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Depression now leading cause of ill-health, disability globally – WHO

Ahead of the World Health Day (WHD) 2017 on Friday, April 7, 2017, depression has been identified as the leading cause of ill-health and disability worldwide with more than 300 million people now living with condition, an increase of more than 18 per cent between 2005 and 2015.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) in its latest estimates released over the weekend said lack of support for people with mental disorders, coupled with a fear of stigma, prevent many from accessing the treatment they need to live healthy, productive lives.

WHO also identified strong links between depression and other non-communicable disorders and diseases. It noted that depression increases the risk of substance use disorders and diseases such as diabetes and heart disease; the opposite is also true, meaning that people with these other conditions have a higher risk of depression.

According to the health organisation, depression is also an important risk factor for suicide, which claims hundreds of thousands of lives each year. It said increased investment is also needed because in many countries, there is no, or very little support available for people with mental health disorders.

Depression is a common mental illness characterized by persistent sadness and a loss of interest in activities that people normally enjoy, accompanied by an inability to carry out daily activities, for 14 days or longer.

In addition, people with depression normally have several of the following: a loss of energy; a change in appetite; sleeping more or less; anxiety; reduced concentration; indecisiveness; restlessness; feelings of worthlessness, guilt, or hopelessness; and thoughts of self-harm or suicide.

The high point in WHO’s year-long campaign, WHD, is “Depression: Let’s talk”. The overall goal of the campaign is that more people with depression, everywhere in the world, both seek and get help.

WHO Director-General, Dr. Margaret Chan, said: “These new figures are a wake-up call for all countries to re-think their approaches to mental health and to treat it with the urgency that it deserves.”

Director of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse at WHO, Dr. Shekhar Saxena, said one of the first steps is to address issues around prejudice and discrimination.

“The continuing stigma associated with mental illness was the reason why we decided to name our campaign depression: Let’s talk, “For someone living with depression, talking to a person they trust is often the first step towards treatment and recovery. A better understanding of depression and how it can be treated, while essential, is just the beginning. What needs to follow is sustained scale-up of mental health services accessible to everyone, even the most remote populations in the world,” Saxena said.


Source: The Guardian

1 in 5 African children ‘does not get vaccines’ – WHO

One in five children in Africa does not receive basic life-saving vaccines, resulting to the loss of many lives to vaccine-preventable diseases.

The World Health Organisation says while Africa has made gains in the last 15 years, toward increasing access to immunisation, progress has stagnated, and the continent is falling behind on meeting global immunisation targets.

The organisation therefore charged African leaders to commit to funding immunisation to save lives in the region.

Heeding the call, heads of state across Africa have pledged to ensure everyone in the region has access to immunisation.

They made the pledge at the 28th African Union (AU) summit in Ethiopia.

The leaders adopted a declaration on universal access to immunisation in Africa and endorsed the Addis Declaration on Immunization.

The call is coming at a time when UNICEF announced an outbreak of measles in hard to access areas in Nigeria’s north-east region.

The north-east has witnessed a major crisis in the past seven years.

Measles alone accounts for approximately 61,000 preventable deaths in Africa, including Nigeria, and fewer than 15 African countries fund more than percent off their national immunisation programmes.

The Addis declaration on immunisation calls for countries to increase political and financial investments in their immunisation programmes.

It includes 10 commitments, including increasing vaccine-related funding, strengthening supply chains and delivery systems, and making universal access to vaccines a cornerstone of health and development efforts.

The Addis declaration was signed by ministers of health and other line ministers at the ministerial conference on immunization in Africa (MCIA) in February 2016.

“African leaders are showing outstanding leadership by endorsing this landmark commitment which will allow more African children to be reached with life-saving vaccines no matter where they live,” said Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, chair of Gavi, the vaccine alliance board.

“We must now ensure that the commitments translate into sustainable financing for immunization. Gavi stands ready to support African countries in their efforts to implement equitable health approaches and maintain strong immunization coverage so we can create together a more prosperous future for communities across our continent.”


Source: The Cable

WHO begins measles vaccination of 4.7m children in the north-east

The World Health Organisation has started a campaign to vaccinate 4.7 million children against a measles outbreak in three north eastern states: Borno, Yobe and Adamawa.

The vaccination campaign, which is expected to last for two weeks, began on Friday.

“This measles vaccination campaign is an emergency intervention to protect more than 4 million children against a highly contagious and sometimes deadly disease,” said Wondimagegnehu Alemu, a doctor and WHO Representative in Nigeria.

“Massive disruption to health services in conflict-affected areas for many years has deprived these children of essential childhood vaccinations. In addition, many of them have severe malnutrition, making them extremely vulnerable to serious complications and death from measles.”

A publication on the WHO website reports that the organisation established Early Warning, Alert and Response System (EWARS), which reported more than 1500 suspected measles cases in Borno state from early September to 18 December 2016.

More than 77% of children aged less than 5 years in Borno state have never received the measles vaccine and this is the age group where most cases have occurred.

The Borno state ministry of health, with support from WHO and partners, has already vaccinated more than 83 000 children aged 6 months to 15 years living in camps for IDPs where measles cases had been reported.

These campaigns have started to show results, with a reduction of measles cases around the camps.

