Over 260,000 surplus deaths reported in South Africa since pandemic onset

SOUTH AFRICA – Over 260,000 more people have died in South Africa since May 2020 than expected. This is according to researchers at the Medical Research Council (MRC), who estimate that 85 to 95% of these “excess” deaths are directly from Covid. This is nearly three times as high as the official Covid death toll published by the Minister of Health. The problem with the official death toll is that it only includes confirmed Covid deaths in health facilities. People who die at home, in an institution like an old-age…

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WHO “deeply concerned” over Emergency Use Listing vaccines row

UNITED NATIONS – The World Health Organization has state that it is “deeply concerned” that Covid-19 vaccines, which have proven to be effective and have been approved by the global health body for emergency use, are not being recognized in all countries. Addressing a press briefing, Dr Bruce Aylward, Senior Advisor to WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said the organisation again calls on “all countries to ensure the recognition of vaccines proven to be efficacious and safe and certainly that meet WHO Emergency Use Listing criteria.” On the…

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AU appeals India for more Covid-19 vaccines to achieve vaccination targets

ETHIOPIA – The African Union has signaled a demand for more Covid-19 vaccine doses from India, even as the Asian country recovers from low production following months of a deadly wave. The Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said the African Union will send a delegation to India for negotiations on further supplies to Africa. “We are very glad that India is embarking on vaccine exports. However, we are yet to know the number of doses Africa will receive,” said Dr John Nkengasong, who heads the Africa…

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Tanzania’s leadership applauds high vaccine uptake by citizens

TANZANIA – Tanzanian Prime Minister, Kassim Majaliwa, has revealed latest data of COVID-19 vaccination rollout, saying 80 percent of the first consignment of 1,058,400 doses has been administered, signaling a high response from the public. Equally, the Premier reiterated the government commitment to ensure the health of Tanzanians is highly protected at all times. Mr. Majaliwa disclosed this while inaugurating the annual Economic Empowerment Forum held in Dodoma, calling upon the public to continue taking all precautionary measures against the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, including taking the vaccines. The…

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Artificial Intelligence advances mammography triaging

NETHERLANDS – Radiologists can use artificial intelligence technology to quickly and accurately sort through breast MRIs in patients with dense breast tissue to eliminate those who do not have cancer, freeing up radiologists to focus on more complex cases. Mammography has aided in the reduction of breast cancer-related deaths by detecting the disease early, when it is still treatable. It is, however, less sensitive in women with extremely dense breast tissue than in women with fatty breast tissue. Furthermore, women with extremely dense breasts are three to six times more…

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Ministry of Health launches vaccination drive for public transport operators

KENYA – A campaign that seeks to encourage stakeholders in the public transport sector to get vaccinated against Covid-19 has been launched in Kenya amid concern over low uptake of vaccines in parts of the country. Speaking in Nairobi at the launch of the public service transport operators Covid-19 vaccination awareness campaign, health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said the Government remains committed to have all those eligible get vaccinated. While lauding the efforts of public service transport operators for their role in the country’s economic development, the health CS said…

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Radiology contributes to high costs in cancer care

USA – Radiology accounted for US$2.1 billion in cancer care spending in 2018, making it the second most expensive line item, according to a new study of over 402,000 cancer patients published in JAMA Network Open. This was one of several findings from a Penn State University team led by Dr. Nicholas Zaorsky on cancer care costs for privately insured adults in the United States, including imaging and radiation therapy. The researchers aimed to characterize the most common medical services provided to privately insured cancer patients in the United States,…

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