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WHO Director-General's opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 - 7 September 2020 | ReliefWeb.

[News and Press Release] [Source: WHO] [Posted: 7 Sep 2020] [Originally Published: 7 Sep 2020] [Origin: View original]

  • When the next pandemic comes, the world must be ready. Part of every country’s commitment to build back better must therefore be to invest in public health, as an investment in a healthier and safer future.There are many examples of countries that have done exactly that. Many of these countries have done well because they learned lessons from previous outbreaks of SARS, MERS, measles, polio, Ebola, flu and other diseases.

  • Tomorrow, the Review Committee of the International Health Regulations will begin its work to evaluate the functioning of the IHR during the pandemic so far, and recommend any changes it believes are necessary. The names of members of the committee were published on WHO’s website yesterday.

  • Today is the first International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies. The pandemic – and the measures taken in many countries to contain it – have taken a heavy toll on lives, livelihoods and economies. But there have also been some unexpected benefits. In many places, we have seen a significant drop in air pollution.

Good morning, good afternoon and good evening.

COVID-19 is teaching all of us many lessons.

One of them is that health is not a luxury item for those who can afford it; it’s a necessity, and a human right.

Public health is the foundation of social, economic and political stability. That means investing in population-based services for preventing, detecting and responding to disease.

This will not be the last pandemic. History teaches us that outbreaks and pandemics are a fact of life. But when the next pandemic comes, the world must be ready – more ready than it was this time.

In recent years, many countries have made enormous advances in medicine, but too many have neglected their basic public health systems, which are the foundation for responding to infectious disease outbreaks.

Part of every country’s commitment to build back better must therefore be to invest in public health, as an investment in a healthier and safer future.

In fact, there are many examples of countries that have done exactly that.

Thailand is reaping the benefits of 40 years of health system strengthening.

A robust and well-resourced medical and public health system, allied with strong leadership informed by the best available scientific advice, a trained and committed community workforce with 1 million village health volunteers, and consistent and accurate communication, have built trust and increased public confidence and compliance.

As you know, Italy was one of the first countries to experience a large outbreak outside China, and in many ways was a pioneer for other countries.

Italy took hard decisions based on the evidence and persisted with them, which reduced transmission and saved many lives. National unity and solidarity, combined with the dedication and sacrifice of health workers, and the engagement of the Italian people, brought the outbreak under control.

Mongolia acted very early, activating its State Emergency Committee in January. As a result, despite neighbouring China, Mongolia’s first case was not reported until March and it still has no reported deaths.

Mauritius has high population density, with high rates of non-communicable diseases and many international travellers, which meant it was at high-risk. But quick, comprehensive action, initiated in January, and previous experience with contact tracing paid off.

Although the Americas has been the most-affected region, Uruguay has reported the lowest number of cases and deaths in Latin America, both in total and on a per capita basis.

This is not an accident.

Uruguay has one of the most robust and resilient health systems in Latin America, with sustainable investment based on political consensus on the importance of investing in public health.

Pakistan deployed the infrastructure built up over many years for polio to combat COVID-19. Community health workers who have been trained to go door-to-door vaccinating children for polio have been utilized for surveillance, contact tracing and care.

There are many other examples we could give, including Cambodia, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Rwanda, Senegal, Spain, Viet Nam and more.

Many of these countries have done well because they learned lessons from previous outbreaks of SARS, MERS, measles, polio, Ebola, flu and other diseases.

That’s why it’s vital that we all learn the lessons this pandemic is teaching us.

Although Germany’s response was strong, it is also learning lessons.

I welcome the announcement by Chancellor Angela Merkel over the weekend that her government will invest 4 billion euros by 2026 to strengthen Germany’s public health system.

I call on all countries to invest in public health, and especially in primary health care, and follow Germany’s example.

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Tomorrow, the Review Committee of the International Health Regulations will begin its work.

The International Health Regulations is the most important legal instrument in global health security.

As a reminder, the review committee will evaluate the functioning of the IHR during the pandemic so far, and recommend any changes it believes are necessary.

It will review the convening of the Emergency Committee, the declaration of a public health emergency of international concern, the role and functioning of national IHR focal points, and will examine progress made in implementing the recommendations of previous International Health Regulations review committees.