See The Top 10 Celebrity Models Who Gained Most Instagram Followers In 2016

Gigi Hadid gained a shit-ton of followers on Instagram in 2016. So many, in fact, that she tops a list, made by Instagram themselves, of models and designers who gained the most fans this year.

Gigi more than doubled her reach this year, increasing her follower count by 16,033,757. That means that over 26 million people get her daily updates on the social media platform.

She’s not the only model with a gain over 10 million though. Cara Delevingne got over 14 million new followers in 2016, bringing her total up to 35.6 million.

Check out who else made the top 10 list — and the surprising person who didn’t — below.

1. Gigi Hadid

Followers added: 16,033,757

Total followers: 26 million

2. Cara Delevingne

Followers added: 14,333,714

Total followers: 35.6 million

3. Hailey Baldwin

Followers added: 5,935,909

Total followers: 8.4 million

4. Bella Hadid

Followers added: 5,849,699

Total followers: 8 million

5. Emily Ratajkowski

Followers added: 5,685,483

Total followers: 9.5 million

6. Victoria Beckham

Followers added: 5,173,409

Total followers: 13 million

7. Chrissy Teigen

Followers added: 4,840,896

Total followers: 9 million

8. Gisele Bündchen

Followers added: 3,880,496

Total followers: 10.6 million

9. Taylor Hill

Followers added: 3,624,222

Total followers: 5.6 million

10. Candice Swanepoel

Followers added: 3,480,158

Total followers: 10 million

Interesting that Kendall Jenner isn’t even featured on the list at all. Her break from the app must have really hit her follow count hard!

Ribadu Reveals Names Of Nigerians Who ‘Frustrated’ Fight Against Corruption

Years after leaving office as the pioneer chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Nuhu Ribadu has named some Nigerians he said tried their best to frustrate the nation’s fight against corruption.

Mr. Ribadu spoke on Thursday when he presented the lead paper at the 2016 Annual Lecture organised by the Law Chambers of Joe Kyari Gadzama in Abuja.

Speaking under the theme “Corruption and the Nigerian Economy: Lawyers as Change Agents”, Mr. Ribadu named foremost lawyer, Ben Nwabueze, former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Michael Aondoakaa, and his successor at the EFCC, Farida Waziri, as people who undermined the country’s efforts to fight against the cancer of corruption.

“I still recall with amazement and shock how some very senior lawyers made it a duty upon themselves to bring down the EFCC and stop the work we were doing. Many of them, like Prof. Ben Nwabueze, SAN, teamed up with politicians to wage a very serious propaganda to discredit the work we were doing,” he said.

He also said Mr. Nwabueze personally went to court on many occasions to challenge the powers of the EFCC to fight corruption.

“One thing that also did a serious damage to the war against corruption was the active connivance of some senior lawyers who represented the governors we charged to courts after the 2007 election,” he said.

“It is on record that we charged the former governors of Jigawa, Taraba, Adamawa, Plateau, Enugu, Ekiti, Delta, Abia and Edo states as the first set of ex-governors to face prosecution. However, almost 10 years after most of the cases have not gone anywhere because of deliberate action by lawyers to frustrate the trials,” he said.

Mr. Ribadu, a lawyer and former police officer, also said he was shocked that some lawyers who found themselves in government also worked against the fight against corruption.

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Why President Obama Feels Bad For Boys Who Try To Date Malia & Sasha

President Barack Obama’s daughters, Malia and Sasha, are 18 and 15 now, prime dating age. And guys actually do go out with them, Obama said. “That happened, you know?” he told a North Carolina radio station on Friday. “The truth is, I’m pretty relaxed about it for two reasons.

“One is [their mom] Michelle. She’s taught—she’s such a great example of how she carries herself, her self-esteem, not depending on boys to validate how you look or you know, not letting yourself be judged by anything other than your character and intelligence,” he said. “And hopefully I’ve been a good example in terms of how I’ve shown respect to my wife. So I don’t worry about it because they’re really solid, smart girls—young ladies now.”

And anyway, Obama has a fail-safe: “The other reason is because they’ve had Secret Service. There’s only so much these guys can do. These poor young men come by my house and….”

“They have no idea—” the radio host remarked.

“No, they have an idea. I describe for them….” Obama then laughed. Meanwhile, hundreds of miles away, a bunch of hopeful guys shivered.

Credit: marieclaire

Boy Who Became Viral Meme Raises Thousands Of Dollars

A chubby-cheeked little boy whose serious expression turned him into a meme could end up educating an entire village.

Jake has become one of the most famous schoolchildren in South Africa since people began sharing a picture of him, joking he was everything from a grumpy driving instructor to an unimpressed security guard.

But Jake lives thousands of miles north, in a small village in eastern Ghana, unaware of his new-found fame.

In fact, up until Wednesday, not even the man who took the photograph knew it had proved such a hit.

Cameraman Carlos Cortes travelled to Ghana in 2015 to make a documentary about Solomon Adufah, an artist returning to his home country from the US.

 The picture of Jake, then four, was one of hundreds taken by Cortes while Adufah taught art and creative studies to the children.

“I just caught Jake in the moment of his teaching,” Cortes, of Chicago, told the BBC. “He definitely has a pensive look on his face.”

The two men then returned to the States, unaware they had captured a future star.

But the schoolboy’s picture began doing the rounds after Adufah shared it on his Instagram account.

