Sitting on a wooden stool outside her home in the Dobeli community in the Yola North Local Government Area (LGA), Hajara Yusuf, a 27-year-old mother of three, was coaxing her children to take the medication seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC).
“Usually I look forward to when they give the regular anti-malarial drugs because I have seen firsthand how it keeps children from getting sick.
Previously, I used to decline medication because I wasn't sure what it was until a community health educator explained the benefit to me.
Then I tried my second son (Tsoho) because he always got sick and he has been healthy ever since.
Two of my children are among the eligible group entitled to receive the medications and since then I have taken it upon myself to be vigilant whenever there is a campaign to ensure that my children receive their dose.
I also encourage other mothers to collect for their children.
Since Tsoho and his brother started receiving the SMC medicines, I have spent less money on medicines, and this has given me a lot of time for other things,” she said.
Ms. Yusuf said that she usually gets sad when she sees that her son does not play with other children.
“But right now, I'm happy that she's playing and running like the other kids.
And I remain committed to ensuring that they are available to receive their medications in all four cycles and will be an advocate for such benefits to other mothers as well, said Ms. Yusuf.
The young mother of three children is one of the beneficiaries of the SMC medicines distributed in the state of Adamawa to almost one million children in the 21 LGAs, with the support of the World Health Organization (WHO) and financing from Global Funds through the National Malaria Elimination Program.
SMC is administered monthly for four months during periods of increased malaria transmission, using sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) and amodiaquine (AQ) (SPAQ) to children aged 3 to 59 months to reduce cases of malaria outbreaks that generally increase in the country during the rainy season.
A persistent threat In Nigeria, malaria caused by the bite of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes is a major public health problem and poses a threat to the entire population, with children and pregnant women most vulnerable to severe illness and death .
Ending malaria transmission by 2030 remains a top government priority, as Nigeria is one of four countries that account for just over half of all malaria deaths worldwide.
According to the latest World Malaria Report, Nigeria accounts for 27% of all malaria cases and 32% of deaths worldwide.
To reduce the burden of disease, the WHO recommends, among other interventions, the SMC intervention for children aged 3-59 months living in areas of high malaria transmission to protect against malaria during the rainy season.
Other WHO-recommended interventions to control malaria include vector control through the use of long-lasting insecticidal nets, indoor residual spraying.
all suspected malaria cases are confirmed by parasite-based diagnostic tests (using microscopy or a rapid diagnostic test).
Diagnostic tests allow health providers to quickly distinguish between malarial and non-malarial fevers, facilitating appropriate treatment.
Continued intervention Applauding the WHO for continuously supporting the state government to provide quality health services to the population, Adamawa State Director of Public Health Dr. Celine Laori said that the September malaria prevention campaign is the fourth and final cycle of the SMC routine for the year.
“We appreciate the outstanding leadership and commitment of WHO throughout the four cycles.
They supported the state in building the capacity of health workers, which pushed them to provide adequate services throughout the exercise,” said Dr. Laori.
Endorsing the importance of the campaign, Northeast Emergency Manager Dr. Richard Lako said WHO has remained a dedicated partner in supporting Adamawa State in achieving global goals of reducing the incidence of malaria cases and mortality rate by at least 90% by 2030.
“The SMC campaign will complement the efforts of the Adamawa state government to provide quality health services to the people.
WHO will continue to provide technical support, including capacity building, to increase early disease detection in the state, especially in hard-to-reach places,” said Dr. Lako.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Gender-based violence (GBV) is a sensitive issue that requires empathetic professionals working with victims and survivors.
The 'Clinical Manual on the Health Care of Survivors Subject to Intimate Partner Violence and/or Sexual Violence, of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Namibia' has helped doctors, social workers and nurses such as Mark Bezuidenhout, registered nurse at the Epako Clinic, to be more sensitive with his patients.
Initially, the manual was intended for doctors; however, nurses and social workers have also found the manual beneficial to their work.
“The manual is very useful.
