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  •  The World Health Organization WHO and the International Labour Organization ILO have called for concrete actions to address mental health concerns in the working population WHO guidelines released on Tuesday said that an estimated 12 billion workdays are lost annually due to depression and anxiety costing the global economy nearly 1 trillion dollar Two new publications which aim to address this issue were published on September 27 on WHO Guidelines on mental health at work and a derivative policy brief The WHO global guidelines on mental health at work recommend actions to tackle risks to mental health such as heavy workloads negative behaviours and other factors that create distress at work It said that for the first time WHO recommended manager training to build their capacity to prevent stressful work environments and respond to workers in distress It said that WHO s World Mental Health Report published in June 2022 showed that of one billion people living with a mental disorder in 2019 15 per cent of working age adults experienced a mental disorder Work amplifies wider societal issues that negatively affect mental health including discrimination and inequality Bullying and psychological violence also known as mobbing is a key complaint of workplace harassment that has a negative impact on mental health Yet discussing or disclosing mental health remains a taboo in work settings globally it said It said that the guidelines also recommend better ways to accommodate the needs of workers with mental health conditions It recommend interventions that support their return to work and for those with severe mental health conditions provide interventions that facilitate entry into paid employment Importantly The guidelines call for interventions aimed at the protection of health humanitarian and emergency workers Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus WHO Director General said it was time to focus on the detrimental effect work can have on our mental health The well being of the individual is reason enough to act but poor mental health can also have a debilitating impact on a person s performance and productivity These new guidelines can help prevent negative work situations and cultures and offer much needed mental health protection and support for working people Ghebreyesus said He said that a separate WHO and ILO policy brief explained the guidelines in terms of practical strategies for governments employers and workers and their organizations in the public and private sectors Ghebreyesus said that the aim was to support the prevention of mental health risks protect and promote mental health at work and support those with mental health conditions so they can participate and thrive in the world of work Investment and leadership will be critical to the implementation of the strategies he said Mr Guy Ryder ILO Director General said as people spend a large proportion of their lives in work a safe and healthy working environment was critical We need to invest to build a culture of prevention around mental health at work reshape the work environment to stop stigma and social exclusion and ensure employees with mental health conditions feel protected and supported Ryder said He said that the ILO Occupational Safety and Health Convention No 155 and Recommendation No 164 provides legal frameworks to protect the health and safety of workers Ryder said that however the WHO Mental Health Atlas found that only 35 per cent of countries reported having national programmes for work related mental health promotion and prevention He said that COVID 19 triggered a 25 per cent increase in general anxiety and depression worldwide exposing how unprepared governments were for its impact on mental health and revealing a chronic global shortage of mental health resources Ryder said in 2020 governments worldwide spent an average of just twi per cent of health budgets on mental health with lower middle income countries investing less than 1per cent NewsSourceCredit NAN
    WHO, ILO seek concrete action to tackle mental health issues in workplaces
     The World Health Organization WHO and the International Labour Organization ILO have called for concrete actions to address mental health concerns in the working population WHO guidelines released on Tuesday said that an estimated 12 billion workdays are lost annually due to depression and anxiety costing the global economy nearly 1 trillion dollar Two new publications which aim to address this issue were published on September 27 on WHO Guidelines on mental health at work and a derivative policy brief The WHO global guidelines on mental health at work recommend actions to tackle risks to mental health such as heavy workloads negative behaviours and other factors that create distress at work It said that for the first time WHO recommended manager training to build their capacity to prevent stressful work environments and respond to workers in distress It said that WHO s World Mental Health Report published in June 2022 showed that of one billion people living with a mental disorder in 2019 15 per cent of working age adults experienced a mental disorder Work amplifies wider societal issues that negatively affect mental health including discrimination and inequality Bullying and psychological violence also known as mobbing is a key complaint of workplace harassment that has a negative impact on mental health Yet discussing or disclosing mental health remains a taboo in work settings globally it said It said that the guidelines also recommend better ways to accommodate the needs of workers with mental health conditions It recommend interventions that support their return to work and for those with severe mental health conditions provide interventions that facilitate entry into paid employment Importantly The guidelines call for interventions aimed at the protection of health humanitarian and emergency workers Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus WHO Director General said it was time to focus on the detrimental effect work can have on our mental health The well being of the individual is reason enough to act but poor mental health can also have a debilitating impact on a person s performance and productivity These new guidelines can help prevent negative work situations and cultures and offer much needed mental health protection and support for working people Ghebreyesus said He said that a separate WHO and ILO policy brief explained the guidelines in terms of practical strategies for governments employers and workers and their organizations in the public and private sectors Ghebreyesus said that the aim was to support the prevention of mental health risks protect and promote mental health at work and support those with mental health conditions so they can participate and thrive in the world of work Investment and leadership will be critical to the implementation of the strategies he said Mr Guy Ryder ILO Director General said as people spend a large proportion of their lives in work a safe and healthy working environment was critical We need to invest to build a culture of prevention around mental health at work reshape the work environment to stop stigma and social exclusion and ensure employees with mental health conditions feel protected and supported Ryder said He said that the ILO Occupational Safety and Health Convention No 155 and Recommendation No 164 provides legal frameworks to protect the health and safety of workers Ryder said that however the WHO Mental Health Atlas found that only 35 per cent of countries reported having national programmes for work related mental health promotion and prevention He said that COVID 19 triggered a 25 per cent increase in general anxiety and depression worldwide exposing how unprepared governments were for its impact on mental health and revealing a chronic global shortage of mental health resources Ryder said in 2020 governments worldwide spent an average of just twi per cent of health budgets on mental health with lower middle income countries investing less than 1per cent NewsSourceCredit NAN
    WHO, ILO seek concrete action to tackle mental health issues in workplaces
    General news5 days ago

    WHO, ILO seek concrete action to tackle mental health issues in workplaces

    The World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) have called for concrete actions to address mental health concerns in the working population.

    WHO  guidelines  released on Tuesday  said that an estimated 12 billion workdays are lost annually due to depression and anxiety costing the global economy nearly 1 trillion dollar.

    ” Two new publications which aim to address this issue were published on September 27 on WHO Guidelines on mental health at work and a derivative policy brief.

    The WHO global guidelines on mental health at work recommend actions to tackle risks to mental health such as heavy workloads, negative behaviours and other factors that create distress at work.

    It said that for the first time WHO recommended manager training, to build their capacity to prevent stressful work environments and respond to workers in distress.

    It said that WHO’s World Mental Health Report, published in June 2022, showed that of one billion people living with a mental disorder in 2019, 15 per cent of working-age adults experienced a mental disorder.

    “Work amplifies wider societal issues that negatively affect mental health, including discrimination and inequality.

    ” Bullying and psychological violence (also known as “mobbing”) is a key complaint of workplace harassment that has a negative impact on mental health.

    “Yet discussing or disclosing mental health remains a taboo in work settings globally,” it said.

    It said that the guidelines also recommend better ways to accommodate the needs of workers with mental health conditions.

    It recommend interventions that support their return to work and for those with severe mental health conditions, provide interventions that facilitate entry into paid employment.

    Importantly.

    The guidelines call for interventions aimed at the protection of health, humanitarian, and emergency workers.

    Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, said it was time to focus on the detrimental effect work can have on our mental health.

    “The well-being of the individual is reason enough to act, but poor mental health can also have a debilitating impact on a person’s performance and productivity.

    “These new guidelines can help prevent negative work situations and cultures and offer much-needed mental health protection and support for working people.

    ”Ghebreyesus said.

    He said that a separate WHO and ILO policy brief explained the guidelines in terms of practical strategies for governments, employers and workers, and their organizations, in the public and private sectors.

    Ghebreyesus said that the aim was to support the prevention of mental health risks, protect and promote mental health at work, and support those with mental health conditions, so they can participate and thrive in the world of work.

    ” Investment and leadership will be critical to the implementation of the strategies.

    he said.

    Mr Guy Ryder, ILO Director-General said as people spend a large proportion of their lives in work , a safe and healthy working environment was critical.

    “We need to invest to build a culture of prevention around mental health at work, reshape the work environment to stop stigma and social exclusion, and ensure employees with mental health conditions feel protected and supported,” Ryder said.

    He said that the ILO Occupational Safety and Health Convention (No. 155) and Recommendation (No. 164) provides legal frameworks to protect the health and safety of workers.

    Ryder said that however, the WHO Mental Health Atlas found that only 35 per cent of countries reported having national programmes for work-related mental health promotion and prevention.

    He said that COVID-19 triggered a 25 per cent increase in general anxiety and depression worldwide, exposing how unprepared governments were for its impact on mental health, and revealing a chronic global shortage of mental health resources.

    Ryder said in 2020, governments worldwide spent an average of just twi per cent of health budgets on mental health, with lower-middle income countries investing less than 1per cent.


    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •  Senior UN officials including Secretary General Ant nio Guterres have urged world leaders to step up efforts to end COVID 19 pandemic Guterres made the appeal while speaking at High Level event at UN Headquarters in New York He noted the encouraging progress that has been made towards ending the COVID 19 pandemic while acknowledging that work still needs to be done to ensure the most vulnerable are protected Guterres celebrated rising vaccination coverage worldwide particularly among high risk populations and the fact that on average countries have vaccinated around three quarters of health care workers and older people COVID 19 measures are increasingly integrated into routine health programmes and new antiviral drugs are about to become available However gaps in coverage and protection remain said Guterres There is minimal vaccine booster coverage in all countries and there are low vaccination rates in poorer countries He also warned of a shadow pandemic of vaccine hesitancy and misinformation that needs to be tackled The UN chief also called for testing rates to be drastically improved and for countries to ensure they are fully prepared for future pandemics Making progress towards closing these gaps is what today is all about Guterres said It s time to build political momentum to finish the job on COVID 19 We have never been in a better position to end COVID 19 Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus the head of UN health agency WHO has had to deliver many downbeat remarks since the beginning of the pandemic but at Friday s event he was able to send a remarkably positive message With so many people vaccinated and reported deaths from the virus at the lowest levels since the beginning of the pandemic the international community he said has never been in a better position to end COVID 19 as a global health emergency However Ghebreyesus echoed the concerns raised by Guterres and referred to a report issued on Thursday by the WHO Access to COVID 19 Tools ACT Accelerator Council which revealed that most low and middle income countries have virtually no access to new antivirals Whilst the Accelerator is making progress providing almost 1 5 billion vaccine doses and supporting 68 new countries to reach vaccination coverage of at least 40 per cent much more needs to be done he said We re not there yet but the end is in sight Step by step we are making progress he said The UN children s agency UNICEF has played a key role in making sure vaccines are administered to those who need it especially the most vulnerable In his opening remarks Omar Abdi the UNICEF Deputy Executive Director reminded those at the event of some of the achievements of her agency in tackling the health crisis These included the administering of more than 12 4 billion doses of COVID 19 vaccines financing and implementing the largest ultra cold chain scale up in history UNICEF financed and delivered 800 ultra cold chain freezers to nearly 70 countries in 2021 alone and shipping over 1 2 billion items of personal protective equipment to protect frontline and healthcare workers and others in 142 countries nannew NewsSourceCredit NAN
    Build momentum to end COVID-19 pandemic, UN chief urges world leaders
     Senior UN officials including Secretary General Ant nio Guterres have urged world leaders to step up efforts to end COVID 19 pandemic Guterres made the appeal while speaking at High Level event at UN Headquarters in New York He noted the encouraging progress that has been made towards ending the COVID 19 pandemic while acknowledging that work still needs to be done to ensure the most vulnerable are protected Guterres celebrated rising vaccination coverage worldwide particularly among high risk populations and the fact that on average countries have vaccinated around three quarters of health care workers and older people COVID 19 measures are increasingly integrated into routine health programmes and new antiviral drugs are about to become available However gaps in coverage and protection remain said Guterres There is minimal vaccine booster coverage in all countries and there are low vaccination rates in poorer countries He also warned of a shadow pandemic of vaccine hesitancy and misinformation that needs to be tackled The UN chief also called for testing rates to be drastically improved and for countries to ensure they are fully prepared for future pandemics Making progress towards closing these gaps is what today is all about Guterres said It s time to build political momentum to finish the job on COVID 19 We have never been in a better position to end COVID 19 Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus the head of UN health agency WHO has had to deliver many downbeat remarks since the beginning of the pandemic but at Friday s event he was able to send a remarkably positive message With so many people vaccinated and reported deaths from the virus at the lowest levels since the beginning of the pandemic the international community he said has never been in a better position to end COVID 19 as a global health emergency However Ghebreyesus echoed the concerns raised by Guterres and referred to a report issued on Thursday by the WHO Access to COVID 19 Tools ACT Accelerator Council which revealed that most low and middle income countries have virtually no access to new antivirals Whilst the Accelerator is making progress providing almost 1 5 billion vaccine doses and supporting 68 new countries to reach vaccination coverage of at least 40 per cent much more needs to be done he said We re not there yet but the end is in sight Step by step we are making progress he said The UN children s agency UNICEF has played a key role in making sure vaccines are administered to those who need it especially the most vulnerable In his opening remarks Omar Abdi the UNICEF Deputy Executive Director reminded those at the event of some of the achievements of her agency in tackling the health crisis These included the administering of more than 12 4 billion doses of COVID 19 vaccines financing and implementing the largest ultra cold chain scale up in history UNICEF financed and delivered 800 ultra cold chain freezers to nearly 70 countries in 2021 alone and shipping over 1 2 billion items of personal protective equipment to protect frontline and healthcare workers and others in 142 countries nannew NewsSourceCredit NAN
    Build momentum to end COVID-19 pandemic, UN chief urges world leaders
    Foreign1 week ago

    Build momentum to end COVID-19 pandemic, UN chief urges world leaders

    Senior UN officials, including Secretary-General António Guterres, have urged world leaders to step up efforts to end COVID-19 pandemic.

    Guterres made the appeal while speaking at High-Level event at UN Headquarters in New York. He noted the encouraging progress that has been made towards ending the COVID-19 pandemic, while acknowledging that work still needs to be done to ensure the most vulnerable are protected.

    Guterres celebrated rising vaccination coverage worldwide, particularly among high-risk populations, and the fact that, on average, countries have vaccinated around three-quarters of health care workers and older people.

    COVID-19 measures are increasingly integrated into routine health programmes, and new antiviral drugs are about to become available.

    However, gaps in coverage and protection remain, said Guterres.

    There is minimal vaccine booster coverage in all countries, and there are low vaccination rates in poorer countries.

    He also warned of a “shadow pandemic” of vaccine hesitancy and misinformation that needs to be tackled.

