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Africa COVID cases on longest run of declines since pandemic’s start

Africa COVID cases on longest run of declines since pandemic’s start

AFRICA is experiencing its longest-running decline in weekly COVID-19 infections since the start of the pandemic, the World Health Organization said on Thursday. Recorded weekly cases have fallen for the past 16 weeks and deaths for the last eight, the latter dropping to 239 in the past week, it said in a statement. The upcoming cold season in the southern hemisphere could prompt a new spike in cases, it said. "With the virus still circulating, the risk of new and potentially more deadly variants emerging remains, and the pandemic control measures are pivotal to an effective response to a surge…
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Kenya, World Health Organization launch emergency hub

Kenya, World Health Organization launch emergency hub

THE Kenyan government and World Health Organization launched a medical emergency hub in Nairobi, the first in a network of African centres they say will hasten responses to regional emergencies. The facility will include a training centre, house a cadre of professionals that can respond to a medical emergency within its first 24 hours and stockpiles of medical equipment. The WHO says it wants to help create these quick response teams in every African country. "We see the continent expressing in very practical terms its determination to be better prepared for the next pandemic… this is going to be our…
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WHO ‘heartbroken’ by Congo sex abuse probe findings

WHO ‘heartbroken’ by Congo sex abuse probe findings

THE World Health Organization was "heartbroken" by the findings of an independent commission on sex abuse in the Democratic Republic of Congo, according to the agency regional director for Africa. "We in the WHO are indeed humbled, horrified and heartbroken by the findings of this inquiry," Matshidiso Moeti said at a news briefing. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus speaks during a news conference after a ceremony for the opening of the WHO Academy, in Lyon, France, September 27, 2021. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the commission's report made for "harrowing reading". The commission found that some 21…
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Meningitis outbreak kills 129 in north-east Congo

Meningitis outbreak kills 129 in north-east Congo

A meningitis outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo's north-eastern Tshopo province has killed 129 of the 267 people who have been infected since the first cases were discovered in June, the health minister has announced. Tests carried out by the Institut Pasteur in Paris detected one of the most common types of the bacteria, Neisseria meningitides, which has the potential to cause large epidemics, the World Health Organization said. An investigation in early June near Panga, around 270 kilometres north of the city of Kisangani, found patients suffering from fever, headaches, stiff neck, and difficulty speaking, said health minister,…
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“Africa is in the midst of a full-blown third-wave”

“Africa is in the midst of a full-blown third-wave”

COVID-19 cases rose by over 20% week-on-week in nearly two dozen African countries and progress on vaccinating Africans is proceeding slowly, with just 0.79% of people on the continent fully vaccinated, senior health officials have disclosed. "Africa is in the midst of a full-blown third-wave...We've seen in India and elsewhere how quickly COVID-19 can rebound and overwhelm health systems," Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa, told a news conference. New cases are up nearly 30% in the past week and deaths are up by 15%, she said, with five countries -- South Africa, Tunisia, Zambia, Uganda and Namibia --…
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Tanzania to request to join COVAX

Tanzania to request to join COVAX

OMAR MOHAMMED TANZANIA hopes to join the COVAX global vaccine-sharing facility, the latest sign it has changed tack following the death in March of COVID-19- and vaccine-sceptic president John Magufuli. A World Health Organisation official said vaccines could arrive in the country of 58 million people within two weeks. Since taking office in March, new president Samia Suluhu Hassan has sought to gradually bring Tanzania into line with global public standards for tackling COVID-19. The country is one of only four in Africa that have yet to start vaccination campaigns, according to the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.…
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9 in 10 countries to miss vaccination goal

9 in 10 countries to miss vaccination goal

ABOUT  90% of African countries will miss a September target to vaccinate at least 10% of their populations against COVID-19 as a third wave of the pandemic looms on the continent, a World Health Organisation (WHO) official said yesterday. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa, said the continent required an extra 225 million doses to be able to vaccinate a tenth of its people by September this year. Africa has hit 5 million COVID-19 cases, with the southern Africa region the worst affected, accounting for 37% of total cases, according to a Reuters tally. South Africa is the worst…
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