The names of the members of the committee were published on WHO’s website yesterday.

Depending on progress made, the committee may present an interim progress report to the resumed World Health Assembly in November, and a final report to the Assembly in May next year.

The committee will also communicate as needed with other review bodies, including the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response – IPPR – and the Independent Oversight Advisory Committee – IOAC – for the WHO Health Emergencies Programme.

===

Finally, today is the first International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies.

The pandemic – and the measures taken in many countries to contain it – have taken a heavy toll on lives, livelihoods and economies.

But there have also been some unexpected benefits.

In many places, we have seen a significant drop in air pollution. We have been reminded of how starved our lungs have been of clean, unpolluted air.

We have had a glimpse of our world as it could be.

And that is the world we must strive for.

Ultimately, we are not just fighting a virus. We’re fighting for a healthier, safer, cleaner and more sustainable future.

I thank you.


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Upper Extremity Tendon Transfers: A Brief Review of History, Common Applications, and Technical Tips | Indian Journal of Plastic Surgery.

[Open Access] [Publication Date: 29 August 2020 (online)]

Abstract.

Background. Tendon transfer in the upper extremity represents a powerful tool in the armamentarium of a reconstructive surgeon in the setting of irreparable nerve injury or the anatomic loss of key portions of the muscle-tendon unit. The concept uses the redundancy/expendability of tendons by utilizing a nonessential tendon to restore the function of a lost or nonfunctional muscle-tendon unit of the upper extremity. This article does not aim to perform a comprehensive review of tendon transfers. Instead it is meant to familiarize the reader with salient historical features, common applications in the upper limb, and provide the reader with some technical tips, which may facilitate a successful tendon transfer.

Learning Objectives. (1) Familiarize the reader with some aspects of tendon transfer history. (2) Identify principles of tendon transfers. (3) Identify important preoperative considerations. (4) Understand the physiology of the muscle-tendon unit and the Blix curve. (5) Identify strategies for setting tension during a tendon transfer and rehabilitation strategies.

Design. This study was designed to review the relevant current literature and provide an expert opinion.

Conclusions. Tendon transfers have evolved from polio to tetraplegia to war and represent an extremely powerful technique to correct neurologic and musculotendinous deficits in a variety of patients affected by trauma, peripheral nerve palsies, cerebral palsy, stroke, and inflammatory arthritis. In the contemporary setting, these very same principles have also been very successfully applied to vascularized composite allotransplantation in the upper limb.


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Parent reported outcomes to measure satisfaction, acceptability, and daily life impact after vaccination with whole-cell and acellular pertussis vaccine in Chile | Vaccine.

[Pay to View Full Text] [Received 27 May 2020, Revised 17 August 2020, Accepted 18 August 2020, Available online 2 September 2020] [In Press, Corrected Proof]

Highlights.

* Chile incorporated a hexavalent acellular pertussis vaccine, only in Latin America during study.

* Parental acceptability and satisfaction were significantly higher with the new hexavalent vaccine.

* There was significantly less interruption on daily activities after the new vaccine.

Abstract.

Aim.

To compare parental satisfaction and impact on daily life among parents of children receiving whole-cell pentavalent + oral polio vaccine (Arm 1) with an acellular hexavalent vaccine (Hexaxim; Arm 2).

Methods.

Self-administered electronic questionnaire at vaccination and one week later in six community health clinics of metropolitan Santiago, Chile, exploring parent-reported outcomes on satisfaction, acceptability, and impact on daily life after immunization. Univariate and multivariate analyses were conducted to determine differences in the responses in both groups (α = 0.05).

Results.

The study enrolled 800 participants and 65% (222 in Arm 1, 296 in Arm 2) were included for according-to-protocol analysis. Demographic characteristics were comparable, except for a higher proportion of mothers answering the questionnaire at the 6-month visit. Regardless of the study arm, parental knowledge and perception of the immunization practices were good, and there were no differences in vaccination experiences in the prior 5 years. However, satisfaction with vaccination and intention to vaccinate were statistically significantly higher in Arm 2 after the 6-month visit. Also, more parents in Arm 2 reported no disruption in several aspects of the everyday activities of the parent, the child, and other children in the household. Parents in Arm 2 were more likely to be satisfied with the vaccine received (OR 2.82; 95% CI, 1.22–7.07); return for other vaccine dose (OR 2.62; 95% CI, 1.45–4.84); follow a healthcare professional recommendation (OR 2.24; 95% CI, 1.57–3.21); and, to be confident that the vaccine will not disrupt the family’s daily routine (OR 1.89; 95% CI, 1.32–2.71).

