including postnatal depression and post-traumatic…

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One million SA policyholders died in a year – 300,000 more than usual

SOUTH AFRICA – More than one million South African policyholders died between 1 April 2020 and 31 March 2021, new death claims statistics released by the Association for Savings and Investment South Africa (Asisa) show. The statistics reflect claims made against individual life, group life (offered by employers), credit life and funeral cover policies. The number of deaths increased by almost 310,000 from the previous year. “These are staggering numbers and there is no doubt that Covid-19 has caused many of these additional deaths, whether directly as a result of…

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WHO launches hub in Berlin to help prevent future pandemics

GERMANY – The World Health Organization has inaugurated a new hub in Berlin that aims to help prepare the globe better to prevent future pandemics. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and German Chancellor Angela Merkel cut the ribbon to launch the new WHO Hub for Pandemic and Epidemic Intelligence. WHO says Germany is making an initial investment of US$100 million in the facility. The hub is meant to promote more effective data collection, information-sharing and analysis, leading to better and more coherent decision-making after the patchy global response to the…

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South Sudan’s first oxygen plant begins operating to help battle COVID

SOUTH SUDAN – South Sudan has began operating the country’s first oxygen plant, ending a crisis over a shortage of medical oxygen as the country battles COVID-19. The plant, which was set up at Juba Teaching Hospital with funding from the African Development Fund, was procured as part of measures to support the country’s ongoing COVID-19 response with a grant from the African Development Bank Group’s concessional lending arm. The project was implemented by the World Health Organization (WHO) on behalf of the government. With a generating capacity of 2,500…

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