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Here’s what we now know about the origin of COVID-19

While calling for further studies and data on origin of SARS-CoV-2 virus, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has concluded that all hypotheses regarding the origin of SARS-CoV-2 — the virus responsible for the global COVID-19 pandemic, remain open. The report of the international team on their Wuhan field visit, from 14 January to 10 February, was published today as WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called for further studies. The report stems from a Member State resolution adopted by consensus at the World

COVID-19 reverses 12 years of impressive gains in the fight against tuberculosis

A new report has provided insights into the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on tuberculosis prevention and control measures. According to the report released by the Stop TB Partnership, nine of the countries with the most tuberculosis (TB) cases—representing 60% of the global TB burden—saw a drastic decline in diagnosis and treatment of TB infections in 2020, ranging from 16%-41% (with an average of 23%). The drop brought the overall number of people diagnosed and treated for TB

Investments in health systems prevent damage and boost economies – WHO DG

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has drummed support for improved investments in health systems. According to the organisation’s Director-General, investments in health systems can boost the economy in addition to preventing damage. Speaking at a panel discussion on the intersection of health and economics that was organised by the London School of Economics on 17 March 2021, WHO DG Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said the WHO has been trying to make the economic case for investing in health. “The pandemic has made the

Download US FDA report on Johnson & Johnson’s single dose COVID-19 vaccine

The COVID-19 vaccine by Johnson & Johnson is on track to become the latest vaccine in the global fight against COVI-19. Today (Wednesday), the US FDA released its report on the vaccine and you can read the entire 62 pages below. FDA-Briefing-Document According to the document, in the study that involved about 40,000 participants, as of February 5, 2021, there were 7 COVID-19 related deaths in the study in the placebo group and no COVID-19-related

Africa’s first Lassa fever vaccine clinical trial begins in Ghana

INOVIO (NASDAQ:INO), a biotechnology company focused on bringing to market precisely designed DNA medicines to treat and protect people from infectious diseases and cancer, today announced the first participant was dosed in a Phase 1B clinical trial for INO-4500, its DNA vaccine candidate for Lassa fever, in Ghana. The Phase 1B clinical trial (LSV-002), ongoing at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research in Accra, Ghana, is the first vaccine clinical trial for Lassa Fever to be conducted in West

Ghana, Ivory Coast get COVI-19 vaccine ahead of Nigeria

As government officials in Nigeria continue to promise citizens that doses of COVID-19 vaccines will soon become available in the country, Ghana has become the first to receive COVID-19 vaccine on the continent through the Gavi and WHO-led COVAX platform. The vaccines arrived on a flight from Mumbai, via Dubai, where the flight also collected a shipment of syringes from a Gavi-funded stockpile at UNICEF’s regional Supply Hub. In a statement, COVAX today announced that 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine

Ebola vaccination exercise kicks off in Guinea

Ebola vaccination of people at high risk kicked off today in Guinea as the emergency response was escalated to counter the spread of the virus that re-emerged in the country a little more than a week ago for the first time since 2016. The vaccination was launched in Gouecke, a rural community in N’Zerekore prefecture where the first cases were detected on 14 February. The Minister of Health and Public Hygiene of Guinea, General Remy Lamah, the United Nations Resident Coordinator,

Pooled COVID-19 tests may offer more efficient surveillance while maintaining sensitivity

Pooled testing for COVID-19 can maintain the accuracy of test results while reducing the use of testing resources by as much as 76%, according to two new studies of nasopharyngeal test samples. Widespread testing is critical to manage the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as it allows authorities to trace the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and implement effective mitigation measures. However, testing large populations with individual tests is resource-intensive, and breakdowns in supply chains and limitations on testing speeds have severely held back

COVID-19, Influenza and Sanofi’s Innovative Flu Vaccine

The coronavirus pandemic, which took the world by surprise, exposed the underbelly of the health systems worldwide. Healthcare systems in advanced economies such as Italy, Spain, US, France, etc. were quickly overwhelmed as tens of millions of residents in these countries caught the virus leading to the death of millions. In the US, for instance, more than 27 million people had been infected as of 15 February, with close to half a million reported dead from the virus. Africa, particularly Nigeria,

New tools to help countries build effective childhood cancer programmes

A suite of tools to help countries improve diagnosis and treatment of cancer among children is being released today by the World Health Organization, on International Childhood Cancer Day. The package includes a “how-to” guide for policy-makers, cancer control programme managers and hospital managers; an assessment tool to inform implementation; and a multilingual online portal for information-sharing. The new tools will support countries with implementation of the CureAll approach, adopted by WHO’s Global Initiative for Childhood Cancer.  The Initiative, launched in 2018,