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Ebola: Premium Times Publisher urges special honour for Adedevoh

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Mr Dapo Olorunyomi, publisher of Premium Times online newspaper, has called for special honour to the late Dr Stella Adedevoh, over her bravery that warded off the dreaded Ebola epidemic from Nigeria.

The publisher, who spoke on Tuesday in Abuja at the opening of the 2019 National Health Dialogue organised by the newspaper, said that the brave medic’s heroics should be emulated in the drive for Universal Health Coverage,(UHC), in Nigeria.

The Nigeria News Agency(NAN), recalls that Adedevoh was the lead consultant physician and endocrinolgist at a private hospital in Lagos, Nigeria when a victim of the dreaded illness arrived into the country.

The medic contracted the disease and died alongside three of her colleagues in the efforts to save the country from the deadly virus,

“Her heroic efforts prevented a major outbreak of Ebola in Nigeria and served as a catalyst for successful government action to contain its spread,” the publisher recalled.

He said that Nigerians must celebrate the medic on Oct. 21, her birthday, to encourage more Nigerians to make sacrifices for the country whenever necessary.

NAN reports that the gathering for the second edition of the National Health Dialogue witnessed lively debates on a wide range of challenges facing the health sector in the country.

NAN also reports that the dialogue had the theme: “Universal Health Coverage: The role of State and Non-State Actors in Healthcare Funding and Support”.

Delivering the first goodwill message, the Ambassador of Japan to Nigeria, Yukuta Kikuta, gave an insight into the Nigeria-Japan partnership in strengthening the health sector.

Yukuta explained how President Muhammadu Buhari shared his belief in strengthening the health sector during the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7).

He said that UHC was “ a quintessential example of brand Japan” at TICAD7.

The Ambassador said that the government of Japan had pledged to bring UHC to three million recipients in Africa.

Also in his goodwill message, representative of the Nigeria Governors forum (NGF), Mr Musa Ukaru, said that the forum was delighted to play a part in the dialogue.

Ukaru described the health indicators in the country as “shameful and disturbing”, urging state and non-state actors to spring to action as the theme of the event suggested.

He said that UHC was a top priority of the NGF and announced that the forum was in the process of developing a dashboard that would aid the improvement of access to accelerated UHC.

Ukaru regretted that Nigeria’s records in malarial-related deaths, mortality rate, HIV and other indices were embarrassing, and challenged stakeholders to act fast.

NAN also reports that the dialogue was able to bring together stakeholders in the health and development sectors to discuss the challenges and prospects of UHC in Nigeria. (NAN)

AIR/ETS

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Angola redoubles border surveillance amid fears of reported Ebola cases in DR Congo

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Angola on Thursday said it is intensifying precautionary measures in the border areas of the eastern Lunda Norte Province with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) to prevent the import and spread of Ebola in its territory after the DR Congo reported the emergence of new cases.

According to Lunda Norte Governor Ernesto Muangala, the local government has enough biosafety material and drugs to prevent contagion and possible positive cases of the Ebola epidemic.

The DR Congo announced early this week the emergence of a new Ebola outbreak in Wangata county, Mbandaka, in the northern province of Equator.

Lunda Norte government said it is anticipating prevention measures not to be caught by surprise, although the outbreak has not yet spread to the provinces of Kasai Central, Kasai and Kwango in the border areas.

The provincial governor explained that intervention health teams and epidemiological surveillance are being strengthened which, in addition to raising awareness about Ebola, will advise citizens living along the borders with DR Congo to continue to observe the COVID-19 pandemic prevention measures.

The police are also stepping up actions in the border areas to stop the entry and exit of Angolan and Congolese citizens in both countries, the official said.

Lunda Norte shares a 770-km border with the DR Congo.