When he first realised it had gone viral, he was unsure of how to react to the posts, worried they were making fun of Jake.

“I thought, I’m not going to respond,” the 27-year-old told the BBC. “But then I remember a moment when I thought, what if all these ‘likes’ turned into actual funds to help?”

Jake and his friends live in a rural village, and for some families sending their children to school is more than they can afford.

What is more, the primary school is also in need of supplies.

“I remember one day we spent 20 minutes just trying to make sure we had enough pencils for all the kids,” Mr Cortes said. “That’s what the campaign is really about.”

So Adufah, who has lived in the US since he was 16, set up a fundraising campaign, hoping Jake will really inspire people to turn their likes into cash to help pay for his education, and that of the other children in the village.

Within 24 hours, it had raised $2,000 (£1,642) – 10% of its target.

Adufah said: “This money could make a huge difference to the kids – this could be something really positive going forward.”

Credit: BBC

From The Horses Mouth: I’m A Sexual Assault Victim Who Still Supports Trump

This week America was subjected to a tape of Barack Obama flashing his erection to women on a plane. With a proud smile, he spread his legs, so the ladies could see the solid outline of his penis beneath his khakis.

It brought back a memory for me. A terrible one. When I was 16, I was working in a drug store behind a counter where we sold makeup, jewelry, and watches. A man came into the store. He was scraggly, thin, wearing a faded tan T-shirt and loose gray sweatpants. He was wearing a grin, too.

The man walked to the counter and beckoned me over. He asked to see one of the watches in the cabinet. I bent over and pulled out the watch. I handed it to him, and he looked at it for a moment.

He asked me for another, and I bent down again and retrieved it. He took it from my hands, his fingers leathery and his nails dirty. Clearing his throat with a phlegmy cough, he handed it back. He did this several more times, and I was getting frustrated by his repeated requests. Finally, I asked him if he wanted to purchase a watch.

Proud and roguish, he grinned, his watery eyes twinkling as if he knew something I didn’t. And he did.

“I don’t really want one,” he said in a scratchy voice from smoking too many cigarettes. I could smell them on him, like an old ashtray. “I just like watching you bend over so I can see down your shirt.”

He then stepped back and showed me his erection through his sweatpants. “They sure got a rise out of me. Bet you’ve never seen somethin’ like this?”

The heat of shame spread up my neck and across my cheeks. My heart pounded and my ears buzzed. I panicked. No one was in that part of the store because it was late and near closing time. I didn’t know what the man would do, and I was afraid.

I backed away, shaking all over, and hurried along the counter to the back of the store. I glanced over my shoulder. He wasn’t following. He just stood there with his hand in his pocket.

I found the store manager and told him what had happened. He told me to stay in the pharmacy area while he made sure the man had left. After a few minutes, he came back and said the man was gone. I was still trembling when he walked me to my car to make sure I was safe. As I started the car, the manager told me I should be careful how I dressed from then on. That only added to my shame.

That moment has lived with me all my life. So has another. It involved a car salesman when I was in my twenties. He was one of my accounts when I was an advertising salesperson for the Augusta Chronicle. He welcomed me in his office and shut the door, asked me to sit down, then walked up behind me, put his hands on my shoulders, and reached down and grabbed my breasts.

I bolted from the room, slamming the door behind me. I didn’t report it. I didn’t tell my boss. I shared what happened with a male co-worker, and he told me not to say anything because it might affect my job; he said he’d take over my account so I wouldn’t have to see the man again.

I don’t know if I’m merely unlucky or what, but I wish I could say these were the only incidents like this in my life. They weren’t. There was another, and all I’ll say about that is a woman never really knows how strong a man is, how helpless she can be, until she is beneath him, unable to break free.

Why am I telling you this? I’m sure you can guess. There’s a lot of talk about sexism and sexual assault recently because of tapes released about Donald Trump and several women who have never spoken before—some in more than 30 years—telling their stories of how he sexually assaulted them.

I don’t know whether their stories are true. If he’s guilty and found to be so in a court of law, then I hope he’s punished. I do wonder, however, why his accusers never mentioned these things when NBC hired Trump to be on national television. I wonder why they never mentioned it when he stepped into politics years ago. I wonder why they never mentioned it during the primaries. I wonder why they never mentioned it until October, just before the election.

Was it just because they felt some freedom to do so because of the “Access Hollywood” tape? Maybe, but the timing still seems odd to me. It all seems so—how shall I put it—choreographed.

But who am I to accuse possible assault victims of lying or playing political games? I don’t know their motives or the truth of their stories. I will say that having been a victim of unwanted sexual advances and assault, I do have a sense of when women are telling the truth about such matters.

I also have a keen sensitivity to the hypocrisy of those who say they care deeply about women who have suffered in this way—hypocrites like Michelle Obama. Honestly, I don’t know who’s worse. A man who sexually abuses a woman, or a woman who uses another woman who has been sexually abused, creating another layer of abuse. Part of me says it’s the latter.Last week, Michelle gave a speech in which she said she feels the pain of sexual assault victims “so personally.” Like the fine actress she is, her voice trembled. “I can’t stop thinking about this,” she said. “It has shaken me to my core in a way that I couldn’t have predicted.”

