WHO Endorses First Malaria Vaccine - Breaking News Nigeria
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WHO Endorses First Malaria Vaccine

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The World Health Organization on Wednesday endorsed the RTS,S/AS01 malaria vaccine, the first against the mosquito-borne disease that kills more than 400,000 people a year, mostly African children.

The decision followed a review of a pilot programme deployed since 2019 in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi in which more than two million doses were given of the vaccine, first made by the pharmaceutical company GSK in 1987.

After reviewing evidence from those countries, the WHO said it was “recommending the broad use of the world’s first malaria vaccine”, the agency’s director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

The WHO said it was recommending children in sub-Saharan Africa and in other regions with moderate to high malaria transmission get four doses up to the age of two.

Every two minutes, a child dies of malaria, the agency said.

More than half of malaria deaths worldwide are in six sub-Saharan African countries and almost a quarter are in Nigeria alone, according to 2019 WHO figures.

Symptoms include fever, headaches and muscle pain, then cycles of chills, fever and sweating.

Findings from the vaccine pilot showed it “significantly reduces severe malaria which is the deadly form by 30 percent,” said Kate O’Brien, Director of WHO’s Department of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals.

The vaccine is “feasible to deliver”, she added and “it’s also reaching the unreached… Two thirds of children who don’t sleep under a bed net in those countries are now benefiting from the vaccine.”

Many vaccines exist against viruses and bacteria but this was the first time that the WHO recommended for broad use a vaccine against a human parasite.

The vaccine acts against plasmodium falciparum — one of five malaria parasite species and the most deadly.

“From a scientific perspective this is a massive breakthrough,” said Pedro Alonso, Director of the WHO Global Malaria Programme.

 ‘Glimmer Of Hope’ 

Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO regional director for Africa said Wednesday’s recommendation “offers a glimmer of hope for the continent which shoulders the heaviest burden of the disease.”

The estimated cost of malaria in sub-Saharan Africa is over 12 billion dollars a year, Alonso said at a news conference following the announcement.

Before the newly recommended vaccine can reach children in need, the next step will be funding.

“That will be the next major step… Then we will be set up for scaling of doses and decisions about where the vaccine will be most useful and how it will be deployed,” said O’Brien.

Gavi vaccine alliance said in a statement after the WHO announcement that “global stakeholders, including Gavi, will consider whether and how to finance a new malaria vaccination programme for countries in sub-Saharan Africa.”

The fight against malaria received a boost in April when researchers from Britain’s Oxford University announced that their Matrix-M vaccine candidate had become the first to surpass the WHO’s threshold of 75-percent efficacy.

Germany’s BioNTech, which developed a coronavirus vaccine with US giant Pfizer, also said it aimed to start trials for a malaria vaccine next year using the same breakthrough mRNA technology.

The WHO also hopes this latest recommendation will encourage scientists to develop more malaria vaccines.

The RTS,S/AS01 is “a first generation, really important one,” said Alonso, “but we hope… it stimulates the field to look for other types of vaccines to completement or go beyond this one.”

AFP

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FG has other motives by forcing Nigerians to take COVID-19 vaccines – Mustapha Yaro

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A Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stalwart in Birnin Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State, Dr. Mustspha Halilu Yaro on Saturday faulted the Federal Government’s December deadline for COVID-19 directive.

In an exclusive chat with DAILY POST in Kaduna on Saturday, Dr. Mustapha disagreed with the compulsory COVID-19 vaccination deadline set by the federal government.

He said, the federal government has a hidden motive for threatening and forcing Nigerians to be vaccinated.

Recall that the Chairman of the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, announced the new directive at a briefing on Wednesday.

He explained that civil servants would not be allowed to enter offices starting from December 1 without vaccination proof.

Mustapha said, “With effect from 1st December, 2021, Federal Government employees shall be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result done within 72 hours, to gain access to their offices, in all locations within Nigeria and our Missions.”

Dr. Mustspha who is presently a lecturer in the Department of History, Kaduna state University, reminded the government of some basic fundamental human rights as applicable to all, irrespective of position, tribe, language and tradition.

According to him, the federal government has no right to dictate to the people, how they should live their lives.

