Africa CDC raises alarm over continent’s infectious diseases outbreaks

AFRICA – Africa is facing a syndemics, a combination of emerging infectious diseases, which are increasing the continents disease burden, the Africa Centers for Disease Control has announced. Dr john Nkengasong, Director, Africa CDC, said that despite dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic, the continent is at risk due to these infectious diseases. “The African continent as a whole is facing what we call a syndemics; a combination of emerging infectious diseases. We are dealing with this pandemic, but there will be another pandemic. “Syndemics are exacerbating the disease burden across…

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Angola battles soaring number of malaria cases as resistance to antimalarials grows

ANGOLA – At least 377,599 new cases of malaria have been registered in Angola’s northern province during the first half of this year, which resulted in the death of 268 people, the supervisor of the provincial program of fight against malaria, Luis Demba, has said. Demba explained that in comparison with the same period in 2020, there has been an increase in the number of cases and a reduction in the number of deaths. According to Angola’s Health Minister Silvia Lutucuta, the northern region, between January and May 2021, reported…

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BioNTech to channel COVID-19 profits toward developing new Malaria and TB shots in Africa

AFRICA – BioNTech, a Covid-19 vaccine pioneer has said it will invest some of its profits from the Covid-19 vaccine it markets with Pfizer Inc. into developing shots for malaria and tuberculosis in Africa. This is part of the German based biotechnology giant plan to establish a large production hub for innovative medicines on the continent. The firm plans to build a factory in Africa and develop a manufacturing network with local partners to transfer its technology based on messenger RNA, a genetic molecule, to a continent that has suffered…

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UNDP grants US$103 million to help Angola fight Malaria, HIV, Tuberculosis

ANGOLA – The United Nations injected a sum of US$103.2 million into Angola’s health system for the period 2021-2024, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Angolan Health Ministry said in a joint statement. According to the statement, the new global fund will pay to combat malaria, HIV and tuberculosis, especially in the southern provinces of Benguela and Cuanza Sul. With regard to malaria, the fund aims to reduce the number of deaths from 26 to 19 per 100 inhabitants, ensure at least 90 percent of the population in…

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Kenya risks losing KSh48 billion from Global Fund over Covid-19 Kemsa graft

KENYA – The Global Fund has said Kenya risks losing KSh48 billion (US$444.7 million) if corruption allegations at the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa) are not completed and changes made to ensure transparency. The fund mobilizes and invests money to accelerate the fight against Aids, tuberculosis and malaria as epidemics. The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission began investigating allegations of graft at Kemsa last year over the procurement and supply of Covid-19 equipment. The agency cited an “irregular expenditure” of KSh7.8 billion. The Fund and the Kenyan government have signed a…

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Study shows inconsistency in Africa’s use of treated bed nets, hindering fight against Malaria

AFRICA – East Africa has been reporting mixed results in its use of and access to insecticide-treated bed nets (ITNs), which have been crucial in the fight against malaria infections since the 1990s. While Uganda and Kenya are mentioned positively in surveys on the use and distribution of ITNS, Tanzania and Burundi feature in lists of countries that are recording drops over the past 20 years. The “Maps and metrics of insecticide-treated net access, use, and nets-per-capita in Africa from 2000-2020” survey released on June 11, shows that only 14…

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First ever HIV generic drug for babies distributed in Africa, says UNITAID

AFRICA – UNITAID and Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) funding has enabled procurement of 100,000 packs of the dolutegravir formulation, a strawberry-flavored tablet for children living with HIV in six African countries. These aid agencies have distributed the first generic pediatric version of a key anti-retroviral, global across Nigeria, Malawi, Uganda, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Benin, UNITAD’s spokesman Herve Verhoosel said in statement. UNITAID and CHAI had reached a pricing agreement with the generic drug makers Viatris and Macleods for the dispersible pediatric formulation of dolutegravir. The first-line HIV treatment is…

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Breakthrough as phase 1 clinical malaria vaccine trial results come positive with proof to give strong lasting protection against malaria

US – The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ (NIAID) phase 1 clinical trials of its malaria vaccine, Sanaria (PfSPZ), have found that the regimen conferred unprecedentedly high levels of durable protection when volunteers were later exposed to disease-causing malaria parasites. Trials were conducted at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Centre in Bethesda, Maryland led by Patrick E. Duffy, M.D., of the NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and Stephen L. Hoffman, M.D., CEO of Sanaria Inc., Rockville, Maryland. In the CVac trials, healthy…

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WHO and Global Fund sign cooperation agreement to scale up HIV, TB and Malaria treatment

AFRICA – The World Health Organization and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria have signed a cooperation and financing agreement to implement 10 strategic initiatives to accelerate the end of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria as epidemics and strengthen systems for health. This new agreement, which will cover the 2021-2023 implementation period, aims to address some of the persistent challenges that impede progress against the three diseases and protect hard-won gains from new pandemics like COVID-19. In 2019, a total of 1.4 million people died from tuberculosis and…

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World Health Organization certifies China as malaria free state

SWITZERLAND – China finally joins the list of malaria free states after the World Health Organisation (WHO) approves is application to be awarded the notable feat of malaria free state. The country strived for almost 70 years to achieve this feat and will become the first state in West Pacific region to be awarded the malaria -free certification after thirty years since the last nation in that region was awarded. Australia, Singapore, and Brunei Darussalam all got their certification in 1981, 1982 and 1987 respectively and were among the 40…

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