But Michelle Obama is being dishonest and disingenuous. She supports a woman who has viciously attacked women who say they were the victims of her husband’s sexual deviancy. They are no different than the women coming forward now, except their stories have stood the test of time, and have been corroborated. Yet they get no sympathy from Michelle and Hillary, only scorn and ridicule.

Read More: thefederalist


WHO Increases Emergency Response In North-east

The World Health Organization (WHO) has increased its emergency response activities in the North-east of the country, particularly in areas formerly held by Boko Haram.
A statement from the organization yesterday said an emergency health team arrived in Maiduguri, Borno State last weekend to assess and respond to the health needs of 800, 000 people in the sub-region.

 The statement said initial assessments revealed urgent health problems among the population in 15 local government areas formerly held by the militant group.
“Estimated mortality rates in some of the areas are four times higher than emergency thresholds. The rate of severe malnutrition is estimated to be 14%.   In addition, Nigeria last week reported two polio cases in Borno State, two years after the last recorded case in the country. One of the cases is from a LGA that is still inaccessible to health service delivery, while the other is from a newly accessible LGA. Measles cases have also been reported in the area, further complicating a challenging humanitarian environment,”  the statement said.

Read More: dailytrust

WHO Calls Emergency Meeting On Yellow Fever Outbreak

The World Health Organization will hold an emergency meeting Thursday on the yellow fever outbreak that has hit hardest in Angola but risks spreading further if vaccinations are not ramped up.

Such meetings from the UN agency are often held before the declaration of an international health emergency, as happened amid the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, and the current surge in neurological disorders linked to the spread of Zika virus in the Americas.

WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic told AFP the meeting had been called to underscore the severity of the yellow fever outbreak and to re-emphasise the need for mass vaccination against the viral disease.

As of May 12, Angola had reported 2,267 suspected yellow fever cases and 293 deaths in an outbreak that began in December and is most heavily concentrated in the capital Luanda.

The Democratic Republic of Congo has registered 44 suspected cases, both from a local outbreak and from patients who carried the virus from neighbouring Angola.

Eleven people have tested positive for yellow fever in China after returning from Angola, highlighting “the risk of international spread through non-immunised travellers,” WHO has said.

Several cases have also been reported in Uganda.

The percentage of people immunised against yellow fever remains low in many parts of Africa, even though the vaccine is nearly 100 percent effective and relatively cheap.

WHO has sent 11.7 million doses to Angola and there are plans to vaccinate 2.2 million people in DR Congo.

WHO has pledged to beef up its emergency response systems after widespread criticism following the Ebola outbreak, with many experts saying it took the UN body far too long to sound a global alarm.

Credit: Guardian

Ebola No Longer Poses Global Health Risk – WHO

The WHO Emergency Committee on Tuesday said the Ebola situation in West Africa no longer constitute public health emergency and as such the temporary recommendations adopted in response should now be terminated.


This information is contained in a statement issued after the ninth meeting convened by the WHO.


The Committee also noted that since its last meeting, all the three concerned countries had met the criteria for confirming interruption of their original chains of Ebola virus transmission.


The Committee noted that Ebola transmission in West Africa no longer constitute an extraordinary event, that the risk of international spread was now low.


It further stated that countries currently had the capacity to respond rapidly to new virus emergences and emphasised that there should be no restrictions on travel and trade with Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, and that such measures should be lifted immediately.


Specifically, it added, the three countries had now completed the 42-day observation period and additional 90-day enhanced surveillance period since their last case that was linked to the original chain of transmission twice tested negative.


It said that Guinea achieved this milestone on March 27.


The Committee also observed that as expected, new clusters of Ebola cases continued to occur due to reintroductions of virus as it was cleared from the survivor population, though at decreasing frequency.


It said that 12 such clusters had been detected to date, the most recent of which was reported on March 17 in Guinea and was ongoing.


Based on the advice of the Emergency Committee and her own assessment of the situation, the WHO Director-General, Margret Chan, terminated the Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) regarding the Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa.


She did it in accordance with the International Health Regulations (2005).


The director-general terminated the temporary recommendations issued in relation to this event and expressed support to the public health advice provided above by the Committee.


She also reinforced the importance of States Parties immediately, lifting any restrictions on travel and trade with these countries.


She thanked the Emergency Committee members and advisers for their service and expert advice, and requested their availability to reconvene if needed.



Death Toll From Yellow Fever In Angola Rises To 158 – WHO

The Yellow Fever outbreak in Angola that began late last year has killed up to 158 people, an official of the World Health Organisation (WHO), has said.


The official, Mr Hernando Ospina, WHO representative in the country made the statement on Friday in Luanda.


He said that Luanda and other cities in the country had also recorded increase in the infection rate of malaria, cholera and chronic diarrhea.


He said that health officials in the country attributed the reason to breakdown in sanitation services and rubbish collection.

He said that city authorities had slashed their budget for rubbish collection to cope with budget crisis.

He said that this had resulted in accumulation of waste in poorer suburbs including Viana, where the first case of yellow fever was reported in late December.

“This is an urban pattern of outbreak of Yellow Fever and it is much more complicated to tackle and deal with.

“The possibility of spreading out to other provinces or even to all the country is much higher than if it had happened in a rural area,’ Ospina said.


Angola relies on crude exports for around 95 per cent of its foreign exchange earnings.