Conclusions.

Overall, satisfaction, intention for future vaccination, and lower impact on the family daily routine were significantly better in the group receiving the hexavalent vaccine. We also found that health care providers’ recommendations to vaccinate and participants’ access to health services were important factors favoring immunization.


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Nigeria: Polio Eradication – Stopping the menace of polio gives me joy as a father - His Royal Highness, the Emir of Argungu, Alhaji Samaila Muhammadu Mera | ReliefWeb.

[News and Press Release] [Source: WHO] [Posted: 7 Sep 2020] [Originally Published: 7 Sep 2020] [Origin: View original]

Abuja, 7 September, 2020 - When unfounded rumours led to vaccines boycott in Nigeria, some traditional leaders in the north, including His Royal Highness, the Emir of Argungu, Alhaji Samaila Muhammadu Mera, teamed up with the Federal Government to lead the polio sensitization campaign on the importance of vaccination.

Polio eradication in Nigeria, a feat which was accomplished in June 2020, suffered many setbacks, the major challenge was the widespread misconception about the vaccine, which led to vaccine hesitancy in 2003 as many communities were reluctant to have polio vaccine given to children.

Clearly, something changed.

The partnership with the present Emir, the 33rd Sarkin Kabi, of Argungu, and other traditional leaders provided a golden opportunity to forge a clear path forward in the polio campaign in northern Nigeria - which was the epicentre of the polio epidemic in the country.

To win the battle, the Emir, Alhaji Samaila Muhammadu Mera, used his position as the custodian of the people to educate the general public in the respective communities on risks posed by poliomyelitis and where need be, used the law to enforce the right of the child.

Here, the Emir narrates the role he played during the journey to polio eradication in the country.

**Golden opportunity **

Stopping the menace of poliomyelitis does not only give relief to parents, caregivers but also us as fathers, who are concerned about the well-being and welfare of our individual and collective communities. We lost so many children with potential from the region and Nigeria.

I took up the challenge due to my roles and responsibilities as a father, community leader and role model who is responsible for the welfare and well-being of my people. I saw it as a golden opportunity to protect the well-being of my people and the reputation of my country amongst the comity of nations that have undertaken to eradicate polio globally.

**The role I played as a traditional ruler **

The mission started in 2004 after the agitation from some states like Zamfara and Kano, who in 2000 threatened to boycott the Polio Eradication Initiative (PEI) campaign entirely.

With the impending dangers, the Northern Traditional leaders set up a committee of professionals, which included vaccine experts, medical doctors, religious leaders and traditional rulers, with representatives from the press, to visit laboratories in South Africa, India and Indonesia where vaccines used in Nigeria were manufactured.

The team also included professionals from universities and anti-vaccine campaigners that alleged contamination of vaccines. The Jamaa’tul Nasrul Islam on behalf of the traditional and religious leaders paid for the trip and provided money for renting laboratories in these countries to allow professionals in the group from both sides to test batches of vaccines to confirm whether or not they were contaminated.

The outcome of the committee’s visit was positive - in favour of the efficacy and safety of polio vaccines (i.e., no evidence of contamination).

**Breakthrough **

The laboratory result made our work a bit easier.

We always started our awareness campaign by referring to that report citing the names and qualifications of members of the committee as a testament. We used role-modelling by publicly vaccinating our children on live media. Some of us (Traditional Leaders) went a step further by inoculating ourselves several times to convince the doubting Thomas of the efficacy and safety of the vaccine.

My role as a polio advocate covered every physical aspect of the campaign, apart from the policy issue. We did mass mobilisation and education. We formed vaccination teams and selected members of vaccination teams for the polio campaign exercises. We even took part in the micro planning at some point and supported surveillance. We participated in the planning and review meetings of the PEI activities. I have travelled severally to the United States America, United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates during the period of campaigns to talk about the efforts of traditional and religious leaders.

