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General Science & Health

05/30/2020   Wired Science
The test mission will clear the way for regular crewed launches from the United States for the first time in nearly a decade.
05/30/2020   Wired Science
The occasion will mark the first time a private company blasts NASA astronauts into space. Here's everything you need to know.
05/30/2020   Wired Science
A new analysis revealed what scientists believe is a passage from the book of Ezekiel.
05/30/2020   Wired Science
As we sunset this weekly series, we take a farewell tour of the outer planets—and pay tribute to one of the most famous last looks at Earth.
05/30/2020   Wired Science
Rats, weasels, and other imported mammals have destroyed native bird populations. Local group Predator Free Wellington wants to turn the tables.
05/30/2020   Wired Science
Measurements of particles called B mesons deviate from predictions. Alone, each anomaly looks like a fluke, but their collective drift is more suggestive.
05/30/2020   MedicineNet Daily Health
Title: Spirituality Helps Stroke Survivors, Caregivers Bounce Back
Category: Health News
Created: 5/28/2020 12:00:00 AM
Last Editorial Review: 5/29/2020 12:00:00 AM
05/30/2020   MedicineNet Daily Health
Title: Music Might Help Soothe Ailing Hearts
Category: Health News
Created: 5/28/2020 12:00:00 AM
Last Editorial Review: 5/29/2020 12:00:00 AM
05/30/2020   MedicineNet Daily Health
Title: Are Many With Autism Missing Out on Key Gene Tests?
Category: Health News
Created: 5/28/2020 12:00:00 AM
Last Editorial Review: 5/29/2020 12:00:00 AM
05/30/2020   MedicineNet Daily Health
Title: AHA News: How Bacteria in Your Gut Interact With the Mind and Body
Category: Health News
Created: 5/28/2020 12:00:00 AM
Last Editorial Review: 5/29/2020 12:00:00 AM
05/30/2020   MedicineNet Daily Health
Title: AIDS Activist and Playwright Larry Kramer Dies at 84
Category: Health News
Created: 5/28/2020 12:00:00 AM
Last Editorial Review: 5/29/2020 12:00:00 AM
05/30/2020   MedicineNet Daily Health
Title: Emergency Transport Can Surprise Many With Big Bills
Category: Health News
Created: 5/28/2020 12:00:00 AM
Last Editorial Review: 5/29/2020 12:00:00 AM
05/30/2020   MedicineNet Daily Health
Title: Hydroxychloroquine May Worsen Odds for Cancer Patients With COVID-19
Category: Health News
Created: 5/28/2020 12:00:00 AM
Last Editorial Review: 5/29/2020 12:00:00 AM
05/30/2020   MedicineNet Daily Health
Title: Prescriptions for Discredited COVID Drugs Surged 2,000% After Trump's Support
Category: Health News
Created: 5/28/2020 12:00:00 AM
Last Editorial Review: 5/29/2020 12:00:00 AM
05/30/2020   MedicineNet Daily Health
Title: More Patients Turning to Medical Marijuana for Arthritis Pain
Category: Health News
Created: 5/28/2020 12:00:00 AM
Last Editorial Review: 5/29/2020 12:00:00 AM
05/30/2020   MedicineNet Daily Health
Title: 'Major Financial Hardship' Hits Most Patients Battling Advanced Colon Cancer
Category: Health News
Created: 5/28/2020 12:00:00 AM
Last Editorial Review: 5/29/2020 12:00:00 AM
05/30/2020   MedicineNet Daily Health
Title: Tumors Have Their Own Bacterial Colonies That Could Guide Cancer Care
Category: Health News
Created: 5/28/2020 12:00:00 AM
Last Editorial Review: 5/29/2020 12:00:00 AM
05/30/2020   MedicineNet Daily Health
Title: 1 in 10 COVID-19 Patients With Diabetes Dies
Category: Health News
Created: 5/28/2020 12:00:00 AM
Last Editorial Review: 5/29/2020 12:00:00 AM
05/30/2020   MedicineNet Daily Health
Title: As Hard-Hit Areas of America Show Slowing in Coronavirus Cases, Other Regions See Spikes
Category: Health News
Created: 5/29/2020 12:00:00 AM
Last Editorial Review: 5/29/2020 12:00:00 AM
05/30/2020   MedicineNet Daily Health
Title: Is COVID-19 'One and Done?' Experts Ponder Odds for Reinfection
Category: Health News
Created: 5/29/2020 12:00:00 AM
Last Editorial Review: 5/29/2020 12:00:00 AM
05/30/2020   MedicineNet Daily Health
Title: Big Need for Blood Donations as Postponed Surgeries Resume
Category: Health News
Created: 5/29/2020 12:00:00 AM
Last Editorial Review: 5/29/2020 12:00:00 AM
05/30/2020   MedicineNet Daily Health
Title: Pandemic Having More Impact on U.S. Hospitals Than Thought: Study
Category: Health News
Created: 5/29/2020 12:00:00 AM
Last Editorial Review: 5/29/2020 12:00:00 AM
05/30/2020   MedicineNet Daily Health
Title: Your Eyewear and COVID-19 Safety
Category: Health News
Created: 5/29/2020 12:00:00 AM
Last Editorial Review: 5/29/2020 12:00:00 AM
05/30/2020   MedicineNet Daily Health
Title: U.S. Abortion Pill Rule Should be Suspended During Pandemic: Lawsuit
Category: Health News
Created: 5/29/2020 12:00:00 AM
Last Editorial Review: 5/29/2020 12:00:00 AM
05/29/2020   Wired Science
On Saturday, the company will take a second run at launching astronauts to the International Space Station. But only if a lot of things go right.
05/29/2020   WHO News

WHO and Costa Rica launch landmark COVID-19 Technology Access Pool

Thirty countries and multiple international partners and institutions have signed up to support the COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP) an initiative aimed at making vaccines, tests, treatments and other health technologies to fight COVID-19 accessible to all.

The Pool was first proposed in March by President Carlos Alvarado of Costa Rica, who joined WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus today at the official launch of the initiative. 

“The COVID-19 Technology Access Pool will ensure the latest and best science benefits all of humanity,” said President Alvarado of Costa Rica. “Vaccines, tests, diagnostics, treatments and other key tools in the coronavirus response must be made universally available as global public goods”. 

