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Showing posts with label WHO. Show all posts
Showing posts with label WHO. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Listeriosis outbreak looms in Nigeria, 15 African countries, says WHO

Listeriosis outbreak is looming in Nigeria and 15 other African countries, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), reports NaijaAgroNet.

Confirming this development, WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa, listed other redline countries to include Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

“This outbreak is a wake-up call for countries in the region to strengthen their national food safety and disease surveillance systems,” Moeti declared.

Experts have described Listeriosis as a bacterial infection most commonly caused by Listeria monocytogenes, which could cause severe illness, including severe sepsis, meningitis, or encephalitis, sometimes resulting in lifelong harm and even death.

They also said that listeria is ubiquitous and is primarily transmitted via the oral route after ingestion of contaminated food products

As said by WHO an estimated 200 South Africans have died since January 2017 as a result of contaminated ready-to-eat meat products that are widely consumed in the country and may also have been exported to two West African countries and 14 members of the South African Development Community.


South African health authorities recently declared the source of the outbreak as a factory in Polokwane, in the country’s northeast.

Isaac Oyimah with additional reports from ThePunch.

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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Ethiopian Tedros Ghebreyesus elected first African WHO Director-General

NaijaAgroNet
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has elected Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus as its new Director-General, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, NaijaAgroNet gathered, was nominated by the Government of Ethiopia, and will begin his five-year term on 1 July 2017.

Remarkably, this is the first time, since 1941 that an African is elected to this post and the first time ever that the whole African continent had one candidate.

NaijaAgroNet also gathered that prior to his election as WHO’s next Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus served as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ethiopia from 2012–2016 and as Minister of Health, Ethiopia from 2005–2012. He has also served as chair of the Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; as chair of the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership Board; and as co-chair of the Board of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health.

As Minister of Health, Ethiopia, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus led a comprehensive reform effort of the country's health system, including the expansion of the country’s health infrastructure, creating 3500 health centres and 16 000 health posts; expanded the health workforce by 38 000 health extension workers; and initiated financing mechanisms to expand health insurance coverage. 

As Minister of Foreign Affairs, NaijaAgroNet reports he led the effort to negotiate the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, in which 193 countries committed to the financing necessary to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

As Chair of the Global Fund and of RBM, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus secured record funding for the two organizations and created the Global Malaria Action Plan, which expanded RBM’s reach beyond Africa to Asia and Latin America.


Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus will succeed Dr Margaret Chan, who has been WHO’s Director-General since 1 January 2007.

Chuks Egbune/GEE
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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Malaria vaccine trials: AMMREN commends WHO over 3 African countries selection

The African Media and Malaria Research Network (AMMREN) has commended the World Health Organisation (WHO) for the choice of three African countries of Ghana, Kenya and Malawi, for the first malaria vaccine trials beginning in 2018, reports NaijaAgroNet.

According to the WHO, the injectable vaccine RTS,S was developed to protect young children from the most deadly form of malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum and it will be assessed in the pilot programme as a complementary malaria control tool that could potentially be added to the core package of WHO-recommended measures for malaria prevention.

Welcoming this development, AMMREN Executive Secretary, Dr. Charity Binka told NaijaAgroNet that they see the introduction of the vaccine in these countries as an opportunity to step up advocacy directed to whipping up public support for the malaria elimination agenda and specifically for the vaccine.

AMMREN, she said, also called for the training and equipping of journalists to promote accurate and effective dissemination of information on the vaccine and other tools to ensure that media content on the vaccine is well packaged and disseminated in a timely and accurate manner, nationally and globally.

In addition, she said building of the capacity of scientists and researchers to communicate effectively with journalists from data generated from malaria research, tools and the vaccine, cannot be over-emphasised.

The network said that by facilitating widespread awareness of the RTS,S vaccine, particularly among families and community members would foster accurate understanding of the potential risks and benefits of the RTS,S malaria vaccine and need for continued use of other malaria control measures.

NaijaAgroNet recalls that AMMREN has over the years, laid a solid foundation for African journalists to partner with scientists and stakeholders in the fight to kick out malaria from the continent.

Thus, the skills of journalists across Africa have also been sharpened to tell the malaria story as well as the RTS,S malaria vaccine stories.


