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Major health stories published last week


The coronavirus pandemic has infected over 23 million people around the world and caused at least 808,976 deaths.

The disease has infected over 51,000 people in Nigeria and caused the death of 997 of them.

Meanwhile, Nigeria is still battling other diseases such as Lassa fever, which has caused the death over 200 people this year.

Here is a round-up of some of the health stories which made headlines last week.

Coronavirus: Nigeria records highest daily tally in two month

Nigeria on Saturday recorded its highest daily figure of confirmed COVID-19 cases in nearly two months, as 601 new infections were announced by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

With the latest update, the number of infected people in the country rose to 51,905 from 51,304 as of Friday evening.

Previously, the highest number of daily COVID-19 infections was 745, which was recorded on June 19.

Lassa fever: More deaths in Ondo than COVID-19, as confirmed cases climb

Despite the panic over the COVID-19 pandemic, fatalities from Lassa fever had silently climbed to 63 in Ondo as of Week 32, dated August 8, 2020.

The last death case recorded in the state was in week 31, which brought the tally to 63. There was no death case in week 32 in the state.

Ondo State has witnessed 30 deaths so far from COVID-19, far less when compared to the fatalities from the Lassa fever disease.

Nutrition experts call for Nutrition budget return

Nutrition experts have appealed to the federal government to immediately reinsert the N800 million removed from budgetary allocation for Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) in the 2020 budget.

They also said malnutrition in Nigeria is basically caused by the federal government’s lack of specific budget for nutrition and strategic plan of action.

The nutrition experts stated this in a virtual conference Tuesday convened by Aisha Buhari, through her project, Aisha Buhari Foundation, in collaboration with the International Society of Media in Public Health (ISMPH).

UN-led COVID-19 vaccine research drive lacks billions of dollars – WHO

A UN-led initiative to speed up the development of COVID-19 vaccines and medications is facing a massive funding gap, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The project, known as the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT), has received $2.5 billion in pledges, a WHO spokesperson in Geneva told dpa.

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The UN health agency estimates that 31.3 billion dollars is needed to fund ACT over an initial period of 12 months.

The initiative, which was launched at a Brussels donor conference in May, advocates for the fair distribution of future vaccines and medications to developing as well as developed countries.

FG earmarks N126bn for health infrastructure upgrade

The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba, has said that the Nigerian government has provided N126 billion in the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) to upgrade health infrastructure across the country.

The upgrade, he said, will include federal medical centres and teaching hospitals with intensive care units, laboratories and isolation centres in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

WHO stresses need for quick action amid reports of fresh COVID-19 outbreaks

With several countries experiencing fresh COVID-19 outbreaks after periods of little or no transmission, the World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday highlighted the need for authorities to be able to move quickly to prevent further spread of the disease.

“These nations provide a cautionary tale because they show how “progress does not mean victory,” said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in his latest update on the crisis.

Nigeria to begin COVID-19 drug trial in 13 states – PTF

The federal government has said that Nigeria will soon commence COVID-19 drug trials in 13 states in the country.

The National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Sani Aliyu, made this known at a press briefing on Thursday.

Mr Aliyu said the drug trials would start in 22 sites scattered across 13 states of the federation.

WHO chief warns against COVID-19 ‘vaccine nationalism’, urges support for fair access

Warning against “vaccine nationalism” in the COVID-19 pandemic, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has again underlined the importance of global solidarity in addressing the crisis.

Tedros Ghebreyesus on Tuesday said he has written to WHO Member States, urging them to join the COVAX Global Vaccines Facility, a mechanism aimed at guaranteeing fair access for all countries, rich or poor, to effective immunization.

COVID-19 stimulus: 16 states receive N1.6bn World Bank grant

The National Economic Council (NEC) says 16 states have so far received N100 million grant each from the World Bank to ease the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown.

Abdullahi Sule, Nasarawa State governor, virtually briefed State House correspondents after the virtual NEC meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday.

The World Bank recently made a proposal of $1.5 billion to states as part of economic stimulus to cushion the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pakistan health worker commits to polio fight, despite COVID fears

Despite suffering the after-effects of the COVID-19 virus, Husna Gul, a staff member with the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Pakistan, is committed to ensuring that as many children as possible are vaccinated against the devastating consequences of polio, which can cause muscle-wasting, paralysis and death.

Polio vaccination campaigns have resumed in Pakistan and Afghanistan, the last two countries in the world where polio is endemic, following a hiatus imposed by the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The restart has been accompanied by new guidelines, to help ensure the safety of patients, and health workers.

WHO recommends masks for children older than 11-years

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says children above 11-years should wear face masks wherever adults wear them, such as in crowded settings, as a tool against COVID-19.

The UN health and children’s agencies said this in a guidance document for decision makers that was published Friday evening.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF did not generally recommend children between ages six and 11 wear masks, but that they should be considered in areas with intense virus transmission or in special settings such as schools.


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