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…

Read More

African countries feature prominently in WHO’s new global lists of high-burden countries for TB

AFRICA – African countries have been cited in the new WHO lists of high burden countries for tuberculosis (TB), HIV-associated TB and multidrug/rifampicin-resistant TB. Zimbabwe transitioned out of the list of the 30 high TB burden countries while Gabon and Uganda joined the list. Angola, Chad, Ghana and Papua New Guinea have transitioned out of the 30 high TB/HIV burden countries whilst Gabon and Guinea have joined the list. The 30 high MDR/RR-TB burden countries list saw Ethiopia and Kenya transition out while Zambia joined. WHO officially communicated with the…

Read More

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…

Read More

WHO donates provisions in pledge to support epidemiologic preparedness in Liberia

LIBERIA – The World Health Organization (WHO) has delivered a huge consignment of Infection Prevention Control (IPC) supplies and laboratory diagnostic kits to Liberia to strengthen the response to COVID-19 and improve preparedness to EVD. The supplies donated included diagnostic kits for COVID-19 and supplies for IPC in health facilities. This is a subsequent donation following lifesaving medicines and laboratory supplies for testing COVID-19 and Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) donated to the government of Liberia by the WHO in March this year. The supplies included Praziquantel tablets to treat nearly…

Read More

WHO declares Guinea Ebola free months after a second outbreak was reported

GUINEA – The Ebola outbreak that emerged in Guinea in mid-February has been declared over. This was the first time the disease resurfaced in the country since the deadly outbreak in West Africa that ended in 2016. Guinean health authorities declared the outbreak on 14 February 2021 after three cases were detected in a rural community in the southern prefecture, the same region where the 2014–2016 outbreak first emerged before spreading into neighboring Liberia and Sierra Leone and beyond. A total of 16 confirmed and seven probable cases were reported…

Read More

As coronavirus cases rise, Africa faces immense threat from rise of deadlier variants

AFRICA – African Union Member States have reported 5,190,181 COVID-19 cases, 137,350 deaths and 4,611,132 recoveries according to the most recent report. According to the Africa CDC, new variants of the SARS-CoV-2 are rapidly spreading across continents and multiple variants are emerging in Africa, some deadlier, as the continent slips into a third wave. The World Health Organization (WHO) is concerned about the slowdown in vaccination, with 47 of Africa’s 54 countries at the risk of missing the September target of vaccinating 10 percent of their population, unless 225 million…

Read More

Bharat Biotech’s covaxin inches closer to the WHO’s emergency use listing

INDIA – Following an acceptance of its expression of interest by World Health Organization (WHO), Bharat’s covaxin could make it to the emergency use listing (EUL) after providing WHO with additional data. Bharat Biotech is a pioneering biotechnology company known for its world-class R&D and manufacturing capabilities and is the brainchild behind covaxin among numerous drugs. The pre-submission meeting of the vaccine maker with WHO has been planned in reference to the WHO EUL guidance document that was uploaded on the WHO website. A WHO EUL would open doors of…

Read More

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,…

Read More

Over 56, 000 individuals vaccinated against Yellow Fever in South Sudan

SOUTH SUDAN – The Ministry of Health with support from Eliminate Yellow Fever Epidemics (EYE) partners including WHO, GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, UNICEF and other health implementing partners have completed a pre-emptive yellow fever vaccination campaign. The campaign targeting 57,443 individuals, aged 9 months to 60 years, was conducted in Morobo, Lainya and Yei River Counties in Central Equatoria State where Yellow Fever was confirmed in 2020. At the end of the campaign, 56,640 (98.6%) of individuals aged 9 months to 60 years received the yellow fever vaccine in Morobo,…

Read More

Africa records over 5.1 million COVID-19 cases

AFRICA – Data published by the Africa Center for Disease control (Africa CDC) reveals that Africa has recorded over 5.1 million cases of COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic early last year. The continent, which is one of the most disadvantaged in terms of healthcare delivery and administration of COVID vaccines has witnessed 136, 030 deaths so far, due to the pandemic. Researchers have continuously expressed their reservations towards the numbers being reported in Africa due to poor testing capabilities and limited in-hospital treatment, citing that it is likely…

Read More