AMMREN further urged all stakeholders to join forces to carry out a sustained media advocacy project on the malaria elimination and to push for public acceptance of the RTS,S vaccine.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE
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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

WHO launches fourth report on Neglected Tropical Diseases

All is now set for launching of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Fourth Report on Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) in Geneva, Switzerland, reports NaijaAgroNet.
This effort, industry observers said, show transformational progress against these debilitating diseases, and a commitment by the United Kingdom to more than double its funding for NTDs.

NaijaAgroNet reports that this meeting comes five years after the launch of the London Declaration on NTDs a commitment by the public and private sectors to achieve the WHO goals for control, elimination and eradication of 10 NTDs. Noting that about billions of treatments have been donated by pharmaceutical companies and delivered to impoverished communities in nearly 150 countries, reaching nearly a billion people in 2015.

NTDs, NaijaAgroNet gathered, are some of the oldest and most painful diseases, afflicting the world’s poorest communities, to the extent that one in six people suffer from NTDs worldwide, including more than half a billion children.
NaijaAgroNet reports that NTDs are known to disable, debilitate and perpetuate cycles of poverty, keeping children out of school, parents out of work, and dampening hope of any chance of an economic future.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Amid Chinese outbreak: FAO, WHO say surveillance, laboratory testing, clean markets to contain changing H7N9 virus

International organisations are rallying round China in reinforcing control amid outbreak of avian influenza, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Experts also said that a resurgent outbreak of a new strain of avian influenza that could be lethal 
for humans underscores the need for robust and rapid detection and response systems at animal source.

NaijaAgroNet also reports that this could reduce the risk associated with virus spread and impacts on public health, according to Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Organisation for Animal Health.

Equally, NaijaAgroNet reports that human cases of the H7N9 virus, first detected in China four years ago, have suddenly increased since December 2016 and it is estimated, that as of early March 2017, there have been more reported human cases of influenza A (H7N9) than those caused by other types of avian influenza viruses (H5N1, H5N6, etc.) combined.

As during previous waves, most of the patients infected reported a history of visiting live bird markets or coming into contact with infected birds. Since 2013, China has invested heavily in surveillance of live bird markets and poultry farms. However the surveillance of this virus has proven particularly challenging as until recently it has shown no or few signs of disease in chickens.

"Considering the potential for mutation of avian influenza virus, constant surveillance by national Veterinary Services of the different strains circulating in animals in their country is essential to protect both animal and human health", explains  Matthew Stone, Deputy Director General of the OIE.

"To protect human health and people's livelihoods, it is essential to tackle the disease at its source in poultry: efforts need to target eliminating H7N9 from affected farms and markets," said Vincent Martin, FAO's Representative in China.


"Targeted surveillance to detect the disease and clean infected farms and live bird markets, intervening at critical points along the poultry value chain - from farm to table - is required. There should be incentives for everybody involved in poultry production and marketing to enforce disease control."

Isaac Oyimah/GEE
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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

WHO, FAO unveil roadmap to deal with highly hazardous pesticides

The World Health Organisation (WHO) in collaboration with Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) have unveiled new guidelines aimed at reducing the damage done by pesticides that pose especially high toxic risks to human health and the environment, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Sources from both organization, informed NaijaAgroNet that products with high acute toxicity account for high numbers of immediate poisoning cases, particularly in developing countries, while products with chronic toxicity effects may cause cancer or developmental disorders among growing children. 

NaijaAgroNet reports that in industrialized countries, such so-called "highly hazardous pesticides" may be no longer permitted or subject to strict use limitations, yet they often remain widely available in developing countries. 

“Even hazardous products are still permitted in industrialised countries can cause severe problems in the developing world, where use circumstances can be very different,” FAO source said.

NaijaAgroNet gathered that small-scale farmers in developing countries in particular often do not have, or use, the necessary protective gear and mostly use back-pack sprayers that pose high risk of exposure.

Therefore, both WHO and FAO pointed out that restriction on the use of such highly hazardous products often prove hard to enforce, leading to widespread use by untrained persons, warning that high numbers of poisoning cases, contaminated food and environmental damage could be the result.