We tackled issues of cultural and religious resistance which had led to the hesitancy in two ways: by engaging in productive discussion one-on-one with the resistant groups or individuals, and by using the law to enforce the right of a child to access a vaccine. I deemed that every child has a right to access vaccines and do all that is needed to ensure he/she gets his or her rights.

**Lessons Learnt **

I am so happy and grateful to God and to those who contributed to achieving this status. We have learnt many lessons during the campaigns. The first lesson is that vaccines work. Secondly, it has strengthened the relationship between traditional leaders and their communities because they have been proven right. We have learnt that persistent communication and education is key, but most importantly trust between the messenger carrying the message and the receiver of the message. In other words, trust is critical. The experience serves as a foundation for building trust towards strengthening routine immunization and other public health interventions.

I feel so grateful and thankful for the opportunity to serve my people and my country, especially, seeing young and vulnerable children free from a debilitating disease, is comforting to me. I thank his eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto for appointing me in the committee. I am grateful to the Governors of Kebbi State that I worked with during the period, for their cooperation and support.

I also thank all the stakeholders, traditional leaders, health workers, international partner organisations and donors (World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations Children's Funds (UNICEF), Rotary International , Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Dangote Foundation) that we worked with, for expanding my horizon on matters of public health. We appreciate the effort of all stakeholders.

I think we need to maintain the partnerships and investment that worked so perfectly to achieve the polio-free status and build on the lessons learnt during the campaign to tackle future public health challenges.

For Additional Information or to Request Interviews, Please contact:

Ms Charity Warigon
Tel: +234 810 221 0093
Email: warigonc@who.int

Emir of Argungu vaccinating a child
Emir of Argungu vaccinating a child.


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Podcast: Video: TWiV 660: In case of emergency finish the trial | This Week in Virology.

[September 6, 2020]

Daniel Griffin provides a clinical report on COVID-19, then we discuss decline of virus-specific bone marrow B cells within a year after influenza vaccination, the push to release SARS-CoV-2 vaccines before completion of phase 3 trials, and absence of evidence for infectious virus in aerosols.

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Alan DoveRich ConditKathy Spindler, and Brianne Barker

Guest: Daniel Griffin

Watch 'virtual roundtable'; discussion on YouTube video [2:40:11]: https://youtu.be/wvEU4XT323c

or

Listen to Podcast via source article

or

Download TWiV 660 (95 MB .mp3, 159 min)
Subscribe (free): iTunesGoogle PodcastsRSSemail

Become a patron of TWiV!

Links for this episode

Intro music is by Ronald Jenkees

Send your virology questions and comments to twiv@microbe.tv


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Ghana: Make your children available for polio Immunisation-GHS | News Ghana.

[Sep 5, 2020] [Ghana News Agency]

Mr Joseph Kwami Degley, the Ketu South Municipal Director, Ghana Health Service (GHS), has urged the residents in the Municipality to make their children available for polio vaccination.

He said the immunisation exercise is scheduled for 10 to 13 September in the communities in the Municipality.

The second round will run from 8 to 12 October, this year.

He said children up to five years were targeted for the exercise and asked mothers and care-givers to make their children available.

Mr Degley made the call at a stakeholder’s meeting at the Municipal Assembly to solicit the support of everyone in disseminating information on the impending polio vaccination.

He urged the residents to get involved in the exercise to kick the disease out of the country.

“Following the recent risk assessment of the polio situation in Ghana, the Polio Advisory Group has approved an immediate response which includes two immunisation rounds of a campaign in the country including Volta, Ashanti and Eastern Regions targeting 4,734,221 children under five years,” he explained.

The Municipal Director of Health Services said the monovalent oral vaccine which would be given to the children during the exercise would protect them from infectious agents that could cause polio which effects could be temporary or permanent paralysis, lifetime disability and even death.

He said the team of volunteers for the exercise would comply strictly with COVID-19 protocols during their visit to places, including homes, markets and schools and appealed to mothers to also do so in the interest of all.

At the meeting, market queens pledged their support for the immunisation exercise, saying they would convey the message to their colleagues at the market centres and help arrange sheds during the period to ensure the exercise success.

Madam Evelyn Klokpodzi, Municipal Director of National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), expressed the readiness of NCCE to sensitise the people on the exercise to receive the needed cooperation from the public.


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