    The UN chief also called for testing rates to be drastically improved, and for countries to ensure they are fully prepared for future pandemics.

    “Making progress towards closing these gaps is what today is all about, Guterres said.

    “It’s time to build political momentum to finish the job on COVID-19. ‘We have never been in a better position to end COVID-19″.

    Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, the head of UN health agency WHO, has had to deliver many downbeat remarks since the beginning of the pandemic, but at Friday’s event he was able to send a remarkably positive message.

    With so many people vaccinated, and reported deaths from the virus at the lowest levels since the beginning of the pandemic, the international community, he said, has “never been in a better position to end COVID-19 as a global health emergency”.

    However, Ghebreyesus echoed the concerns raised by  Guterres, and referred to a report, issued on Thursday by the WHO Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator Council, which revealed that most low and middle-income countries have virtually no access to new antivirals.

    Whilst the Accelerator is making progress, providing almost 1.5 billion vaccine doses, and supporting 68 new countries to reach vaccination coverage of at least 40 per cent, much more needs to be done, he said.

    “We’re not there yet, but the end is in sight.

    Step by step, we are making progress,” he said.

    The UN children’s agency, UNICEF, has played a key role in making sure vaccines are administered to those who need it, especially the most vulnerable.

    In his opening remarks, Omar Abdi, the UNICEF Deputy Executive-Director, reminded those at the event of some of the achievements of her agency in tackling the health crisis.

    These included the administering of more than 12.4 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines; financing and implementing the largest ultra-cold chain scale-up in history (UNICEF financed and delivered 800 ultra-cold chain freezers to nearly 70 countries in 2021 alone); and shipping over 1.2 billion items of personal protective equipment to protect frontline and healthcare workers and others in 142 countries.

    nannew.


    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •   The Kingdom of Eswatini has once again hosted delegates from the Eastern Central and Southern African College of Nursing ECSACON for the 15th Biennial Scientific Conference and 7th Quadrennial General Assembly The conference kicked off on a high note in Manzini on September 13 2022 with delegates from 16 countries across East Central and Southern Africa including Uganda South Africa Tanzania Rwanda Zimbabwe Namibia Seychelles and the hosts Eswatini Botswana and Lesotho The last conference was held in the Kingdom in August 1998 under the theme Improving Adolescent Health Nurses and Midwives Working in Partnership with Communities and was officiated by Her Majesty King Mswati III This was one of the most memorable events where the country witnessed nursing and midwifery science experts sharing scientific knowledge and best practices aimed at improving the health of our people The conference was officially opened by the Director General of the World Health Organization WHO Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus Broadcasting a recorded message he began by applauding all the nurses and midwives in South East and Central Africa for their steadfast commitment and courage during the COVID 19 pandemic He also pointed out that there is a shortage of nurses and midwives around the world adding that there is a notable shortage in the African region He mentioned that at the World Health Assembly WHA countries committed to strengthening support and safeguarding nurses midwives and other members of the health care workforce Dr Ghebreyesus highlighted that WHO has developed tools to help countries meet this commitment including the Global Strategy for Nursing and Midwifery He noted that there are encouraging signs of progress in this regard WHO remains committed to helping all countries strengthen their health workforce especially in Africa and we remain committed to supporting all nurses and midwives to ensure they receive quality education a living wage a safe and supportive environment and the respect they deserve he said During the official opening His Excellency the Honorable Acting Prime Minister of Eswatini Themba Masuku recognized the tremendous progress that African countries have made in addressing the health problems of adolescents who due to HIV AIDS suffered a setback in the early 2000s until the discovery of antiretroviral drugs drugs that became a solution to the burden of HIV Masuku reiterated that the extraordinary commitment selflessness passion impartiality and dedication cannot be overstated demonstrated by nurses and midwives to address the health challenges facing communities and meet regional and global goals She added that the Kingdom of Eswatini like other countries in the ECSA region is committed to achieving Universal Health Coverage UHC and that nurses and midwives are essential to achieving UHC through Primary Health Care C you are the first healthcare personnel to interact with patients and sometimes the only healthcare professional a patient will see It provides care support and treatment to the sick injured dying and supports their families and communities he said Masuku noted that the changing burden of disease and new emerging diseases such as COVID 19 have highlighted the need to strengthen the way healthcare is delivered in the ECSA region and the world at large He further stated that this also challenges the nursing and midwifery professions to embrace science and innovation while constantly seeking solutions to the new and complex challenges they face in nurse and midwife production education leadership and management research and practice clinic The acting prime minister also noted that the sub Saharan African region has grown economically over the past two decades with an impressive growth of more than 300 in total GDP since 2000 This growth he noted has been accompanied by increases in health spending and significant gains in health outcomes with improvements in health care and health outcomes directly supported by economic growth in the region Despite the progress Masuku added the region still struggles with the highest disease burden in the world including an emerging double burden of communicable and non communicable diseases This requires investing in the Nursing and Midwifery professions if we want to achieve Universal Health Coverage as well as the Sustainable Development Goals SDGs Similarly the COVID 19 pandemic has profoundly affected nursing education and practice This pandemic has exposed gaps and vulnerabilities in health systems and has presented important lessons for future preparedness he said adding that the conference therefore comes at an opportune time to share lessons learned and learn from each other to contribute to achieving universal health coverage and sustainable development goals We cannot succeed without each other and we must engage with respect and dignity while seeking guidance from standards and principles that have evolved through time experience and collective wisdom The conference was attended by over 400 nurses who took the time to observe a moment of silence for all the nurses and midwives who have lost their lives due to COVID 19 Delegates also recommitted to faithfully practicing the profession and upholding and upholding the standard of the nursing profession ECSACON has contributed for the past 32 years to capacity building in nursing education regulation and practice She has contributed to several studies including the State of the World Nursing report and the World Midwifery report to name a few
    Eswatini hosts the 15th Biennial Conference of the Eastern, Central and Southern Africa College of Nursing
      The Kingdom of Eswatini has once again hosted delegates from the Eastern Central and Southern African College of Nursing ECSACON for the 15th Biennial Scientific Conference and 7th Quadrennial General Assembly The conference kicked off on a high note in Manzini on September 13 2022 with delegates from 16 countries across East Central and Southern Africa including Uganda South Africa Tanzania Rwanda Zimbabwe Namibia Seychelles and the hosts Eswatini Botswana and Lesotho The last conference was held in the Kingdom in August 1998 under the theme Improving Adolescent Health Nurses and Midwives Working in Partnership with Communities and was officiated by Her Majesty King Mswati III This was one of the most memorable events where the country witnessed nursing and midwifery science experts sharing scientific knowledge and best practices aimed at improving the health of our people The conference was officially opened by the Director General of the World Health Organization WHO Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus Broadcasting a recorded message he began by applauding all the nurses and midwives in South East and Central Africa for their steadfast commitment and courage during the COVID 19 pandemic He also pointed out that there is a shortage of nurses and midwives around the world adding that there is a notable shortage in the African region He mentioned that at the World Health Assembly WHA countries committed to strengthening support and safeguarding nurses midwives and other members of the health care workforce Dr Ghebreyesus highlighted that WHO has developed tools to help countries meet this commitment including the Global Strategy for Nursing and Midwifery He noted that there are encouraging signs of progress in this regard WHO remains committed to helping all countries strengthen their health workforce especially in Africa and we remain committed to supporting all nurses and midwives to ensure they receive quality education a living wage a safe and supportive environment and the respect they deserve he said During the official opening His Excellency the Honorable Acting Prime Minister of Eswatini Themba Masuku recognized the tremendous progress that African countries have made in addressing the health problems of adolescents who due to HIV AIDS suffered a setback in the early 2000s until the discovery of antiretroviral drugs drugs that became a solution to the burden of HIV Masuku reiterated that the extraordinary commitment selflessness passion impartiality and dedication cannot be overstated demonstrated by nurses and midwives to address the health challenges facing communities and meet regional and global goals She added that the Kingdom of Eswatini like other countries in the ECSA region is committed to achieving Universal Health Coverage UHC and that nurses and midwives are essential to achieving UHC through Primary Health Care C you are the first healthcare personnel to interact with patients and sometimes the only healthcare professional a patient will see It provides care support and treatment to the sick injured dying and supports their families and communities he said Masuku noted that the changing burden of disease and new emerging diseases such as COVID 19 have highlighted the need to strengthen the way healthcare is delivered in the ECSA region and the world at large He further stated that this also challenges the nursing and midwifery professions to embrace science and innovation while constantly seeking solutions to the new and complex challenges they face in nurse and midwife production education leadership and management research and practice clinic The acting prime minister also noted that the sub Saharan African region has grown economically over the past two decades with an impressive growth of more than 300 in total GDP since 2000 This growth he noted has been accompanied by increases in health spending and significant gains in health outcomes with improvements in health care and health outcomes directly supported by economic growth in the region Despite the progress Masuku added the region still struggles with the highest disease burden in the world including an emerging double burden of communicable and non communicable diseases This requires investing in the Nursing and Midwifery professions if we want to achieve Universal Health Coverage as well as the Sustainable Development Goals SDGs Similarly the COVID 19 pandemic has profoundly affected nursing education and practice This pandemic has exposed gaps and vulnerabilities in health systems and has presented important lessons for future preparedness he said adding that the conference therefore comes at an opportune time to share lessons learned and learn from each other to contribute to achieving universal health coverage and sustainable development goals We cannot succeed without each other and we must engage with respect and dignity while seeking guidance from standards and principles that have evolved through time experience and collective wisdom The conference was attended by over 400 nurses who took the time to observe a moment of silence for all the nurses and midwives who have lost their lives due to COVID 19 Delegates also recommitted to faithfully practicing the profession and upholding and upholding the standard of the nursing profession ECSACON has contributed for the past 32 years to capacity building in nursing education regulation and practice She has contributed to several studies including the State of the World Nursing report and the World Midwifery report to name a few
    Eswatini hosts the 15th Biennial Conference of the Eastern, Central and Southern Africa College of Nursing
    Africa2 weeks ago

    Eswatini hosts the 15th Biennial Conference of the Eastern, Central and Southern Africa College of Nursing

    The Kingdom of Eswatini has once again hosted delegates from the Eastern, Central and Southern African College of Nursing (ECSACON) for the 15th Biennial Scientific Conference and 7th Quadrennial General Assembly.

    The conference kicked off on a high note in Manzini on September 13, 2022, with delegates from 16 countries across East, Central and Southern Africa, including Uganda, South Africa, Tanzania, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Seychelles, and the hosts Eswatini, Botswana and Lesotho.

    The last conference was held in the Kingdom in August 1998, under the theme: 'Improving Adolescent Health: Nurses and Midwives Working in Partnership with Communities' and was officiated by Her Majesty King Mswati III.

    This was one of the most memorable events where the country witnessed nursing and midwifery science experts sharing scientific knowledge and best practices aimed at improving the health of our people.

    The conference was officially opened by the Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus.

    Broadcasting a recorded message, he began by applauding all the nurses and midwives in South, East and Central Africa for their steadfast commitment and courage during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    He also pointed out that there is a shortage of nurses and midwives around the world, adding that there is a notable shortage in the African region.

    He mentioned that at the World Health Assembly (WHA), countries committed to strengthening support and safeguarding nurses, midwives and other members of the health care workforce.

    Dr. Ghebreyesus highlighted that WHO has developed tools to help countries meet this commitment, including the Global Strategy for Nursing and Midwifery.

    He noted that there are encouraging signs of progress in this regard.

    “WHO remains committed to helping all countries strengthen their health workforce, especially in Africa, and we remain committed to supporting all nurses and midwives to ensure they receive quality education, a living wage, a safe and supportive environment, and the respect they deserve.

    " he said.

    During the official opening, His Excellency the Honorable Acting Prime Minister of Eswatini Themba Masuku recognized the tremendous progress that African countries have made in addressing the health problems of adolescents who, due to HIV/AIDS, suffered a setback in the early 2000s until the discovery of antiretroviral drugs drugs that became a solution to the burden of HIV Masuku reiterated that the extraordinary commitment, selflessness, passion, impartiality and dedication cannot be overstated demonstrated by nurses and midwives to address the health challenges facing communities and meet regional and global goals She added that the Kingdom of Eswatini, like other countries in the ECSA region, is committed to achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and that nurses and midwives are essential to achieving (UHC) through Primary Health Care. C, you are the first healthcare personnel to interact with patients and sometimes the only healthcare professional a patient will see.

    It provides care, support and treatment to the sick, injured, dying and supports their families and communities,” he said.

    Masuku noted that the changing burden of disease and new emerging diseases such as COVID-19 have highlighted the need to strengthen the way healthcare is delivered in the ECSA region and the world at large.

    He further stated that this also challenges the nursing and midwifery professions to embrace science and innovation while constantly seeking solutions to the new and complex challenges they face in nurse and midwife production (education), leadership and management, research and practice.

    clinic.

    The acting prime minister also noted that the sub-Saharan African region has grown economically over the past two decades with an impressive growth of more than 300% in total GDP since 2000.

    This growth, he noted, has been accompanied by increases in health spending.

    and significant gains in health outcomes with improvements in health care and health outcomes directly supported by economic growth in the region.

    Despite the progress, Masuku added, the region still struggles with the highest disease burden in the world, including an emerging double burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases.

    “This requires investing in the Nursing and Midwifery professions if we want to achieve Universal Health Coverage, as well as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

    “Similarly, the COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly affected nursing education and practice.

    This pandemic has exposed gaps and vulnerabilities in health systems and has presented important lessons for future preparedness,” he said, adding that the conference therefore comes at an opportune time to share lessons learned and learn from each other to contribute to achieving universal health.

    coverage and sustainable development goals.

    "We cannot succeed without each other, and we must engage with respect and dignity while seeking guidance from standards and principles that have evolved through time, experience and collective wisdom."

    The conference was attended by over 400 nurses who took the time to observe a moment of silence for all the nurses and midwives who have lost their lives due to COVID-19.

    Delegates also recommitted to faithfully practicing the profession and upholding and upholding the standard of the nursing profession.

    ECSACON has contributed for the past 32 years to capacity building in nursing education, regulation and practice.

    She has contributed to several studies, including the State of the World Nursing report and the World Midwifery report, to name a few.