It makes GBV clients easier to deal with because it helps us treat patients with empathy and in a way that benefits them.
Previously, we often got stuck and didn't know what to do next or who to involve,” says Bezuidenhout.
He is also more aware of the different forms of gender-based violence.
“I am more aware of how to deal with rape survivors and those who experience other types of gender-based violence,” says Bezuidenhout.
He has had to deal with patients who are physically, emotionally, and sexually abused.
Most are women of reproductive age.
"We refer these patients to social workers for further interventions," Bezuidenhout explained.
Justina Shoopala is a Senior Registered Nurse at Rundu State Hospital.
One way she has been able to tell that her patients were possibly being abused is when they refused to go home after being discharged from the hospital.
“A lot of times they refuse to tell us why they don't want to go home, but with further investigation, we tell them that they are experiencing some form of abuse and then we refer them to social workers,” explains Shoopala.
In addition, she points out that when the same patient is admitted to the hospital "many times with no signs of serious physical symptoms, they also investigate further to rule out possible abuse."
“The training sensitized us on how to ask the customer questions without being insensitive,” says Shoopala.
Audrey Gaes, a social worker for the Ministry of Health and Social Services in the Erongo region, has been working with GBV patients, sometimes identified by doctors or nurses.
Whether patients return to follow-up sessions with social workers depends on their socioeconomic status.
“It is important to establish a good relationship with patients because that determines the willingness of patients to continue.
We teach them independence because some of them stay in relationships due to mental, psychological, and emotional dependency.
So, they have to go through this process,” Gaes said.
Causes of GBV Gender-based violence has several causes, health professionals point out.
Excessive alcohol consumption and poverty are among the factors that contribute to gender-based violence.
"You will find young girls with sugar daddies who end up abusing them," adds Bezuidenhout.
He feels that nurses should ask questions when underage children come to the hospital for prenatal care.
“Not all nurses or health workers are aware of child rape and that there is a penalty for not reporting it,” Bezuidenhout observed.
This is why it will be crucial to train more nurses on the clinical manual, adds Bezuidenhout.
“A lot of times nurses are only treating the patient for the illness they came in for, so I think more nurses need to be trained to identify cases of GBV so they can refer clients who might be experiencing this to social workers.
It would also be great if there could be a unit for those cases where people can come and feel safe,” Bezuidenhout said.
Training law enforcement officers While this training has helped Bezuidenhout, he believes law enforcement officers should also receive training on the clinical manual.
“The manual is so beneficial that law enforcement officers could benefit from it.
Most cases of gender-based violence are referred to them so they can really benefit from this training,” Bezuidenhout said.
“The manual must be decentralized, involving the Ministry of Gender and the gender-based violence unit because for them, if perhaps they have a rape case, they will simply come and say that we have a rape case without being sensitive to the client.
Confidentiality is important.
So it will be good for them to get training on the brochure,” added Bezuidenhout.
Angaleni Kangayi, the regional chief social worker in Rundu, agrees that the training should be provided to other stakeholders.
“This will help us understand the role that other stakeholders play in addressing gender-based violence,” said Kangayi.
The impact of COVID on GBV programs The Covid-19 pandemic has had an impact on GBV services, says Bezuidenhout.
She is the only nurse stationed at the Epako clinic who participated in the training.
The first training took place before the Covid-19 pandemic.
But, when the Covid-19 arrived, his attention was focused on that.
“My work was interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic because I have been on vaccination campaigns,” he says.
He also does not have a consultation room where he treats GBV patients.
“Right now I'm taking care of TB (tuberculosis) patients,” he said.
Similarly, Shoopala feels that the Covid-19 pandemic has diverted her focus from gender-based violence and calls on the Ministry and partners to continue to support the implementation of the Clinical Manual.
Leadership from the Ugandan Ministry of Health, the World Health Organization (WHO), and other health partners visited the Ebola-affected areas of Mubende district on September 24 to assess the health situation, understand the gaps, and strengthen the response to the Ebola outbreak.
in the country.
