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.
The current session of the UN General Assembly provides a "solemn opportunity" to consider common challenges that are of great concern to the future of humanity, President Faustin-Archange Touadéra of the Central African Republic (CAR) told the global gathering.
on Tuesday “More than ever, the question of security, peace, the environment and health are entering a critical phase.
However, the warning signs are being ignored in favor of economic, geopolitical and geostrategic interests,” he said, speaking through an interpreter.
The theme of this year's General Assembly is A Turning Point: Transformative Solutions to Intertwined Challenges.
Honor your commitments For Mr. Touadéra, protecting the environment is one of the intertwined challenges that countries must overcome.
"It is time for the biggest polluters to honor their commitments, in particular the implementation of the Paris Agreement, as well as international solidarity for climate justice with respect to the most vulnerable populations," he said.
In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown how global public health "is an imperative for all nations, without exception."
'Paradigm shift' in health The president said that the Central African Republic has welcomed the "paradigm shift" taking place in the health sector and the unprecedented push for solidarity that accompanies it, including access to vaccines against polio, COVID-19 and, soon, malaria.
He reported that the country has achieved polio-free status, while 50 percent of the target population has been vaccinated against COVID-19.
"I congratulate and encourage the health emergency preparedness initiative implemented by the World Health Organization (WHO)," he continued.
“The Central African Republic is proud to be the instigator and to be the first pilot country that is helping to tangibly improve our ability to manage epidemics.” Development at risk However, the national “march towards development” has been held back by serious security and public health crises, which have been exacerbated by the persistent lack of international financial support.
This has resulted in disruptions to agriculture, forestry, and mining.
“As a fragile state facing food insecurity and a glaring shortage of material and human resources, the Central African Republic continues to make enormous sacrifices to improve its macroeconomic management and fiscal governance,” he said.
"With the support of its partners, my country has been able to implement ambitious reforms to strengthen revenue mobilization and optimize public spending."
The CAR hopes that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) reestablishes the extended line of credit, which had been suspended.
The measure will help boost internal resources and allow the digitization of small tax collection.
Cryptocurrency pioneer However, solutions are still needed to address other challenges, such as developing a resilient and diversified economy, and supporting the education system.
He reported that the Central African Republic was the first country in Africa to adopt Bitcoin as a reference currency and digital payment system, and the first in the world to unanimously adopt a law regulating cryptocurrencies.
“This ambitious and innovative initiative represents a huge opportunity to reposition the economy to improve prospects and change the destiny of the people of the Central African Republic at this time when we need to open ourselves to new horizons and solutions that go beyond the conventional.
,” he said.
Restoration of state authority Mr. Touadéra added that the Central African Republic has also undertaken several bold reforms and initiatives, with the support of international partners, to strengthen the rule of law and restore state authority throughout the country's territory.
In addition, the government's "courageous measures" to combat impunity, along with the implementation of a February 2019 peace agreement and other actions, have helped reduce tensions and build trust.
abolished the death penalty in June this year A law on combating human trafficking and a child protection code were passed in August Arms embargo The president also referred to the UN Security Council resolution the UN approved in July that eased the arms embargo on his country.Resolution 2648 also condemned attacks by armed groups against civilians.“I also noted with satisfaction the position ion of the Council against transnational trafficking networks, which continue to supply weapons of all kinds to armed groups.
I welcome the significant progress that has enabled a substantial lifting of the arms embargo imposed on our defense and security forces,” he said.
"I would like to convey the gratitude of the people of the Central African Republic to all friendly and brotherly countries that strongly support our request for a complete and total lifting of the embargo."
However, Mr. Touadéra said that he deplored "the maneuvers that seek to legitimize the armed groups and insidiously maintain the embargo."
The World Health Organization (WHO) has pledged to work with Parliament and other stakeholders to implement its new resolution to reduce road traffic deaths by 50 percent within a decade.
The World Health Organization's Head of Safety and Mobility, Dr. Nhan Tran, made the remarks at a meeting with members of the Parliamentary Forum for Road Safety in the Speaker's Board Room on Monday, September 19, 2022.
Dr. Tran said that in 2020, the WHO and the UN launched a new decade of action from 2021 to 2031 calling on member states, through a resolution, to reduce road traffic deaths by 50 percent in 2031.
"We would like to explore with you, work together to execute the resolution by supporting legislators involved in promoting road safety," he said, adding that it would be of great value to engage in a regional dialogue with legislators to have a multi-pronged approach on issues related to road safety.