  •  The World Health Organisation WHO says cases of COVID 19 has declined globally Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus WHO Director General said this on Wednesday in an online COVD 19 media briefing This is very encouraging But there is no guarantee these trends will persist The most dangerous thing is to assume they will The number of weekly reported deaths may have dropped by more than 80 per cent since February but even so last week one person died with COVID 19 every 44 seconds Ghebreyesus said Ghebreyesus said that most of those deaths wee avoidable According to him one might be tired of hearing me say the pandemic is not over But I will keep saying it until it is This virus will not just fade away He said the organisation understood that many governments were dealing with multiple challenges and competing priorities Ghebreyesus said that to support government WHO would next week publish a set of six short policy briefs outlining the essential actions that all governments could take to reduce transmission and save lives He said the briefs would cover the essential elements of testing clinical management vaccination infection prevention and control risk communication and community engagement and managing the infodemic We hope countries will use these briefs to reassess and readjust their policies to protect those most at risk treat those who needed it and save lives The pandemic is always evolving and so must the response in every country Even as we continue to respond to the pandemic work is progressing to put in place the measures to keep the world safer from future epidemics and pandemics Ghebreyesus said He said that in November 2021 WHO s Member States made a historic decision to negotiate a new international accord on pandemic preparedness and response Just as countries have come together before to agree treaties on the threats posed by tobacco nuclear weapons and climate change So now countries are coming together to agree on a common approach to the common threat of epidemics and pandemics he said He said that the final outcome would be a legal instrument negotiated by sovereign states and implemented by sovereign states in accordance with their own laws But this is not a discussion for governments alone Pandemics threaten every single person on earth so it s important that everyone can have their say on what this landmark international agreement looks like WHO boss said According to him to enable that to happen WHO is be holding public hearings to give as many people as people as possible the opportunity to have input into the negotiating process He said that the first round of public hearings was in April and the second round would be held later in September We invite everyone everywhere to have their say by submitting a video statement between the 9th and 13th of September responding to this question Based on your experience with the COVID 19 pandemic what do you believe should be addressed at the international level to better protect against future pandemics Ghebreyesus said He said that the organisation was looking forward to receiving many suggestions and ideas from as many countries as possible NewsSourceCredit NAN
    Global decline in COVID 19 cases reported – WHO
     The World Health Organisation WHO says cases of COVID 19 has declined globally Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus WHO Director General said this on Wednesday in an online COVD 19 media briefing This is very encouraging But there is no guarantee these trends will persist The most dangerous thing is to assume they will The number of weekly reported deaths may have dropped by more than 80 per cent since February but even so last week one person died with COVID 19 every 44 seconds Ghebreyesus said Ghebreyesus said that most of those deaths wee avoidable According to him one might be tired of hearing me say the pandemic is not over But I will keep saying it until it is This virus will not just fade away He said the organisation understood that many governments were dealing with multiple challenges and competing priorities Ghebreyesus said that to support government WHO would next week publish a set of six short policy briefs outlining the essential actions that all governments could take to reduce transmission and save lives He said the briefs would cover the essential elements of testing clinical management vaccination infection prevention and control risk communication and community engagement and managing the infodemic We hope countries will use these briefs to reassess and readjust their policies to protect those most at risk treat those who needed it and save lives The pandemic is always evolving and so must the response in every country Even as we continue to respond to the pandemic work is progressing to put in place the measures to keep the world safer from future epidemics and pandemics Ghebreyesus said He said that in November 2021 WHO s Member States made a historic decision to negotiate a new international accord on pandemic preparedness and response Just as countries have come together before to agree treaties on the threats posed by tobacco nuclear weapons and climate change So now countries are coming together to agree on a common approach to the common threat of epidemics and pandemics he said He said that the final outcome would be a legal instrument negotiated by sovereign states and implemented by sovereign states in accordance with their own laws But this is not a discussion for governments alone Pandemics threaten every single person on earth so it s important that everyone can have their say on what this landmark international agreement looks like WHO boss said According to him to enable that to happen WHO is be holding public hearings to give as many people as people as possible the opportunity to have input into the negotiating process He said that the first round of public hearings was in April and the second round would be held later in September We invite everyone everywhere to have their say by submitting a video statement between the 9th and 13th of September responding to this question Based on your experience with the COVID 19 pandemic what do you believe should be addressed at the international level to better protect against future pandemics Ghebreyesus said He said that the organisation was looking forward to receiving many suggestions and ideas from as many countries as possible NewsSourceCredit NAN
    Global decline in COVID 19 cases reported – WHO
    General news4 weeks ago

    Global decline in COVID 19 cases reported – WHO

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) says  cases of COVID-19 has declined globally.

    Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General said this on Wednesday in an online COVD-19 media briefing.

    “This is very encouraging.

    But there is no guarantee these trends will persist.

    The most dangerous thing is to assume they will.

    “The number of weekly reported deaths may have dropped by more than 80 per cent since February, but even so, last week one person died with COVID-19 every 44 seconds,’’ Ghebreyesus said.

    Ghebreyesus said that most of those deaths wee avoidable.

    According to him, one might be tired of hearing me say the pandemic is not over.

    But I will keep saying it until it is.

    This virus will not just fade away.

    He said the organisation understood that many governments were dealing with multiple challenges and competing priorities.

    Ghebreyesus said that to support government WHO would next week publish a set of six short policy briefs, outlining the essential actions that all governments could take to reduce transmission and save lives.

    He said the briefs would cover the essential elements of testing, clinical management, vaccination, infection prevention and control, risk communication and community engagement, and managing the infodemic.

    “We hope countries will use these briefs to reassess and readjust their policies to protect those most at risk, treat those who needed it and save lives.

    “The pandemic is always evolving, and so must the response, in every country.

    “Even as we continue to respond to the pandemic, work is progressing to put in place the measures to keep the world safer from future epidemics and pandemics,’’ Ghebreyesus said.

    He said that in November 2021, WHO’s Member States made a historic decision to negotiate a new international accord on pandemic preparedness and response.

    “Just as countries have come together before to agree treaties on the threats posed by tobacco, nuclear weapons and climate change.

    “So now countries are coming together to agree on a common approach to the common threat of epidemics and pandemics,’’ he said.

    He said that the final outcome would be a legal instrument negotiated by sovereign states and implemented by sovereign states, in accordance with their own laws.

    “But this is not a discussion for governments alone.

    “Pandemics threaten every single person on earth, so it’s important that everyone can have their say on what this landmark international agreement looks like,’’ WHO boss said.

    According to him, to enable that to happen, WHO is be holding public hearings, to give as many people as people as possible the opportunity to have input into the negotiating process.

    He said that the first round of public hearings was in April, and the second round would be held later in September.

    “We invite everyone, everywhere to have their say, by submitting a video statement between the 9th and 13th of September, responding to this question.

    “Based on your experience with the COVID-19 pandemic, what do you believe should be addressed at the international level to better protect against future pandemics,’’ Ghebreyesus said.

    He said that the organisation was looking forward to receiving many suggestions and ideas, from as many countries as possible.


    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •  The World Health Organisation WHO says millions of refugees and migrants in vulnerable situations face poorer health outcomes than their host communities especially where living and working conditions are sub standard The organisation said on Wednesday that the report was according to the first WHO World report on the health of refugees and migrants Around the world millions of refugees and migrants in vulnerable situations such as low skilled migrant workers face poorer health outcomes than their host communities Especially where living and working conditions are sub standard this has dire consequences for the probability that the world will not achieve the health related Sustainable Development Goals for these populations it said Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus WHO Director General said there were some one billion migrants globally about one in eight people According to him the experience of migration is a key determinant of health and wellbeing and refugees and migrants remain among the most vulnerable and neglected members of many societies This report is the first to offer a global review of refugee and migrant health it calls for urgent and collective action to ensure they can access health care services that are sensitive to their needs It also illustrates the pressing need to address the root causes of ill health and to radically reorient health systems to respond to a world increasingly in motion Ghebreyesus said He said based on an extensive review of literature from around the world the report demonstrates that refugees and migrants are not inherently less healthy than host populations Ghebreyesus said it was the impact of the various suboptimal health determinants such as education income housing and access to services He said impact was also compounded by linguistic cultural legal and other barriers and the interaction of these during the life course that are behind poor health outcomes The report reiterated that the experience of migration and displacement were key factors in a person s health and wellbeing especially when combined with other determinants For example a recent meta analysis of more than 17 million participants from 16 countries across five WHO regions found that compared with non migrant workers migrant workers were less likely to use health services Also more likely to have an occupational injury Evidence also showed that a significant number of the 169 million migrant workers globally are engaged in dirty dangerous and demanding jobs and are at greater risk of occupational accidents Others are injuries and work related health problems than their non migrant counterparts conditions exacerbated by their often limited or restricted access to and use of health services it said The report demonstrated critical gaps in data and health information systems regarding the health of refugees and migrants It said while data and evidence are plentiful they are fragmented and not comparable across countries and over time It said although these mobile populations are sometimes identifiable in global datasets used for Sustainable Development Goals SDGs monitoring It said that health data are often missing from migration statistics and migratory status variables are often missing from health statistics The report said that such made it difficult to determine and track progress for refugees and migrants towards the health related SDGs Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab WHO s Deputy Director General said It is imperative that we do more on refugees and migrants health but if we want to change the status quo We need urgent investments to improve the quality relevance and completeness of health data on refugees and migrants she said Jakab said that the organization needed sound data collection and monitoring systems that truly represent the diversity of the world population and the experience that refugees and migrants face According to her lack of comparable data on the health of refugees and migrants across countries and over time often impedes good policy development towards health equity Jakab said others are policies and frameworks do exist that address and respond to the health needs of refugees and migrants The report said that however disparities in health outcomes remain and the report showed that they are mainly due to a lack of meaningful and effective implementation of policies Dr Santino Severoni Director of WHO s Health and Migration Programmem said health does not begin or end at a country s border Severoni said that migratory status should therefore not be a discriminatory factor but a policy driver on which to build and strengthen healthcare and social and financial protection He said the organisation must reorient existing health systems into integrated and inclusive health services for refugees and migrants in line with the principles of primary health care and universal health coverage The report said that refugees and migrants can introduce innovative ideas that drive economic and social transformation It highlighted the extraordinary contributions of refugee and migrant healthcare workers to the COVID 19 frontline response The report said that one of the most notable was the contributions of migrants in several countries of the Organisation for Economic Co operation and Development OECD It said it was particularly significant when in some countries as many as half of doctors or nurses are foreign born Implementing inclusive health systems that conform to the principle of right to health for all and universal health coverage would permit individuals in need of health services to be identified and supported early It said health systems were only as strong as their weakest link The report said the inclusion of refugees and migrants was a worthwhile investment for the development and wellbeing of societies around the world NewsSourceCredit NAN
    WHO report shows poorer health outcomes affect vulnerable refugees, migrants
     The World Health Organisation WHO says millions of refugees and migrants in vulnerable situations face poorer health outcomes than their host communities especially where living and working conditions are sub standard The organisation said on Wednesday that the report was according to the first WHO World report on the health of refugees and migrants Around the world millions of refugees and migrants in vulnerable situations such as low skilled migrant workers face poorer health outcomes than their host communities Especially where living and working conditions are sub standard this has dire consequences for the probability that the world will not achieve the health related Sustainable Development Goals for these populations it said Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus WHO Director General said there were some one billion migrants globally about one in eight people According to him the experience of migration is a key determinant of health and wellbeing and refugees and migrants remain among the most vulnerable and neglected members of many societies This report is the first to offer a global review of refugee and migrant health it calls for urgent and collective action to ensure they can access health care services that are sensitive to their needs It also illustrates the pressing need to address the root causes of ill health and to radically reorient health systems to respond to a world increasingly in motion Ghebreyesus said He said based on an extensive review of literature from around the world the report demonstrates that refugees and migrants are not inherently less healthy than host populations Ghebreyesus said it was the impact of the various suboptimal health determinants such as education income housing and access to services He said impact was also compounded by linguistic cultural legal and other barriers and the interaction of these during the life course that are behind poor health outcomes The report reiterated that the experience of migration and displacement were key factors in a person s health and wellbeing especially when combined with other determinants For example a recent meta analysis of more than 17 million participants from 16 countries across five WHO regions found that compared with non migrant workers migrant workers were less likely to use health services Also more likely to have an occupational injury Evidence also showed that a significant number of the 169 million migrant workers globally are engaged in dirty dangerous and demanding jobs and are at greater risk of occupational accidents Others are injuries and work related health problems than their non migrant counterparts conditions exacerbated by their often limited or restricted access to and use of health services it said The report demonstrated critical gaps in data and health information systems regarding the health of refugees and migrants It said while data and evidence are plentiful they are fragmented and not comparable across countries and over time It said although these mobile populations are sometimes identifiable in global datasets used for Sustainable Development Goals SDGs monitoring It said that health data are often missing from migration statistics and migratory status variables are often missing from health statistics The report said that such made it difficult to determine and track progress for refugees and migrants towards the health related SDGs Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab WHO s Deputy Director General said It is imperative that we do more on refugees and migrants health but if we want to change the status quo We need urgent investments to improve the quality relevance and completeness of health data on refugees and migrants she said Jakab said that the organization needed sound data collection and monitoring systems that truly represent the diversity of the world population and the experience that refugees and migrants face According to her lack of comparable data on the health of refugees and migrants across countries and over time often impedes good policy development towards health equity Jakab said others are policies and frameworks do exist that address and respond to the health needs of refugees and migrants The report said that however disparities in health outcomes remain and the report showed that they are mainly due to a lack of meaningful and effective implementation of policies Dr Santino Severoni Director of WHO s Health and Migration Programmem said health does not begin or end at a country s border Severoni said that migratory status should therefore not be a discriminatory factor but a policy driver on which to build and strengthen healthcare and social and financial protection He said the organisation must reorient existing health systems into integrated and inclusive health services for refugees and migrants in line with the principles of primary health care and universal health coverage The report said that refugees and migrants can introduce innovative ideas that drive economic and social transformation It highlighted the extraordinary contributions of refugee and migrant healthcare workers to the COVID 19 frontline response The report said that one of the most notable was the contributions of migrants in several countries of the Organisation for Economic Co operation and Development OECD It said it was particularly significant when in some countries as many as half of doctors or nurses are foreign born Implementing inclusive health systems that conform to the principle of right to health for all and universal health coverage would permit individuals in need of health services to be identified and supported early It said health systems were only as strong as their weakest link The report said the inclusion of refugees and migrants was a worthwhile investment for the development and wellbeing of societies around the world NewsSourceCredit NAN
    WHO report shows poorer health outcomes affect vulnerable refugees, migrants
    General news2 months ago

    WHO report shows poorer health outcomes affect vulnerable refugees, migrants

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) says millions of refugees and migrants in vulnerable situations, face poorer health outcomes than their host communities especially where living and working conditions are sub-standard.