A sharp decline in oil prices since mid-2014 had hobbled Africa’s second biggest oil exporter, sending the country’s currency (kwanza) plummeting that necessitated deep cuts in public spending.



WHO Requires $56m To Implement Zika Virus Strategy

The World Health Organisation (WHO) requires 56 million dollars to implement the recently launched global strategy to guide the international response to the spread of the Zika virus.

Natela Menabde, Executive Director of the WHO Office in New York, disclosed this on Wednesday to the UN member states during a briefing to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

She said under the strategy 25 million dollars would fund the joint response of WHO, the Regional Office for the Americas (AMRO) and the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) and 31 million dollars would fund the work of key partners.

She explained that upon Zika virus outbreak, WHO launched a global strategy to guide the international response to the spread of the virus and the neonatal malformations and neurological conditions associated with it.

Menabde said the strategy, also known as the “Strategic Response Framework and Joint Operations Plan’’, focused on mobilising and coordinating partners, experts and resources to help countries enhance surveillance of the Zika virus and disorders that could be linked to it.

She said it was also aimed at improving vector control, effectively communicate risks, guidance and protection measures, provide medical care to those affected and fast-track research and development of vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics.

Menabde said in the in the interim, WHO had tapped a recently established emergency contingency fund to finance its initial operations.

She said under the new emergency programme, the global health agency had activated an “Incident Management System’’ to oversee the global response and leverage expertise from across the organisation to address the crisis.

“WHO is tapping a recently established emergency contingency fund to finance its initial operations.

Menabde said currently 34 countries had reported the Zika virus outbreak, mostly in the Americas and Caribbean, and seven reported an increase in cases of microcephaly.

She said Brazil had registered more than 4,700 suspected cases of microcephaly and a quarter was only studied for the moment.

She said before the outbreak of the virus, the average number of microcephaly every year was just 163 cases.

Credit: Leadership

WHO Declares Zika Virus Global Health Emergency As Nigeria Advises Travel Restriction

The World Health Organization on Monday declared Zika Virus a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

WHO also said protective measures against mosquito bites remain the most important preventive measure against the virus.

Margaret Chan, the WHO Director General, said at a press briefing in Geneva, Monday, that? a coordinated international response is needed to intensify the control of mosquito and expedite development of diagnostic tests.

“I convened the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee to gather advice on the severity of the health threat associated with Zika ?virus,” said Dr. Chan.

“The experts agreed that a causal relationship between Zika during pregnancy and microcephaly is strongly suspected.

“The causal relationship between Zika during pregnancy and microcephaly is not yet scientifically proven.

“The Committee found to public health justification for restrictions on travel or trade to prevent the spread of Zika virus.

“At present, the most important protective measures against Zika virus are the control of mosquito populations, prevention of mosquito bites in at-risk individuals, especially pregnant women.”

Dr. Chan, however, advised pregnant women to consider delaying travel to Zika virus-affected areas as well as protect themselves with safe mosquito repellant or long clothing.

The WHO’s position came a day after the Nigerian government advised a travel restriction of its pregnant citizens to Latin America, the worst hit region since the Zika virus outbreak began late last year.

Isaac Adewole, Nigeria’s Health Minister, ?said the restriction would remain in place until “the situation improves.”

Zika virus is transmitted via the bite of Aedes mosquitoes.

The viral infection has been linked with babies born with underdeveloped brains.

?There is currently no vaccine or drug to stop its spread.

Credit: PremiumTimes

WHO Declares Guinea Ebola-Free

The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Tuesday declared Guinea Ebola-free, after more than 2,500 people died from the virus, leaving Liberia as the only country still waiting for the end of the epidemic.


People in the capital, Conakry, greeted the declaration by authorities and the WHO with mixed emotions, given the deaths and the damage the virus caused
the economy and the country’s health and education sectors.


Rene Migliani, WHO Official, National Coordination Centre for the Fight Against Ebola, said Ebola had made more than 6,200 children orphans in Guinea.


He said there were more than 3,800 Ebola cases in Guinea out of the more than 28,600 cases globally with 11,300 deaths.


Migliani said almost all the cases and deaths were in Guinea and its neighbours Liberia and Sierra Leone.


WHO said a country was declared Ebola-free 42 days after the recovery or death of the last patient and if there were no new infections.


It said Liberia lost more than 4,800 people to the haemorrhagic fever, “but if all goes well, the country can be declared virus-free in January.”


The country was declared Ebola-free in May and September, but each time new cases emerged thereafter.




16,000 Nigerian Children Under Five Die Everyday In 2015- WHO

The National Surveillance Officer, World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr Irene Isibor has said most children in Nigeria still die from vaccine-preventable diseases due to people’s wrong attitude.

Isibor said this at the 19th Biennial Conference and Annual General Meeting of the Medical Women’s Association of Nigeria, held at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, Lagos with the theme: “Internally Displaced Persons, Health and Socio-economic Impact.”

She, however, urged Nigerians to develop the right attitudes to immunisation of their children against the child-killer diseases and stop all the myths attached to them.

Isibor said, “Everyday in 2015, 16,000 children under five years continue to die, mostly from preventable causes. Child survival must remain the focus of the post-2015 development agenda.