He proposed that Uganda host the planned regional dialogue because of the leadership he has taken in engaging on this issue.
"One of the tasks mandated by the WHO is to monitor the progress made by member states in curbing traffic accidents and this can be done through pilot studies with member states to obtain more precise figures," he added.
Dr Tran revealed that the WHO would engage in further discussions and initiatives with member state road safety chiefs to support their moves to achieve the resolution.
The Honorable Alex Ruhinda, chair of the Parliamentary Forum for Road Safety, said road accidents are often a cause for concern at the time they occur and are often forgotten thereafter, something the forum seeks to reverse.
This forum, Ruhinda noted, seeks to raise awareness of traffic accidents and suppress their occurrence through various interventions, with the overall goal of saving lives.
He said that recently, the forum working with the Physical Infrastructure Committee managed to persuade the government to increase its funding of the road safety component in the Ministry of Public Works and Transport in the latest budget allocation.
“The development of any country would be hampered if it lost five percent of its GDP in human capital; we continue to lose economically active and active citizens in traffic accidents,” said Ruhinda.
He said that most of these people operate businesses that come to an end when they have fatal accidents.
The senior road safety officer at the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, Judith Karara, said that the government received the global action plan on road safety proposed by the WHO and is in the process of building a national action plan that is a domesticated version.
of the world plan.
Karara added that the government has further committed to the UN Conventions on Road Safety.
“These include the African Road Safety Charter, the uniform description of wheeled vehicles and goods, the agreement on the transport of dangerous goods, among others,” she said.
She pointed out that road safety guidelines have been revised under the traffic and road safety law which are in line with international regulations and aim to enforce road safety.
Parliamentary Commissioner, Hon. Esther Afoyochan, representing the Speaker of Parliament, called on the WHO to step up its support to both government and civil society in all road safety initiatives.
She said that attention has often been focused on road construction, neglecting the importance of road safety, and therefore called on members of parliament to increase their energy in pushing for better road safety.
In December 2017, Oluwatayo Akingbile, then 20 years old, understood the harsh implication of using over-the-counter medication after losing a friend who thought he had malaria and had used an anti-malaria medication without trial or prescription.
“We were college students, and my friend bought the medicine over the counter at a pharmacy, and after taking the medicine, he started complaining of unusual sweating and abdominal discomfort.
We rushed him to the school clinic, but he was later transferred to a tertiary health center due to the severity of his reaction to the drug.
He never got better as he died three days later,” he said.
Mr. Akingbile said that he has since understood the importance of getting expert tests and prescriptions done before using any medication.
“I often hear that medications can have an adverse effect or lead to death when taken without a prescription, but I didn't know it was true until this happened.
It taught me a lesson and I educate people against self-medication when it is appropriate,” he said.
Drug misuse/abuse In the case of Stanley Okonkwo, using some over-the-counter drugs has become a hobby, even when he is not sick.
“I buy some over-the-counter (pain relief) medications from street vendors during recreational (alcohol) consumption because people do.
I stopped doing it when a friend told me about the harmful effects of drugs on my body, especially on my liver and kidneys.
I think people abuse drugs because they don't understand the damaging effects they can have on their health,” he said.
A street vendor who sells medicines in recreational parks in Abuja, Abdullai Garko, said that he does not know the composition of the drugs but sells them because it is a lucrative business.
He said that he doesn't sell all the drugs, just painkillers and some drugs that are in high demand.
I don't know if using drugs without getting prescriptions from experts can cause harm.
Medicines without harm According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the harm of medicines represents 50% of the total preventable harm in medical care.
To recognize the substantial burden and acknowledge the complexity of medicine-related harm prevention and reduction, "Medicine Safety" was selected as the theme for World Patient Safety Day 2022.
World Patient Safety Day It takes place annually on September 17 to raise awareness and drive global intervention for patient safety.
As for the problem, this year's Patient Safety Day campaign is expected to provide the necessary impetus to consolidate the efforts of the WHO Global Patient Safety Challenge: Medicines Without Harm, which emphasizes the need to adopt a systemic approach and promote safe medication practices to prevent medication errors and reduce medication-related harm.
Harmful use Reinforcing the importance of reducing the harm of medicines, an Abuja pharmacist, Chidi Lawrence, warns of the serious dangers of using medicines without a prescription and not buying them from certified pharmaceutical outlets.
