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Weekly COVID-19 cases in Africa reduced by 20% – WHO

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) says that the weekly COVID-19 cases have declined by more than 20 percent in Africa.

In a statement titled “COVID-19 variants prolong Africa’s pandemic wave,” WHO said: “Weekly COVID-19 cases in Africa fell by more than 20%—the sharpest seven-day decline in two months – as the third wave pandemic tapers off.

“However, the rate of deceleration is slower than the previous waves owing to the impact of more transmissible variants.

“The continent recorded more than 165 000 cases in the week ending on 5 September—23% lower than the week before, yet still higher than the weekly cases recorded at the peak of the first wave.

“The more contagious Delta variant that partly fuelled the third wave has been dominant in several countries that experienced COVID-19 surge. In southern Africa, for instance, where more than 4000 COVID-19 genome sequencing data was produced in August, the Delta variant was detected in over 70% of samples from Botswana, Malawi, and South Africa, and in over 90% from Zimbabwe.”

Also in the statement, the Africa Regional Director for the WHO, Dr. Matshidioso Moeti, said the continent was working towards increasing the rate of genomic sequencing.

“The third wave has shown us how variants can hijack the efforts to tame the pandemic. Countries must step up surveillance because, without genomic information, variants can spread undetected. You can’t fix what you don’t measure.”

 

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Health

COVID-19 increasing risk factors for suicide – WHO

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To mark World Suicide Prevention Day, on September 10, the American office of the World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that suicide prevention must be prioritised after 18 months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Suicide is an urgent public health problem and its prevention must be a national priority,” said Renato Oliveira e Souza, head of the Mental Health Unit at the Pan American Health Organisation.

“We need concrete action from all elements of society to put an end to these deaths, and for governments to create and invest in a comprehensive national strategy to improve suicide prevention and care,” he added.

Globally, one in 100 deaths is by suicide, making it among the leading causes of death worldwide and the fourth leading cause of death among 15- to 29-year-olds, after road traffic accidents, tuberculosis, and interpersonal violence.

Some of the verbal or behavioural warning signs for suicide include talking about wanting to die, feeling immense guilt or shame, or feeling like a burden to others.

Other signs are feeling empty, hopeless, or trapped, or having no reason to live, or feeling extremely sad, anxious, agitated, or full of anger.

World Suicide Prevention Day is organised by the International Association for Suicide Prevention and endorsed by WHO.

This year’s theme,‘Creating hope through action’, focuses on the need for collective action to address the issue.

(NAN)

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Buhari lists conditions for paying doctors’ benefits

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President Muhammadu Buhari has given the conditions doctors must meet to get to their outstanding benefits.

Speaking during a meeting with officials of the Nigeria Medical Association at the State House, according to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, Buhari condemned the doctor’s industrial action.

He said: “The lives of citizens that could be lost or damaged when doctors withdraw services are precious enough to be worth opting for peaceful resolution of differences.”

The president added, “Let me speak directly to the striking doctors. Embarking on industrial action at this time when Nigerians need you most is not the best action to take, no matter the grievances.

“This Administration has a good track record of paying all debts owed to government workers, pensioners, and contractors and we have even revisited debts left by past administrations, once due verification is done. Debts genuinely owed Health workers will be settled.

“I learnt that some of the 12-point demand in the ongoing strike was already addressed. Though the Review of a new Hazard Allowance has not been fully negotiated because of the sharp and deep division within the ranks of the striking doctors.’’

Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors had declared indefinite strike action since Monday, August 2, 2021.

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RCCG launches crowdfunding platform, to donate dialysis centre in Ogun

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His Love Foundation (HLF), the charity arm of Redeemed Christian Church of God, has announced the launch of a new crowdfunding campaign to raise  funds with a view to continue help Nigerians.

In the last three years, the RCCG in Nigeria has spent on various CSR activities over N18,444,618,335.97, impacting over 130,753,857 people in her 43,000 operating centers spread over the 36 states of the federation.

The funds raised will be used to support His Love Foundation’s efforts in addressing a wide variety of in-the-moment, on-the-ground needs in 6 specific areas of health, education, feeding, social enterprise, rehabilitation and prisons at the local, state, national and international level.

The crowdfunding campaign was inspired by growing demands of intervention programmes and projects of the church through the foundation which are in response to the clarion call of Jesus Christ to every believer to be mindful of the sick, the poor, those in prison and the hungry.

Intercontinental Overseer, Christian Social Responsibility ( CSR ) of the RCCG, Pastor Idowu Iluyomade, stated that, “CSR is a matter of life and death and the church has committed itself to giving succor in 6 specific areas of health, education, feeding, social enterprise, rehabilitation and prisons, so this crowdfunding campaign provides an incredible opportunity for individuals, philanthropists and corporations to take part in ameliorating the suffering of people across the world especially in the midst of the global coronavirus pandemic.”

He added, “There are a wide variety of urgent demands where government support will not be available at all or available in time to meet all the rapidly-changing needs on the ground, hence the need for donations from individuals, philanthropists and corporations to fill critical gaps and make a tremendous difference. We therefore need to bring our resources together, so that we can make a tremendous progress.”

In addition, the HLF has entered into partnerships with 4 Insurance companies in Nigeria to give 1year free Accident Insurance Policy to partners who make lump sum donations of #12,000 or more at once.

Meanwhile, to commemorate the 3rd year anniversary of the setting up of His Love Foundation  and the 69th Annual Convention of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, the Foundation will be donating a full-fledged Dialysis centre – Enoch and Folu Adeboye Dialysis Centre – at the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, Sagamu, Ogun.

The Enoch and Folu Adeboye Dialysis unit in Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, Sagamu, will have 3 units of Dialysis Machines, a Medical Water Reserve Osmosis Purification System and 30KVA generator.

This donation will be the 16th in the series of specialised medical interventions – Intensive Care Units (ICU)/ Dialysis Centres / Cancer Screening Centre / Primary Healthcare Centres – donated by His Love Foundation in the country.

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