The delegation was led by the Minister of Health, the Honorable Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, and accompanied by the WHO Officer-in-Charge, Dr. Bayo Fatunmbi, representatives of various health development organizations and implementing partners, and three members of the Ugandan Parliament.
Starting with the National Task Force meeting at City Hall in Mubende District, Health Development and implementing partners discussed the outbreak situation and engaged in their various capacities to support the response.
They highlighted the need to strengthen community policing and risk communication as basic elements in any response to an outbreak.
“Ebola is real and we must eradicate this outbreak as soon as possible.
The cases we already have in the country are enough and we cannot afford to lose more.
Let us mobilize all our resources, whether technical, financial or operational, to deal with the outbreak”, Hon Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng Acero, Ugandan Minister of Health.
“Since the beginning of this pandemic, the WHO has always supported the government to prevent its spread.
We have dispatched our staff and mobilized operational resources to Mubende district to strengthen the response in case management, risk communication, infection prevention and control, community engagement and surveillance,” Dr. Bayo Fatunmbi, Leader of the WHO group for communicable and non-communicable diseases.
In addition, the team visited communities made up of community leaders, village health teams and other members to raise awareness of the outbreak and encourage them to participate in the response.
“If you know someone with Ebola or who is a contact, please report it.
Early diagnosis is very important to reduce the risk of death.
I want to encourage village health teams to go door-to-door to identify people with signs and symptoms of Ebola,” added Dr. Jane Ruth. Health development partners also visited some potential centers in Madudu district where Ebola health centers can be set up for rapid response.
Since the Ebola outbreak was reported in Uganda on September 20, 2022, the country has so far recorded 31 cases and 19 deaths as of September 24, 2022.
WHO has deployed its staff to support the response in districts affected.
The organization has supported the training and deployment of Rapid Response Teams (RRTs) and provided the Mubende Regional Referral Hospital with three Ebola kits to treat Ebola patients and save lives.
WHO support has also enabled the development of the National Response Plan and the activation of District Task Teams (DTFs) in 10 high-risk districts, including Mubende, Sembabule, Kyankwanzi, Kampala, Mityana, Kyegegwa, Gomba, Kiboga , Kassanda, Kazo, Kakumiro and Kibaale.
There are several candidate vaccines for the Sudan Ebola virus in development.
Experts will review these vaccines and see if they can be used in Uganda.
However, other health measures, such as early detection, community engagement, patient isolation, and early supportive care, have been shown to save lives in similar outbreaks.
People are encouraged to report all signs and symptoms of Ebola, including sudden onset of fever, headache, severe body weakness, muscle pain, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody urine, and bleeding from an opening in the Body.
In 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO), in collaboration with the health authorities of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and other health partners, established a program to monitor the health of Ebola survivors and support them in their recovery.
Dr. Raymond Pallawo, WHO epidemiologist and program coordinator, explains why it is critical to support those who have recovered from the highly infectious viral disease and ongoing efforts to understand and prevent a potential resurgence of the virus among survivors.
What challenges do Ebola survivors face?
Of the last seven Ebola outbreaks in the country, we have recorded 1,269 people who have recovered from the disease.
But they face difficulties including stigma, job loss, or difficulty finding work.
Some have been denied treatment in health centers when their status is known.
They also face medical problems.
An assessment conducted in July 2022 among the survivors found that some suffered from persistent mental health, eye or joint problems.
To increase our understanding of these challenges, we suggest that the Ministry of Health, in collaboration with UNICEF and associations of Ebola survivors, conduct an additional survey among those who have recovered from the disease.
The survey, which will begin soon, will also include survivors' thoughts on the program to help them.
What kind of assistance do survivors receive?
The monitoring program is essentially a public health program.
Provides medical care during the first 18 months after discharge from treatment and monitors the possible persistence of the virus in body fluids.
This involves looking for signs that suggest a relapse while mitigating the risk of recurrence through early detection and care.