    The organisation said on Wednesday that the report was according to the first WHO World report on the health of refugees and migrants.

    “Around the world, millions of refugees and migrants in vulnerable situations, such as low-skilled migrant workers, face poorer health outcomes than their host communities.

    “Especially where living and working conditions are sub-standard, this has dire consequences for the probability that the world will not achieve the health-related Sustainable Development Goals for these populations,’’ it said.

    Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, said there were some one billion migrants globally, about one in eight people.

    According to him, the experience of migration is a key determinant of health and wellbeing, and refugees and migrants remain among the most vulnerable and neglected members of many societies “This report is the first to offer a global review of refugee and migrant health, it calls for urgent and collective action to ensure they can access health care services that are sensitive to their needs.

    “It also illustrates the pressing need to address the root causes of ill health and to radically reorient health systems to respond to a world increasingly in motion,’’ Ghebreyesus said.

    He said based on an extensive review of literature from around the world, the report demonstrates that refugees and migrants are not inherently less healthy than host populations.

    Ghebreyesus said it was the impact of the various suboptimal health determinants, such as education, income, housing and access to services.

    He said impact was also compounded by linguistic, cultural, legal and other barriers and the interaction of these during the life course, that are behind poor health outcomes.

    The report reiterated that the experience of migration and displacement were key factors in a person’s health and wellbeing, especially when combined with other determinants.

    “For example, a recent meta-analysis of more than 17 million participants from 16 countries across five WHO regions found that, compared with non-migrant workers, migrant workers were less likely to use health services.

    “Also, more likely to have an occupational injury.

    “Evidence also showed that a significant number of the 169 million migrant workers globally are engaged in dirty, dangerous, and demanding jobs and are at greater risk of occupational accidents.

    “Others are injuries, and work-related health problems than their non-migrant counterparts, conditions exacerbated by their often limited or restricted access to and use of health services,’’ it said.

    The report demonstrated critical gaps in data and health information systems regarding the health of refugees and migrants.

    It said while data and evidence are plentiful, they are fragmented and not comparable across countries and over time.

    It said although these mobile populations are sometimes identifiable in global datasets used for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) monitoring.

    It said that health data are often missing from migration statistics and migratory status variables are often missing from health statistics.

    The report said that such made it difficult to determine and track progress for refugees and migrants towards the health-related SDGs. Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO’s Deputy Director-General said: “It is imperative that we do more on refugees and migrants’ health but if we want to change the status quo.

    “We need urgent investments to improve the quality, relevance and completeness of health data on refugees and migrants,’’ she said.

    Jakab said that the organization needed sound data collection and monitoring systems that truly represent the diversity of the world population and the experience that refugees and migrants face.

    According to her, lack of comparable data on the health of refugees and migrants across countries and over time often impedes good policy development towards health equity.

    Jakab said others are policies and frameworks do exist that address and respond to the health needs of refugees and migrants.

    The report said that however, disparities in health outcomes remain and the report showed that they are mainly due to a lack of meaningful and effective implementation of policies.

    Dr Santino Severoni, Director of WHO’s Health and Migration Programmem said health does not begin or end at a country’s border.

    Severoni said that migratory status should therefore not be a discriminatory factor but a policy driver on which to build and strengthen healthcare and social and financial protection.

    He said the organisation must reorient existing health systems into integrated and inclusive health services for refugees and migrants, in line with the principles of primary health care and universal health coverage.

    The report said that refugees and migrants can introduce innovative ideas that drive economic and social transformation.

    It highlighted the extraordinary contributions of refugee and migrant healthcare workers to the COVID-19 frontline response.

    The report said that one of the most notable was the contributions of migrants in several countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

    It said it was particularly significant when in some countries as many as half of doctors or nurses are foreign born.

    “Implementing inclusive health systems that conform to the principle of right to health for all and universal health coverage would permit individuals in need of health services to be identified and supported early.

    It said health systems were only as strong as their weakest link.

    The report said the inclusion of refugees and migrants was a worthwhile investment for the development and wellbeing of societies around the world.

    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •   Imperative of mobilising traditional religious leaders to boost COVID 19 vaccination Imperative of mobilising traditional religious leaders to boost COVID 19 vaccination By Folasade Akpan News Agency of Nigeria Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus Director General World Health Organisation WHO at the 2022 World Health Assembly held recently in Geneva Switzerland warned that COVID 19 was not yet over in spite significantly drop of cases At that meeting of health from 194 countries he said that deaths were rising in Africa while the continent has the lowest vaccination coverage According to him 60 per cent of the world s population have already vaccinated adding that one billion people in lower income countries remained unvaccinated The WHO s goal is to have 70 per cent of each country s population vaccinated Regrettably Nigeria seems to still be lagging behind the projection The National Primary Health Care Development Agency NPHCDA recently gave statistics of vaccination coverage in the country NPHCDA data showed that as at June 19 in the 36 states and the FCT about 28 427 564 of eligible persons targeted for COVID 19 vaccination were partially vaccinated while 21 236 404 of eligible persons were fully vaccinated The proportion vaccinated was 25 4 per cent of the total eligible persons targeted in the country The agency added that striving to vaccinate 70 per cent of eligible population of every country remains essential to bringing the pandemic under control NPHCDA says that Nigeria is working hard to ensure that its citizens have access to the life saving vaccines Some of the measures to meet the projection is involvement of traditional and religious leaders in sensitisation education and bringing awareness about the disease and importance of vaccination An assessment tour of selected local government areas of Sokoto State organised by the United Nations Children s Fund UNICEF showed that traditional rulers had key roles to play in mobilising the people to embrace vaccination against COVID 19 and other diseases At the palace of Sarkin Yaki Gagi district head of Gagi in Sokoto South Local Government Area people of the area gave testimonies how they were convinced by the district head Alhaji Sani Umar Jabbi to embrace vaccination Speaking through Yusuf Ladan an interpreter on the various interventions that were carried out to ensure the people were vaccinated they said the Sarkin took it upon himself to ensure that the people got enough information about the myths surrounding vaccination Seventy year old Malam Mode Lambo who spoke said that before the arrival of the vaccines the district head informed them of the dangers of the disease So when I saw the district head take the vaccine I had confidence to take it also For 50 year old Abbass Hassan he did not even believe that the virus existed and thought it was a ploy to reduce the rate of child birth He however said that as a result of the awareness and after witnessing the district head took the vaccine gave him the confidence adding that he and his family were now fully vaccinated I am happy I took the vaccine because I would not have been able to travel to the United Arab Emirates UAE as there were travel restrictions on people who did not take the vaccine However with it I was able to travel with ease because some people who did not take the vaccine were prevented from traveling On the part of 59 year old Hajia Hauwa Yakin she said that she heard rumours that the vaccine could kill but upon being mobilised she took it I also took it because I was told that I would not be able to go for hajj if I did not take it so I had to take it However I had fever for a day after taking the vaccine she added As for 45 year Sambo Umar the decision to take the vaccine was as a result of awareness which helped him to know the dangers of the disease and the importance of vaccination Due to the awareness I have on health now if the government comes up with other health interventions I will subscribe to them because I am now informed and know that the government will not bring things that will harm us Forty nine year old Alhaji Sani Umar Jabbi who has been district head for 17 years has three wards namely Gagi A B and C under his jurisdiction There are also village and ward heads with 40 community heads and four village heads coordinating various wards Umar Jabbi said that as a district head his main concern is to ensure that he supports all government interventions and programmes in health education environmental conservation climate change impact and mitigations and others According to him it is part of his responsibilities as a district head to mobilise the communities under him to support and successfully implement government programmes and policies He said that for healthcare provision any programme that is to be implemented in the community has to go through the gatekeepers and there were no better gatekeepers than the traditional rulers For COVID 19 he said there were many misrepresentations and myths which scared the people at the beginning When I heard about the controversies surrounding the vaccine I was afraid to take it but being close to development partners I was encouraged to take it and when I made up my mind to take it I was immunised with about 100 people supporting me For the second dose I invited many of my community members and about 116 people were immunised alongside me Umar Jabbi said that before he took the booster dose he launched a campaign which paved way for more women and traditional leaders participation adding that they converged on his palace and took the vaccine there All the traditional rulers and the people said that because the district head was vaccinated they too would be vaccinated So in my community it is very difficult to see anyone reject it they accepted it whole heartedly and we do not have vaccine controversy Also because I was vaccinated and no one saw any danger happen to me they gladly took it There were so many misrepresentations about the vaccine but they were all nullified and the reality is that the vaccine is safe and preventive and when they did a survey testing no one tested positive of the virus in this community On the means of mobilisiing members of the community he said they were through various outlets such as religious and social gatherings where facilitators sensitise the people on development programmes and other issues We deliver all of these messages during wedding fathias naming ceremonies and international observance days Also in Gidan Kaya Gwadabawa Local Government Area the people also attest to the fact that sensitisation awareness and proper education on the virus and the vaccination influenced them greatly Ladi Daure 48 said that when she first heard about the virus she did not pay much attention but when she learnt of its deadly nature she decided to take the vaccine When they told us about the vaccine we did not just go and take it they sat all of us down to educate us about the virus and told us the implication of not taking the vaccine This motivated us to take it so I took the two doses and I have my card as proof she said For 53 year old Buhari Mohammed who is a member of the immunisation committee for polio malaria cholera and even COVID 19 in his community it was not a new thing to him because he had been exposed to many healthcare interventions A letter was sent to us from the Ministry of Health to the Primary Health Care PHC centre head and we all held a meeting and mobilised our people and created awareness on the importance of the vaccine We really appreciate the help and support of development partners for always coming to Gidan Kaya to give our people vaccines he said The Executive Secretary Sokoto State Primary Health Care Development Agency SSPHCDA Mr Abdullahi Romo said that at the last count the state had attained 52 per cent COVID 19 vaccination Giving a breakdown he said that about 72 per cent of the total target population took the first dose while 68 per cent took the second dose For the booster dose Romo said that the state recorded about 52 per cent So we are happy that at least 52 per cent of the people that have taken the first dose are covered and of course people are still coming in gradually unlike before he said Romo said that in getting the people to get vaccinated religious and traditional leaders were engaged while Jumaat service also featured talks on community health He added that town announcers were also engaged during naming and wedding ceremonies to keep on enlightening people on not only COVID 19 but on other health interventions generally This facilitated people coming in to take the vaccine We realised that it was because we engaged traditional and religious leaders who head committees at various levels So it made it easier to make the information trickle down and cause people to take the vaccine that was why we decided to intensify the functions and responsibilities of these committees Romo however said that the challenges COVID 19 posed was the social stigma associated with it According to him people believed that the vaccine was aimed at reducing the rate of child birth and this made them to engage the chief imams to let them know that was not the case We told them it was not so because if it was the Sultan would not have accepted it and the governor too would not have taken it Romo stressed NANFeatures If used please credit the writer as well as the News Agency of Nigeria NewsSourceCredit NAN
    Imperative of mobilising traditional, religious leaders to boost COVID-19 vaccination
      Imperative of mobilising traditional religious leaders to boost COVID 19 vaccination Imperative of mobilising traditional religious leaders to boost COVID 19 vaccination By Folasade Akpan News Agency of Nigeria Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus Director General World Health Organisation WHO at the 2022 World Health Assembly held recently in Geneva Switzerland warned that COVID 19 was not yet over in spite significantly drop of cases At that meeting of health from 194 countries he said that deaths were rising in Africa while the continent has the lowest vaccination coverage According to him 60 per cent of the world s population have already vaccinated adding that one billion people in lower income countries remained unvaccinated The WHO s goal is to have 70 per cent of each country s population vaccinated Regrettably Nigeria seems to still be lagging behind the projection The National Primary Health Care Development Agency NPHCDA recently gave statistics of vaccination coverage in the country NPHCDA data showed that as at June 19 in the 36 states and the FCT about 28 427 564 of eligible persons targeted for COVID 19 vaccination were partially vaccinated while 21 236 404 of eligible persons were fully vaccinated The proportion vaccinated was 25 4 per cent of the total eligible persons targeted in the country The agency added that striving to vaccinate 70 per cent of eligible population of every country remains essential to bringing the pandemic under control NPHCDA says that Nigeria is working hard to ensure that its citizens have access to the life saving vaccines Some of the measures to meet the projection is involvement of traditional and religious leaders in sensitisation education and bringing awareness about the disease and importance of vaccination An assessment tour of selected local government areas of Sokoto State organised by the United Nations Children s Fund UNICEF showed that traditional rulers had key roles to play in mobilising the people to embrace vaccination against COVID 19 and other diseases At the palace of Sarkin Yaki Gagi district head of Gagi in Sokoto South Local Government Area people of the area gave testimonies how they were convinced by the district head Alhaji Sani Umar Jabbi to embrace vaccination Speaking through Yusuf Ladan an interpreter on the various interventions that were carried out to ensure the people were vaccinated they said the Sarkin took it upon himself to ensure that the people got enough information about the myths surrounding vaccination Seventy year old Malam Mode Lambo who spoke said that before the arrival of the vaccines the district head informed them of the dangers of the disease So when I saw the district head take the vaccine I had confidence to take it also For 50 year old Abbass Hassan he did not even believe that the virus existed and thought it was a ploy to reduce the rate of child birth He however said that as a result of the awareness and after witnessing the district head took the vaccine gave him the confidence adding that he and his family were now fully vaccinated I am happy I took the vaccine because I would not have been able to travel to the United Arab Emirates UAE as there were travel restrictions on people who did not take the vaccine However with it I was able to travel with ease because some people who did not take the vaccine were prevented from traveling On the part of 59 year old Hajia Hauwa Yakin she said that she heard rumours that the vaccine could kill but upon being mobilised she took it I also took it because I was told that I would not be able to go for hajj if I did not take it so I had to take it However I had fever for a day after taking the vaccine she added As for 45 year Sambo Umar the decision to take the vaccine was as a result of awareness which helped him to know the dangers of the disease and the importance of vaccination Due to the awareness I have on health now if the government comes up with other health interventions I will subscribe to them because I am now informed and know that the government will not bring things that will harm us Forty nine year old Alhaji Sani Umar Jabbi who has been district head for 17 years has three wards namely Gagi A B and C under his jurisdiction There are also village and ward heads with 40 community heads and four village heads coordinating various wards Umar Jabbi said that as a district head his main concern is to ensure that he supports all government interventions and programmes in health education environmental conservation climate change impact and mitigations and others According to him it is part of his responsibilities as a district head to mobilise the communities under him to support and successfully implement government programmes and policies He said that for healthcare provision any programme that is to be implemented in the community has to go through the gatekeepers and there were no better gatekeepers than the traditional rulers For COVID 19 he said there were many misrepresentations and myths which scared the people at the beginning When I heard about the controversies surrounding the vaccine I was afraid to take it but being close to development partners I was encouraged to take it and when I made up my mind to take it I was immunised with about 100 people supporting me For the second dose I invited many of my community members and about 116 people were immunised alongside me Umar Jabbi said that before he took the booster dose he launched a campaign which paved way for more women and traditional leaders participation adding that they converged on his palace and took the vaccine there All the traditional rulers and the people said that because the district head was vaccinated they too would be vaccinated So in my community it is very difficult to see anyone reject it they accepted it whole heartedly and we do not have vaccine controversy Also because I was vaccinated and no one saw any danger happen to me they gladly took it There were so many misrepresentations about the vaccine but they were all nullified and the reality is that the vaccine is safe and preventive and when they did a survey testing no one tested positive of the virus in this community On the means of mobilisiing members of the community he said they were through various outlets such as religious and social gatherings where facilitators sensitise the people on development programmes and other issues We deliver all of these messages during wedding fathias naming ceremonies and international observance days Also in Gidan Kaya Gwadabawa Local Government Area the people also attest to the fact that sensitisation awareness and proper education on the virus and the vaccination influenced them greatly Ladi Daure 48 said that when she first heard about the virus she did not pay much attention but when she learnt of its deadly nature she decided to take the vaccine When they told us about the vaccine we did not just go and take it they sat all of us down to educate us about the virus and told us the implication of not taking the vaccine This motivated us to take it so I took the two doses and I have my card as proof she said For 53 year old Buhari Mohammed who is a member of the immunisation committee for polio malaria cholera and even COVID 19 in his community it was not a new thing to him because he had been exposed to many healthcare interventions A letter was sent to us from the Ministry of Health to the Primary Health Care PHC centre head and we all held a meeting and mobilised our people and created awareness on the importance of the vaccine We really appreciate the help and support of development partners for always coming to Gidan Kaya to give our people vaccines he said The Executive Secretary Sokoto State Primary Health Care Development Agency SSPHCDA Mr Abdullahi Romo said that at the last count the state had attained 52 per cent COVID 19 vaccination Giving a breakdown he said that about 72 per cent of the total target population took the first dose while 68 per cent took the second dose For the booster dose Romo said that the state recorded about 52 per cent So we are happy that at least 52 per cent of the people that have taken the first dose are covered and of course people are still coming in gradually unlike before he said Romo said that in getting the people to get vaccinated religious and traditional leaders were engaged while Jumaat service also featured talks on community health He added that town announcers were also engaged during naming and wedding ceremonies to keep on enlightening people on not only COVID 19 but on other health interventions generally This facilitated people coming in to take the vaccine We realised that it was because we engaged traditional and religious leaders who head committees at various levels So it made it easier to make the information trickle down and cause people to take the vaccine that was why we decided to intensify the functions and responsibilities of these committees Romo however said that the challenges COVID 19 posed was the social stigma associated with it According to him people believed that the vaccine was aimed at reducing the rate of child birth and this made them to engage the chief imams to let them know that was not the case We told them it was not so because if it was the Sultan would not have accepted it and the governor too would not have taken it Romo stressed NANFeatures If used please credit the writer as well as the News Agency of Nigeria NewsSourceCredit NAN
    Imperative of mobilising traditional, religious leaders to boost COVID-19 vaccination
    Features3 months ago

