Development Health Advice 

WHO backs Regeneron COVID-19 drug cocktail – with equal access and price cut 

“This is a major breakthrough in the care of COVID-19 patients”, said Dr. Janet Diaz, WHO head of clinical care. “This is our first recommendation for a therapeutic for those patients with mild, moderate disease,” she said, because it reduces “the need for hospitalisation if they are at high risk”.  Effective ‘reduction in mortality’   WHO’s conditional recommendations are for use of the drug combination on patients who are not severely ill, but at high risk of being admitted to hospital with COVID-19, or those with severe cases of the disease and no existing antibodies.   “Giving them…

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Development Health Advice 

‘We can end the pandemic’, UN chief says in new call for global vaccine plan

Speaking at a summit on the global pandemic, hosted by United States President Joseph Biden, the UN chief stressed that the move is not philanthropy, but self-interest. “Global health security until now has failed, to the tune of 4.5 million lives, and counting.  We have effective vaccines against COVID-19. We can end the pandemic,” he told the online meeting. At the summit, the US pledged to donate next year some 500 million more doses of Pfizer-BioNtech shots to developing countries, with Mr. Biden promising an “arsenal of vaccines”. This would…

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Development Health Advice 

Afghanistan’s health care system on brink of collapse: Tedros 

The development came as the United Nations’ top humanitarian official, Martin Griffiths, announced the release of $45 million from an emergency fund to support Afghanistan’s crumbling health-care system.  “Allowing Afghanistan’s healthcare delivery system to fall apart would be disastrous,” said Mr. Griffiths. “People across the country would be denied access to primary healthcare such as emergency caesarean sections and trauma care.”  Kabul crisis  Echoing that message from the Afghan capital, Kabul, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that international funding cuts had forced health providers to decide “who to save and who to let die”.  After meeting senior Taliban figures, medical professionals and patients, Tedros explained that a lack of financial support for the country’s largest health project, Sehetmandi, had left thousands of facilities unable to buy medical supplies…

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Development Health Advice 

COVID ‘Shot for All’, not a luxury, but development priority: UNDP 

Under the banner of A Shot for All, on the margins of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly, prominent leaders and personalities stressed the importance of vaccine equity and how to achieve universal access, particularly in developing countries and marginalized communities in Africa.  For the UN agency, the goal is not a luxury, but an urgent global development priority.   Development priority for all  “Delaying vaccines in low-income countries and regions like Africa cannot be the way forward. The stakes are simply too high. Ending vaccine inequality must be seen as a global public good and development priority for all,” said…

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Development Health Advice 

Struggling economies, widening inequality and millions vulnerable: the urgent need for vaccine equity

Developed countries are far more likely to vaccinate their citizens, which risks prolonging the pandemic, and widening global inequality. Ahead of a dialogue at the UN on Monday between senior United Nations officials UN News explains the importance of vaccine equity. What is vaccine equity? © UNICEF/Francis Kokoroko A 76-year-old man shows his vaccination card after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine in Kasoa, Ghana. Quite simply, it means that all people, wherever they are in the world, should have equal access to a vaccine which offers protection against the COVID-19 infection.…

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Development Health Advice 

WHO asks for commitments on maternal and newborn health 

Highlighting those numbers, the World Health Organization (WHO) is calling on healthcare facility managers, leaders and health workers around to adopt a set of 5 World Patient Safety Day Goals 2021 to improve maternal and newborn safety.  The goals were launched at a virtual global conference on World Patient Safety Day, marked this Friday, on the theme: safe maternal and newborn care.  Most deaths ‘avoidable’  For WHO, with all the risks compounded by the disruption of services caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the campaign is even more important this year.  Most stillbirths, maternal and newborn deaths, are avoidable; as long as safe, respectful and quality care is received during pregnancy,…

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Development Health Advice 

Refugees face dire consequences from COVID-19 underfunding, UNHCR warns 

The emergency tops their list of the 10 most underfunded situations in 2021. Only one-third of the budgeted requirements of $924 million has been received, according to UNHCR‘s Chief of Public Health Section, Ann Burton, who called for more global attention and funding support.  Host States hit hardest  Ms. Burton emphasized that “vaccine inequity continues to hit the hardest in many refugee-hosting states”.  86 per cent of refugees are hosted in developing countries, however, some 80 per cent of all vaccine doses have been given in high- and upper-middle-income countries, she noted.  Low-income countries…

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Development Health Advice 

Africa faces 470 million COVID-19 vaccine shortfall this year 

The international COVAX initiative aimed at guaranteeing global access to the vaccines, recently announced that it was being forced to slash planned deliveries to Africa, by around 150 million doses this year.   The scheme is now expected to deliver 470 million doses through the end of December. These will be enough to protect just 17 per cent of the continent, far below the 40 per cent target.  To reach the end-year target, that 470 million figure needs to double, even if all planned shipments via COVAX and the African Union are delivered.  Export bans, vaccine hoarding  WHO Regional Director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, said that “export bans and vaccine hoarding have a chokehold on vaccine supplies to Africa.”  “As long as…

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Development Health Advice 

Only 2% of Covid-19 vaccines have been administered in Africa 

The UN agency is urging every country to vaccinate at least 40% of its population by the end of this year, and hopes to help ensure that 70% of the world’s population is by the middle of next year.   At a press conference on COVID-19 and vaccine equity in Africa, which is home to more than 1.2 billion people, Mr. Ghebreyesus informed that, so far, just two countries in Africa have reached the 40% target, the lowest of any region.  “That’s not because African countries don’t have the capacity or experience to roll out COVID-19 vaccines. It’s because they’ve been left behind by the rest…

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Development Health Advice 

First Person: A refuge from COVID misinformation

Hadeel Al-Zoubi is a Senior Camp Assistant working in two camps (Za’atari and Azraq) that accommodate Syrians who have fled their war-torn country. She told UN News how she has fought COVID-19 misinformation which helped her to overcome her own and others’ vaccine hesitancy. “When the coronavirus first hit, everyone feared this unknown pandemic. We did not know what to expect, especially during the lockdown period when many people started working remotely. As a frontline worker in the refugee camps, I supported more than 300 vulnerable women on a weekly…

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