By Gistflash News
July 11, 2021
World Health Organisation (WHO) study has highlighted an unacceptably high global prevalence of syphilis among men who have sex with men.
The world body, in the new study on “ Prevalence of syphilis among men who have sex with men: A global systematic review and meta-analysis from 2000 to 2020’’ also emphasised ways to eliminate the infection.
The information, which is on its website, underscored the need to advance stalled progress toward eliminating syphilis as a public health threat by 2030.
Syphilis, a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI), is caused by the bacteria call Treponema Pallidum.
The study lead by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK and published in the Lancet Global Health on Friday presents the first global syphilis prevalence estimate among men who have sex with men.
The statement quoted Dr Meg Doherty, the Director of WHO’s Department of Global HIV, Hepatitis and STI Programmes, as saying “structural barrier in treating syphilis must be addressed.
“This first review of global syphilis prevalence among men who have sex with men highlights the urgent need to improve access to syphilis testing, treatment and prevention services.’’
“Stakeholders must address structural barriers, like discrimination and violence; improve sexuality education, and expand access and delivery of syphilis testing and immediate treatment for all populations at higher risk of infection.”
According to WHO, findings from the global review shows that men who have sex with men have high burden of syphilis infection, with significant variation across countries and regions.
“The global pooled prevalence of syphilis among men who have sex with men was 7.5 per cent during 2000-2020 (95 per cent CI: 7.0-8.0), as compared to the most recent estimate of syphilis among men in the general population in 2016, 0.5 per cent (95 per cent UI: 0.4-0.6).
“The proportion of men who have sex with men with syphilis was highest in settings where HIV prevalence was greater than 5 per cent and in Low and -Middle Income Countries (LMIC).
“Sub-analysis showed that pooled prevalence estimates were higher between 2015 to 2020, compared to the prior five years in half of the global regions assessed.’’
The UN health agency stated that several countries were reporting high and sustained increase in syphilis infection among men who have sex with men.
Globally, it stated an estimated seven million new syphilis infections in 2020.
WHO has set ambitious target to reduce incidence of syphilis by 90 per cent by 2030, but the global response has been slow.
“While there have been modest reductions in congenital syphilis as a result of the scale-up of interventions in antenatal care, such as syphilis screening and treatment for pregnant women, there is an urgent need to galvanise momentum.
“There is an urgent need to galvanise momentum and better serve other priority populations disproportionally impacted by the disease.
“Syphilis is preventable and curable, with cost-effective and, in certain contexts, cost-saving interventions,’’ it stated.
It further stated that easy to use and inexpensive point-of-care tests included blood-based rapid tests that produce results in less than 20 minutes, and products that test syphilis and HIV using a single platform.
“Treatment with injectable benzathine penicillin is simple to administer and inexpensive.
“A major challenge is that populations at higher risk for syphilis, particularly in LMIC, are often not able to access services due to structural barriers, including criminalisation, policy and legal barriers, discrimination and violence.’’
Magnitude 5.8 earthquake hits Greek island of Crete
By Gistflash News
Sept 27, 2021
A magnitude 5.8 strong quake hit Greece’s Crete island on Monday, according to the Geodynamics Institute of the National Observatory of Athens.
The tremor’s epicentre was located at a depth of 10 km, some 25 km south of the city of Heraklion, the capital of Crete island, while aftershocks up to 4.3 magnitude have followed, according to Greek scientists.
Material damage has been reported, with no injuries until now, local officials told Greek national news agency AMNA.
Earlier, the Euro Mediterranean Seismological Centre put the quake’s magnitude at 6.2, which was later revised to 6.0.
WHO investigators seeking COVID-19 origin going back to China
By Gistflash News
Sept 27, 2021
The World Health Organisation (WHO) is launching a new investigation into the origins of COVID-19, months after an earlier probe ended without drawing firm conclusions, according to a report published.
WHO was putting together a team of some 20 scientists, who will be charged with finding new evidence in China and other locales, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The group will examine whether the virus emerged from a laboratory, a theory that has been angrily rejected by China.
In December 2020, WHO investigators began visits to Wuhan, China, where the first known outbreak of the virus took place.
But their March 2021 report said they had gotten insufficient information from Chinese scientists to answer key questions about COVID-19’s origin.
In August, U.S. intelligence agencies issued a separate report saying they also could not make firm conclusions about COVID-19’s origins.
Florida Gov. appoints Nigerian-American, Joseph Ladapo Surgeon-General
By Gistflash News
Sept 25, 2021
Ron DeSantis, Florida Governor, U.S. has appointed a Nigerian-American, Dr Joseph Ladapo, as Florida Surgeon-General and Secretary of the Department of Health.
DeSantis in a statement posted on the Florida Department of Health website, stated that he was pleased to announce Ladapo for the position.
“I am pleased to announce that Ladapo will lead the Florida department of health as our state’s next surgeon-general
“Ladapo comes to us by way of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, with a superb background.”
According to him, Ladapo has had both a remarkable academic and medical career with a strong emphasis in health policy research.
The governor said: ” Ladapo will bring great leadership to the department of health, ” thanking both Dr Scott Rivkees and Dr Shamarial Roberson for their hard work on behalf of all Floridians.
Lieutenant-Governor, Jeanette Nuñez described Ladapo’s as, “an excellent choice to serve as our next surgeon general.
“Ladapo has impeccable credentials and a strong vision to effectively serve the people of Florida at the helm of our public health agency.
“Through his service to our state, we will continue Florida’s work to advance our public health goals,” Nuñez said.
Ladapo said he is honored to have been chosen by DeSantis to serve as Florida’s next surgeon-general.
“We must make health policy decisions rooted in data and not in fear.
“From California, I have observed the different approaches taken by governors across the country and I have been impressed by DeSantis’ leadership and determination,” he said.
The new surgeon-general said he was impressed by DeSantis’ leadership to ensure that Floridians were afforded all opportunities to maintain their health and wellness, while preserving their freedoms as Americans.
“It is a privilege to join his team and serve the people of Florida,” he said.
Ladapo was recently granted a professorship at the University of Florida (UF) College of Medicine.
Prior to joining UF, he served as an associate professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA),caring for hospitalised patients.
He is a graduate of Wake Forest University, who also holds an MD from Harvard Medical School and a PhD in Health Policy from Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
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