Zambia works in close collaboration with WHO to ensure successful rollout of cholera vaccines

ZAMBIA – Although Cholera is a preventable disease, it remains a significant public health problem globally. Each year, there are 1.3 to 4.0 million cases of cholera, and 21,000 to 143,000 deaths worldwide. Zambia has experienced cholera outbreaks since 1977 and the country’s last major outbreak lasted from October 2017 to June 2018 with a total of 5,935 reported cases and 114 deaths. The risk factors mainly include inadequate access to clean and safe water, poor sanitation facilities, poor solid waste management and consumption of contaminated food. In 2019 the…

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Kenya has five weeks to use over 350,000 AstraZeneca vaccine doses from Denmark

KENYA – The government of Kenya will need to expedite the deployment of 358,700 doses of the Astrazeneca Covid-19 vaccine donated by Denmark, which are to expire on July 31. The jabs arrived in Kenya on Monday night and were taken to the national vaccines store in Athi River for distribution. Head of vaccines deployment task force, Willis Akhwale, said despite the short expiry period, Kenya has one of the most efficient rollout plans. “So with these ones, and the capacity to even vaccinate 50,000 people per day, we believe…

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Africa’s COVID-19 cases edge closer to the 5.3 million mark punctuated by a daily spike in infections

AFRICA – The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Africa has reached 5,234,387, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) reported. The Africa CDC, the specialized healthcare agency of the African Union, said the death toll from the pandemic stood at 138,154 while 4,643,802 patients across the continent had recovered from the disease. South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, Ethiopia and Egypt are the countries with the most cases in the continent, according to the Africa CDC. South Africa has 1,832,479 cases and 58,795 deaths. The country has received…

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Cuba inches closer to rolling out its vaccines soberana and Abdala

CUBA – The Caribbean island nation of 11 million people, which has been under a strict United States (US) trade embargo for decades, is in process of developing five experimental shots, including Soberana 02 and Abdala, which reached final-stage trials last month. With both Soberana and Abdala in stage-three clinical trials, Cuba is racing towards potentially becoming the first country in Latin America to develop its own shot against the coronavirus. The names of the vaccines reveal much about how Cuba sees its national effort, Soberana translates as “sovereign”, while…

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COVID-19 crisis in Indonesia worsens as the country reports a 2m milestone of reported cases

INDONESIA – The Southeast Asian nation Indonesia, hit the 2 million mark as its hospital occupancy rates soars to over 75percent in Jakarta and other hard-hit areas with increased COVID-19 related deaths being reported. Official figures as of Monday showed Indonesia had recorded a daily record high of 14,536 cases, taking the total to just over two million with nearly 55,000 deaths, among a population of nearly 270 million. The infamous milestone comes after the daily recorded rate double in recent weeks with the country’s authority identifying the presence of…

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South Africa, Senegal, Rwanda, Nigeria considered as vaccine production hubs-WTO

AFRICA – Africa is working with the European Union and other partners to establish regional vaccine manufacturing hubs in South Africa, Senegal and Rwanda. Nigeria is also under consideration for the program, World Trade Organization (WTO) Director General, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has said. “We have now seen that over-centralization of vaccine production capacity is incompatible with equitable access in a crisis situation,” Okonjo-Iweala said on Monday during a virtual meeting. Regional production hubs, in tandem with open supply chains, will offer a more promising path to preparedness for future health crisis…

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South Africa to host African coronavirus vaccine technology transfer hub

AFRICA – South Africa will host the continent’s first COVID-19 vaccine production facility, a new hub for Messenger RNA coronavirus vaccine technology, WHO has announced. The move comes after the WHO issued an expression of interest in April, to establish COVID-19 mRNA vaccine technology transfer hubs to scale up production and access to COVID vaccines in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The WHO describes the transfer hubs as training facilities, where the technology is established at industrial scale and clinical development performed. Interested manufacturers from LMICs can receive training and…

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Africa reports over 5.2 million COVID-19 cases in what seems to be the peak of the third wave

AFRICA – Data published by the Africa CDC shows that the continent has so far reported 5,212,840 cases out of 50,843,958 tests conducted since the onset of the pandemic. Africa, which has earned a spot on WHO’s watch list for a rapidly rising third wave, has reported 137,695 fatalities and 4,622,512 recoveries. Most African nations are recording an increase in numbers every day, even as vaccination continues to roll out at a, slow than should be, pace. South Africa, a country that has seen the worst under the pandemic in…

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Uganda goes into total lockdown having recorded 42 deaths in a day, the highest ever

UGANDA – Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Friday tightened restrictions in the country following a worrying rise in Covid-19 infections and deaths. The country recorded 42 Covid-related deaths and 1,000 new infections, having the Ugandan leader vow to “stop the joke” of the public violating the public health guidelines, known locally as the Standard Operating Procedures [SOP]. Movement of public and private transport vehicles has been put on hold with only security, emergency and other essential service providers, including the police, firefighters and the military being exempted. The new move…

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Africa’s COVID-19 third wave gathers pace fueled by highly contagious variants, WHO warns

AFRICA – Coronavirus infections in Africa are surging as a third wave of the pandemic gains pace in the continent and nears the first wave peak of more than 120,000 weekly cases recorded in July 2020, fueled by the spread of more contagious variants, the World Health Organization has said. The continent which was not hit hard by the pandemic like most other regions, has so far recorded 136,030 deaths from 5,108,888 cases, according to official figures by Africa CDC. The more-transmissible Delta variant, which was first detected in India,…

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