    Imperative of mobilising traditional, religious leaders to boost COVID-19 vaccination

    Imperative of mobilising traditional, religious leaders to boost COVID-19 vaccination Imperative of mobilising traditional, religious leaders to boost COVID-19 vaccination By Folasade Akpan, News Agency of Nigeria Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organisation (WHO), at the 2022 World Health Assembly, held recently in Geneva, Switzerland, warned that COVID-19 was not yet over in spite significantly drop of cases.

    At that meeting of health from 194 countries, he said that deaths were rising in Africa, while the continent has the lowest vaccination coverage.

    According to him, 60 per cent of the world’s population have already vaccinated, adding that one billion people in lower-income countries remained unvaccinated.

    The WHO’s goal is to have 70 per cent of each country’s population vaccinated.

    Regrettably, Nigeria seems to still be lagging behind the projection.

    The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), recently gave statistics of vaccination coverage in the country.

    NPHCDA data showed that as at June 19, in the 36 states and the FCT, about 28,427,564 of eligible persons targeted for COVID-19 vaccination, were partially vaccinated, while 21,236,404 of eligible persons were fully vaccinated.

    The proportion vaccinated was 25.4 per cent of the total eligible persons targeted in the country.

    The agency added that striving to vaccinate 70 per cent of eligible population of every country remains essential to bringing the pandemic under control.

    NPHCDA says that Nigeria is working hard to ensure that its citizens have access to the life-saving vaccines.

    Some of the measures to meet the projection is involvement of traditional and religious leaders in sensitisation, education and bringing awareness about the disease and importance of vaccination.

    An assessment tour of selected local government areas of Sokoto State, organised  by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) showed that traditional rulers had key roles to play in mobilising the people to embrace vaccination against COVID-19 and other diseases.

     At the palace of Sarkin Yaki Gagi (district head of Gagi) in Sokoto South Local Government Area, people of the area, gave testimonies how they were convinced by the district head, Alhaji Sani Umar-Jabbi to embrace vaccination.

    Speaking through Yusuf Ladan, an interpreter, on the various interventions that were carried out to ensure the people were vaccinated, they said the Sarkin took it upon himself to ensure that the people got enough information about the myths surrounding vaccination.

    Seventy-year-old Malam Mode Lambo, who spoke, said that before the arrival of the vaccines, the district head informed them of the dangers of the disease.

    “So when I saw the district head take the vaccine, I had confidence to take it also.’’ For 50-year-old Abbass Hassan, he did not even believe that the virus existed and thought it was a ploy to reduce the rate of child-birth.

    He, however, said that as a result of the awareness and after witnessing the district head took the vaccine, gave him the confidence, adding that he and his family were now fully vaccinated.

    “I am happy I took the vaccine because I would not have been able to travel to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as there were travel restrictions on people who did not take the vaccine.

    “However, with it, I was able to travel with ease because some people who did not take the vaccine were prevented from traveling.”     On the part of 59-year-old Hajia Hauwa Yakin, she said that she heard rumours that the vaccine could kill, but upon being mobilised, she took it.

    “I also took it because I was told that I would not be able to go for hajj if I did not take it, so I had to take it.

    However, I had fever for a day after taking the vaccine,” she added.

    As for 45-year-Sambo Umar, the decision to take the vaccine was as a result of awareness, which helped him to know the dangers of the disease and the importance of vaccination.

    “Due to the awareness I have on health now, if the government comes up with other health interventions, I will subscribe to them because I am now informed and know that the government will not bring things that will harm us.”   Forty nine-year-old Alhaji Sani Umar-Jabbi, who has been district head for 17 years, has three wards namely: Gagi A, B and C under his jurisdiction.

    There are also village and ward heads with 40 community heads and four village heads coordinating various wards.

    Umar-Jabbi said that as a district head, his main concern is to ensure that he supports all government interventions and programmes, in health, education, environmental conservation, climate change impact and mitigations and others.

    According to him, it is part of his responsibilities as a district head to mobilise the communities under him to support and successfully implement government programmes and policies.

    He said that for healthcare provision, any programme that is to be implemented in the community has to go through the gatekeepers and there were no better gatekeepers than the traditional rulers.

    For COVID-19, he said there were many misrepresentations and myths which scared the people at the beginning.

    “When I heard about the controversies surrounding the vaccine I was afraid to take it, but being close to development partners, I was encouraged to take it and when I made up my mind to take it, I was immunised with about 100 people supporting me.

    “For the second dose, I invited many of my community members and about 116 people were immunised alongside me.” Umar-Jabbi said that before he took the booster dose, he launched a campaign which paved way for more women and traditional leaders participation, adding that they converged on his palace and took the vaccine there.

    “All the traditional rulers and the people said that because the district head was vaccinated, they too would be vaccinated.

    “So in my community, it is very difficult to see anyone reject it, they accepted it whole-heartedly and we do not have vaccine controversy.

    “Also, because I was vaccinated and no one saw any danger happen to me, they gladly took it.

    “There were so many misrepresentations about the vaccine, but they were all nullified and the reality is that the vaccine is safe and preventive and when they did a survey testing, no one tested positive of the virus in this community.” On the means of mobilisiing members of the community, he said they were through various outlets such as religious and social gatherings, where facilitators sensitise the people on development programmes and other issues.

    “We deliver all of these messages during wedding fathias, naming ceremonies and international observance days.” Also in Gidan Kaya, Gwadabawa Local Government Area,the people also attest to the fact that sensitisation, awareness and proper education on the virus and the vaccination influenced them greatly.

    Ladi Daure, 48, said that when she first heard about the virus, she did not pay much attention, but when she learnt of its deadly nature, she decided to take the vaccine.

    “When they told us about the vaccine we did not just go and take it, they sat all of us down to educate us about the virus and told us the implication of not taking the vaccine.

    “This motivated us to take it, so I took the two doses and I have my card as proof,” she said.

    For 53-year-old Buhari Mohammed, who is a member of the immunisation committee for polio, malaria, cholera and even COVID-19 in his community, it was not a new thing to him because he had been exposed to many healthcare interventions.

    “A letter was sent to us from the Ministry of Health to the Primary Health Care (PHC) centre head and we all held a meeting and mobilised our people and created awareness on the importance of the vaccine.

    “We really appreciate the help and support of development partners for always coming to Gidan Kaya to give our people vaccines,” he said.

    The Executive Secretary, Sokoto State Primary Health Care Development Agency (SSPHCDA), Mr Abdullahi Romo, said that at the last count, the state had attained 52 per cent COVID-19 vaccination.

    Giving a breakdown, he said that about 72 per cent of the total target population took the first dose, while 68 per cent took the second dose.

    For the booster dose, Romo said that the state recorded about 52 per cent.

    “So we are happy that at least 52 per cent of the people that have taken the first dose are covered and of course people are still coming in gradually unlike before,’’ he said.

    Romo said that in getting the people to get vaccinated, religious and traditional leaders were engaged, while Jumaat service also featured talks on community health.

    He added that town announcers were also engaged during naming and wedding ceremonies to keep on enlightening people on not only COVID-19 but on other health interventions generally.

    “This facilitated people coming in to take the vaccine.

    We realised that it was because we engaged traditional and religious leaders who head committees at various levels.

    “So, it made it easier to make the information trickle down and cause people to take the vaccine that was why we decided to intensify the functions and responsibilities of these committees.” Romo, however, said that the challenges COVID-19 posed was the social stigma associated with it.

    According to him, people believed that the vaccine was aimed at reducing the rate of child-birth and this made them to engage the chief imams to let them know that was not the case.

    “We told them it was not so, because if it was, the Sultan would not have accepted it and the governor too would not have taken it,” Romo stressed.

    (NANFeatures) ** If used, please credit the writer as well as the News Agency of Nigeria .

     

