A United Nations (UN) trust fund seeking nearly US$1 billion for rapid, flexible funding of the most urgent needs to fight Ebola in West Africa has received a deposit of just US$100 000 nearly a month after it was set up.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in September that US$988 million is needed to tackle the deadly haemorrhagic fever over the next six months and since then, US$365 million has been committed to stop Ebola in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, which have been hit hardest by the epidemic.
Nearly all that money was donated directly to UN agencies and nonprofits working in West Africa with just US$100 000 paid by Colombia into the trust fund set up by Ki-moon, according to UN records.
To read the article titled, “UN Ebola trust fund gets US$100 000, almost US$1 billion needed,” click here.Source:SABC News
The World Health Organisation (WHO) states that, the Ebola epidemic is set to explode unless the response is radically intensified, warning that hundreds of thousands could be infected by the end of 2014.
In a report, the United Nations agency declares that new cases would surge from hundreds each week to thousands without ‘drastic improvements in control measures’, with the number of infections set to more than triple to 20 000 by November 2014.
The research paper warns that the outbreak could drag out for years and become entrenched in West Africa, which has already seen almost 3 000 deaths.
To read the article titled, “Ebola cases to explode without drastic action: WHO,” click here.Source:The Citizen
Director of the University of Pretoria's Centre for Human Rights, Frans Viljoen, believes South Africa should have played the leading role in the fight against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa.
Speaking at the University of Pretoria’s panel discussion on South Africa's preparedness for Ebola, Viljoen stresses that, “As a beacon of public health on the continent, as a country that stands for African problems being resolved by Africans themselves, South Africa should have taken a leading role.”
He states that the country should have taken more proactive steps, instead of merely making sure there was protective clothing available.
To read the article titled, “SA negating Ebola role: expert,” click here.Source:IOL News
The international medical agency, Medecins sans Frontieres, says the world was ‘losing the battle’ to contain Ebola as the United Nations (UN) warned of severe food shortages in the hardest-hit countries.
MSF told a UN briefing in New York that world leaders were failing to address the epidemic and called for an urgent global biological disaster response to get aid and personnel to West Africa.
MSF international president, Joanne Liu, points out that, "Six months into the worst Ebola epidemic in history, the world is losing the battle to contain it. Leaders are failing to come to grips with this transnational threat."
To read the article titled, “World 'losing battle' to contain Ebola: MSF,” click here.Source:Sowetan Live
Malawi President, Peter Mutharika, says his country was the first to adopt a policy of putting all HIV positive pregnant and breast feeding women on anti-retroviral (ARV) drugs regardless of their CD4 Count.
Speaking at the signing of the Protect the Goal Campaign as a sign of commitment to the fight against HIV and AIDS, Mutharika argues that the policy has significantly reduced the number of children born with HIV and has taken Malawi closer to achieving an HIV free generation.
“Malawi has come a long way in the fight against HIV and AIDS. As a country, we have continued to scale up interventions that work. Already more than seven million people, almost half of the population of this country have been tested for HIV and have received their results,” he adds.
To read the article titled, “Malawi first country to put HIV positive pregnant women on ARVs - APM,” click here.Source:Malawi News Agency Online
Botswana's High Court orders the government to provide treatment to HIV-positive foreign prisoners at the state's expense.
Justice Bengbame Sechele, ruled that the denial of anti-retroviral (ARV) treatment to foreign inmates violated their rights.
The Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS supports the challenge against government policy, saying it violated the prisoners' constitutional right to equality, dignity and non-discrimination.
To read the article titled, “Botswana has to pay HIV treatment for foreigners,” click here.Source:News 24
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says people infected in the West African Ebola outbreak can be offered untested drugs, however, the scarcity of supplies has raised questions about who gets priority access to treatment.
Liberia plans to treat two infected doctors with an unproven Ebola medicine called ZMapp, as they become the first Africans to receive the drug, which has already been given to a Spanish priest who later died and two United States aid workers.
The outbreak is the world's largest and deadliest and the United Nations’ World Health Organisation has already declared it an international health emergency.
To read an article titled, “WHO backs use of experimental drugs,” click here.Source:IOL News
The University of Cape Town's (UCT) head of Pulmonology division, Professor Keertan Dheda, says he is less optimistic about the cocktail of new drug resistance tuberculosis (TB).
The PaMZ three-drug combo from the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development is said to cure the disease more quickly than current regimens.
The PaMZ regimen shows promise to be effective in all (100 percent) of drug-sensitive patients and about 30 percent of patients with MDR-TB
To read the article titled, "New TB treatment drug gets mixed reaction," click here.Source:SABC News
According to a study conducted by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, looking into the global burden of disease with a particular focus on HIV, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria, new HIV infections in South African children under five years old have dropped by more than three quarters between 2003 and 2013, from 56 000 to 7 600.
The authors of the study argue that the decrease in HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths in this age group is likely a result of the country’s ‘expanded access to child-focused intervention’ such as the prevention of mother-to-child transmission programmes.
Christopher Murray, IHME director and an author of the study believes the global investment in HIV treatment is saving lives rapidly, but notes that the quality of antiretroviral programmes varies widely and in order to reduce HIV-related deaths even further, the country needs to learn from the best programmes and do away with the worst ones.
To read the article titled, “HIV infections in children under five down by over three quarters,” click here.Source:Mail and Guardian
Countries have to test for HIV at least 90 percent of their populations and make sure that 90 percent of HIV positive people are on treatment.
This is one of the bold and ambitious targets set by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) at the 20th International Aids Conference in Melbourne, Australia.
After about three decades of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, the United Nations has now called on countries to end the scourge of this disease.
To read the article titled, “UNAIDS pushes for an end to Aids epidemic,” click here.Source:SABC News