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March 1, 2021

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Major health stories published last week

5 min read

The world continues to battle the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic which has claimed millions of lives globally and affected the health systems of many countries.

The virus, which was first reported in Wuhan, China in December 2019, has spread to over 200 countries. More than 100 million people have been infected with over 2.4 million deaths recorded globally, data from worldometers shows.

Some countries are also reporting new COVID-19 variants leading to increase in infection cases and deaths. While some countries are already administering the COVID-19 vaccines on citizens, many others have yet to do so.

Nigeria, which has recorded over 140,000 COVID-19 cases, will receive 16 million doses of the Oxford- AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines before the end of February, an official said.

Here is a round-up of some of the health stories which made headlines last week.

COVID-19 In Africa: WHO urges vaccination as death toll rises

Deaths from COVID-19 across Africa have increased by 40 per cent in the last 28 days compared to the previous 28 days, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said.

The WHO Regional Office for Africa also said Thursday that over 3.7 million COVID-19 cases have been reported on the continent in the past one year.

The Regional Director of the WHO, Matshidiso Moeti, while speaking at a press briefing marking one year of COVID-19 in Africa, said countries in the continent have risen to the challenge of the pandemic but at huge cost to national economies, livelihoods and development.

COVID-19 vaccines split Nigeria’s private sector as BUA tackles CACOVID

The purchase of one million doses of COVID-19 vaccines has split leaders of Nigeria’s private sector with allegations of falsehood and insincerity being branded by top players.

Top industrial firm, BUA Group, has accused the private sector-led Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID), which it is part of, of mischief and spreading false information.

BUA was reacting to a statement by CACOVID, disowning its (BUA) payment through CACOVID for one million AstraZeneca doses of COVID-19 vaccines for Nigeria via the AFREXIM bank.

Nigeria to receive additional 42 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines – Minister

Nigeria’s health minister, Osagie Ehanire, said on Monday that the country will receive additional 42 million doses of the approved COVID-19 vaccines in addition to the 16 million initially expected.

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Mr Ehanire, while speaking at a briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, said the 42 million doses will be delivered to the country through the African Union, African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT).

Depression, anxiety may become common as COVID-19 enters second year

As the COVID-19 pandemic enters the second year, mental health experts say the pandemic is already fueling a surge in cases of depression, anxiety and other mental health issues.

They also warn that except proactive measures are taken, there could be more cases of mental health issues long after the pandemic might have subsided.

Nigeria needs 564 million additional condoms for adequate coverage – Report

A new report has shown that additional 564 million condoms are needed annually if Nigeria is to cover 90 per cent of its adult population.

The report, based on a survey, is titled ‘Condom accessibility and use in Nigeria’ and produced by NOIpolls, in partnership with the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) and AIDS HealthCare Foundation (AHF).

The report was released to mark the International Condom Day (ICD), which is observed annually on February 13 through Valentine’s Day, February 14, to promote safer sex awareness, by encouraging people to use condoms.

World Toothache Day: 10 important facts about oral health

For many Nigerians, the regular brushing of the teeth in the morning and sometimes at night is a daily ritual to avoid cavities, discolouration, and or bad breath.

But for dentists, there is more to brushing once or twice a day. Bad dental hygiene can cause decay, dental abscesses, periodontitis, gingivitis, and other diseases that may attack your teeth and gums.

Turkmenistan yet to report any COVID-19 case

Over a year after the coronavirus pandemic broke out, Turkmenistan, a Central Asian country, is yet to officially report a case of the infection which has claimed millions of lives globally.

The virus, which was first reported in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, has spread to over 200 countries. More than 100 million people have been infected with over two million deaths recorded globally.

South Africa suspends AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine for being ineffective against COVID-19 variant

Barely a week after over a million doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine arrived in South Africa, the country’s government said it has suspended the rollout of the jabs for failing to protect clinical trial volunteers from mild or moderate illness.

Authorities said preliminary investigations showed the vaccines did not protect volunteers from the more contagious variant of the disease known as B.1.351.

Nigeria spends over N500bn on tobacco related illness annually – Researcher

The Center for the Study of Economies of Africa and the Amaka Chiwuike Uba Foundation, on Thursday, said that Nigeria spends about N526.4 billion on tobacco-related illness annually.

This was made known during a one-day stakeholders report dissemination workshop with a theme; “Health burden and economic cost of smoking in Nigeria” held at Best Western Hotel, Independence Layout, Enugu.

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