“Global solidarity and collaboration are essential to overcoming COVID-19,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “Based on strong science and open collaboration, this information-sharing platform will help provide equitable access to life-saving technologies around the world.” 

The COVID-19 (Technology) Access Pool will be voluntary and based on social solidarity. It will provide a one-stop shop for scientific knowledge, data and intellectual property to be shared equitably by the global community. 

The aim is to accelerate the discovery of vaccines, medicines and other technologies through open-science research, and to fast-track product development by mobilizing additional manufacturing capacity. This will help ensure faster and more equitable access to existing and new COVID-19 health products. 

There are five key elements to the initiative:

  • Public disclosure of gene sequences and data;
  • Transparency around the publication of all clinical trial results;
  • Governments and other funders are encouraged to include clauses in funding agreements with pharmaceutical companies and other innovators about equitable distribution, affordability and the publication of trial data;
  • Licensing any potential treatment, diagnostic, vaccine or other health technology to the Medicines Patent Pool - a United Nations-backed public health body that works to increase access to, and facilitate the development of, life-saving medicines for low- and middle-income countries.
  • Promotion of open innovation models and technology transfer that increase local manufacturing and supply capacity, including through joining the Open Covid Pledge and the Technology Access Partnership (TAP).

With supportive countries across the globe, C-TAP will serve as a sister initiative to the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator and other initiatives to support efforts to fight COVID-19 worldwide.

WHO, Costa Rica and all the co-sponsor countries have also issued a “Solidarity Call to Action” asking relevant stakeholders to join and support the initiative, with recommended actions for key groups, such as governments, research and development funders, researchers, industry and civil society.

WHO and Costa Rica co-hosted today’s launch event, which began with a high-level session addressed by the WHO Director-General and President Alvarado in addition to Prime Minister Mia Mottley of Barbados and Aksel Jacobsen, State Secretary, Norway. There were video statements by President Lenín Moreno of Ecuador; President Thomas Esang Remengesau Jr., of Palau; President Lenín Moreno of Ecuador; , Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights; Jagan Chapagain, Secretary General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies; and Retno Marsudi, Minister for Foreign Affairs for Indonesia. Leaders from across the UN, academia, industry and civil society joined for a moderated discussion.

To date, the COVID-19 Technology Access Pool is now supported by the following countries: Argentina, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Bhutan, Brazil, Chile, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Honduras, Indonesia, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Mexico, Mozambique, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Panama, Peru, Portugal, Saint Vincent and Grenadines, South Africa, Sri Lanka,Sudan, The Netherlands, Timor-Leste, Uruguay, Zimbabwe

Other international organizations, partners and experts have also expressed support to the initiative and others can join them using the website.

Note to Editors:

The Solidarity Call to Action follows from numerous international commitments, including: Global Sustainable Development Goal 3, target 3b;  The WHO Global Strategy and Plan of Action on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property (GSPA- PHI) and the WHO Roadmap for access to medicines, vaccines and health products 2019-2023; the UN General Assembly Resolution on “International cooperation to ensure global access to medicines, vaccines and medical equipment to face COVID-19” (A/RES/74/274); and the 73rd World Health Assembly Resolution on the “COVID-19 response” (WHA73.1).

To access the event: https://who.zoom.us/j/99683467690 - Password: WHO%OMS27

05/29/2020   Wired Science
It isn’t an alien spaceship, but new research suggests the first known interstellar object to grace our solar system could be something even stranger.
05/29/2020   Wired Science
The diagnostics industry favors wealthy countries, but the rest of the world needs tests, too. Stanford bioengineer Manu Prakash thinks "frugal science can help.
05/29/2020   Wired Science
As states start to reopen, senior care facilities must balance the needs of residents against the potential for more deadly Covid-19 outbreaks.
05/29/2020   WHO News
WHO, the United Nations Foundation and Illumination have partnered to launch a Public Service Announcement (PSA) that reinforces safe and healthy practices during these challenging times, featuring Illumination’s globally beloved Gru and the Minions.
05/28/2020   WHO News

The World Health Organization is today launching a new kit for school students aged 13-17 to alert them to the tobacco industry tactics used to hook them to addictive products. Every year the tobacco industry invests more than USD 9 billion to advertise its products. Increasingly, it is targeting young people with nicotine and tobacco products in a bid to replace the 8 million people that its products kill every year.

This year’s WHO’s World No Tobacco Day campaign focuses on protecting children and young people from exploitation by the tobacco and related industry. The toolkit has a set of classroom activities including one that puts the students in the shoes of the tobacco industry to make them aware of how the industry tries to manipulate them into using deadly products. It also includes an educational video, myth-buster quiz, and homework assignments.

The toolkit exposes tactics such as parties and concerts hosted by the tobacco and related industries, e-cigarette flavours that attract youth like bubble-gum and candy, e-cigarette representatives presenting in schools, and product placement in popular youth  streaming shows.  

Even during a global pandemic, the tobacco and nicotine industry persist by pushing products that limit people’s ability to fight coronavirus and recover from the disease. The industry has offered free branded masks and delivery to your door during quarantine and has lobbied for their products to be listed as ‘essential’.

Smoking suffocates the lungs and other organs, starving them of the oxygen they need to develop and function properly. “Educating youth is vital because nearly 9 out of 10 smokers start before age 18. We want to provide young people with the knowledge to speak out against tobacco industry manipulation,” said Ruediger Krech, Director for Health Promotion at WHO.

Over 40 million young people aged 13-15 have already started to use tobacco. To reach Generation Z, WHO launched a TikTok challenge #TobaccoExposed and welcomed social media partners like Pinterest, Tinder, YouTube and TikTok to amplify messaging.

WHO calls on all sectors to help stop marketing tactics of tobacco and related industries that prey on children and young people:

  • Schools refuse any form of sponsorship and prohibit representatives from nicotine and tobacco companies from speaking to students
  • Celebrities and influencers reject all offers of sponsorship
  • Television and streaming services stop showing tobacco or e-cigarette use on screen
  • Social media platforms ban the marketing of tobacco and related products and prohibit influencer marketing
  • Government and financial sector divest from tobacco and related industries
  • Governments ban all forms of tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship

Countries can protect children from industry exploitation by putting in place strict tobacco control laws, including regulating products like e-cigarettes that have already begun to hook a new generation of young people.