    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •  The World Health Organisation WHO Science Council of experts has called for the equitable expansion of genomics for global health This is contained in a WHO Science Expert Council report released on Tuesday The field of genomics uses methods from biochemistry genetics and molecular biology to understand and use biological information in DNA and RNA with benefits for medicine and public health particularly during the COVID 19 pandemic as well as agriculture biological research and more The report called for expanded access to genetic technologies particularly in low and middle income countries LMICs by addressing shortfalls in funding laboratory infrastructure materials and highly trained personnel The experts said genomics has benefits for medicine and public health especially during the COVID 19 pandemic as well as agriculture biological research and more The council said a range of tools to make genomic technologies more affordable for LMICs have been developed including tiered pricing sharing of intellectual property rights for low cost versions It also has cross subsidisation whereby profits in one area are used to fund another Dr Soumya Swaminathan WHO Chief Scientist says Genomic technologies are driving some of the most ground breaking research happening today Yet the benefits of these tools will not be fully realised unless they are deployed worldwide Only through equity can science reach its full potential impact and improve health for everyone and everywhere Through convening and coordinating the world s leading minds as we do through our Science Council WHO acts as a global engine for analysis to address the world s most pressing health challenges It comprised of nine leading scientists and public health experts from around the world the council was established in April 2021 by WHO Director General Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus to advise him on high priority issues He would also advise on advances in science and technology that could directly improve global health It said the council identified genomics as the focus of its first study given the significant implications for public health its many successful uses in confronting infectious diseases cancers and other chronic disease the new opportunities for implementing expensive technologies even in LMICs The Council s Chair Professor Harold Varmus a Nobel Laureate and former Director of the U S National Institutes of Health says It is already clear that genomics can make enormous contributions to human health from surveying populations for infectious agents Such as the virus that causes COVID 19 to predicting and treating a wide variety of diseases such as cancers and developmental disorders Attention to equity in deploying these technologies is essential for achieving the immense potential benefits to human health It said it would promote the adoption or expanded use of genomics the report s recommendations address four themes advocacy implementation collaboration and associated ethical legal and social issues Advocacy for genomics is needed to persuade governments as well as commercial and non commercial organizations academic institutions and others of the medical scientific and economic benefits of genomic technologies Overcoming obstacles to implementation will require local planning financing expanded training of essential personnel and the low cost provision of instruments materials and computational infrastructure It said The council said government ministries funding agencies and scientific organizations in academia and industry should collaborate to establish plans on how to use genomics and build and expand technical capacity It said they should also look to pool resources through regional programmes if appropriate Effective oversight coupled with national and international rules and standards is key to promoting ethical legal equitable use and responsible sharing of information obtained with genomic methods To take forward the recommendations and to monitor their applications across all four main areas the report also recommends WHO create a Genomics Committee A key responsibility proposed for the Genomics Committee is convening commercial organizations to develop and implement ways of making their products and technologies affordable in LMICs The report follows the release of WHO s 10 year strategy for genomic surveillance of pathogens It said genomic surveillance has played a crucial role in the global COVID 19 response with countries like South Africa able to make crucial contributions in detecting variants due to their capacities in this area Recent data from WHO shows that the percentage of countries able to conduct genomic surveillance increased from 54 per cent to 68 per cent between March 2021 and January 2022 The increase is due to major investments made during the COVID 19 pandemic NewsSourceCredit NAN
    WHO urges equitable access to genomic technologies for global health
     The World Health Organisation WHO Science Council of experts has called for the equitable expansion of genomics for global health This is contained in a WHO Science Expert Council report released on Tuesday The field of genomics uses methods from biochemistry genetics and molecular biology to understand and use biological information in DNA and RNA with benefits for medicine and public health particularly during the COVID 19 pandemic as well as agriculture biological research and more The report called for expanded access to genetic technologies particularly in low and middle income countries LMICs by addressing shortfalls in funding laboratory infrastructure materials and highly trained personnel The experts said genomics has benefits for medicine and public health especially during the COVID 19 pandemic as well as agriculture biological research and more The council said a range of tools to make genomic technologies more affordable for LMICs have been developed including tiered pricing sharing of intellectual property rights for low cost versions It also has cross subsidisation whereby profits in one area are used to fund another Dr Soumya Swaminathan WHO Chief Scientist says Genomic technologies are driving some of the most ground breaking research happening today Yet the benefits of these tools will not be fully realised unless they are deployed worldwide Only through equity can science reach its full potential impact and improve health for everyone and everywhere Through convening and coordinating the world s leading minds as we do through our Science Council WHO acts as a global engine for analysis to address the world s most pressing health challenges It comprised of nine leading scientists and public health experts from around the world the council was established in April 2021 by WHO Director General Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus to advise him on high priority issues He would also advise on advances in science and technology that could directly improve global health It said the council identified genomics as the focus of its first study given the significant implications for public health its many successful uses in confronting infectious diseases cancers and other chronic disease the new opportunities for implementing expensive technologies even in LMICs The Council s Chair Professor Harold Varmus a Nobel Laureate and former Director of the U S National Institutes of Health says It is already clear that genomics can make enormous contributions to human health from surveying populations for infectious agents Such as the virus that causes COVID 19 to predicting and treating a wide variety of diseases such as cancers and developmental disorders Attention to equity in deploying these technologies is essential for achieving the immense potential benefits to human health It said it would promote the adoption or expanded use of genomics the report s recommendations address four themes advocacy implementation collaboration and associated ethical legal and social issues Advocacy for genomics is needed to persuade governments as well as commercial and non commercial organizations academic institutions and others of the medical scientific and economic benefits of genomic technologies Overcoming obstacles to implementation will require local planning financing expanded training of essential personnel and the low cost provision of instruments materials and computational infrastructure It said The council said government ministries funding agencies and scientific organizations in academia and industry should collaborate to establish plans on how to use genomics and build and expand technical capacity It said they should also look to pool resources through regional programmes if appropriate Effective oversight coupled with national and international rules and standards is key to promoting ethical legal equitable use and responsible sharing of information obtained with genomic methods To take forward the recommendations and to monitor their applications across all four main areas the report also recommends WHO create a Genomics Committee A key responsibility proposed for the Genomics Committee is convening commercial organizations to develop and implement ways of making their products and technologies affordable in LMICs The report follows the release of WHO s 10 year strategy for genomic surveillance of pathogens It said genomic surveillance has played a crucial role in the global COVID 19 response with countries like South Africa able to make crucial contributions in detecting variants due to their capacities in this area Recent data from WHO shows that the percentage of countries able to conduct genomic surveillance increased from 54 per cent to 68 per cent between March 2021 and January 2022 The increase is due to major investments made during the COVID 19 pandemic NewsSourceCredit NAN
    WHO urges equitable access to genomic technologies for global health
    General news3 months ago

    WHO urges equitable access to genomic technologies for global health

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) Science Council of experts has called for the equitable expansion of genomics for global health.

    This is contained in a WHO Science Expert Council report released on Tuesday.

    The field of genomics uses methods from biochemistry, genetics, and molecular biology to understand and use biological information in DNA and RNA, with benefits for medicine and public health—particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as agriculture, biological research, and more.

    The report called for expanded access to genetic technologies, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), by addressing shortfalls in funding, laboratory infrastructure, materials, and highly trained personnel.

    The experts said genomics has benefits for medicine and public health especially during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as agriculture, biological research and more.

    The council said a range of tools to make genomic technologies more affordable for LMICs have been developed, including tiered pricing, sharing of intellectual property rights for low-cost versions.

    It also has cross-subsidisation, whereby profits in one area are used to fund another.

    Dr Soumya Swaminathan, WHO Chief Scientist says “Genomic technologies are driving some of the most ground-breaking research happening today.

    “Yet the benefits of these tools will not be fully realised unless they are deployed worldwide.

    “Only through equity can science reach its full potential impact and improve health for everyone and everywhere.

    “Through convening and coordinating the world’s leading minds, as we do through our Science Council, WHO acts as a global engine for analysis to address the world’s most pressing health challenges’’.

    It comprised of nine leading scientists and public health experts from around the world, the council was established in April 2021 by WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus to advise him on high-priority issues

    He would also advise on advances in science and technology that could directly improve global health.

    It said the council identified genomics as the focus of its first study, given the significant implications for public health, its many successful uses in confronting infectious diseases, cancers, and other chronic disease, the new opportunities for implementing expensive technologies, even in LMICs.

    The Council’s Chair, Professor Harold Varmus, a Nobel Laureate and former Director of the U.S. National Institutes of Health says “It is already clear that genomics can make enormous contributions to human health, from surveying populations for infectious agents.

    “Such as the virus that causes COVID-19, to predicting and treating a wide variety of diseases, such as cancers and developmental disorders.

    “Attention to equity in deploying these technologies is essential for achieving the immense potential benefits to human health’’.

    It said it would promote the adoption or expanded use of genomics, the report’s recommendations address four themes: advocacy, implementation, collaboration, and associated ethical, legal and social issues.

    “Advocacy for genomics is needed to persuade governments, as well as commercial and non-commercial organizations, academic institutions, and others, of the medical, scientific, and economic benefits of genomic technologies.

    “ Overcoming obstacles to implementation will require local planning, financing, expanded training of essential personnel, and the low-cost provision of instruments, materials, and computational infrastructure.’’ It said.

    The council said government ministries, funding agencies, and scientific organizations in academia and industry should collaborate to establish plans on how to use genomics and build and expand technical capacity.

    It said they should also look to pool resources through regional programmes if appropriate.

    “Effective oversight coupled with national and international rules and standards is key to promoting ethical, legal, equitable use and responsible sharing of information obtained with genomic methods.

    “To take forward the recommendations and to monitor their applications across all four main areas, the report also recommends WHO create a Genomics Committee.

    “A key responsibility proposed for the Genomics Committee is convening commercial organizations to develop and implement ways of making their products and technologies affordable in LMICs.

    The report follows the release of WHO’s 10-year strategy for genomic surveillance of pathogens.

    It said genomic surveillance has played a crucial role in the global COVID-19 response, with countries like South Africa able to make crucial contributions in detecting variants, due to their capacities in this area.

    “Recent data from WHO shows that the percentage of countries able to conduct genomic surveillance increased from 54 per cent to 68 per cent between March 2021 and January 2022.

    “The increase is due to major investments made during the COVID-19 pandemic. (

    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •   President Uhuru Kenyatta on Saturday inaugurated the construction of the African regional operations and logistics center of the World Health Organization WHO Speaking as he presided over the groundbreaking ceremony for the facility at the Kenyatta University Teaching Referral and Research Hospital KUTRRH in Kiambu County President Kenyatta welcomed the WHO s decision to set up the emergency center in Kenya Kenya is one of three African countries selected by the WHO to host a logistics hub that will be equipped with emergency medical personnel supplies and equipment to support countries with emergencies in East Africa Senegal and Nigeria are the other two African countries selected to host the WHO centers that will also be centers of excellence in emergency medical training with the capacity to respond to more than 100 crises at once President Kenyatta commended WHO for launching the innovative new initiative to enhance the capacities of African countries to respond in real time to increasingly complex and numerous health emergencies An expanded and more versatile emergency hub in Kenya will allow WHO to effectively and rapidly support Kenya and all countries in Eastern and Southern Africa by maintaining stockpiles of medical and logistical supplies It is in this context that the WHO Regional Office for Africa sought to strengthen and expand the WHO emergency hub in Kenya to coordinate high quality responses to health emergencies the president said To facilitate the start of operations of the center President Kenyatta said that the Government has allocated 30 acres of adjoining land to KUTRRH and has committed USD 5 million for the operation of the center We will continue to work with other development partners to secure additional resources to support the completion and full commissioning of this center the president said He added that the Government has also provided WHO with free office space at the KUTRRH to accommodate the initial staffing component of up to 150 officers needed to begin preparations for the establishment of the center This space has been identified in the KUTRRH Training Research and Innovation TRIC building said President Kenyatta The Head of State expressed satisfaction that his directive to the National Treasury and the Kenya Revenue Authority to expedite customs clearance for medical supplies from the emergency logistics center has been put into effect I am pleased to note that the Kenya Revenue Authority in collaboration with other government agencies has developed an end to end process flow map for this expedited clearance process to ensure the smooth operation of this facility I wish to assure the WHO of Kenya s unwavering support to strengthen the WHO as a global leader and coordinating entity for preparedness and response to pandemics and other health emergencies said the Head of State At the same time President Kenyatta announced that Kenya has endorsed the legally binding International Pandemic Treaty under the WHO which aims to strengthen global solidarity high level political commitment and equitable distribution of vaccines diagnostics and therapeutics during pandemics especially in the developing world Earlier President Kenyatta inaugurated a cath lab and Executive Wing Onesmo Ole Moi Yoi at Kenyatta University Teaching Referral and Research Hospital saying the two facilities add to the growing complement of health in public hospitals KUTRRH Board Chairman Prof Olive Mugenda thanked President Kenyatta for being instrumental in the development of the regional hospital With their support we have an integrated molecular imaging center which continues to be a great boon to many Kenyans and others in the region So far we have scanned 1 200 Kenyans who would otherwise have gone to India to be scanned said Prof Mugenda said He noted that the opening of the Cath Lab will significantly address cardiac issues such as coronary heart disease and heart attacks while executive wing Onesmo Ole Moi Yoi will help troubled patients in need of personalized care WHO Director General Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus said the construction of the emergency logistics hub and center of excellence marks Kenya s continued partnership with his organization and the United Nations at large President Kenyatta I would like to express my gratitude and admiration for your leadership and vision in supporting WHO and for sponsoring this half that will help build a stronger and more resilient Africa said the WHO Director General He said the center will help tackle at least 100 health emergencies each year such as outbreaks of cholera yellow fever meningitis measles and Ebola as well as humanitarian disasters including the current hunger crisis Cabinet Secretary for Health Mutahi Kagwe also spoke at the function which was attended by Chief of Public Service Dr Joseph Kinyua and other senior Government officials as well as UN representatives
    President Kenyatta Launches Construction of WHO Regional Operations Centre and Logistics Hub
      President Uhuru Kenyatta on Saturday inaugurated the construction of the African regional operations and logistics center of the World Health Organization WHO Speaking as he presided over the groundbreaking ceremony for the facility at the Kenyatta University Teaching Referral and Research Hospital KUTRRH in Kiambu County President Kenyatta welcomed the WHO s decision to set up the emergency center in Kenya Kenya is one of three African countries selected by the WHO to host a logistics hub that will be equipped with emergency medical personnel supplies and equipment to support countries with emergencies in East Africa Senegal and Nigeria are the other two African countries selected to host the WHO centers that will also be centers of excellence in emergency medical training with the capacity to respond to more than 100 crises at once President Kenyatta commended WHO for launching the innovative new initiative to enhance the capacities of African countries to respond in real time to increasingly complex and numerous health emergencies An expanded and more versatile emergency hub in Kenya will allow WHO to effectively and rapidly support Kenya and all countries in Eastern and Southern Africa by maintaining stockpiles of medical and logistical supplies It is in this context that the WHO Regional Office for Africa sought to strengthen and expand the WHO emergency hub in Kenya to coordinate high quality responses to health emergencies the president said To facilitate the start of operations of the center President Kenyatta said that the Government has allocated 30 acres of adjoining land to KUTRRH and has committed USD 5 million for the operation of the center We will continue to work with other development partners to secure additional resources to support the completion and full commissioning of this center the president said He added that the Government has also provided WHO with free office space at the KUTRRH to accommodate the initial staffing component of up to 150 officers needed to begin preparations for the establishment of the center This space has been identified in the KUTRRH Training Research and Innovation TRIC building said President Kenyatta The Head of State expressed satisfaction that his directive to the National Treasury and the Kenya Revenue Authority to expedite customs clearance for medical supplies from the emergency logistics center has been put into effect I am pleased to note that the Kenya Revenue Authority in collaboration with other government agencies has developed an end to end process flow map for this expedited clearance process to ensure the smooth operation of this facility I wish to assure the WHO of Kenya s unwavering support to strengthen the WHO as a global leader and coordinating entity for preparedness and response to pandemics and other health emergencies said the Head of State At the same time President Kenyatta announced that Kenya has endorsed the legally binding International Pandemic Treaty under the WHO which aims to strengthen global solidarity high level political commitment and equitable distribution of vaccines diagnostics and therapeutics during pandemics especially in the developing world Earlier President Kenyatta inaugurated a cath lab and Executive Wing Onesmo Ole Moi Yoi at Kenyatta University Teaching Referral and Research Hospital saying the two facilities add to the growing complement of health in public hospitals KUTRRH Board Chairman Prof Olive Mugenda thanked President Kenyatta for being instrumental in the development of the regional hospital With their support we have an integrated molecular imaging center which continues to be a great boon to many Kenyans and others in the region So far we have scanned 1 200 Kenyans who would otherwise have gone to India to be scanned said Prof Mugenda said He noted that the opening of the Cath Lab will significantly address cardiac issues such as coronary heart disease and heart attacks while executive wing Onesmo Ole Moi Yoi will help troubled patients in need of personalized care WHO Director General Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus said the construction of the emergency logistics hub and center of excellence marks Kenya s continued partnership with his organization and the United Nations at large President Kenyatta I would like to express my gratitude and admiration for your leadership and vision in supporting WHO and for sponsoring this half that will help build a stronger and more resilient Africa said the WHO Director General He said the center will help tackle at least 100 health emergencies each year such as outbreaks of cholera yellow fever meningitis measles and Ebola as well as humanitarian disasters including the current hunger crisis Cabinet Secretary for Health Mutahi Kagwe also spoke at the function which was attended by Chief of Public Service Dr Joseph Kinyua and other senior Government officials as well as UN representatives
    President Kenyatta Launches Construction of WHO Regional Operations Centre and Logistics Hub
    Africa3 months ago

    President Kenyatta Launches Construction of WHO Regional Operations Centre and Logistics Hub

    President Uhuru Kenyatta on Saturday inaugurated the construction of the African regional operations and logistics center of the World Health Organization (WHO).

