CategoriesGFAN Africa WACI Health News

CHOGM: GFAN Africa joins parliamentary delegation for a study tour to Bugesera district in Rwanda

GFAN Africa Members were part of a delegation to Bugesera District in the Eastern Province of Rwanda for a study tour led by the Rwanda Ministry of Health through Rwanda Biomedical Center and CCM Rwanda. The delegation included Members of Parliament from United Kingdom; Zimbabwe. A delegation from Global Fund and Malaria No More UK; and Rwanda CSOs. The delegation set out to learn about the Malaria response in the Rwanda.

WhatsApp Image 2022 06 23 at 7.53.53 AMThe study tour included visiting the Health Center which demonstrated how they treat various diseases including malaria. The experience sharing and learning sessions gave the delegation the opportunity to interact with the Healthcare Providers at the Health Center and Community Health Workers who support and deliver health services.

This included passionate community field workers, like Mary who has been a Community Healthcare Worker since 2003 who reiterated the joy and pride she gets from interacting with former malaria patients who were now healthy and happy.

The study tour was an important reminder of the effectiveness of strong health systems in prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases for communities. It strengthened the civil society and community resolve to continue fighting for what counts, to have strong and resilient health systems that can respond to any pandemic and continue saving the lives of people in Bugesera district, Rwanda and all over the world

CategoriesAfNHI WACI Health News

Investing in women, children, and nutrition is not optional. The world’s future depends on it

The global health financing landscape has drastically changed since the end of 2019. The emergence of Covid-19 dramatically increased the need and urgency for investment in global health and additional funds have been needed to respond to the pandemic and its direct and indirect consequences.

Overall, countries around the world are not on track to meet the World Health Organization’s Sustainable Development Goal of reducing maternal mortality. While the global maternal mortality rate fell 38% from 2000 to 2017 — a significant achievement — this is still less than half the annual rate needed to achieve the goal of less than 70 deaths per 100,000 live births by 2030.

In many countries, the lack of access to universal basic health care has hampered the pandemic response, while the pressure of Covid-19 has overwhelmed vulnerable systems, undermining the provision of maternal and child health and the administration of routine vaccination programs. These setbacks are likely to affect child and population health for years to come and reverse hard-won gains.

Source: STAT

CategoriesAfNHI WACI Health News

HIV Vaccine Awareness Day Celebration

AfNHi this year culminated the HVAD celebrations by having a VUKA Show that was targeting young people’s voices on the progress of the HIV vaccine. In public health history, it’s important to note the greatest impact in eradicating or controlling infectious diseases has successfully been achieved through vaccination. However, most of the current HIV prevention methods need regular adherence or daily use. To help end the epidemic, an HIV vaccine which provides long-lasting protection is necessary. Our panel of speakers were hosted by our very own AfNHi Youth cohort member, Ituleleng Mothlabane, and featured a Kenyan clinical researcher Dr Charlene Biwott, and a medical doctor from Nigeria, Dr Progress Agbola. Key highlights of the panel conversation included discussions around the progress the HIV Vaccine development has made to date, amidst the urgent need that would be met by having a vaccine available in the near future.

CategoriesAfNHI

The world still needs a safe, effective, affordable and accessible HIV Vaccine despite disruptions by COVID 19,

HIV Vaccine Awareness Day (HVAD) is observed today, the 18th of May to recognize the many volunteers, community members, health professionals, and scientists working to develop a safe, accessible, affordable and effective preventive HIV vaccine key to ending the HIV and AIDS epidemic. HVAD is also an opportunity to educate communities about the importance of preventive HIV vaccine research. HIV research also includes efforts to develop a vaccine for HIV treatment called a therapeutic vaccine, a safe and effective therapeutic HIV vaccine could prevent HIV from advancing to AIDS, replace daily use of HIV medicines, and eliminate HIV from the body. In public health history, it’s important to note the greatest impact in eradicating or controlling infectious diseases has successfully been achieved through vaccination. To help end the epidemic, an HIV vaccine which provides long-lasting protection is necessary to save lives.

While significant progress in reducing HIV and AIDS epidemic has been made through treatment and prevention programs, the rate of new HIV infections still remains unacceptably high. SubSaharan Africa accounts for 70% of the global infection (25.6 million people living with HIV). In addition, the continent has the highest incidence of HIV infections, especially among Adolescents, Girls and young women and young people, thus a preventive HIV vaccine is needed now more than ever before.

Over the last two years, the world has seen unparalleled innovation, investments, and collaboration. The rapid development and rollout of new COVID-19 vaccines, treatments, and tests have transformed the global fight. The transformative advances that are being achieved in the response to COVID-19 could be harnessed to establish strategic and strong collaborations for the HIV and COVID-19 scientific communities. These overlapping epidemics represent an opportunity to extend cross-disciplinary research into the integrated service delivery for HIV and COVID-19 and aim to achieve sustained benefits of prevention and treatment

Lessons learnt from the COVID 19 Vaccines: in the context of introduction and rollout of
an HIV Vaccine

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to accelerated research efforts globally and highlighted the importance of community engagement and leadership in the COVID-19 response, partnerships between science, government, and affected communities are crucial for success. Strong community engagement and empowerment facilitate a two-way communication through which concerns can be addressed. Few countries have sufficient access to these life-saving tools. Manufacturing and regulatory delays curtailed the ability of the lower and lower and middleincome countries to adequately plan and scale up vaccination campaigns as efficiently as highincome countries.

In addition, the health sector has had to deal with many concerns about how vaccines are developed, their potential side effects and how to assess effectiveness. While it is challenging to introduce any new vaccine, ensuring uptake of COVID-19 vaccination presented additional complexities. To be fully effective, vaccination must reach and be accepted by the intended target groups in each country while ensuring strengthening community engagement.

Our African prosperity lies in our human capital therefore critical to invest and save the lives of African people by implementing of learnings of the COVID 19 vaccines while undertaking research to give the world an effective, affordable, accessible and a safe preventive and therapeutic HIV vaccine; the governments, funders and world leaders should consider too;

HIV VACCINES:

Build strong and resilient political will to invest in the delivery of an effective, safe, affordable and accessible HIV Vaccine to end the HIV epidemic
· Efficient and effective delivery of existing and new HIV prevention tools – to curb new infections, avert more deaths and boost the economy of our nations.
· Investing at least 2% of National health budgets in Health research and development (Health R&D)
· All governments and research institutions must ensure vaccine trials are well-conducted and adhere to ethical and meaningful engagement of communities and all stakeholders
· Improve research infrastructure in Africa to promote homegrown solutions

COVID 19 VACCINES:

Vaccines for Africa must be manufactured and procured in Africa for African people to save lives
· Waive the IP protections — including patents, industrial designs, copyrights, and undisclosed information — guarded by the WTO’s agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, or TRIPS, as proposed by South Africa and India.
· Sustain the level of political and financial commitment needed to control COVID-19 and end the pandemic

Correspondences Contact: AfNHi Coordinator, Ms Joyce Nganga at joyce@wacihealth.org

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