 

05/28/2020   Wired Science
As fertility clinics gradually reopen, patients and doctors must weigh the risks of seeking pregnancy during a pandemic—or waiting too long to try.
05/28/2020   Wired Science
As public spaces reopen, scientists are racing to understand the mysterious and turbulent way the disease spreads through air—from person to person, and place to place.
05/28/2020   WHO News
A new report by WHO, UNICEF, and the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) reveals that despite efforts to stop the harmful promotion of breast-milk substitutes, countries are still falling short in protecting parents from misleading information.
05/28/2020   WHO News

The World Health Organization (WHO) welcomes the creation of the WHO Foundation, an independent grant-making entity, that will support the Organization’s efforts to address the most pressing global health challenges.

Headquartered in Geneva, the Foundation will support global public health needs by providing funds to WHO and trusted implementing partners to deliver on the Organization’s “triple billion” goals. Featured in WHO’s five-year strategic plan, these goals aim to: protect 1 billion people from health emergencies; extend universal health coverage to 1 billion people; and assure healthy lives and wellbeing to 1 billion people by 2023.

The Foundation which is legally separate from WHO, will facilitate contributions from the general public, individual major donors and corporate partners to WHO and trusted partners to deliver on high-impact programmes. Its goal is to help broaden WHO’s donor base and work towards more sustainable and predictable funding.  The WHO Foundation will simplify the processing of philanthropic contributions in support of WHO and make such contributions possible on all aspects of health and WHO’s mission.

“An important part of WHO's future success is broadening its donor base and increasing both the quantity and quality of funds at its disposal," said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. "The creation of the WHO Foundation, as part of WHO's transformation, is an important step towards this goal, and towards achieving our mission to promote health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable.”

“Today’s announcement is the culmination of more than two years of preparation and hard work by countless individuals and partner organizations. I would like to thank Professor Thomas Zeltner for spearheading this incredible adventure and founding the organization.”

“The work of the WHO is vital for both safeguarding and promoting global health – a role that has become all the more crucial in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. WHO’s achievements and contributions to global health and the wellbeing of humanity are tremendous, but we cannot take those accomplishments for granted. The WHO deserves a strong, independent, external advocate who can support and strengthen its impact. I am proud to lead these efforts and to create this missing piece in global health by establishing the WHO Foundation,” said Professor Thomas Zeltner, Founder of the WHO Foundation and former Secretary of Health of Switzerland and Director-General of the Swiss National Health Authority.

Established under the laws of Switzerland, the Foundation has benefitted from the guidance of an Advisory Group that has included experts in global health, philanthropy, ethics, and finance.  The Foundation’s Board will now assume all governance responsibilities and will review all strategic decisions and serve as the highest decision-making body of the Foundation. Founding Board Members are: Mr. Bob Carter, Ms. Clare Akamanzi and Professor Thomas Zeltner.

In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the WHO Foundation will initially focus on emergencies and pandemic response, and it will also raise and disburse funds for all WHO global public health priorities in full alignment with the WHO Member State adopted General Programme of Work.

A Call to Action: Get Involved with the WHO Foundation

Global health matters for everyone, everywhere. The WHO Foundation is an exceptional opportunity to shape the future of global health together. Be part of this journey, donate now or engage in a long-term strategic partnership and contact the team at partnerships@whofoundationproject.org.  Online giving is active at www.whofoundationproject.org, and tailored donations can be received by contacting donations@whofoundationproject.org. All donations made to the WHO Foundation are tax-deductible to the extent feasible by relevant national laws.

About WHO

The World Health Organization provides global leadership in public health within the United Nations system. Founded in 1948, WHO works with 194 Member States, across six regions and from more than 150 offices, to promote health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable. Our goal for 2019-2023 is to ensure that a billion more people have universal health coverage, to protect a billion more people from health emergencies, and provide a further billion people with better health and wellbeing.

About WHO Foundation

The WHO Foundation is an independent grant-making foundation focused on addressing the most pressing global health challenges of today and tomorrow. By funding high-impact initiatives and advancing strategies of innovation, effectiveness, and rapid response, it will support the global health ecosystem. Headquartered in Geneva and legally independent from the WHO, the Foundation will work responsibly with individual donors, the general public and corporate partners to strengthen health systems globally. Specifically, the WHO Foundation will support global public health needs, from prevention, mental health, and non-communicable diseases to emergency preparedness, outbreak response and health system strengthening.

05/27/2020   WHO News
Despite accelerated progress over the past decade, the world will fall short of ensuring universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy by 2030 unless efforts are scaled up significantly, reveals the new Tracking SDG 7: The Energy Progress Report released today by the International Energy Agency (IEA) the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), the World Bank, and the World Health Organization (WHO).
05/27/2020   COVID-19 News
From 20 to 26 May 2020, no new cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) have been reported from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Figure 1).
05/27/2020   Wired Science
The historic launch planned for Wednesday gets pushed back due to stormy conditions, but the launch window remains open. SpaceX and NASA will try again Saturday.
05/27/2020   Wired Science
Notice you've been elongating your words lately? You're actually loading them with a whooooole lot of meaning.
05/27/2020   Wired Science
Researchers want to know if we can create an antiviral infrastructure that would protect humans from transmission. Here are a few ideas.
05/26/2020   Wired Science
To go that fast, it would need a ridiculous amount of fuel—and even then, it might never come back down.
05/26/2020   WHO News
FIFA, WHO, and the European Commission have joined forces, to launch the #SafeHome campaign to support women and children at risk of domestic violence. The campaign is a joint response from the three institutions to the recent spikes in reports of domestic violence as stay-at-home measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 have put women and children experiencing abuse at greater risk.
05/26/2020   Wired Science
LauncherOne failed a few seconds into its first flight. But that’s OK—the only two US rocket startups that made it to orbit flubbed their first tries too.
05/26/2020   Wired Science
Astronomers at the Hubble Image Similarity Project are employing their out-of-work neighbors to help them train a neural net to recognize celestial objects.
05/26/2020   Wired Science
With lockdowns ending, people have a lot of questions about how to calculate the risks of returning to everyday activities. Erin Bromage has answers.
05/26/2020   Wired Science
Researchers find that areas with high levels of airborne dust or toxic chemicals also have more deaths from the coronavirus.
05/25/2020   WHO News

The World Health Organization (WHO) and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency today signed a new agreement to strengthen and advance public health services for the millions of forcibly displaced people around the world.

