Showing posts with label HEALTH & NUTRITION. Show all posts
Showing posts with label HEALTH & NUTRITION. Show all posts

30 July 2021

Affordable hepatitis drug offers new hope to millions.

Malaysia has registered the world’s first affordable – and effective – new drug for hepatitis C, offering the hope of accessible treatment to millions of people around the world at risk from a disease that has few early symptoms, is hard to diagnose and is often seen as a “silent killer”.

The drug, ravidasvir, was approved for use with an existing drug, sofosbuvir, in June, five years after the Malaysian government, partnered with the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), a collaborative, non-profit drug research organisation to develop the drug.

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28 July 2021

COVID-19 vaccine Spikevax approved for children aged 12 to 17 years.

EMA’s human medicines committee (CHMP) has recommended granting an extension of indication for the COVID-19 vaccine Spikevax (previously COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna) to include use in children aged 12 to 17 years. The vaccine is already authorised for use in people aged 18 and above.

The use of the Spikevax vaccine in children from 12 to 17 years of age will be the same as in people aged 18 and above. It is given as two injections in the muscles of the upper arm, four weeks apart.

The effects of Spikevax have been investigated in a study involving 3,732 children aged 12 to 17 years. This ongoing study is being carried out in accordance with Spikevax’s paediatric investigation plan (PIP), which was agreed by EMA's Paediatric Committee (PDCO).

The study showed that Spikevax produced a comparable antibody response in 12- to 17-year-olds to that seen in young adults aged 18 to 25 years (as measured by the level of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2). In addition, none of 2,163 children receiving the vaccine developed COVID-19 compared with four of 1,073 children given a dummy injection. These results allowed the CHMP to conclude that the efficacy of Spikevax in 12- to 17-year-olds is similar to that in adults.

The most common side effects in children aged 12 to 17 are similar to those in people aged 18 and above. They include pain and swelling at the injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle and joint pain, enlarged lymph nodes, chills, nausea, vomiting and fever. These effects are usually mild or moderate and improve within a few days from the vaccination.

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Health authorities concerned over spread of ’’TINEA’’.

Health authorities expressed concern about a skin disease spreading in several areas including the North Central Province.

Dr, Hema Weerakoon of the Anuradhapura Teaching Hospital said the disease identified as TINEA caused by a fungus was spreading fast.

She pointed out that the environmental effects, allergy to medicines, self-medication and community activities could result in the infection. The Doctor said that men, women and children of all ages had contracted the disease.

She stressed the need to obtain treatment under medical advice for about six months to recover from the disease or else the infection could worsen. She was of opinion that the use of steroid or drugs containing steroid could result in adverse effects.



24 July 2021

Philippines approves 'golden rice' for commercial production.

The Philippines became the world's first country Friday (Jul 23) to approve the commercial production of genetically modified "golden rice" that experts hope will combat childhood blindness and save lives in the developing world.

A biosafety permit issued by government regulators paves the way for the rice - enriched with the vitamin A precursor beta-carotene to make it more nutritional - to be grown by farmers across the country.

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23 July 2021

Norovirus outbreak reported in the UK.

The United Kingdom, which is already seeing a surge in coronavirus cases amid relaxation of curbs, has now reported an outbreak of the norovirus.

Public Health England (PHE) has issued a warning after finding a rise in infections recently.

Over the past five weeks since May-end, there have been 154 reported cases of the norovirus in England, according to PHE.

The figures are three times that recorded over the same period during the previous five years, the health body has said.

Most of the surge occurred in educational settings, particularly in nursery and childcare facilities.

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22 July 2021

World Brain Day - 22 July.

World Brain Day is dedicated to raising awareness and promoting advocacy related to brain health. It is celebrated on July 22. The day was first observed in 2014 and This year, the World Federation of Neurology (WFN) and MS International Federation (MSIF) are at the forefront, leading the campaign to spread awareness about multiple sclerosis (MS), a neurological disease whose effects range from cognitive impairment to significant physical disability.

Professor Tissa Wijerante, Chair, the WFN World Brain Day committee said that someone in the world receives the life-altering diagnosis of multiple sclerosis every five minutes. 

The theme of this year's World Brain Day is "Stop Multiple Sclerosis", which entails raising global awareness about multiple sclerosis. 

On July 22, 1957, the World Federation of Neurology. The Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee, at the WCN Council of Delegates assembly on 22 September 2013, proposed that July 22 be celebrated as World Brain Day. The proposal received a warm welcome and implementation the very next year.

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20 July 2021

China reports first human death from rare Monkey B virus.

China has reported the first human infection and death in the country caused by a rare infectious disease found in primates known as the Monkey B virus. 

The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention said a 53-year-old veterinary surgeon who worked in a research institute specializing in nonhuman primate breeding in Beijing dissected two monkeys in March and became ill about a month later. 

He began experiencing nausea, vomiting, fever and neurological issues, and died in May. 