(XINHUA)

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Africa CDC closely monitoring new outbreak of Ebola in DR Congo

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The African Union (AU) on Wednesday said its specialized health institution, the Africa CDC, is closely monitoring the situation while preparing to support responses to the new outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Following a notification by the Equateur provincial health authorities of community deaths on May 23 and 30, the DRC government on Sunday declared a new outbreak of EVD in Mbandaka in the northwest Equateur Province.

This is the 11th EVD outbreak in the DRC and it has already claimed four lives and infected four other people in the community, said a statement from the 55-member pan-African bloc.

The outbreak began at a time when experts were close to declaring an end to the 10th EVD outbreak in North Kivu Province, and when countries are fighting hard to control the COVID-19 pandemic, noted the statement.

As the DRC Ministry of Health is currently establishing a coordination and response mechanism to effectively contain the outbreak, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) is closely monitoring the situation while preparing to support response to the outbreak at the national and regional levels.

The Africa CDC has briefed the leadership of the AU Commission about the outbreak and the Commission has pledged its solidarity and support to the DRC in responding to the outbreak, according to the statement.

It also said that the Africa CDC would redeploy its resources and team of experts supporting response to the 10th EVD outbreak in North Kivu to support response to the new outbreak in Equateur Province.

Cognizant of the risk that multiple disease outbreaks have on the DRC, the Africa CDC is working with the DRC government, the World Health Organization (WHO) and other partners to strengthen response to both the 10th and 11th EVD outbreaks and the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

Africa CDC is a specialized technical institution of AU, which supports member states in their efforts to strengthen health systems and improve surveillance, emergency response, prevention and control of diseases.

(XINHUA)

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8 fresh cases of Ebola confirmed in DRC- WHO

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Office for Africa has confirmed eight fresh cases of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The UN’s health agency confirmed the development in a statement posted on its website.

The Government of DRC has announced a new outbreak of Ebola virus disease in Wangata health zone, Mbandaka, in Équateur province.

“The announcement comes as a long, difficult and complex Ebola outbreak in eastern DRC is in its final phase, while the country also battles COVID-19 and the world’s largest measles outbreak.

“Initial information from the Ministry of Health is that eight Ebola cases have so far been detected in Wangata, of which four have died (one laboratory confirmed case and three probable cases) and four are alive (two laboratory confirmed and two probable).

“It is likely more people will be identified with the disease as surveillance activities increase,’’ it said.

The statement quoted WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, as saying: “This is a reminder that COVID-19 is not the only health threat people face.

“Although much of our attention is on the pandemic, WHO is continuing to monitor and respond to many other health emergencies.”

According to the statement, this is the DRC’s 11th outbreak of Ebola since the virus was first discovered in the country in 1976.

The city of Mbandaka and its surrounding area were the site of DRC’s 9th Ebola outbreak, which took place from May to July 2018.

The statement also quoted Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, as saying: “It is happening at a challenging time, but WHO has worked over the last two years with health authorities, Africa Centre for Disease Control and other partners to strengthen national capacity to respond to outbreaks.

“To reinforce local leadership, WHO plans to send a team to support scaling up the response. Given the proximity of this new outbreak to busy transport routes and vulnerable neighbouring countries we must act quickly.”

According to the statement, WHO is already on the ground in Mbandaka supporting the response to this outbreak, as part of capacity built during the 2018 outbreak.

“The team supported the collection and testing of samples, and reference to the national laboratory for confirmation. Contact tracing is underway. Work is ongoing to send additional supplies from North Kivu and from Kinshasa to support the government-led response.

A further 25 people are expected to arrive in Mbandaka tomorrow. WHO is also working to ensure that essential health services are provided to communities despite these emergency events.’’

The DRC’s 10th outbreak of Ebola, in North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri provinces, is in its final stages.

On 14 May 2020, the Ministry of Health began the 42-day countdown to the declaration of the end of that outbreak.

New outbreaks of Ebola are expected in DRC given the existence of the virus in an animal reservoir in many parts of the country.


