Africa Investments 

Information session on AFAWA call for proposals on transitioning Africa’s women entrepreneurs to formal sector

What:       Virtual information session Who:        The African Development Bank Group’s Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) initiative When:      Tuesday, 25 January 2022, at 1pm GMT. Where:     Virtual – Click here to register The African Development Bank Group’s Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) initiative will host a virtual information session on its call for proposals to transition women entrepreneurs from informal to formal economies. Approved proposals will receive between $150,000 and $250,000 in funding. Part of AFAWA’s mission is to support innovative projects to draw women…

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Development Health Advice 

Cases drop for first time as Africa’s fourth COVID-19 wave ebbs

Newly reported cases fell by 20 per cent in the week that ended on 16 January, while deaths dropped by 8 per cent. South Africa, where the Omicron variant was first sequenced, and which has accounted for the bulk of cases and deaths, has now recorded a downward trend for the past four weeks. Cases also fell across the rest of the continent, with only North Africa reporting an increase in cases, with a 55 per cent spike. The Omicron variant has now been reported in 36 African countries, and 169…

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Africa Investments 

Cybersecurity in the context of expanding digital financial services

What:          Webinar Who:           The African Development Bank’s Making Finance Work for Africa (MFW4A) Partnership, and the EIB West and Central Africa SME Banking and Microfinance Academy 2021 When:         20 January 2022 at 13:00-16.00 GMT Where:        Virtual The webinar, titled Cybersecurity challenges for financial institutions in the context of expanding digital financial services, will bring together experts, financial institutions, regulators and other participants to learn about updates on cybersecurity and possible vulnerabilities that must be solved to reduce the risk of an attack. With the Covid-19 pandemic, the…

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Development Health Advice 

Americas: ‘Smart’ use of rapid tests critical amid COVID surge

Dr. Carissa Etienne, Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), highlighted the critical need for countries to scale-up testing and, in particular, to leverage “smart” use of rapid antigen tests.  📢 “Although omicron 🦠 infections appear to be milder, we continue to urge caution because the virus is spreading more actively than ever before. Vaccines 💉 shield us from the worst #COVID19 symptoms and reduce our chances of needing hospitalized care”, @DirOPSPAHO pic.twitter.com/JSFdmF81WH — PAHO/WHO (@pahowho) January 19, 2022 Over the past week, COVID-19 cases in the region reached…

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Development Health Advice 

COVID-19: WHO expresses hope worst of Omicron wave is over

Briefing journalists in Geneva, Tedros Ghebreyesus said that more than 18 million cases were reported last week, and the pandemic itself is far from over, so no country is out of the woods yet. The number of deaths remains stable, but the agency is concerned about the impact the variant is having on already exhausted health workers and overburdened health systems. “I remain particularly concerned about many countries that have low vaccination rates, as people are many times more at risk of severe illness and death if they’re unvaccinated”, Tedros said.  Omicron may be less severe, but for…

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Development Health Advice 

UN-backed COVAX mechanism delivers its 1 billionth COVID-19 vaccine dose

Along with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), the Vaccine Alliance GAVI, and partners, WHO has led the largest vaccine procurement and supply operation in history with deliveries to 144 countries to date. According to a press release published on Sunday, as of 13 January 2022, out of 194 countries members of WHO, 36 have vaccinated less than 10% of their population, and 88 less than 40%. “COVAX’s ambition was compromised by hoarding/stockpiling in rich countries, catastrophic outbreaks leading to borders and supply being locked. And a lack of…

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Development Health Advice 

WHO recommends two new drugs to treat patients with COVID-19  

The first drug, baricitinib, is a Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor- a class of drugs used to treat autoimmune conditions, blood and bone marrow cancers, and rheumatoid arthritis. According to the WHO Guideline Development Group, it is “strongly recommended” for patients with severe or critical disease in combination with corticosteroids. The group of international experts based their recommendation on “moderate certainty evidence” that it improves survival and reduces the need for ventilation. There was no observed increase in adverse effects. The experts note that it has a similar effectas other arthritis drugs called interleukin-6 (IL-6) inhibitors. Because of that, when both drugs are available, they suggest choosing the best…

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Development Health Advice 

Africa’s fourth COVID wave flattens out after six-week surge

WHO said that this marked the shortest surge since the pandemic began on the continent, where total cases have exceeded 10.2 million. Recorded cases of infection show that the weekly number plateaued in the seven days leading up to 9 January, from the previous week. So far 30 African countries—and at least 142 globally—have detected the #Omicron variant. The Delta variant has been reported in 42 countries in #Africa. In Cabo Verde🇨🇻 and Nigeria🇳🇬, Omicron is currently the dominant variant. #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/XzVdASVuXX — WHO African Region (@WHOAFRO) January 13, 2022…

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Development Health Advice 

Omicron fuels record weekly COVID-19 cases, but deaths ‘stable’ 

Briefing reporters in Geneva, the UN health agency chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said the “huge spike” is being driven by the Omicron variant, which is rapidly replacing Delta in almost all countries.  Despite the number of cases, the weekly reported deaths have “remained stable” since October last year, Tedros added, at an average of 48,000. The number of patients being hospitalized is also increasing in most countries, but it is not at the level seen in previous waves. He told reporters this is possibly due to the reduced severity of Omicron, and widespread immunity from…

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Development Health Advice 

COVID-19: Current vaccines may need to be updated, experts warn

The opinion is contained in an interim statement from the WHO Technical Advisory Group on COVID-19 Vaccine Composition, which was established last September.  Vaccines alone do not prevent the spread of #COVID19.Please keep:😷Wearing well-fitted masks↔️ Safe distancing🚷Avoiding crowds🖐️🏽 Cleaning your hands🪟 Opening windows Do it all to lower your risk! pic.twitter.com/dLRN9kY5sJ — World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) January 11, 2022 Broader access  Amid increased Omicron circulation, members have called for “urgent and broad access” to current vaccines globally, both for protection and to mitigate the emergence of new variants of…

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