Lawrence said the likelihood of people misusing drug therapy to the point of causing a health hazard is high.
“As such, there is a need for constant awareness raising to enlighten them about the harm of drug misuse/abuse.
Medications used inappropriately can be poisonous and cause side or adverse effects.
Drug misuse causes it to lose its therapeutic value and cause harm to the body or lead to drug resistance and not working when needed.
Medications must be purchased with prescriptions from experts, patients must be aware of the implications of using the medications, and all prescription lists must be retrieved from patients to deter them from reusing or abusing medications.
There is a need to strengthen the medicine system from the prescription, dispensing, use and control of the use of medicines to reduce the dangers caused by incorrect medication,” she said.
Furthermore, the WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, in her message to mark World Patient Safety Day 2022, said that global estimates show that medication errors contribute to more than 3 million deaths.
deaths per year.
She said that while there is limited data for Africa, the continent has a high magnitude of unsafe medication practices.
“Among low- and middle-income countries, the African Region has the highest prevalence of substandard and counterfeit medicines.
Managing surplus medications at home, purchasing medications from pharmacies on the advice of friends and family rather than trained professionals, and using old prescriptions to purchase medication to treat a current ailment are common practices that should be avoided.
Meanwhile, WHO is working with Member States to implement the WHO Global Action Plan for Patient Safety 2021-2030, and a regional patient safety strategy and roadmap is currently being developed to guide its implementation.
It's a Wednesday morning at the Kuisebmund Health Center and Shirleyn Awases is among 20 women seeking antenatal care services at the centre.
The 31-year-old recently had a miscarriage and not long before she gave birth to a stillborn baby.
This time, the mother of a 10-year-old boy is expecting another baby.
And, although she is nervous about what could go wrong, Awases is also hopeful that with the ultrasound machine recently donated to the Kuisebmund Health Center, the doctor will be able to better detect any abnormalities during her pregnancy with this technology.
The World Health Organization (WHO), with financial support of US$270,000 (approximately N$4,579,200) from the Government of Japan, donated a sonar to the Kuisebmund Health Center in March this year (2022).
The support is intended to strengthen maternal and child health services in Namibia.
Kuisebmund Health Center is one of 16 district health centers that benefited from support from the WHO and the Japanese government.
"We realized that we needed additional support in terms of ultrasound machines that help with early detection of the growth and development of the baby in the mother's womb and if there are any problems, they can be detected early," said the representative of the WHO.
, Dr. Charles Sagoe-Moses.
The COVID -19 pandemic disrupted essential health services, including maternal and child health services.
“We were trying to respond to that outage,” Sagoe-Moses explained.
Meanwhile, Awases is happy to have the opportunity to have an ultrasound early in her pregnancy.
“We were struggling to pay private doctors for ultrasounds because they are expensive.
We also had a lot of trouble with that sonar which is at Walvisbay State Hospital.
People are only seen by appointment and the waiting periods are painfully long,” she explained.
This, she says, is why she did not seek medical attention when she noticed that her baby was no longer moving as much as before.
“I lost my baby at six months in April of last year,” he explains.
She became pregnant again in October of the same year.
This time, she didn't know.
“They only told me that I had a miscarriage, and that I was two months pregnant,” she explains.
Kuisebmund Health Center is within walking distance of Awases and many other women like her who are struggling to make a living.
Cornelia Stramish recently moved to Walvisbay.
She also agrees that not all women receiving antenatal care at the Kuisebmund Health Center have the money to seek the services of a private doctor.
As a result, an ultrasound is a luxury that many at the Center did not enjoy in the past.
Women often had ultrasounds toward the end of their pregnancies or in the event of a medical emergency, adds Dr. Augusto Gawab, Acting Chief Medical Officer at Walvisbay District Hospital.
“The Kuisebmund Health Center is the largest clinic in the region in terms of the number of patients who come here.
As a result, we have a heavy workload,” explains Gawab.
Prior to March 2021, most ultrasounds were performed at Walvisbay District Hospital.
The gynecologist assigned to the Hospital for ultrasound would see up to 45 or more patients per day for ultrasounds.
The hospital's ultrasound scanner not only cares for pregnant mothers, but for all patients who need it.
“The doctors at the hospital were overloaded.
This ultrasound machine was donated at the right time because it has really helped us reduce the burden and influx of patients to the hospital who need sonar,” explained Gawab.