The agreement updates and expands an existing 1997 agreement between the two organizations. A key aim this year will be to support ongoing efforts to protect some 70 million forcibly displaced people from COVID-19. Around 26 million of these are refugees, 80 per cent of whom are sheltered in low and middle-income countries with weak health systems. Another 40 million internally displaced people also require assistance.

 For more than 20 years, UNHCR and WHO have worked together worldwide to safeguard the health of some of the world’s most vulnerable populations. They have collaborated to provide health services to refugees in every region - from the onset of an emergency and through protracted situations, consistently advocating for the inclusion of refugees and stateless people in the national public health plans of host countries.

Today, the two organizations are working side by side to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure that forcibly displaced people can access the health services they need, to keep safe from COVID-19 and other health challenges.

“UNHCR’s long-term partnership with WHO is critical to curb the coronavirus pandemic and other emergencies – day in, day out, it is improving and saving lives of millions of people forced to flee their homes,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi. “Our strengthened partnership will directly benefit refugees, asylum seekers, internally displaced people, and those who are stateless. It leads to better emergency response and will make the best use of the resources of both our two organizations for public health solutions across all our operations globally.”

"The principle of solidarity and the goal of serving vulnerable people underpin the work of both our organizations," said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. "We stand side by side in our commitment to protect the health of all people who have been forced to leave their homes and to ensure that they can obtain health services when and where they need them. The ongoing pandemic only highlights the vital importance of working together so we can achieve more."

During Thursday’s signing UNHCR also joined the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. The Fund was launched on 13 March and has so far raised $214m to date. The Fund, first-of-its-kind, allows individuals, companies, and organizations all over the world to directly contribute to the global response being led by WHO to help countries prevent, detect and respond to COVID-19.

A $10 million contribution from the Solidarity Response Fund will support UNHCR’s work on urgent needs such as risk communication and community engagement around hygiene practices; provision of hygiene and medical supplies and the establishment of isolation units in countries such as Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, South Sudan and Uganda.The funds will also support innovative global preparedness activities.

“By joining forces with the Solidarity Response Fund, UNHCR can work together on the ground with WHO to better ensure that the preparedness, prevention and public health response measures to COVID-19 are in place and that much-needed aid can reach refugees, displaced people and their host communities,” said Grandi.

For more information on UNHCR's COVID-19 operations

For information about WHO's COVID-19 operations and work on Refugee and Migrant Health

 

Solidarity Response Fund

The Fund was launched at WHO’s request by the UN Foundation and the Swiss Philanthropy Foundation in mid-March and it is only way for companies and individuals to contribute directly to the work of WHO and partners on the ground, and the fastest way to get resources where they are needed most urgently. More than $100m from the Fund has already been disbursed, ensuring early vital work in the long fight against the pandemic.

 

UNHCR

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, leads international action to protect people forced to flee their homes because of conflict and persecution. We deliver life-saving assistance like shelter, food and water, help safeguard fundamental human rights, and develop solutions that ensure people have a safe place to call home where they can build a better future. We also work to ensure that stateless people are granted a nationality.

UNHCR is taking measures to help respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency and prevent further spread. Working together with governments, UNHCR ensures refugees are included in national health response plans and are well-informed on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19, have access to soap and clean water, and continue to receive the life-saving aid and assistance they need.

 

The World Health Organization

The World Health Organization provides global leadership in public health within the United Nations system. Founded in 1948, WHO works with 194 Member States, across six regions and from more than 150 offices, to promote health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable. Our goal for 2019-2023 is to ensure that a billion more people have universal health coverage, to protect a billion more people from health emergencies, and provide a further billion people with better health and wellbeing.

For updates on COVID-19 and public health advice to protect yourself from coronavirus, visit www.who.int and follow WHO on TwitterFacebookInstagramLinkedInTikTokPinterestSnapchatYouTube

 

05/24/2020   COVID-19 News
Between 2 and 8 April 2020, six suspected human cases of dracunculiasis in Duli village, Gog district, Gambella region, Ethiopia, were reported to WHO.
05/22/2020   WHO News

 

 

 

COVID 19 is disrupting life-saving immunization services around the world, putting millions of children – in rich and poor countries alike – at risk of diseases like diphtheria, measles and polio. This stark warning comes from the World Health Organization, UNICEF and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance ahead of the Global Vaccine Summit on 4 June, at which world leaders will come together to help maintain immunization programmes and mitigate the impact of the pandemic in lower-income countries.

According to data collected by the World Health Organization, UNICEF, Gavi and the Sabin Vaccine Institute, provision of routine immunization services is substantially hindered in at least 68 countries and is likely to affect approximately 80 million children under the age of 1 living in these countries.

Since March 2020, routine childhood immunization services have been disrupted on a global scale that may be unprecedented since the inception of expanded programs on immunization (EPI) in the 1970s. More than half (53%) of the 129 countries where data were available reported moderate-to-severe disruptions, or a total suspension of vaccination services during March-April 2020. 

“Immunization is one of the most powerful and fundamental disease prevention tools in the history of public health,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “Disruption to immunization programmes from the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to unwind decades of progress against vaccine-preventable diseases like measles.”

“At the 4 June Global Vaccine Summit in London, donors will pledge their support to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to sustain and accelerate this lifesaving work in some of the most vulnerable countries. From the bottom of my heart, I urge donors to fully fund the Alliance. These countries, these children especially, need vaccines, and they need Gavi.”

The reasons for disrupted services vary. Some parents are reluctant to leave home because of restrictions on movement, lack of information or because they fear infection with the COVID-19 virus. And many health workers are unavailable because of restrictions on travel, or redeployment to COVID response duties, as well as a lack of protective equipment.

“More children in more countries are now protected against more vaccine-preventable diseases than at any point in history,” said Dr. Seth Berkley, Gavi CEO. “Due to COVID-19 this immense progress is now under threat, risking the resurgence of diseases like measles and polio. Not only will maintaining immunization programmes prevent more outbreaks, it will also ensure we have the infrastructure we need to roll out an eventual COVID-19 vaccine on a global scale.”

