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Virologist Wants Upgrade Of New Malaria Vaccine

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Dr Solomon Chollom, Jos-based virologist, has called for the upgrade of the new malaria vaccine to what he called a “pan-malarial vaccine.”
Chollom explained that the “pan-malarial vaccine”  is a vaccine that would confer protection against more than one strain of Plasmodium which would take care of all the species of Plasmodium that are responsible for malaria fever globally.
Dr Chollom, who is also the spokesman of the Plateau Inter-professional Health Committee on COVID-19 Response, made the call in an interview with on Tuesday in Jos.
He said that the recently approved malaria vaccine, RTS, S by the World Health Organisation (WHO) which is also called Mosquirix, was worth celebrating.
He, however, said that the new vaccine, though safe and efficacious, could not be completely relied upon to treat malaria because it was only efficacious against Plasmodium Falciparium, which was just one of the four species of Plasmodium responsible for malaria.
“The vaccine cannot be completely relied upon to eradicate malaria globally since it confers protection against just one of the four species of Plasmodium responsible for malaria fever globally.
“It is then pertinent for the upgrade of the vaccine to a “pan-malarial vaccine” that would confer protection against all species of Plasmodium responsible for malaria fever globally.
“When this is done, we will be looking forward to the eradication of malaria and not merely scaling down on the global burden,” the virologist said.
According to him, upgrading the vaccine to a “pan-malarial vaccine” is better and shorter because mosquirix is only a subunit, not a whole vaccine.
“This way, the antigenic units of other species of Plasmodium not captured in the present formula could be processed to enrich the formula for more effective immune response against all malaria-causing species and strains of Plasmodium,” he said.
He further said that based on the information released on the new vaccine’s clinical trials, which indicates a 77 per cent efficacy, it means that it is above the threshold of 75 per cent.
This, he said, implied that the product was well formulated with good prospects.
Chollom said that since the vaccine was highly recommended for children, there was need to recalibrate the formula to scale down on the number of shots needed to achieve maximum immune response.
“At the moment, children must take four shots of the vaccine, which is cumbersome and could create attrition and dropout as children are known to have phobia for injections,” he added.

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55 Million Battle Dementia as WHO PLANS To Check Disease

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The World Health Organisation(WHO) says currently, more than 55 million people have dementia worldwide with over 60%  living in low- and middle income countries.

It also revealed that every year, there are nearly 10 million new cases.

The revelation came as WHO Assembly endorsed a global action plan on the public health response to dementia 2017-2025.

The goal of the action plan is to improve the lives of people with dementia, their carers and families, while decreasing the impact of dementia on them as well as on communities and countries.

The action plan includes seven strategic action areas, including one on dementia risk reduction,as  there is no cure for dementia currently.

The body stressed that risk reduction for dementia remains critically important with potentially modifiable risk factors means that prevention of dementia is potentially possible by implementing a set of key interventions. This would, in turn, offer opportunities to influence future dementia incidence.

To this end, WHO released guidelines for risk reduction of cognitive decline and dementia in 2019. The guidelines provide health care providers as well as governments, policy-makers and other stakeholders with evidence-based recommendations on health  behaviours and interventions to delay or prevent cognitive decline and dementia.

Since the initial release of the guidelines, the field has evolved significantly, with more evidence now being available. In line with WHO standard procedure, the Department of Mental Health, Brain Health and Substance Use has started the process of updating the guidelines for risk reduction of cognitive decline and dementia with the advice of a Guideline Development Group (GDG).

Meanwhile, experts are proposing to join the GDG for updating the guidelines for risk reduction of cognitive decline and dementia based on their technical expertise, diverse perspectives, demographic background, lived experience and geographic representation

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 NAFDAC Intensifies Action to Check Paraquat, Hazardous chemicals

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The National Food Food Drug Administration and Control(NAFDAC) has  reiterated its ban on Paraquat agrochemicals, pledging rigorous enforcement, and urges the public to report suspicious activities or products to its nearest office.

The agency during a raid at markets in Sokoto  stated that goods worth over N20 million, including Paraquat were seen around the old market, kara market and central market.

According to the agency, the operation conducted by its Investigation and Enforcement/Federal Task Force on fake drugs and unwholesome processed food led to the arrest of four suspects.

The agency said during the operation it screened 17 shops, seized cartons of “endocoton super containing banned Paraquat.”

“Paraquat is a highly toxic herbicide that poses significant health risks and environmental hazards,” it said.

NAFDAC’s raid resulted in the seizure of 2,096 cartons of SF MOE Soap, 223 cartons of SF Oxxo Purest Soap, and unregistered herbal preparations with pornographic pictorials, posing public health risks.

“The arrested individuals are under investigation, and the confiscated products will be processed according to regulations for substandard and falsified products,” the agency said.

NAFDAC had banned Paraquat agrochemicals, pledging rigorous enforcement, and urges the public to report suspicious activities or products to its nearest office.

 

 

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Who Warns On Lack Of Exercise

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned of the consequences of lack activity and exercise by adults.
In a recent data, WHO showed that nearly one third (31%) of adults worldwide, approximately 1.8 billion people, did not meet the recommended levels of physical activity in 2022.
It warned that inactivity puts adults at greater risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes, type 2 diabetes, dementia and cancers such as breast and colon.
” The finding is a worrying trend of physical inactivity among adults, which has increased by about 5 percentage points between 2010 and 2022,” the body said in a statement.
WHOs Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus declared that ,” the new findings highlight a lost opportunity to reduce cancer and heart disease, and improve mental health and well-being through increased physical activity,” as he insists that “We must renew our commitment to increasing levels of physical activity and prioritizing bold action, including strengthened policies and increased funding, to reverse this worrying trend.”
If the trend continues, levels of inactivity are projected to further rise to 35% by 2030, and the world is currently off track from meeting the global target to reduce physical inactivity by 2030.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that adults have 150 minutes of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity, or equivalent, per week.
The study was undertaken by researchers from WHO together with academic colleagues and published in The Lancet Global Health journal.
The highest rates of physical inactivity were observed in the high-income Asia Pacific region (48%) and South Asia (45%), with levels of inactivity in other regions ranging from 28 percent in high-income Western countries to 14 percent in Oceania.
Of concern is the disparity between gender and age. Physical inactivity is still more common among women globally compared with men, with inactivity rates of 34 percent compared to 29 percent. In some countries, this difference is as much as 20 percentage points. Additionally, people over 60 are less active than other adults, underscoring the importance of promoting physical activity for older adults.

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