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WHO says 120,000 people in Western Pacific get infected with HIV annually

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(Xinhua/NAN) The World Health Organisation (WHO) says an estimated 120,000 additional people in the Western Pacific region are still being infected with HIV annually, with a significant increase in new infections in the Philippines.


WHO said in a statement on Thursday that current HIV prevention efforts in the region focused on key populations, such as men, who have sex with men, people who inject drugs and sex workers.

“These efforts include the use of anti-retrovirals as pre-exposure prophylaxis, community-based HIV testing and partner notification, and transitioning to newer and more effective drug regimens,” it said.

According to the organisation, more and more HIV patients in the region have access to HIV treatment.

The UN health agency noted “progress” in access to HIV treatment in the region, which has grown from 34 per cent in 2014 to 59 per cent in 2018, with 1.11 million of an estimated 1.9 million people living with HIV on antiretroviral treatment.

It said that hepatitis remained “a key challenge” for the region, with an estimated 115 million people with chronic hepatitis B infection and 14 million with chronic hepatitis C infection.

Currently, WHO said only 17 per cent were diagnosed and a mere three per cent are receiving treatment.

Chronic hepatitis B and C are the most common causes of liver cirrhosis and liver cancer, according to WHO.

At the 17th session of the WHO Regional Committee for the Western Pacific being held in Manila since Monday, health leaders agreed to develop a nine-year action plan to eradicate hepatitis.

“Delegates emphasised the need to overcome barriers to testing and treatment, since too few people are aware they are infected with hepatitis, or receive the medications to treat it,” WHO added.

WHO said it would continue working with countries, experts and partners to develop a hepatitis regional action plan for 2021 to 2030.

Responding to rising rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in some countries, delegates also welcomed support from WHO to estimate the number of people infected, intensify surveillance and update treatment guidelines.

WHO said stigma, discrimination and inequitable access to services, particularly among key populations, still pose challenges in the region for those with HIV, hepatitis and STIs. (Xinhua/NAN)


FAT/YEE

Edited by Fatima Sule/Emmanuel Yashim

https://nnn.ng/who-says-120000-people/

Features

President Buhari’s UNGA75 National Statement

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STATEMENT DELIVERED

 

BY

 

HIS EXCELLENCY, MUHAMMADU BUHARI

PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC

OF NIGERIA

 

 

AT

     

THE GENERAL DEBATE OF THE       75TH SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY

 

 

 

22ND SEPTEMBER 2020

 

Ø Mr. President,

Ø Heads of State and Government,

Ø Secretary-General,

Ø Distinguished Delegates,

Ø Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

Let me on behalf of the Government and good people of Nigeria, congratulate you on your well-deserved election as President of the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). I would like to assure you of Nigeria’s readiness to avail the United Nations all necessary cooperation needed for the fulfillment of your mandate.

 

2.      I wish to also thank the General Assembly for the support accorded His Excellency, Tijjani Muhammad-Bande during his tenure as President of the 74th Session of the General Assembly.

 

3.      We acknowledge the accomplishments of the Assembly under his able leadership, particularly his efforts on attacking global poverty through the Global Coalition on Poverty Eradication.

 

4.      We also commend the tremendous efforts of His Excellency, Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, in steering the affairs of the organization during this challenging period of the Coronavirus pandemic, as well as his strong commitment to making the UN more efficient and responsive in its international responsibility.

Your Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates,

5.      It is my privilege to use this opportunity to congratulate Member States on the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations. Over the past seven decades, the United Nations, as the People’s Assembly, has helped to stabilize the global community.

6.      In addition to international peace and security, the UN has undertaken programmes on poverty eradication, women’s empowerment, youth development and humanitarian emergencies.

7.      The theme of this year’s General Assembly – “The Future We Want, The United Nations We Need: Reaffirming Our Collective Commitment To Multilateralism – Confronting Coronavirus Through Effective Multilateral Action”, is indeed most appropriate and timely, as it captures our common desire for a renewed and revitalized organization in need of multilateral approaches to the many challenges facing the world.

 

THE FUTURE WE WANT

8.      As we reflect on the future we want and the United Nations we need, we must realize that the peoples of the world not only look up to us: they count on us. If the United Nations system cannot mobilize the world to marshal out a truly effective and inclusive response to the Coronavirus pandemic, then the United Nations would have failed in its core mission of giving expression, direction and solution to the yearnings of the international community.

