Ghana gets third public health emergency operations center

GHANA – The Ghana Health Service, in collaboration with the United States’ Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, has commissioned the third Public Health Emergency Operations Center in Ghana. The Center will strengthen the public sector to effectively respond to health emergencies. Speaking at the commissioning of the facility, the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service revealed the facility will serve as a footprint for technical coordination of the health emergencies and response structure. Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye said the health center will also serve as a source of event-specific data…

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World Bank approves financing to improve women and girl’s access to health in Niger

NIGERIA – The Nigerien government will be able to provide its population with better health coverage with financing approved by the World Bank. This will be enabled by a 15-year multiphase program to innovative and comprehensive nutrition and health interventions to improve health system efficiency, equity, and sustainability, as well as boost girls’ and women’s empowerment. Niger’s health system faces immense challenges. Despite progress in recent years, the country has a high under-five mortality rate of 77 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2020 and stunting continues to have devastating…

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Leaders warn on the risk of Africa’s dependency on foreign medical aid

COTE D’IVOIRE – The President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, has cautioned against Africa’s dependence on foreign countries for healthcare support, stating that Africa cannot outsource its health to other parts of the world. He said this during a virtual panel session on closing the health gap at the 76th General Assembly of the United Nations. The Future Investment Initiative Institute hosted the virtual session, which featured the AfDB president, World Trade Organization director-general, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and Global Infrastructure Partners’ vice-chairman and partner Jim Yong Kim. “Global leaders,…

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Older and high-risk populations can now receive Pfizer vaccine booster dose, FDA says

USA – People above 65 years and adults at high risk of severe COVID-19 infection are now eligible to receive Pfizer/BioNTech’s booster dose vaccine, following emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The decision paves the way for millions of people who received their second dose of the vaccine at least six months ago to receive booster shots as soon as they can. This emergency use authorization was based on the totality of scientific evidence shared by the companies and reviewed by the FDA’s Vaccines and Related…

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Cuban government throw its weight behind Kenya’s research and pharmaceutical fields

KENYA – Kenya and Cuba have pledged to enhance bilateral relations in the field of research, vaccines and pharmaceutical products as the former moves to implement further reforms in the health sector. In a meeting with Health Cabinet secretary Mutahi Kagwe on Tuesday, outgoing Cuba’s ambassador to Kenya, Ernesto Gómez Díaz said his country remains committed to provide technical support to Kenya as demonstrated by the presence of specialist Cuban doctors in the country who are part of a medical exchange programme between the two nations. “We already have 53…

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Big win for Paige Prostate as FDA grants approval for use in digital pathology

USA- The FDA has approved the sale of software, Paige Prostate, designed to assist pathologists in the detection of prostate cancer. Paige prostate is the first artificial intelligence (AI)-based pathology product to be approved by the FDA, and it is used in conjunction with the company’s previously approved FullFocus digital pathology viewer designed to identify areas on a prostate biopsy that are most likely to be cancerous. The FDA granted approval based on the results of a study in which 6 pathologists examined 527 digitally scanned prostate biopsy slides. There…

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Takeda invests US$10.8 million to help strengthen West Africa’s health supply chain

GHANA – Japanese pharmaceutical giant, Takeda, has invested close to US$10.8 million (JPY 1.3 billion) through its global CSR programme to help West African countries improve on their health supply chain capacities. The funds, which will be wired through the World Food Programme (WFP), build on previous successes achieved through this collaboration, and the new five-year plan only sediments their commitment to better livelihoods in Africa. Takeda and WFP’s existing partnership has focused on strengthening in-country public health supply chains and supporting long-term pandemic preparedness, combining Takeda’s financial support with…

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Surge in kidney ailments increases NHIF payment for renal dialysis

KENYA- Cost for covering renal dialysis has more than tripled over the last four years, as NHIF paid a whooping Ksh. 3.8 billion to cover dialysis expenses, indicating the growth in kidney disease burden among Kenyan citizens. The national social health insurer remitted 3.844 billion shillings 295,563 claims for patients who underwent renal dialysis procedures between June 2017 and June 2021 as soaring cases of chronic kidney diseases continue to burden the fund. This represented a 208 percent increase from the Ksh. 1.247 billion the NHIF paid for hemodialysis in…

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Uganda launches national guidelines for integrated diseases surveillance and response

UGANDA – Uganda has launched the Third Edition of the National Guidelines for Integrated Diseases Surveillance and Response (IDSR). The edition highlights new methods of disease detection, reporting, and provision of real-time surveillance data using new technologies and platforms. The platforms include event-based disease surveillance, community-based surveillance, one health approach, cross-border surveillance, and electronic IDSR to improve disease surveillance in Uganda at all levels. State Minister of Health in Charge of General Duties, Anifa Bangirana Kawooya said, “We are working in tricky times when a disease in one country can…

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Penplusbytes, partners to award Health reporters in Ghana

GHANA – To help reduce inequities in Ghana’s healthcare delivery, Penplusbytes together with its partners, SEND Ghana and the Ghana News Agency, implemented the USAID funded People for Health (P4H) project and are set to host the maiden edition of the Reducing Inequities in Healthcare Awards (RIHCA 2021). RIHCA 2021 which is themed “Rewarding media efforts in promoting equitable healthcare delivery in Ghana” will celebrate outstanding journalists whose media activities have contributed specifically promoting quality healthcare delivery in five major thematic areas. These key area of interests in health include;…

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