    Speaking as he presided over the groundbreaking ceremony for the facility at the Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral and Research Hospital (KUTRRH) in Kiambu County, President Kenyatta welcomed the WHO's decision to set up the emergency center in Kenya.

    Kenya is one of three African countries selected by the WHO to host a logistics hub that will be equipped with emergency medical personnel, supplies and equipment to support countries with emergencies in East Africa.

    Senegal and Nigeria are the other two African countries selected to host the WHO centers that will also be centers of excellence in emergency medical training with the capacity to respond to more than 100 crises at once.

    President Kenyatta commended WHO for launching the innovative new initiative to enhance the capacities of African countries to respond, in real time, to increasingly complex and numerous health emergencies.

    “An expanded and more versatile emergency hub in Kenya will allow WHO to effectively and rapidly support Kenya and all countries in Eastern and Southern Africa by maintaining stockpiles of medical and logistical supplies.

    "It is in this context that the WHO Regional Office for Africa sought to strengthen and expand the WHO emergency hub in Kenya, to coordinate high-quality responses to health emergencies," the president said.

    To facilitate the start of operations of the center, President Kenyatta said that the Government has allocated 30 acres of adjoining land to KUTRRH and has committed USD 5 million for the operation of the center.

    "We will continue to work with other development partners to secure additional resources to support the completion and full commissioning of this center," the president said.

    He added that the Government has also provided WHO with free office space at the KUTRRH to accommodate the initial staffing component of up to 150 officers needed to begin preparations for the establishment of the center.

    "This space has been identified in the KUTRRH Training, Research and Innovation (TRIC) building," said President Kenyatta.

    The Head of State expressed satisfaction that his directive to the National Treasury and the Kenya Revenue Authority to expedite customs clearance for medical supplies from the emergency logistics center has been put into effect.

    “I am pleased to note that the Kenya Revenue Authority, in collaboration with other government agencies, has developed an end-to-end process flow map for this expedited clearance process to ensure the smooth operation of this facility.

    "I wish to assure the WHO of Kenya's unwavering support to strengthen the WHO as a global leader and coordinating entity for preparedness and response to pandemics and other health emergencies," said the Head of State.

    At the same time, President Kenyatta announced that Kenya has endorsed the legally binding International Pandemic Treaty under the WHO, which aims to strengthen global solidarity, high-level political commitment and equitable distribution of vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics during pandemics, especially in the developing world.

    Earlier, President Kenyatta inaugurated a cath lab and Executive Wing Onesmo Ole Moi-Yoi at Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral and Research Hospital, saying the two facilities add to the growing complement of health in public hospitals.

    KUTRRH Board Chairman Prof. Olive Mugenda thanked President Kenyatta for being instrumental in the development of the regional hospital.

    "With their support, we have an integrated molecular imaging center which continues to be a great boon to many Kenyans and others in the region. So far we have scanned 1,200 Kenyans who would otherwise have gone to India to be scanned," said Prof. Mugenda said.

    He noted that the opening of the Cath Lab will significantly address cardiac issues such as coronary heart disease and heart attacks, while executive wing Onesmo Ole Moi-Yoi will help troubled patients in need of personalized care.

    WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus said the construction of the emergency logistics hub and center of excellence marks Kenya's continued partnership with his organization and the United Nations at large.

    "President Kenyatta, I would like to express my gratitude and admiration for your leadership and vision in supporting WHO and for sponsoring this half that will help build a stronger and more resilient Africa," said the WHO Director-General.

    He said the center will help tackle at least 100 health emergencies each year, such as outbreaks of cholera, yellow fever, meningitis, measles and Ebola, as well as humanitarian disasters, including the current hunger crisis.

    Cabinet Secretary for Health Mutahi Kagwe also spoke at the function which was attended by Chief of Public Service Dr Joseph Kinyua and other senior Government officials as well as UN representatives.

  •  The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank AfDB has approved the establishment of African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation for Africa s access to technologies According to the bank this is for the manufacture of medicines vaccines and other pharmaceutical products In a statement by the bank s Communication and External Relations Department on Monday in Abuja the AfDB President Dr Akinwumi Adesina described the development as a leap for Africa He said with Africa importing more than 70 per cent of all the medicines it needs and consuming 14 billion dollars per year the establishment of the Foundation was a major development Adesina said Global efforts to rapidly expand manufacturing of essential pharmaceutical products including vaccines in developing countries particularly in Africa to assure greater access had been hampered This has been hampered by intellectual property rights protection and patents on technological know how manufacturing processes and trade secrets African pharmaceutical companies do not have the scouting and negotiation capacity and bandwidth to engage with global pharmaceutical companies They have been marginalised and left behind in complex global pharmaceutical innovations He decried that of 35 companies which recently signed a licence with America s Merck to produce Nirmatrelvir a COVID 19 drug none was African According to him no institution exists in Africa to support the practical implementation of Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights TRIPs on nonexclusive or exclusive licencing of proprietary technologies know how and processes He expressed optimism that the Foundation would fill existing gaps when fully established It will be staffed with world class experts on pharmaceutical innovation and development intellectual property rights and health policy It will act as a transparent intermediator advancing and brokering the interests of the African pharmaceutical sector with global and other Southern pharmaceutical companies the statement said It quoted Adesina as saying Africa must have a health defence system which must include three major areas Revamping Africa s pharmaceutical industry building Africa s vaccine manufacturing capacity and building Africa s quality healthcare infrastructure The statement said that African leaders had called on AfDB to facilitate establishment of the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation It said that the AfDB president who presented the case for the institution to the African Union at the Summit in Addis Ababa in February said it was a bold initiative Africa can no longer outsource the healthcare security of its 1 3 billion citizens to the benevolence of others With this bold initiative the African Development Bank has made good on that commitment The decision is a major boost to the health prospects of a continent A continent that has been battered for decades by the burden of several diseases and pandemics such as COVID 19 but with very limited capacity to produce its own medicines and vaccines The statement noted that the World Trade Organisation WTO and the World Health Organisation WHO welcomed the bank s decision to establish the Foundation It quoted the Director General of the WTO Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala as saying the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation is innovative thinking and action by the African Development Bank It provides part of the infrastructure needed to assure an emergent pharmaceutical industry in Africa The statement also quoted the Director General of WHO Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus as saying establishing the Foundation was a game changer It also quoted him as saying it was a game changer on accelerating access of African pharmaceutical companies to IP protected technologies and know how in Africa On activities of the Foundation the statement said that it would prioritise technologies products and processes focused primarily on diseases that were widely prevalent in Africa It noted that the Foundation would build human and professional skills research and development ecosystem while supporting upgrade of manufacturing plant capacities and regulatory quality to meet WHO standards According to the statement the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation is being established under the auspices of the AfDB It stated that the Foundation would operate independently and raise funds from various stakeholders including governments development finance institutions philanthropic organisations among others The Foundation will boost the African Development Bank s commitment to spend at least three billion dollars over the next 10 years This is to support the pharmaceutical and vaccine manufacturing sector under its Vision 2030 Pharmaceutical Action Plan The Foundation s areas of work will also be an asset to all other current investments into pharmaceutical production in Africa Rwanda will host the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation It will have its own governance and operational structures while promoting and brokering alliances between foreign and African pharmaceutical companies The statement further pointed out that the Foundation would strengthen local pharmaceutical companies to engage in local production initiatives with systematic technology among others The Foundation according to the statement will work with African Union Commission European Union Commission WHO and other stakeholders for collaboration in developed countries and developing countries NewsSourceCredit NAN
    AfDB moves to cut bn annual import of medicine into Africa
     The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank AfDB has approved the establishment of African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation for Africa s access to technologies According to the bank this is for the manufacture of medicines vaccines and other pharmaceutical products In a statement by the bank s Communication and External Relations Department on Monday in Abuja the AfDB President Dr Akinwumi Adesina described the development as a leap for Africa He said with Africa importing more than 70 per cent of all the medicines it needs and consuming 14 billion dollars per year the establishment of the Foundation was a major development Adesina said Global efforts to rapidly expand manufacturing of essential pharmaceutical products including vaccines in developing countries particularly in Africa to assure greater access had been hampered This has been hampered by intellectual property rights protection and patents on technological know how manufacturing processes and trade secrets African pharmaceutical companies do not have the scouting and negotiation capacity and bandwidth to engage with global pharmaceutical companies They have been marginalised and left behind in complex global pharmaceutical innovations He decried that of 35 companies which recently signed a licence with America s Merck to produce Nirmatrelvir a COVID 19 drug none was African According to him no institution exists in Africa to support the practical implementation of Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights TRIPs on nonexclusive or exclusive licencing of proprietary technologies know how and processes He expressed optimism that the Foundation would fill existing gaps when fully established It will be staffed with world class experts on pharmaceutical innovation and development intellectual property rights and health policy It will act as a transparent intermediator advancing and brokering the interests of the African pharmaceutical sector with global and other Southern pharmaceutical companies the statement said It quoted Adesina as saying Africa must have a health defence system which must include three major areas Revamping Africa s pharmaceutical industry building Africa s vaccine manufacturing capacity and building Africa s quality healthcare infrastructure The statement said that African leaders had called on AfDB to facilitate establishment of the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation It said that the AfDB president who presented the case for the institution to the African Union at the Summit in Addis Ababa in February said it was a bold initiative Africa can no longer outsource the healthcare security of its 1 3 billion citizens to the benevolence of others With this bold initiative the African Development Bank has made good on that commitment The decision is a major boost to the health prospects of a continent A continent that has been battered for decades by the burden of several diseases and pandemics such as COVID 19 but with very limited capacity to produce its own medicines and vaccines The statement noted that the World Trade Organisation WTO and the World Health Organisation WHO welcomed the bank s decision to establish the Foundation It quoted the Director General of the WTO Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala as saying the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation is innovative thinking and action by the African Development Bank It provides part of the infrastructure needed to assure an emergent pharmaceutical industry in Africa The statement also quoted the Director General of WHO Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus as saying establishing the Foundation was a game changer It also quoted him as saying it was a game changer on accelerating access of African pharmaceutical companies to IP protected technologies and know how in Africa On activities of the Foundation the statement said that it would prioritise technologies products and processes focused primarily on diseases that were widely prevalent in Africa It noted that the Foundation would build human and professional skills research and development ecosystem while supporting upgrade of manufacturing plant capacities and regulatory quality to meet WHO standards According to the statement the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation is being established under the auspices of the AfDB It stated that the Foundation would operate independently and raise funds from various stakeholders including governments development finance institutions philanthropic organisations among others The Foundation will boost the African Development Bank s commitment to spend at least three billion dollars over the next 10 years This is to support the pharmaceutical and vaccine manufacturing sector under its Vision 2030 Pharmaceutical Action Plan The Foundation s areas of work will also be an asset to all other current investments into pharmaceutical production in Africa Rwanda will host the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation It will have its own governance and operational structures while promoting and brokering alliances between foreign and African pharmaceutical companies The statement further pointed out that the Foundation would strengthen local pharmaceutical companies to engage in local production initiatives with systematic technology among others The Foundation according to the statement will work with African Union Commission European Union Commission WHO and other stakeholders for collaboration in developed countries and developing countries NewsSourceCredit NAN
    AfDB moves to cut bn annual import of medicine into Africa
    Economy3 months ago

    AfDB moves to cut $14bn annual import of medicine into Africa

    The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB), has approved the establishment of African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation for Africa’s access to technologies.

    According to the bank, this is for the manufacture of medicines, vaccines and other pharmaceutical products.

    In a statement by the bank”s Communication and External Relations Department on Monday in Abuja, the AfDB President, Dr Akinwumi Adesina described the development as a leap for Africa.

    He said, with Africa importing more than 70 per cent of all the medicines it needs and consuming 14 billion dollars per year, the establishment of the Foundation was a major development.

    Adesina said “Global efforts to rapidly expand manufacturing of essential pharmaceutical products including vaccines in developing countries, particularly in Africa, to assure greater access, had been hampered.

    “This has been hampered by intellectual property rights protection and patents on technological know-how, manufacturing processes and trade secrets.

    “African pharmaceutical companies do not have the scouting and negotiation capacity, and bandwidth to engage with global pharmaceutical companies.

    “They have been marginalised and left behind in complex global pharmaceutical innovations.”

    He decried that of 35 companies which recently signed a licence with America’s Merck to produce Nirmatrelvir, a COVID-19 drug, none was African.

    According to him, no institution exists in Africa to support the practical implementation of Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) on nonexclusive or exclusive licencing of proprietary technologies, know-how and processes.

    He expressed optimism that the Foundation would fill existing gaps when fully established.

    “It will be staffed with world-class experts on pharmaceutical innovation and development, intellectual property rights, and health policy.

    “It will act as a transparent intermediator advancing and brokering the interests of the African pharmaceutical sector with global and other Southern pharmaceutical companies,” the statement said.

    It quoted Adesina as saying, “Africa must have a health defence system, which must include three major areas.

    “Revamping Africa’s pharmaceutical industry, building Africa’s vaccine manufacturing capacity, and building Africa’s quality healthcare infrastructure.”

    The statement said that African leaders had called on AfDB to facilitate establishment of the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation.

    It said that the AfDB president, who presented the case for the institution to the African Union at the Summit in Addis Ababa in February, said it was a bold initiative.

    “Africa can no longer outsource the healthcare security of its 1.3 billion citizens to the benevolence of others.

    ”With this bold initiative, the African Development Bank has made good on that commitment.

    “The decision is a major boost to the health prospects of a continent.

    “A continent that has been battered for decades by the burden of several diseases and pandemics such as COVID-19, but with very limited capacity to produce its own medicines and vaccines.”

    The statement noted that the World Trade Organisation WTO)and the World Health Organisation (WHO), welcomed the bank’s decision to establish the Foundation.

    It quoted the Director-General of the WTO Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as saying, “the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation is innovative thinking and action by the African Development Bank.

    “It provides part of the infrastructure needed to assure an emergent pharmaceutical industry in Africa.”

    The statement also quoted the Director-General of WHO, Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus as saying “establishing the Foundation was a game changer”.

    It also quoted him as saying it was a game changer “on accelerating access of African pharmaceutical companies to IP-protected technologies and know-how in Africa,”

    On activities of the Foundation, the statement said that it would prioritise technologies, products and processes focused primarily on diseases that were widely prevalent in Africa.

