Diseases

Hope for people co-infected with visceral leishmaniasis and HIV

Today, the World Health Organization (WHO) has released its guidelines for the treatment of people co-infected with visceral leishmaniasis and HIV, to recommend better treatments based on the results of two studies conducted by the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and their partners in Ethiopia and India. In Ethiopia, the new treatment strategy was shown to have an 88% efficacy rate at the end of therapy (after 58 days), whereas the efficacy

Togo eliminates trachoma as a public health problem

Togo has eliminated trachoma, an eye disease that can cause permanent blindness, as a public health problem. The West African nation becomes the fourth country on the continent to be validated by World health Organization (WHO) as having reached the elimination milestone after Morocco in 2016, Ghana in 2018 and The Gambia in 2021.  Trachoma is a neglected tropical disease. It is caused by bacteria and mainly affects children. In adults, women are up to four times more likely than men to

What we know about the origin of DRC’s latest Ebola outbreak

On April 23, 2022, the Minister of Public Health, Hygiene, and Prevention announced a new case of Ebola virus disease (EVD) occurring in Mbandaka health zone in Equateur Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). EVD outbreaks occurred previously in Equateur Province in 2018 and 2020. The 31-year-old male, a student from Boende in Tshuapa Province, returned to Mbandaka, Equateur Province on February 25, 2022. He was vaccinated against Ebola virus in 2020 and is not known to be an EVD

Ebola returns to DRC

The health authorities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo today declared an outbreak of Ebola after a case was confirmed in Mbandaka, a city in the north-western Equateur Province. This is the third outbreak in the province since 2018. So far, just one case has been confirmed. The patient, a 31-year-old man, began experiencing symptoms on 5 April and after more than a week of care at home, sought treatment at a local health facility. On 21 April, the patient

WHO recommends against the use of convalescent plasma to treat COVID-19

The World Health Organization (WHO) has updated its living guideline on COVID-19 therapeutics to include convalescent plasma. For non-severe COVID-19 patients, WHO recommends against its use, while it should only be used within clinical trials for severe and critical COVID-19 patients. Convalescent plasma is a transfusion of blood plasma from someone who has recovered from COVID-19. Current evidence shows that convalescent plasma does not improve survival or reduce the need for mechanical ventilation, while it has significant costs. An independent panel of experts,

Only 1 in 4 African health workers fully vaccinated against COVID-19

Only 27% of health workers in Africa have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, leaving the bulk of the workforce on the frontlines against the pandemic unprotected, a preliminary analysis by World Health Organization (WHO) shows. Analysis of data reported from 25 countries finds that since March 2021, 1.3 million health workers were fully vaccinated, with just six countries reaching more than 90%, while nine countries have fully vaccinated less than 40%. In sharp contrast, a recent WHO global study of 22

Regulator recommends lower dosage of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children

European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) human medicines committee has recommended granting an extension of indication for the COVID-19 vaccine Comirnaty to include use in children aged 5 to 11. The vaccine, developed by BioNTech and Pfizer, is already approved for use in adults and children aged 12 and above. In children from 5 to 11 years of age, the dose of Comirnaty will be lower than that used in people aged 12 and above (10 µg compared with 30 µg).

WHO warns COVID-19 more deadly in Africans with diabetes

Africa’s sharp increase in diabetes is clashing with the COVID-19 pandemic and poor access to vaccines. Africa’s death rates from COVID-19 infections are significantly higher in patients with diabetes, according to a preliminary analysis which the World Health Organization (WHO) presented today in advance of the World Diabetes Day on 14 November. “COVID-19 is delivering a clear message: fighting the diabetes epidemic in Africa is in many ways as critical as the battle against the current pandemic,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti,

Patients diagnosed with breast cancer need to have right information and expectations — Expert

Ifeoma Joy Okoye, Professor of Radiology, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Nsukka has stressed the need for patients who have been diagnosed with breast cancer or even metastatic breast cancer to have the right information and expectations. “It is our duty to encourage them to have open conversations with their healthcare teams to understand how they can be supported but also how they can participate in their own care – taking an active role in their treatment can help

Call for urgent action on meningitis

Today, the World Health Organization (WHO) and partners launched the first ever global strategy to defeat meningitis – a debilitating disease that kills hundreds of thousands of people each year. By 2030, the goals are to eliminate epidemics of bacterial meningitis – the most deadly form of the disease – and to reduce deaths by 70% and halve the number of cases. The organizations estimate that in total, the strategy could save more than 200,000 lives annually and significantly reduce disability