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Friday, December 12, 2014

Merck supports WHO to fight parasitic worm disease schistosomiasis in Africa



 … Ethiopia to receive 13m Praziqantel tables in 2015

 
Arising from the first meeting of the Global Schistosomiasis Alliance which took place at the United Nations (UN) Conference Centre in Addis Ababa, the Merck Group endorsing the World Health Organization (WHO) fight against the parasitic worm disease schistosomiasis on the continent of Africa, reports NaijaAgroNet.

This is coming as NaijaAgroNet reports that Ethiopia is expected to receive 13 Million Praziquantel Tablets in 2015 to cater for patients suffering from schistosomiasis as Praziquantel has proved to be the most effective treatment for schistosomiasis.

WHO revealed to NaijaAgroNet that Ethiopia is one of the most endemic countries for schistosomiasis in the world, with an estimated 22 million people, which is over 20 per cent of the global population in need of treatment.

NaijaAgroNet also reports that since the start of the programme about 1.4 million patients, primarily children, have been treated.

Head, Public Affairs at Merck and responsible for the Merck Praziquantel Donation Programme, Frank Gotthardt, reiterated to NaijaAgroNet that they are committed to continuing the efforts in Africa, in cooperation with WHO, until schistosomiasis is eliminated.

“In order to fulfill this commitment, we will donate 100 million praziquantel tablets to African countries in 2015. Ethiopia will be one of the main beneficiaries of this donation," Gotthardt said in a press statement endorsed by the African Press Organization (APO).

This alliance, he said, will allow the different constituencies to engage in a coordinated approach to better address the challenges of meeting the elimination target. Just as the round table discussions and first global schistosomiasis meeting took place during the neglected tropical diseases week being hosted by the Ethiopian government from December 8 to 12.

NaijaAgroNet  recalls that the Merck Praziquantel Donation Programme was launched in 2007 with over 200 million tablets supplied since then and over 54 million children benefiting from the treated. Between 2011 and 2014, Merck’s annual donation, NaijaAgroNet  gathered, has grown from 25 to about 75 million tablets.

At the beginning of 2012, Merck announced that it will fight schistosomiasis until the disease has been eliminated in Africa. To reach this goal, the company will increase the annual donation of tablets up to 250 million in the medium term.

The further scale-up of the programme saw the offer allowing the treatment of about 100 million children a year. The expanded Merck Praziquantel Donation Programme will result in a financial commitment totaling around USD 23 million a year.

In addition, Merck is also supporting awareness initiatives at African schools to explain the causes of schistosomiasis to children and teach them how to prevent the disease.
 
Further, NaijaAgroNet reports that Merck is conducting research on a pediatric formulation of praziquantel for preschool children within the scope of a public-private partnership. So far, praziquantel tablets can only be administered to children over the age of six.   

By Isaac Oyimah/GEE
 +Remmy Nweke @Merck +World Health Organization

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

FAO, WHO host preparatory technical meeting on nutrition

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and World Health Organisation (WHO), Wednesday commence a three-day preparatory technical meeting on nutrition in Rome on major nutrition challenges (ICN2).

The meeting is also expected to enhance international cooperation, even as they would collaborate with the Italian Foreign Ministry on Thursday to host the ‘Gender, nutrition and agriculture’ side-event.

NaijaAgroNet reports that the United Nations (UN) System Standing Committee on Nutrition seminar with Bioversity International and Govt of Malawi on nutrition and sustainability was held on Tuesday.

Also NaijaAgroNet reports that everyone has the right to good nutrition and yet the figures showed that all too many people are denied this right.

“Some 842 million people are chronically hungry, but many more die or suffer the ill effects of inadequate nutrition,” experts from FAO disclosed, while about 2 billion people are affected by micronutrient deficiencies.

In addition, NaijaAgroNet gathered that an estimated 7 million children die before their fifth birthday every year, 162 million children under five are stunted while at the same time, 500 million people are obese.

NaijaAgroNet recalls that over 50 countries and many international experts will gather at FAO headquarters in Rome to focus on ways to speed up improvements in nutrition - especially in developing countries, through policy changes, international coordination and the exchange of knowledge.


Isaac Oyimah/GEE
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Pix: Graziano da Silva  DG, FAO