    It noted that the Foundation would build human and professional skills, research and development ecosystem, while supporting upgrade of manufacturing plant capacities and regulatory quality to meet WHO standards.

    According to the statement, the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation is being established under the auspices of the AfDB,

    It stated that the Foundation would operate independently and raise funds from various stakeholders including governments, development finance institutions, philanthropic organisations among others.

    “The Foundation will boost the African Development Bank’s commitment to spend at least three billion dollars over the next 10 years.

    “This is to support the pharmaceutical and vaccine manufacturing sector under its Vision 2030 Pharmaceutical Action Plan.

    “The Foundation’s areas of work will also be an asset to all other current investments into pharmaceutical production in Africa.

    “Rwanda will host the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation.

    “It will have its own governance and operational structures, while promoting and brokering alliances between foreign and African pharmaceutical companies.”

    The statement further pointed out that the Foundation would strengthen local pharmaceutical companies to engage in local production initiatives with systematic technology among others.

    The Foundation according to the statement, will work with African Union Commission, European Union Commission, WHO and other stakeholders, for collaboration in developed countries and developing countries.

    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •   The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank www AfDB org approved the establishment of the African Foundation for Pharmaceutical Technology a pioneering new institution that will significantly improve Africa s access to the technologies that underpin the manufacture of medicines vaccines and other pharmaceutical products products African Development Bank Group President Dr Akinwumi Adesina said This is a breakthrough for Africa Africa must have a health defense system which must include three main areas renewing Africa s pharmaceutical industry developing Africa s vaccine manufacturing capacity and building Africa s quality healthcare infrastructure During the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa in February 2022 the continent s leaders called on the African Development Bank to facilitate the establishment of the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation Adesina who presented the institution s case to the African Union said Africa can no longer outsource the security of health care for its 1 3 billion citizens to the benevolence of others With this bold initiative the African Development Bank has delivered on that commitment The decision is a huge boost to the health prospects of a continent that has been battered for decades by the burden of various diseases and pandemics like Covid19 but with severely limited capacity to produce its own medicines and vaccines Africa imports more than 70 of all the medicines it needs spending 14 billion a year Global efforts to rapidly expand the manufacturing of essential pharmaceuticals including vaccines in developing countries particularly in Africa to ensure greater access have been hampered by the protection of intellectual property rights and patents on technologies know how manufacturing processes and trade secrets African pharmaceutical companies do not have the scouting and bargaining power nor the bandwidth to engage with global pharmaceutical companies They have been marginalized and left behind in complex global pharmaceutical innovations Recently 35 companies signed a license with Merck in the United States to produce nirmatrelvir a drug against covid 19 None of them were African There is no institution on the ground in Africa to support the practical implementation of Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights TRIPS on non exclusive or exclusive licensing of proprietary technologies knowledge and processes The African Foundation for Pharmaceutical Technology will fill this important and obvious gap When fully established it will have world class experts in pharmaceutical innovation and development intellectual property rights and health policy acting as a transparent broker that promotes and negotiates the interests of the African pharmaceutical sector with global pharmaceutical companies and others from the South to share proprietary IP protected technologies knowledge and processes Adesina said Even with the TRIPS Waiver decision at the World Trade Organization WTO millions are dying and most likely will continue to die for lack of vaccines and effective protection The African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation provides a practical solution and will help tilt access to proprietary technologies knowledge techniques and processes in favor of Africa The World Trade Organization and the World Health Organization respectively welcomed and praised the African Development Bank s decision to establish the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation World Trade Organization Director General Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala said The African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation is innovative thinking and action from the African Development Bank It provides some of the infrastructure needed to secure an emerging pharmaceutical industry in Africa World Health Organization Director General Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus said The establishment of the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation by the African Development Bank is a game changer in accelerating access for pharmaceutical companies African companies to technologies and knowledge protected by IP like in Africa The African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation will prioritize technologies products and processes focused primarily on diseases that are widely prevalent in Africa including current and future pandemics It will also develop human and professional skills the research and development ecosystem and support the improvement of manufacturing plant capabilities and regulatory quality to meet World Health Organization standards While the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation is established under the auspices of the African Development Bank it will operate independently and raise funds from various stakeholders including governments development finance institutions philanthropic organizations among others The Foundation will drive the African Development Bank s commitment to spend at least 3 billion over the next 10 years to support the pharmaceutical and vaccine manufacturing sector under its Vision 2030 Pharmaceutical Action Plan The Foundation s areas of work also they will be an asset to all other current investments in pharmaceutical production in Africa Rwanda will host the African Foundation for Pharmaceutical Technology As a common benefit entity the Foundation will have its own governance and operating structures It will promote and negotiate alliances between foreign and African pharmaceutical companies The African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation will empower local pharmaceutical companies to engage in local production initiatives with systematic technology learning and plant level technology upgrading The Foundation will work with African governments research and development centers of excellence to strengthen the regional pharmaceutical and vaccine innovation ecosystem for Africa and develop the skills needed for the pharmaceutical sector to flourish It will also promote closer coordination of the various drug and vaccine manufacturing initiatives underway at the regional level to increase collaborative linkages harness synergies and partnerships in a pan African context The African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation will work closely with the African Union Commission the European Union Commission the World Health Organization the Medicines Patent Fund the World Trade Organization philanthropic organizations agencies and bilateral and multilateral institutions and will foster collaboration among the public and the private sectors of developed and developing countries
    African Development Bank’s Board approves landmark institution: Establishment of African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation to transform Africa’s pharmaceutical industry
      The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank www AfDB org approved the establishment of the African Foundation for Pharmaceutical Technology a pioneering new institution that will significantly improve Africa s access to the technologies that underpin the manufacture of medicines vaccines and other pharmaceutical products products African Development Bank Group President Dr Akinwumi Adesina said This is a breakthrough for Africa Africa must have a health defense system which must include three main areas renewing Africa s pharmaceutical industry developing Africa s vaccine manufacturing capacity and building Africa s quality healthcare infrastructure During the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa in February 2022 the continent s leaders called on the African Development Bank to facilitate the establishment of the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation Adesina who presented the institution s case to the African Union said Africa can no longer outsource the security of health care for its 1 3 billion citizens to the benevolence of others With this bold initiative the African Development Bank has delivered on that commitment The decision is a huge boost to the health prospects of a continent that has been battered for decades by the burden of various diseases and pandemics like Covid19 but with severely limited capacity to produce its own medicines and vaccines Africa imports more than 70 of all the medicines it needs spending 14 billion a year Global efforts to rapidly expand the manufacturing of essential pharmaceuticals including vaccines in developing countries particularly in Africa to ensure greater access have been hampered by the protection of intellectual property rights and patents on technologies know how manufacturing processes and trade secrets African pharmaceutical companies do not have the scouting and bargaining power nor the bandwidth to engage with global pharmaceutical companies They have been marginalized and left behind in complex global pharmaceutical innovations Recently 35 companies signed a license with Merck in the United States to produce nirmatrelvir a drug against covid 19 None of them were African There is no institution on the ground in Africa to support the practical implementation of Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights TRIPS on non exclusive or exclusive licensing of proprietary technologies knowledge and processes The African Foundation for Pharmaceutical Technology will fill this important and obvious gap When fully established it will have world class experts in pharmaceutical innovation and development intellectual property rights and health policy acting as a transparent broker that promotes and negotiates the interests of the African pharmaceutical sector with global pharmaceutical companies and others from the South to share proprietary IP protected technologies knowledge and processes Adesina said Even with the TRIPS Waiver decision at the World Trade Organization WTO millions are dying and most likely will continue to die for lack of vaccines and effective protection The African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation provides a practical solution and will help tilt access to proprietary technologies knowledge techniques and processes in favor of Africa The World Trade Organization and the World Health Organization respectively welcomed and praised the African Development Bank s decision to establish the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation World Trade Organization Director General Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala said The African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation is innovative thinking and action from the African Development Bank It provides some of the infrastructure needed to secure an emerging pharmaceutical industry in Africa World Health Organization Director General Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus said The establishment of the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation by the African Development Bank is a game changer in accelerating access for pharmaceutical companies African companies to technologies and knowledge protected by IP like in Africa The African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation will prioritize technologies products and processes focused primarily on diseases that are widely prevalent in Africa including current and future pandemics It will also develop human and professional skills the research and development ecosystem and support the improvement of manufacturing plant capabilities and regulatory quality to meet World Health Organization standards While the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation is established under the auspices of the African Development Bank it will operate independently and raise funds from various stakeholders including governments development finance institutions philanthropic organizations among others The Foundation will drive the African Development Bank s commitment to spend at least 3 billion over the next 10 years to support the pharmaceutical and vaccine manufacturing sector under its Vision 2030 Pharmaceutical Action Plan The Foundation s areas of work also they will be an asset to all other current investments in pharmaceutical production in Africa Rwanda will host the African Foundation for Pharmaceutical Technology As a common benefit entity the Foundation will have its own governance and operating structures It will promote and negotiate alliances between foreign and African pharmaceutical companies The African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation will empower local pharmaceutical companies to engage in local production initiatives with systematic technology learning and plant level technology upgrading The Foundation will work with African governments research and development centers of excellence to strengthen the regional pharmaceutical and vaccine innovation ecosystem for Africa and develop the skills needed for the pharmaceutical sector to flourish It will also promote closer coordination of the various drug and vaccine manufacturing initiatives underway at the regional level to increase collaborative linkages harness synergies and partnerships in a pan African context The African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation will work closely with the African Union Commission the European Union Commission the World Health Organization the Medicines Patent Fund the World Trade Organization philanthropic organizations agencies and bilateral and multilateral institutions and will foster collaboration among the public and the private sectors of developed and developing countries
    African Development Bank’s Board approves landmark institution: Establishment of African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation to transform Africa’s pharmaceutical industry
    Africa3 months ago

    African Development Bank’s Board approves landmark institution: Establishment of African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation to transform Africa’s pharmaceutical industry

    The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (www.AfDB.org) approved the establishment of the African Foundation for Pharmaceutical Technology, a pioneering new institution that will significantly improve Africa's access to the technologies that underpin the manufacture of medicines, vaccines and other pharmaceutical products. products

    African Development Bank Group President Dr. Akinwumi Adesina said: “This is a breakthrough for Africa. Africa must have a health defense system, which must include three main areas: renewing Africa's pharmaceutical industry, developing Africa's vaccine manufacturing capacity, and building Africa's quality healthcare infrastructure."

    During the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa in February 2022, the continent's leaders called on the African Development Bank to facilitate the establishment of the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation. Adesina, who presented the institution's case to the African Union, said: "Africa can no longer outsource the security of health care for its 1.3 billion citizens to the benevolence of others." With this bold initiative, the African Development Bank has delivered on that commitment.

    The decision is a huge boost to the health prospects of a continent that has been battered for decades by the burden of various diseases and pandemics like Covid19, but with severely limited capacity to produce its own medicines and vaccines. Africa imports more than 70% of all the medicines it needs, spending $14 billion a year.

    Global efforts to rapidly expand the manufacturing of essential pharmaceuticals, including vaccines, in developing countries, particularly in Africa, to ensure greater access, have been hampered by the protection of intellectual property rights and patents on technologies , know-how, manufacturing processes and trade secrets.

    African pharmaceutical companies do not have the scouting and bargaining power, nor the bandwidth to engage with global pharmaceutical companies. They have been marginalized and left behind in complex global pharmaceutical innovations. Recently, 35 companies signed a license with Merck in the United States to produce nirmatrelvir, a drug against covid-19. None of them were African.

    There is no institution on the ground in Africa to support the practical implementation of Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) on non-exclusive or exclusive licensing of proprietary technologies, knowledge and processes.

    The African Foundation for Pharmaceutical Technology will fill this important and obvious gap. When fully established, it will have world-class experts in pharmaceutical innovation and development, intellectual property rights and health policy; acting as a transparent broker that promotes and negotiates the interests of the African pharmaceutical sector with global pharmaceutical companies and others from the South to share proprietary IP-protected technologies, knowledge and processes.

    Adesina said: “Even with the TRIPS Waiver decision at the World Trade Organization (WTO), millions are dying, and most likely will continue to die, for lack of vaccines and effective protection. The African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation provides a practical solution and will help tilt access to proprietary technologies, knowledge, techniques and processes in favor of Africa.”

    The World Trade Organization and the World Health Organization, respectively, welcomed and praised the African Development Bank's decision to establish the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation.

    World Trade Organization Director-General Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said: “The African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation is innovative thinking and action from the African Development Bank. It provides some of the infrastructure needed to secure an emerging pharmaceutical industry in Africa."

    World Health Organization Director-General Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus said: “The establishment of the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation, by the African Development Bank, is a game changer in accelerating access for pharmaceutical companies African companies to technologies and knowledge protected by IP. like in Africa.

    The African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation will prioritize technologies, products and processes focused primarily on diseases that are widely prevalent in Africa, including current and future pandemics. It will also develop human and professional skills, the research and development ecosystem, and support the improvement of manufacturing plant capabilities and regulatory quality to meet World Health Organization standards.

    While the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation is established under the auspices of the African Development Bank, it will operate independently and raise funds from various stakeholders including governments, development finance institutions, philanthropic organizations, among others.

    The Foundation will drive the African Development Bank's commitment to spend at least $3 billion over the next 10 years to support the pharmaceutical and vaccine manufacturing sector under its Vision 2030 Pharmaceutical Action Plan. The Foundation's areas of work also they will be an asset to all other current investments in pharmaceutical production in Africa.

    Rwanda will host the African Foundation for Pharmaceutical Technology. As a common benefit entity, the Foundation will have its own governance and operating structures. It will promote and negotiate alliances between foreign and African pharmaceutical companies.

    The African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation will empower local pharmaceutical companies to engage in local production initiatives with systematic technology learning and plant-level technology upgrading.

    The Foundation will work with African governments, research and development centers of excellence to strengthen the regional pharmaceutical and vaccine innovation ecosystem for Africa and develop the skills needed for the pharmaceutical sector to flourish.

    It will also promote closer coordination of the various drug and vaccine manufacturing initiatives underway at the regional level to increase collaborative linkages, harness synergies and partnerships in a pan-African context.

    The African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation will work closely with the African Union Commission, the European Union Commission, the World Health Organization, the Medicines Patent Fund, the World Trade Organization, philanthropic organizations, agencies and bilateral and multilateral institutions, and will foster collaboration among the public. and the private sectors of developed and developing countries.