Now that the Kuisebmund Health Center has an ultrasound, Gawab is confident that abnormalities will be detected early in a woman's pregnancy.
“I am confident that we will have reduced prenatal mortality,” he said.
In the past, Gawab saw a situation of two to three stillbirths in a month.
“We have also had cases of women who do not feel the movement of their babies.
We also have women who are not sure exactly when they conceived.
Sonar will be able to detect all of these things,” Gawab said.
Cornelius Nuunyango is the Walvisbay District Primary Health Care Supervisor.
“We have a high population within a small geographic area.
Kuisebmund Health Center is very busy because it is right in the community,” he explains.
Nuuyango feels another ultrasound machine would further ease the burden on health facilities in the Erongo region.
“This is the first time we have a sonar at that Facility.
Previously we only had one sonar and that is the one at the hospital,” he said.
Due to demand, some women went to a private doctor to get an ultrasound of their baby and paid up to $1,000 for the ultrasound.
Erongo health director Anna Jonas praised the WHO and the Japanese government for the donation.
“This sonar was really helpful because according to our prenatal guidelines, a woman is supposed to have an ultrasound within 24 weeks of her pregnancy,” Jonas said.
The 64-member team of World Health Organization (WHO) Country Office Malawi (WCO) staff gathered in the lakeside district of Mangochi from 10-15 August 2022 for a staff withdrawal.
The main purpose of the retreat was to review its performance since the beginning of the year with a focus on its recent interventions in life-threatening emergencies, such as the floods, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the polio and cholera outbreaks that affected to Malawi.
During the retreat, staff were updated on the WHO Transformation Agenda.
This is in line with the General Program of Work of the Thirteen (GPW 13), which defines the organization's five-year strategy, 2019-2025.
Speaking at the meeting, the WHO Representative in Malawi, Dr Kimambo, Neema Rusibamayila emphasized that: “The triple billion targets serve to measure the impact of WHO on people's health.
One billion more people are expected to gain access to universal health coverage, be protected from health emergencies, and enjoy better health and well-being.
Malawi is ready to contribute to this.” Dr Kimambo added that the WHO Transformation Agenda provides an opportunity to engage with the government, other UN agencies and all stakeholders.
“The focus of the transformation agenda is pro-results, ensuring a smart technical approach, responsive strategic operations in line with the health needs and priorities of the people of Malawi.” He explained WHO's vision of transformation to the staff.
"Our goal is to optimize technical delivery, improve the quality of work and ensure better management of resources and better value for money in our interventions."
Dr. Nampewo Solome, Health Systems Coordinator, explained the importance of ensuring access to universal health care in Malawi: “We are working to improve access to quality essential health services, regardless of gender, age or background.
disability status, at all levels of the health care delivery system.
We are committed to reducing the number of people experiencing financial hardship, especially now that the country is facing various emergencies.” Participants were also encouraged to improve their personal skills and knowledge using the WHO learning platforms.
Staff were encouraged to use the WHO ilearn platform and maximize the mentoring and training opportunities available at WHO.
The Ombudsman also spoke about the various policies related to the Prevention of Sexual Exploitation, Abuse, Harassment and Abuse of Authority.
WHO staff were reminded that they must be ambassadors to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse of authority, everywhere, beyond the work environment always.
The team engaged in an open and constructive exchange of ideas to improve the WHO country office.
Self-awareness moments provided insights into ways to improve the health system.
The open-minded nature of the retreat provoked negative and positive reactions.
Everyone calmly provided remedies to improve WHO teamwork, in a relaxed manner.
The need for effective, responsive and respectful communication was emphasized.
Selamani Ngwira, Nsanje District Data Manager, couldn't hide his joy after meeting and interacting with his colleagues and supervisors.
“The staff retreat was very interesting.
It brought us together, ensuring teamwork, with our supervisors.
Now I personally know my leaders after this retreat.
We connect and bond beyond exchanging memos and deadlines via email and phone.
This will strengthen our coordinated response, during emergencies, while providing routine health services,” Selaman said.
To encourage teamwork and consistency, the staff retreat was merged with fun activities, drills, and sports activities.
Staff members were encouraged to maintain a work-life balance to be fully productive in a work environment.
The retreat ended on September 15, 2022 with all staff empowered and energized to contribute their best efforts in achieving the goals of the Organization.