In practical terms, they receive a monthly medical and psychological examination.
If we detect signs that indicate a possible relapse, further investigations are carried out and medical attention is provided.
Cases of relapse have been managed and the risk of resurgence has been avoided.
Some people who recovered from Ebola developed meningitis and encephalitis (swelling of the brain) but did not infect others.
Staff at Ebola survivor clinics have been trained to care for survivors and observe infection prevention and control measures and protocols.
As such, someone who has recovered from Ebola and is suspected of having relapsed is monitored in such a way that they do not transmit the virus to others.
In addition, in our clinics, a person who has recovered from Ebola and suffers from another disease such as malaria or mental illness is treated with all covered expenses.
Pregnant women who have been cured of Ebola are also monitored during antenatal consultations until delivery.
Most of these women have given birth without problems and their children are doing very well.
At the time of delivery, we take samples from the mother and the baby.
So far, we have not seen any mother-to-child transmission of the virus.
What challenges does the monitoring program face?
There is no follow-up of Ebola survivors beyond 18 months, which is problematic because we have realized that the virus can resurface among survivors even years later.
These are often people with meningeal symptoms who test positive for Ebola in blood or cerebrospinal fluid even though they have previously recovered from Ebola.
This can happen months or years later.
This is why we want to deepen the research to understand this topic, as well as the factors of relapse and how to anticipate them in order to reduce the risks through appropriate public health actions.
What is being done to detect the virus and stop the possible resurgence of Ebola?
First of all, it is important to break down the stigma towards people who have recovered from Ebola.
The proportion of survivors in whom the virus persists is negligible, and not all cases with persistent virus result in a resurgence.
For example, of the 1,269 survivors monitored, only two continue to test positive for the virus.
Therefore, monitoring those who have recovered from the virus helps us spot the warning signs of a relapse and take appropriate action.
Thanks to clinical monitoring and the promotion of safe sex such as abstinence or the use of condoms, we have not observed any sexual transmission.
Surveillance systems and compliance with infection prevention and control measures must be strengthened.
Since 2020, we have trained surveillance agents at all levels—provincial, health zones, health areas—and more than 18,000 community health workers.
We have also established rapid response teams in North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri provinces.
It takes more than a town crier reading a scroll to shut down a polio outbreak in any country.
Rather, multidisciplinary teams of experts are needed to analyze data at the national level from polio eradication programs, often more than once.
They examine evidence, crunch numbers to analyze information, and interview health workers, polio teams, and high-level authorities, among other activities, before reaching a conclusion.
The recent poliovirus outbreak in Sudan The outbreak of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV) type 2 in Sudan began with importation of the virus from neighboring Chad. Confirmed in August 2020, the outbreak affected and paralyzed 58 children in 42 districts in 15 states.
Additionally, 14 sewage samples in Khartoum tested positive for cVDPV2, indicating circulation there.
Mounting a robust response to the outbreak, Sudan carried out 2 high-quality national campaigns to administer monovalent oral polio vaccine type 2 (mOPV2) to children in all 18 states and 184 localities in November 2020 and January 2021.
Each round, with the support of the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF and other partners, vaccinated more than 8 million children under 5 years of age.
Who Makes the Decisions On October 7, 2021, a virtual technical assessment mission began the process of testing for poliovirus freedom throughout Sudan.
Members of the assessment group shared recommendations with the Sudanese polio eradication team to scale up their efforts across the country.
Then, from July 24 to August 1, 2022, an official outbreak response assessment team undertook a second phase of this detailed task, visiting Khartoum and 6 of Sudan's 18 states as part of their work.
Both review teams were composed of experts from WHO and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) with skills and experience in global public health, epidemiology and biostatistics, surveillance, vaccine management, and communication.
They worked closely with the Sudanese Federal Ministry of Health, with ministry staff at the state level, and with health workers at ground level.
Attention to polio surveillance In particular, a review of the surveillance system is important to close any outbreak of disease.