Excellencies,

9.      The future we want must guarantee human rights, human dignity, human prospects and prosperity. The principles of “Leaving No One Behind and Doing No Harm” must be expressed through accountability, strategic growth initiatives and elimination of threats of all kinds.

10.  In our quest to provide a future of hope and prosperity for Nigerians, our administration has embarked on measures to ensure enhanced national resilience. We intend to achieve this through the implementation of the Economic Sustainability Plan and the Medium Term National Development Plans for the period 2020-2025 and 2026-2030. We expect that these ambitious initiatives will deliver sustainable economic growth and development to Nigeria.

THE UNITED NATIONS WE NEED

11. Predicated on the values that inspired its creation, the United Nations we need has to remain an agent of progress, by giving expression to the tenets of multilateralism, solidarity and international cooperation. It is within the context of this rules-based multilateral order that the world can find solutions to its many problems.

CONFRONTING COVID-19 THROUGH EFFECTIVE MULTILATERAL  ACTIONS

12.    The world is currently in the grips of the Coronavirus pandemic. Regrettably, our communities and countries are losing lives. The Coronavirus pandemic has devastated the world economy and strained the capabilities of the health system of many countries, including our own country.

13.    In the aftermath of Coronavirus outbreak in Nigeria, we prioritized vulnerable groups, including women, children, older persons and the unemployed, in our efforts to provide medical and social assistance to cushion the socio-economic effects of the disease.

14.    Accordingly, we have expanded our National Social Register, to include an additional 1 million Nigerians. Our National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) has been the vehicle for reaching out to the poor and vulnerable members of the Nigerian population, as well as providing cover for over 22 million households.

15.    I use this opportunity to commend the efforts of the United Nations and the World Health Organization in combating the Coronavirus pandemic.

16.    I note, with appreciation, the $2 Billion United States Dollars Global Humanitarian Response Plan launched by the UN Secretary-General to fund the Coronavirus response in the poorest countries of the world.

17.    I also commend his call for cease-fire in conflict areas, to enable humanitarian assistance reach groups vulnerable to Coronavirus .

Excellencies,

18.    I should also state that Nigeria is committed to working with other Member States in the spirit of global cooperation and solidarity to promote human health and general well-being. Nigeria will continue to partner with the WHO and some countries to ensure accelerated development and manufacturing, as well as uninhibited supply of safe and effective Coronavirus vaccines to all.

POVERTY ERADICATION

19.    In order to mitigate its impact on Nigerians, our administration has commenced the disbursement of the sum of N10.9 Billion to households and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises as palliatives.

20.    In addition, we have established a five hundred billion (N500 billion) fiscal stimulus package and sustained delivery of humanitarian and social interventions to poor and vulnerable households, while our Central Bank has launched a N3.5 trillion-stimulus package to boost manufacturing and facilitate import substitution.

21. The international community will need to cooperate in addressing the scourge of poverty, particularly in developing countries. It is in this regard, that we commend the President of the 74th General Assembly for launching an Alliance for Poverty Eradication in June.

 

22.    We encourage global leaders, particularly leaders from the global North, to support the Alliance at this time when the COVID-19 pandemic is reversing gains made in the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and is pushing an additional half a billion people into extreme poverty.

SUSTAINABLE GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT

Mr. President,  

23.    As we mark the beginning of the UN Decade of Action for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, Nigeria has made significant strides in domesticating the SDGs.

24.    There is an ongoing re-alignment of the National Statistical System (NSS) with the requirements and indicators of the SDGs. This is expected to ensure effective tracking and monitoring of the SDGs and guide SDG interventions across the country.

25.    Nigeria has also developed its home-grown Integrated Sustainable Development Goals model (iSDG Model) – an analytical framework for assessing how policy-making can better address the indivisible nature of the SDGs.

 

DISARMAMENT, INTERNATIONAL PEACE AND SECURITY

Excellencies,

26.  Nigeria remains deeply concerned over the illicit trade, transfer, and circulation of small arms and light weapons, particularly on the continent of Africa.

27.    We urge the international community to renew efforts to stem this traffic and promote the Arms Trade Treaty in order to codify accountability in the on-going battle against trans-border crimes, including terrorism and acts of piracy.

 

TERRORISM

Excellencies,

28. The litany of sophisticated terrorist attacks across the globe is a harsh reality of the challenges the world is facing today. We must therefore redouble our efforts to ensure collective security.

