WHO inaugurates digital health network for the Western Balkan nations

SWITZERLAND – The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched digital health network for the Western Balkan nations to accelerate the adoption of digital technologies in public health and healthcare. Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe, emphasized the importance of digital technologies in the fight against COVID-19 in a virtual speech at the opening of the 2021 Western Balkans Digital Summit in Podgorica, Montenegro. He stated that digital technologies continue to support national response efforts, facilitate testing, tracing, and diagnosis, and reorganize care delivery, all while ensuring…

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EU bans carcinogenic food additive used in confectionaries

EUROPE – European Union member states have unanimously agreed to ban a widely used coloring additive for food, known as the artificial coloring E171 on labels, after finding that its carcinogenic effects cannot be ruled out. Titanium dioxide, or E171 – used to whiten and brighten products like cake icing, sweets, white sauces, medicine and cosmetics – was found to contain titanium dioxide nanoparticles. The particles have the potential to cause DNA damage, according to research conducted by the European Food and Safety Authority (EFSA). The EFSA’s conclusion, based on…

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WHO sounds alarm over rising COVID-19 deaths in Europe

EUROPE – The World Health Organization has warned that another 236,000 people could die from COVID-19 in Europe by December 1, sounding the alarm over rising infections and stagnating vaccine rates on the continent. The warning comes as the world passed the grim milestone of 4.5 million deaths from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, according to a recent AFP tally. Infections rates are ticking up globally again, as the highly transmissible Delta variant takes hold, especially among the unvaccinated, preying on populations where anti-virus measures have been relaxed.…

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CureVac’s vaccine proves to have a 47% efficacy rating after its preliminary results

EUROPE – The German company CureVac provided disappointing preliminary results from a clinical trial of its COVID-19 vaccine, dimming hopes that it could help fill the world’s current greatest need. The trial, which included 40,000 volunteers in Latin America and Europe, estimated that CureVac’s mRNA vaccine had an efficacy of just 47 percent, among the lowest reported so far from any COVID-19 vaccine maker. Results released were based on data from 135 volunteers who got sick with COVID-19 as an independent panel compared the number of sick people who had…

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