First African vaccine facility to be built in Rwanda

First African vaccine facility to be built in Rwanda

BioNTech is moving forward with plans to build vaccine manufacturing facilities on the African continent, with an announcement Tuesday that Rwanda has been chosen for the first site. Dr. Daniel Ngamije, the health minister for Rwanda, said the first facility will be built at the Kigali Special Economic Zone (KSEZ),…

WHO sets new standards on air pollution levels

The World Health Organization issued new guidelines on air pollution Wednesday that dramatically reduce the levels of particulate matter (PM) and other pollutants linked to a range of diseases. These illnesses include heart disease, lung cancer, stroke, and respiratory diseases including asthma. “Since WHO’s last 2005 global update, there has…

Meningitis outbreak is latest health blow to DR Congo

An outbreak of bacterial meningitis has claimed at least 129 lives in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with health officials warning that so far, roughly half of the people who became ill have died. Congolese officials, alongside the World Health Organization, said they confirmed the spread of Neisseria meningitidis,…

Burkina Faso reports suspected Ebola case

Authorities in Burkina Faso are monitoring a new case of suspected Ebola in West Africa. The country’s health ministry says a 22-year-old person is being treated at the Bogodogo University Hospital Center in Ouagadougou. They are isolated and receiving care while awaiting confirmation of any Ebola infection. The case points to the possibility…

South Africa to host first WHO-facilitated mRNA vaccine hub

South Africa will lead the way in the effort to begin manufacturing COVID vaccines on the African continent, beginning with an mRNA vaccine technology transfer hub supported by the World Health Organization. WHO said it will work with its COVAX partners, a South African consortium of biotech firms, a network…

Africa’s need for a dedicated Covid-19 vaccine supply

As with so many other facets of global wealth (and health) inequality, the rollout of the four Covid-19 vaccines produced by Western pharmaceutical companies and approved by American and European health officials – the “Big Four” of Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, Oxford/AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson – has quickly became yet another…

WHO calls for fair access to vaccines for Africans

Top African health officials are calling for more equitable vaccine distribution, noting that less than 2 percent of the vaccines delivered to date have been for people on the continent and most of that is in just 10 nations. “Although progress is being made, many African countries have barely moved…

Ebola concerns spread as Liberia warns of suspected case

Liberians waited anxiously for the results of an Ebola test after a woman with serious symptoms was treated at a Monrovia clinic, reportedly having traveled to Nzerekore, the city at the center of neighboring Guinea’s expanding Ebola outbreak. Health minister Dr. Wilhemina Jallah confirmed the suspected case during press comments…

New Ebola cases suspected in West Africa’s Guinea

New cases of the Ebola virus are now suspected in the West African nation of Guinea, according to the World Health Organization. “WHO has been informed of two suspected cases of Ebola in Guinea-Conakry,” said WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus late Saturday. “Confirmatory testing underway. WHOAFRO and WHO country office…

WHO works to trace 70+ contacts of new Ebola case in DR Congo

The head of the World Health Organization said Monday that officials in Democratic Republic of Congo have identified more than 70 contacts of a woman with confirmed Ebola virus who has already died. “WHO is supporting local and national authorities to trace them and provide care where needed,” said Tedros…

Ebola outbreak declared over in DR Congo

Health experts on Wednesday declared an end to the most recent Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of the Congo, some six months after the first cases were reported in Equateur Province in the country’s northwest. The World Health Organization announced the waiting-period window, usually 42 days since the last confirmed…