Transport delays of vaccines are exacerbating the situation. UNICEF has reported a substantial delay in planned vaccine deliveries due to the lockdown measures and the ensuing decline in commercial flights and limited availability of charters. To help mitigate this, UNICEF is appealing to governments, the private sector, the airline industry, and others, to free up freight space at an affordable cost for these life-saving vaccines. Gavi recently signed an agreement with UNICEF to provide advance funding to cover increased freight costs for delivery of vaccines, in light of the reduced number of commercial flights available for transport. 

“We cannot let our fight against one disease come at the expense of long-term progress in our fight against other diseases,” said Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director. “We have effective vaccines against measles, polio and cholera. While circumstances may require us to temporarily pause some immunization efforts, these immunizations must restart as soon as possible, or we risk exchanging one deadly outbreak for another.”

Next week, WHO will issue new advice to countries on maintaining essential services during the pandemic, including recommendations on how to provide immunizations safely.

Mass immunization campaigns temporarily disrupted

Many countries have temporarily and justifiably suspended preventive mass vaccination campaigns against diseases like cholera, measles, meningitis, polio, tetanus, typhoid and yellow fever, due to risk of transmission and the need to maintain physical distancing during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Measles and polio vaccination campaigns, in particular, have been badly hit, with measles campaigns suspended in 27 countries and polio campaigns put on hold in 38 countries. At least 24 million people in 21 Gavi-supported lower-income countries are at risk of missing out on vaccines against polio, measles, typhoid, yellow fever, cholera, rotavirus, HPV, meningitis A and rubella due to postponed campaigns and introductions of new vaccines.

In late March, concerned that mass gatherings for vaccination campaigns would enflame transmission of COVID-19 WHO recommended countries to temporarily suspend preventive campaigns while assessments of risk, and effective measures for reducing COVID virus transmission were established.

WHO has since monitored the situation and has now issued advice to help countries determine how and when to resume mass vaccination campaigns. The guidance notes that countries will need to make specific risk assessments based on the local dynamics of COVID-19 transmission, the health system capacities, and the public health benefit of conducting preventive and outbreak response vaccination campaigns.

Based on this guidance, and following growing concerns about increasing transmission of polio, the  Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), is advising countries to start planning for the safe resumption of polio vaccination campaigns, especially in polio high-risk countries.

Despite the challenges, several countries are making special efforts to continue immunization. Uganda is ensuring that immunization services continue along with other essential health services, even funding transportation to ensure outreach activities. And in Lao PDR, despite a national lockdown imposed in March, routine immunization in fixed sites continued with physical distancing measures in place.

Notes to editors

Download photos and broll from UNICEF  and WHO. New polio guidance available here.

About the Analysis

Vaccination campaigns  Total # of  countries with postponed campaigns as of 15 May*
Measles/ Measles Rubella/ Measles Mumps Rubella (M/MR/MMR) 27
Polio (IPV) 7
Bivalent oral poliovirus vaccine (bOPV) 26
Monovalent Oral Poliovirus Type 2 (mOPV2) 13
Meningitis A (MenA) 2
Yellow Fever (YF) 4
Typhoid (TCV) 2
Cholera (OCV) 5
Tetanus (Td) 7

The online immunization pulse survey was conducted with over 800 immunization experts, including representatives of Ministries of Health and global health organizations across 107 countries. 53 of these were lower-income countries supported by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. The data on campaigns is based on data reported to WHO by member states as of 15 May 2020. Data on reasons for the disrupted services also came from regions and a survey on the training platform Scholar with 1600 respondents. 

On 4 June the UK government will host the Global Vaccine Summit, which will aim to raise at least US$ 7.4 billion for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance to protect 300 million children in 68 lower-income countries against deadly diseases from 2021-25. This funding will help support the mass vaccination campaigns and rebuilding of health systems needed over the coming years to help address the damage done by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The World Health Organization provides global leadership in public health within the United Nations system. Founded in 1948, WHO works with 194 Member States, across six regions and from more than 150 offices, to promote health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable. Our goal for 2019-2023 is to ensure that a billion more people have universal health coverage, to protect a billion more people from health emergencies, and provide a further billion people with better health and wellbeing.

The Global Polio Eradication Initiative is a public-private partnership led by national governments with six partners – the World Health Organization (WHO), Rotary International, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Gavi, the vaccine alliance. Its goal is to eradicate polio worldwide.

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance is a public-private partnership that helps vaccinate half the world’s children against some of the world’s deadliest diseases. Since its inception in 2000, Gavi has helped to immunise a whole generation – over 760 million children – and prevented more than 13 million deaths, helping to halve child mortality in 73 developing countries. Gavi also plays a key role in improving global health security by supporting health systems as well as funding global stockpiles for Ebola, cholera, meningitis and yellow fever vaccines

The Vaccine Alliance brings together developing country and donor governments, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank, the vaccine industry, technical agencies, civil society, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other private sector partners. View the full list of donor governments and other leading organizations that fund Gavi’s work here

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone. For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org. For more information about COVID-19, visit www.unicef.org/coronavirus. Follow UNICEF on Twitter and Facebook.

 

 

 

05/22/2020   WHO News
A detailed analysis of human African trypanosomiasis data systematically collected by WHO in the years 2000-2018 in the HAT Atlas was published in PloS NTDs showing the updated picture of the elimination trends in this disease.
05/22/2020   WHO News
The HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN 083) study on the safety and efficacy of the long-acting injectable antiretroviral drug cabotegravir (CAB LA), for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in HIV-uninfected cisgender men who have sex with men and transgender women who have sex with men, was stopped early by the trial Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) as results showed CAB LA to be highly effective in preventing HIV acquisition.
05/22/2020   WHO News
World No Tobacco Day 2020 awards - the winners
05/21/2020   WHO News

The Smithsonian Science Education Center, in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP)—a partnership of 140 national academies of science, engineering and medicine—has developed “COVID-19! How can I protect myself and others?,” a new rapid-response guide for youth ages 8–17. The guide, which is based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, aims to help young people understand the science and social science of COVID-19 as well as help them take actions to keep themselves, their families and communities safe.

