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WHO Warns Against Lifting Covid 19 Restrictions In A Haste

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WHO Warns Against Lifting Covid 19 Restrictions In A Haste
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WHO Warns Against Lifting Covid 19 Restrictions In A Haste

AMID growing concerns of the spread of new COVID-19 variants, the World Health Organisation, has cautioned governments around the world against easing COVID-19 restrictions too soon, saying countries that did so risked paying a heavy price for rushing back to normality.

The Executive Director, WHO Health Emergencies Programme, Dr Michael Ryan, who gave the warning at a press briefing on Monday, said a new wave of infections was imminent even as he said for much of the world, the pandemic was just getting started.

“All of the countries of the Americas, we still have nearly one million cases a week. And the same in Europe, with half a million cases a week. It’s not like this thing has gone away. It isn’t over,” Ryan said.

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Last week, the WHO’s Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, had warned of the speed and scale of the continent’s third wave which she described as being like nothing we’ve seen before.

“COVID-19 cases are doubling every three weeks, compared to every four weeks at the start of the second wave,” Moeti told a briefing on Thursday.

The warnings come amid renewed concerns over the COVID-19 Delta variant, first detected in India in April. The new variant is considered to be the most transmissible variant yet has now spread to nearly 100 countries worldwide.

Experts say more than 80 percent of a country’s population would need to be inoculated in order to contain it – a challenging target even for nations with advanced vaccination programmes. The variant is now responsible for more than 90 percent of all new infections in the United Kingdom and about 30 percent in the United States.

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WHO Warns Against Lifting Covid 19 Restrictions In A Haste

COVAX negotiates with new vaccine suppliers

Meanwhile, the COVAX vaccine-sharing facility says it expects to have 1.9 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines available by the end of 2021, including 1.5 billion earmarked for the poorest countries.

Speaking at a WHO meeting on Tuesday, the Managing Director of the COVAX facility, Aurelia Nguyen said the GAVI vaccine alliance, which runs COVAX with the WHO, expects a “very strong increase” of vaccines available towards the fourth quarter, as supplies from new manufacturers come onstream.

WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan said COVAX should have delivered 300-400 million doses by now.

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“Onwards, we are still actively building our portfolio and looking at further volumes for near-term agreements that are under negotiations,” Nguyen stated

COVAX has in total secured some 5.6 billion doses for this year and next from nine suppliers, of which 3.2 billion are through legally binding signed contracts, Nguyen added.

Donations of doses from wealthy countries are included.

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COVID-19: 109 NYSC Members Test Positive, 17 Admitted

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COVID-19: 109 NYSC Members Test Positive, 17 Admitted

There is panic currently at the various camps of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) across the country, as at least 109 prospective corps members were diagnosed with COVID-19.

The NYSC orientation camps were opened at the weekend for Batch B, Stream 1 of this year’s season of the national youth service.

The cases were detected following mandatory COVID-19 tests conducted on reporting corps members. The identified cases, our reporters gathered, have been moved to isolation centres in the respective states.

NYSC officials at the states level have constituted COVID-19 Vanguard, a team to aid enforce compliance to health protocols on the camps.

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The federal government had, on Monday, raised the alarm over the spread of the contagious Delta variant of the virus to more states, as authorities mull fresh lockdown for the worst-hit states.

Data obtained from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) shows a sharp spike in incidences with 851 cases recorded in the first two days of August.

COVID-19: 109 NYSC Members Test Positive, 17 Admitted

In Edo State, 17 corps members tested positive for the virus at the point of registration.

Meanwhile, the Chief Medical Director (CMD), Stella Obasanjo Hospital, Edo State, Dr Osagie Ebomwonyi, has disclosed that 17 corps members in the state are currently receiving COVID-19 treatment at the hospital’s isolation centre.

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A staff of NYSC at the orientation camp in Mangu Local Government Area told our correspondent that the camp had recorded 26 cases since the commencement of the orientation exercise in Plateau State.

In Gombe State, 25 corps members posted to the state tested positive for the disease. Meanwhile, 14 corps members undergoing orientation have been confirmed COVID-19 positive in Sokoto State.

In Ogun State, a total of eight new cases of the disease were recorded on Monday.

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UNICEF, WHO Advocates for More Commitment in Domesticating Exclusive Breastfeeding

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UNICEF, WHO Advocates for More Commitment in Domesticating Exclusive Breastfeeding
Exclusive breastfeeding
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UNICEF, WHO Advocates for More Commitment in Domesticating Exclusive Breastfeeding

By Bashir Hassan Abubakar

As the World marks 2021 exclusive breastfeeding week, United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and World Health Organization (WHO) have advocated for implementation of commitments made by Nigerian government made at the start of this year by prioritizing breastfeeding-friendly environments for mothers and babies.

