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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South Africa gets major investment to treat Covid-19, TB, cancer, HIV

SOUTH AFRICA – United States-based multinational conglomerate NantWorks has entered into an agreement with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) for the transfer of manufacturing technology for Covid-19 and cancer vaccines and next-generation cell-based immunotherapies. This is a major boost to the country’s healthcare system in its efforts to treat infectious diseases such as cancer, HIV, tuberculosis and, more recently, Covid-19. As of 2019, South Africa had 7.5 million people living with HIV, 200,000 new HIV infections and 72,000 AIDS-related…

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Resistance to front-line malaria drugs confirmed in Africa

AFRICA – Scientists have confirmed that malaria parasites in Africa have developed resistance to a key family of drugs used to protect against them. “We’ve all been expecting and dreading this for quite some time,” says Leann Tilley, a biochemist at the University of Melbourne in Australia, who researches the molecular basis of antimalarial resistance. Signs of drug resistance have long been present in Africa: for instance, in Rwanda between 2012 and 2015, scientists detected the existence of gene mutations associated with resistance in malaria parasites. A new study, published…

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HOPE Consortium, Astral Aviation partner to enhance vaccine distribution solutions in Africa

KENYA – The HOPE Consortium has partnered with Kenya-based cargo airline, Astral Aviation, to offer vaccine distribution solutions to Africa. The partnership highlights the HOPE Consortium’s efforts in reinforcing partnerships that focus on fighting the COVID-19 global pandemic, as well as fulfilling the organisation’s mission as a global logistics facilitator, by aiding in vaccine delivery. As part of the agreement, both entities will focus on intra-African cooperation to enhance vaccine distribution within the African continent. The HOPE Consortium will utilise Astral Aviation’s comprehensive network, technologies, and market expertise, to support…

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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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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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ECA, ABC Health Partner to increase access to health commodities

AFRICA – The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), African Business Coalition for Health (ABCHealth) and National Institutes of Health (NIH), have successfully hosted a virtual Africa Investment Summit on Health 2021(AIS) on the margins of the 76th United Nations General Assembly. The summit convened African Heads of Government and Ministers, continental, regional and global business leaders, and Development Institutions together to discuss strategies that will significantly increase access to vital health commodities and supplies in Africa leveraging the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) and African Medicines Agency…

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UCTD, Bayer’s consumer health division sign OTC distribution pact

EGYPT – Dr. Mohamed Galal, Vice President & Head of Bayer Consumer Health Division – Middle East, and Mr. Ayman Hossam Omar, Chief Executive Officer of United Company for Trading & Distribution (UCTD), have signed a contract involving Bayer’s Consumer Health Division, aiming to import and distribute OTC products in the Egyptian market. Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines play an essential role in keeping consumers and populations healthy with a variety of options while, at the same time driving down healthcare spending. “We envision this valuable partnership between the two big companies…

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Healthech startup Sotech raises US$1m pre-Seed funding round to grow its market

EGYPT – Sotech, a healthech and IoT solutions startup, has successfully raised US$1 million in its latest pre-Seed funding round led by Innlife investments and key corporate investor Al Raya Kuwaiti. The Egypt-based firm intends to use the freshly raised capital to extend its operations to 500 locations and grow its market beyond Egypt, including Mecca and Madina. Founded in 2020 by a group of Tech, Marketing, and Healthcare enthusiasts during the pandemic, the Egypt-based startup specialises in smart IoT, trackable OOH advertising, and data gathering. By providing fully integrated…

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WHO affirms support for COVID-19 traditional medicine research

NIGERIA – The World Health Organization (WHO) has reiterated its continuous support to the Government of Nigeria in its goal of achieving self-sufficiency in the local production of traditional medicine. Speaking at the commemoration of the 2021 Traditional Medicine Day held at the Federal Ministry of Health in Abuja on 13 September, Dr Kofi Boateng said WHO remains committed to continue with the support to the Government of Nigeria in its goal of achieving self-sufficiency in the local production of pharmaceuticals (including Vaccines), traditional medicine and other health products. Emphasizing…

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