Through a set of seven cohesive student-led tasks, participants engage in the activities to answer questions previously defined by their peers. The questions explore the impact of COVID-19 on the world, how to practice hand and respiratory hygiene and physical distancing, and how to research more information about COVID-19. The final task teaches youth how they can take action on the new scientific knowledge they learn to improve their health and the health of others. Each task is designed to be completed at home.

The guide includes updated research, activities, quotes from scientists and frontline public health officials, and physical and emotional safety tips on COVID-19. It also integrates inquiry-based science education with social and emotional learning and civic engagement.

“We are immensely grateful to WHO, the IAP, our colleagues at the Smithsonian and other senior project advisors and translators for their perspectives and technical support in ensuring the science is accurate,” said Carol O’Donnell, director of the Smithsonian Science Education Center. “We are also grateful to the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation for their support during the development of this module. This work represents the power of collaboration and working closely with others across the globe, even during a time of physical distancing.”

 “Through this project, the Smithsonian Science Education Center makes science exciting and approachable for children and youth all over the world and encourages them to learn by doing” said Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, chief scientist at WHO. “With all the myths and misconceptions out there, it is important for children and youth to understand the nature of this pandemic and what can be done to prevent future pandemics from happening,”

 “It is so important for children—wherever they are in the world—to develop their scientific understanding and rational thinking,” said Professor Volker ter Meulen, president of IAP. “Only by being able to make rational decisions based on the best science and evidence can any of us adjust our behavior to keep ourselves and our families safe from infections such as COVID-19.”

The Smithsonian Science Education Center will disseminate the information to youth worldwide in collaboration with WHO, IAP, educators, and museum and research center networks. The guide is free, will be available to youth in more than 15 languages, particularly African and Asian languages, and can be found at https://ssec.si.edu/covid-19.

About the Smithsonian Science Education Center

The Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC) is transforming K–12 Education Through Science in collaboration with communities across the globe. The SSEC is nationally and internationally recognized for the quality of its programs and its impact on K–12 science education.

About the World Health Organization

The World Health Organization provides global leadership in public health within the United Nations system. Founded in 1948, WHO works with 194 Member States, across six regions and from more than 150 offices, to promote health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable. Our goal for 2019–2023 is to ensure that a billion more people have universal health coverage, to protect a billion more people from health emergencies and provide a further billion people with better health and well-being. For updates on COVID-19 and public health advice to protect yourself from coronavirus, visit www.who.int and follow WHO on TwitterFacebookInstagramLinkedInTikTokPinterestSnapchatYouTube.

About the InterAcademy Partnership

Under the umbrella of the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP), more than 140 national, regional and global member academies work together to support the vital role of science in seeking evidence-based solutions to the world’s most challenging problems. In particular, IAP harnesses the expertise of the world’s scientific, medical and engineering leaders to advance sound policies, improve public health, promote excellence in science education and achieve other critical development goals. See www.interacademies.org and follow IAP on Twitter https://twitter.com/IAPartnership and YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZl-b7akbFF81bKBZsc8YbQ.

 

05/20/2020   COVID-19 News
From 13 to 19 May 2020, no new cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) have been reported from North Kivu Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo.
05/20/2020   WHO News

At today’s meeting of the 73rd World Health Assembly —its first-ever to be held virtually—delegates adopted a landmark resolution to bring the world together to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

The resolution, co-sponsored by more than 130 countries, was adopted by consensus.

It calls for the intensification of efforts to control the pandemic, and for equitable access to and fair distribution of all essential health technologies and products to combat the virus. It also calls for an independent and comprehensive evaluation of the global response, including, but not limited to, WHO’s performance.

As WHO convened ministers of health from almost every country in the world, the consistent message throughout the two-day meeting—including from the 14 heads of state participating in the opening and closing sessions —was that global unity is the most powerful tool to combat the outbreak. The resolution is a concrete manifestation of this call, and a roadmap for controlling the outbreak.

In his closing remarks, WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said “COVID-19 has robbed us of people we love. It’s robbed us of lives and livelihoods; it’s shaken the foundations of our world; it threatens to tear at the fabric of international cooperation. But it’s also reminded us that for all our differences, we are one human race, and we are stronger together.”

The World Health Assembly will reconvene later in the year.

05/18/2020   WHO News

All over the world, the COVID-19 pandemic is causing significant loss of life, disrupting livelihoods, and threatening the recent advances in health and progress towards global development goals highlighted in the 2020 World Health Statistics published by the World Health Organization (WHO) today.

“The good news is that people around the world are living longer and healthier lives. The bad news is the rate of progress is too slow to meet the Sustainable Development Goals and will be further thrown off track by COVID-19,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.

“The pandemic highlights the urgent need for all countries to invest in strong health systems and primary health care, as the best defense against outbreaks like COVID-19, and against the many other health threats that people around the world face every day. Health systems and health security are two sides of the same coin.”

WHO’s World Health Statistics — an annual check-up on the world’s health — reports progress against a series of key health and health service indicators, revealing some important lessons in terms of progress made towards the Sustainable Development Goals and gaps to fill.

Life expectancy and healthy life expectancy have increased, but unequally.

The biggest gains were reported in low-income countries, which saw life expectancy rise 21% or 11 years between 2000 and 2016 (compared with an increase of 4% or 3 years in higher income countries).

One driver of progress in lower-income countries was improved access to services to prevent and treat HIV, malaria and tuberculosis, as well as a

number of neglected tropical diseases such as guinea worm. Another was better maternal and child healthcare, which led to a halving of child mortality between 2000 and 2018.

But in a number of areas, progress has been stalling. Immunization coverage has barely increased in recent years, and there are fears that malaria gains may be reversed. And there is an overall shortage of services within and outside the health system to prevent and treat noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) such as cancer, diabetes, heart and lung disease, and stroke. In 2016, 71 per cent of all deaths worldwide were attributable to NCDs, with the majority of the 15 million premature deaths (85%) occurring in low and middle-income countries.

This uneven progress broadly mirrors inequalities in access to quality health services. Only between one third and one half the world’s population was able to obtain essential health services in 2017. Service coverage in low- and middle-income countries remains well below coverage in wealthier ones; as do health workforce densities. In more than 40% of all countries, there are fewer than 10 medical doctors per 10 000 people. Over 55% of countries have fewer than 40 nursing and midwifery personnel per 10 000 people. 

