Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative (TBVI) recently received a $3million grant for a three year term from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This grant enables the nonprofit organization to strengthen its fundraising and communication activities in order to increase awareness and support for tuberculosis (TB) vaccine research and raise funds for the development of safer and more effective vaccines.
In the coming 10 years, TBVI hopes to raise 200 million euros from governments, foundations and private industry for the discovery and early clinical development of new vaccines. Development of new vaccines is crucial because the only existing vaccine, BCG, is not very effective in young adults, the group of people mostly affected by the disease.
“New vaccines are essential to achieve the international aim of a TB-free world in 2050. We need several types, not only for initial protection against TB, but also to boost adolescent immunity and prevent disease in latently infected individuals, “ explains Jelle Thole, director of TBVI. “To enable development of these vaccines, more investment is needed.”
TBVI financially and practically supports and facilitates a growing international network of over thirty universities, institutes and industries involved in research and development of new TB vaccines. The organization evolved from TBV AC, a European Union (EU) funded project to identify good candidates for new TB vaccines. TBV AC has yielded five new TB vaccine candidates, fifteen candidate biomarkers and three candidate adjuvant molecules. These hopeful candidates are now in preclinical development or even clinical phase.
TBVI is extremely pleased with the encouraging new signs of progress on TB. “Because of this funding, we can continue to change new discoveries into real vaccines,” says Joris Vandeputte, senior vice president Fundraising & Advocacy at TBVI. “These vaccines are urgently needed, as the resurrection of TB is a ticking time bomb. Many people believe it is a disease of the past, but in fact it is endangering our future, taking almost 1.8 million lives a year.”
The global burden of TB is slowly falling, but still two billion people; about one third of the world’s population, are estimated to be infected with the mycobacteria that cause TB. Most of them develop a latent infection, with about a 10 per cent risk of developing the infectious disease later in life. People with HIV are 20 times more likely to develop the symptoms once they are infected. Efficient drugs to treat TB are available, but involve a long and burdensome treatment period of up to a year. Additionally, worldwide prevalence of various forms of drug-resistant TB poses an increasing problem and enormous challenges to effective treatment.
With new infections occurring at a rate of one per second, millions of people develop TB symptoms every year. In 2007, there were 9.27 million new cases. 500,000 of those were multi-drug resistant and 50,000 of those were extensively drug resistant.
Ogun Seals College’s Nursing Department Over Illegal Operations
The Nursing Department of the Harvarde College of Science Business and Management Studies in Abeokuta has been shut.
The department was sealed yesterday for operating without accreditation from the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN).
The enforcement team comprised officials of enforcement team of the Ogun Ministry of Health and members of the State Nursing and Midwifery Committee (SNMC).
Speaking during the enforcement exercise, the Permanent Secretary, Ogun Ministry of Health, Dr Kayode Oladehinde, said that the private institution had been offering a degree programme in Nursing Sciences.
He added that this had been going on for about six years without accreditation from the regulatory body.
Oladehinde, represented by the Acting Director of Nursing Services, Mrs Serifat Aminu, said that such unauthorised programme contributed to quackery in nursing and posed a threat to public health.
According to him, the nursing department of the institution will remain sealed until fully accredited.
He described a degree in Nursing obtained from Harvarde College and similar institutions without NMCN accreditation as worthless, stating that graduates would be unable to obtain a valid license to practice in Nigeria and other parts of the world.
“We have discovered that many institutions, including Harvarde College, offer nursing degrees to unsuspecting students.
“Our mission is to clamp down on such institutions because they end up producing quacks in the nursing profession.
“This is dangerous for society. Unfortunately, most students are unaware that their time is being wasted,” he said.
The permanent secretary advised parents and candidates desiring to pursue nursing or related programmes to conduct due diligence by checking the NMCN website for a list of accredited institutions, saying the regulatory body updated the list yearly.
He warned parents to be cautious of institutions making false claims, assuring that the Ogun government would continue to work diligently against quackery in both the education and practice of the nursing profession in the state.
