Development Health Advice 

What can the UN do to support India through its deadly COVID-19 surge?

‘We gave the virus a chance’ Dr. Roderico H. Ofrin, WHO representative to India: It is important to remember that, by early February of this year, the economy and social activities reopened. We also saw that people were not behaving in a way that was appropriate to slowing COVID-19, and I think that’s why we are where we are. There are many reasons, but basically, we gave the virus a chance to keep transmitting. Dr. Yasmin Ali Haque, UNICEF representative to India: In 2020 we were working closely with the…

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Development Health Advice 

WHO chief hails ‘monumental moment’ in COVID fight, as US throws support behind vaccine patent waiver

WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, described it on Twitter as a “powerful example of leadership to address global health challenges.” The UN health chief has for months been urging governments involved in the World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations over intellectual property rights, to suspend patent rules for those vaccines cleared for emergency use, in an effort to boost vaccine production. The US had resisted lobbying to waive protections, but on Wednesday Katharine Tai, the US Trade Representative, released a detailed statement, outlining why the Biden Administration was changing its mind:…

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Development Health Advice 

Early-warning ‘pandemic hub’ plan unveiled by WHO’s Tedros and Germany’s Merkel

Supported by the German Government, the centre will specialize in gathering epidemic intelligence, data, surveillance and analytics innovation. It will open later this year, according to Chancellor Angela Merkel, who explained how she had first discussed the idea last autumn, with World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Joint action “The world has learned that we can only meet a global challenge such as the current COVID-19 pandemic through joint action,” said Chancellor Merkel, in a pre-recorded video message, broadcast during a press conference at the WHO in Geneva.…

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Development Health Advice 

UN report sounds alarm on acute global shortage of midwives

The 2021 State of the World’s Midwifery report, launched on Wednesday by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), the UN World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Confederation of Midwives, said that fully resourcing midwife-delivered care by 2035 would avert roughly two-thirds of maternal, newborn deaths and stillbirths, saving 4.3 million lives per year. Natalia Kanem, Executive Director of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), highlighted the “enormous impact” midwives have on women and their families. “A capable, well-trained midwife can have an enormous impact on childbearing women and their families –…

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Development Health Advice 

Joy in South Sudan, as schools reopen after 14-month COVID lockdown

Describing the “joy” felt by children and aid workers as classrooms reopened on Monday after more than 14 months of COVID-19 restrictions, Mads Oyen, UNICEF’s chief of field operations, explained that going back to school was about more than just learning. Bells are ringing🔔in #southsudan to mark the reopening of schools. “We share in the excitement of the children, their teachers & the parents that finally the doors of our schools can reopen for children to learn, play and enjoy their right to safe education.” @HamidaLasseko pic.twitter.com/owyBrZxKVd — UNICEF South…

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Development Health Advice 

UN envoy Gordon Brown urges G7 countries to fund global COVID vaccination push

Speaking during the regular briefing by the World Health Organization (WHO), and ahead of next month’s G7 summit, Mr. Brown, who is the UN’s Special Envoy for Global Education, said inaction will only lead to greater global division.  “Thank you Gordon, and thank you once again for your clear and powerful call to world leaders.”-@DrTedros — World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) May 3, 2021 A life or death choice  “By our failure to extend vaccination more rapidly to every country, we are choosing who lives and who dies”, he warned. …

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Malawi Opinions 

The Big-Mouthed: Madame Chizuma, congratulations! Do nothing but your job!

By Richard Kayenda Now there is a new boss in town! The Anti-Corruption Bureau -ACB has a new leader; a female boss, who is perhaps the youngest and one of the fewest female bosses to have ever served at the helm of the graft busting body. Her name is Martha Chizuma. Congratulations to her are in order. The news that Madame Chizuma has grabbed the job at the bureau is not any shocking. The woman is someone else! She is a golden personality insofar as doing her professional job is…

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Development Health Advice 

Overcoming COVID myths and fears in Malawi

When Eunice Marorongwe, a senior nurse at a rural hospital in Malawi, received a child patient with a serious leg infection, she was shocked at how her parents could keep her at home for a month, without getting treatment to save her life. “It was at lunchtime at the end of last year when the 14-year-old girl came to the clinic with her right leg in a very bad state”, she says. The leg could not stretch and, from the foot to the knee, it was very bad. It had…

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Development Health Advice 

Decades of health gains at risk in Brazil due to COVID-19

With global attention and support focused this week on the severe crisis in India, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus used his regular media briefing to highlight the situation in South America’s largest country.  Brazil has been among nations hardest hit by COVID-19.  More than 400,000 people have died from the disease, and over 14 million cases have been reported.   “Cases have now declined for four weeks in a row, and hospitalizations and deaths are also declining. This is good news, and we hope this trend continues. But the pandemic…

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Development Health Advice 

Address inequalities to end AIDS by 2030, UN chief says in new report

Despite action and progress against HIV in some places and population groups, HIV epidemics continue to expand in others, the report revealed. It was launched just weeks ahead of a major UN General Assembly meeting on AIDS.  “It is imperative to break out of an increasingly costly and unsustainable cycle of achieving some progress against HIV but ultimately not enough to bring about an end to the pandemic”, the Secretary-General said in the report.  “Inequalities are the key reason why the 2020 global targets were missed. By ending inequalities, transformative…

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