29.    In Nigeria, we are still facing violent extremism from the insurgency of Boko Haram and bandits. We continue to count on our strong cooperation with UN Counter-Terrorism bodies and neighbouring countries to overcome the terrorists in the Lake Chad Basin and the wider Sahel Region.

30. We will vigorously sustain the rehabilitation, reconstruction and resettlement of victims of terrorism and insurgency in the North-East. The North-East Development Commission has been established for that purpose.

NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT

Mr. President,

31.    Nigeria is committed to universal nuclear non-proliferation. In this connection, we recall the adoption of the landmark Treaty on The Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which opened for signature on 20 September 2017. Nigeria participated actively in the processes leading to its adoption and was an early signatory and ratifier.

32.    With less than ten ratifications needed for the TPNW’s entry into force, we urge other member states who have not done so to quickly ratify the Treaty for the actualization of its important objective.

 

CLIMATE CHANGE

Excellencies,

 

33.    Climate Change is an environmental crisis which requires urgent action. Our Administration is conscious of the fact that the attainment of national development targets would be greatly impeded unless the consequences of climate change are addressed holistically in line with the Paris Agreement.

 

34.    To this end, Nigeria has intensified climate action through the upward review of reduction in greenhouse gas emission under the Nationally Determined Contributions, which are climate change targets under the Paris Agreement.

 

35.    Nigeria remains steadfast in our commitment to the revitalization of Lake Chad. We are convinced that recharging the Lake will improve the living conditions of our people in the area, promote inter-state cooperation, strengthen community resilience, and assist in addressing environmental and security challenges threatening the region and its resources.

 

36.    Let me, therefore, reiterate the call for international support for the sub-regional efforts to raise the $50 billion USD required to actualize this initiative.

 

MIGRATION

Excellencies,

37.    Nigeria experiences high internal and external migration due to the size of its population, economic situation and climate. We are therefore fully committed to migration management and prevention of irregular migration and human trafficking.

38.    I enjoin the international community to also communicate the positive contributions of migrants, particularly in countries of destination, in order to combat racial discrimination and xenophobic attacks, and facilitate the social integration and protection of migrants.

 

ILLICIT FINANCIAL FLOWS

Mr. President,

39.    The global aspiration to recover from the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic will not be fully met without addressing existing structures that make it more difficult for countries to generate and retain their financial resources.

 

40.    It is in this regard that I thank the immediate past Presidents of the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council, Ambassador Tijjani Muhammad-Bande and Ambassador Mona Jul, respectively, for jointly launching the High-Level Panel on International Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity for Achieving the 2030 Agenda.

HUMAN RIGHTS

Mr. President,

41.    In the area of human rights, Nigeria has passed a number of human rights-related bills into law. The bills include: the Anti-Torture Act, the Comprehensive Treatment and Care for Victims of Gun-Shot Act, as well as the National Senior Citizens Centre Act. In addition, Nigeria has launched a National Action Plan for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism.

42.    This measure is designed to strengthen institutions, coordinate the prevention of violent extremism, enhance the rule of law, access to justice and human rights as well as engaging communities and building resilience and integrated strategic communication.

WOMEN PARITY

Mr. President,

43.    The United Nations has made progress in advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment through initiatives such as the Beijing Declaration and Programme of Action and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. The creation of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women (UN-Women), in July 2010, was an important milestone.

44.    Nigeria acknowledges the importance of gender equality and recognizes the critical role that women play in development. We also recognize that the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and other internationally-agreed Development Agenda depend largely on the empowerment of women. Nigeria will sustain its affirmative stance through women empowerment initiatives.

QUALITY EDUCATION

Mr. President,

45.    Quality education for all is the cornerstone of sustainable development.

46.    In this connection, I am happy to announce that the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria will be hosting the        4th International Conference on Safe Schools in 2021.

47.    I invite you all to Nigeria to participate in the Conference which aims to advocate for the protection of education from attack as we work together towards the future we want.

UNITED NATIONS REFORM

 

Mr. President,

48.    As we urge and strive for inclusion within our societies, we must also ensure inclusion prevails in our collective action as members of the International Community. Nigeria supports the expansion of the UN Security Council to reflect the diversity and dynamics of the 21st Century. Africa deserves permanent seats in the United Nations Security Council.

CONCLUSION

Mr. President

49.    I will conclude by reaffirming Nigeria’s commitment to promoting international peace and security and sustainable development, as well as strengthening partnerships and cooperation with international and regional organisations.