The inability to pay for healthcare is another major challenge for many. On current trends, WHO estimates that this year, 2020, approximately 1 billion people (almost 13 per cent of the global population) will be spending at least 10% of their household budgets on health care. The majority of these people live in lower middle-income countries.

“The COVID-19 pandemic highlights the need to protect people from health emergencies, as well as to promote universal health coverage and healthier populations to keep people from needing health services through multisecotral interventions like improving basic hygiene and sanitation,” said Dr Samira Asma, Assistant Director General at WHO.

In 2017, more than half (55%) of the global population was estimated to lack access to safely-managed sanitation services, and more than one quarter (29%) lacked safely-managed drinking water. In the same year, two in five households globally (40%) lacked basic handwashing facilities with soap and water in their home. 

The World Health Statistics also highlight the need for stronger data and health information systems. Uneven capacities to collect and use accurate, timely, and comparable health statistics, undermining countries’ ability to understand population health trends, develop appropriate policies, allocate resources and prioritize interventions. 

For almost a fifth of countries, over half of the key indicators have no recent primary or direct underlying data, another major challenge in enabling countries to prepare for, prevent and respond to health emergencies such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. WHO is therefore supporting countries in strengthening surveillance and data and health information systems so they can measure their status and manage improvements.  

“The message from this report is clear: as the world battles the most serious pandemic in 100 years, just a decade away from the SDG deadline, we must act together to strengthen primary health care and focus on the most vulnerable among us in order to eliminate the gross inequalities that dictate who lives a long, healthy life and who doesn’t,” added Asma. “We will only succeed in doing this by helping countries to improve their data and health information systems.” 


Note for editors

The World Health Statistics have been compiled primarily from publications and databases produced and maintained by WHO or by United Nations (UN) groups of which WHO is a member, such as the UN Interagency Group for Child Mortality Estimation. In addition, some statistics have been derived from data produced and maintained by other international organizations, such as the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs and its Population Division. The Global Health Observatory database contains additional details about the health-related SDG indicators, as well as interactive visualizations.

 

05/18/2020   WHO News
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the planned 11th meeting of the Global Network of WHO CCs for Bioethics at Stellenbosch University in April could not be held. A virtual meeting was held on 8 May to share important insights gained through the COVID-related projects CCs have been involved in and discuss common ethical challenges faced around the world.
05/16/2020   WHO News

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) today signed an agreement to work together to promote health through sport and physical activity.

"I am pleased to formalize this longstanding partnership with the International Olympic Committee," said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. "WHO works not only to respond to disease but also to help people realize their healthiest lives and this partnership will do exactly that. Physical activity is one of the keys to good health and well-being."

This collaboration is timely. The current COVID-19 pandemic is particularly affecting people with noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). The agreement has a special focus on preventing NCDs through sport. Physical activity helps lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and various types of cancer (including breast cancer and colon cancer).

Other areas of collaboration include working with host countries to ensure the health of athletes, supporters and workers at the games as well as addressing NCD risk factors, including water quality and air pollution. The two institutions will also work to ensure that the games leave a healthy legacy in host countries through enhanced awareness of the value of sport and physical activity.

The two organizations also intend to work together to promote grassroots and community sports programmes that have a further reach within the general public, particularly among girls, older people and people living with disability who may find it harder to keep active and healthy.

“Over the last few months in the current crisis, we have all seen how important sport and physical activity are for physical and mental health. Sport can save lives,” said IOC President Thomas Bach. "The IOC calls on the governments of the world to include sport in their post-crisis support programmes because of the important role of sport in the prevention of NCDs, but also of communicable diseases.”

Globally, WHO estimates that 1 in 4 adults is not active enough and more than 80% of the world's adolescent population is insufficiently physically active. The new partnership will bring together the sports and health sectors at international, regional and national levels to reach the global goal of increasing physical activity by 15%, as set out in the Global Action Plan on Physical Activity.

 

05/15/2020   WHO News

Geneva, 15 May 2020 – Presidents Carlos Alvarado Quesada of Costa Rica and Sebastián Piñera of Chile joined WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus today to announce progress on a technology platform that aims to lift access barriers to effective vaccines, medicines and other health products against COVID-19. Costa Rica proposed the idea at the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak and several countries are now backing the proposal.

“Our proposal relies on solidarity,” said President Alvarado of Costa Rica. “It’s a Solidarity call to action to Member States, to academia, to companies, research institutions and cooperation agencies, based on global social responsibility, on a voluntary basis, promoting more global nonexclusive voluntary licensing.”

“We need to unleash the full power of science, without caveats or restrictions, to deliver innovations that are scalable, usable, and benefit everyone, everywhere, at the same time,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

“Traditional market models will not deliver at the scale needed to cover the entire globe. Solidarity within and between countries and the private sector is essential if we are to overcome these difficult times.”

“Chile, like most countries in the international community, considers that only through international cooperation is it possible to emerge victorious from the crisis caused by COVID-19,” said Ambassador Cristian Streeter, Director of Multilateral Policy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, speaking on behalf of President Piñera of Chile.

The platform will pool data, knowledge and intellectual property for existing or new COVID-19 health products to deliver ‘global public goods’ for all people and all countries. Through the open sharing of science and data, numerous companies will be able to access the information they need to produce the technologies, thereby scaling up availability worldwide, lowering costs and increasing access. 

WHO and Costa Rica will officially launch the platform on 29 May. On that date, a Solidarity Call to Action will be published on WHO’s web site where governments, research and development funders, institutions and companies can express their support.

The solidarity of all of WHO’s Member States will be critical to ensuring the technology platform can be a meaningful tool for equitable access to COVID-19 health products.

05/15/2020   WHO News

Conflict and the COVID-19 pandemic present a significant threat to life in Libya. The health and safety of the country’s entire population are at risk. 

Close to 400,000 Libyans have been displaced since the start of the conflict nine years ago – around half of them within the past year, since the attack on the capital, Tripoli, started. 

Despite repeated calls for a humanitarian ceasefire, including by the United Nations Secretary-General, hostilities continue unabated, hindering access and the delivery of critical humanitarian supplies. Humanitarian workers face significant challenges every day to carry on with their mission. In March 2020, humanitarian partners reported a total of 851 access constraints on movement of humanitarian personnel and humanitarian items within and into Libya. 

