WHO lauds Guinea’s swift action in detecting, curbing Marburg virus

GUINEA – WHO has commended the efforts put in by the Government of Guinea to detect and contain Marburg Disease. When a man in Temessadou M’Boket – a village in the densely forested southern Guinea region – died in early August 2021 after suffering fever, headache and haemorrhage, a medical team was quickly dispatched, and within hours of his death, laboratory analysis revealed that he had been ill with Marburg, a viral disease in the same family as Ebola. This was Guinea’s and West Africa’s first case of Marburg virus…

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WHO partners UN in curbing deaths and diseases driven by environmental risk factors

SWITZERLAND – WHO, UNDP, UNEP and UNICEF have partnered to create a new compendium of 500 actions aimed at reducing death and diseases driven by environmental risk factors, the first such resource to unite this expertise from across the UN. Environmental pollution and other environmental risks cause 24 per cent of deaths through, for example, heart disease, stroke, poisonings, traffic accidents, and others. This toll could be substantially reduced – even eliminated – through bold preventive action at national, regional, local and sector-specific levels. The repository presents actions and recommendations…

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Insurance major Discovery to introduce mandatory Covid-19 vaccine policy, as staff and clients deaths rise

SOUTH AFRICA – Discovery, the leading South Africa-based financial services firm has announced plans to move to a mandatory Covid-19 vaccination policy from 1 January 2022, citing that it has ‘moral and legal obligation’ to do so. In its annual results published on 2 September, the Group revealed that it currently employs 12,950 employees across its key healthcare, banking and financial businesses. “Discovery intends to move to a mandatory vaccination policy effective 1 January 2022 given the clear moral and social obligation, as informed by our core purpose to make…

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Labcorp raises minimum wage to US$15 as government invests US$3 billion for covid-19 vaccines

USA – Laboratory Corp of America Holdings has increased the minimum hourly wage for U.S.-based employees to US$15 from US$10.95, joining several other companies in implementing new measures to retain staff amid a nationwide labor shortage. With the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant and a nationwide labor shortage due to the pandemic, U.S. companies are forced to implement payment hikes to lure new employees and retain old ones. Labcorp and peer Quest Diagnostics recently said the spread of the Delta variant led to an uptick in demand for…

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Eight in 10 African countries to miss crucial COVID-19 vaccination goal

AFRICA – Africa is likely to miss the urgent global goal of vaccinating the most vulnerable 10 percent of each country’s population against COVID-19 by the end of September, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO Regional Office for Africa in a statement released on Thursday said that 42 of Africa’s 54 nations, nearly 80 percent, are set to miss the target with the current pace of vaccine deliveries and vaccinations. Nine African countries, including South Africa, Morocco and Tunisia, have already reached the global target set in…

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WHO sounds alarm over improper dementia care despite rising case numbers

SWITZERLAND – More than 55 million people worldwide are living with dementia, a neurological disorder that robs them of their memory and costs the world US$1.3 trillion a year, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said. The progressive condition can be caused by stroke, brain injury or Alzheimer’s disease and with populations ageing, the number of sufferers is projected to rise to 78 million by 2030 and 139 million by 2050, the WHO said in a report. Yet only one in four countries has a national policy in place to…

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Healthcare pioneer Anne Wojcicki joins Zipline’s board of directors

USA – Zipline, an American medical product delivery company, has announced that Anne Wojcicki has joined its board of directors. As a member of Zipline’s board, Wojcicki brings extensive experience in the healthcare industry to the company as it charts its next stage of growth following US$250 million in new funding, expansions into new countries and a partnership with Walmart. “Anne shares our belief that healthcare systems aren’t set in stone, and we shouldn’t be afraid to challenge the status quo if we think there’s a better way,” said Keller…

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Experts call for reduced use of antimicrobial drugs in global food systems

KENYA – The Global Leaders Group on Antimicrobial Resistance has called upon all countries to significantly reduce the levels of antimicrobial drugs used in global food systems. This includes stopping the use of medically important antimicrobial drugs to promote growth in healthy animals and using antimicrobial drugs more responsibly overall. The call comes ahead of the UN Food Systems Summit which takes place in New York on 23 September 2021 where countries will discuss ways to transform global food systems. The Global Leaders Group on Antimicrobial Resistance includes heads of…

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