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WHO To Establish TB Vaccine Accelerator Council

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The World Health Organisation has announced plans to establish a Tuberculosis Accelerator Council (TB) with the urgency of vaccine development efforts to curb the disease.
A recent WHO commissioned study estimates that, over 25 years, a vaccine that is 50% effective in preventing disease among adolescents and adults could avert up to 76 million new TB cases, 8.5 million deaths, 42 million courses of antibiotic treatment and US$ 6.5 billion in costs faced by TB affected households, especially for the poorest and most vulnerable.
Speaking Tuesday at a high-level panel on TB at the World Economic Forum, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organisation, announced plans to establish a new TB Vaccine Accelerator Council will facilitate the licensing and use of effective novel TB vaccines catalysing high-level alignment between funders, global agencies, governments and end users in identifying and overcoming barriers to TB vaccine development.
“One of the most important lessons from the response to the COVID-19 pandemic is that innovative health interventions can be delivered fast if they are prioritized politically and financed adequately”, said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “The challenges presented by TB and COVID-19 are different, but the ingredients that accelerate science, research and innovation are the same: urgent, up-front public investment; support from philanthropy; and engagement of the private sector and communities. We believe the TB field will benefit from similar high-level coordination,” he said.
Despite countries making bold commitments to end TB by 2030, in the Sustainable Development Goals, the WHO End TB Strategy and the 2018 political declaration on the fight against TB, the epidemic shows no sign of slowing down. In 2021, approximately 10.6 million people fell sick with TB, and 1.6 million died. Drug-resistance continues to be a major problem with close to half a million people developing drug-resistant TB every year.
BCG is currently the only licensed TB vaccine. While it provides moderate efficacy in preventing severe forms of TB in infants and young children, it does not adequately protect adolescents and adults, who account for close to 90% of TB transmissions globally.
A vaccine that is 75% effective could avert up to 110 million new TB cases and 12.3 million deaths. The study further suggests that every US$ 1 invested in a 50% effective vaccine could generate an economic return of US$ 7 in terms of averted health costs and increased productivity.
Later this year, Heads of States and Governments will meet for a second United Nations High-Level Meeting on TB to review progress against commitments made in the 2018 political declaration. This presents an important opportunity to correct setbacks in the TB response, which includes the urgent development and delivery of new TB vaccines.

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8 Simple Tips To Have A Healthy Year

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This year is already on to the second month and its moving at a speed that may take many off balance as they push for the rat race, and how to have the best year possible.
Unfortunately, many people put health behind, thinking that life will take care of itself but that never happens. Normally, health priority number one should be taking care of oneself.
Below are shared health tips to help you make the most of this 2023:
1. Get a Check-up
When you visit your doctor or the hospital for your annual check-up, he or she should screen for the vitals like: high blood pressure and cholesterol and abnormal glucose(Sugar levels) or lipid levels. Your doctor will also make sure you’re at a healthy weight and up-to-date on your immunizations and check for potentially dangerous skin lesions.
2. Stop Smoking
Smoking not only damages your lungs, it also increases your risk for heart attack, bladder cancer and even erectile dysfunction. Talk to your doctor about options to help you quit smoking, including medications, patches or a smoking cessation.
3.Avoid Too Much but Embrace Early Morn Sun
The benefit of early morning sun is  Vitamin D and to improve mood. However, too much sun can be damaging. Try getting early morning sun at least twice a week from 7-10am.
4. Get Moving
If you haven’t adopted a routine of regular exercise, this year is the time to do it. Commit to exercising at least 30 minutes, 3 days a week to help keep your weight controlled, reduce your stress and stay healthy. You don’t have to be an extreme athlete; choose to take the stairs instead of an elevator, do stretches during the commercials of your favorite TV show, or go for a walk around your neighborhood.
5.Watch What You Eat
Take a new look at healthy eating by thinking about all the food you can eat, not what you “can’t” eat. Make sure you’re getting enough fruits and vegetables, calcium, whole grains and lean protein in your daily diet. Experiment with cooking old favorites in a different, healthier way, like baking chicken instead of frying it or grilling fish instead of sautéing it.
6.Commit to Better Sleep
Getting good quality sleep, and enough of it, plays a big role in your overall health. Make sure you’re getting at least 7 hours a night and try to go to bed and wake up at the same times each day. Create a bedroom that’s conducive to good sleep by making it dark and quiet and removing electronics like televisions, computers and cell phones.
7.Adopt a Hand-washing Routine
In this period of Covid and other contaminables regular hand washing is the number one way to protect yourself against illness. Always wash your hands after using the bathroom, before preparing and eating foods, after blowing your nose or coughing, when you are around someone who is sick and after caring for animals. Make sure you’re using warm water, lathering the soap and scrubbing, rinsing and drying.
8.Make Time for a Break
Simply put rest most often. These days we’re all moving a mile a minute, and “multi-tasking” is a popular buzz word. Taking short breaks from work throughout your day can reduce stress on your mind and body. So, get up from your desk and take a walk around the office; do some light stretching at lunch; or take a break to chat with a coworker around the water cooler.