The situation for many migrants and refugees is especially alarming. Since the start of this year, more than 3,200 people have been intercepted at sea and returned to Libya. Many end up in one of the eleven official detention centers. Others are taken to facilities or unofficial detention centers to which the humanitarian community does not have access. The United Nations has repeatedly reiterated that Libya is not a safe port and that persons rescued at sea should not be returned to arbitrary detention. 

Women and children continue to bear the brunt of the ongoing armed conflict in Libya: over the past year, the United Nations verified 113 cases of grave violations, including killing and maiming of children, attacks on schools, and health facilities. Hospitals and health facilities have been targeted by shelling, further disrupting Libya’s fragile health system. Since the beginning of the year, at least 15 attacks have damaged health facilities and ambulances and injured health care workers. These attacks are a blatant violation of international humanitarian law and even more egregious during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The onset of the coronavirus in Libya poses yet another strain on the already overstretched health system, and further threatens the most vulnerable people in the country. As of May 13, there were 64 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including three deaths, in different parts of the country. This shows that local/community transmission is taking place. The risk of further escalation of the outbreak is very high. 

Food security, already a challenge, is being compromised by the spread of COVID-19 and its socioeconomic impact on Libyan families. Latest market assessments show that most cities are facing shortages of basic food items coupled with an increase in prices. Limited market availability of goods and higher prices are impacting plans, as are supply chain disruptions. Continued support to food security inside the country is essential so that this health crisis does not worsen by becoming a food crisis. 

We urge all parties to the conflict to protect vital water supply facilities. We are acutely alarmed that water facilities have been deliberately targeted or indiscriminately attacked. This affects thousands of women and children and impedes efforts to implement basic virus prevention measures, such as hand-washing. 

We support the Secretary-General’s call for a global ceasefire and a humanitarian pause to save lives and enable the Libyan authorities and their partners to devote their energies to stopping the spread of COVID-19. The international community must not turn a blind eye to the conflict in Libya and its catastrophic effect on civilians, including migrants and refugees, across the country. 

Despite enormous challenges, the UN and our humanitarian partners have continued to reach the most vulnerable people in Libya. Funds are urgently required, including for vital enabling services such as the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service, if we are to continue meeting emergency needs. We look forward with anticipation to the pledged financial support to the Humanitarian Response Plan for Libya, as announced by the Government of National Accord. Donors have been supportive. We ask that they continue to show their generosity and stand by the people of Libya in their quest for peace and in this moment of great need. 

Signatories: 

UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock 

UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi 

Executive Director of UNICEF Henrietta Fore 

Executive Director of UN Population Fund Dr. Natalia Kanem 

Executive Director of the World Food Programme David Beasley 

Director-General of World Health Organization Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus 

Director General of International Organization for Migration António Vitorino 

05/15/2020   WHO News
A survey for healthcare professionals about their country’s - and the world’s - efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and other public health emergencies.
05/13/2020   COVID-19 News
From 6 to 12 May 2020, no new cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) have been reported from North Kivu Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo (Figure 1). Since the resurgence of the outbreak on 10 April 2020, seven confirmed cases have been reported from Kasanga, Malepe and Kanzulinzuli Health Areas in Beni Health Zone. Of these, one is receiving care at the Beni Ebola treatment centre (ETC), one who was receiving care at the ETC recovered and was discharged, and one remains in the community, 35 days after symptom onset. Efforts to locate this individual are being undertaken to test and provide care for this person. Four of the people confirmed to have Ebola died, including two community deaths and two deaths in the ETC in Beni. So far, no definitive source of infection has been identified.

As of 12 May, 90 contacts are currently under surveillance, of which 41 are high-risk contacts who had direct contact with body fluids of the last confirmed case. All contacts have exited their high-risk period (seven to 13 days after last exposure). Contacts from the previous six cases reported in April have exited their follow-up period. Of the 41 high-risk contacts, 37 have been vaccinated. A total of 1486 people have been vaccinated in Beni and Karisimbi since 10 April 2020.
05/06/2020   COVID-19 News
From 29 April to 5 May 2020, no new cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) have been reported from North Kivu Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo.
05/05/2020   COVID-19 News
Burundi has been experiencing an increase in the number of confirmed cases of measles since November 2019. This outbreak initially started in a refugee transit camp (Centre de transit de Cishemere, Cibitoke Health district), whose inhabitants had arrived from measles-affected provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Refugees spend 21 days in the Transit Camp of Cishemere before they are sent to permanent camps in Nyankanda and Bwagiriza refugee camps in Butezi, Kavumu camp of Cankuzo, Garsowe camp of Muyinga and Mulumba camp at Kiremba.

The outbreak was identified when suspected measles cases had been reported by the local residents in the surrounding areas, highlighting pockets of under-vaccinated populations. According to WHO/UNICEF 2018 estimates, measles first dose vaccination coverage is relatively high (88%), and slightly lower for the second dose (77%). However, this does not reflect the vaccination coverage of incoming refugees.
05/04/2020   COVID-19 News
From 1 through 31 March 2020, the National IHR Focal Point of Saudi Arabia reported 15 additional cases of MERS-CoV infection, including five associated deaths. The cases were reported from Riyadh (7 cases), Makkah (4 cases), Najran (3 cases), and Al Qassim (1 case) regions.

The link below provides details of the 15 reported cases.
04/29/2020   COVID-19 News
From 22 to 28 April 2020, one new confirmed case of Ebola virus disease (EVD) was reported from Beni Health Zone in North Kivu Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo (Figure 1). This person was listed as a contact of a confirmed case, a family member who was reported on 17 April. The person was vaccinated on 20 April and was followed by the contact tracing team, though not on a regular basis due to insecurity.

Since the resurgence of the outbreak on 10 April 2020, seven confirmed cases have been reported, all from Beni Health Zone. Of these, one is receiving care at the Beni Ebola treatment centre (ETC), one who was receiving care at the ETC recovered and was discharged, and one remains in the community. Response teams are engaging with the community in order to try to bring that person to the ETC for access to treatment and supportive care, and to prevent further transmission in the community. Four of the people confirmed to have Ebola died, including two community deaths and two deaths in the ETC in Beni.