” Every citizen of this country has the right to live the way he wants.
Government cannot abandon its responsibility of providing jobs, protecting lives and properties and begin to enforce ill-conceived program on the citizens of this country,” he said.

According to him, the federal government is running from its responsibility of creating jobs, providing health care facility and sufficient accommodation for Nigerians, and delving into issue that doesn’t matter so much.

He further added that, there are killer diseases that government should focus more, not on COVID-19 vaccination.

” Insecurity has been the issue at stake. Government keeps playing politics around the lives of people, while our abled men in the Army, police, Air Force and other paramilitary are dying daily.

“Nigerians are not coward, they are not slaves. Government cannot dictate to Nigerians. Is COVID-19 vaccination dangerous than kidnappers, and gunmen that have been ravaging this country over the years?” He asked.

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US Donates 3.5 Million Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccines To Nigeria

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A total of 3,577,860 doses of the Pfizer vaccine have arrived in Nigeria from the United States.

This is according to a statement released by the United States Mission in Nigeria on Thursday.

“The U.S. Mission in Nigeria is pleased to announce the arrival of 3,577,860 doses of Pfizer vaccine for the public health and benefit of the Nigerian people through COVAX, the worldwide initiative ensuring equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines,” the statement said.

“The U.S. shipment arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja on October 14. The shipment will bring the total number of U.S.-bilaterally donated doses to Nigeria to over 7.5 million. The U.S. also contributed to the first multilateral donation of AstraZeneca vaccine in March 2021.

“Overall, COVAX has provided Nigeria with over 10 million doses to date.”

The mission noted that safe and effective vaccines remain the best tool to ending the pandemic.

“The United States has pledged to purchase and donate 1.1 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses worldwide, and to date has delivered more than 180 million doses to more than 100 countries,” the statement added.

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October 10 set for World Mental Health Day Celebration

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October 10 set for World Mental Health Day Celebration

The World Health Organisation – WHO recognises and commemorate World Mental Health Day on every October 10 annually.                             

The general objective of World Mental Health Day is to increase the level of awareness of persons suffering from mental health issues around the world and to work hard to mobilizing for the support of mental health.

Campaign slogan for World Mental Health Day is

Mental Health Care for all: Let’s make it a reality.

Hashtag for World Mental Health Day is

#WorldMentalHealthDay

October 10 annually provides an opportunity for all parties and organizations working on mental health issues to do presentation about their efforts so far in help fighting the scourge militating against the mental health of persons globally. These stakeholders discusses on what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality.

This year 2021 caption for the World Mental Health Day is “Mental health care for all: let’s make it a reality”.

Previous Years Captions:

2020: Move for mental health: let’s invest

2019: Focus on suicide prevention

2018: Young people and mental health in a changing world

2017: Mental health in the workplace

2016: Psychological first aid

2015: World Mental Health Day 2015 – Dignity in mental health

2014: World Mental Health Day 2014 – Living a healthy life with schizophrenia

2013: World Mental Health Day 2013 – Mental health and older adults

According to World Health Organization – WHO, the scourge of the dreaded Coronavirus or otherwise called the COVID-19 pandemic has had a major globally psychological impact on people’s health.

WHO mentioned that some persons and groups, including health and other frontline workers, people living alone, students and those with pre-existing mental health conditions, have been directly affected.  They added also that services for mental, neurological and substance use disorders have been drastically disrupted and opined that there is an urgent to revive and further optimize the human mental health.

Recall that in May 2021, at the World Health Assembly, government bodies from across the globe saw the need to step up actions for efficient mental health services at the various levels. Some countries had announced to have found new strategies of providing adequate mental care to their populace.

Meanwhile, WHO is set to show to the world, the various efforts made by some governments to help fight the scourge against the mental health of persons around the world. WHO will at this event launch a campaign to encourage and inspire government agencies and individuals on the best practices to engage in positive activates for the good of the mental health.

The global health organization will provide new useful materials in user-friendly format on how best to take care of one mental Health while providing supports to others. We will also provide new materials, in easy-to-read formats, of how to take care of your own mental health and provide support to others too.

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