Global Citizen Launches ‘Recover Better Together’ Campaign – Guinea Launches Ebola Vaccinations – Nigeria & Zambia Studies Show High SARS-CoV2 Infections Briefs 23/02/2021 • Kerry Cullinan Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Global Citizen CEO Hugh Evans launches 5-point global recovery campaign Vaccinating all of Africa’s health workers would need half a percent of all the doses that the G-7 countries have purchased, according to Global Citizen CEO Hugh Evans. On Tuesday, Global Citizen launched a five-point ‘Recover Better Together’ plan for the world, aimed at getting millions of citizens behind ending COVID-19 for all, ending the hunger crisis, resuming learning for children, fully protecting the planet, and advancing equity for all. “First we must focus on achieving sufficient worldwide vaccine coverage to break the chain of transmission, including, for the poorest nations,” Evans told a media briefing convened jointly with the World Health Organization, and addressed by world leaders including European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, US Special Envoy in Climate John Kerry and South African president Cyril Ramaphosa. In his address, Ramaphosa applauded French president Macron who has called on rich countries to donate 5% of their vaccines to needy countries. “Another important step is to enable the transfer of medical technology for the duration of the pandemic. This will allow us to increase the production of COVID-19 vaccines and other medical products, lower prices, and improve distribution so that these vaccines and medical supplies reach all corners of the world,” said Ramaphosa. Guinea Starts Ebola Vaccination Drive – Nigerian and Zambian Studies Show High Levels of SARS-CoV2 Infection Healthworkers during the 2017 Ebola outbreak in the DRC. Guinea started Ebola vaccinations on Tuesday of people at high risk in Gouecke, a rural community in N’Zerekore prefecture where the first cases were detected on 14 February – the first cases since 2016. “All people who have come into contact with a confirmed Ebola patient are given the vaccine, as well as frontline and health workers. The launch started with the vaccination of health workers,” according to a media release from WHO’s Africa region. “The last time Guinea faced an Ebola outbreak, vaccines were still being developed,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “With the experience and expertise it has built up, combined with safe and effective vaccines, Guinea has the tools and the know-how to respond to this outbreak. WHO is proud to support the government to engage and empower communities, to protect health and other frontline workers, to save lives and provide high-quality care.” The WHO sent 11 000 doses of the rVSV-ZEBOV Ebola vaccine from its headquarters in Geneva, while a further 8500 doses are being procured from Merck, the vaccine’s producer in the US, “The speed with which Guinea has managed to start up vaccination efforts is remarkable and is largely thanks to the enormous contribution its experts have made to the recent Ebola outbreaks in the DRC,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “Africans supporting fellow Africans to respond to one of the most dangerous diseases on the planet is a testament to the emergency response capacity we have built over the years on the continent.” Implementing an Ebola vaccination strategy is a complex procedure as the vaccines need to be maintained at a temperature of minus 80 degrees centigrade. Guinea has developed ultra-cold chain capacity with vaccine carriers, which can keep the vaccine doses in sub-zero temperatures for up to a week. There are eight cases (four confirmed and four probable) and five people have died so far. Guinea’s neighbours are on high alert, particularly Liberia and Cote d’Ivoire which are close to the border with N’Zerekore, Guinea’s second-largest city. Meanwhile, a second person died of Ebola last week in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s North Kivu province. Ebola, a haemorrhagic fever, is transmitted from wild animals and spreads in the humans through direct contact with the blood, and bodily fluids of infected people, and contaminated surfaces and materials. Nigeria’s First SARS-CoV-2 Seroprevalence Study Finds Almost 25% of Lagos Residents Had Antibodies Lagos Almost a quarter of Nigerians living in Lagos may have been infected with SARS-CoV2, according to the results of a seroprevalence study released on Monday by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and Nigeria Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) The household seroprevalence survey was conducted in Lagos, Enugu, Nasarawa and Gombe States in September and October last year and involved blood samples from over 10,000 people. SARS-CoV-2 antibodies were found in 23% of people sampled in Lagos and Enugu States, 19% in Nasarawa State, and 9% in Gombe State. “These rates of infection are higher than those reported through the national surveillance system and reveal that the spread of infection in the states surveyed is wider than is obvious from surveillance activities,” according to a statement by the NCDC and NIMR. The survey also showed that men had higher infection rates than women (21% of men and 17% of women in Nasarawa), and urban areas had higher infection rates than rural areas (28% of urban residents and 18% of rural residents in Enugu). The survey is currently being expanded to more states in the North-West and South geopolitical zones which were not included in the initial round of surveys. Zambia Post-Mortems Find High Level of SARS-CoV2, Minimal Testing Post-mortem surveillance of 364 Zambians who died between June and September last year detected SARS-CoV2 in 70 (19%), according to a study published in the BMJ last week. PCR tests were administered on people at the University Teaching Hospital morgue in the capital of Lusaka within 48 hours of death. Fifty of the 70 with COVID-19 had died in their communities without ever having been tested for the virus. Only five of the 19 who died in hospital had been tested. Seven children were part of the study and only one had been tested before death. The most common co-morbidities among those who died of the virus were tuberculosis (31%), hypertension (27%), HIV/AIDS (23%), alcoholism (17%), and diabetes (13%). Image Credits: WHO, Wikipedia. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Combat the infodemic in health information and support health policy reporting from the global South. Our growing network of journalists in Africa, Asia, Geneva and New York connect the dots between regional realities and the big global debates, with evidence-based, open access news and analysis. To make a personal or organisational contribution click here on PayPal.