“The distribution of the estimated deaths among children under five years of age, from diseases that are preventable by vaccination in 2008 in Nigeria shows that measles accounts for 118, 000. Death from Neonatal tetanus-59,000, Tetanus (non-neonatal)-2,000, Pneumococcal disease- 476, 000, Rotavirus- 453,000, Pertussis- 195,000, and Hib-199,000.”

Isibor said that immunisation was one of the most successful public health initiatives, noting that there was a need to fully embrace and implement it.

According to her, the number of children under five years dying every year as of today has reduced to 6.3 million from 12.7 million in 1990 due to administration of vaccines.

Credit: DailyTimes

Reps Want WHO To Declare Emergency On Snake Bite

House of Representatives yesterday called on the World Health Organisation, WHO, the Federal Ministry of Health and relevant government agencies to declare a global emergency on snake bite.

The House further urged the 36 state governments and 774 local governments to sensitize the citizenry about snake bites, train medical staff, encourage the use of hand gloves and train boots as well as promote the use of pesticides and insecticides in farmlands and vulnerable areas.

This resolution followed a motion sponsored by Hon Timothy Golu and 4 others on the subject matter on the floor of the House. The lawmaker lamented the rate of snake bites in Pankshin/Kanke/Kanam Federal Constituency of Plateau State, which he said had claimed many lives and threatening the socio-economic activities.

Credit: NigerianPilot

WHO Removes Nigeria from Polio-Endemic List

World Health Organisation announced on Friday that polio is no longer endemic in Nigeria.

Polio, which can cause lifelong paralysis, has now been stopped nearly everywhere in the world following a 25-year concerted international effort. Polio remains endemic in only 2 countries – Pakistan and Afghanistan.

A statement released by the organisation read: “This is the first time that Nigeria has interrupted transmission of wild poliovirus, bringing the country and the African region closer than ever to being certified polio-free.

The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), the public-private partnership leading the effort to eradicate polio, called this a ‘historic achievement’ in global health. Nigeria has not reported a case of wild poliovirus since 24 July 2014, and all laboratory data have confirmed a full 12 months have passed without any new cases.


As recently as 2012, Nigeria accounted for more than half of all polio cases worldwide. Since then, a concerted effort by all levels of government, civil society, religious leaders and tens of thousands of dedicated health workers have resulted in Nigeria successfully stopping polio. More than 200 000 volunteers across the country repeatedly immunized more than 45 million children under the age of 5 years, to ensure that no child would suffer from this paralysing disease. Innovative approaches, such as increased community involvement and the establishment of Emergency Operations Centres at the national and state level, have also been pivotal to Nigeria’s success.


Nigeria has made remarkable progress against polio, but continued vigilance is needed to protect these gains and ensure that polio does not return. Immunization and surveillance activities must continue to rapidly detect a potential re-introduction or re-emergence of the virus.

After 3 years have passed without a case of wild poliovirus on the continent, official ‘certification’ of polio eradication will be conducted at the regional level in Africa.”


Reacting to the news, Dr Ado Muhammad, Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Nigeria, said “We Nigerians are proud today. With local innovation and national persistence, we have beaten polio. We know our vigilance and efforts must continue in order to keep Nigeria polio-free.” 

Ebola Resurgence: WHO Calls For Resilient Health Systems

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that recovery from Ebola will be impossible unless resilient health systems are rebuilt in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The world health body in a message yesterday on its website said recovery in West Africa needs more urgency as the region’s battered systems have limited capacity to reactivate essential health services.

In the lead-up to a major fundraising conference for Ebola recovery, the WHO described rebuilding of the national health systems in West Africa as a critical priority.

“While the countries are still working to get to zero Ebola cases, staying at zero is inconceivable unless rebuilding of the health systems begins now.”

According to Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa, “Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone entered the Ebola epidemic with severely underfunded health systems. After a year of handling far too many severely ill patients, the surviving staff need support, better protection, compensation and reinforcements. The existing facilities need a complete overhaul, and many new structures need to be built. If another outbreak strikes, the toll would be far worse.”

“Outbreaks of contagious diseases can flare up anywhere,” said Marie-Paule Kieny, WHO assistant director-general for Health Systems and Innovation. “But the size of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is directly related to the lack of resilience of the national health systems. In West Africa, the governments did not have the tools or resources to identify the initial cases or control the outbreak that resulted.”

“National pride will not stop a viral outbreak on its own,” said Dr. Philip Ireland, an emergency medicine physician at John F. Kennedy Hospital in Monrovia, Liberia. “But it provides a strong foundation for building a new health system; the one we had collapsed under the weight of Ebola. The hiring of well-trained doctors and technicians, nurses and physician assistants should be our nation’s number one priority.”

According to a WHO report released in May, Ebola took an exceptional toll on health workers. They were 20-30 times more likely to contract the disease than the general public, given the number of patients they saw and treated. More than 800 contracted Ebola, and more than 400 died – with the outcome of almost one quarter of the cases unknown.

The health systems of all three countries need an exceptional infusion of funding and other resources, the focus of the United Nations Secretary-General’s International Ebola Recovery Conference (9-10 July, 2015).

“To rebuild their health systems and provide services from now through the end of December, 2017, Guinea has budgeted $1.176 billion and still needs to raise $386.5 million; Liberia has budgeted $550 million and still needs to raise $169.7 million; and Sierra Leone budgeted $361 million and still needs to raise an estimated amount of $140 million,” the WHO said in the statement.

