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In WHO global pulse survey, 90% of countries report disruptions to essential health services since COVID-19 pandemic - Africanews English
WHO to roll out learning and monitoring tools to improve service provision during pandemic The World Health Organization (WHO) today published a first indicative survey on the
WHO to roll out learning and monitoring tools to improve service provision during pandemic The World Health Organization (WHO) today published a first indicative survey on the impact of COVID-19 on health systems based on 105 countries reports. Data collected from five regions over the period from March to June 2020 illustrate that almost every country (90%) experienced disruption to its health services, with low- and middle-income countries reporting the greatest difficulties. Most countries reported that many routine and elective services have been suspended, while critical care such as cancer screening and treatment and HIV therapy has seen high-risk interruptions in low-income countries. The survey shines a light on the cracks in our health systems, but it also serves to inform new strategies to improve healthcare provision during the pandemic and beyond, said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. COVID-19 should be a lesson to all countries that health is not an either-or equation. We must better prepare for emergencies but also keep investing in health systems that fully respond to peoples needs throughout the life course. Services hit across the board: Based on reports from key informants, countries on average experienced disruptions in 50% of a set of 25 tracer services. The most frequently disrupted areas reported included routine immunization outreach services (70%) and facility-based services (61%), non-communicable diseases diagnosis and treatment (69%), family planning and contraception (68%), treatment for mental health disorders (61%), cancer diagnosis and treatment (55%). Countries also reported disruptions in malaria diagnosis and treatment (46%), tuberculosis case detection and treatment (42%) and antiretroviral treatment (32%). While some areas of health care, such as dental care and rehabilitation, may have been deliberately suspended in line with government protocols, the disruption of many of the other services is expected to have harmful effects on population health in the short- medium- and long-term. Potentially life-saving emergency services were disrupted in almost a quarter of responding countries. Disruptions to 24-hour emergency room services for example were affected in 22% of countries, urgent blood transfusions were disrupted in 23% of countries, emergency surgery was affected in 19% of the countries. Disruption due to a mix of supply and demand side factors. 76% of countries reported reductions in outpatient care attendance due to lower demand and other factors such as lockdowns and financial difficulties. The most commonly reported factor on the supply side was cancellation of elective services (66%). Other factors reported by countries included staff redeployment to provide COVID-19 relief, unavailability of services due to closings, and interruptions in the supply of medical equipment and health products. Adapting service delivery strategies. Many countries have started to implement some of the WHO recommended strategies to mitigate service disruptions, such as triaging to identify priorities, shifting to on-line patient consultations, changes to prescribing practices and supply chain and public health information strategies. However, only 14% of countries reported removal of user fees, which WHO recommends to offset potential financial difficulties for patients. The pulse survey also provides an indication of countries experiences in adapting strategies to mitigate the impact on service provision. Despite the limitations of such a survey, it highlights the need to improve real-time monitoring of changes in service delivery and utilization as the outbreak is likely to wax and wane over the next months, and to adapt solutions accordingly. To that end, WHO will continue to work with countries and to provide supportive tools to address the fallout from COVID-19. Given countries urgent demand for assistance during the pandemic response, WHO is developing the COVID19: Health Services Learning Hub, a web-based platform that will allow sharing of experiences and learning from innovative country practices that can inform the collective global response. WHO is also devising additional surveys at the sub-national level and in health facilities to gauge the longer-term impact of disruptions and help countries weigh the benefits and risks of pursuing different mitigation strategies. Distributed by APO Group on behalf of World Health Organization (WHO).Download logo
W.H.O. labels COVID-19 related graft as murder - Africanews English
There have been allegations of corruption scandals involving personal protective equipment in Africa such as in Zimbabwe, Kenya and South Africa.
All 54 countries on the continent have been affected by the highly infectious COVID 19, with over 1.1 million cases and and 27,000 deaths according to the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. There have been allegations of corruption scandals involving personal protective equipment in Africa such as in Zimbabwe, Kenya and South Africa. W.H.O. chief labels cases related to COVID 19 corruption as murder. "Corruption related to PPE... for me it's actually murder. Because if health workers work without PPE, we're risking their lives. And that also risks the lives of the people they serve", stressed Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. South Africa, the hardest hit by COVID-19, with more than 600,000 cases and at least 2,500 deaths is investigating government departments for corruption over irregularities regarding coronavirus. In Zimbabwe, the ex-Minister of Health was arrested and eventually sacked over misappropriation of funds for COVID 19. According to the WHO, The most affected countries are Nigeria with over 51,905 cases, Ghana: 43,325 cases, followed by Algeria: 41,068 cases.
US SpaceX astronauts return - Africanews English
Two American astronauts have splashed down, as the first commercial crewed mission to the International Space Station came back to Earth.
Two American astronauts have splashed down as the first commercial crewed mission to the International Space Station came back to Earth. The capsule came down in the Gulf of Mexico off the Florida coast - carefully avoiding the tropical storm battering Florida's eastern sea border. They'd been up in the International Space station for two months and their ride home was fast and hot, at least on the outside with searing temperatures on re-entry to Earth's atmosphere. President Trump who had watched the initial launch back in May sent his congratulations at the safe return of the two men. The aim of the mission had been to test the so-called "astronaut taxi service" the company, owned by tech entrepreneur , will be selling to Nasa from now on. For SpaceX it'll be launching the next crew around the end of September.