Edited By: Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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1st LD: New Ebola outbreak reported in northwest DR Congo

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A fresh outbreak of the Ebola virus disease was declared on Monday by Congolese Minister of Health Eteni Longondo in the city of Mbandaka, in Equateur Province in northwestern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo).

“The samples taken in Mbandaka and sent to the National Institute of Biomedical Research in Kinshasa were positive,” said the health minister during a press conference in Kinshasa.

According to Eteni Longondo, the heads of the National Institute of Biomedical Research in Kinshasa confirmed on Monday the result of the test taken from the patients on the spot in the town of Mbandaka.

A few days ago, the authorities of the city of Mbandaka in Equator Province alerted at least four cases of suspicious deaths in the same health zone of Mbandaka.

For health authorities in Kinshasa, the Ebola response team is already in place at the provincial level and another team will be deployed from Kinshasa to strengthen the response.

The announcement comes as health authorities started a countdown to declare the end of the tenth Ebola epidemic that has plagued the east part of the country since 2018, which has left more than three thousand people contaminated and 2,280 people dead.

According to WHO Secretary-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who has confirmed six cases, including four already dead by his Twitter account, WHO already has its teams on scene to support the fight against the epidemic.

The tenth epidemic has been the deadliest in the history of the country since the discovery of the first Ebola epidemic around 1977 in the province of Bandundu.

The government was planning to announce the country Ebola free on June 25, but with new cases resurfacing, the country has to continue fighting it, media reports said.

(XINHUA)

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New Ebola outbreak declared in northwest DR Congo

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An eleventh outbreak of the Ebola virus disease was declared on Monday by Congolese Minister of Health Eteni Longondo in the city of Mbandaka, in Equateur Province in northwestern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo).

“The samples taken in Mbandaka and sent to the National Institute of Biomedical Research in Kinshasa were positive,” said the health minister during a press conference in Kinshasa.

According to Eteni Longondo, the heads of the National Institute of Biomedical Research in Kinshasa confirmed on Monday the result of the test taken from the patients on the spot in the town of Mbandaka.

A few days ago, the authorities of the city of Mbandaka in Equator Province alerted at least four cases of suspicious deaths in the same health zone of Mbandaka.

For health authorities in Kinshasa, the Ebola response team is already in place at the provincial level and another team will be deployed from Kinshasa to strengthen the response.

The announcement comes as health authorities started a countdown to declare the end of the tenth Ebola epidemic that has plagued the east part of the country since 2018, which has left more than three thousand people contaminated and two thousand people dead.

According to WHO Secretary-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who has confirmed six cases, including four already dead by his Twitter account, WHO already has its teams on scene to support the fight against the epidemic.

The tenth epidemic has been the deadliest in the history of the country since the discovery of the first Ebola epidemic around 1977 in the province of Bandundu.

(XINHUA)

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DRC begins 42-day countdown to end Ebola – WHO

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Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of World Health Organisation (WHO), says Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has started 42 days countdown to end Ebola in the country.

Ghebreyesus who stated this in a statement posted on WHO website, said there was continued hope to end the virus.

“The last person who was being treated for Ebola in the DRC recovered and was discharged on May 14.

“On that day, the DRC Ministry of Health announced the beginning of the 42-day countdown to the end of the outbreak.

“We now have 36 days to go but new cases could still emerge, as we have seen before.

“The pandemic has taught and informed many lessons: Health is not a cost; it’s an investment.

“To live in a secure world, guaranteeing quality health for all is not just the right choice; it’s the smart choice,” he said.

The director general, however, thanked the member state representatives and ministers for joining the World Health Assembly and signing up to a historic consensus resolution on COVID-19 and the way ahead.

The two-day Virtual World Health Assembly held in Geneva ended on Tuesday on consensus resolution on COVID-19 and the way ahead.

“The resolution sets out a clear roadmap of the critical activities and actions that must be taken to sustain and accelerate the response at the national and international levels.