Based on this, the evaluation team analyzed the functionality and sensitivity of the polio surveillance system in Sudan to ensure that no case of polio was missed.
They noted that Sudan's acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) surveillance indicators meet the required indicators, and that the 14 environmental monitoring sites across Sudan are collecting and testing samples regularly and in accordance with international protocols.
Following standard protocols, the team in Sudan collects stool samples from both healthy children and children with AFP.
A review of the data showed that all samples collected since December 18, 2020, the date of paralysis onset of the last child affected by the outbreak, were processed like clockwork in the laboratory in Sudan, were reported as poliovirus negative.
and they registered.
Speaking about the role of surveillance in this process, Dr. Hamid Jafari, WHO Director for Polio Eradication in the Eastern Mediterranean Region, said: "The program must be extremely diligent and careful before declaring that a The outbreak is over.
The most important element driving that decision is the quality of surveillance -- the country's ability to detect any remaining circulating poliovirus."
Holistic summary of all technical work The technical mission also reviewed the core functions of Sudan's laboratories, the country's preparedness mechanisms for poliovirus events or outbreaks, data on population immunity and childhood immunization, and vaccine management protocol.
After this extensive work, the outbreak team concluded that the spread of cVDPV2 had stopped and the outbreak was over.
“The credits go to public health officers and immunization staff on the ground.
A rapid and well-planned response improved immunity among children and contained this outbreak in the first few months after the declaration.
Even though this outbreak is over, we have received enough recommendations to maintain sensitive AFP surveillance, ensure better preparedness and response, improve essential immunization coverage, and strengthen cross-border coordination,” said Dr. Ni'ma Saeed Abid, WHO Representative.
Briefing the Government of Sudan and its partners, the mission reiterated that Sudan remains at high risk of poliovirus and that the current robust level of functionality and preparedness must be maintained to rapidly detect and respond to any future emergence or importation of poliovirus.
About ten kilometers on the eastern outskirts of Rundu is the town of Mayana, an area characterized by flood plains.
In fact, Mayana means flood plains in the local dialect and is named after the low-lying land surrounded by water.
“We have many bodies of water here and mosquitoes breed everywhere,” explains Johannes Lipayi, AFRO 2 Malaria project coordinator for the villages of Mayana and Sikondo, located in the Kavango East and West regions.
The village is located in one of the five districts in the five regions selected to participate in the malaria case reduction study due to the high number of malaria cases and deaths in those areas.
The other districts are in Omusati, Oshikoto, Ohangwena, and Kavango West. The study was part of ongoing efforts by the World Health Organization (WHO) to support Namibia in its fight against malaria.
This three-year pilot project was implemented in 2018 with the aim of reducing malaria transmission through larvicides while using environmentally friendly chemicals.
"We were trying to see if the water bodies where mosquitoes breed, if treated with a biological agent, would contribute to reducing the mosquitoes that transmit malaria," explains Dr. Florence Soroses, Coordinator of the National Malaria Project of the WHO.
“Before the implementation of the project in this town we had many cases of malaria and deaths.
But as soon as the program started, the cases started to go down," Lipayi explained.
The community has always been open to initiative.
When word of the project spread, the community gathered in large numbers at the chief's house to ask how they could get involved, Lipayi explained.
“When we compare this village with others where this project has not been implemented, you can tell the difference,” Lipayi said.
In 2020, 13,633 malaria cases were recorded in Namibia.
Of this number, 40 people died of malaria.
In 2021, 13,740 cases of malaria were registered in the country.
The number of deaths dropped to 15.
"Even when we were reporting the data, we could see a decrease in malaria cases compared to previous years before the project was implemented," Lipayi said.
Meanwhile, Markus Kamburu is a 42-year-old father of five.
For the last three years, Kamburu has been employed as a field operator in the malaria project in the town of Mayana.
His work schedule started at 6 in the morning and sometimes he needed to work night shifts depending on the workforce.