Blood and saliva samples were tested and researchers in April found evidence of the Monkey B virus, also known as the herpes B virus. 

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13 July 2021

Sri Lanka records highest daily vaccinations on Monday, 12 July 2021.

Sri Lanka yesterday (July 12) recorded the highest number of COVID-19 vaccines administered within a single day, according to the Epidemiology Department of the Ministry of Health.

Accordingly, a total of 232,526 vaccine doses have been administered yesterday.

State Minister of Production, Supply, and Regulation of Pharmaceuticals Prof. Channa Jayasumana stated that 173,988 first doses and 40,276 doses of the China-produced Sinopharm vaccine were administered yesterday.

Further, 13,357 doses of the Sputnik V vaccine, 4,725 of the Pfizer vaccine, and 18 doses of the AstraZeneca (Covishield) vaccine have been administered as well.

Sri Lanka yesterday commenced the vaccination of teachers and non-academic staff of schools island-wide. The process is to be carried out continuously for two weeks.



Cuba has developed world’s first conjugate COVID 19 vaccine Soberana 2.

Cuba has said its homegrown Covid-19 vaccine Soberana 2 (Sovereign 2), when delivered with a booster shot of Soberana Plus, is about 91 per cent effective against symptomatic Covid-19 cases as demonstrated in its late stage clinical trials.

Soon after the results were announced, Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel thanked the island nation’s scientists for working on the vaccine. If approved, Cuba will become the first Latin American country to manufacture and produce a vaccine against Covid-19.

In total, the Soberana 2 is delivered through a three dose regimen. Two shots of Soberana 2 and one of Soberana Plus, when taken in a 0-28-56 day regimen, have an efficacy of 91.2 percent, the Cuban government’s Covid-19 task force announced.



08 July 2021

The World Health Organization (WHO) has updated its patient care guidelines.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has updated its patient care guidelines to include interleukin-6 receptor blockers, a class of medicines that are lifesaving in patients who are severely or critically ill with COVID-19, especially when administered alongside corticosteroids. 

These were the findings from a prospective and a living network meta-analysis initiated by WHO, the largest such analysis on the drugs to date. Data from over 10 000 patients enrolled in 27 clinical trials were considered. 

These are the first drugs found to be effective against COVID-19 since corticosteroids were recommended by WHO in September 2020. 

Patients severely or critically ill with COVID-19 often suffer from an overreaction of the immune system, which can be very harmful to the patient’s health. Interleukin-6 blocking drugs – tocilizumab and sarilumab – act to suppress this overreaction.  

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Sri Lanka is in alert on most dangerous Corona variant found in Peru.

Sri Lanka too could expect the arrival of the most dangerous variant  of coronavirus called Lambda, Deputy Director General of Health Services Dr. Hemantha Herath yesterday told the media.

Dr. Hearth said that the Lambda variant had been detected in more than 30 countries during the past four weeks. It was first found in Peru last December.

Dr. Herath said that while 14 days of quarantine for those coming into the country was usually enough to detect the cases but there could be outliers that escape detection.

Chief Epidemiologist, Dr. Samitha Ginige urged the people to follow health guidelines without being lulled by a false sense of security. 

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01 July 2021

China declared officially as a malaria-free country by WHO.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared China malaria-free, after a 70-year effort to wipe it out.

China used to report 30 million cases a year during the 1940s. Since then, eradication efforts have driven down case numbers.

The country used various methods to break the cycle of transmission of the parasite via mosquitos.

The WHO said the country had now gone four years without registering a case, giving it malaria-free certification.

Beijing is arranging celebrations for the 100th anniversary of its ruling Communist Party (CCP) this week, and hailed the certification as a "great achievement for China's human rights cause".

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28 June 2021

Singapore’s surprising new plan to ‘Live with Covid’ revealed.

A country that has been one of the world’s most successful at combating Covid-19 has announced it will soon fundamentally change how it manages the pandemic.

The city state of Singapore has stated covid will be treated like other endemic diseases such as flu.

There will be no goals of zero transmission. Quarantine will be dumped for travellers and close contact of cases will not have to isolate. It also plans to no longer announce daily case numbers.

But you may need to take tests to head to the shops or go to work.

Senior Singaporean ministers have said it is the “new normal” of “living with covid”.

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16 June 2021

Iran approves first homegrown COVID-19 vaccine.

Iran has approved an emergency use of its first domestically developed coronavirus vaccine called "COVIran Barakat" that could bring the hardest-hit country in the Middle East closer to inoculating its citizens against COVID-19.

The emergency authorization was approved after the country was faced with problems from importing enough vaccines.

Iranian pharmaceutical company Shifafarmed made the vaccine based on deactivated virus, and the first study of the safety and effectiveness began in late December.

Iran has also said it is working on a vaccine with cooperation from a foreign country. The vaccine, produced jointly by Iran and Cuba, will join the country’s vaccine package in the next week.



12 June 2021

US 'to buy 500 million Covid vaccine doses for world'.

