Tag Archives: who

WHO endorses use of first ever malaria vaccine in Africa

The World Health Organization has recommended the widespread rollout of the first-ever malaria vaccine, in a move experts hope could save tens of thousands of children’s lives each year across Africa.



Tedros Ghebreyesus, director-general of the WHO, announced the development at a media briefing on Wednesday, October 6.

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Man who ‘found Jehovah’ walks into police station to confess to 2011 murder of prostitute because he couldn’t live with the guilt

A man from Florida walked into a police station this week and confessed to murdering a prostitute back in 2011, saying he has carried the guilt for nearly a decade and couldn’t keep it to himself any longer.

Benjamin Moulton showed up at the Manatee Police Department on Wednesday, September 29 and confessed to strangling a prostitute, Nicole Scott when he got angry nearly 10 years ago.

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Breastfeeding and COVID-19

Active COVID-19 virus has not, to date, been detected in the breastmilk of any mother with confirmed or suspected COVID-19. It appears unlikely, therefore, that COVID-19 would be transmitted through breastfeeding or by giving breastmilk that has been expressed by a mother who is confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19.

Women with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 can therefore breastfeed if they wish to do so. They should:

( 1) Wash hands frequently with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand rub and especially before touching the baby;

( 2) Wear a medical mask during any contact with the baby, including while feeding;
Sneeze or cough into a tissue. Then dispose of it immediately and wash hands again;
Routinely clean and disinfect surfaces after touching them.
Even if mothers do not have a medical mask, they should follow all the other infection prevention measures listed, and continue breastfeeding.

Countries failing to stop harmful marketing of breast-milk substitutes, warn WHO and UNICEF

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.

The COVID-19 pandemic highlights the need for stronger legislation to protect families from false claims about the safety of breast-milk substitutes or aggressive marketing practices. Breastmilk saves children’s lives as it provides antibodies that give babies a healthy boost and protect them against many childhood illnesses.

WHO and UNICEF encourage women to continue to breastfeed during the COVID-19 pandemic, even if they have confirmed or suspected COVID-19. While researchers continue to test breastmilk from mothers with confirmed or suspected COVID-19, current evidence indicate that it is unlikely that COVID-19 would be transmitted through breastfeeding or by giving breastmilk that has been expressed by a mother who is confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19. The numerous benefits of breastfeeding substantially outweigh the potential risks of illness associated with the virus. It is not safer to give infant formula milk.

Of the 194 countries analysed in the report, 136 have in place some form of legal measure related to the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and subsequent resolutions adopted by the World Health Assembly (the Code). Attention to the Code is growing, as 44 countries have strengthened their regulations on marketing over the past two years.

However, the legal restrictions in most countries do not fully cover marketing that occurs in health facilities. Only 79 countries prohibit the promotion of breast-milk substitutes in health facilities, and only 51 have provisions that prohibit the distribution of free or low-cost supplies within the health care system.

Only 19 countries have prohibited the sponsorship of scientific and health professional association meetings by manufacturers of breast-milk substitutes, which include infant formula, follow-up formula, and growing up milks marketed for use by infants and children up to 36-months old.

“The aggressive marketing of breast-milk substitutes, especially through health professionals that parents trust for nutrition and health advice, is a major barrier to improving newborn and child health worldwide,” says Dr Francesco Branca, Director of WHO’s Department of Nutrition and Food Safety. “Health care systems must act to boost parent’s confidence in breastfeeding without industry influence so that children don’t miss out on its lifesaving benefits.”

WHO and UNICEF recommend that babies be fed nothing but breast milk for their first 6 months, after which they should continue breastfeeding – as well as eating other nutritious and safe foods – until 2 years of age or beyond.

Breastfeeding under threat as health systems stretched thin
Babies who are exclusively breastfed are 14 times less likely to die than babies who are not breastfed. However, today, only 41% of infants 0–6 months old are exclusively breastfed, a rate WHO Member States have committed to increasing to at least 50% by 2025. Inappropriate marketing of breast-milk substitutes continues to undermine efforts to improve breastfeeding rates and the COVID-19 crisis is intensifying the threat.

Health care services aimed at supporting mothers to breastfeed, including counselling and skilled lactation support are strained as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

Infection prevention measures, such as physical distancing make it difficult for community counselling and mother-to-mother support services to continue, leaving an opening for the breast-milk substitute industry to capitalize on the crisis, and diminish confidence in breastfeeding.

“As the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, health workers are being diverted to the response and health systems are overstretched. At such time, breastfeeding can protect the lives of millions of children, but new mothers cannot do it without the support of health providers,” said Dr. Victor Aguayo, UNICEF’s Chief of Nutrition. “We must, more than ever, step up efforts to ensure that every mother and family receive the guidance and support they need from a trained health care worker to breastfeed their children, right from birth, everywhere.”

