By Gistflash News
July 16, 2021
A new World Health Organisation (WHO) report has confirmed that HIV infection is a significant independent risk factor for both severe and critical COVID-19 presentation at hospital admission and in-hospital mortality.
WHO, in a statement on its website, stated that nearly a quarter of people living with HIV and who were hospitalised as a result of COVID-19 infection ended up dying.
The statement quoted Dr Meg Doherty, Director of WHO’s Global HIV, Hepatitis and STI Programmes, as saying: “the report released today (Thursday) will have important policy implications.
“It will provide data to confirm that HIV is a risk for poor outcomes from COVID-19 and increases the urgency to see all PLHIV on treatment and with access to COVID-19 vaccinations.’’
The report is based on clinical surveillance data from 37 countries regarding the risk of poor COVID-19 outcomes in people living with HIV (PLHIV) admitted to hospital for COVID-19.
It found that the risk of developing severe or fatal COVID-19 was 30 per cent greater in PLHIV compared to people without HIV infection and underlying conditions such as diabetes and hypertension are common among PLHIV.
Among male PLHIV over the age of 65 years, diabetes and hypertension were associated with an increased risk of more severe and fatal COVID-19 infection.
These conditions are known to put people at increased risk of severe disease and death.
This highlights the need for PLHIV to stay as healthy as possible, regularly access and take their antiretroviral (ARV) medications and prevent and manage underlying conditions.
This also means that people living with HIV, independent of their immune status, should be prioritised for vaccination in most settings.
An informal WHO poll revealed that out of 100 countries with information, 40 countries have prioritised PLHIV for COVID-19 vaccination.
The analysis is informed by data from WHO’s Global Clinical Platform for COVID-19, which collects individual-level clinical data and characterizes COVID-19 among individuals hospitalised with suspected or confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection around the globe.
Later this week, WHO will also release updated Guidelines on HIV prevention, testing, treatment, service delivery and monitoring.
These guidelines provide more than 200 evidence-informed recommendations and good practice statements for a public health response to the prevention, testing, and treatment of people living with HIV.
These recommendations help to ensure that people with HIV can start and continue treatment during times of service disruption as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
HIV continues to be a major global public health issue, having claimed 34.7 million lives so far.
To reach the new proposed global 95–95–95 targets set by the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), countries need to redouble efforts to avoid increasing HIV infections due to HIV service disruptions during COVID-19 thereby slowing down the public health response to HIV.
Earlier, in a report released by UNAIDS, it said people living with HIV were more vulnerable to COVID-19.
According to UNAIDS report released on Wednesday, studies from England and South Africa have shown that the risk of dying from COVID-19 among people living with HIV was double that of the general population.
UNAIDS in a statement stated that in sub-Saharan Africa, which is home to two thirds (67 per cent) of people living with HIV, less than three per cent had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as at July 2021.
“At the same time, HIV prevention and treatment services are eluding key populations, as well as children and adolescents.
“COVID-19 vaccines could save millions of lives in the developing world but are being kept out of reach as rich countries and corporations hold on tightly to the monopoly of production and delivery of supplies for profit.
“This is having a severe impact around the world as health systems in developing countries become overwhelmed, such as in Uganda, where football stadia are being turned into makeshift hospitals,’’ it stated
FG converts National Blood Service to commission
By Gistflash News
Sept 25, 2021
The Federal Government has established the National Blood Service Commission (NBSC) to replace the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) to coordinate, regulate and ensure the provision of safe, quality blood transfusion services.
This is contained in a statement by Abdullahi Haruna, the commission’s Head of Media and Publicity on Saturday, in Abuja.
It explained that the NBTS was formerly a unit under the Department of Hospital Services in the Federal Ministry of Health, which was passed by the National Assembly and assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari.
It also disclosed that Dr Omale Joseph-Amedu, the National Coordinator, would serve as the Acting Director-General of the commission in line with the provisions of the Act establishing the commission.
“Commission which has the statutory mandate to coordinate, regulate and ensure the provision of safe, quality blood transfusion services on a country- wide basis within the national health plan.
“Therefore, the commission is legally mandated to ensure proper compliance with the National Blood Service Guidelines and standards.
“It will also maintain a system of quality assurance at all levels of service, encourage research in all aspects of blood transfusion services and promote the rational use of blood, blood products and alternatives to blood where appropriate.
“The commission which takes effect immediately as National Blood Service Commission (NBSC) has communicated that its new name and status more aptly reflects the mandate of ensuring the availability of safe, quality and adequate blood services to all Nigerians,” it stated
UK donates 1.2m COVID-19 vaccines to Nigeria – Envoy
By Gistflash News
Sept 25, 2021
COVID-19: 4, 680,000 Nigerians vaccinated – NPHCDA
By Gistflash News
Sept 25, 2021
The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) says 4,680,000 Nigerians have so far been vaccinated against COVID-19 .
The Executive Director /Chief Executive Officer of the agency, Dr Faisal Shuaib, disclosed this during the South South zonal town hall meeting on COVID-19 vaccination on Saturday in Benin.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the town hall meeting was organised by the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, in collaboration with NPHCDA and the Edo government.
Shuaib noted that out of the 4,680,000 million vaccinated Nigerians, about 1,865,127 were fully vaccinated with the two doses.
He stated that the figure was below the nation’s target ,adding that the threats posed by the virus could prevent the country from returning to normal living.
“I will like to encourage us to use our good offices to encourage eligible members of our community to visit the nearest designated health facility to receive the vaccine.
“All the vaccines are currently available in designated vaccination sites across the country and are safe and effective,” he said.
According to him, in the course of the next few weeks, NPHCDA plans to gradually involve the private sector as sites for COVID-19 vaccination.
Shuaib, however, disclosed that the Federal Government had set up a Joint Task Force on COVID-19 vaccine for monitoring and accountability in collaboration with the security agencies.
Earlier, the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire said the town hall was organised to discuss COVID-19 vaccination, address mutual concerns and reach a consensus to ensure citizens were safe and protected against the deadly coronavirus.
Ehanire, said Nigeria had so far lost 2000 of her citizens to COVID-19, adding that the virus had also affected the nation’s GDP.
According to him ,the government needs to vaccinate 70 per cent of the population to effectively curb the spread of the virus.
“The way out off this is to get vaccinated because those who have taken the vaccine have full protection while the unvaccinated are exposed to danger,” he said
He disclosed that the Federal Government was working with the private sector for the production of vaccine in the country.
According to the minister, records have shown that over 90 per cent of deaths recorded from COVID-19 are from unvaccinated persons.
Also speaking, Gov. Godwin Obaseki said the state had so far vaccinated over 130,000 residents against the virus.
Represented by his Chief of Staff, Osaigbovo Iyokha, Obaseki said the state target was to vaccinate 60 per cent of the population.
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