Responding, a 300-level student, who wished to remain anonymous, expressed shock at the institution’s lack of accreditation, regretting the amount of money her parents had spent on the
WHO Proposes New Health Regulations On Equity
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has proposed amendments to the International Health Regulations with discussions on equity.
WHO member states had commenced discussions on proposals to amend the International Health Regulations (IHR, 2005), during which the importance of their work to future global security was highlighted.
The/ seventh meeting of the/ Working Group on Amendments to the IHR (WGIHR)/ was held February 5-9, 2024, and discussion will resume on March 8 next month.
“This Working Group will define the next 10 years of global surveillance and of collective security when it comes to health emergencies and particularly high-impact epidemics,” said Dr Michael Ryan, Executive Director, WHO Health Emergencies Programme.
During the latest discussions, governments focused on refining amendments to articles and annexes that were at an advanced stage of negotiation. They also held substantive dialogue on the public health alert – public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) – pandemic continuum.
In the final public session, Co-Chair Dr. Ashley Bloomfield reiterated that the WGIHR is a Member State-driven process and the final package of amendments would be agreed by consensus.
Additional issues that are also being considered by the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB), which deal with equity, collaboration, capacity building and financing, will be addressed by Member States on 8 March 2024, when the seventh meeting of the WGIHR will resume.
Proposed amendments to provisions related to governance, and foundational articles of the Regulations, will be addressed when the WGIHR meets for the eighth time in April 2024 to finalize the package of amendments for consideration by the Seventy-seventh World Health Assembly in May 2024.
Natural Methods To Manage Hypertension
Every 17th day of May is observed as World Hypertension Day. In this article, I will x-ray some effective methods confirmed by health experts on how one can manage hypertension.
Exercise is one of the best things you can do to lower high blood pressure.
Regular exercise helps make your heart stronger and more efficient at pumping blood, which lowers the pressure in your arteries.
In fact, getting 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, such as walking, or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise, such as running, can help lower blood pressure and improve heart health.
Additionally, some research suggests that doing more exercise than this reduces your blood pressure even further .Walking just 30 minutes a day can help lower your blood pressure. Getting more exercise helps reduce it even further.
Reduce your salt intake
Salt intake is high around the world. This is largely due to increased consumption of processed and prepared foods.
Many studies have linked high salt intake with high blood pressure and heart events, including stroke .
However, other research indicates that the relationship between sodium and high blood pressure is less clear .
One reason for this may be genetic differences in how people process sodium. About half of people with high blood pressure and a quarter of people with typical levels seem to have a sensitivity to salt .
If you already have high blood pressure, it is worth cutting back your sodium intake to see if it makes a difference. Swap out processed foods with fresh ingredients and try seasoning with herbs and spices rather than salt.
Most guidelines for lowering blood pressure recommend reducing sodium intake. However, that recommendation might make the most sense for people who are sensitive to the effects of salt.
Drink less alcohol
Drinking alcohol can raise blood pressure and increase the risk of several chronic health conditions, including high blood pressure (9).
While some research has suggested that low to moderate amounts of alcohol may protect the heart, those benefits may be offset by adverse effects.
In the United States, moderate alcohol consumption is defined as no more than one drink per day for females and two drinks per day for males. If you drink more than that, it might be best to consider reducing your intake .
Drinking alcohol in any quantity may raise your blood pressure. Therefore, it is best to moderate your intake.
Eat more potassium-rich foods
Potassium is an important mineral that helps your body get rid of sodium and eases pressure on your blood vessels.
Modern diets have increased most people’s sodium intake while decreasing potassium intake.
To get a better balance of potassium to sodium in your diet, focus on eating fewer processed foods and more fresh, whole foods.
Foods that are particularly high in potassium include:
Vegetables, especially leafy greens, tomatoes, potatoes, and sweet potatoes
Fruit, including melons, bananas, avocados, oranges, and apricots
Dairy, such as milk and yogurt
Tuna and salmon
Nuts and seeds
Eating fresh fruits and vegetables, which are rich in potassium, can help lower blood pressure.
Some studies have suggested that getting too little magnesium is linked with high blood pressure, but evidence from clinical studies has been less clear.
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