The Code bans all forms of promotion of breast-milk substitutes, including advertising, gifts to health workers and distribution of free samples. Labels cannot make nutritional and health claims or include images that idealize infant formula. Instead, labels must carry messages about the superiority of breastfeeding over formula and the risks of not breastfeeding.

WHO and UNICEF call on governments to urgently strengthen legislation on the Code during the COVID-19 pandemic. Governments and civil society organizations should also not seek or accept donations of breast-milk substitutes in emergency situations.

“The fear of COVID-19 transmission is eclipsing the importance of breastfeeding – and in too many countries mothers and babies are being separated at birth – making breastfeeding and skin to skin contact difficult if not impossible. All on the basis of no evidence. Meanwhile the baby food industry is exploiting fears of infection, promoting and misleading advice –  claiming that the donations are humanitarian and that they are trustworthy partners,” says Patti Rundall, of IBFAN’s Global Council.

Monitoring and enforcement of the Code is inadequate in most countries. The report, “Marketing of breast-milk substitutes: National implementation of the International Code – Status report 2020”, provides updated information on the status of country implementation, including which measures have and have not been enacted into law.

Given the important role of health workers in protecting pregnant women, mothers and their infants from inappropriate promotion of breast-milk substitutes, the 2020 report provides an extensive analysis of legal measures taken to prohibit promotion of breast-milk substitutes to health workers and in health facilities.

FACT: Antibiotics CANNOT prevent or treat COVID-19

Antibiotics work only against bacteria, not viruses.

COVID-19 is caused by a virus, and therefore antibiotics should not be used for prevention or treatment.

However, if you are hospitalized for COVID-19, you may receive antibiotics because bacterial co-infection is possible.

FACT: People of all ages can be infected by the COVID-19 virus

Older people and younger people can be infected by the COVID-19 virus. Older people, and people with pre-existing medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and heart disease appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus. 

WHO advises people of all ages to take steps to protect themselves from the virus, for example by following good hand hygiene and good respiratory hygiene.

FACT: Eating garlic does NOT prevent COVID-19

Garlic is a healthy food that may have some antimicrobial properties. However, there is no evidence from the current outbreak that eating garlic has protected people from the new coronavirus.

FACT: People should NOT wear masks while exercising

People should NOT wear masks when exercising, as masks may reduce the ability to breathe comfortably.

Sweat can make the mask become wet more quickly which makes it difficult to breathe and promotes the growth of microorganisms. The important preventive measure during exercise is to maintain physical distance of at least one meter from others.

Fact: Water or swimming does not transmit the COVID-19 virus


The COVID-19 virus does not transmit through water while swimming. However, the virus spreads between people when someone has close contact with an infected person.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Avoid crowds and maintain at least a 1-metre distance from others, even when you are swimming or at swimming areas. Wear a mask when you’re not in the water and you can’t stay distant. Clean your hands frequently, cover a cough or sneeze with a tissue or bent elbow, and stay home if you’re unwell.

FACT: The likelihood of shoes spreading COVID-19 is very low

The likelihood of COVID-19 being spread on shoes and infecting individuals is very low. As a precautionary measure, particularly in homes where infants and small children crawl or play on floors, consider leaving your shoes at the entrance of your home. This will help prevent contact with dirt or any waste that could be carried on the soles of shoes.

FACT: Catching COVID-19 DOES NOT mean you will have it for life


Most of the people who catch COVID-19 can recover and eliminate the virus from their bodies. If you catch the disease, make sure you treat your symptoms. If you have cough, fever, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early – but call your health facility by telephone first. Most patients recover thanks to supportive care.

The COVID-19 virus CANNOT be spread through mosquito bites

To date there has been no information nor evidence to suggest that the new coronavirus could be transmitted by mosquitoes. The new coronavirus is a respiratory virus which spreads primarily through droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose.

To protect yourself, clean your hands frequently with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Also, avoid close contact with anyone who is coughing and sneezing.

FACT: Studies show hydroxychloroquine does not have clinical benefits in treating COVID-19

Hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine, a treatment for malaria, lupus erythematosus, and rheumatoid arthritis, has been under study as a possible treatment for COVID-19. Current data shows that this drug does not reduce deaths among hospitalised COVID-19 patients, nor help people with moderate disease.* The use of hydoxychloroquine and chloroquine is accepted as generally safe for patients with malaria and autoimmune diseases, but its use where not indicated and without medical supervision can cause serious side effects and should be avoided.

More decisive research is needed to assess its value in patients with mild disease or as pre- or post-exposure prophylaxis in patients exposed to COVID-19.

