Public Health

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

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,

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,

For the 12th time, Ebola outbreak announced in DR Congo

The Ministry of Health of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) today announced that a new case of Ebola has been detected in Butembo, a city in North Kivu Province, where a previous outbreak was declared over in June 2020. The Butembo branch of the National Institute of Biomedical Research (INRB) confirmed Ebola in samples taken from a patient with Ebola-like symptoms who had sought treatment at a local health centre. The woman was the wife of an Ebola survivor.

No public funds should be spent on food contributing to unhealthy diets – WHO DG

The Director General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) has advised governments to refrain from spending public funds on food contributing to unhealthy diets. He described this decision as a way for governments to lead by example. “Now is the time for governments to lead by example through ensuring that the food served or sold in public settings contributes to healthy diets and saves lives. No public funds should be spent on food contributing to unhealthy diets,” said WHO DG, Dr

Nigeria’s COVID-19 pandemic hits critical milestones

The Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) has announced that over the weekend, the country hit two major milestones in its COVID-19 pandemic with the confirmation of more than 100,000 cases and the completion of over one million COVID-19 tests. In a statement, the center said Nigeria has recorded a consistent increase in the number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus disease in the country.  “On the 10th of January 2021, Nigeria reached the “100,000 cases milestone”, with 100,087 confirmed cases and

A crazy year with unforgettable lessons in global health

As 2020 draws to an end and 2021 beckons, it became much clearer that things may never be the same again and for the first time in recorded history, everyone realised how health issues can impact every aspect of the economy. It did not come as surprise to anyone that coronavirus was the most searched query in 2020 in Nigeria and across the world. Aside officially killing nearly two million people, global economy felt the impact of the pandemic and