Development Health Advice 

Long-term symptoms of COVID-19 ‘really concerning’, says WHO chief

“Although we’re still learning about the virus, what’s clear is that this is not just a virus that kills people.  To a significant number of people, this virus poses a range of serious long-term effects,” said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, speaking in Geneva on Friday during the UN agency’s latest virtual press conference.  The situation also underscores how herd immunity is “morally unconscionable and unfeasible”, he added.  Vast spectrum of fluctuating symptoms  The WHO Director-General described the vast spectrum of COVID-19 symptoms that fluctuate over time as “really concerning.”  They…

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Development Health Advice 

Kenya relief bid begins to avert ‘hunger crisis’ among poor workers hit by COVID 

“COVID-19 has caused untold suffering especially to families living in the poor urban areas who normally rely on informal day-to-day employment; many families in the coastal region are struggling just to feed themselves”, said Lauren Landis, WFP’s Kenya Country Director.  With the help of local and national authorities in Kenya, the World Food Programme (WFP) has begun rolling out aid for more than 400,000 urban poor in COVID-19 hotspots.  In addition to the 300,000 people in Nairobi receiving aid for the next four months, around 100,000 more in Mombasa will…

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Development Health Advice 

UN agency chiefs appeal for ‘open science’ beyond COVID-19, citing dangers of secrecy and denial 

Audrey Azoulay, the Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) and Michelle Bachelet, UN human rights chief (OHCHR), said it was time to ensure the benefits of science could be shared by all.   Science not ‘only for the few’  “In these difficult times, the best health technologies and discoveries cannot be preserved only for a few”, the WHO chief said.  “They must be available to all. After all, what’s the purpose of having cutting-edge technologies if they cannot reach the people that need…

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Development Health Advice 

Yemeni children suffer record rates of acute malnutrition, putting ‘entire generation’ at risk 

New analysis from the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC), the global standard for gauging food insecurity, revealed that in some areas more than one in four children were acutely malnourished.  “Acute malnutrition rates among children below five years old are the highest ever recorded in parts of southern Yemen, according to the latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification”, said UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) spokesperson, Marixie Mercado. “This new analysis released today puts the number of children suffering from acute malnutrition this year at 587,573, which is an increase of around 10% since January this year.”  …

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Development Health Advice 

Catch-up, ‘get ahead and stay ahead’ of coronavirus, urges UN health agency chief

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, head of the World Health Organization (WHO), informed journalists that “intensive care units are filling up to capacity in some places, particularly in Europe and North America”.  Meanwhile over the weekend, numerous world leaders re-evaluated their situation, the UN health agency chief noted, and “took action to limit the spread of the virus”. No one wants lockdowns He conceded that many across the world are experiencing mental and physical “pandemic fatigue” but underscored the need to stand strong. “No one wants more so-called lockdowns”, he acknowledged, urging…

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Development Health Advice 

Science, unity and solidarity, key to defeating COVID: UN chief

The Berlin-based summit is backed by the UN World Health Organization (WHO), involving 100 countries, and around 2,500 participants, geared towards improving health worldwide and respond to global health challenges. Secretary-General António Guterres in his video message, ran through the many disruptive effects of the coronavirus pandemic beyond the loss of more than 1,147,000 lives as of Sunday, and 42.5 million cases. Around 500 million jobs have disappeared, with a monthly loss to the global economy of around $375 billion. Gender-based violence has skyrocketed, and mental illness “is a crisis within…

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Development Health Advice 

‘Very tough’ months ahead in COVID battle, WHO helping scale up dwindling oxygen supplies

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said some countries were now on a “dangerous track” and the worrying rise was leading to hospitals and ICUs “running close or above capacity – and we’re still only in October.”  “We urge leaders to take immediate action, to prevent further unnecessary deaths, and essential health services collapsing, and schools shutting again.”  Action needed  The WHO Director-General said countries needed to “conduct honest analysis and consider the good, the bad and the ugly.”  For those who have brought transmission under control, he said now was the time to “double down, to keep…

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Development Health Advice 

UN urges people to #PledgetoPause before sharing information online

António Guterres will on Wednesday launch the #PledgetoPause campaign as part of wider efforts to create what the UN hopes will be “a new social media norm” to help combat the impact of viral misinformation.  The campaign is based on research which indicates that taking a brief pause before sharing information can significantly lessen the inclination to share shocking or emotive material, and slow the spread of misinformation.  Deadly consequences  “During the COVID-19 pandemic, the wrong information can be deadly. Take the pledge to pause and help stop the spread…

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Development Health Advice 

Focus on fundamentals as COVID-19 caseloads rise: WHO

“I know there’s fatigue but the virus has shown that when we let our guard down, it can surge back at breakneck speed and threaten hospitals and health systems”, agency chief Tedros Adhanam Ghebreyesus told journalists on Monday.  Last week, WHO reported that the pandemic has entered a worrying phase as the northern hemisphere winter season approaches.  At the time, the caseload in Europe was almost three times higher than during the first peak of the pandemic in March.  Break transmission chains  Tedros said he was encouraged to see many…

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Development Health Advice 

COVID-19 vaccine: UNICEF to stockpile more than half a billion syringes by year’s end

As soon as vaccines are licensed for use, the world will need as many syringes as doses of vaccine, said UNICEF on Monday. To begin preparations, this year, UNICEF will stockpile 520 million syringes in its warehouses, part of a larger plan to have a billion syringes ready for use through 2021, to guarantee initial supply and help ensure that syringes arrive before vaccines are distributed. During 2021, assuming there are enough doses of COVID-19 vaccines, UNICEF expects to deliver around a billion syringes to support COVID-19 vaccination efforts on…

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