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WHO Raises Alarm Over Fake Drugs On Children

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The World Health Organisation(WHO) has made an urgent call  to countries to prevent, detect and respond to incidents of substandard and falsified medical products on children.
Over the past four months, it said many countries have reported of several incidents of over-the-counter cough syrups for children with confirmed or suspected contamination with high levels of diethylene glycol (DEG) and ethylene glycol (EG).
It said,”The cases are from at least seven countries, associated with more than 300 fatalities in three of these countries. Most are young children under the age of five. These contaminants are toxic chemicals used as industrial solvents and antifreeze agents that can be fatal even taken in small amounts, and should never be found in medicines.”
Based on country reports, the world apex health body issued three global medical alerts addressing these incidents.
WHO’s medical product alerts were rapidly. disseminated to the national health authorities of all 194 WHO Member States.
These medical product alerts requested,  the detection and removal of contaminated medicines from circulation in the markets, increased surveillance and diligence within the supply chains of countries and regions likely to be affected,  immediate notification to WHO if these substandard products are discovered in-country.
It called on various key stakeholders engaged in the medical supply chain to take immediate and coordinated action.
Calling on regulators and governments to detect and remove from circulation in their respective markets any substandard medical products, WHO urged  that all medical products in the respective markets are those approved for sale by competent authorities and obtainable from authorised/licensed suppliers.
It urged the appropriate authorities to improve and increase risk-based inspections of manufacturing sites within their jurisdiction in accordance with international norms and standards.
Further stressing increased need for market surveillance including risk-based targeted testing for medical products released in their respective markets including informal markets;it emphasised the need to enact and enforce, where relevant and as appropriate, laws and other relevant legal measures to help combat the manufacture, distribution and/or use of substandard and falsified medicines.

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NGO Trains Healthcare Workers On Effective Handling Of SGBV Cases

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The Abiodun Essiet Initiative for Girls (AEIG), an NGO, trained no fewer than 40 healthcare workers and members of Community Development Committee (CDC) on effective handling of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) cases in their communities.
The Tide source reports that the participants were drawn from various primary health care centres in Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) and Bwari Area Council of the FCT.
The theme of the training is; “Strengthening the Capacity of PHCs and Ward Development Committees on SGBV Case Management and Access to Efficient Healthcare Service Delivery.”
Mrs Abiodun Essiet, the Executive Director of AEIG, said the training was aimed at improving the knowledge of  healthcare workers on how to effectively manage cases of SGBV in their centres.
She added that “the training focuses on proper documentation, management and non-tampering of evidences, which will assist in the prosecution of perpetrators.
“Healthcare workers are frontliners that manage SGBV cases and other people interact with them to share ideas with them, so, it is important that we re-orient them about their position and how they can handle these cases.
“Our project goal is to strengthen traditional justice system to effectively combat SGBV, and so far, we have done that across the area councils last year.
“What we are doing now is to train healthcare workers who will be interfacing with community development committee members in the various communities.
“These are issues of paramount concern to communities where most of the original inhabitants of the FCT are, as it is only the primary health centres that they can access care.
“So we want to work together with the healthcare facilities and ensure that the original inhabitants of the FCT are better served.”
Dr Laz Eze, the Founder, Make Our Hospital Work Campaign, stressed the need for primary healthcare facilities to be accessible and affordable to the people.
Eze, who spoke on; “Promoting Health Care Delivery: The Role of Primary Health Care”, added that PHCs were important in the areas of education, prevention, as well as physical and psycho-social response to SGBV survivors.
He added that drastic measures must also be taken by communities to ensure that SGBV cases were reported to the right authorities.

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