International

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

Climate change poses serious risks to mental health and well-being — WHO

Climate change poses serious risks to mental health and well-being, concludes a new WHO policy brief, launched at the Stockholm+50 conference. The Organization is therefore urging countries to include mental health support in their response to the climate crisis, citing examples where a few pioneering countries have done this effectively. The findings concur with a recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), published in February this year. The IPPC revealed that rapidly

COVID-19 deaths are increasing in Africa, WHO warns

The World Health Organization (WHO) has expressed concerns about the trend of COVID-19 deaths in Africa. Addressing the 150th Executive Board Meeting of the WHO, the organization’s Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus noted that while the number of deaths from the pandemic is rising, it is particularly increasing in Africa where the least proportion of citizens have been vaccinated. “So far, the explosion in cases has not been matched by a surge in deaths, although deaths are increasing in all regions,

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,

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).

The world’s first pill to treat COVID-19 set for approval

Merck and Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics today announced that the submission of an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for molnupiravir, an investigational oral antiviral medicine, for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adults who are at risk for progressing to severe COVID-19 and/or hospitalization. The companies are actively working with regulatory agencies worldwide to submit applications for emergency use or marketing authorization in the coming months. The submission is based on positive results

Worldwide, only 1 in 10 people who need palliative care are receiving it

Worldwide, it is estimated only 1 in 10 people who need palliative care are receiving it and global demand for care for people with life threatening illnesses will continue to grow as populations age and the burden of noncommunicable diseases rises. By 2060, the need for palliative care is expected to nearly double. The world therefore needs urgent and concerted action to scale up access to quality palliative care services. To address this need, WHO is releasing two new resources to

COVID-19, funding shortfalls are devastating efforts to end Tuberculosis by 2030 – report

The Stop TB Partnership today released new data showing how the COVID-19 pandemic and dismally low levels of funding represent the main barriers to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals of ending TB by 2030. The data from 2021 shows that the impact of COVID-19 on the TB response has continued to be profound: 1.2 million fewer people have been diagnosed and treated for TB in in 2021 with four months still left in the calendar year. Currently, only

White House confirms plans to nominate Africa CDC head to lead PEPFAR

The White House has confirmed that President Joe Biden will nominate Dr. John N. Nkengasong as Ambassador-at-Large and Coordinator of United States Government Activities to Combat HIV/AIDS Globally at the Department of State. The Ambassador-at-Large leads, manages, and oversees the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) – the largest commitment by any nation to address a single disease in history, prevent millions of HIV infections, save lives, and make progress towards ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic. If confirmed,

Today is World Sexual Health Day

On World Sexual Health Day, WHO celebrates every person’s right to sexual wellbeing How does the World Health Organization (WHO) define sexual health – and what do we bring to this annual, global celebration of sexual health, well-being and rights for all? From the absence of disease to well-being: the continuum of sexual health Sexual health is relevant throughout a person’s life, through to adolescence and into older age – not only during their reproductive years.  It is determined by the quality and safety of people’s