A sizable investment in the health systems would be a profound change of course for the region. As with other low-income countries, the governments of all three countries have not spent enough money on health care to provide basic services, and the life expectancy of the populations has suffered greatly as a result.

Dr Kieny added, “In this interconnected world of international travel and porous borders, no one is immune from disease outbreaks. This is the lesson the West African Ebola outbreak has taught us. We need to ensure that health systems everywhere can detect and treat emerging diseases and still keep their routine healthcare services up and running.”

“When people think global health security, they think disease surveillance,” said Dr. Moeti. “Nobody wants to see the Ebola outbreak start in West Africa and spread around the world. But disease surveillance cannot happen in a vacuum. Emerging diseases cannot be detected and controlled if there are no laboratories, hospitals and heath personnel,” the WHO added.

Fresh case of Ebola recorded in Liberia

Liberia has been hit with a fresh case of Ebola. According to the Liberian Deputy Health Minister, Tolbert Nyensuah, a 19 year old man died of the deadly virus. And they are saying it’s possible he infected close friends or relatives before he died.

“A new case of Ebola has been reported in Margibi County. The person has died and was confirmed positive before death. He has been buried” Nyensuah said

Family members of the deceased have been quarantined so as to stop the spread of the virus. Liberia was declared Ebola free on May 9th by the World Health Organization. A total of 11,207 people died from Ebola in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone since the outbreak began in December 2013.

Ebola Cases On The Increase In Sierra Leone And Guinea – WHO

The World Health Organisation (WHO), confirmed on Tuesday that the Ebola virus is still raging in Sierra Leone and Guinea.

Bruce Aylward, WHO Special Representative for Ebola in Geneva, told a technical briefing attended by health ministers that there were 36 new cases in the past week, which is four times as many cases as the week before.

Aylward said the findings were an indication that the virus would not go quietly and it would take painstaking efforts.

Doctors Without Borders Slams WHO, Says They Failed To Respond Quickly

Aid agency’s report says “months were wasted and lives were lost” because WHO failed to respond quickly or adequately.

A year on from the start of the Ebola outbreak, a report has been published by frontline aid agency Doctors Without Borders slamming the international community’s slow response and detailing the “indescribable horror” faced by its staff.

More than 10,000 people have been killed and some 25,000 infected since the Ebola epidemic was first identified in West Africa in March 2014, mostly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

But Doctors Without Borders said in a report on Monday that “months were wasted and lives were lost” because the UN’s World Health Organization (WHO), which is charged with leading on global health emergencies and “possesses the know-how to bring Ebola under control”, failed to respond quickly or adequately.

Its report accused the WHO’s Global Alert and Outbreak Response Network of ignoring desperate pleas for help from Liberia when it met in June. “I remember emphasising that we had the chance to halt the epidemic in Liberia if help was sent now,” said Marie-Christine Ferir, emergency coordinator for the aid agency, which is commonly known as MSF.

“It was early in the outbreak and there was still time. The call for help was heard but no action was taken.”

The WHO did not set up a regional hub for coordinating the response until July, by which time a second wave of the epidemic had struck. “All the elements that led to the outbreak’s resurgence in June were also present in March, but the analysis, recognition and willingness to assume responsibility to respond robustly were not,” the report said.

Particularly in the early months, it therefore fell to MSF to carry much of the response, but the organisation had only 40 staff with experience of Ebola when the outbreak began. “We couldn’t be everywhere at once, nor should it be our role to single-handedly respond,” said Brice de le Vingne, MSF director of operations.

It was only when a US doctor and Spanish nurse were diagnosed with Ebola that the world woke up to the threat, MSF said. WHO did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The aid agency also blamed the governments of Guinea and Sierra Leone for refusing to admit the scale of the epidemic, saying they put “needless obstacles” in the path of MSF teams.

Credit: AFP

WHO Appoints New Africa Chief after Ebola Criticism

The Africa arm of the World Health Organization — which has been criticised for being slow to react to Ebola — appointed a new director Wednesday.

Dr Matshidiso Rebecca Moeti immediately vowed to improve the response of countries worst hit by the epidemic.

Delegates at the UN health body’s regional committee for Africa in Benin voted for the Botswana-born WHO veteran to take over from Luis Gomes Sambo, who has held the post since 2005.

The WHO has said that it will look into complaints about its response to the outbreak and that it was overly bureaucratic and too politicised to react quickly to global health crises.

Moeti maintained the organisation was undergoing changes and her first task was to ensure that the first wave of reforms are implemented in Africa.

“I am going to work to improve the capacity deployed on the ground currently in the three countries gravely affected by the Ebola virus so that we can manage to control this epidemic,” she said.

“I am going to work with partners to improve the support for health systems in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea,” Moeti, who steps up from deputy regional director, told AFP after the vote.

The United Nations has taken charge of the overall emergency response to Ebola in west Africa, which has claimed nearly 5,000 lives and infected nearly 14,000 this year, through its own dedicated mission.

Credit: Yahoo News

UN Chief Launches Campaign to End Female Genital Mutilation

UN chief Ban Ki-moon launched Thursday a global campaign to end the often deadly practice of female genital mutilation within a generation, as survivors said it had “shattered” their lives.