Is dexamethasone a treatment for all COVID-19 patients?

Dexamethasone should be reserved for patients who need it most. It should not be stockpiled.

It provided no improvement for patients with mild symptoms. Dexamethasone is a corticosteroid used for its anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive effects. For some COVID-19 patients on ventilators, a daily 6 mg dose of dexamethasone for 10 days improved their health

FACT: The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is caused by a virus, NOT by bacteria
The virus that causes COVID-19 is in a family of viruses called Coronaviridae. Antibiotics do not work against viruses.

Some people who become ill with COVID-19 can also develop a bacterial infection as a complication. In this case, antibiotics may be recommended by a health care provider.

There is currently no licensed medication to cure COVID-19. If you have symptoms, call your health care provider or COVID-19 hotline for assistance.

FACT: Vitamin and mineral supplements cannot cure COVID-19 says WHO

Micronutrients, such as vitamins D and C and zinc, are critical for a well-functioning immune system and play a vital role in promoting health and nutritional well-being. There is currently no guidance on the use of micronutrient supplements as a treatment of COVID-19.

WHO is coordinating efforts to develop and evaluate medicines to treat COVID-19.

FACT: Hand sanitizers can be used often

An alcohol-based sanitizer does not create antibiotic resistance. Unlike other antiseptics and antibiotics, pathogens (harmful germs) do not seem to develop resistance to alcohol-based sanitizers.

FACT: Alcohol-based sanitizers are safe for everyone to use

Alcohols in the sanitizers have not been shown to create any relevant health issues. Little alcohol is absorbed into the skin, and most products contain an emollient to reduce skin dryness. Allergic contact dermatitis and bleaching of hand hair due to alcohol are very rare adverse effects. Accidental swallowing and intoxication have been described in rare cases.

FACT: Alcohol-based sanitizers can be used in religions where alcohol is prohibited

Any manufactured substance developed to alleviate illness or contribute to better health is permitted by the Qur’an, including alcohol used as a medical agent.

FACT: It is safer to frequently clean your hands and not wear gloves

Wearing gloves risks transferring germs from one surface to another and contaminating your hands when removing them. Wearing gloves does not replace cleaning hands. Health workers wear gloves only for specific tasks.

FACT: An alcohol-based handrub is listed as a WHO essential medicine

Clean hands protect patients, health workers, other caregivers and everyone from infection. Cleaning your hands is one of the key measures to prevent disease.


Chinese government rejects WHO plan for further Covid-19 origins study

A top health official made an announcement on Thursday, that Chinese government will not participate in a second phase of the World Health Organization’s investigation into the origins of Covid-19, he said this after the possibility of the virus leaking from a Wuhan lab was included on the proposal.

Zeng Yixin, deputy head of the National Health Commission, told a press conference in Beijing he had been “surprised” to see the lab leak listed as a research objective under the second phase of the investigation.

“In some aspects, the WHO’s plan for next phase of investigation of the coronavirus origin doesn’t respect common sense, and it’s against science. It’s impossible for us to accept such a plan,” he said.

Zeng also appeared to respond to US State Department claims that several workers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology fell sick shortly before the first documented cases of Covid-19, saying “no worker or researcher at the WIV got infected by coronavirus.”

The WHO released an initial report from its investigation into the origins of Covid-19 in March, in which it determined that the virus probably originated in an animal before spreading to human beings around December 2019.

But a growing number of Western nations, including the leaders of the G7, have questioned the thoroughness of the original report.

United States President Joe Biden has ordered US intelligence agencies to take a new look into how the Covid-19 pandemic began, noting that Western observers have yet to be granted access to key laboratories to determine “whether it was an experiment gone awry.”

Little new evidence has emerged to support the theory that the virus was the result of an accidental leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where coronavirus research was believed to have been conducted on bats, and many scientists familiar with the research say such a leak is unlikely.

However, in March, a member of the WHO team who helped oversee the original investigation said the Wuhan lab leak theory did “not receive the same depth of attention and work” as the animal hypothesis.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus joined calls for China to cooperate more fully with a new Covid-19 origins investigation on July 15, saying the first had been hampered by a lack of raw data on the early days of the pandemic.

“We ask China to be transparent and open and to cooperate,” he told a news conference. “We owe it to the millions who suffered and the millions who died to know what happened.”

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on July 16 the government had cooperated fully with the initial investigation and refuted allegations that researchers had been denied access to any locations or data.

Final Conclusion…

“China’s position on the issue of global origin-tracing is consistent and clear. (The) origins study is a scientific issue. All parties should respect the opinions of scientists and scientific conclusions, instead of politicizing the issue,” he added.

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