Kamburu's duties included mapping larval habitat, applying larvicides, and setting up CDC light traps for collection of adult mosquitoes.
In addition, Kamburu and two other teammates were also responsible for conducting larval surveys, a process that includes monitoring the activity and density of mosquito larvae in breeding sites.
They started by counting the number of households in the town and found that the town has 3,365 houses.
Of these 20 houses were randomly selected to be part of the study.
The team identified 65 breeding sites.
These hatcheries retain water during the rainy season, which can be between December and May. Some hatcheries have water throughout the year.
“These are the hatcheries that we always monitor to see if there are any larvae.
If there are larvae, we do larvicide.
However, early on, we started with the mapping process and then we did larvicides for the breeding site that we identified if there were any larvae there,” Kamburu explained.
Kamburu says that he had no prior knowledge of larval identification and no technical knowledge of malaria.
He was appointed by the village chief in 2018 when he started the project.
“The chemicals that we used for larvicides were very impressive because when we use them, we expect to find larvae in two or three days when we come back.
We'll find the larvae floating around already.
We were also collecting adult mosquitoes.
Even when the mosquitoes are adults, we still collect some.
So this process actually combated the mosquitoes at all stages of their lives and thus reduced malaria,” Kamburu explained.
In addition to applying larvicides, Kamburu says the team also uses the prokopack aspirators, which work like a vacuum to collect adult mosquitoes resting outdoors.
This process is usually carried out in the early hours of the morning.
For mosquitoes that rest indoors, use the CDC light trap to catch adult mosquitoes at night.
“These are the methods we use to collect the mosquitoes in the village,” he explained.
After collecting the data, the team records and sends samples for further analysis to their supervisor, Dr. Soroses in Windhoek.
“We have an organized system that we use to record and send the data to Dr. Soroses,” Lipayi explained.
The WHO injected N$1 million for the project.
In May, funding for the project officially came to an end, with the community and WHO hailing it as a success.
Country Representative Dr. Charles Sagoe-Moses said the difference the project has made in the community demonstrates that "the biological agent used works in malaria control."
Joseph Mbamba says that the knowledge and experience he gained from the project is invaluable.
“I go out into the community to raise awareness about malaria.
I also carry the equipment to demonstrate how we do our job,” he added.
The project also helped him financially because he was able to pay for his son's higher education.
“The WHO invested a lot in these people.
My hope is that the Ministry of Health and Social Services or the private sector will take over the project so that their knowledge does not go to waste,” Lipayi said.
He too fears malaria cases will rise again.
“These people know the methods used in malaria control and are very knowledgeable about it.
They attended annual workshops and trainings and now it is up to the government to analyze their plight and take charge,” said Lipayi.
Echoing similar sentiments, Mayana village leader Berthold Shinimbo called for investment in the malaria project.
“This will allow the community to take charge.
As you can see, we have a high unemployment rate,” Shinimbo said.
The AFRO 2 project was implemented with the aim of strengthening national capacities for the implementation and scale-up of evidence-based, innovative, diversified and environmentally friendly malaria vector control interventions, with a particular focus on winter larvicides.
as an additional vector control tool to achieve malaria.
phase-out by 2022.
The project has also been implemented in Botswana and Eswatini.
In an accelerated effort to scale up the response to the Ebola outbreak in Uganda, the World Health Organization (WHO) is delivering medical supplies, providing logistics and deploying personnel to help national authorities stop the spread of the virus.
So far, seven cases, including one death, have been confirmed to have contracted Sudan Ebolavirus, one of six species of the Ebolavirus genus.
43 contacts have been identified and 10 people suspected of having contracted the virus are receiving treatment at the regional referral hospital in Mubende, the district where the disease was confirmed this week, making it the first time that Uganda has detected Ebola from Sudan.
Mubende is located in the central region of Uganda and is about a two-hour drive from the capital, Kampala, and is along a busy highway that leads to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
There are gold mines in the area, which attract people from different parts of Uganda, as well as other countries.