          I thank you.

https://nnn.ng/president-buharis-unga75-national-statement/

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COVID-19

Russia says COVID-19 vaccination for pregnant women requires separate study 

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A separate clinical study would be needed to include pregnant women in the COVID-19 vaccination campaign, Alexander Gintsburg, the Head of the Moscow-based Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, said on Tuesday.


“Certainly, it is necessary to conduct a separate clinical study, which has not been carried out yet,” Gintsburg said at a roundtable on COVID-19, hosted by the Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency.

On Aug. 11, Russia became the first country in the world to register a coronavirus vaccine, named Sputnik V and developed by the Gamaleya Institute.

However, the number of coronavirus cases worldwide passed 30 million on Friday, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker, as the World Health Organisation ( WHO)  said daily case numbers were growing at an “alarming rate” in Europe.

The global death toll stands at 943,203 people and is expected to pass 1 million by Oct.1.

The United States accounts for than 22 per cent of global cases, at 6.67m, and nearly 200,000 fatalities.

Meanwhile, the WHO warned of “alarming rates of transmission” of Covid-19 across Europe and cautioned countries against shortening quarantine periods.

The WHO said the number of coronavirus cases in September “should serve as a wake-up call for all of us”.

Edited By: Fatima Sule/Peter Dada
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/russia-says-covid-19-vaccination-for-pregnant-women-requires-separate-study/
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Coronavirus: WHO reports highest weekly increment of nearly 2m cases globally

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) has reported a record number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus registered across the world over the past week – almost two million infections.


This marks the highest number in a single week so far.

“From Sept. 14 through Sept. 20, there were almost two million new cases of COVID-19, which represents a six per cent increase compared to the previous week.

“And this the highest number of reported cases in a single week since the beginning of the epidemic.

“During the same period, there was a 10 per cent decrease in the number of deaths, with 36,764 deaths reported in the past seven days,’’ the WHO said in a situation report late on Monday.

In particular, an increase in the weekly case incidence rate was reported across all regions in the last seven days, except for Africa.

The two Americas remaining the worst-hit areas and accounting for more than 38 per cent of all new cases reported over the past week.

Meanwhile, Europe showed the greatest increment in the number of fatalities in the past week, with a 27 per cent increase compared to the previous week.

Edited By: Fatima Sule/Abdulfatah Babatunde
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/coronavirus-who-reports-highest-weekly-increment-of-nearly-2m-cases-globally/
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Russia’s institute recommends people over 80 vaccinate against COVID-19

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Alexander Gintsburg, the Director of Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, said on Tuesday those over 80 years are recommended to receive a vaccine against COVID-19.


During a roundtable on COVID-19, hosted by the Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency, renowned doctor Leonid Roshal, Head of the National Medical Chamber, recounted previously asking Gintsburg about the possibility of vaccination for seniors.

“I have asked what should people over 80 do if the instruction says vaccination is for those who are only up to 60 years old, and heard back- get vaccinated anyway,” Roshal said.

The head of the Gamaleya Institute confirmed that account.

“Absolutely right,” Gintsburg said.

On Aug.11, Russia became the first country in the world to register a coronavirus vaccine named Sputnik V and developed by the Gamaleya Institute.

Similarly, Russian COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers are so confident about its safety that they will not seek full legal protection from potential liability claims, an official says.

Kirill Dmitriev, the CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), said this on Tuesday.

“The approach is different from many other vaccine developers, who seek indemnity if unexpected adverse effects occur.

“Russia is not asking for full legal indemnity because of the confidence in its human adenoviral vector platform proven to be safe over decades.

“At the same time, Western vaccine makers insist on full indemnity – putting all legal risks of their unproven vaccines on the countries that buy vaccines.

Western vaccine makers have to do this because they understand well that monkey adenovirus and RNA vaccines have never been studied for long term negative effects and vaccine makers do not want to bear risks of their own vaccines,” Dmitriev said in a statement.

In August, Russia registered the world’s first COVID-19 vaccine, named Sputnik V and developed by the Gamaleya Scientific Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology.

According to the health ministry, Sputnik V is safe and has proven to be capable of building immunity against the virus.

The vaccine is yet to complete the required Phase lll of clinical trials.

According to WHO protocols, a candidate vaccine has to complete three phases of clinical trials to be approved for industrial production.

Edited By: Fatima Sule/Grace Yussuf
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/russias-institute-recommends-people-over-80-vaccinate-against-covid-19/
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