 “The mutilation of girls and women must stop in this generation, our generation,” Ban said on a visit to the Kenyan capital Nairobi.

“Men and boys must also be encouraged to support the fight against FGM — and they should be praised when they do.”

FGM ranges from the hacking off of the clitoris to the mutilation and removal of the entire female genitalia, and is carried out from the youngest babies to teenagers.

More than 125 million women have been mutilated in 29 countries in Africa and Middle East, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), which condemns the practice as a “violation of the human rights” of women.

WHO says Monitoring 82 for Ebola in Mali

Health workers are monitoring 82 people who had contact with a toddler who died of Ebola in Mali last week, but no new cases of the disease have yet been reported, World Health Organization spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said on Tuesday.

Three WHO officials are already in the country, having traveled to Mali a week ago to test its Ebola preparedness, and five more are arriving, Jasarevic said.

Mali became the sixth West African country to report a case of the disease, and health officials want to try to contain the virus before it can spread out of control.

First Ebola Case in Mali, on 2 Yr Old

Mali confirmed its first case of Ebola late Thursday, making it the sixth West African country to get the disease this year. The BBC has reported that the case involves a 2-year-old girl.

The World Health Organization has not yet analyzed and confirmed the case. But it’s not especially surprising that the virus has spread to Mali given the country shares a border with Guinea, where the outbreak originated and continues to spread out of control.

Mali — along with the the Ivory Coast — has been considered by the World Health Organization one the countries at greatest risk of getting Ebola. Reuters reported that Mali and Ivory Coast were “the top priorities on the WHO’s list of 15 African countries that need to be prepared for an Ebola case.”


Nigeria to be Declared Ebola Free Zone

Nigeria is expected to be declared officially free of Ebola on Monday, after six weeks with no new cases.

Nigeria has won praise for its swift response after an infected Liberian diplomat brought the disease there in July. The World Health Organization officially declared Senegal Ebola-free on Friday and is set to declare Nigeria an Ebola free zone.

The World Health Organization can officially declare an Ebola outbreak over if two incubation periods of 21 days pass with no new cases, of which the last reported case in Nigeria was discovered on 5 September.

Ebola: WHO Lists 15 Priority Countries

WHO says it is focusing on 15 African countries to stop spread of disease, as EU reviews its screening policies.

The WHO has said it is focusing its attention on 15 countries to prevent the spread of Ebola, as the EU announced a review of its entry policies and the disease was reported in the last untouched area of Sierra Leone.

Dr Isabelle Nuttall, the WHO’s global director, said on Thursday that cases were doubling every four weeks and that health officials were trying to prevent the disease spreading from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, the worst-hit nations, to neighbouring countries and those with a strong travel and trade relationship.

Nuttall said: “The objective is to stop the transmission from occurring in these countries. They may not have a case but after one case we don’t want more. These countries need to be better prepared.

“This week we will cross 9,000 cases of Ebola and 4,500 deaths. The outbreak continues to hit health workers hard. So far 427 health care workers have been infected with Ebola and 236 have died.”

The statement came as Sierra Leone reported two infections in the northern area of Koinadugu, the last untouched district in the country, despite strict safety precautions and limited contact with the rest of the country.

The EU also announced that it was reviewing its screening controls for airline passengers leaving west Africa.

WHO- West Africa Ebola outbreak deaths exceed 4,000

World Health Organization’s most recent report provides that the number of people killed in the Ebola outbreak has risen above 4,000.

Latest figures shows there have been 8,376 cases and 4,024 deaths in the worst-affected West African nations of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The news comes as Liberian MPs refused to grant the president additional powers to deal with the Ebola crisis. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has already declared a state of emergency that allows her to impose quarantines.


Nigeria & Senegal Contained Ebola Outbreak says WHO

 Two out  of the five countries affected by the world’s worst ever Ebola outbreak are managing to halt the spread of the disease, the World Health Organization said on Monday, although the overall death toll rose to 2,793 out of 5,762 cases.

“On the whole, the outbreaks in Senegal and Nigeria are pretty much contained,” a WHO statement said. There were no new deaths in Guinea, four in Sierra Leone and 39 in Liberia.

A separate Ebola outbreak has killed 40 people in Democratic Republic of Congo, where there have been 71 cases, it said in a statement on the situation as of Sept. 18.

Here are some simple visually animated campaign graphics released by UNICEF to help fight the misinformation of the Ebola.

photo 1 (9)

photo 3 (9)  photo 2 (9)

WHO Releases First Roadmap Situation Report on Ebola


WHO releases the first series of regular updates on the Ebola Response Roadmap. The update contains a
review of the epidemiological situation and response monitoring. The data contained in the report is based on the best information currently available.

Countries recorded with widespread and intense transmission include (Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone); while those with an initial case or cases, or with localized transmission (Nigeria); and those sharing land borders with areas of active
transmission (Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Senegal) and those with
international transportation hubs.

In brief summary, the report provides this detailed information:

“The total number of probable, confirmed and suspect cases in the current outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in West Africa is 3052, with 1546 deaths. Countries affected are Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone. The figure below shows the number of cases by country that have been
reported between the beginning of January 2014 (epidemiological week 1) and 25 August 2014
(epidemiological week 34).”

Ebola map


Click below and view the roadmap situation report on Ebola

WHO: Ebola Response Roadmap Situation Report 1