US President Joe Biden's administration will provide 500 million doses of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine to about 100 countries over the next two years.

About 200 million doses will be distributed this year, with the remainder delivered in 2022.

The US has been under pressure to raise vaccination rates in poor countries.

The move comes as Mr Biden landed in the UK at the start of his first foreign trip as US president.

The White House is yet to officially comment on the plan to roll out 500 million doses worldwide.

The US itself has fully vaccinated more than half its entire population, and the infection rate has plummeted.

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11 June 2021

China-Sri Lanka Friendship National Nephrology Specialized Hospital declared open.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa declared open the China-Sri Lanka Friendship National Nephrology Specialized Hospital in Polonnaruwa this morning (11).

Sri Lanka received the hospital complex as a full grant from the Chinese Government at the request of former President Maithripala Sirisena during his visit to China in 2015, the President’s Media Division (PMD) said in a statement.

The hospital complex spans over an area of 16 acres and has been designed with the influence of ancient architecture of Sri Lanka and China.

Built at a cost of Rs. 12,000 million within 30 months, the hospital consists of five operating theatres with modern facilities for kidney transplants and can accommodate 200 in-house patients. The number of beds in the intensive care unit is 20.

It includes a dialysis unit equipped with 100 machines, a clinic complex for kidney patients, state-of-the- art laboratories, radiation and CT scan services, and a state-of-the-art auditorium. A car park with 300- vehicle capacity and hostel facilities for all the hospital staff have also been designed.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa unveiled the plaque and inaugurated the hospital complex. During the event, the Director of the Polonnaruwa General Hospital, Dr. M.K. Sampath Indika Kumara, explained the function and the role of the new hospital.

The President and the invitees subsequently inspected the hospital complex including the dialysis unit, the operating theatre and the intensive care unit.



04 June 2021

UNICEF signs COVID-19 vaccine supply agreement with Moderna.

UNICEF has signed a long-term agreementwith Moderna for the supply of COVID-19 vaccine on behalf of the COVAX Facility.  

Through the supply agreement, UNICEF, along with procurement partners including the PanAmerican Health Organization (PAHO), will have access to up to 34 million doses of the vaccine for around 92 countries and territories in 2021. This is the fifth supplyagreement UNICEF has signed for COVID-19 vaccines, following previously announced agreements with the Serum Institute of India,Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Human Vaccine.

Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine received a WHO Emergency Use Listing (EUL) on 30 April. On3 May, the COVAX Facility announced that it had signed an Advance Purchase Agreementto secure access to 34 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from Moderna in the fourth quarter of 2021 and up to 466 million doses in 2022.

Deliveries of the vaccine are scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2021, with allocations to COVAX participants determined by the COVAX Allocation Framework that focuses on equity in access, considering amongst other parameters country readiness and supply through COVAX to date, and operating and supply considerations.

The goal of the COVAX Facility is to helpaddress the acute phase of the global pandemic by the end of 2021 by providing rapid, fair and equitable access to safe and effective vaccines to all participating countries and territories regardless of income level. 

The COVAX Facility, co-led by Gavi, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and WHO, together with UNICEF, aims to provide access to approved COVID-19 vaccines, enabling the protection of frontline health care and social workers, as well as other high-risk and vulnerable groups.



Canada recommends mixing and matching AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.

Canada is changing its guidelines on mixing and matching second doses of COVID-19 vaccines and is now advising Canadians to combine either the AstraZeneca-Oxford, Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna shots interchangeably in certain situations.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) updated its guidance to provinces and territories Tuesday and recommended that a first shot of the AstraZeneca vaccine can be followed by either Moderna or Pfizer.

For Canadians who have had a first dose of Moderna or Pfizer, NACI recommends they can now take either of the two shots as a second dose — because they both use a similar mRNA technology — if the same first dose is unavailable or unknown.

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03 June 2021

Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga pledges $800 mn to COVAX facility.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Wednesday pledged an additional USD 800 million to COVAX facility aiming for a fair distribution of coronavirus vaccines worldwide.

The announcement came at an online vaccine summit which Japan co-hosted with the GAVI vaccine alliance, an international group that promotes vaccinations in developing nations.

Participants included US Vice President Kamala Harris, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, and others.

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China reports first human case of H10N3 Bird Flu.

A 41-year-old man in China’s eastern province of Jiangsu has been confirmed as the first human case of infection with a rare strain of bird flu known as H10N3.

Beijing’s National Health Commission (NHC) confirmed this on Tuesday 01 June 2021.

Many different strains of bird flu are present in China and some sporadically infect people, usually those working with poultry. There is no indication that H10N3 can spread easily in humans.

The man, a resident of the city of Zhenjiang, was hospitalized on April 28 and diagnosed with H10N3 on May 28, the health commission said. It did not give details on how the man was infected.

His condition is now stable and he is ready to be discharged. Investigation of his close contacts found no other cases, the NHC said. No other cases of human infection with H10N3 have been reported globally, it added.

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