“It assigns responsibilities for both the WHO and its member states, and captures the comprehensive whole of government and whole of society approach we have been calling for since the beginning of the outbreak.

“If implemented, this would ensure a more coherent, coordinated and fairer response that saves both lives and livelihoods.

“The landmark resolution underlines WHO’s key role in promoting access to safe, effective health technologies to fight the pandemic,” he said.

At the assembly, Ghebreyesus said he welcomed member states’ commitment to lift all barriers to universal access to vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics.

“This includes four critical points from the resolution:

“First: that there is a global priority to ensure the fair distribution of all quality essential health technologies required to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Second: that relevant international treaties should be harnessed where needed, including the provisions of the TRIPS agreement.

“Third: that COVID-19 vaccines should be classified as a global public good for health in order to bring the pandemic to an end.

“And fourth: that collaboration to promote both private sector and government-funded research and development should be encouraged. This includes open innovation across all relevant domains and the sharing of all relevant information with WHO,” he said.

According to him, an important collaborative response to this resolution would be the COVID-19 technology platform proposed by Costa Rica.

“It will be launched on the 29th of May, which aims to lift access barriers to effective vaccines, medicines and other health products. We call on all countries to join this initiative.

“I’m glad we are making progress on the research and development agenda, which was mapped out in February at the research and development meeting convened by WHO.

“That roadmap has now given rise to the solidarity trials, which now include 3,000 patients in 320 hospitals across 17 countries and to the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator,” he said.

In addition, the director general said the world still had a long way to go in this pandemic.

“In the last 24 hours, there have been 106,000 cases reported to WHO – the most in a single day since the outbreak began. Almost two thirds of these cases were reported in just four countries.

“But, in good news, it has been particularly impressive to see how countries like the Republic of Korea have built on their experience of MERS.

“The country is building on the experience of MERS to quickly implement a comprehensive strategy to find, isolate, test and care for every case, and trace every contact,’’ he said.  

Edited By: Joseph Edeh/Salif Atojoko (NAN)

 

 

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WHO confirms 7 fresh cases of Ebola in DRC

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2,113 samples were tested, including 1,466 blood samples from alive, suspected cases; 308 swabs from community deaths; and 339 samples from re-tested patients.

“Overall, laboratory activities increased by 37 per cent compared to the previous week,” it said.

As of May 3, the report stated that a total of 3,462 EVD cases, including 3,317 confirmed and 145 probable cases had been reported, of which 2,279 cases died (overall case fatality ratio 66 per cent).

“Of the total confirmed and probable cases, 57 per cent (number = 1961) were female, 29 per cent (number = 996) were children aged less than 18 years, and five per cent (number = 171) were healthcare workers.

“As of  May  3,  1,170 cases have recovered from EVD.

“It is essential to detect, isolate, test and treat new suspected cases as early as possible in order to improve outcome of cases and break the chain of transmission.

“However, response teams currently face a number of challenges, including limited resources due to other local and global emergencies, insecurity, and limited access to some communities.

“A major funding gap is also constraining the response; WHO currently requires 21.5 million dollars to ensure continuity of essential EVD response activities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,’’ it stated.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Felix Ajide (NAN)

 

 

 

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WHO confirms 4 fresh cases of Ebola in DRC

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a total of 1,169 cases have recovered from EVD in the country,’’ it added.

= = = =

Edited By: Edith Bolokor/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)

 

 

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Ebola: 200 contacts vaccinated in DRC – WHO

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highlighted the importance of constant and heightened vigilance of this disease in the face of significant challenges around community acceptance and access for response teams.

“Insecurity is ongoing, with armed insurgents and limited community engagement.

“This emphasises the need for stronger coordination and communication among partners, the Ministry of Health and with civil society and local authorities.

“Alongside this, stronger advocacy for survivors is required, with a critical need to address rumour and stigmatisation of survivors,’’ it explained.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Peter Dada (NAN)

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Contact US: editor @nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247 @gmail.com

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