The call was made in a joint press statement by UNICEF executive director Henrietta Fore and WHO DIrector-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on the occasion marking the commencement of this year’s world breastfeeding week.

The statement, jointly signed by the media contacts of UNICEF Nigeria , Geoffrey Njoku and WHO’s Pippa Haughton was made available to newsmen by Samuel Kaalu of UNICEF field office Kano, informed that the world bodies said that, this year’s World Breastfeeding Week, under its theme ‘Protect Breastfeeding: A Shared Responsibility’, is a time to revisit the commitments which includes the ensuring of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes – established to protect mothers from aggressive marketing practices by the baby food industry that needs to be fully implemented by governments, health workers and industry.

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Ensuring health care workers have the resources and information they need to effectively support mothers to breastfeed, including through global efforts such as the Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative, and guidelines on breastfeeding counselling.

Other commitment was the ensuring of employers allowing women the time and space they need to breastfeed; including paid parental leave with longer maternity leave; safe places for breastfeeding in the workplace; access to affordable and good-quality childcare; and universal child benefits and adequate wages.

UNICEF, WHO Advocates for More Commitment in Domesticating Exclusive Breastfeeding

The statement posit that exclusive breastfeeding is central to realising this commitment.

“Initiation of breastfeeding within the first hour of birth, followed by exclusive breastfeeding for six months and continued breastfeeding for up to two years or beyond offer a powerful line of defence against all forms of child malnutrition, including wasting and obesity. Breastfeeding also acts as babies’ first vaccine, protecting them against many common childhood illnesses.

“While there has been progress in breastfeeding rates in the last four decades – with a 50 per cent increase in the prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding globally – the COVID-19 pandemic highlights the fragility of those gains.

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“In many countries, the pandemic has caused significant disruptions in breastfeeding support services, while increasing the risk of food insecurity and malnutrition. Several countries have reported that producers of baby foods have compounded these risks by invoking unfounded fears that breastfeeding can transmit COVID-19 and marketing their products as a safer alternative to breastfeeding.

The statement disclosed that in Nigeria, where 1 in 8 children do not reach their 5th birthday and 3 in 10 children are stunted, optimal breastfeeding practices are known to reduce neonatal and child morbidities and mortality rates as well as stunting reduction.

“Available statistics in Nigeria reveal that the average duration of exclusive breastfeeding is approximately 3 months and only 3 out of every 10 children under 6 months of age were exclusively breastfed (29%). This is an improvement from 17% in 2013 to 29% in 2018 (NDHS,2013; 2018), however, this still falls significantly below the target of 50% set by the World Health Assembly to be achieved in 2025 and the SDG target for 2030.

“The percentage of children who were breastfed within 1 hour of birth (42%) remains less than 50%. Breastfeeding rates in Nigeria reduce with age – 83% of the children are breastfed up to one year, while 28% are breastfeeding till 2 years. Furthermore, the proportion of children who are not breastfeeding increases with age.

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The statement pointed out that , “as we approach the UN Food Systems Summit in September and the Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit in December, governments, donors, civil society and the private sector all have an opportunity to make smart investments and commitments to tackle the global malnutrition crisis – including protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding – through stronger policies, programmes and actions.

“Now is not the time to lower our ambitions. Now is the time to aim high. We are committed to making the Nutrition for Growth Year of Action a success by ensuring that every child’s right to nutritious, safe and affordable food and adequate nutrition is realized from the beginning of life, starting with breastfeeding”, concludes the statement.

Our correspondent reports that August 1th to 7th of every year is been set aside globally to mark world exclusive breastfeeding week .

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Asisat Oshoala contracts COVID-19

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Asisat Oshoala contracts COVID-19

Barcelona coach Jonatan Giráldez will be without Nigerian striker, Asisat Oshoala, for the team’s pre-season game against Elche on August 4.

The Super Falcons captain was left out of Barcelona women’s training camp in Algorfa, where the squad will stay for 10 days preparing for the new season.

The European champions, while announcing the squad for the frienly game in Alicante, were silent on the whereabouts of their star striker despite not being listed among the 23 players travelling for the match.

Asisat Oshoala contracts COVID-19

The club announced that Ingrid Engen, Andrea Pereira and Cata Coll, who were not included in the travelling party due to various injuries, will join the team later but kept mum on the whereabouts of Oshoala.

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Meanwhile, a Catalan daily sports newspaper, based in Barcelona, L’Esportiu, has revealed that the four-time African Women’s Footballer of The Year missed the party due to COVID-19.

“Asisat Oshoala is the infected COVID-19 Barça footballer,” the website stated.

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