Major health stories last week

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Salvatore di Nolfi/EPA
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Salvatore di Nolfi/EPA

The new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has infected over 12 million people and killed about 568, 312 around the world, six months after its emergence.

Scientists have been in a race to develop a vaccine against the virus and also drugs for the cure of confirmed patients. While these researches are ongoing, Nigeria has recorded over 31,000 confirmed cases of the virus with 724 deaths as of Saturday.

Nigeria records over 31,000 COVID-19 cases

Nigeria’s tally of confirmed COVID-19 cases rose to 31,987 as 664 new infections were announced by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control Saturday evening.

The death toll from the virus has hit 724, as 15 new deaths were reported. The fatality rate in Nigeria is about 2.2 per cent.`

All the 36 states of the country and the Federal Capital Territory have recorded at least a case of the disease.

COVID-19 cases worldwide hit 12 million

COVID-19 cases globally have more than doubled in the past six weeks, reaching 12 million on Friday, the World Health Organisation (WHO) reported.

”Across all walks of life, we are all being tested to the limit”, agency chief Tedros Ghebreyesus told journalists, adding that there is still a lot of work to be done.

“From countries where there is exponential growth, to places that are loosening restrictions and now starting to see cases rise, we need leadership, community participation and collective solidarity. Only aggressive action combined with national unity and global solidarity can turn this pandemic around,” he said.

COVID-19: Nearly 150 prospective vaccines developed; 19 in trials – WHO

As researchers around the world race to find effective protection against the COVID-19 virus, the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Africa has called on countries in the region to take concrete actions to ensure equitable access to vaccines.

It said globally, there are nearly 150 COVID-19 vaccine candidates and currently 19 are in clinical trials.

In a statement made available to PREMIUM TIMES on Wednesday, the WHO Regional Director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, said African countries always end up at the back of the queue for new technologies, which include vaccines.

“It is clear that as the international community comes together to develop safe and effective vaccines and therapeutics for COVID-19, equity must be a central focus of these efforts.

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“Too often, African countries end up at the back of the queue for new technologies, including vaccines. These life-saving products must be available to everyone, not only those who can afford to pay,” Mr Moeti said.

NAFDAC considers 21 herbal products for usage

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) says 21 herbal medicinal products are currently being processed by the agency for “Safe use” or Listing status.

Mojisola Adeyeye, the Director General of the agency, said that the manufacturers of these products who have applied to the agency claimed that their products are only immune boosters and anti-infectives useful for relief of symptoms that could be associated with COVID-19.

Mrs Adeyeye in a statement said no clinical study has been done yet on any of the products to prove their claim of efficacy.

COVID-19 has worsened maternal mortality rate in Nigeria – NPC Chairman

The National Population Commission (NPC) says the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened maternal mortality rate in Nigeria.

The acting chairman of the commission, Eyitayo Oyetunji, said this on Saturday while commemorating the 2020 World Population Day (WPD). The day is celebrated on July 11 to raise awareness about sexual and reproductive health needs of people around the world.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that WPD is annually celebrated on July 11 to raise awareness about sexual and reproductive health needs of people around the world.

Mr Oyetunji, who said that this year’s theme of the WPD — Putting the brakes on COVID-19: How to Safeguard the Health and Rights of Women and Girls Now”, affirmed that women and girls were worst affected by the pandemic.

New study warns of brain damages linked to COVID-19

A new study has found that infection with COVID-19 can lead to brain damages, including delirium and nerve damage. The study by researchers at University College London (UCL) was published on Wednesday.

According to the researchers, since COVID-19 broke out, there appeared to be a “concerning increase” of a rare brain inflammation known to be triggered by viral infections.

Shock as Nigerian professor says COVID-19 does not exist

A Nigerian professor, Cyril Otoikhian, has challenged the Nigerian government and other scientists working on COVID-19 to prove the existence of the virus in the country.

The professor of genetics at the Novena University, Delta State, in a Monday morning programme on Channels TV, shocked his interviewers when he argued that the virus does not exist as there has been no known evidence to prove its existence.

Mr Otoikhian claimed there was secrecy surrounding the diagnosis of the disease in the country. He said that suggested that the disease does not exist.

Despite 99% awareness creation, Nigerians still ignorant of COVID-19 – NCDC

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says it has achieved 99 per cent awareness creation on COVID-19, but decried that Nigerians are still widely ignorant of the deadly virus and compliance to the preventive measures across the country has been low.

Yahaya Disu, head of Risk Communications, NCDC, said this in a chat on Twitter with the Nigeria Health Watch while sharing insights on the increase in the numbers. He said the perception survey conducted showed a general poor perception of threat posed by COVID-19 and low efficacy of control measures.

He said the centre adopted a science-based, data-driven and dynamic messaging strategy while also relies on weekly opinion polls by partners to assess level of awareness/compliance and identify barriers to compliance with guidelines.

Health Security: Maiduguri College of Nursing and Midwifery Approved

The College of Nursing and Midwifery, Maiduguri in Borno State, has secured full accreditation from the regulatory body, the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria.

The accreditation comes 40 years after the inception of the college and was made possible with the recent donation of modern equipment and tools by WHO with funding support from the European Union.

Items donated include laboratory equipment, classroom furniture, library books, practical teaching tools, hospital beds, and computers. According to the students and staff of the institution, these equipment and facilities have also made teaching and learning a lot easier and friendly.


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