The mobile nature of the Mubende population increases the risk of possible spread of the virus.
WHO has deployed a technical team to Mubende district to support surveillance, infection prevention and control, and case management.
The Organization is also assisting in the activation of monitoring structures in neighboring districts and is redeploying its staff in the country to reinforce the response.
In addition, five international experts will be deployed, with the number increasing if necessary.
“We are acting quickly and decisively to take control of this outbreak.
Our experts are already working on the ground with Uganda's experienced Ebola control teams to strengthen surveillance, diagnosis, treatment and preventive measures," said Dr. Abdou Salam Gueye, Regional Director of Emergencies at the Regional Office.
of the WHO for Africa.
"Africa's increased local emergency preparedness is proving increasingly crucial to tackling outbreaks like Ebola."
Due to previous outbreaks from Uganda and the threat of importation of cases from the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo which has battled several outbreaks, WHO and the Ministry of Health have collaborated on many preparedness activities, the latest such exercise was in August 2022, where nine Ugandan doctors received training on how to manage viral haemorrhagic fevers and are now working on the response.
The WHO already has six viral haemorrhagic fever kits in Uganda, and one has been delivered to Mubende.
Although there are no therapies that specifically treat the Sudan ebolavirus species, early identification of cases and treatment of symptoms greatly increases the chances of survival.
Current evidence shows that the ERVEBO vaccine, which is highly effective against Zaire ebolavirus, does not provide cross-protection against Sudan ebolavirus.
There are at least six Sudanese ebolavirus vaccine candidates that are in different stages of development.
Three of them have Phase 1 data (safety and immunogenicity data in humans) and the rest are in the preclinical evaluation phase.
The WHO Research and Development Plan team is in contact with all developers and is leading a collaborative effort involving international experts to determine which vaccines may be suitable for further evaluation during this outbreak (and whether doses with required standards are available) in case more cases are confirmed.
There is a BASIC protocol for its evaluation and WHO will discuss the proposed next steps with the Ugandan authorities to seek their approval.
WHO today held a press conference led by Dr. Patrick Otim, Health Emergencies Officer, Acute Event Management Unit, WHO Regional Office for Africa.
He was joined by Dr. Kyobe Henry Bbosa, Ebola Incident Commander, Uganda Ministry of Health; Dr. Ana Maria Henao-Restrepo, co-director of the research and development plan for epidemics, WHO Health Emergencies Program; and William A.
Fischer II, MD, Director of Emerging Pathogens at the Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases and Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the University of North Carolina.
The World Health Organization (WHO) expresses its deep shock and sadness at the killing of its Polio Field Surveillance Officer in the town of Bentiu in South Sudan and condemns the violent death.
Daniel Deng Galuak was shot dead by an unidentified assailant at a health center in Bieh IDP camp in the northern city of Bentiu in Unity state on September 19, 2022.
The motive behind the attack is yet to be seen.
has not been established.
“We are deeply shocked by Galuak's death.
Our hearts go out to his family at this very difficult and painful time,” said Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.
"This attack has robbed a family of a beloved member and the WHO of a committed frontline health worker."
Galuak's death is a great loss not only for his family, but also for the efforts of WHO and its partners in responding to the health emergency in South Sudan and the important work of protecting children from the debilitating and potentially long-lasting infections of poliomyelitis.
“Access to health care is a basic right and those who work tirelessly in many parts of South Sudan to provide life-saving humanitarian services to the most vulnerable populations must not be targeted,” said Dr. Fabian Ndenzako, Representative of WHO in South Sudan.
Galuak worked for WHO as a field assistant from 2000 to 2015 and as a field supervisor since 2016.
His responsibilities included ensuring effective polio surveillance, planning and conducting supplementary polio immunizations, and coordinating routine immunization activities.
WHO will continue to work with partners to help the government reach the most vulnerable populations with health services in South Sudan.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has validated that Malawi has eliminated trachoma, a bacterial eye infection that can cause irreversible blindness if left untreated, as a public health problem.
Malawi becomes the first country in southern Africa and the fifth in Africa to achieve this important milestone.
“Malawi's achievement changes the lives of millions of children who were at risk of contracting this devastating disease.
Trachoma causes painful late complications that lead to visual impairment, a lifelong disability that causes significant emotional and financial hardship for families.
With Malawi leading the way, I hope that other endemic countries in southern Africa will prioritize fighting neglected diseases that cause untold suffering to vulnerable populations,” said Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.
Malawi has been known to be endemic for trachoma since the 1980s.
However, it was not until 2008, when surveys were conducted with the support of the WHO and Sightsavers, a non-governmental organization, that trachoma received its due attention.
In 2015, Malawi reported that 7.6 million people were at risk of trachoma infection.
Following the surveys and with the support of WHO and its partners, Malawi intensified anti-trachoma efforts and established a national trachoma task force that implemented the WHO-recommended SAFE strategy to control trachoma.
This involved training a cadre of mid-level ophthalmologists in surgery to treat the blinding stage of trachoma, implementing mass administration of antibiotics with donations from Pfizer, and conducting public awareness campaigns to promote facial cleanliness and personal hygiene.
Stakeholders supported the improvement of water, sanitation and hygiene services at the district level.
The country received significant funding from the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust.
WHO is helping health authorities in Malawi to closely monitor communities where trachoma was previously endemic to ensure there is a rapid response to any resurgence of the disease.
Globally, Malawi joins 14 other countries that have been validated by the WHO as having eliminated trachoma as a public health problem.
These are Cambodia, China, Islamic Republic of Iran, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Gambia, Ghana, Mexico, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Togo, and Vanuatu.
Disease prevalence Trachoma remains a public health problem in 42 countries with an estimated 125 million people living in areas endemic for the disease.
Trachoma is found primarily in the poorer, more rural areas of Africa, Central and South America, Asia, the Western Pacific, and the Middle East. Africa is disproportionately affected by trachoma with 111 million people living in areas at risk, representing 89% of the global burden of trachoma.
Significant progress has been made in recent years, with the number of people requiring antibiotic treatment for trachoma in Africa falling by 38%, from 178 million in 2016 to 111 million in June 2022.
Following the success of Malawi , trachoma remains endemic in 28 countries in Africa.
Trachoma disease is the leading infectious cause of blindness and is triggered by infection with the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis.
The infection spreads from person to person through contaminated fingers, fomites, and flies that have come into contact with secretions from the eyes or nose of an infected person.
Environmental risk factors for trachoma transmission include poor hygiene, crowded homes, inadequate access to water, and inadequate access to or use of adequate sanitation facilities.
Trachoma is an endemic disease that primarily affects remote, underserved rural communities.
The infection mainly affects children, and becomes less common with increasing age.
Repeated infections in early childhood result in late complications years or decades later.
In adults, women are twice as likely as men to be affected by blinding complications of trachoma, mainly due to their close contact with infected children.
Repeated infections in childhood cause scarring on the inner face of the upper eyelids.
In some people, this leads to one or more upper eyelid lashes touching the eye, known as trachomatous trichiasis, a debilitating condition that causes extreme pain with every blink of the eyelids.
Trachomatous trichiasis can be treated surgically, but if left untreated it can cause scarring of the cornea, leading to visual impairment and blindness.
Trachoma can be eliminated using the WHO SAFE strategy.
GET2020 In 1996, WHO launched the WHO Alliance for the Global Elimination of Trachoma by 2020 (GET2020).
With other Alliance partners, WHO supports the implementation of the SAFE strategy in countries and the strengthening of national capacity through epidemiological assessment, monitoring, surveillance, project evaluation and the mobilization of resources that contribute to the elimination of trachoma as a public health problem.
The Neglected Tropical Diseases Roadmap 2021-2030, approved by the World Health Assembly in 2020 through its decision 73(33), sets 2030 as the new deadline for global elimination.